Health Care Reform: Yes they did, but now what?

The Health Care Insurance reform bill passed the House of Representatives last night, by the slim margin of 219-212.  And the sun rose.  Votes clicked in slowly last night and, as Democrats reached the magic number 216, chants of “Yes we did” sounded through the House floor.  Yes, they did, but now what?

There are a few areas for consideration:

1. Math & Common Sense

Two of the immediate results of the passage of Health Care Reform are that pre-existing conditions can no longer be used to deny insurance coverage and insurance premiums will be capped or limited. 

Imagine this: Johnny finds out that he has cancer, but has no insurance.  He can now go down to any health insurance agency and cannot be denied coverage due to his cancer.  Even though he hasn’t paid any money into the company, they must now take on his hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care costs.  Great news for Johnny, right?

Well, what about Bob?  He has an insurance policy with the same company that Johnny signed up with.  Bob is healthy and has had no real complaint with the company, but what happens to Bob’s premiums when Johnny becomes a fellow customer?  They skyrocket because the company has to pay for something Johnny hasn’t paid any money for.  Bad news for Bob, right?

Well, not entirely.  The government is ensuring that Johnny gets coverage and Bob’s premiums don’t go too high.  But, what happens to the company?  Eventually, they go bankrupt.

Is Congress unaware of this consequence?  Does the President know?  Of course they do.  What does our government do when major corporations go bankrupt?  What precedent have they set?  Bailouts.  When the insurance companies go bankrupt, the government will step in and we will have nationalized, government-run health care, and they know it.

This is why the Democrats have been willing to walk off a cliff in voting for this bill.  They know that the cliff isn’t high enough to kill them.  Once the entitlement is there, government will have to take over and the people who are getting free stuff will cast a vote for them. 

Eliminating pre-existing conditions and premium caps are good for Johnny and Bob, respectively, yet disastrous for the nation.  The problem is that we are a nation of selfish people and don’t care what we are doing to the future of the nation.

The end result is that both Johnny and Bob end up on government run health care which, with slashed doctor reimbursements, means fewer doctors, longer lines, and poorer care.  If the government has already fouled up Medicaid, what makes us think that handing them more control of health care is going to work?  Can we honestly name one thing our government has handled (long-term) responsibly? 

2. Government Intrusion & Intervention

The health care bill is not about health care at all; it’s about power.  There are a few parts of this bill which are particularly disturbing in this respect. 

First, 15,000 IRS agents will now be hired to enforce government acceptability of insurance.  The government is requiring that all citizens have acceptable health coverage, whether they want it, need it, or not.  Who is going to enforce this?  IRS agents.  They will do monthly evaluations of your policy to determine acceptablity, the terms of which will also be determined by the government.

Second, this means that the federal government is now requiring private citizens to purchase a product that they are regulating, requiring, and providing (not through a “public option”, but more a public pool), whether we want it or not. 

Third, employers will be required to provide health insurance for their employees.  This legislation, adopted during a recession, will increase the tax burden and cost to small businesses which will fuel unemployment, business closure, and (of course) drive up the number of citizens living on government assistance.  This will also add huge numbers to those who need access to government-controlled, government-funded health care.  Coincidence? 

3. Constitutionality

Perhaps the greatest problem with the health care bill is that it fails to meet the Constitution on several grounds.  First, Congress does not have authority to regulate and fine private businesses in this way.  Article I, Section 8 gives them authority to regulate trade between states, but insurance is not an interstate business. 

Second, Congress does not have the authority to require states to force their citizens to buy health care.  In fact, government has no right whatsoever to require citizens to buy health care at all.  This is in direct violation of the 9th and 10th Amendments.

9th Amendment – “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

10th Amendment – “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

In other words, because the Constitution does not grant the federal government the power to oversee or require health insurance, that right is retained by the individual and/or the state. 

As Virginia Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli said, “If a person decides not to buy health insurance, that person by definition is not engaging in commerce.  If you are not engaging in commerce, how can the federal government regulate you?”

If states want to mandate or create state-run health care, have at it!  But, the federal government has no such power. 

Massachusetts, Maine, and Tennessee all tried it and not a single one of their representatives spoke for the health care bill.  The financial burden is crushing them. 

How do we explain our federal government’s wanton disregard for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights?  “We ain’t got no rules around here.  We tryin’ to get something done!  We make ’em up as we go along” (Alcee Hastings, D, Chairman of the House Rules Committee).  The Constitution is being disregarded because the federal government has its own agenda and the Constitution would interrupt it.  So, make it up.

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2 thoughts on “Health Care Reform: Yes they did, but now what?

  1. Pingback: United Methodists & Obamacare « Omnibus

  2. Pingback: Episcopalians & Obamacare « Omnibus

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