Toobin: Fight over health care law will end up at Supreme Court
January 31st, 2011
03:01 PM ET

Toobin: Fight over health care law will end up at Supreme Court

[Updated at 10:28 p.m.] The fight over the health care reform law ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge on Monday will eventually be decided by the Supreme Court, said CNN senior legal analyst Jeff Toobin.

"This Supreme Court is very evenly divided between liberals and conservatives. Anthony Kennedy tends to be the swing vote. I would not be at all surprised that he would be the swing vote in this case as well," Toobin said.

"When you consider that this is the signature achievement of the Obama administration, and that it is hanging by a legal thread right now, it's a cause of great concern to supporters of the law."

Because the Florida judge ruled that the individual mandate, the part of the law that says everyone has to buy health insurance, is unconstitutional, “he says the whole law has to go out the window,” Toobin said.

Toobin said it is important to note that several federal judges have found the law constitutional.

"This is why we have a United States Supreme Court, to settle when judges disagree with each other," Toobin said.

The nine justices "have the last word," Toobin said. "Nobody can tell them what to do or when to do it."

[Updated at 5:37 p.m.] The U.S. Department of Justice says it plans to appeal the ruling of a federal judge in Florida, who earlier today struck down as unconstitutional key parts of the sweeping health care reform bill championed by President Obama.

[Updated at 3:47 p.m.] A federal judge in Florida has ruled unconstitutional the sweeping health care reform law championed by President Barack Obama, setting up what is likely to be a contentious Supreme Court challenge in coming months over the legislation.

Monday's ruling came in the most closely watched of the two dozen challenges to the law. Florida along with 25 states had filed a lawsuit last spring, seeking to dismiss a law critics had labeled "Obamacare."

Judge Roger Vinson, in a 78-page ruling, dismissed the key provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act - the so-called "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face
stiff penalties.

"I must reluctantly conclude that Congress exceeded the bounds of its authority in passing the Act with the individual mandate. That is not to say, of course, that Congress is without power to address the problems and
Inequities in our health care system," Vinson wrote.

"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void. This has been a difficult decision to reach, and I am aware that it will have indeterminable implications. At a time
when there is virtually unanimous agreement that health care reform is needed in this country, it is hard to invalidate and strike down a statute titled 'The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.' "

FULL STORY

Filed under: Health • Health care reform • Politics • Supreme Court
soundoff (1,747 Responses)
  1. vtguy

    Dang it all, I hate activist judges. I was hoping to have the dems pay for my free health care. Also legalize pot. That way I can collect months of unemployment and free money, food stamps and free food, get free pot, free health care and stay high, healthy, fat and happy all on Obama, Nancy and Harry. Come on Dems you can do it!

    January 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Kris

    The people who are not apposed to the health care act I don't feel as though there being heard. A year ago I was told I needed to have surgery and a day before my surgery my insurance company dropped me so needless to say I did not get my much needed surgery. For over a year I searched and searched for ways to pay for my surgery,all the while dealing with the effects of being sick and working full time. The "obamacare" allowed me to go back under my fathers insurance and I was able to get my surgery one week ago. Most collage students are faced with the same issues as I am. Trying to finish school so we can get a job that offers health insurance. It is a scary thing to not have insurance and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Most of you I would assume have insurance so the next time you feel a cold coming on and think hey let me call the doctor and make an appointment to get this looked at. Think about all those people who do not have that luxury.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zaggs

      And the problem with most supporters of Obamacare act as if opponents don't want any health care reform. Had the democrats not decided to screw over republicans and actually allowed them into negotiations they could have passed separate laws that dealt with pre-existing conditions and coverage of kids up to their 20's with wide bipartisan support. Instead democrats decided to shove everything into one bill which they didn't even know what was in it.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      at the time the repubs were the party of NO. they did not offer any solutions or amendments to the current HC law, they simply opposed it because it was not free market. so they voted no against everything. but let us remember what the free market has brought us in recent years.

      1 – greed on wall street which led to the financial meltdown and banking collapse
      2 – rising health care premiums that have been averaging approx 9% for the last 10 years
      3 – seeing hundreds of thousands of jobs been shipped overseas due to cheap labor costs
      4 – a widening social gap between the middle class and the top 2%

      the free market deosnt benefit the whole, it benefits those with power to take advantage of that market.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ron

    First us Americas needs to decide if we want health care for everyone or not?
    Then figure out how to solve the problem.

    If we don't want health care for everyone and we want some people to have to go with out so other can have better then fine. First decide what the goal is then solve that problem.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kevin

    Don't like socialist programs? If not, you're morally obligated to waive your Medicare and Social Security benefits.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Boramin

      As soon as they are willing to give me back all of the money I put into the system, sure, in a freakin heartbeat.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      @Kevin-

      If you are so enamored with SSI and Medicare, then you are morally obligated to opt out of your 401K, Roth IRA, Government Pensions, etc. Moral obligations are fine and all, but from a very real standpoint, SSI and Medicare are going broke; are unsustainable in their current incarnations; and most likely won't be solvent long enough for me to even entertain the thought of relying on them for my needs during my Golden Years. I'll see your moral indignation and raise you Factual Reality.

