March 27th, 2012
08:06 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers go back and forth as Supreme Court mulls health care law

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

As the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments about President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, our readers are making some arguments of their own. Some are even protesting. Comment below and share your thoughts and ideas about health care.

Supreme Court divided over health care mandate

We've been hearing from several readers, including a bunch of iReporters, about this measure.

"We need universal health care," says Matt Sky of New York. He suggests the insurance companies have a conflict of interest when treating people. Jannet Walsh of Murdock, Minnesota, says she likes the law in theory but is unsure that people will be able to pay for it. Houston, Texas, resident Vera Richardson says we're already required to purchase auto insurance, so why not health insurance?

Some, like Mark Ivy of Farmersburg, Indiana, suggested leaving health care programs to the states.

k3vsDad: "I say no to this being a federal mandate. To me this is a violation of the 10th Amendment. This is an issue that should remain with the states. The states have a much better handle developing health care programs tailored to their citizens. One size does not fit all. Every time the federal government overreaches, it is never better, but worse. Give health care back to the states."

Egberto Willies of Kingwood, Texas, says he believes Obama's plan was a compromise, and he might even like to see it go further.

"I am of two minds. Sometimes I want the mandate struck down in order to speed up how soon we will ultimately get Medicare for all (single-payer health care). But then given the lack of congressional competence, I then revert back to doing this in pieces starting with the current bill."

These two comments represent the debate pretty well.

IndyHoosier9: "This is about health care costs. Right now, if a person goes to the hospital and does not have health insurance, they get treated and the rest of us pay for it (in our health care costs). So it comes down to two options: either require health insurance by everyone, or tell hospitals not to treat anyone without health insurance."

tp16: "This is certainly one of the most crucial decisions the Supreme Court will make in determining the power of the federal government. This administration and its Justice Department have had to resort to every sort of stretch imaginable to try to justify [this]. What the administration wants to do is to impose a tax without the political liability of calling it a tax. This president has taken a swipe at individual rights, under the guise of the collective good, purely to save face."

Another story generated a different sort of conversation about health care. Three-year-old Violet McManus suffers from seizures that threaten her breathing.

The Supreme Court, health care reform and one little girl

Her parents are worried the Supreme Court could restore lifetime limits on Violet's insurance coverage. She was quickly approaching the $5 million lifetime limit on her insurance policy before health care reform. Readers had lots to say about both sides of the issue.

Phange: "I am a medical student with a Master of Health Administration degree. I can say this, without a doubt. Both sides, top to bottom, are dead wrong about health care.

DEMOCRATS – Insurance isn't/has never been the problem. ... (The law is) like putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg. It fixes a problem that doesn't exist, thereby increasing the likelihood that the main problem (a complete oligopoly of price controls within the provider marketplace) will continue.

REPUBLICANS – We currently have the most expensive health care system in the world. ... I would know, I work in it every day. A true fiscal conservative would immediately recognize that we need a radical change in hospital and provider regulations if we are to have any hope of changing course.

The bottom line is that neither of you actually care about health care. You've turned one of the most important humanitarian fields into a political game."

This reader supports the measure.

SoCaliBB: "I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 9 and underwent two years of chemo. I have since then been diagnosed with two additional health scares in my life and I"m still in my 20s. Thankfully, I was either under my parents or my own health insurance and hardly had to pay the treatments because I had good coverage. I HATE to think what a person or family would go through if they had no insurance. It's very gut-wrenching and devastating if you think about it. I'm willing to pay more in taxes, insurance co-pays, whatever if it means that others get the same type of treatment and health opportunity as I have."

This comment comes from someone who opposes the law

Peshwar: "Let's cut the sob stories over health care. This debate is not about emotional issues. It is about the constitutionality of forcing American citizens to have to purchase health care or face a penalty. It is about nothing else!"

If a child is sick, how do you pay?

