questionswhat do you think about the supreme court ruling…


As a tax preparer, I don't like the idea of inquiring with all my clients as to whether they have health insurance and having to explain they have to pay 1% of their income in an additional tax if they don't.

As an American, I am scared of how much the federal government's power and reach keeps expanding.

As the payer of my wife's, son's and my own health insurance, I kind of like the idea of more people paying for insurance (the more people in the system, the less I should have to pay, in theory). However, now that the government is forcing us to buy insurance, there is very little incentive for insurance companies to price their products competitively. And, since I work for a small employer, none of the employer-related rules will affect me. So, basically a great big "meh..."


Doesn't matter. Once there's a republican president and a republican controlled congress, it will be repealed anyway.


I don't know yet, I'll have to wait to see how it will affect me in the long run. Generally as someone doing the right thing, working, owning a home, etc these laws are only negative for me. I pay more and more in taxes each year and so do my employers resulting in lost income for everyone. The way I see it is: everyone who can afford health insurance already has it, and those who can't afford it will now get it for free, or very reduced. And who will be paying for that free or reduced insurance? Us.


@benyust2: I pretty much agree with your specific concerns. However, as someone who works with social services, I have supported the health care bill from the get-go. Not for humanitarian reasons, although I think if we are going to brag about being "the best country in the world", all our citizens ought to have food, shelter. clothing and health care. I support the health care bill purely from a financial standpoint. We're already paying for catastrophic health care for uninsured people, but little primary care. People without health insurance can only turn to non-profit and county clinics and the county hospital for care. Most of them get no preventive care, which means that whatever's wrong with them has often progressed to the point where it's crippling for them and astronomically expensive for the community health infrastructure. Mandating full spectrum health care should present long term savings in both money and human capital.


I have very mixed feelings about it. I am currently considering various options, including selling my home, and relocating to Canada. I am sad that I will be penalized for my lifestyle choices to support those who've made very poor choices. I don't smoke, I am very careful in what I eat, I watch my weight (I'm very compulsive on this one), I get fresh air and exercise. I currently do not have health insurance. I'll be eligible for Medicare in a few months, but I believe this law still compels me to purchase one of those idiot supplemental care things. I resent this. More than I can say, I resent it.

I will now be helping to pay for every one out there who can't seem to push away from the table, who thinks that a video game can replace exercise, and who believes that Mickey D actually has healthy food choices.

I'm not in a huge hurry to move, but this is not leaving me much choice. Pity, that.


Isn't there a chance that we'll have to go through a similar exercise in 2014 thanks to that obscure law that says a tax can't be challenged in court until it actually takes and the Supreme Court has ruled that the individual mandate is a tax?

Also, how is reducing the amount of money that people can put in their flexible spending accounts beneficial to their health?


All I want to know - will I be paying more or less than the $925+ A MONTH I spend right now for a family of four? Nine years ago when I started this job, the health care was $310 a month same brand and everything.


@hossdawg97: Thank you for reminding me that I still have some hope. I already resent the fact that I am required to carry auto insurance, but at least I can (sort of) understand it. I would prefer the no-fault kind, but recognize that insurance companies don't like it. The original health care law was supposed to have a similar provision, and the public option wouldn't have been all that onerous. Being forced to pay out for this is very harsh. I can see that it has the potential to impoverish someone with a certain amount of savings, and a normally careful lifestyle.


@shrdlu: I don't mean to be argumentitive but Canada has universal health care.


@shrdlu: Really? You'd leave the US because they are going to support universal healthcare and move to Canada that already supports universal healthcare? 0.o


@gideonfrost: You beat me to it... I think Faux News forgot to tell him that.


I know plenty of people in the healthcare field and they all say basically the same thing. When everyone has healtcare that means there will be longer lines, and longer wait times to get appointments.
As someone mentioned before, "People that can afford healthcare already have it." The ones that cant afford it are mainly the people that are not working at all! My question is: Is there a section in the law that states that everyone get a job so they can have healthcare, or are all the nonworking people allowed to continue to bum off the rest of the hard working citizens?


