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. Paul

    While there are those that argue that just like car insurance, health care should be required. Big difference, you can run into me with your car and what car insurance protects me from is also someone else's actions. Second, others argue that health insurance is a right, but no other right is taxed, no other right requires anything near the cost that health insurance. Finally, there is NOTHING in this bill that addresses cost, just that everyone thinks it will be somehow free...really??? Government has NEVER driven the cost of anything down! And why the need for THOUSANDS of extra IRS agents? If you're waiting to see how it will work out it will be too late. And where will all those 'penalty dollars' go? The reason the bill is 2,400 pages long is that that way you can read it to say anything you want it to!

    July 2, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mike

    the 'tax' the supreme court allowed is not going to pay for healthcare in America. That is just a penalty for those not willing to purchase or submit their insurance card to the IRS (yep, starting in 2014 proof of insurance is required). The real cost is coming from taxes on everyone in the form of increased insurance premiums for the young and healthy (thin healthy guy pays same insurance rate and sick lazy fatty), taxes on pharmaceuticals and medical device makers, taxes on home sales, increased Medicare premiums, capital gains on stock sale (think 401K), 50% reduction in the Flexible Spending Account contributions and increased threshold for medical reductions. I am sure there are many more that are yet to be discovered.

    July 2, 2012 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  3. clemdane

    I am totally for this law. I just am very disappointed that it does nothing to loosen big pharma's outrageously out of control pricing. It seems more like the pharmaceutical companies and medical device companies are running our healthcare industry. We let them get away with charging ten times as much as they need to.

    July 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pete

    TO the person who has legal firm, with 62 employees comtemplating firing enough employees to get under 50, why not? You clearly don't value the 62 to give them insurance options now (nor would you ever just wake up in the future and provide this for them)... and you would likely be doing the 13 you need to let go a favor... How are your 62 getting by without insurance now??? or do you care?

    July 2, 2012 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      How about you offer to insure those people? You seem very preoccupied with who should have what health coverage and deciding how it is aquired and paid for. Let's just cut out the middle man.

      July 3, 2012 at 1:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. Pete

    Btw NAFKA, threatening to fire your employees to shut them up to keep you (the owner) from doing the right thing in the first place by providing health insurance is big mistake. If you can't afford to run your business and provide benefits, then how the hell do you think your employees are going to afford to pay for them on their own (because your obviously so cheap, you employees are likely just scraping by)... ANd to the employees, you better get out and vote for Obama because this is your ONLY chance to ever get healthcare in the near future. It's nice the owner can get coverage, but don't expect owner to do anything to help you out in the future...

    July 2, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the1hawke

    the problem with all these commennts is the fact that none of you that support obamacare know all the details of the law and neither do i, but from what i have read this law is a train wreck coming down the line. i agree that we need health care reform but not this bill. let the conservatives take control and watch how they make health care affordable. this country can not afford this law.

    July 3, 2012 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. rick

    Very simple argument. If a person is single with no insurance, they will simply pay the $95 tax and not sign up for insurance. As is their right today, they can simply show up at an emergency room and GET TREATMENT. This health care bill is simply a glorified vote buying scheme by obama

    July 3, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. vetman

    Chief Justice Robert's move to turn his back on his conservative colleagues and join the liberal judges in the "Healthcare Decision" will go down in history as one of the greatest acts of "turncoat politics" since Benedict Arnold.

    July 3, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Lue Blacknell

    It is ironic that some of my friends in Spain, Germany & UK-think that some people in the U.S. are stupid for opposing health care reform. No-it is ignorance-because they are known for voting against their best interests- In order to keep their racist position-against Pres. Obama! Yes-I said it-you will not admit it-but it is the truth & you know it.....

    July 9, 2012 at 7:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. MannyHM

    America should be proud that everyone will have health care coverage. I find it ironic that we send money and goods to other countries as foreign aid yet we as American look away from our own people who are uninsured healthwise.
    Of course, health insurance is very big business here in the U.S. The CEOs have multi-million $ in salary, bonuses, and benefits. A lot of those premium $ are spent on administrative and ad costs.

    July 19, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
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