Romney's Endorsements, SCOTUS Fallout, and Other Politics

Monday, April 02, 2012

Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington correspondent, and Juana Summers, national political reporter for POLITICO discuss the news of the week -- from tomorrow's primaries to the effect of the Supreme Court arguments on the 2012 race.


Juana Summers

Comments [20]

amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

A few questions for our anti-ACA crowd:

1) Should the U.S. allow - as is law - that people without health insurance receive it if they appear at an ER? (The "free-rider" dilemma happens constantly every day and costs the American health system and taxpayers tens of billions per year.)

2) If the answer to 1) is yes, than how should it be paid for? (Status quo or something else?)

3) Since the current Republican leaders have recently stated their intention "repeal but NOT replace" the ACA and control costs without adding coverage through a piece meal approach, does that mean those in opposition to the ACA support the current, unsustainable system? (FYI: Paul Ryan's proposed voucher system is a non-starter since it mandates public funds to private insurance purchases, just like the ACA mandate.)

4) Finally, since health care insurance has ALWAYS been a tightly regulated market due the fact that insurers would admittedly drop any costly cases (elderly, those with preexisting conditions, those with expensive treatments, etc.), do they think that the government must get out of the health insurance market entirely?

@ Gary - Tit for Tat on Epstein's "creating commerce" assertion. (Balderdash.)

_Fmr. Reagan official: Health care ‘broccoli mandates’ argument is ‘totally bogus'_

Here's a good summary of one of the foremost conservative legal experts and former Reagan solicitor general, Charles Fried, on why the ACA is constitutional:

Apr. 02 2012 02:26 PM
Robert from Brooklyn

Oh, I was looking for the comments section. This appears to be the Gary from Queens forum.

Apr. 02 2012 02:08 PM
Gary from queens

No one on this comment page even came close to rebutting my first post.

Every argument posted here are POLICY arguments. Not Constitutional arguments.

Apr. 02 2012 11:09 AM
Gary from queens

Joe: Some big government Republicans favored personal mandates. they are also responsible for the national debt, along with democrats. But following Bush's big government "solutions", and Obama's super big government, failed keynesian economic "solutions", the Tea Party was formed and said, "enough of this crap." Bit government directed policies means less freedom for citizens.

Amy: Santorum proposed personal health savings accounts 25 years ago. that would bring down prices and increase choice. OUR choice. WE should ration our healthcare dollars, and not bureaucrats in DC or insurance companies.

Apr. 02 2012 10:57 AM
gary from queens


The reason MDs offer unnecessary tests etc. is because (1) we dont have a consumer driven market, and (2) malpractice lawsuits are a boon to trial lawyers.

People who have personal healthcare accounts ration their own care and direct the money they have to those therapies and tests that THEY wish to have. Their only problem is people like you, who don't use price competition to keep prices down. Would you travel an extra 20 minutes to a cheaper MD? No, because YOU don't pay for it. Your employer selected your plan and the insurance company selects you MDs and how much to pay them. The consumer is out of the picture. And THAT is why people with personal healthcare accounts are forced to pay more.


Social Security is a pyramid scheme. It is paid out of general revenue. The money people pay into it all their life is fully paid out after a couple of years following retirement. And we dont have to let people "die in the streets". We have high risk pools in auto insurance. the same can be done with healthcare----and it would be constitutional.

Bringing “benefits to all” will also have a familiar ring to parents who are trying to avoid vaccination. But as with the free-rider myth, as it is used in support of vaccine mandates, most Americans are unfamiliar with the reasons why it’s a myth with respect to healthcare. An article that thoroughly explodes Obama’s free-rider myth is Myths of the “Free Rider” Health Care Problem, by Avik Roy, 2 Feb 2011, at

Apr. 02 2012 10:49 AM
Eileen from Brooklyn

I believe the question was "what 2 topics would you like to see your party address"?
I'm registered Green Party but in presidential elections I vote as a democrat.
My 2 topics would be the environment and education.