      February 1, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jo

    If you were born 10 miles away from anything, you need a car. People need cars due to the fact no one wants to live in the cities anymore or they grew up in rural areas. Go out and see America, its kinda big.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Zaggs

      So its impossible to ride bikes? But again were your forced to live that far away from anything? Odds favor, no, you were not and it was a choice.
      But on top of that car insurance is mandated by STATES, not the federal government.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jordan

      @Zaggs-

      - State Regulated- Thank god you brought that up. The Federal Gov't is already in charge of enough (and managing most everything poorly by most standards). We seem to keep forgetting that this is a nation of States, that empower a Federal Government- not the other way around.

      February 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  6. DfromthePeg

    Do you believe that the federal government knows how to spend your money better than you do? Do you feel that it is fair to pay for health coverage for illegal aliens? Do you trust the government to manage your health care especially after the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the meltdown of the financial sector? Do you believe that you should go to jail for not buying government-mandated health insurance? Ask yourself these questions before you attack or defend this judge.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doc

      Americans are already forced to buy medicare insurance that does not kick in until retirement, so the argument that the govt cannot force you to buy insurance is ridiculous and that is why the Supreme Court is going to rule in favor of the law. Besides, even illegal aliens will have to pay! GO FOR IT!!!!!

      OBAMA 2012, HILLARY 2016

      January 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • ZachE

      @Dfromthepeg

      Do you believe that the federal government knows how to spend your money better than you do?

      Given the bad choices of many of my neighbors, we could do worse.

      Do you feel that it is fair to pay for health coverage for illegal aliens?

      Many things in this world are not fair.. End of the day, providing preventive care to illegals is cheaper than dealing with them in an ER after they have a catastrophic health issue. Unless you think that illegals should be left to die on the side of the road or something.. in that case, yes, that would be cheaper.

      Do you trust the government to manage your health care especially after the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the meltdown of the financial sector?

      Do you trust corporations who are legally required by a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize profit, when the only way to do that is collect as much in premiums as possible while paying out as few claims as possible?

      Do you believe that you should go to jail for not buying government-mandated health insurance? No, and nothing in the law says anything about that, tinfoil-hat conspiracies aside.

      Ask yourself these questions before you attack or defend this judge.

      Questions answered.

      Private health care companies are just as bureaucratic as a government one, and at least the government one doesn't have a profit motive to deny me coverage. As I said above, the way that private health care insurers work is to maximize profit by denying all that they can, as often as they can, even if that means leaving people with no insurance or bankrupting them in the process.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • LETS TRY THE TRUTH

      DON'T FORGET THE 223 COMPANIES AND UNIONS WHO GOT WAIVERS . EVEN AARP RECEIVED A WAIVER , THOUGH THEY PUSED IT AND THEIR CEO MAKES 1.6 MIL. PLUS .

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      You're blaming the mortgage crisis on the government, when the report just released by the federal inquiry shows that Fannie and Freddie simply followed the lending practices set by the Wall Street firms, and entered the game so late that they were neither the cause nor a major contributor to the crash.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glen

      Why should people ask questions that would lead them to believe that any of the things you said are actually true about the HealthCare reform act, when in fact none of the questions you pose are true.

      The REAL question is, do you actually know that and are purposely trying to pull the wool over American's eyes, or are you one of the many who've been bamboozeled by the opponents of this vital reform that makes our nation better, yet much to the chagrin of the laws opponents curtails the massive abuses of Americans by the insurance industry.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • skully

      Most of the people against being forced to buy health care are the same ones who presently dont have it and expect the taxpayers to pay their bills when they get cancer or have a stroke. The Government forces you to have car insurance for this very reason. The ignorant and ill prepared never plan for tomorrow.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      Just spent $68,000 on hip replacement surgery and that didn't even include the surgeon. Do I think the present medical cost are do able? No. Do I want the government to step in and stop the medical profession from becoming as powerful and greedy as the oil companies?Yes. I have two local surgeons living behind me on wide water with yachts and wives who drive big SUV"s. I hope Obama hammers them!!

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric in RTP from Ohio

      Do you believe that the federal government knows how to spend your money better than you do?
      1) The last time I checked my money is my money.. the taxes I PAY are not my money

      Do you feel that it is fair to pay for health coverage for illegal aliens?

      Life is not fair. Either we reject people at hospitals or require hospitals to do a background check on everyone to validate US citizenship, both of which I feel you would have a problem with.

      Do you trust the government to manage your health care especially after the sub-prime mortgage crisis and the meltdown of the financial sector?

