Blogs » Politcs Plus » Health Care Will be a Campaign Issue Again



Health care insurance will be an important part of the discussion in the presidential campaign because of the recent report of insurance premium soaring 9% in the recent decision by the administration to ask the Supreme Court to take up the issue of the individual mandate. The “individual mandate" was first proposed by the ultra-conservative think tank, The Heritage Foundation, and formally introduced by Republican senators Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley when President Bill Clinton wanted to pass a health care bill. After all, it's based on a conservative idea that everyone should pay something. Times have changed the shoe is on the other foot now, because and now some consider it unconstitutional. This issue will be front and center sometime in June of next year. The administration seems fairly confident because the Supreme Court has always ruled favorably in cases that involved the general welfare clause of article 1 section 8 of the United States constitution. This is a different time with different judges. The administration also knows that even if the individual mandate is deemed unconstitutional, the rest of the Affordable Health Care might not be affected. The Supreme Court may divide those two issues. As I've stated before the individual mandate language can be eliminated and substituted with the word "tax" but that's not desirable in a presidential campaign year. Politicos have said that it would inject Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare plan as an issue again, just as his opponents have stopped using it against him. I'm looking forward to hearing the arguments for, and against the controversial “individual mandate." This will be another historical event because Supreme Court controversial issues have rarely been fought during a presidential campaign. I believe the 1857 Dred Scott issue was the last one.

The Kaiser Foundation put out a report about a 9% spike insurance premiums costs. As expected, Republican legislators jump all over this and once again blamed what they call Obama Care. The White House pushed back by saying that this report is a look backward but looking forward is what the Affordable Health Care Act is all about. It doesn't take a math genius to know that providing prevention benefits without a shared -cost would increase premium cost. The cost of covering young adults, more people, and removing the barrier of pre-existing conditions will always have higher costs initially. I've been retired for nine years now, but I remember our company complaining about the rising cost of Health Insurance way back then. The Affordable Health Care Act is far from perfect but so was Social Security and Medicare, and the CBO has not backed off their estimate" that enacting both pieces of legislation will produce a net reduction in federal deficits of $143 billion over the 2010-2019 period. About $124 billion of that savings stems from provisions dealing with health care and federal revenues; the other $19 billion results from the education provisions. Those figures do not include potential costs that would be funded through future appropriations." When the vice president of the Kaiser Foundation was asked to clarify about how Obama Care could've been responsible for the 1 to 2% of the increase in premiums, the vice president said “yes, that would be 1/9 to 2/9 but when pressed again asking if they were insignificant the vice president said "No."

We never factor in the cost of inaction and don't get me started with the market will find a way because it hasn't, and it won't. In full disclosure, I think health care insurance is a right, not a privilege, but I understand not everyone agrees with my personal viewpoint. I'm quite comfortable with that, and my conscience is clear because I think it's a moral issue. I know the counter argument of why don't you use your own money, instead of others. That’s, a classic (argumentum ad hominem) in attacking a person for his “it takes a village" beliefs. It sort of justifies selflessness. It's a classic left/right argument that has no chance to move to the middle for further discussion. I have a lot of passion for this issue; I even have the entire Affordable Health Care Act app on my iPad for quick reference.

I'm glad health care will part of the national dialogue again, because the moderates will decide this election. The partisans are entrenched in their camp, so it's going to be those 10 to 20% moderates who will decide the new direction that we will take.