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Americans Don't Want More Government Control of Health Care

I have an oped in today's Washington Examiner in which I discuss how Americans don't want more government control of health care. Here's a portion:

Heath care is an issue that has garnered a lot of discussion recently; however, much of that discussion has been centered on government playing a larger role. The plans the Democrats are offering have one thing in common: universal health care requiring a lot of government control. But do Americans want a universal health care system?

Back in 1993, Hillary Clinton learned the hard way that the answer was no. When Americans read the details of Hillary's plan, they didn't want any part of it. The backlash to HillaryCare was so strong that it contributed to the Republican's 1994 takeover of the House of Representatives.

After the American people overwhelmingly rejected Hillary's plan, she was forced to retool. The result was the State Children's Health Insurance Plan, or SCHIP, a government run and funded universal health care system for poor kids. Now the plan is up for renewal, and Senator Clinton wants to triple spending, making children in a family of four living at 400 percent of the poverty level, approximately $82,000 a year, eligible. And should she be elected, it's not unreasonable to expect that she would try to expand SCHIP even further.

With Hillary now proposing to massively increase the number of people eligible for SCHIP, the government will be hard pressed to find ways to fund it. Right now, cigarette taxes pay the bulk of the funding, but the high taxes on cigarettes are driving down cigarette sales, which is driving down the funding for SCHIP. Where are our government bureaucrats going now to get funding? A cigar tax:

Eric Newman punches the numbers on his calculator and gapes at the results one more time.

It's no mathematical error: The federal government has proposed raising taxes on premium cigars, the kind Newman's family has been rolling for decades in Ybor City, by as much as 20,000 percent.

As part of an increase in tobacco taxes designed to pay for children's health insurance, the nickel-per-cigar tax that has ruled the industry could rise to as much as $10 per cigar.

"I'm not sure in the history of man, since our forefathers founded the country in 1776, that there's ever been a tax increase of 20,000 percent," said Newman, who runs the Tampa business founded by grandfather Julius Caesar Newman. "They had the Boston Tea Party for less than this."

Granted, cigar sales are nothing compared to cigarette sales, but if this tax goes through, the cigar sales in this country will effectively die, as will the new funding for SCHIP. Where will SCHIP get funding after that happens? A fast food tax? What about a luxury restaurant tax? So goes the funding of a government run health care system: the process of implementing taxes in order to fund SCHIP, especially if Hillary gets her way and expands the program, will be a never ending process because, as government bureaucrats don't seem to understand, when products and activities are taxed, we get less of those products and activities and less funding. Remember, as it's been said in the past, the right to tax is the right to destroy.


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Comments (76)

Leave it to the GOP to poli... (Below threshold)

Leave it to the GOP to politicize on the backs of poor children. Bush's threatened veto is an absolutely abomination.

It's also an absolute abomi... (Below threshold)

It's also an absolute abomination, which is even worse!

Wait a minute, the GOP came... (Below threshold)

Wait a minute, the GOP came up with SCHIP? Oh, sorry it is Hillary pushing it, yet somehow the GOP is "politicizing on the backs of poor children"!!! Talk about an abomination, why don't you go back to wizblue and delete more comments lee.

When the government can no ... (Below threshold)

When the government can no longer tax us to pay for the drugs to treat hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and atherosclerosis, they will beseech us, nay, force us, to Work For Food.

Heh, they'll feed you as yo... (Below threshold)

Heh, they'll feed you as you leave the gym which will also be the local power generator. WiFi will only work there.

From the ABC/Kaiser poll Ki... (Below threshold)

From the ABC/Kaiser poll Kim references (but doesn't link to or quote -- -odd, no?)

Which political party, Republicans or Democrats, do you trust to do a better job of handling health care?

Democrats - 48%
Republicans - 31%
Don't Know - 16%

If Bush vetoes this effort it will just provide more incentive to put a Democrat in the White House,, but Bush doesn't care about Americans, and he doens't care about the GOP anymore either -- he and KIm and only concerned here with protecting the interests of the tobacco merchants of death.

As is so often the case he... (Below threshold)

As is so often the case here- key facts are completely missing from the post. The author can't resist an opportunity to make it appear this is all Hillary's idea when in fact the renewal of the program has bipartisan support (a concept totally foreign to conservatives), including that liberal maniac Oren Hatch.. But the most glaring misstatement is the link to the cigar makers - no biased opinion there of course. The truth is that the proposed tax is .61 on cigarettes and cigars.

Do your own homework whizzers and find the truth. But all you have to do is use your goggle thingie.

So lee gives Kim shit for n... (Below threshold)

So lee gives Kim shit for not linking to a poll she supposedly references, how does he deal with it? Reference the poll he wants and...DON'T link to it. Brilliant. Go back to wizblue where you can continue deleting comments and shutting down opposing thought lee.