      Not when republicans are in control. Democratic congress tried to prevent the crisis as early as 2005 with complete veto by Bush. Furthermore this bill has nothing to do with managing my health care. I manage my own health care.. not a doctor, not a nurse, not a hospital and sure as heck not an insurance company!

      Do you believe that you should go to jail for not buying government-mandated health insurance?

      This bill does not send people to jail. The only jail time you get is if you don't pay your taxes, in which you qualify for a tax break if you have insurance. If you do not have insurance you do not get this break and are therefore penalized. However this is not a fine or a forced mandate at all.

      Now a question for you..

      Have you passed the 3rd grade? Or do you just like ranting and passing along false information?

      January 31, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brent

      Tax payers already pay for illegal immigrants. They go to the emergency room. The bill gets passed on to tax payers. The sub-prime mortgage crisis was created from lack of government. Clinton took off regulations that made available the biggest pyramid scheme ever.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • amy

      we're number 37, we're so proud to say
      we're number 37 and we want to keep it that way.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConA

      It isn't a question about letting the government decide how to spend our money. It is a question of whether or not everyone should have basic health coverage. Is basic health coverage a right or a privilege of living in our so-called civilized country? Just like education is supposed to be?

      Should any young healthy invincible narcissistic person who has never been sick (by luck) be expected to contribute so that his/her 90 year old great grandmother can have a hip replacement? Or to the good of his/her father who needs an expensive liver transplant or bypass surgery?

      If only the sick decide to pay for it, there isn't enough money to pay for all of the expensive tests, technology and radical treatments that many will fight to get.

      So is it that everyone contributes to the good of everyone? Or should some lucky souls be allowed to "wing it" and not pay in, and if they then get sick, should the rest of us rescue them from the poor house at the 11th hour?

      January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aaron

      you are silly the meltdown because of the banks not the government, they were the people who gambled with too much risk. health care reform does not give care to illegal immigrants, you are just misimformed and it's embarresing. Do I trust the government in making some decisions, obviously no, but do I trust some like you making decisions heck no, because you just don't know enough to make informed choices

      January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nolan

      No where does it say you will be thrown in jail for not buying it. Stop watching glenn beck.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • jer

      if you throw out obama care and mandate every american to buy insurance the premiums will decrease...more premiums to cover claims...a no brainer. So why a 2000 page bill? The real problem is medicare is a disaster an in lieu of addressing the problem face on and fix it...the whole thing gets politicised...

      January 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • detada

      Yes. I believe people should be mandated to pay for health insurance. That fact that 50 million americans are uninsured drives up the cost of medical care for everyone, so you are already paying for the uninsured. Insurance companies conveniently kick people off their plans when they become ill and use fine print to deny claims. My family was victimized by the insurance companied convenient use of "pre-existing condition". My family member's claim was denied because the diagnosis of the illness (not the illness itself) was made 3 days outside of their so-called allowable grace period. You read it right....3 days!! My family member made the simple mistake of changing jobs at exactly the wrong point in time. Insurance companies are no better than the thugs and thieves who rob people every day, they simply use a different kind of weapon. My family member was kicked to the curb by the insurance company and left to file a disability claim. Guess who is paying for it. That's right....you are.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I'm not sure where you are getting your information but you don't know what your talking about. Illegal aliens will not be covered under the new health care plan. If you refuse to take part in the plan you don't go to jail, you pay higher taxes. The sub-prime loans where not the governments fault, that was the fault of the greedy banks.

      Your apparently getting your erroneous information from Faux News; you need to go to Factcheck.org and educate yourself.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snake Bite

      There is no doubt every question you ask is a very valid one. Everyone who loves this bill only loves two things about it. # 1) Coverage existing conditions and #2 Children on parents coverage till 26. There are 2000 pages of taxes and mandates that are never mentioned by the champions of this bill. They will cost every hard working person a lot more than they are spending now. Insurance is not the villan here.(even though they are big business and likely corrupt). The cost of basic healthcare is beyond astronomical and it is because doctors have to run every test in the book to cover their ass from a hotshot lawyer who is screaming malpractice over an ingrown toenail.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Duo

      1. We are the government Government for the people, by the people, remember?
      2. The subprime mortgage scandal was caused by greedy corporations, which is where you propose we should leave our health care options.
      And yes, I do think that we the people can manage it much better than a for profit insurance company that doesn't care if I live or die.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • G

      Brent,

      It's hard to pin the Financial Crisis on Clinton when congress had a Veto Proof majority on the bill. More accurate to blame Gramm, Leach & Bliley for engineering the scheme that nearly nuked the financial system.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Snake Bite

      The housing crisis was absolutely the governments fault. Congress passed laws to help people who couldn't ordinarily qualify for a home loan. They got the homeloan and couldn't pay for the damn thing or got one that they could never afford and defaulted on it. Also speculators in the market dumped a lot of real estate on banks. Law should have never passed, loans should have never been made and banks suck.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julibear

      we already pay for illegal aliens, its called EMTALA and it is an unfunded mandate put in place by George W Bush.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      And how many doctors are dropping medicare patients as fast as possible?

