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News You hate Obama's health care penalty for the uninsured?

  1. Mar 26, 2010 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    Under the new health care mandates, which are now effectively "the law", if you don't have health insurance, you will be fined according to a sliding scale that reaches a maximum of something like $1500 per year. This seems to be at the crux of many objections to the new system: What gives them - the government - the right?!?!?! Right?

    Here is your answer: There is an implicit contract between you and the government in which you demand that emergency and extended medical treatment be made available if you are sick or seriously injured. If you or someone else calls 911 for help, you expect someone to show up. If you are taken to a hospital, you expect treatment. And you don't expect to be tossed into the street if your credit card is refused. So, the only justification that I can see for an exemption to the insurance mandate is if emergency services, hospitals, and doctors, are given the right to refuse treatment. If your credit card bounces or your credit rating isn't good, or even if no one can find your wallet, instead of treatment, you are completely on your own. If that means that you are left to die on the highway after an auto accident, then that is your choice. The street cleaning crews can retrieve the bodies for the sake of public health and safety.

    Do we have any takers? What are the options? If you are not willing to agree to these terms, then please explain how you have the right to impose such a mandate on the public? Why do you expect to get something for nothing at my expense? What gives you the right to treatment that you can't possibly afford?
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2010 #2
    The point you raise is just exactly what I was discussing about half an hour ago. I cannot believe anyone could care about their "right" to die on the side of road.

    I understand that some republicans have put forward similar propositions. If consistent, they should either support this law, or negotiate changes, not fight and oppose vehemently.
  4. Mar 26, 2010 #3
    Have you read the law?
  5. Mar 26, 2010 #4


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    The uninsured people still end up costing others. When you are hit by a car and laying there unconscious bleeding on the street, someone calls 911 for you. Hopefully in about 30 minutes you will be in the emergency room, and there is nobody there to ask you if you have insurance at that time. You get your emergency treatment for free, because the hospital can't collect.

    Sure they will bill you, but value of money today is far greater than whenever you will be able to pay, and it adds up. Some patients can never pay off the emergency visits and those bills are never collected on. With universal, mandated coverage you ensure that the hospital does not have to raise costs for silly things like a toothbrush and ER visits because of their operating expenses. The hospital gets paid, gets to balance their sheets. And stays in business.

    Now imagine the hospital did not get paid. A hospital that closes down in the neighborhood will affect entire region, put additional strain on other hospitals in the area and threaten public safety.

    I think the ultimate 'beef' you have with this healthcare 'thing' is that the federal government could've just became one big health insurance company from appropriated income tax. As is the case with AIG, the government should not be in a position where it becomes bankrupt, other than that > 1.0 GDP national debt we have at the moment.

    This healthcare overhaul bill should've made it illegal for any hospital or nursing home to be a for-profit entity, pitted the pharmaceutical companies against each other in bids, manufacturer of medical equipment as well. You need to bring down the cost of medicine and medical equipment, which is ridiculously overpriced. They are taking advantage of the helplessness that people feel when they are sick, as if they would pay any price for the drugs.

    Whether it is because of the cost of patents for the medicines or simply pharma companies gouging prices to cover internal costs, it is clearly not a manufacturing issue. These drugs are expensive because pharma companies say they are.
  6. Mar 26, 2010 #5


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    We tax people to pay for police, why not tax people to pay for ambulances? Why does it have to be paid for with private health insurance? Fining people to convince them to pay a private insurer to pay a government sponsored emergency service seems awfully round-about and can't possibly be an efficient use of funds. People should pay for such things directly.

    As a fiscal conservative and a believer in freedom and equality of opportunity and treatment under the law, I think people should pay their fair share for things like emergency services. So I think the ~42% of the population that is currently freeloading needs to start paying at least something for the services they get....including the emergency care they currently get for free. Currently, more than 40% of the population pays nothing or has a negative federal income tax burden, a growing fraction of freeloaders that is up from 20% in 1980 and 30% in 2003: http://www.taxfoundation.org/research/show/207.html

    Rather than taxing the middle class and rich to pay for more feebies for those who currently contribute nothing, we should be forcing people to pay for the services they use. Maybe that will mean I'll see fewer satellite dishes on the row-houses when I drive through Norristown on my way to work, but so what: your mother never said things would be handed to you on a silver platter.