Illinois's Governor, Rod "B... (Below threshold)

Illinois's Governor, Rod "Blago" Blagojevich, did something very similar to what Hillary is proposing. The "All Kids" program means that if you don't want to cover your children through yopur employer's health care plan (the one that insures you and your spouse) then you can opt out of paying and enroll your kids in All Kids instead. This goes for upper middle class professionals as well as the usual working class beneficiaries.

When Blago set about publicizing the proposal, his P.R. firm put Chicago newspapers in touch with families who would directly benefit from the program. The Chicago Sun-Times did a profile, complete with a very large front page photo, of a Single Mom who couldn't afford her daughter's $200/month asthma medication cost under her employer's coverage. She claimed the medications' cost were an "extreme financial hardship" for her, and that she often had to "pick and choose" which prescriptions she would fill for her daughter, and which ones she would have to do without. Heart-rending, right?

Only, here's the rub: in the front page picture, taken of Mother and Daughter whilst they sat at the kitchen table, is a brand new, state-of-the-art camcorder. I was listening to Steve Dahl, a Chicago talk radio host (and the original "shock jock"), and he said that he recognized the camcorder as one he had just purchased for more than $1000, and that perhaps Single Mom was having trouble paying for medicine because she was choosing to spend her money on toys she couldn't afford!

Is the point of such programs to cover people who would rather spend money on consumer goods than accept responsibility for their children's health and the inherent costs therein? And is it abusing the system to cover children whose parents are financially irresponsible? I think not.

I believe the quote is "The... (Below threshold)

I believe the quote is "The power to tax is the power to destroy." I'm not sure about the context of the quote, but the question was brought up and settled in the late 40s to early 50s when butter producers got a punitive tax levied agains margarine. The tax was stringent enough to threaten the viability of margarine as a product. The Supreme Court struck down the tax since it's obvious result was to destroy a specific product.

.61 cents on cigarettes or cigars might not seem like that big of a deal, until you add it to the taxes already in place.

I don't think we need to expand SCHIP in any way shape or form. However, if that is going to happen I can think of a great way to finance it. Two ways actually. 1) A small tax, 1 or 2 percent on all earmarks, deducted from the earmark. That way at least the earmarks will in a small way serve everybody. 2) A small tax, again 1 or 2 percent on all electronic money transfers to outside of the U.S.

.61 cents, should read 61 c... (Below threshold)

.61 cents, should read 61 cents. My bad.

Oh, those poor, poor childr... (Below threshold)

Oh, those poor, poor children living in households making nearly $100K. Woe is them "poor children", right Lee? Lee Ward, singlehandedly dumbing down Wizbang with his subject-change-o-matic by FactsHurtMe Corporation! Get yours today and start looking clueless, too!

btw --- Bush is in favor of... (Below threshold)

btw --- Bush is in favor of expanding SCHIP, but wants to fund it with tax credits instead.

All of which makes Kim's blatant defense of the Tobacco industry all the more transparent.

...and Bush's fellow Republ... (Below threshold)

...and Bush's fellow Republicans told him that his plan for tax credits just won't work.

Republican Sens. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) and Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), who helped broker the deal in the Senate Finance Committee, issued a joint statement last week calling Bush's tax code proposals "not realistic" and urging the president not to veto the $35 billion package if it reaches his desk.

This expansion of SCHIP is a bipartisan effort - looks like KIm conveniently left that fact out of her article - what a surprise -- this is just another Clinton smear.

Why can't the right wing blogosphere tell the truth for once - this is ridiculous....

Lee Ward, are you really so... (Below threshold)

Lee Ward, are you really so ignorant of economics not to understand that a $10 premium cigar tax is not going to raise the claimed amounts because of the fact that it will reduce sales?

Of course you are. Democrats always are.

Lee of course forgets also that Hillary's original health care plan during her husband's administration was going to take the Pittman-Robertson excise taxes for funding - funding healthcare "on the backs of" wildlife programs.

lee--"Why can't the right w... (Below threshold)

lee--"Why can't the right wing blogosphere tell the truth for once - this is ridiculous...."

HAH!!! Why can't you tell the truth lee is the REAL question here, you give Kim shit for not linking to stuff then you cherry pick articles and cut and paste with no link. How about this part that you left out from your last quote lee?!

"Grassley and Hatch, who said they oppose expanding the program as much as Democrats would like, gave examples of proposals they have quashed in committee negotiations. The deal would not allow SCHIP to be expanded to cover more adults, they said, although they did not say what would happen to the more than 600,000 adults already covered by the program. It also would not allow SCHIP to cover legal immigrants, a standard provision in every SCHIP reauthorization bill Democrats have introduced (HR 1535, HR 2147, S 895, S 1224, S 1364).

"Our goal is to refocus the program on low-income children," Hatch and Grassley said. "What the administration needs to understand is that if a bipartisan plan isn't achieved, then the Democratic-controlled Congress will, at the very least, extend the current program with all the terrible policy provisions that have evolved, such as waivers for childless adults and coverage for higher-income kids."

Kims point stands, the dems are trying to use this program to push for further governmental control of health care, and the Reps are resisting that. Talk about not telling the truth lee, sheeesh. Go back to comment deleting its all you're good at.