@shrdlu: Have you looked at Costa Rica, Belize, Roatan, Panama, etc? Belize I know has a great retiree relocation plan. I am highly tempted to go because it's so beautiful there (and no hotter than here-- cooler actually but more humid). Here's a link to a publication called "The Easiest Places in the World to Retire".


@embhorn: She's a girl, and there's no reason to be nasty. People are entitled to their opinions.

I think the thing people overlook here is this may cost a few people like @shrdlu some extra money to get covered, but will save money in the long run.

Right now you may be healthy and have no need for insurance, however, if you've ever watched discovery health channel, you know that can change in an instant. If you were in an accident a hospital is required to treat you, and unless you're wealthy you might not be able to pay for that care. Which in turn raises the cost of health care for everyone.

I think what more right leaning people need to understand that while this is the government forcing you to buy something, it really is in your best interest that everyone be covered.


@hossdawg97: No. The item you're referencing is the Anti-Injunction Act. The opinion included a ruling that the Anti-Injunction Act is not a bar on deciding on this case now... no need to wait till 2014.

The issue is over. The only things we have to "look forward to" are repeal attempts and some ongoing litigation surrounding the birth control mandate.

@shrdlu: That's an odd outlook, given Canadians pay a much higher percentage of their income to taxes, in part to support universal healthcare.... and honestly as much as I respect the "normally careful lifestyle" you mention, a huge part of the problem is people who live careful lifestyles then have a totally unexpected health emergency (struck by a car, heart attack, who knows). As long as we have a requirement that hospitals treat everyone in the emergency room, even careful and healthy people can become a burden on taxpayers unexpectedly. Few people can pay an unanticipated $100K hospital bill.


Obligatory Political Thread reminders: Stay civil, attack the arguments, not the people.

That said, carry on.


@gideonfrost: Canada does indeed have universal health care. I'd pay far less for it. Just in case you think I hadn't actually looked at the options. I like Canada. Lots of bad winter weather. Kills off the verdamnt ants. I hate ants. They hate me right back.

@novastarj: Just saw your comment. I have almost no actual "income" (and I really and truly pay attention to things like that).


@zeke7: According to the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2003, 159 million Americans had employment based health insurance. The population of the US in 2003 was 290,809,777 according to the Census Bureau. Quick and dirty math says about 130 million people did not have employment based health care in the sample year of 2003. I know in my community the number of people with employment based health care is very low. In my group of about a dozen friends, about half the ones with full time employment have access to health care plans.


@inkycatz: Someone should start a pool on how many replies it takes before this thread gets Godwined. The reason I don;t go to political forums is that people can't seem to disagree and stay civil. Sadly political discussions too often end up with insults and name-calling.


In my opinion, it's one step closer to Communism by allowing the government to mandate our healthcare, what is next, our food, our housing? Oh wait...


@gideonfrost: I actually carry catastrophic health insurance (sue me, I lied about having zero insurance), but I don't ever expect to use it. I don't permit any testing for many of the things that old farts such as myself are prone to acquire, preferring a life of not knowing to one of all the horrible things people do to extend their lives. Yeah, not kidding.

[Edit] There's a reason I live in a right to die state. I prefer my life choices, and I prefer to choose (as much as is possible) how to live my life.

@moondrake: I have no interest in moving to any of those island paradises. I really like having seasons. I moved from SoCal to my current home, and really like seeing winter. Nothing like a few solid freezes to clean things out.

[Edit] I also hate humidity. I like Canada. I'd considered it as a retirement home even before this. I wouldn't give up my citizenship. I wouldn't even necessarily stay.


Romney must be wishing he had been less vocal about this whole issue.


@shrdlu: What about mexico ? Did you do a cost evaluation between the two I would be curious ?