    Stepping back from emergency services, I went about 3 years without health insurance when I was in my 20s, then had individual insurance (I was self-employed) for another 5. In that time, I went to the dentist once, had my wisdom teeth out and had a hernia operation. Both surgeries were payed for mostly out of pocket because I had a high deductable, so while I paid $8000 or so for insurance over that time, I still payed about $6000 out of pocket for the services I got. I'm glad I went without insurance for a few years, but I would have been better off going without insurance another few years. Regardless, as a person living in a supposedly free society, I should have the right to make such choices for myself.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  7. Mar 26, 2010 #6


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    As do most Americans, I pay a fee for private medical insurance that in turn pays for any 'extended medical treatment' for my family. Thus, also as most Americans under 65, I demand not a thing from the federal government by way of medical benefits, at least for now. As for emergency 911 services, they are provided by my local county, paid for out of my existing state and local taxes, and depending on the situation reimbursed by insurance. I'd prefer the federal government stay the heck out either domain, thank you very much.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  8. Mar 26, 2010 #7
    Couldn't this be construed as a Bill of Attainder?
  9. Mar 26, 2010 #8
    I'm still of the firmly believe that if the point of this bill was to drive down the cost of health care in this country, and make it more affordable for everyone then the bill missed some big things. Frankly these things should of been addressed before the government took upon its self an expansion of power.

    First standardization of coding and billing for all insurance companies. Second Tort reform. Third the AMA limiting the number of doctors that enter the field each year. http://wallstreetpit.com/5769-the-medical-cartel-why-are-md-salaries-so-high"

    Just a few ideas instead of this insurance/big pharmacy/government new hire stimulus bill we have now.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  10. Mar 26, 2010 #9


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    We all know, of course, that when you are young and healthy, you pay into the healthcare system and don't use the services, but when you are old and sickly, you get more money out than you pay in. So lets stop pretending everyone is on a level playing field and give people individual health savings plans that let them build-up coverage over a lifetime rather than just getting it when they get old. That will convince the young that they aren't flushing their money down the toilet by buying health insurance they have almost no chance of using.
  11. Mar 27, 2010 #10


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    So far I am unable to locate anything in the health bill that actually lays out an enforcement mechanism for the mandate. The mandate itself is in there, but I can not find the words naming the agency that will come round and actually collect the money if one doesn't mail it in. One would expect the IRS but I can't find it.
  12. Mar 27, 2010 #11


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    Realy? How silly of you!
    Yeah, of course I agree. I think the healthcare bill was just a big federal power grab that did very little to address the very real problems in our healthcare system. Tort reform is a biggie for me and of course the government won't address that since most aren't just in the pockets of the ABA, but are actually lawyers themselves.

    I wish I had the power to generate my own work like lawyers can!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  13. Mar 27, 2010 #12
    So they deprive us of water, and then decide to finally compensate by giving us cholera tainted juice?

    There are better ways to solve a problem, many ways to cut costs, and all of them have been removed, or not introduced to the bill.

    The solution to one problem is another problem.

    The precedent set through this route makes for a slippery slope of future corruption. How many supreme court cases can be argued now citing this mandate?

    Better to settle with the devil for now? But in the long run? Will we regret it?
  14. Mar 27, 2010 #13
    [/sarcasm on]

    But Russ if the point of the bill wasn't to drive down the cost of heath care, that would mean the Democrats and Obama lied to us. I just don't think I would know what to do if our elected officials were lying to us.

    [/sarcasm off]
  15. Mar 27, 2010 #14
    I have been reading a text book on basics of constitutional law. It has apparently become a common practice to put these things in motion and work out such details later. There have been challenges against congress on the basis of Delegation of Powers but they are rarely heard and generally rejected. Apparently the only time that such challenges have been successful was during the New Deal era when the supreme court was intent on dismantling the legislation. Since then Congress has more or less been given carte blanche to delegate powers as it sees fit.

    I'm wondering if one would be required to submit proof of medical coverage to the IRS. That would just be ridiculous.
  16. Mar 27, 2010 #15
    First of all, Obama campaigned against the mandate, and I believe one of his arguments was that it would give leverage to the insurance companies to price gouge and take further advantage of us.

    They lie because it is a job requirement. The simple fact is that you cannot win without lying. So like I said before good intentional people are forced to lie on behalf of defeating the lunatic on the other side. It's shameful, but like I also said before there is no hope.
  17. Mar 27, 2010 #16
    You just discovered the concept of "supply and demand". Well done.
  18. Mar 27, 2010 #17
    Couldn't this also be construed as a tax on the poor? The rich will get their health care because they have the money. The poor will opt to pay the fine (tax) because they cannot afford the health insurance.
  19. Mar 27, 2010 #18
    And as there will now be a broader excuse to raise prices, and as unemployment skyrockets, and as we are continuously mislead, or undereducated about the role of nutrition, and as Americas children become increasingly type 2 diabetic, where will we get?

