Beyond the Cusp

April 9, 2012

The Important Difference Between Obama Care and Romney Care

Romney Care, also known as the Massachusetts Health Care Insurance Reform Law, and Obama Care, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, have a number of differences which are unimportant or miniscule and not worth taking time to explain, explore or debate. Fortunately, they have some very important and significant differences the most glaring of which is Romney Care is Constitutional and Obama Care will hopefully be found to be as un-Constitutional as I believe it to be. The reasons behind this difference breaks down to one basic and significant fact, Romney Care is a statute only for the state of Massachusetts with no inferred or directed application outside the Massachusetts State borders. As a legally passed piece of legislation by the state of Massachusetts, Romney Care stands outside the purview of Constitutional review and thus can stand without posing any threat to the nation or the constitution which defines the divisions of power. States are allowed to do pretty much whatever they choose as long as it is not in direct contradiction of Federal Law or the Constitutional limitations placed on the individual states such as minting money or placing restrictive edicts, fines or taxes on interstate commerce. Obama Care may have overstepped the power of the Federal government and even stretched the already mightily expanded and mutilated Commerce Clause past its seemingly impossible breaking point; the Supreme Court should be giving us their binding opinion on that this summer. Simply put, requiring people to buy health insurance by an individual State is permissible, the Federal Government making the same demand, hopefully not so much.

There are some other differences worth noting as well. Romney Care is solely a health insurance mandate requiring every citizen in Massachusetts to purchase a minimal required amount of health care insurance or pay a fine in order to receive some minimal coverage through the State. Obama Care does the same basic thing except it also places the burden on employers who meet the minimal number of employees to either provide insurance coverage which meets the Federal guidelines or pay fines on a per employee basis. Those not covered by employer provided health insurance are required to purchase their own coverage which meets the Federal requirements or pay a fine in order to be granted minimal allowed amount of coverage by the Federal Government. One interesting item I found, providing I understand the mechanisms accurately, an employer actually faces a larger fine should they provide their employees insurance found not to meet the minimal Federal requirements than if they simply opted not to provide insurance and just paid the penalty up front. This would place employers in the position of possibly paying a higher penalty for attempting to provide insurance and being found not in compliance than if they simply refused to even try and comply. This sounds like a plan to force employers to simply choose the monetarily safer route and simply refuse from the start to even play the game. As the super-computer in War Games, the WOPR, stated at the end, “The only winning move is not to play.” Hopefully the Supreme Court is half as intelligent as the computer in an old sci-fi movie.

There is one more difference between the two systems. Where Romney Care stops at demanding everybody be covered by some form of health insurance even to the point of being state provided, it leaves the actual medical care in the hands of doctors and the market. Romney Care does not attempt to have the state of Massachusetts usurp and take complete control of the health care system within the state’s borders. Obama Care does go that extra mile, or maybe more like that additional light-year. Obama Care takes the huge leap of slowly but very assuredly forcing everybody eventually to come under direct government provided health care. One of the little tricks in the two-thousand-plus pages of legalese is a little trip lever that instructs that should your insurance coverage change in virtually any way, then you will be denied to continue to have that insurance for your coverage and you will be enrolled into the government controlled health care. This could be even if the government changed their requirements for health coverage to meet their strict definitions thus forcing your policy to change to include this new requirement and trip the switch forcing you into the government provided care. It does not take any great leaps of logic to see where such a system will eventually lead, and eventually would probably not take that long. This is a huge departure by Obama Care from Romney Care under the Obama system people can actually be placed under a health care system which is completely controlled and run by the government and will eventually lead to that socialist dream of a single payer health care system, the system which has generated such horror tales in every instance where it has been enacted. It may be a socialist dream, but it is freedom’s nightmare.

Beyond the Cusp

March 31, 2012

What Could Happen if the Supreme Court Strikes Down the Health Care Law?

For argument’s case we will assume that the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate specifically and then quoting the lack of a severability clause in the Affordable Care Act, rule that the entirety of the Law has to be voided and thrown out. So, the entire two-thousand-plus pages of the Affordable Care Act would be unconstitutional and voided by the ruling. This would include the employer mandate, the disallowing insurance companies using preexisting-conditions as a consideration when considering granting insurance, and every other item even those items which were placed in the law having nothing to do with healthcare but were inserted simply to get these items approved surreptitiously and without serious debate. Will such a verdict be the death knell of the government injecting themselves even further into controlling healthcare in the United States? What will the future hold and will the health insurance companies now need to undo those items they had adjusted in order to begin to comply with the Affordable Care Act? What will be the effect of the uncertainty caused by this strike down of the government’s attempt to set in motion laws and regulations which would eventually lead to their complete usurpation of the healthcare industry in the United States?

My greatest fear is that the Supreme Court striking down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act will simply be the first volley in a war for the heart and soul of the future of health care in the United States. Any actions which have already been implemented by the government and as many adaptations the insurance companies have taken will be attempted to be cemented in place. We can expect Cass Sunstein to implement new regulations to shore up and make these changes and adaptations permanent fixtures going forward with healthcare in the United States. People who have chosen this as their fight to save individual rights and restrain the government from acquiring more influence and power over society and individual citizens’ lives will need to stay motivated and ever watchful to root out and prevent the passing of the mechanisms of the Affordable Care Act as individual regulations included in other pieces of legislation attempting to pass them stealthily. We can expect there to be a series over months of Executive Orders coming out of the White House which will be utilized as a single step-by-step implementation of the individual rules, regulations, and requirements which can be implemented individually as stand-alone regulations directly from the White House without even needing the Congress to vote or consider them. We can fully expect a coordinated effort to implement the entirety of the Affordable Care Act singular item after singular item which will later be woven together forming the completed legislation or a close facsimile thereof.

We have seen such actions in the past by those who wish to transform our country from its republic formulation of governance under which it was established into just another Nanny State top down dictated society controlled centrally with government imposed restrictions on individual liberties choking off our freedoms one small step after another. The one thing I have learned while watching the changes that have taken place during my lifetime and studying how the changes were rooted in actions from the past two centuries is that those who wish to control and regulate every small piece of our lives seldom are forced to step back and when such small wins have occurred, they are always followed by the use of incrementalism to accomplish the same ends one iota after another for as long as it takes. I have often marveled at their dedication to duty shown by those who favor government oversight and influence over all of society and life choices as they never take no for an answer and will settle for small baby steps when their sweeping legislative attempts are refuted or struck down. If those who are opposed to such a takeover of our lives and society by the busybodies of government honestly wish to hold their ground and prevent these usurpations, they will need to gather themselves and stand dedicated and unified in constant diligence guarding against the guaranteed onslaught by incrementalism. This is going to be the battle which will be fought and the sides have been defined. The end result will be totally dependent upon which side can remain relentless, dedicated, focused and determined going forward into the distant future as neither those wishing to regulate, tax, or subsidize every action, thought, possession and individual themselves will never stop proposing their nefarious schemes so those who will rally as the protectors of liberties and freedoms will need to be ready to make an even stronger effort to stir the people to their side and protect those rights spoken so elegantly of in the Declaration of Independence if those rights are to be continued to be enjoyed by our children and their children after that onto the last generations. As we were warned by Wendell Phillips, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty!” Lest we not forget for as we were warned by Ronald Reagan, “Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.” We must be patriots of vigilance such that we never need long for the taste of freedom and liberty we have lost.

Beyond the Cusp

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