Overheard on CNN.com: Health care law a 'necessary evil'
A supporter of the health care law cheers upon learning the Supreme Court upheld it.
June 28th, 2012
04:20 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Health care law a 'necessary evil'

On June 28, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 ruling. In the hours after, CNN’s audience was incredibly active in expressing their opinions on the decision.

Some CNN commenters and iReport contributors had personal stories to share:

As a cancer survivor… my life would have been over without health insurance. It's a necessary evil, but without it, hospitals would be closing their doors, and people would be dying. And don't blame Obama or any other political force because the insurance monster has been around for a long, long, time ruling patients, doctors and hospitals.

If you own a vehicle you are required to have it insured. If you don't you pay fines...I don't see the big deal, if they make it affordable I would jump at the chance to insure my family. I work for an attorney, and since it is a small firm, he does not offer insurance.

I have 62 employees currently, and since I will be mandated to provide healthcare, I have two options now: Cut deeply into the pockets of the company, myself and its employees, or cut my staffing down to 49 people so as to not hit that 50 person benchmark for mandatory coverage. So 13 people are gone, or 62 (plus myself) take cuts in vacation and or pay raises. I have not made the decision yet, but I won't let my company and all of its employees take such a big hit.

iReport assignment: Your reaction to health care ruling

As a person with a pre-existing condition that was hereditary, I am glad. Maybe [now] I can purchase insurance. No insurance company will insure me. I have to use my state Medicare-type program. I don't mind paying at all. I still pay for my own prescriptions to the tune of $200 a month. I had no choice a few months back when I had gotten extremely ill and had to go to a regular local hospital. I stayed overnight and the cost was $6,000. Not an Obama fan either!

Many readers pointed out the potential benefits of the law’s implementation:

Most of you that have a problem with health care reform have no issues paying your Social Security and Medicare taxes on your paycheck. In fact, I'm sure the majority is counting down the days until they can take advantage of the Social Security and Medicare they have paid into. How is this health care as a tax any different?

People against this law have chosen to limit where they get their information about this law. Currently, when a person who has no insurance requires emergency care, tax payers pay for it, and the [federal] debt mounts. Now, all least the coffers will be replenished by all people, and all people get health care, preventative health care to boot. Thank you, President Obama, and everyone who worked hard to make this happen for all Americans.

I don’t like being forced to pay for wars I don’t want.
I don’t like being forced to pay for roads I don’t drive on.
I don’t like being forced to pay for schools when I don’t have kids....
But I accept the fact that I have to pay for all of these things that create a better community for all of us to live in.

Obama: Supreme Court ruling on health care a victory for all Americans


I would be willing to pay more out of my paycheck to help fund others’ health expenses but not too much, obviously. Society works best when the least fortunate are uplifted instead of isolated and abandoned. Like most thinking Americans, I don't think this law is perfect... but at least it's something to build upon.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some readers passionately denounced the court’s decision:

Why is it that even though I work and can barely afford the cost of living, I [must] be taxed further? I acknowledge that there are people who want to “help” those that are “less” fortunate. Good for you - why don't we take out more money from your paychecks? But what about the people like me who, despite actually working, will not be able to afford this increase in my taxes? Sorry if I'm not a humanitarian and feel like helping out people on welfare...even more.

As we near the day that represents freedom, the modern America has now dishonored the very foundation that Founding Fathers and those who risked their lives by signing the Declaration as well as those who have fought and died for freedom with this decision. Freedom is about "free choice" without government demands. If I work, drive a car, or own property, I must pay a tax or have insurance. I can choose to not work, drive a car or own property. If required to have healthcare or have to pay "a tax," what other choice do I have?

Our freedom to choose a medical plan (or even to not have a medical plan) is being taken away from us. At least – that is my personal feeling. I don't appreciate the government telling me what I have to do – it opens the door for precedence to take other of my freedoms away.

Some commented on the judges and how they came to the decision:

I think very, very few people commenting here have a better judgment than the nine best constitutional experts in the world. I trust these nine more than I trust any president. They discussed the law in every aspect and came to a conclusion by a democratic vote. Regardless of the outcome, another great day for the country.

So now using the "tax" loophole the government can make “we the people” buy anything they want us to buy. The next question: Since health care is ruled a tax, is it deductible?

