I'm no constitutional scholar or supreme court justice. But Article 1 Section 8 of the constitution says that congress has the power to provide for the general welfare of its citizens. To me, the individual health insurance mandate seems to fall under that clause.
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- Sorry, but no government provides me with car insurance, but they to say I must have it if I want to use my car on the road.Aug 12, 2011
- Just a quick comment about indigents showing up at the ER vs a PCP, that's in part an issue with our system: visiting a doctor generally requires an appointment, which if you're really sick and living out on the streets may be hard to do. Furthermore, most doctors' offices require at least partial payment at time of service, which can be near impossible for indigent people, whereas ER and Urgent Care will bill the patient and/or help them enroll in an aid program (such as CICP) that allows them to use the entire system (including PCPs) the same way.
So a lot of indigent people go to the ER not to be wasteful but because it's the only rapid response they know of. If they can get taken care of in other ways as effectively and quickly despite having no money, most will.
We're not 'getting screwed' by these people getting health care. The government is providing for 'general welfare' when it helps its citizens like that, and the cost of these visits is a drop in the bucket compared to the wastefulness and dramatically over-priced costs of health services in general in this country. Make health care a commodity and not a premium service and the cost to individuals and to the government will drop dramatically.Aug 12, 2011
- Dennis: exactly. which is how lots of other state and Federal compulsary laws work. Do X or not, your choice, but if you X without Y then we'll Z you.Aug 12, 2011
- That is thrown out a lot, "some other countries' health care systems are far superior to ours" but that isn't really true. If you are talking about access and you believe everyone should have equal access (i.e. don't pay, subsidized by the state), than fine you can say other countries are better. But their service (i.e. waiting lists for surgeries) and technology & innovation don't compare to what the U.S. provides. But I admit, it's a double edged sword. For example, it's hard not to commend the pharmaceutical company, private companies here in the US, that has spent billions of dollars on R&D for say the AIDS "cocktail" which is giving life to those who were under a death sentence and at the same time sell it for amounts that will allow it to recoup its costs and profit from it to (most of which goes back to R&D for other drugs). But then are we to look down on Brazil which steals that patent, creates it generically and gives it for almost nothing in order to save its own citizens? I would say no. No black & white.Aug 12, 2011
- Anything falls apart when taken to extremes. Back in college, I bragged that I could take apart any philosophy until I realized that everything exists within its own set of working parameters and fails when conditions exceed them. As a result, I came to understand that what happens when you "take something to extremes" isn't a real representation of how well it works within reasonable limits.
Tax preferences benefit those who make significant amounts of money far more than they do the vast majority of Americans, and completely fail to provide any sort of incentive or monetary support to people who don't make enough to afford health care in the first place.
(Federal government cannot require helmets or seatbelts, but states can, and do. That's why it took a constitutional amendment for Prohibition-- because the power to regulate alcohol had already been constitutionally delegated to the states, and we needed the amendment to give the power back to the Fed. govt. I'm not completely clear on the particular legal reasons that health care falls under the purview of the US govt rather than states (interstate commerce, or general welfare, maybe?) but until Clinton and Obama started talking about UHC, it was generally accepted as under Federal jurisdiction.)Aug 12, 2011
- thanks for your comments - I didn't think you were playing "out of bounds", so to speak... the first bit of my previous response was in direct reaction to 'that could be taken to extremes.' ... everything you said was pretty reasonable, and I'm personally of the opinion that it's good for us to ask these questions. How can we improve the current state of healthcare? What are the possible solutions, which ones require government intervention, and if there is government intervention, how should that be structured? Asking 'can we do it as a tax advantage? Will that work?' is a good question. I don't know the answer; I've got my own thoughts that it wouldn't, but I'd think that if our representatives AREN'T exploring all available options they're not doing their jobs. What irks me is how polarized people have become almost precludes an in-depth attempt to understand and explore the issues on all sides.Aug 12, 2011