SCHIP basically says SMFYOY... (Below threshold)

SCHIP basically says SMFYOYO once you're 18. Meaning meaning it lures folks into expecting support for Medical as kids , then make them earn it later. Or take responsibility from parents for making sure their kids can be taken care of... ...and placing it upon those responsible enough to earn a living and pay taxes.


Most smokers are poor and m... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Most smokers are poor and most poor people smoke. Good or bad it's their choice.

Leave it to the Democrats to find more ways to raise taxes on the poorest in our society. One of the first things the Democrat governor of my state did upon being elected was raise the cigarette tax $1 per pack. For a needy family with 2 smoking adults that's about an additional $700-1000 dollars per year in taxes. (10% to 25% of their annual income.) Leave it to the Democrats to take food out of the mouths of needy children and food off their backs.

Sure the Democrats claim to care and want to provide free health care, but with regard to health care all the Democrats really care about is making sure the lawyers can continue to get richer and richer by sueing all of us.

When will the poor realize that by voting for Democrats they're just screwing themselves?

Illinois' Governor 'Blowdry... (Below threshold)

Illinois' Governor 'Blowdryovich' is still pushing for his plan which is going to cost 'only' $60 billion initially...which is a low-ball figure since he plans to cover all residents, legal or illegal.

How is he going to pay for it? Well, he came up with a nifty new 'gross receipts tax'. Yep that's right..Now it doesn't matter whether a company makes a profit or not, you pay your 'fair share'. It doesn't matter if you are a business just barely hanging on because of cheaper competition from China or even from Wisconsin...you take in money, you pay the state.

Despite massive opposition, he has decided that he wants it all and he has kept the State Legislature in 'special session' until he gets his way.

When did I say the program ... (Below threshold)

When did I say the program didn't already exist lee? Never, not once. I said, ""...the dems are trying to use this program to push for FURTHER governmental control of health care" meaning exactly what it says, they want to take an EXISTING program, and use it to FURTHER government control over healthcare. Reading comprehension FTW lee. See the part where I said, "to push for further governmental control of health care", that means that the program is in existance, and is being used to FURTHER an agenda, good God man. Apparently you didn't read the rest of the article you quote from, you know, the part that said:

"Grassley and Hatch, who said they oppose EXPANDING the program as much as Democrats would like"

Talk about a clown. I'm glad you're finally being honest about what wizblue is all about, "You're just another loud-mouthed uniformed putz, D-hoggs - which is precisely why we banned your sorry ass over at Wizbang Blue.", an echo chamber where dissenting thought is deleted.

As usual, lefties show thei... (Below threshold)

As usual, lefties show their remarkable skill at raising taxes to pay for horribly inefficient and ineffective programs, as if continuing to throw money at the black hole will somehow plug it.

And the lefties here show their continuing and unwavering support for anything that gives the government greater control over its populace and anything that might tax anyone except themselves all the more.

You know, I am really developing the mindset that all lefties are closet sado-masochists...

Oh, and about the actual value of the tax, here is the information:

Cigarettes, which accounted for more than 95 percent of tobacco tax collections last year, are the main focus of the bill. Federal taxes on a pack would jump from 39 cents to $1.

But the legislation has dragged cigars along for the ride. The industry operates under a 4.8 cents-per-cigar tax cap.

Under the proposed bill, taxes on "large cigars," a category that includes all but the tiny cigars sold in 20 packs like cigarettes, would rise to 53 percent.

A U.S. Senate version of the bill under consideration today in the Finance Committee sets the maximum tax per cigar at $10.

So we are talking, what, an increase of over 150% for the cigarettes, and a 53% tax on cigars (which, considering some of the more expensive ones, could easily reach or attempt to breach that $10 cap).

Now, I am not a smoker, and I would absolutely love that all forms of tobacco be taxed out the wazoo - so long as the tax was used to pay for the eventual healthcare of the smokers. Seems only fair. However, as usual, the government is stealing from Paul to pay Peter, while no doubt taking a sizeable cut for itself, and any other side-program it can find on the way (anyone seeing shades of our "Social Security" program here?)... and bugger all else.

Defense of the tobacco industry has absolutely nothing to do with most people's qualms about this manner of taxation - nice attempt at a straw man, though. Instead, this is just another idiotic example of how convolutedly stupid our taxation system is. That said, taxation stymies economies - it does not encourage them. And a taxation of this scale is more than likely going to kill the cigar industry cold... and when the government realizes it is no longer making revenue off that tax (no wonder, since no one will pay it), it will just find something else to tax (while leaving the cigar tax, I feel sure).

"First, they came for..."

lee, are you seriously this... (Below threshold)

lee, are you seriously this dense? Did you not read:

"they oppose expanding the program as much as Democrats would like, gave examples of proposals they have quashed in committee negotiations. The deal would not allow SCHIP to be expanded to cover more adults, they said, although they did not say what would happen to the more than 600,000 adults already covered by the program. It also would not allow SCHIP to cover legal immigrants, a standard provision in every SCHIP reauthorization bill Democrats have introduced (HR 1535, HR 2147, S 895, S 1224, S 1364)."

