New York Offers Costly Lessons on Insurance

Coming soon to the rest of the country. All those things people said would happen, like higher costs and such, which the Main Stream Media said wouldn’t happen… looks like they’re gonna happen. Surprised?

From The New York Times:

When her small executive search firm in New York City canceled its health insurance policy last year because of the recession and rising premiums, April Welles was able to buy her own plan and still be covered for her cancer and multiple sclerosis.

She was lucky to live in New York, one of the first states to require insurance companies to offer comprehensive coverage to all people regardless of pre-existing conditions. But Ms. Welles, 58, also pays dearly: Her premium is $17,876 a year.

“That’s a lot of groceries,” she said.

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Sen. Reed: Forcing People to Buy Health Insurance is Constitutionally Justified Because It’s Like Making People ‘Sign Up for the Draft’

Except that only certain age groups are required to sign up for the draft, and you don’t have to pay to sign up for the draft. There are tons of other differences, but anyone with any sense at all can see that this is a really bad analogy. But leave it to the politicians to continually search for a way to force people to buy something they don’t want.

From CNSNews (with audio):

When asked where specifically the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance, Sen. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.) said that he “would have to check the specific sections” but said that it was like making people “sign up for the draft.”

“Specifically where in the Constitution does Congress get its authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance?” CNSNews.com asked Reed.

“Let me see,” said Reed. “I would have to check the specific sections, so I’ll have to get back to you on the specific section. But it is not unusual that the Congress has required individuals to do things, like sign up for the draft and do many other things too, which I don’t think are explicitly contained [in the Constitution].  It gives Congress a right to raise an army, but it doesn’t say you can take people and draft them. But since that was something necessary for the functioning of the government over the past several years, the practice on the books, it’s been recognized, the authority to do that.”

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Sen. Ben Nelson: ‘I’m Not Going to Be Able to Answer That Question’ of Where Constitution Authorizes Congress to Force Americans to Buy Health Insurance

At least he’s honest in that he doesn’t know the answer. Pelosi, on the other hand, just answers the question with another question (here). Common sense (and many other scholars) say the Constitution doesn’t allow the government to force people to buy goods or services, but if that’s the case, they won’t be able to force us to buy insurance.

From CNSNews (with audio):

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) told CNSNews.com that because he is not a constitutional scholar he was “not going to be able to answer that question” of where specifically the Constitution authorizes Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance.

“Specifically, where in the Constitution does Congress get its authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance?” CNSNews.com asked Nelson.

“Well, you know, I don’t know that I’m a constitutional scholar,” said Nelson. So, I, I’m not going to be able to answer that question.”

The senator then turned away to answer another reporter’s question.

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White House Says No ‘Veracity’ to Argument That Forcing Individuals to Buy Health Insurance Is Unconstitutional

From CNSNews:

(CNSNews.com) – White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs told CNSNews.com on Wednesday that there is no “veracity” to the argument that the U.S. Constitution does not authorize the federal government to force individuals to buy health insurance.

The Congressional Budget Office has said that the federal government has never before in American history forced Americans to purchase any good or service.

When the health-care bill was being debated in the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, raised questions about the constitutionality of forcing Americans to buy health insurance, which all congressional versions of the health care bill would do.

Hatch rejected the notion that the Commerce Clause–which empowers Congress to regulate commerce “among the several states”–justifies forcing Americans to purchase a product they do not want to buy. If Congress can make people buy health insurance, Hatch argued, they can force Americans to buy refrigerators or new cars.

But Gibbs said those who make this kind of argument have no federal court cases to back them up.

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Public option likely to be managed by private insurance company

From Raw Story:

A little-noticed tidbit in Saturday’s Washington Post is sure to raise eyebrows among liberal supporters of a gorvernment-run healthcare plan: the plan is likely to be administered by a private insurance company, the very companies that progressive activists are trying to unseat.

The public-option debate is frustrating some Democrats, who have come to believe that a government-run plan is neither as radical as its conservative critics have portrayed, nor as important as its liberal supporters contend. Any public plan is likely to have a relatively narrow scope, as it would be offered only to people who don’t have access to coverage through an employer.

The public option would effectively be just another insurance plan offered on the open market. It would likely be administered by a private insurance provider, charging premiums and copayments like any other policy. In an early estimate of the House bill, the Congressional Budget Office forecast that fewer than 12 million people would buy insurance through the government plan.

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When Asked Where the Constitution Authorizes Congress to Order Americans To Buy Health Insurance, Pelosi Says: ‘Are You Serious?’

It shouldn’t need to be pointed out (but I’ll do it just in case) that when faced with a question they can’t answer (or don’t want to answer), the current band of crooks in office just turn the question around to try and make the questioner look stupid (it’s a variation of the ad hominem attack). This is a great example.

From CNSNews:

(CNSNews.com) – When CNSNews.com asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance–a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill–Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
 
Pelosi’s press secretary later responded to written follow-up questions from CNSNews.com by emailing CNSNews.com a press release on the “Constitutionality of Health Insurance Reform,” that argues that Congress derives the authority to mandate that people purchase health insurance from its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce.

The exchange with Speaker Pelosi on Thursday occurred as follows:
 
CNSNews.com: “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?”
 
Pelosi: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
 
CNSNews.com: “Yes, yes I am.”
 
Pelosi then shook her head before taking a question from another reporter. Her press spokesman, Nadeam Elshami, then told CNSNews.com that asking the speaker of the House where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandated that individual Americans buy health insurance as not a “serious question.”
 
“You can put this on the record,” said Elshami. “That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question.”

Senate Judiciary Chairman Unable to Explain Where Congress Gets Authority for Individual Insurance Mandate

From CNSNews:

(CNSNews.com) – Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) could not explain what part of the Constitution grants Congress the power to force every American to buy health insurance – as all of the health care overhaul bills currently do.
 
Leahy, whose committee is responsible for vetting Supreme Court nominees, was asked by CNSNews.com where in the Constitution Congress is specifically granted the authority to require every American purchase health insurance. Leahy answered by saying that “nobody questions” Congress’ authority for such an action.
 
CNSNews.com: Where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?
 
Sen. Leahy: We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority?
 
CNSNews.com: I’m asking –
 
Sen. Leahy: Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there’s no question there’s authority, nobody questions that.
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