    One problem is that nutritional education and research is very very weak.

    So while I eat healthy, my calculated risk is based on an average in a place where the vast majority are on a death wish with their eating habits. And in the classroom, instead of telling us about health super foods and health restoring diets, they concentrate on drilling it into our heads that junk food is good for you, in moderation.

    Sure, but not as good for you as healthy food in moderation.
  20. Mar 27, 2010 #19
    I bet a lot of money could be saved by outlawing fast food chains in elementary and middle school cafeterias, and by giving students water or milk instead of super sized corn syrup water.
  21. Mar 27, 2010 #20
    Here - http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-mon...ans-assail-irs-provision-in-health-care-bill-

    I found the link in the drudge report archive.
  22. Mar 27, 2010 #21
    There are lots of objections, but this is one that many people disagree with.

    I never agreed to this contract. I only pay taxes because I'd go to jail if I didn't.

    I see what you're saying. But seriously, government isn't doing this out of some act of charity. This is an act of power. Few of the promises of this health care are going to be kept. Government is trying to monopolize all charities by charging so many taxes that people don't have any money left to donate to those causes! After stealing as much as it can get away with from the private sector, it then points the finger at the private sector for not giving enough. In a true free market understanding people would create their own safety net.

    The short answer is that I don't. Here's an extreme hypothetical, maybe not so extreme. What if there was a cliff that people loved to climb, but 95% of the time on any given attempt, the man breaks every bone in his body. Does the government give him the same premiums as everyone else, even though he climbs it several times or more every year? What do we tell our rock climber, that he's a fool and he's not allowed to climb rock?
  23. Mar 27, 2010 #22
    Look under Section 1501 of Subtitle F (Title I), the section on individual responsibility:

    (g) Administration and Procedure-

    `(1) IN GENERAL- The penalty provided by this section shall be paid upon notice and demand by the Secretary, and except as provided in paragraph (2), shall be assessed and collected in the same manner as an assessable penalty under subchapter B of chapter 68.​

    This of course refers to the applicable part of the Internal Revenue Code. Yes, it's the IRS.
  24. Mar 27, 2010 #23
    People who rely on a single payer system like medicaid can be considered freeloaders, but in essence, a healthy population is a benefit to the entire society as a whole. If we don't make it possible for the poor to get treatment, we will have a sicker population. You could argue that this should be limited to contagious disease.

    I see a big problem on the horizon in that the gap between the rich and poor is ever increasing, and the cost of living is increasing. What this will end up being is a form of economic slavery in where nearly a persons entire income will be spent on mandates, and requirements alone. In the end, people need to buy food before buying health insurance. As jobs get more scarce and scarce, more and more people won't even be able to pay these obligations. With these obligations required of them that they cannot fulfill, the government will have to end up paying anyways, or we will start to see a lot of people starve to death.

    The way I see, it, because the gap between the obscenely rich and the poor is increasing, it is ethical to balance this gap through taxation. I also fear however that as populations grow and grow and as the wealthy see the general public as increasingly burdensome, we might see some very serious changes happen regarding our rights. We may see very dark days ahead.
  25. Mar 27, 2010 #24
    One reason pharmaceutical companies make pharmaceuticals cost more is because they are an oligopoly. The industry is extremely regulated by the FDA, and new pharmaceuticals I believe have to go through something like ten to fifteen years of testing by the FDA before being approved. This allows the industry to be dominated by a few enormous, very powerful pharmaceuticals companies we call Big Pharma.

    If the industry was deregulated (note deregulated, not unregulated), we would probably see an explosion in terms of drug innovation and competition and prices driven down.

    Regarding tort reform, one question, I have read that the CBO calculated tort reform would only reduce overall healthcare expenditures by a very small amount, is this true?? This I know is a response many on the Left give to the argument for tort reform, I'm not sure who is right though.
  26. Mar 27, 2010 #25
    Yes (http://cboblog.cbo.gov/?p=389 [Broken]). They estimate it would lower spending by one half of one percent (0.2% from reduced medical liability premiums and 0.3% from reductions in "defensive medicine").
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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