The expansion the democrats want is not simply extending benefit for more children as you so dishonestly purport. Once again:

"SCHIP to cover legal immigrants, a standard provision in every SCHIP reauthorization bill Democrats have introduced (HR 1535, HR 2147, S 895, S 1224, S 1364)."

Why are you so intellectually dishonest? And why are you wizbluers so afraid of dissenting thought on your site?

Wow, Lee. Besides the fact ... (Below threshold)

Wow, Lee. Besides the fact that the poll typically oversampled democrats again, look at questions 12-14. Another case, like the economy, where people think what they have is great but other people are doing horrible because the MSM said they were.

Once again lee, reading com... (Below threshold)

Once again lee, reading comprehension FTW!!

Kim clearly states, "According to a recent ABC/Kaiser Family Foundation/USA Today poll, the American people like the idea of universal coverage in theory." Ummm, so where's the lie? She states exactly what the poll does lee. She continues, "However, when they learn about the realities of universal health care, such as limited choice of doctors, limited access and waiting lists for many procedures, they balk at the idea very quickly just as they did in 1993. And that's no surprise, since most Americans are happy with their insurance plans. Right now, 88 percent of insured Americans are satisfied with their coverage, and 89 percent are satisfied with the quality of care they receive."

Further, correct me if I am wrong, but in a newspaper article, do authors usually "link" a story lee, or do they just reference it exactly as Kim did? "According to a recent ABC/Kaiser Family Foundation/USA Today poll"

Here in Michigan, our ultra... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Here in Michigan, our ultra-liberal Gov. Granholm raised the tax on smokes 400%. The cost of a carton is about $ 50.00, and about $25.00 in nearby Indiana.

The Gov sued the Post Office, UPS and US based Internet companies to get names of the retired and unemployed wbo bought smokes online - they are now getting bills for thousands.

The Gov brags about revenues up and smoking down.

This may, or may not, be the case.

What we do know is that Hezbollah has been running 18-wheelers up from the Carolinas; the profits to help kill our soldiers.

Upon entry into Indiana from Michigan whole "Smoke Barn" cities have sprung up, stacked floor to ceiling for Michigan buyers.

It would seem that the program is doing wonders for Indiana tax collection, and oh yeah, Hezbollah.

So smoking is not down as far as she thinks, and revenue is not up as much as she planned. Soon we will start jailing people without tax stamps.

good article on Mitt hushin... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

good article on Mitt hushing the health care http://www.miamiherald.com/509/story/171103.html plan he signed as gov...

Just as you throw out your ... (Below threshold)

Just as you throw out your quotes with no links lee, riiiiiight. Go back to your comment deleting hypocrite.

Hey wee wee I see someone e... (Below threshold)

Hey wee wee I see someone else (D-Hoggs) knows you also. Can't you get it thru your block head that we are trying to help make the blue tinted page look like it is alive? Just think if you had not ban D'H" you would have been up to 4 on the commenters count! Why is it that Kim kicks your sorry ass on everthing that you oppose her on? (PrepH helps to remove the foot less painful)

Will they never learn?... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Will they never learn?

You put a big tax on cigars and the only one who will be happy is Castro.

jhow66, right on man! I jus... (Below threshold)

jhow66, right on man! I just find it SO humorous how much integrity Wizbang has as opposed to the blue site. Kevin and Jay agonize over even deleting a comment let alone handing out a banning, even amongst the hateful garbage that lee and his ilk have been spewing here for years. And then you have lee and wizblue, deleting comments at the drop of a hat and handing out bannings at will. Truly pathetic!

as for your opinion of what... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

as for your opinion of what Americans want
(oops forgot CBS/Post biased) so about this other poll of just Republicans....

...I could go on forever as there have been a ton of polls in the past year on health care...
gotta go
Off to do my moonbat task of volunteer work at a Baptist food bank

Lee Ward, Americans do no... (Below threshold)

Lee Ward, Americans do not want anything from from you or your criminal communist democrats. All democrat politicians have polls up their ass. Not just for the feel good effect but because they think it gives them permission to lie their stupid asses off. Lee-tard doesn't need an excuse , he's a natural born snake tongue liar.

Slither back to your Traitorous masters whose continued treason is killing our troops. That sound in the distance , are the gallows being built just for you and your shit for brains leaders.

Originally I had no problem... (Below threshold)

Originally I had no problem with additional tax on cigarettes or cigars, even as a smoker myself. After reading Linoge's post however, I'm reconsidering my position. Hadn't really thought of it in the way he put it.

lee complaining about const... (Below threshold)

lee complaining about constant trolling, now THATS classic! Hypocrite of the first order. And a massive pussy on top of it, can't handle any dissent at all, what a little bitch.

