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U.S. News and Commentary



Monday
Oct242011

Healthcare bill outrage: Today in Massachusetts, coming soon to your state

In 2009 as many as 49,000 Massachusetts residents were fined for either not having health insurance or—this is the thorn on the political rose—not having the right health coverage.

CAPCON, a news service for Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said state regulators determine what insurance coverage is acceptable. The news service talked to one couple caught by surprise:

“A separate column in the Boston Herald describes the plight of one struggling family that was fined $3,000 because their insurance policy did not include all the particular mandates imposed by the law. Lauren and Nick Destito, both aged 50, had been paying $750 each month for their health coverage. ‘(We) did make the effort and purchased a plan,’ Lauren told a state hearings officer. ‘I don’t understand why we’re in this situation at all.’”

The CAPCON article is a must-read. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called ObamaCare, is modeled on Massachusetts healthcare policy. With ObamaCare, federal regulators will determine acceptable coverage.

ObamaCare is a sprawling piece of legislation made up of thousands of pages. IRS healthcare 'cops' (to enforce the individual mandate) and hundreds of millions of dollars for federal contractors (to help states figure out what is and is not acceptable) are a couple of issues that suggest the healthcare bill should not have the word ‘healthcare’ or ‘affordable’ in it.

ObamaCare should rightfully be called the ‘Health Tax Bill.’

Ironically, illegal aliens will still get free healthcare at the local emergency room if they seek it because they are not mandated to have health insurance.

AARP, a left-leaning organization for retirees, lobbied for the healthcare bill. Recently AARP admitted seniors were getting gouged because of obscure language promising coverage for wellness visits referred to as “physical exams.” Seniors were astonished upon learning they had to pay out of pocket for those visits because ObamaCare only paid for a conversation between doctor and patient rather than an actual exam.

The ObamaCare scandal broadened in September when Judicial Watch reported:

“As of July 2011, 1,472 one-year waivers and 106 three-year waivers were granted, covering some 3.4 million enrollees, more than half of which belong to unions. Yet, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, union members account for only about 12% of the total workforce.”

JW obtained numerous documents through the Freedom of Information Act, revealing closed door meetings between Democrat leaders and Big Labor leaders like Andy Stern, former head of the SEIU.

Most Democrats admitted not reading the bill before they voted to pass it. When the bill was passed, it was done by parliamentary gimmickry.

In September Florida Att. Gen. Pam Bondi, continuing the challenge to ObamaCare begun by former Att. Gen. Bill McCollum,  said Florida and 25 other states filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari asking the US Supreme Court to review the decision of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Texas, whose governor is Rick Perry, is included in the states challenging ObamaCare. Massachusetts is not because under former Gov. Mitt Romney, Massachusetts passed a healthcare bill with a mandate similar to the federal mandate.

If ObamaCare is fully implemented, many employers will elect to pay a fine that may be cheaper than paying for insurance,  and employees will be forced to seek healthcare on their own.

Those who believe the Constitution provides limitations on federal intrusions on personal freedom know there is nothing in the US Constitution that permits the federal government to impose a mandate like the mandate in ObamaCare. Left-leaning judges disregard those limitations and instead legislate from the bench to further their own political ideology.

(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Oct. 24, 2011)

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