      January 31, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • sumday

      @doc you only pay medicare if you work! I don't see anyone on welfare, unemployeed, stay at home mom, or working under the table paying it! and you only pay auto insurance if you drive both in both cases a person has a choice with this healthcare reform everyone must pay even the stay at home mom's!

      January 31, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • ToddBehr

      DfromthePeg.
      We already ARE paying the health care for illegals. Every time they go into the ER to get checked out, using fake IDs. It's our taxes paying for it. Did you think it was completely unpaid for up until the reform package? If so, then you need to stop listening to Glenn.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • sumday

      @detada so your upset with the insurance company bc the hosptial sent you a bill you couldn't afford? Your not upset at the huge bill the hospital sent you or your inablity to pay that bill instead you are upset at insurance companies for not helping you pay that bill? Did you know insurance companies don't set the price that hospitals charge they only help pay a portion of it. Why are pl upset at insurance companies for the price that hospitals charge? you complain about insurnce companies making a profit but nobody says anything about the trillions in profits hosptials make. Next time trying getting upset at the company who set the price of the bill you couldn't afford not the company who helps pay some of that bill but has absolutely nothing to do with how much that hospital charged.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph

      I think every American should have healthcare. Period.

      Obama is making this happen.

      You know what the alternative is? Watch the movie "The Stand" – or any other movie dealing with virulent diseases that evolve and spread rapidly.

      All it takes is a few people who don't have health insurance and can't even think about going to the doctor to get some new avian flu – and our chances of losing a big cut of our nation go up in smoke.

      Instead of making up weird fears "Ooooh! Obama's making us buy insurance! Like we don't want it anyway!" maybe you should be supporting the President.

      And by the way, nobody's providing free insurance to illegal immigrants. Medicaid offices turn down plenty of legal ones, in my experience. This whole bill is about people who work, AND STILL CAN'T AFFORD INSURANCE – or don't get it. Like my mom, who worked on commission in the mortgage industry. Like a lot of real estate salespeople. Like others who get commissions instead of paychecks. Like anyone working three or four part-time jobs.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • tonyL

      It is the duty of federal government to NOT allow the corrupt Insurance companies and greedy medical industry to take advantage of American people with sicknesses. Until your family member is sick and you are in financial trouble or have lost your job, you may not realize that how much you suffer with dire need to get coverage to save your loved one dying in the need for medical help. This nations health care insurance companies and the whole of medical industry has been increasing rates and medical costs 5 times the inflation and we all know the amount of money being made at the expense of the whole nation. It is the duty of US government of to protect American people from abuse and ripoffs.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
    • dude

      Your not forced to do anything, you have a social security number and use federal reserve notes. then pay your taxes. Thats your contract with the gov. You gave up your rights for privileges. Remember the saying. "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's" You want to be a slave keep sleeping and for fill the contracts you agreed to with your gov.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      I was going to respond fully, but then I realized that ZachE said pretty much everything I was going to say. I would add one thing: it was government getting out of the way and abdicating its duties that caused the economic meltdown. Those who reflexively bash the government were complicit in this because it is this bashing that allowed people who don't believe in government to be elected to government and then run it. Why would we want people in government that don't believe in it? These government-bashers just make things worse by not doing what we expect government to do.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Larissa

      I agree with a lot of what people are posting in reply to you. Have you taken the time to think about the economics of health care? One of the many reasons health care is so expensive in this country is due to those of us who have insurance paying for those who don't have insurance when they get sick.

      I don't think this health insurance reform law is perfect, but I think it is a good place to start. As a nursing student, I see how patients are negatively affected by exorbitant medical costs every time I set foot in the hospital. Also as a student, I have a very limited health insurance plan through my school. I am on several prescription medications that the school health plan does not pay for, but the insurance I get through my mother's insurance does. Do you think it's fair for me to have to choose between paying for education (which will benefit my and my country's future) and paying for medicine because I am an asthmatic? If the ruling today by the federal judge stands, I will lose my mother's health insurance. I will then have to pay full price (several hundred dollars) for my monthly medications. Neither my mother nor I (I'm 24 years old) have the money to pay for the medications without insurance. My health could conceivably deteriorate, which could mean I won't be healthy enough to find a job after I graduate from school this August (if I am not healthy enough to work). If I can't work, then I don't have insurance, and I have to use the charity care system which raises the medical costs of those who have insurance.