M. Edward
The Supreme Court has in the past been accused by most democrats and particularly liberals as "right wing" conservative. However, with this decision today regarding the Affordable [Care Act], it has shown that perhaps at least Chief Justice Roberts has acted in a bipartisan way… and in doing so, he has given hope that future rulings will remain bipartisan. It's time for the country to reward elected members of Congress, both present and future, not for their party affiliation, but their desire to work for all Americans.

These readers zeroed in on the money:

I hope someone figures out if Obamacare is going to cost us or save us money in the long run. I've heard arguments for both sides, and so I still don't know what it is going to do economically. But bottom line, I don't trust the government. They can't even run Social Security, Medicaid or Medicare.

I still believe that this law is immoral in placing the cost of care on the backs of today's young. While the students cheered, they must have missed the fact that the removal of a risk-based policy means that their youth and health are now irrelevant to the cost of their insurance. Combined with an aging population and the retirement of the baby boomers — and the disparity of income between the young and the mature — the percentage their income requires for health care will skyrocket. To me, this is another attempt of the aged to take the cost of their comfort and health from their children.

Interesting that for two years proponents, including President Obama and the Solicitor General, argued vehemently that the mandate was not a tax on people (to sell the idea), but was allowable under the Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court concluded the opposite in upholding the mandate. One wonders what public support would be like if it proponents [had] called it a tax increase the entire time. Would it have passed?

Many weighed in on the ruling’s impact on the political arena:

Both parties play games and try to prevent the administration of the other party from accomplishing anything to help the country. They want to have the other party voted out in the next election. The greatest disservice either party has done to this nation is convincing most Americans that our ruinously expensive, unfair and inefficient healthcare system didn't need reform. The plan that was passed is very similar to the one the Republicans wanted when we had a Republican president. It does need improvement, and, in a more perfect world, both parties would work together for the good of our citizens. Too bad we don't live in a more perfect world.

As a true independent, I think everyone just needs to calm down until we see how this works out. Don't believe the over-hype on the left or the doomsday declarations of the right. If this law works out great, then a lot of politicians will have to eat crow. If it takes us down a path to disaster, then a lot of politicians will lose their jobs, and this will be repealed. It's not the end of the world.

What do you think about the Supreme Court’s decision about Obamacare? Do you have a personal experience that has shaped your thoughts on the controversial new healthcare plan? Sound off in the comments section below or via iReport.

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Filed under: Health Care • Health care reform
soundoff (109 Responses)
  1. Jake The Snake

    Next stop.... Reparations

    June 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. K. West

    The greatest President in the U.S.A has to be president nodrama obama

    June 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bob

    Got any evidence these stories are true?

    June 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. CharlieSeattle

    Repeated Republican claims that activist judges overturn laws passed by congress are moot!

    Republicans everywhere can now rejoice that their voices on this point has been heard!

    June 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. looking4leadership

    SCOTUS ruling was a victory for the healthcare mandate but demonstrates a huge loss for character based leadership since the back door, party line passage of the bill was sold as one thing publicly (not a tax) but litigated as another (a tax). It is no wonder common sense Americans are loosing trust in their leaders and the legislative process. How can Dem's celebrate a victory that actually highlights what seems to be their lack of integrity in the legislative process?

    June 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  6. scott

    Unemployment will go up as a lot of business will layoff employees to get below the 50 person mandate. My son is worried as the company he works for has 68 people and the CEO is talking of laying off 20 people, to avoid healthcare. Lots of companies will be doing the same.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim Biddiscombe

      He's probably better off elsewhere then Scott. I know businessmen like his greedy boss too.

      June 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Kitty

      it never fails...walmart mentality to bare cost of operation on the backs of the worker with unemployment so taxpayers bear the unjust burden...personally if an employer reduces his workforce by 10% or greater he should pay a penalty tax over the capital gained by discharging those employees...

      June 28, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Debra

    I am a "job creator." I own a small business and employ over 100 people. However, I am not worried about laying people off and I'm certainly not using that excuse to stop offering health insurance to my employees. Go to healthcare.gov and get the facts, man. Get the facts. Stop listening to the hype.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  8. jane

    As a European now living in the US I see the glaring irony of a people held hostage/prisoners to their very notion of freedom! Health care should be available to all and need not cost as much as it does. It was a moral victory for the US today...with a lot more work to be done down the road.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • HamK

      Well and simply put my dear...