Everyone talks about the Health Care and the Economy as the number one issue, but you can't even have an economy unless you have a healthy environment to live and work in.
The health of the environment links to every other issue: jobs, public health, and most importantly, our ability to maintain as a human race.
Today you'll be having a talk on the rise of autism in NJ?...There are 124 different chemical companies up and running in the NJ metro area. and many of them are in violation of environmental standards. Even when they are NOT in violation, they are still operating there, handling toxins, manufacturing toxic products, and selling us same. Does that link to autism? Good question. The environment is important!
And talk about greenhouse gases and the oil industry. We had no winter at all this year. Tornados all over the Midwest in January. Is it due to the CO-2 we've emitted into the air since the beginning of our love affair with using fossil fuels? Probably.

And education is important too: Once again the economy and health care are everyone's favorite issues, but you can't have a wise health care system and you can't have a wise economy, without an educated populice.

Apr. 02 2012 10:46 AM
Reba Shimansky from Manahattan

The major issue for the 2012 campaign should be the GOP goal to destroy medicare and replace it with a puny voucher program. Republicans like to use euphemisms to cover up their real agenda. Vouchers are not medicare.
Medicare is a single payor federally operated insurance program where you are automatically enrolled if you are eligible for SSA. Vouchers would cost 6000 dollars a year more in out of pocket expenses and seniors would have to shop around for an insurance policy.

Apr. 02 2012 10:45 AM
Maureen from New York City

I would like to know if the people of Massachusetts are happy with the changes in their healthcare coverage, which I hear is similar to what Obama wants to implement. Are there statistics?

Apr. 02 2012 10:43 AM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

I can think of no better demonstration than how cockeyed politics in our nation has become than the current debate over healthcare insurance coverage. A plan that the GOP themselves would have been happy to pass 20 years ago is now challenged as an assault on constitutional liberty...If they *really* believed that why wasn't it offered as a challenge at that time. I don't think this is going to change until election campaigns are publicly financed.

America's healthcare bill on average runs 50% higher than every other developed nation yet 15% of the citizenry has no insurance. A long-term funding solution where EVERYONE pays something for the coverage that we will ALL be using is not unreasonable.

I personally would rather see an increase in FICA taxes and income tax surcharges to expend MediCare to all citizens for certain BASIC healthcare needs. Universal minimum requirements to maintain basic health. Private insurance would be available for citizens that want additional coverage above the established minimums. What I don't want to see is some citizens getting above average coverage from the gov't outlets while others are left uncovered.

Apr. 02 2012 10:32 AM

you should talk about how the delegates get assigned, because the numbers reported by MSM are not correct...delegates are not tied to the vote totals in some states.

Apr. 02 2012 10:27 AM
Randi from NYC

Actually young people do use health care - and it can be expensive. Look at the athletic injuries - sprained ankles, bruised and broken ribs, ACL tears, broken legs. Also young people do come down with illnesses that may need extra care.

Apr. 02 2012 10:25 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What I'd like to see the Republican candidates asked is what they'd replace the PPACA with. Or do they think the health care system in the US was OK as it was before any provisions of the act went into effect? Do they think the federal gov't. shouldn't do anything at all & leave it to the states, or what role do they think it should have?

Apr. 02 2012 10:25 AM


Why are the Repubs trying to get rid of a law that they first created (with assistance from the ins. industry)?
Is it really just part of McConnell's big plan to make the president a 'one termer'?

Apr. 02 2012 10:23 AM

@Gary you are gleefully unimformed

Apr. 02 2012 10:23 AM

Mr. Zwillich,

SocSec & Medicare are NOT "entitlements." They are Gov't. insurance programs for which payments are made before retirement, disability, etc.

In fact, even after you are on Medicare you pay a minimum of $1200/ year in monthly premiums for Parts A/B & from $17.90/month for Part D. And for all 3 parts there are deductible, co-pays, etc. that have to be paid out of SocSec & Medicare alone does NOT cover vision & dental needs which are vital in disease prevention & complication prevention.