"what a little bitch"... (Below threshold)

"what a little bitch"


Question. Where i... (Below threshold)


Where in the Constitution does it require, or allow the Federal Government to provide healthcare of any kind, to anyone, regardless of the cost?

I have no idea why any of m... (Below threshold)

I have no idea why any of my conservative brothers and sisters actually try to reason with Lee The Liar Tsar. First, he ALWAYS slams anything the women on the site post. Kim, Lorie. Secondly, he sets out with calling the posts a lie (thus his name). Then he creates a straw man that some on this site fall for and follow. To me, Lee the Liar Tsar is a punchline. A verb. An example: "You are such a Lee Ward." I propose, again, just ignore the juvenile rantings and stay on topic. It will save you much frustration. ww

Lee is an idiot. What's pu... (Below threshold)

Lee is an idiot. What's puzzling is why he wants to advertise it so much.

I watched a show the other day on the WE (women's network?) about different women with shopping addictions. They spent thousands on clothes they would never even wear. One of the women had gone through her inheritance, and yet in the middle of the segment had the audacity to complain that she didn't have health insurance for her 2 daughters because it was "too expensive." (bwhahahahahahah)

The country is full of these kinds of people, and most americans know it. That's why Sicko ain't doing so well. People aren't being conned as easily as they use to by these liberal liars.

"First, he ALWAYS slams any... (Below threshold)

"First, he ALWAYS slams anything the women on the site post. Kim, Lorie."

That is so true, somebody has mommy issues.

So let me get this straight... (Below threshold)

So let me get this straight on Health care. We Americans want:

1) No government control.
2) No corporate control.
3) In fact, no control at all other than our own desires. All the health care we want. Or think we want. Or think maybe we possibly want.
4) For free.
5) Someone to sue and get tons of cash if something ever goes wrong.

Maybe the problem here isn't doctors or the HMOs or the government. Maybe it's us.


"...on the backs of poor ch... (Below threshold)

"...on the backs of poor children."

If ever there was a phrase which says "I have an utter lack of fact to back up my views, so I'll appeal to pure emotion with no thought whatsoever." this is it.

What, exactly, in this article, is being put on the backs of poor children?

Are they expected to work long hours at no wages to help keep the costs of cigars down? Will they be unable to afford their cigars?

Note that nothing in the article discusses reducing this give-away, just the consequences of expanding it given the proposed tax structure. Nada, zip zilch, zero, making Lee's comment essentially pointless.

Now, one could easily do more intelligent parsing of the article itself: the whole rant about a 20,000 percent tax hike is silly, because every time the government taxes a previously untaxed good, the percentage tax hike is effectively infinite- more than enough precendent for a mere few thousand percent here and there! But no, he has to invent total inanity.

Please, for the sake of the children, if you are going to be a Liberal, at least be a thinking Liberal, and stop writing posts on the backs of poor children.


A friggin lib idiot troll ... (Below threshold)

A friggin lib idiot troll here that complains about trolls?

You little pussies are lucky there is an anonymous Internet to hide behind, because I suspect you were never able to voice your opinion elsewhere in your pathetic lives, because either no one was around to listen to your weak BS, or, someone would smack you down once they saw what an offensive, abusive, ignorant pussified punk you are.

I think allowing this POS to troll here, while allowing him to ban trolls over at wizbangkos is not the smartest thing I have ever seen.

Lee. It's a poll, not fact... (Below threshold)

Lee. It's a poll, not fact. One thousand people gave their opinion, don't treat it like its the lost 11th commandment.

Come on Gianni. It's fun to... (Below threshold)

Come on Gianni. It's fun to watch him dance around while continually shooting himself in the foot.

We dont want any goverment ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

We dont want any goverment control of anything but they still do it anyway

Interesting from that point... (Below threshold)

Interesting from that point of view, is it not, Heralder? I mean, taxation, in general, is not normally a slippery slope - it tends to be useful for a government. But taxation to the point of extinction? Then they just find something else to tax. Hence the beginning of the quote at the end (points to who ever names the original author).

Of course, that said, taxation for the purpose of supporting yet another poorly managed, poorly controlled, and poorly maintained program? By taxing something completely unrelated to that program? When the point of that program boils down to a socialist's wet dream of "redistributing wealth"?

... Give me a break.

I say take the tax on smoke... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

I say take the tax on smoke so high that only the stupid would smoke. Then exclude anyone whose smoking can be linked to their lung cancer from receiving universal health care. Same goes for those who eat and get fat at the expense of the populous who pays for their resulting diabetes.
Let's also make sure that those who are heavy drinkers are removed from receiving any health care becuase their complicating liver diseases and driving while drunk are only a burden and menace to the system.

At which point you have pretty much eliminated most of the redneck crowd as well as the rich and famous crowd. You've eliminated the poor bas**** who smoke because of stress or just those pompous butts who puff cigars like they are someone special. Same with those who drink constantly.

This way we cut down on the need to provide health care to those who make poor choices and burden society leaving those of us who take great care of our health, pay attention to nutrition, exercise daily and live clean to reproduce and rid ourselves of the genes of those with filthy disgusting unhealthy habits. Why should my premiums pay for your unhealthy choices?

