ACT 1

“…the only way affordable access can be achieved is for every citizen to have some type of health insurance.”

Barack Obama? Nancy Pelosi? No, that would be too easy. The above sentiments were voiced by the former Republican leader of the Senate, Dr. Bill Frist in September 2009.

And that is the problem. Democrat and Republican leaders know that mandating insurance, whether it is from an employer or individually purchased, is a core requirement to meaningful reform. If you accept that the system we had on March 22, 2010 was unsustainable, then getting everyone to participate is an integral part of any solution.

Is the individual mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) constitutional? It depends on who you ask.

On Friday, August 12th, a three judge panel with the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the President and the mandate. It was a split decision. Two of the judges, Joel Dubina a Bush appointee and Frank Hull who was brought to the bench by President Clinton, issued a 207 page ruling that clearly stated their opposition. “This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives.”

Judge Stanley Marcus, also a Clinton appointee, noted that his peers had ignored “the undeniable fact that Congress’ commerce power has grown exponentially over the past two centuries”.

The White House was quick to point out that insurance rates will skyrocket if all of their changes (free stuff) are implemented without the individual mandate. In other words, if insurance is guaranteed issue and preexisting conditions don’t matter, healthy people won’t bother to buy coverage. This would create a pricing death spiral.

This recent decision is just another step towards the inevitable Supreme Court showdown. In an evenly divided Court, Justice Anthony Kennedy becomes the swing vote. What will he decide? Darned if I know. My guess is that he will note that the individual states have the power to impose this mandate, but that the federal government does not. But that is just a guess.

And, if you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that this ruling has no impact on my prediction of our final destination.

The federal government, the states, the insurers, and businesses have spent millions of dollars to comply with the PPACA. The Republicans may have won the House last November, but as predicted, they have not taken even the smallest of steps to modify this legislation. Their Bill – H.R. 2 Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act was neither serious nor constructive. This train has left the station.

If the mandate is struck down, but all of the benefits are retained, rates will continue to climb and the federal government will be forced to offer a competing Public Option. The Public Option will be designed like Medicare Part B, an optional benefit that covers doctors, testing, etc… that almost 90% of all Medicare Beneficiaries accept. There is a heavy fee for failing to purchase Medicare Part B when it is initially offered. Seniors aren’t forced (mandated) to take Medicare Part B. They are just screwed if they don’t. That’s constitutional!

The insurers will dump the individual and small group market on the government and concentrate on the far more profitable supplemental products.

So here we are in August 2011, seventeen months into the PPACA. All of the players are following the script. I suggest you get another popcorn. This show has just begun.

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10 Responses to ACT 1

  1. jacksmith says:

    REALITY!!

    START NOW!

    As you all know. Had congress passed a single-payer or government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one, our economy and jobs would have taken off like a rocket. And still will. Single-payer would be best. But a government-run robust Public Option CHOICE! that can lead to a single-payer system is the least you can accept. It’s not about competing with for-profit healthcare and for-profit health insurance. It’s about replacing it with Universal Healthcare Assurance. Everyone knows this now.

    The message from the midterm elections was clear. The American people want real healthcare reform. They want that individual mandate requiring them to buy private health insurance abolished. And they want a government-run robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one. And they want it now.

    They want Drug re-importation, and abolishment, or strong restrictions on patents for biologic and prescription drugs. And government controlled and negotiated drug and medical cost. They want back control of their healthcare system from the Medical Industrial Complex. And they want it NOW!

    THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WILL NOT, AND MUST NOT, ALLOW AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO STAND WITHOUT A STRONG GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE.

    For-profit health insurance is extremely unethical, and morally repugnant. It’s as morally repugnant as slavery was. And few if any decent Americans are going to allow them-self to be compelled to support such an unethical and immoral crime against humanity.

    This is a matter of National and Global security. There can be NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Further, we want that corrupt, undemocratic filibuster abolished. Whats the point of an election if one corrupt member of congress can block the will of the people, and any legislation the majority wants. And do it in secret. Give me a break people.

    Also, unemployment healthcare benefits are critically needed. But they should be provided through the Medicare program at cost, less the 65% government premium subsidy provided now to private for profit health insurance.

    Congress should stop wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money on private for profit health insurance subsidies. Subsidies that cost the taxpayer 10x as much or more than Medicare does. Private for profit health insurance plans cost more. But provide dangerous and poorer quality patient care.

    Republicans: GET RID OF THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE.

    Democrats: ADD A ROBUST GOVERNMENT-RUN PUBLIC OPTION TO HEALTHCARE REFORM.

    This is what the American people are shouting at you. Both parties have just enough power now to do what the American people want. GET! IT! DONE! NOW!

    If congress does not abolish the individual mandate. And establish a government-run public option CHOICE! before the end of 2011. EVERY! member of congress up for reelection in 2012 will face strong progressive pro public option, and anti-individual mandate replacement candidates.

    Strong progressive pro “PUBLIC OPTION” CHOICE! and anti-individual mandate volunteer candidates should begin now. And start the process of replacing any and all members of congress that obstruct, or fail to add a government-run robust PUBLIC OPTION CHOICE! before the end of 2011.

    We need two or three very strong progressive volunteer candidates for every member of congress that will be up for reelection in 2012. You should be fully prepared to politically EVISCERATE EVERY INCUMBENT that fails or obstructs “THE PUBLIC OPTION”. And you should be willing to step aside and support the strongest pro “PUBLIC OPTION” candidate if the need arises.

    ASSUME CONGRESS WILL FAIL and SELLOUT again. So start preparing now to CUT THEIR POLITICAL THROATS. You can always step aside if they succeed. But only if they succeed. We didn’t have much time to prepare before these past midterm elections. So the American people had to use a political shotgun approach. But by 2012 you will have a scalpel.

    Congress could have passed a robust government-run public option during it’s lame duck session. They knew what the American people wanted. They already had several bills on record. And the house had already passed a public option. Departing members could have left with a truly great accomplishment. And the rest of you could have solidified your job before the 2012 elections.

    President Obama, you promised the American people a strong public option available to everyone. And the American people overwhelmingly supported you for it. Maybe it just wasn’t possible before. But it is now.

    Knock heads. Threaten people. Or do whatever you have to. We will support you. But get us that robust public option CHOICE! available to everyone on day one before the end of 2011. Or We The People Of The United States will make the past midterm election look like a cake walk in 2012. And it will include you.

    We still have a healthcare crisis in America. With hundreds of thousands dieing needlessly every year in America. And a for profit medical industrial complex that threatens the security and health of the entire world. They have already attacked the world with H1N1 killing thousands, and injuring millions. And more attacks are planned for profit, and to feed their greed.

    Spread the word people.

    Progressives, prepare the American peoples scalpels. It’s time to remove some politically diseased tissues.

    God Bless You my fellow human beings. I’m proud to be one of you. You did good.

    See you on the battle field.

    Sincerely

    jacksmith – WorkingClass 🙂

  2. dave@cunixinsurance.com says:

    I would hate for people to think that I wouldn’t print opposing viewpoints.
    DAVE

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