@shrdlu: LOL. I went the other way, moved from the winters of the northeast to permanent desert summer. I'd like to live someplace where it never gets cold but I can still have trees and water.


Unfortunately, this will NOT solve the problem of rising health care costs as it relates to the scores of people here in the country without permission and without a chance of being covered by this tax. These people will still not have coverage, will still seek medical care and will in turn have it paid for by the tax payers. While I have no true idea of just what the illegal immigrant population is int the US, I have a feeling it is certainly more than just a handful.

I was born into the military/government run healthcare machine and in turn married military. It has NOT been easy to get healthcare no matter what you've heard. The rest of the US is in for a truly rude awakening.


@djbowman: Don't like one single thing about Mexico, other than some of the vegetables from Calexico in the winter. Don't like the crime, don't like the politics and corruption, don't like the weather...

Nope. No thanks.

Other places than Canada I considered are Switzerland (can't afford it) and Belgium (same thing).

[Edit] BTW, I no longer have notify if mentioned turned on. Best decision EVER.


The root of the ruling is my biggest problem (and keep in mind that I do not watch Fox News or read Drudge Report, etc). Forcing people to buy a product from a private enterprise is pure fascism (the merger between the state and the corporation). While the Congress does indeed have the power to collect tax, the only way that this should be upheld would be if a single-payer system were in place. Welcome to the new Corpocracy.


I just hope it won't impact RomneyCare too much, since that's actually working out pretty well. (And has slightly different regulatory impacts ...)


I'm guessing that it is unconstitutional. You can't force someone to buy something that they don't need. In a perfect world everyone would have healthcare and I would love to not have to pay for mine but unfortunately it's not possible.


The bigger issue no one is talking about, now if you have employer sponsored health insurance you are now taxed on both the portion of the insurance you pay and the portion of the coverage the employer pays, essentially a $10000 increase in taxable income for everyone who has insurance at work.


@dogbountyhunter1: I'm forced to purchase car insurance or suffer some pretty significant fines if caught, etc. Same thing, yes?


@smtatertot13: No, you're not forced to have auto insurance. You have it because you CHOOSE to drive, not because you're living in this country. You can walk, take public transportation, etc. Next.


@smtatertot13: Those are state laws, not federal. The Constitution mainly places restrictions on the federal government, not the states (or that is how it was intended, anyway).


@dogbountyhunter1: How do you know you won't need it? What if you're walking down the street tomorrow and get sideswiped by a car? An ambulance will take you to the hospital, and they will treat you. In a perfect world no one needs health insurance, but there's no way to know for sure.


@novastarj: A hospital will treat someone who doesn't have insurance if they have money pay for the services rendered. Don't assume that because you don't have medical insurance means that you cannot afford medical care. Also the person who hit him would be at fault and should assume all responsibility for medical bills at that point, and repay him for his medical services :)


It concerns me that many people look at this ruling solely in a manner of how it will personally affect them. Being happy just because you think you might save some money is a very poor and shortsighted way of viewing this. Something like this law should be viewed from the standpoint of will it be good for the country and where will it take us. Honestly, I don't know if the law in and of itself could have a good impact on the country, but it certainly scares me to think where this could take us. There is an ever encroaching government oversight and interference in our lives and I am afraid we will eventually find ourselves in some of the realities of fiction we were forced to read in high school (such as 1984 and Fahrenheit 451).

It concerns and disappoints me that so many people are willing to allow and agree with this government encroachment simply because it helps their wallet or gets them something they want.


@eraten: A hospital will treat anyone, regardless of ability to pay. It's the law. Taxpayers bear the burden when that bill is never paid. And frankly that happens very often.

Certainly a given individual could have the ability to pay. Maybe dogbountyhunter1 is a multimillionaire and has no such concerns. But unexpected medical bills of $100K+ are not as rare as we'd like. Hospital stays add up very quickly, and even an otherwise financial responsible person can quickly find themselves in over their head.