How many of you would fall into the category of the excluded?

"I think allowing this POS ... (Below threshold)

"I think allowing this POS to troll here, while allowing him to ban trolls over at wizbangkos is not the smartest thing I have ever seen."

This could not be more true. I guess at the very least it brings (even more) tranparency to lee's blatant hypocrisy.

Where in the Constitutio... (Below threshold)

Where in the Constitution does it require, or allow the Federal Government to provide healthcare of any kind, to anyone, regardless of the cost?

The constitution requires no such thing.

Allow? This is unnecessary. The constitution does not forbid such a thing, and it does not need to "allow" it. In case you didn't know, the Federal Government already provides healthcare to a great number of people.
41 million receive Medicare, about 9 million are covered under Tricare, and about 50 million are covered by Medicaid. So around 100 million people already get healthcare from the Federal Government, and that doesn't even take into account FEHB (which is very similar to other employee healthcare plans, but the employer is the Federal Government). It's "allowed."

Wow civil, what a (not so) ... (Below threshold)

Wow civil, what a (not so) stunningly ignorant comment. Let's make sure to leave you off the list too for any eye care you may need since you make the unhealthy decision to stare at a computer screen all day.

Only lefties would support ... (Below threshold)

Only lefties would support government run healthcare. Look at the post office, fema, dhs, the list goes on. If you like long lines, long waits and uncaring government workers sign up for government run universal healthcare. NO thanks. ww

civil behavior,Ich... (Below threshold)

civil behavior,

Ich stimme zu! Aber warum Anschlag dort? Gesetzt ihnen allen auf einen Zug zu den Lagern.

Universal Health Care = Oxy... (Below threshold)
USMC Pilot:

Universal Health Care = Oxymoron

You can bet when Hillary gets it passed, she and her friends will get a different deal. Something like Social Security for us, and a real retirement program for government workers.

Civil Behavior - That was the dumbest bunch of shit I have ever read. You cost me my heath care with the "redneck" part. It comes from playing golf every day with my rich buddies, while living off of our capital gains (taxed at only 15%). Don't you just love President Bush? I sure do!

BTW - Medicare covers all of my health cost.

Back from my volunteer work... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Back from my volunteer work...busy post..a good thing..it seems there are a couple of things going.
1. Lorie's claim that most Americans don't want the Federal Govt managing our health care.
A. The way I see it there are only two ways for any side to make this claim. They can use scientific polls (yes Virgina there is a science to polls and they matter. That is why most candidates and advertisers use them)or... see how America Votes.
Polls of every stripe and color refute Lorie's claim so let's discount them. Does anyone here really believe Democratic Party positions on expanding health care and reducing costs on medication was not a significant factor in the 2006 election that saw dramatic Dem gains. Does anyone really believe that that it won't be a bigger factor in 2008.(Dems know this)..

2) The second contention is that the Govt is incapable. I would agree that under Bush/Cheney and Republicans Katrina was and remains a mess.
I would agree they are incapable of directing the most advanced/well trained military. So I will concede that point...

Reasonable access to health care is a right in most industrial nations. Here it is a privilege(and a costly one) extended by giant HMO's and Pharma....and of course they put your health concerns over their profits.

We will see in 2008 what the majority of Americans think about health care and who we support...and I betcha there will be a poll or two along the way.

Mantis, actually there i... (Below threshold)

Mantis, actually there is a requirement that the Constitution "allow" the actions of the Federal government. This is black letter law since Marbury v. Madison.

Aahh! Nogo tries to come on... (Below threshold)

Aahh! Nogo tries to come on like he is reasoned, but then the Bush slam. Nogo must not be aware that every citizen in this country and a lot of illegals have access to medical treatment. As a matter of fact, my insurance rates go up because hospitals treatment expenses go up because of people excercising their free "right" to health treatment. 80% of the people visiting emergency rooms for non emergency treatment. Wow! And then they just walk out the door. If you noticed, more and more treatment centers are opening up because it is mostly out patient surgery or elective surgery. No emergency rooms. If you cleared up the illegal aliens problems, you would probably reduce the hospitals cost for non payment by a huge margin. If their are 45 million people without insurance coverage and 20 million of those are illegals, then in reality only 20 million americans do not have health coverage. So, again, do you want a burdensom, slothful, wasteful, unmotivated federal government overseeing our healthcare needs? Or would you like the free market and competive bargaining for our business to handle it? I choose the second. ww

WildWillie, Nogo's misrepre... (Below threshold)

WildWillie, Nogo's misrepresentation is no accident. Deliberately confusing the question of health care insurance, health care funding and actual access to health care is an intentional rhetorical trick. Its intentionally dishonest.

Robin, I know. This it not ... (Below threshold)

Robin, I know. This it not the first time he danced to this tune by the DNC. Pathetic really. ww

Mantis, actually there i... (Below threshold)

Mantis, actually there is a requirement that the Constitution "allow" the actions of the Federal government. This is black letter law since Marbury v. Madison.