      I hope you can think about my story and the countless others out there the next time you write an uneducated statement on a public blog. Please do research so that misleading information is not continuously spread. Some people only get their information from the news and what they hear people say. I implore you to benefit yourself and your fellow Americans by giving your opinions only after you have done your research so you do not propagate false information.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike C

      I have mandated new car and home insurance, what's the difference? Is it okay then for Corporations to mandate this stuff? We are already paying for people without insurance, at least with a mandate we would only pay the premiums not all the medical costs for the poor.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • NurseD

      1. The government is already the largest payor of health expenses (2/3 of hospitalized patients are on Medicare of Medicaid)
      2. Illegal ailens get the same care that every American gets based on a REPUBLICAN Law signed in 1986 by Ronald Reagan
      3. Most research is funded by the government-no money equals no new cures/treatments.
      Your argument is not sound-sorry!

      February 1, 2011 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
    • DumbAsCanBe

      This is a side effect of a poor education system. The fear mongering, the myth of a big government, the desire to believe that our "forefathers" knows better then us. Silly as can be but what can you do when we have folks that has never left this great nation of ours and has never known anything beyond small town USA (Also know as S**T H***E).

      February 1, 2011 at 1:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Two Questions

      1. I've heard the insurance Companies MAKE 5% Profit. So if they make 0% Profit, would that $50,000 hospital bill cost you $47,500?
      2. If you believe the Insurance Companies make so much more $$ than that, then why don't you buy their stock?
      Bottomline is that they are simply the boogie man to the uneducated. The problem is far more complex.

      February 1, 2011 at 2:05 am | Report abuse |
    • BADGUY

      For those that haven't lost their company provided health insurance: Listen up. I was one of you 2 years ago until I got a letter in the mail that said,basically, "Sorry, we're out of here". My insurance went from 70$ a month to $1600. 6 months later the company cancelled my insurance all together. Luckily our retiree group was able to cobble together a joint policy. If we didn't have that we'd be living out of our car (my wife has cancer so there is no way we could get health insurance). Think about it. This could happen to YOU (without Obamacare)!

      February 1, 2011 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
    • realtown

      Medicare is a tax. Not a contract to for an insurance package. You are paying for other people already receiving benefits. It is not the same thing at all. Details matter.

      February 1, 2011 at 5:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Bloodyscot

      The real problem is the high cost of medicare insurance and the fact that it will break down in 15 to 20yrs when most the Baby Boomer reach retirement, their HC costs will shift to Medicare. Many thing that trying to go back will work, maybe for a decade or so then what? When the cost of medicare insurance become more than the average person makes then and business can no longer compete on the world market, then people will yell for the Gov. not fixing it soon.

      February 1, 2011 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Duke

      Do you always go on the internet to spew lies? Should we ge rid of medicare as well? Do you hate americans to the point that you hope they die for lack of healthcare? Why are you opposed to a plan the republicans came up with?

      February 1, 2011 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Biff Stevens

      I don't trust my neighbor to pull out of the driveway. More than 30% of this country believe that man walked with dinosaurs and that evolution is a myth – so YES, those knuckleheads need some help!

      February 1, 2011 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Dano

      I just don't think this has ever been about healthcare or what is right or wrong with the system. It is about power and philosophy. If the Republicans and big business win this one, there will simply never be healthcare reform or any reform for that matter that helps American people. When will people specifically Republicans understand that "Greed" can't go unchecked!!!

      February 1, 2011 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
    • The_Mick

      Do you believe in studying anything before making comments about it? Are you aware that it cost the Federal Government 14% less to provide Medicare B than it does for the private companies to provide the alternative Medicare Advantage? And Illegal aliens don't qualify for healthcare.

      February 1, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • pray

      I love the misguided responses being posted below. We have learned already that the Health Care Reform has hidden laws like the required 1099 for all business's paying someone 600.00 or more, and on and on. And then to say private health care is for profit is also mostly erroneous, BCBS is not for profit as are most, most hospitals are not for profit. And the government running something is better than it is? Let me think about Medicare and Social Security, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Chamber of Commerce, I can go on. Please stop drinking the Koolaide and begin to educate yourself before you make dumb comments

      February 1, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      It puts a cap on how much insurance companies can charge in premiums (75-85%of claims). Who do you think is funding the GOP and all the negative publicity?

      February 1, 2011 at 7:19 am | Report abuse |
    • La, La, La

      You are the dumbest piece of American Crap I have ever seen.

      February 1, 2011 at 7:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimii

      I don't get all the fear – Doesn't the gov. already require that we pay taxes that go towards many things that individuals may not agree with, from educ to the military. Doesn't the gov. already provide or subsidize hlth care? Doesn't the gov. already provide financial support with Soc. Sec. & elsewhere. Hasn't the LACK of GOV REGULATIONS opened the door for bankers, wall street, and the financial fallout that was a result of UNREGULATED GREED! So what is the big deal about the gov. being more invovled in hlth care for all – everyone forgets it wasn't working anyway – the cost of hlth care has already been out of site!!