Apr. 02 2012 10:20 AM

Gary, thanks for the lengthy explaination, but you are wrong. There are tons of people who pay into SS, but never live to collect, and that passed constitutional muster.

Our problem with healthcare is that we have laws, religions and moral values that will not let people die in the streets. If everyone gets treated no matter their ability to pay, then there has to be a way to cover them. More teens end up in hospitals from car accidents than any other age group. So here we are. Unless you want to let people die in the streets unless they are rich. That's not good for anyone.

Apr. 02 2012 10:19 AM
carolita from NYC

"Young, healthy people" don't seem to stay young and healthy very long, from what I see. I don't know anyone who doesn't feel they need health insurance. I only have hospital/accidental insurance, myself, but that's only because not everyone is joining in regular healthcare, making it cheaper for me. If everyone had to join, I'd gladly join. I lived in France and benefitted from national healthcare, and was very grateful. The only problem I ever saw there was abuse by the rich. If they used means-testing, things would be better for them. That system works. And there must be something different about the way doctors are paid, because I've never had a doctor in France say, hey, why don't you get your teeth whitened, you have insurance, it's covered. Here, I've had dentists invent cavities, I've had doctors want to see me again for tests or reasons I found useless or redundant. All because they get more money out of it. In France, it wasn't worth it to a doctor to invent an extra procedure or have you in again and again when it's not necessary. Whether or not we get Obamacare, something ought to be done about that aspect of waste in existing programs and existing insurances. That's where all the costs are coming from, making it expensive for those of us who pay for it.

Apr. 02 2012 10:18 AM
Gary from queens

I was afraid my post may have lured Paulbots out of their caves. Sorry Joe, but i don't support Ron Paul. "Fortress America" lost its efficacy when Jefferson invaded the Barbary Coast. And it's fate was sealed after that minor historical even in 1944 (normandy invasion). And he's also an anti semite.

Apr. 02 2012 10:17 AM

Damn ya beat me to it Gary...let's have some Ron Paul start to start April off on a good foot.

Apr. 02 2012 10:10 AM
Gary from Queens

Something rose out of the oral arguments last Tuesday that may have a significant effect on how young people vote this November. And we are already seeing it reflected in the huge crowds that Ron Paul attracts on college campuses.

There are many people---mostly the young---who don't consume, or consume little---medical care. Yet they would be forced to pay via the personal mandate. That's goes under the heading of "cost shifting" and "direct taxing" issues that were discussed in oral arguments. And as Clement and Carvey had argued, it goes against legislative rules set out by the Constitution.

As I understood it, young healthy people, and some others, like holistic and fitness enthusiasts, are really NOT in the market, and will not be in the market anytime soon. And that means they fall outside the jurisdiction of the Commerce Clause----for which 5 justices, it seems, go along with the contention that this is a penalty, or regulatory function by the fed, and not a general tax.

In other words, there are studies that show that there's a large section of the pop that do not go in for health care at all, or very little, who will end up paying. Paying for what? The unexpected emergency room care from accidents, that Kagan et al kept yammering about? No! Those are miniscule expenses in comparison to chronic or acute diseases. These healthy young people are paying for OTHER PEOPLE's heart transplants, hip replacements, and arthritis and cancer treatments. Very little of the expenses they would have to pay for NOW and for many years under the mandate, would be for THEIR OWN healthcare.

Some may say that that is how Canada, for example, pools its healthcare resources to cover everyone. But the problem with that is that Obamacare is not being funded under general gov revenue. it's being funded by creating commerce, under the aegis of what Prof Epstein last week referred to as a cartel (ie our current healthcare system), and funding it via a pyramid-like scheme. President Obama couldn get a Canadian style plan passed in Congress. It would have been politically impossible. So he and dems decided to get it done in violation of what Professor Epstein called irregular procedures. Refer to the audio:

Apr. 02 2012 10:04 AM

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