I didn't say that the Constitution doesn't define and limit the powers of the federal government (in this case the legislature). What I'm saying is that they are not limited from providing health care by the Constitution, and doing so would certainly be allowed, or don't you think such a thing would easily fall under providing for "the general welfare of the United States" (Art. 1 Sec. 8)?

Actually, mantis, you did i... (Below threshold)

Actually, mantis, you did imply that the Constitution did not limit the powers of the federal government: 'The constitution does not forbid such a thing, and it does not need to "allow" it.'

As to the Constitutionality, that would depend upon the specific form of the plan. Something like some of the Canadian provincial plans that forbid medical services outside of the government's monopoly may be unconstitutional.

Hey wee wee I support what ... (Below threshold)

Hey wee wee I support what Kim says. And I don't need a "linkie" to prove it. You can tell it is true by you chiming in on everything she posts. Just can't understand why you like to get your wimpy ass kicked by a women everytime you open your mouth. But then you do keep the PrepH company in business. snicker snort

Robin,You're right... (Below threshold)


You're right. I worded that poorly, and I can see the implication as written. What I meant was the Constitution need not explicitly allow "healthcare" for it to be constitutional.

I would agree with you regarding restricting extra-governmental services, though it hasn't stopped them in the past.

Tobacco taxes actually achi... (Below threshold)

Tobacco taxes actually achieve some important goals. These taxes help to pay for just a fraction of the enormous costs to society that tobacco costs while tobacco company executives grow wealthy. Up to 40% of all hospital beds are occupied by persons who created their own health problems with tobacco or for others with secondhand smoke, or by alcohol abusers.

Last week when by father was taken by an ambulance to the emergency, I drove to the hospital and noticed a confrontation by someone who was fighting with the security guards to smoke in the ER. This is pathetic. And a drunk was stumbling down to the ER and smoking all the way with some sort of medical emergency. And other losers would illegally smoke in the entrance doorway of the ER. Since this is a Catholic owned hospital, many of these losers are never charged a dime, but other patients pay for their bills by higher costs.

Many if not most smokers are simply pathetic drug addicts who lack any self control whatsoever. What other reason would there be for an addict to get their nicotine fix in a public place and not wait to they get home to engage in their drug addict behavior. If that isn't a cry for psychiatric help, then I don't know what is.

Smokers cause needless injury to themselves and others by asthma, SIDS, otis media(inner ear infections), cancer and other serious illness. Tobacco smoke involves the illegal discharge of heavy metals such as lead, nickel, cadmium, and 4,000 other substances, most of are banned by industry by the EPA and federal law. There is no sense to anyone who is able to read or write to be unaware of the injury that smoking causes to themselves or others nowadays. It is the only dirty drug addiction that injures and kills both the users and nonusers alike.

Tobacco taxes are an important way to limit this serious drug menace and encourage smokers to stop this selfish and sick drug addiction behavior that harms both themselves and others and drives up American health costs by billions each year. Government really needs the courage to ban the sale of any tobacco product that produces smoke or fumes that can impact the health of nonusers, and tough emissions testing that removes all substances banned by the EPA from cigarettes. Until that point is reached, higher tobacco taxes at least achieve some small good for society.

Second point. Many conservatives don't want the government more involved in controlling health care costs. How would you then help to control costs or pay for the huge costs involved? What's your plan? All persons regardless of their political party become sick and will most likely face massive health care costs at some point in their life. What's a good nonpartisan plan to resolving this serious human problem?

Still waiting to h... (Below threshold)
civil behavior:

Still waiting to hear how many of you would be left out of any health care if we accepted only those who didn't smoke, drink and are overweight.

I repeat, rednecks and the rich and famous would not be accepted because of the drink (including you and your golf buddies USMC). Smoking exclusions will hit all classes many who also drink. Overeating would likely hit the poor heacy but alsoinflict damage on the paunchy rich. Middle class might fare the best on the fat score.

So how many of you would be left if we weren't paying to fix you due to your nasty disgusting unhealthy habits huh?

Hooson, cigarette taxes ac... (Below threshold)

Hooson, cigarette taxes actually exceed the net costs of health care for smokers.

Why does there need to be some government "plan" for health care costs? What will the Democrats do to plan for my enormous food costs? Enormous gasoline costs? My enormous housing costs? My enormous clothing costs? My enormous cable TV costs?

Answer is that there does not have to be such, you are just trying to convince people that they don't have to be responsible for their own personal eoconomics.

You bet I have access...las... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

You bet I have access...last December I woke up late at night unable to breathe..my wife called 911...as a Substitute teacher I have no medical benefits...for 18 years my wife has been in a kinder classroom...not eligible for benefits...
When the Denver Fire Dpt showed up and an ambulance...we were informed there is no ambulance access to the Denver V.A which was my wife's first request as I am a service connected Vet.... ....I went to the Denver County Hospital...it turned out I had an inflamed uvula.i spent 3 days in ICU... We are paying off $15,000 in costs $275 a month...
I truly am glad you have full medical coverage. I am glad all those in your family have full coverage. I an truly glad that your payments for health care are not a factor in economic decisions......
I am not whining ....we are paying the bill...
...however I would never pretend that this is only happening to me...It is possible that a life issue will...just maybe...effect/affect you or a member of your family more than you even have a clue...