      February 1, 2011 at 7:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Jimii

      Our gov. already impacts funding with YOUR DOLLARS in everything from highway construction to education to the military & yes, hlth care. I worked a white collar job & made good money until laid off, after 25+ prodctive yrs. The private sector is now reporting mega proifits but still we see no hiring, why – because profts rule!. Try getting hlth insurance if you are over 50, pre existing conditions (if you take hi chol. med it is a pre existing cond) Many who have company provided insurance are clueless as to what it would be like without. And because the Republicans played such games standing in the way of Obamacare we will never get a best plan for all because folks like M McConnell only care about seeing the President fail...in his own words – God Bless America & thanks Mitch!

      February 1, 2011 at 8:03 am | Report abuse |
    • steven r lahaie

      Why don't don't you people who don't have insurance either buy it or work for it like I did. Is that to much to ask? Don't give me your sob stories, suck it up and do what you have to, like the rest of us. Quit looking to someone else, namely the hard working taxpayers of this country to take care of you and your family. I am retired and pay $327 a month to continue my coverage from my employer and between me and my wife we pay another $220 a month for medicare B. As my premiums go up to cover the uninsured, do you think it's fair for people like me to subsidize them? Our government is broke, and yet people think the tax payers should still pay these bills. Get a life!

      February 1, 2011 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rebecca

    I'm a full time student and my daughter has private health insurance paid for by me and my family. (Her father passed away). It has become virtually useless over the past 2 years. I owe $600 to her dentist for preventive care, after the insurance company rejected all the claims. That's just one example of the things we go through. $260/month premium, $25 copay, and 60/40 for almost everything else. Sometimes I feel like I should just cancel it, but I think as soon as I did that something horrible would happen and I'd be in $40,000 debt overnight or some nonsense. Just expressing a grievance here. I don't want to go through the trouble of having sub-standard care, long wait times, and the government all up in our personal business with socialized health care, but private health insurance SUCKS. :(

    January 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      What happens if a non-US citizen is visiting, gets hurt, and does not have insurance? Who pays?

      January 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • JustMe

      Rebecca, I feel your pain. For a year and a half while I was unemployed I had private insurance that I had to get on my own and I had nothing but problems everytime I went to the doctor or filed a claim. It took months to get them to pay anything and even when they did I had to go through the ringer to get them to pay it (they would continuously ask for my medical records despite me having sent them to them previously and deny for so-called pre-existing conditions that never existed – it was ridiculous). I spent almost 10 months trying to get one claim resolved that they were first refusing to pay and for which I knew without question they should be (not to mention that albeit fairly minor it was an outpatient surgical procedure which was not cheap and they were wanting me to pay for the entire thing – it ended up after going back and forth with them forever, BCBS eventually said that my portion would just be $103. Fortunately for the most part, everything has eventually worked out for me. Of course the key word here is EVENTUALLY and it should be noted that what it took for me to get there was insane and which no person should ever have to deal with.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Not that it's any consolation, but it's individual health insurance that sucks in the way you mentioned, not health insurance generally (group, employer-based.) The individual insurance is a scary place for buyers because it's a scary place for insurers - most people aren't as responsible as you seem to be - they wait until they think it's very likely that they will make claims to buy the insurance. That system doesn't work for anybody involved.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      How is all this my problem and why should I have to pay for you?

      January 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Rebeca- This act would not necessarily help you with dental Coverage. It is only intended for health care, i.e. medical insurance. Dental Insurance is an ancillary insurance in most cases and not covered under your medical plan... This just further illustrates that people don't know what this bill is about and how people still have not been educated. PPACA needs to be repealed for one simple reason, the governing body of an industry inherently can not be a player in the industry. That is not democracy it is socialism.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      Andy, I agree. As soon as I graduate and get a decent job that provides benefits, I will be extremely happy and probably won't complain as loudly. It's just my experience that this private health insurance thing is not so great. (But then again, if something were to happen I would be insanely grateful that I do have it, so I guess it goes both ways.)

      January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • jer

      do you really think that obama will give you cheaper/better health care? Ask your Dr that question..perhaps he will give the govt a lower price for his service...not!

      January 31, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Totally agree that those without access to an employer-based plan have it very tough. These are the people most in need of help and the people most helped by this (admittedly imperfect) Obamacare bill. It is for these people that I hope at least some remnants of the bill stay in place.

      Good luck!

      January 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cree

      heh. If you think your premiums are high now, wait until the new Health care (Obamacare) kicks in. Obviously the health care system needs reform. I just think Obama's ideas are really bad. Not to mention there are probably other bills attached to this reform to tax us for something else. There always is.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Jer,

      In this case, yes, Obama's plan will give her cheaper premiums, probably by a wide margin. It does not cost $260 per month to cover the health care costs of the average child. The reason it is costing Rebecca so much is that her daughter's costs are being pooled with a relatively small group of people who are much less healthy than her. Get more healthy people in her pool (by mandate) and her premiums go down.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • big lipped jolie

      well then if you have a daughter and your a full time student should you be at work or something instead of complaining about your personal problems on a message board on cnn?