And arguing "fault" is a strawman. My point was just "unexpected medical emergency." Let's assume the patient here wasn't at fault. Totally healthy person, lives great lifestyle, but their appendix burst or something (given your smiley I'm guessing you know this, but just for anyone else reading!).


As someone that's eternally entertained by the US Senate, I'm curious about the reconciliation process used to pass the ACA through the Senate... now that the Supreme Court has said this is a tax, and a new tax is not allowed to be passed via reconciliation through the Senate, what happens?

I'm sure nothing, of course, but it is something I'm really curious about, if we happen to have any senate parliamentarians floating around somewhere...


@joshaw: Agreed. The whole problem is the system. Universal health care works in most industrial countries. Americans are afraid of tax increases, but it would actually be cheaper.
I can simply prove this by comparing medication costs in Europe against the United States. The US pharmaceutical companies are price fixing, and it is not a "free market."
Additionally, The United States has forms of Universal Health-care, namely the VA. The VA is very efficient at managing costs, and providing quality of service.
However, the VA is an acceptable form of Universal Heath-Care, why, because Vets have served their country. Think about that. Don't we All serve our county in different ways. Whether that may be a nurse, teacher, or an employee at a fast food restaurant. They all pay taxes, and have rights.
And, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is important.
The government must protect these three notions because if I am dead they will not exist.


@novastarj: There are plenty of hospitals that will not treat people that cannot pay. However, many hospitals do have a mission statement where they will not turn anyone away.


@joshaw: Sorry, I should have said specified hospitals are required to provide treatment in the case of an emergency medical condition. It's in the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. They must provide care until the emergency condition is resolved or stabilized, regardless of ability to pay. This can be ongoing if needed.

You're right they can definitely turn people away otherwise.

EDIT: And I guess I should add, if you want to get technical, that only covers "participating hospitals" that accept Medicare payments. But for a variety of reasons that covers almost every hospital in the United States, with a couple of unique exceptions like VA hospitals.


@smtatertot13: No, because driving a car is voluntary. But the argument, IMO, is spurious. The government forces us to do all kinds of things we don't want to do, from paying taxes to letting our cheating spouses keep breathing. I think it's flat out stupid that I am required to wear a seat belt in the back seat of a car but not a helmet when riding a motorcycle, when statistics clearly indicate the reverse makes more sense. I do think government is becoming ever more intrusive.

People should ask themselves this question: Is paying directly for medical treatment is less expensive than paying for health insurance? If your answer is "yes", then you should oppose the plan (and drop your insurance). If the answer is no, then you should recognize that right now, we are all paying directly for treatment for all these uninsured folks, and that it would be cheaper to buy them health insurance and make them help pay for it.


@novastarj: Even with the EMTALA, only "participating" hospitals must do this. There are still hospitals that can and will turn away people at their ER, even though I believe this is only a handful of hospitals in the US.


I think everyone on my Facebook stream has just become a constitutional lawyer. That's what I think.


@joshaw: Non-profit hospitals "must treat all patients regardless of health insurance or financial status." For-profit hospitals "can refuse to treat patients with non-life threatening illnesses or injuries because of a perceived inability to pay for treatment."


@smtatertot13: Driving is a state-granted privilege. Not a right. In order to meet the requirements for that privilege, you are required to carry insurance.

As much as people bitch about guns in this country, you're far more likely to be injured or killed in a car accident.


@smtatertot13: Actually, you may own and drive a car all over your private property without having to purchase insurance.
Other than this healthcare tax, I cannot think of anything that we HAVE to buy just because we are alive.

Because I am lazy, can anyone tell me what the penalty is for choosing NOT to pay the tax?


@xavoc: I was just about to remind people that basically you cannot be denied healthcare in a life threatening emergent situation nor in active labor (child birth). It's a Federal law:
The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA)

@figgers3036: jail? That seems harsh. There's not a financial penalty first? And just how is this tax figured if it's income based if one does not work or has no income (Capital gains are not considered income and are taxed at a different rate)?