Nogo, you too are confusing... (Below threshold)

Nogo, you too are confusing access with funding. Your example is a good one, you have had access to health care.

mantis,In addition... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


In addition to the programs you listed, the VA is also a major suppler of healthcare. A fundamental difference, however, is that the VA is allowed to shop for the best prices and often pays less than a tenth as much for drugs and equipment as Medicare. That's because Medicare is prohibited both by law and by it's structure (reimburser of private providers) from doing the same.

One means of providing healthcare coverage for most people without punitive taxes would be to use the VA model. The Federal government would build and operate health care facilities which people without insurance could use. It's not as convenient as private health insurance, but if that type of system is good enough for our veterans it's good enough for everyone else.

Traditional private health insurance, which most Americans who have it are satisfied with, would still be available.

Subsidized private health insurance would be made available to people with legitimate reasons they can't use a Federal facility, such as there are none available. Just as the VA does now, emergency services would be reimbursed by the Federal system.

There are lots of lessons we can learn from the VA, both things they do right and things they do wrong. The point is, we can benefit from that experience while using this cost efficient model to provide healthcare to those who don't have it, and do it at a cost the nation can absorb.

Whose fault is it that you ... (Below threshold)

Whose fault is it that you CHOSE not to pay for your own health insurance, and whose responsibility is it that you are a sub teacher unable to bleed the local taxpayers for the platinum level benefits like they do here in SE PA. Whose responsibility is it that your wife chose to spend 18 yrs leading the DCC, oops, I mean the much wiser 5 yr olds in kinder class.

Whose responsibility is it that YOU CHOSE not to take care of your own damned self?

Just think, if you didnt have the Internet, you might save $50 or so monthly that could help you provide for yourself, or, you could go out and get a pt time job instead of spending time amusing us here, or, you could invest that same time and get a job as a real teacher, that is, if you are qualified enough, and anyone would have you.

Life is about choices, and yours have led you to shun the responsibility of providing for yourself.

You come here and and attempt to condescend, yet, it seems to me you are more of the 'ask what your country can do for you type'.

Like with most of your ilk, you have made a choice to be who are what you are, and you expect Uncle Sam to bail you out of the predicament that has become your ife.

"...as government bureau... (Below threshold)
rrita m:

"...as government bureaucrats don't seem to understand, when products and activities are taxed, we get less of those products and activities and less funding."

Yes, that still appears to be Hillary's agenda:

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you," Sen. Clinton said. "We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

civil behavior,<block... (Below threshold)

civil behavior,

Still waiting to hear how many of you would be left out of any health care if we accepted only those who didn't smoke, drink and are overweight.

I can quit smoking, but you'll always be an asshole.

Go read my last comment.

Hey Heralder,The p... (Below threshold)
civil bahavior:

Hey Heralder,

The push is on to have English be the langage spoken in the US. DId you miss that?

Sure you can quit smoking. Until then you get no health care coverage.

Jsut like your man Vitter. Values for the rest of us as long as you can do whatever you want. The hypocrisy is deafening anymore from your side of the pasture.

I just love it when the best you guys can come back with is calling ME the "asshole". I just love it. "Bring it on" baby, "Bring it on".

But Civil you are a asshole... (Below threshold)

But Civil you are a asshole...you prove it everyday. Example...what does Vitter have to do with health care?

civil behavior,"I ... (Below threshold)

civil behavior,

"I agree! But why stop there? Get them on the trains to the camps!" - That was what it said.

Sure you can quit smoking. Until then you get no health care coverage.

I pay for my healthcare coverage, don't you? Fortunately, being that I'm in excellent shape I never really use it.

If you want a serious answer, ask a serious question. Your silly little utopian dream of an exlusive super-race doesn't count.

"After the American people ... (Below threshold)

"After the American people overwhelmingly rejected Hillary's plan"

That's funny, I was around in those days and I don't remember a single vote on that plan. This wouldn't be one of those cases where public opinion polls are legitimate only when they support your point, would it?

I love this point by P Bunyan: "For a needy family with 2 smoking adults that's about an additional $700-1000 dollars per year in taxes. (10% to 25% of their annual income.) Leave it to the Democrats to take food out of the mouths of needy children and food off their backs."

First of all, P, the poor aren't that different from you and me. They actually don't wear their food on their backs. Second, nice to see you advocating for the prinicple that people need to take responsibility for their own actions. Are you really suggesting that, if parents elect not to feed or clothe their children so they'll have more money for smokes, it's the government's fault?

ChrisO, it is the "governme... (Below threshold)

ChrisO, it is the "government's" fault when it uses regressive tax schemes.






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