      January 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sara N.

      Rebecca, Andy: I wish I could report that group, employer-based health insurance is any different. I have been employed by a major corporation for years and we have group health insurance. I still spend many lunch hours haggling with the insurance company.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  8. edward

    If the US healthcare system became one payor it would still be a mess because of the millions of illegal immigrants who pay no taxes and have their kids educated in our schools and get free healthcare at the hospital. The only way to fix the health system is to fix the illegal immigration problem first so those here illegally have to pay taxes like the rest of us.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • coronaboy

      Check your facts. Most already pay taxes and the reorts available suggest we are ahead on costs because they pay taxes but do not all the services. You can do the reseach on your computer.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anonymous

      exactly how many illegal immigrant children are receiving a free public education in US schools, and how many illegal immigrants have actually received free health care from a local hospital?

      Re: health care, the prevailing wisdom is that most immigrants pay cash for services rendered, rather than risk legal/financial trouble which would lead to deportation. Is this not so, and if it isn't, how do you know?

      January 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • barbara

      You have no idea what you are talking about. Ilegal immigrants do not go to 'public' hospitals to get treated because they are afraid of being deported. Most of them go to free clinics sustained by private donors. And they do pay taxes !! Millions of dollars are collected by the IRS yearly from people who file W-2 forms with incorrect or mismatched data, i.e. illegal immigrants who drew paychecks under fake names and Social Security numbers. do your own reasearch and stop repeating words you hear. I am sick of the hypocresy of the people in this country, trashing illegal immigrants and blaming them for all their problems. They are the ones keeping this economy afloat, willing to do the jobs that no one would do.. i.e. cleaning your bathrooms and working as slaves to pick up the produce you eat everyday. I wish we had one week without illegal immigrants to see how this economy would survive.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  9. James

    Nice!!!!!

    January 31, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mmmmm

      Chad-State Florida has as much credibility as California. Why would anyone be surprise?

      January 31, 2011 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Elitist

    Thanks for playing, America 1-Socialism-0......America Wins!!!

    January 31, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • amy

      America wins more medical bankruptcy! Yay!

      January 31, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  11. chicago

    I live in Chicago, and am independant. As an American I can tell you that everyone wants reform of our healthcare system, however that something is to be different than the law that was passed. I respect other nations right to decide how their healthcare is administered, but find it laughable that someone in Canada would think their hcare better than ours. It would take only a few states in America to recreate all of Canada's GDP. Smaller countries should stay out of our business. I want everyone to have access to healthcare, however I do not like this law.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill millwood

      Chicago says: "find it laughable that someone in Canada would think their hcare better than ours. It would take only a few states in America to recreate all of Canada's GDP."

      wow, chicago, with all due respect, you *really* don't know what you're talking about. Nothing says "uniformed" like an american talking about the Canadian health care system, which is far better than the scary, scary situation you face in America.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • darlene from dixie

      Not to worry...without "this law" you won't have Health Insurance in a couple of years....YOUR employer will drop coverage
      for it's employees because they won't be able to afford it, or YOU will have to drop your coverage because YOU will not be
      able to afford the PREMIUM and still EAT OR PAY RENT.
      This is a PROBLEM that takes care of ITSELF....no matter what YOU do....

      January 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • bill millwood

      ps... sorry, meant to say "uninformed"

      January 31, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChicagoRob

      Being a Canadian living in the USA I feel i can argue against you quite well.

      1st-Canada may have a smaller GDP but look to your deficit before thinking GDP is the be all and end all of a sound Country. with a good 50% of your high GDP States looking at bankruptcy I wouldn't worry about it too much.

      2nd-Canada's healthcare is alot better for individual families. who pay next too nothing for healthcare.(also most people are epmloyed with companies that knock your prescriptions down to a solid $1-2/script. This frees up thousands of dollars per family to spend back into the economy

      3rd- I will agree Universal Health care will not work in the USA. Govenment is too decentralized, Military and education budgetys are way too high.

      –finally private insurance stinks..but the cost being shipped to them from hospitals are really the cost.
      (badly sprained ankle was billed as $650 for a brace and a pair of crutches that I could have bought at walgreens for $25..then $750 for X-ray and 2 hour room stay. oh and one ibuprofin for pain was billied as $7.50

      January 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Someone From Canada

      Your point is useless – you need to actually talk to Canadian. Canada Healthcare is one of the main reasons people live in Canada. The concerns there are more burden/responsibility on healthcare professionals and services but not the patients. Here in US, it's the patiant that gets the hit from every direction.

      January 31, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      is that why so many canadiens come to America for their health needs? It is SO much better than ours? You guys are a joke.

