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. Taxes

    People keep talking about CAR insurance like it is a good example, it isn't. I'm not Required to own a car or a Meet a condition where I have to pay a Tax. It is my choice to own a car, the Government isn't forcing you. Nor is it forcing me to have an "adequate" car. Once I purchase a car I may be required by the STATE to own insurance. I still don't agree with car insurance, seat belt laws, or helmet laws. But hey safety&Security over personal freedom it seems it is what people want. If I want to protect myself I'll buckle up and buy full insurance in case someone without it hits me.

    June 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • A Clark

      Then don't make me and other taxpayers cover your expenses if you need care and don't have the cash on hand to pay for it. I presume you would support repeal of the federal requirement that you be treated in the emergency room regardless of your ability to pay. Otherwise you are forcing me to pay for a product I don't want to buy: your care.
      People who refuse to buy health insurance should be forced to carry a "No Insurance" card. This card would be presented at the emergency room. They would be treated only if they had the cash or could post a bond.

      July 3, 2012 at 6:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jackie Treehorn

    As with most laws, the question is not "Is this law perfect," but rather, "is this law better than the status quo." By almost any measure, obamacare is better than the status quo. Conservatives rail against it as some kind of handout, but it seems that they are almost willfully choosing to ignore the fact that we taxpayers ALREADY pay for the treatment of indigents who turn up at emergency rooms without coverage. How on earth could anyone think that's the better option? Forced to choose between a lousy option and a lousier option, Republicans appear to have chosen the lousier option, I think largely because the lousy option has the name "Obama" associated with it. Who cares? Look at the bigger picture.

    July 1, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Walter

      The republicans are acting like zealots. They are taking an extreme position of picking and choosing what laws they agree and disagree upon. I am forced to buy automobile insurance and if I do not have auto insurance, I can get fined or go to jail. In fact, depend on where you live the cost of auto insurance changes. If you were injured and had no insurance where would you go? Who pays the bills? The average bill for a walk-in is five thousand dollars. Who pays? I observed an auto accident where 3 people were injured one in intensive care. Who paid the bill, you the taxpayer? Yes, we need a national healthcare plan. It will allow hospitals to give you premium care when you are unconscious and or severely injured. As a law enforcement officer I have conveyed may injured and near death, individuals to the hospital, and many did not have insurance. America…who paid those bills.

      July 2, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      The difference is that this ruling establishes a precendent for you to be forced to buy something because you exist as a person. It is a dangerous step towards becoming a compulsory consumerist state. Hypothetical example: "Oh your I-Phone doesn't have the government sponsered app for severe weather warnings? Well the app is compatible on that other smart phone made by another company...whose owner is friends with somebody in the goverment...so you'll just have to buy it.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • jrzydvl

      Indigents will continue to show up at hospitals without coverage. You really think indigents are going to buy healthcare ? Ridiculous. All that was needed were some tweaks to the current system. Pre-existing conditions,covering kids up to 26, etc, all could have been done without the government becoming involved. Now you will see what is in this monster of a law, like Pelosi said. Companies will all reconsider what they offer based on the new law. They always do. You may even see some smaller companies cutting back on benefits, staff, etc. Then lets hear what you have to say.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Patrick Rea

    Its the fundmental problem of a growing power and control of the federal government over our lives. What does this law do that the states couldnt do for their own citizens? Why cant each state tax its own citizens if they dont buy health insurance? Is this really about the politicians in Washington trying to create a society dependent on a large federal government? We need to really think about these things.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  4. maxine howard

    Every time they passed Obamacare in any of it's forms, my insurance goes up. I just got another notice today, my health insurance will be going up and additional $114 a month more. Nothing I can do it about, until I am old enough for Medicare, then I can drop my insurance.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Interested

      How many times have they passed Obamacare?
      Health insurance has been going up for a long time now.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • omg123

      I am not sure what Obamacare has to do with insurance rates hiking each year.....every year we received a cost of living raise....which was off set every year by the rate hike in our insurance. This has been going on since i started working (19 years ago)....nothing to do with Obamacare.

      Just my opinion!

      July 2, 2012 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ski2xs

    OMG, this has to be the most stacked deck I've ever seen. . . News flash people. The problem isn't the cost of INSURANCE. . . which is only an indicator in most instances of the chronic issue. . . the PROBLEM is the cost of HEALTH CARE.

    What a bunch of mindless sheep thinking that mandating INSURANCE is somehow a fix the problem. Seriously, whoever taught you people how to think and reason is . . . . . well, nevermind . . . . I think I'm beginning to see where many of our problems lie.

    Thank heavens that we have big gubmint to save us, Weez just too helpless

    July 1, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrzydvl

      FInally, some gets it. Good to hear the voice of reason.

      July 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • omg123

      ski2xs....i was replying to the post claiming that Obamacare has raised the cost of insurance....

      you need to learn some respect.