Crystal N: "My daughter is profoundly affected by this law. Like Violet, she's 3. However my daughter got an infection that turned septic at a week of age and almost died. Either the sepsis or the antibiotics that saved her life (or both) caused a kidney to fail. At 10 days of age she had a stroke. She could have hit the cap in her lifetime, particularly if she needs a transplant in the future. The pre-existing conditions issue would have determined her career path and major in college because her first priority once we couldn't cover her would have been insurance. The ACA gives her a future."

Randy Darrah: "So us taxpayers should have to pay for your daughter? I hope your daughter recovers and gets the help she needs, but why is it my responsibility to pay for it?"

Some other readers talked about the portions of the law that bothered them.

Opinion0731: "Most people will agree that there are a handful of provisions in Obamacare are good. The problem is that there is a lot more bad in the law then there is good. Putting a sick child on the headline and making it and sound like overturning Obamacare is a personal attack on this little girl. I agree that the problems with health care need to be addressed, but a 2,500-page law that is filled with a lot of costly provisions isn't the solution."

sporty53: "Actually, it's the other way around. More good than bad. I have yet to hear more than three things Republicans don't like in this bill."

sdpianomom:
"1. It pays for abortions
2. It doesn't include tort reform
3. It forces all Americans to purchase insurance sometimes against their will
4. It requires religious institutions to fund procedures or medicines against their religious beliefs
5. It is adding trillions to the national debt; we simply can't afford it
6. It does not allow for the purchase of insurance across state lines which would create greater competition and lower prices."

What do you think? Do you have ideas to fix the health care system? Should health insurance be required by law? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or send us a video comment via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. TSK

    You can borrow broccoli or grow it in your yard but not with Health-care even if you are a doctor you cannot take care of yourself when your knocked out–

    March 30, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. TSK

    Medical insurance is underwritten Burial insurance is not underwritten–Underwriters determine the purpose of insurance–not SCOTUS–

    March 30, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. TSK

    Congress has told the politically weaponized SCOTUS that there will be GRAVE consequences if HCR is screwed with–this says one thing the Koch Brothers and their war against the American people is going to kill tens of millions of Citizens Americans–

    March 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. TSK

    Dental is not a part of the HCR law– never was–

    March 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    March 31, 2012 at 6:33 am | Report abuse | Reply
  6. TSK

    EVER NOTICE HOW YOU CANNOT SELL OR GIVE YOUR PERSCRIPTION DRUGS TO ANYONE ELSE–ASK YOURSELF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOUR PHARMACY GAVE YOU SOME OTHER PERSONS MEDS AND YOU TOOK THE MEDS AND DIED FROM A DRUG INTERATION–WHAT IF PHARMACISTS AND DOCTORS DID NOT HAVE TO HAVE MEDICAL LIS. WHAT IF YOUR DOCTOR DID NOT GO TO MED. SCHOOL OR SCHOOL AT ALL–WHERE IS THE FREEDOM IF YOU CANT GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE OR WRITE PERSCRIPTIONS FOR CONTROLED SUBSTANCES EVEN THOUGH YOU WANT TO MAKE A FEW EXTRA BUCKS OUT OF YOUR BACKPACK AS AN 18 OR 21 YEAR OLD WHO DROPPED OUT OF HOME SCHOOL–

    March 31, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. TSK

    I need eye glasses but cannot get them through my medical insurance– State or Federal– I have to pay for them out of my pocket– nothing changes with the new HC Law–

    March 31, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. TSK

    my boss– told me and the company– I was spending to much time away from work for doctors appointments–my boss sent me to the company medical–I asked the Company doctor if he or his nurse could give me my allergy shot at the Company medical office durring or after work–because my own personal doctor is not allowed by Law to give me my own perscribed allergy medication to take home– even though I paid for it–the medication can only be sent to another doctors office who agrees to give the injections–this is so even if the pationt is a doctor in his own practice or a nurse– a doctor or nurse who perscribes/gives allergy shots for a living cannot turn around and give themself their own allergy shot–not at work– not at another doctors office–and not at home–THE COMPANY DOCTOR AT MY EMPLOYEER SAID "NO, WE DO NOT DO THAT HERE" I ask: where is the freedom SCOTUS–I ended up in the hospital missing work because I quit the allergy shots to keep my job–but once I missed half a days work monday morning because I was in the hospital over the entire weekend I lost my job at that publicly traded employer until my own doctor could write the company doctor and tell my former employeer I could return to work–