      July 1, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mkm

    As a self-employed person who has had to purchase my own health insurance on the open market for twenty years, I know first-hand how completely screwed up our current system is. Anyone who has always had employer-sponsored health insurance is completely clueless about the state of health care coverage in the US. I also know, from my acquaintance with many other self-employed folks, that a tremendous number of people who could afford to buy insurance choose not to do so, but feel sure that someone will give them care when they need it. They do not realize that even though the emergency room may have to take them in, other medical treatments will not be available to them. People without insurance who contract serious illnesses often die. Those people would have been really thankful, in retrospect, to have had an individual mandate in place. Thank you, President Obama, for caring about "regular" people.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      And thank you for a very clear and concise post as to why this has been needed.

      June 28, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Hawk in Texas

    A great day for the american people. and all you people listening to the republican lies i suggest that you lay back and see what this becomes. it could be that you will wake up and realize that the republicans in office have been lying to you all the time. and as for romney saying that he will do this and that on the first day he is in office if elected. well it seems that he has forgotton that there are only 24 hours in a day. and he has laid out about three months worth that he would attend to in one day plus he seems to have forgotton that we have a house and congress to deal with also. i guess that he still thinks that he is still running his old send the jobs overseas job.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dr. MG

    Buying and Eating Broccoli,

    Thanks to the wisdom of Chief Justice Roberts we now know that...
    If you do not buy a $2.00 head of broccoli you will have to put 20 cents in the fine jar.
    However, if you do buy the broccoli, you still do not have to eat it.

    He also warned about excessive broccoli fines, so hey Ma, there are limits!

    June 28, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Holder's Girl

    Why, Miss Kitty, that's a great idea, little lady...

    June 28, 2012 at 8:37 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Tax Payer

    Lets address several things:
    1) Insurance does not make things less expensive. It makes things more. Take a look at any insurance companies filings with the SEC.. aka 10-Q, 10-K. They are available on edgar.sec.gov. Look for the line 'loss ratio'.. or something similar. It will be a number less than 1. What is number is, is the ratio between what they pay out divided by what they take in. So if this number is 0.8, that means that for every dollar they take in, they only pay out $0.80. How is that a saving?
    2) While the Health care initiative states that you can not refuse to offer insurance because of pre-existing conditions, it does not say at what price that insurance will be offered. How does $20,000/month. It is one of those sounds good until you really think about it.
    3) If you look at the 'Health Care Law', it is not much about 'health' as about mandating payments to Insurance companies. There is nothing limiting the price of the insurance. Very little on oversight for denial of procedures or surgery. You pay in.. and the insurance companies get to decide when to pay out.. and for what (which procedures are covered and for how much, how long). If additional procedures are mandated by law.. insurance companies will just raise there rates.

    The American Public are going to get Fleeced.. They will be working for the insurance companies for the rest of their lives - paying in everything they make. Part of the reason Health Care is so expensive, is because of the insurance companies and the cost of malpractice insurance.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Kitty

      aside that this mandate is tainted and set with cultur€ of d€ath policies and h3mlock mandates...starting with compelling butcher clinic abortions will moved to hospital settings and conscience clause protection are removed from healthcare workers...those individuals and inst!tutions especially the faith-based organization that do not comply willbe fired, fined and closed...the american people have been duped to accept a magna carta similiar to h!tl€r's ...mandate is the mask and policy is the monster...we have a voice in laws as voters...no voice in policies as voters...this is not good...

      June 28, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "The Lunatic Fringe"

    Overheard on CNN.com: Health care law a ‘necessary evil’
    Guys. It sounds more gangland Chicago, circa 1939, when if you were a shop owner, the mafia, would close in on your establishment ask you if you wanted to buy some protection. If you said no, your business would be burned to the ground, and you, probably would wind up dead.
    This scenario today isn't much different.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Ed Fisher

    I pay for ins. and glad to have it. Why are "we" a country that does not insure its own? Could we start to focus "locally". Personally, I'm tired of bailing out companies, countries, stupid mismanagement, wasted $$$$$, oh yeah, slow response to the correction of our failing highways, roads and bridges. Get people working on that. We once had WRA and we worked. When did we become soft and content with less than the best. Its OUR problem, we created it – greed and illogical thinking is rampent. Obama did right.

    June 28, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Miss Kitty

      you are BAILING! corporate america has already bolted and stated they will not foot this bill...and has threaten to downsize the workforce...with walmart and mcdonald, infamous parttime without benefits, companies that gross billions of dollars...who did this now prior to hhs mandate...when they put the postal worker out of work without benefits whose paying for that...retirees healthcare was to be funded through medicaid and social security now we're duplicating funding that with the mandate...where is the money going...mmmmm?

      June 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse |
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