      July 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Z

    This is just a silly comment. We are required to pay Social Security ... whats the difference? Police (we pay for together), Post Office (we pay for together) Public schools (socialist too?)

    Come on people. Think. Do you know what Socialism really is? Read a few books and learn.

    July 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Interested

      The repubs told me its the same thing as communism and hence evil 😛

      July 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Interested


      July 2, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigDrop

      The DIMs told me it will be run the government and therefore GOOD!!!

      July 3, 2012 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • MARTIN49

      Post Office? They sell the stamps They make their own money – I sent my kids to private school so I should not have to pay for public schools – we should have a choice.

      July 2, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • jrzydvl

      You also need to read. The entire scheme was foisted upon the ppl as the commerce clause. Not a tax, like SS, etc. You really think this passes as a tax ? Did you forget about they had to, at least attempt, to buy Nebraska witht he Mutual of Omaha exemption ? They had to buy support from the unions with the cadillac healthcare exemption ? Too many exclusions were handed out for my liking. Way too much room for corruption. If this is so good, give it to congress ! Does congress deserve better healthcare than you ?

      July 2, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. kc

    Time for a reality check.Persons who work,own small buisnesses and pay taxes wind up in emergency rooms with ever increasing frequency.The middleclass is is shrinking, buisnesses are cutting insurance offerings,and many working persons are now offered insurance that allows you to be seen but covers little for( lower income working) persons who need it most.Reality check no2- Do you truly believe the goverment will make good on all of the promises of making powerfull corporation who have lobbbyists,and giant pack funds realy follow through on giving insurance consessions.

    July 1, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wendy

    Here's a real-life example of an unintended consequence: I have a 26-year-old, college educated and working son. He graduated in 2009, and the job market being remarkably bleak at the time, he took a job with pay that reflected the market's conditions. So here he is: with all the government-mandated "buy this because it's good for you" "grow up and be an adult" meddling, he cannot afford to save for his retirement AND pay rent AND utilities AND buy car insurance AND buy health insurance AND eat, all at the same time. Currently he can buy an under-30 high deductible health insurance policy for about $100 a month. That is going to disappear, because insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate for a healthy 26-year-old – he'll be subsidizing people who are far less healthy. He's already run the numbers and decided that paying extra taxes is cheaper that getting a policy that will be more expensive. So there you go: he will pay more in taxes and he will NOT have health insurance. Unintended consequence.

    July 1, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      I realize your son is healthy, and knock on wood, he stays that way. But your son, or any other twenty-something year old could be in a car accident tomorrow that requires days or weeks in intensive car, or months of rehabilitation. It's not enough anymore to say: I'm young; I don't need healthcare. Here's a question: At what age, if any, should people be required to purchase healthcare coverage: 30? 35? 45?

      July 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dontbow

    Not necessary but certainly evil. Forcing people to buy healthcare is just wrong in so many ways. Freedom will reign and defeat obamascare. States will just decide not to implement this pos legislation until it is repealed.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. LBB

    I remember my father-in-law telling me that he didn't think the government had a right to force him to wear a seat belt if he didn't want to... I haven't always had good insurance, but I do now. It gives me peace of mind to know that a doctor/practice is taking care of me, and knows who I am , and a little of my history rather than going to a stranger at the emergency room. It's never easy to turn back the clock, but it has to be done, because as it stands now, WE ARE the ones paying. I am not sure how this bill will work in the end, but I do believe that the first step had to be taken, and this seems like a reasonable start. I get sick and someone else profits? I don't think so. I am going to have to agree with Jon on this one...

    July 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Steve Lyons

    If it is evil it must be abolished.

    July 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ed Craft

    I wonder what Romney's wife would do if she told an insurance company she has MS and tried to get insurance later in life,
    Just suffer and die!

    July 2, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Ed Craft

    Imagine if Romney's wife had to buy health insurance now with her pre-existing MS. Yeah, well. Just suffer and die.

    July 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tom Hanson

    This was not a well thought out law/tax. Obamacare (or ROMENYCARE) for that matter is dangerous for our economy. We are already in 10 year long war, have a massive national debt, and rapid expansion of government, all by a current /previous administrations that does not value civil rights. For this law to function, healthcare providers will have to be guaranteed profits, and that is going to require huge amounts of social engineering to reduce the cost of health care by forcing people to live healthy, because simply exapading those who pay for coverage isn't going to be enough to cover all the morbidly obese and aging people emerging in this nation. Soon it isn't going to be friendly Michelle Obama encouraging us to ear healthier and exercise, it won't be as bad as in 1984, but it won't be enjoyable either. Yes many people will benefit from this, but many more will suffer from it.

    July 2, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  15. jrzydvl

    You mean the Democratic controlled House and Senate that passed the legislation that Reagan signed ? I thought taking care of the indigent was a noble liberal endeavor. Something we should do. But, those middle class ppl who use emer rooms without insurance...why not make them pay more for the services they use ? Tehn we don;t need 27 gazillion pages of bad law

    July 2, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
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