    March 31, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • leeintulsa

      that's odd, tsk.. during my 2nd marriage, her son needed allergy shots, and they taught her and i how to do it at home.. maybe related to the war on drugs? this was before meth was a thing.. another victim of the war on drugs?

      March 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TSK

    Ask yourself this SCOTUS:

    WHAT HAPPENS IF THE U.S. GAINS ONE STATE–

    WHAT IF IT DROPS ONE STATE–

    WHAT IF THAT STATE COMES FROM CANADA-

    WHAT IF THAT STATE IS ALASKA–

    WHAT IF THAT STATE IS LIKE HATTI–

    WHAT IF THAT STATE IS SOMEPLACE IN EUROPE OR ANOTHER PLACE FAR FAR AWAY–

    Some places have Health-care systems of there own others are developing them more and more others might be ruined or get ruined by disaster–

    How does the new HCR Law work in these senerios– how would it work if the law was pulled apart–

    March 31, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ken

      I now live in Canada in large part to the health care losses I incurred in the U S...not for myself...I am one of those that never go to Drs...
      Most up here rely on the system and have that peace of mind that health care is a right nd part of the responsibility of government similar to police protection...etc.l

      April 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
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    April 1, 2012 at 12:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  11. TSK

    Sounds about right–hows is HCR not a part of this statement how is HCR a part of this statement:

    The financial and economic crash of 2008, the worst in over 75 years, is a major geopolitical setback for the United States and Europe. Over the medium term, Washington and European governments will have neither the resources nor the economic credibility to play the role in global affairs that they otherwise would have played. These weaknesses will eventually be repaired, but in the interim, they will accelerate trends that are shifting the world's center of gravity away from the United States

    April 1, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Ken

    Listening to CNN and finally heard the panel discuss the obvious...controlling the cost vs figuring out how to pay for it.
    Is Heatth care a right like fire fighters, police, education etc? This question can be answered by asking the next question...Is health care critical to society? I think the answers to these questions are foundational and after assessing the root causes of the cost equation, a solution can be developed that encompasses the cost/how to pay components of this need. I personally lost $ hundreds of thousands of dollars and have nothing to show for the efforts. In fact... I probably would be a target of collection agencies for the $800,000 in unpaid charges..the person died...but you can't return a neurosurgeons bill...unlike a bad toaster oven

    April 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  13. TSK

    No one in the U.S. wants to be compared to other counties because it is not relivent as it relates to laws on HCR albiet it is interesting–otherwise I would have metioned Hong Kong in T–

    April 2, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse | Reply
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    April 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  15. gary

    I just heard a Republican analyst on your station refer to the Canadian health care system as a 'failed public health care' system. as a canadian, I must disagree. Though there are certainly cost pressures on the Canadian health system, it is not only universal, but more cost effective as a whole. Access to health care is not controlled by government bureaucrats, nor for-profit insurance providers, nor HMO's. It is a doctor-driven system. I can chose any doctor i wish, and attend any hospital in the country, often with as little as a driver's license, and i am ensured of emergnecy care. No one has ever gone bankrupt becuase of the cost of medical expenses while uninsured. in Canada. And while there are medical malpractice suits against individual doctors, no one ever sues an insurance provider in Canada, saving huge amounts in litigation costs. And, if life expectancy is any measure of the effectiveness of a health care system, Canadians live longer then Americans do. I am certainly not saying that the Canadian health care system is perfect, but there is a strong and objective argument that it does posses some substantial advantages over the American system.

    April 2, 2012 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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