      February 1, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Mike of BC

      Chicago, your GDP doesn't mean a thing when China basically has you by your gonads with the ability to pull the plug at anytime. We have universal healthcare and somehow it hasn't bankrupted our nation and we still managed to fare much better during the financial crisis all without having our banking industry collapse. Also notice how no one here is making fun of our dollar. Unlike some people here who make everything about "me me me", us Canadians look out for each other. If shelling out a few extra cents for my coffee or an extra ten bucks on my new iPhone means my fellow Canadian will get that life-saving treatment he/she needs, then that's fine by me. Not to say that our healthcare is perfect, but I believe the fact that our life expectancy is higher coupled with a lower infant mortality rate does at least say that it's working rather effectively.

      @Bob: Funny you mention that because I find it fascinating how busloads of U.S. citizens come over everyday to our side to buy prescription drugs. Btw it's not "canadiens", but "Canadians".

      February 1, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Walker

    "if you get to work on a bike, or walk, you don;t have to buy auto insurance. I can't believe people like this vote."

    This is their new talking point fed to them by Daddy Axelrod. Sad that people with such low IQs are allowed to vote.

    January 31, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Breanna

    lol I do not understand how people don't recognize that this is basically a shoddy business deal between the federal government and the health care industry. I don't align myself with any party and in fact don't really care about politics because it's obviously all a sham, but come on folks. Do you have to be SO willing to bend over and take it?

    January 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • stop the obamazombies

      Now you have something to say.Finally. Americans,we all know that healthcare is in hock,but the rammed through 2000 page attrocit with two toys is a dog with fleas. It is not the Universal Healthcare that everyone wanted. This is just big gov't bs. Repeal and replace with pre-existing,etc. is already written up to go. There is no need or use for Obamas big ego trip. Healthgare by rote is horrible and so is the intrusion in our families care. Stop politicizing somethat that can and should be done right.You have no idea the dark side of Obamacare. As for illegals. Reverse the flow and stop the bleeding.

      February 1, 2011 at 4:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. flam455

    When you are 59 y/o, want to retire but can't because you didn't have enough years in with your company when they denied retiree benefits, you will want this type of option. How can anyone disagree? What about all us worker bees who need health care. Most of these comments are from regular folks. What will you do when you want to retire? I gotta know....Don't reply if you have a company plan....

    January 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. SickofDems

    This healthcare bill was rushed and passed by the Demorcates without input from the Republicans! Now the Republican haters can say the Republicans only wanted to block it but it seems that congress is a two side street and there can be a much better healthcare bill passed without over 2,000 pages that covers everyone. This was to put Mr. bigshot OBAMA in the history books with terrible bill that will eventually be dismantled and done the correct way! Obama is a one term president would could really cae less about the little people of the US. Now if you read the bill you will see that in it is a section that starting in 2012 homeowners will have to pay a 3.8 % tax on the sale of their home. Who does that help? As for you Canadians, why the hell our your people coming to the US to have operations that you have to wait years for with your socialized healthcare! Stay the hell where you are and keep you great government healthcare and miind your business with what's going on in the US. I could give a damn what goes on in Canada!! This healthcare will fall or at least the major parts of it and thank god for that! This country will allow people to have 10 children and pay them not to work, free healthcare and money in their pockets, why the hell do you think we have all the mexicans leaving here, everything is free when you don't work or are illegal. We pay for the poor around the world but there is not enough housing in the winter time to place the homeless, what a country. Go Republicans and can't wait to have Obama gone along with his very unattractive wife that dresses like she is on assistance!

    January 31, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • G

      The health care bill had been floating around in congress in many pieces and in one form or another for nearly 20 years. The plan you see today is largely the plan introduced by the Republicans in the 90's as a counter to the Clinton initiative. Saying it was rushed is not true and pushed by commentators who are either not reading their history before speaking or consciously choosing to spread misinformation and confuse the public.

      January 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • LETS TRY THE TRUTH

      AMEN if the politicians were made to have that policy , and all the waivers were gone then what . The people who want it should look whats going on in Europe and why Canadiens come here for treatment . There is no free lunch , fix it the right way and don't sneak and jam it down our throats . I wouldn't trust the FEDS , look where we are now .

      January 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ryan

      FYI: It's a very small minority of Canadians who actually go to the states for their health care. VERY small amount. Our system is pretty good if you ask me (I've been through many parts of it, multiple times). The problems we have can be fixed some what easily as well. At least we don't have to pay stupid amounts of money to get the basic healthcare that everyone has a RIGHT to get. (My family of 4 only pays $140 a month for it and it covers basically everything).

      February 1, 2011 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Cassy81

      You are sick and full of hatred! We should all be ashamed to call you an American like us. Whatever your politics, there is no need to be so classless!

      February 1, 2011 at 12:37 am | Report abuse |
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