David Ihde: Americans don't want government-run health care

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This letter is in response to the letter from Brodie Farquhar in the Steamboat Today dated March 29.

When are liberals like you Brodie gong to realize that Americans don’t want government run health care, whether it’s single payer, Obamacare, Medicare for all or any other such program, and we have the last election here in Colorado to prove it once again with a single-payer system going down in flames 79 percent to 21 percent?

That compares well with California’s drubbing of such a plan 75 percent to 25 percent and Oregon’s 80 percent to 20 percent annihilation when those two decidedly liberal states had referendums on the matter. And Vermont, which went the legislative way, couldn’t figure how to pay for it and thus scrapped the idea altogether.

I also find it ironic that two pages after your letter in the viewpoints section, there was an article about dentists and probably doctors as well in the Roaring Fork Valley who do not take Medicare or Medicaid.

What good is your Medicare for all going to be under that scenario? Is your next big government move going to be a gun pointed at the heads of doctors who refuse those patients? The problem with your liberal progressive ideas is that they always beget more and more government to fix a problem liberal progressive policies created in the first place.

The answer is repeal the ACA back to the states where it belongs constitutionally as well as economically with allowances for purchasing across state lines, for individuals joining cooperatives for purchasing power through competition and getting rid of the stupid mandates that do nothing but drive up the cost of premiums.

Those with pre-existing conditions that insurance companies refuse coverage should be taken care of by the individual states and localities with a sliding income scale. I know you think government-run health care has lower costs, but that is easily debunked by comparing government accounting methods with that of the private sector.

And government-run health care systems further hide their true costs in taxes and rationing. Remember, this is the same government with $60,000 toilet seats, $25,000 hammers, duplicitous programs and 20 trillion in debt. Now we are to believe they are geniuses at controlling administration costs? What ever happened with the waste fraud and abuse we hear every election in Medicare and Medicaid?

You mention in so many words that the U.S. is the only industrial country in the world without a universal health care system. That should be celebrated not criticized as that makes us the leaders of freedom, not the followers of tyranny.

Keep in mind, those same countries also brought us fascism, Nazism, socialism and communism. How did they get such power? One of the biggest ways is through the conduit of a national health care system.

There is a reason our founders wrote the constitution the way they did, to divide power away from a centralized power and down to the states and the people. If you want government run health care then do it in another state as Colorado has already made their decision. But leave the rest of the country alone.

As one prominent radio voice has said, "the states are the laboratories of good ideas and the isolator of bad ones.” If it’s such a great idea you will have labor and capital flowing  your way or other states will copy your model. Good luck.

Besides, using a word out of your own liberal progressive dictionary, borrowing from the Chinese to pay for a national or single-payer health care system is “unsustainable."

David Ihde

Steamboat Springs

Comments

Chris Hadlock 4 weeks, 1 day ago

"When are liberals like you Brodie gong to realize that Americans don’t want government run health care, whether it’s single payer, Obamacare, Medicare for all or any other such program"

Which explains why every single poll of Medicare recipients overwhelmingly support the program and also why the approval numbers for the ACA had such a dramatic increase in support as the Republican Congress discussed repealing that bill.

If you take the time to read about issues from all viewpoints your "opinions" about what Americans want or believe might change. However, as long as you fill your thoughts with nothing but opinions that you agree with, your personal decision making process will remain forever flawed.

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Hi Chris - I agree with the sentiment that a majority of Americans don't want the government in control of healthcare and recent election results support that idea.

As expressed in David's letter, the voters of Colorado made crystal clear, (to even the most obtuse, liberal ideologues among us) that an overwhelming majority of Coloradans didn't want government in control of healthcare as the failure of the proposed Amendment 69 was a complete rejection of a State-sponsored single-payer scheme. It wasn't even close. Even in the well-established liberal bastions of California and Oregon, a State sponsored single-payer scheme was overwhelmingly rejected by voters. The vote wasn't close in either of those States, either.

The US President, as well as a majority in the US House and the US Senate were all elected on a promise to decentralize healthcare and go in the opposite direction of single-payer.

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Chris Hadlock 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Ken, where did I ever say I was a big fan of single payer? I posted 6 bullet points on one of the other health care forums, and not one of them mentioned a single payer solution.

Bottom line: Just like the days of Carnegie Steel and Standard Oil, the alliance between health care and health insurance must be broken up to create a market that responds to consumers. The current system is a self enforcing loop that will create ever higher costs because of the built in profit motive. The ACA just managed to make that cost loop worse when it mandated administrative and profit margins. Now the insurance companies actually have an incentive to increase costs because 20% of higher costs and premiums leaves more money to line their pockets.

You can agree with the sentiment all you want, but the actual data from American Citizens does not agree with your opinions.

Again: A. break the tie between employment and health insurance. Everyone with health insurance must purchase from the individual market.

B. No pre-existing conditions, no groups, no in or out of network. Every single person of the same age gets the same basic premium. If you want the "Cadillac" doctor then you pay the difference.

C. Sure sell across state lines. Insurance companies must be forced to measure the risk against their entire pool of insured individuals. They can no longer offer special deals to large Groups. It is their business model of breaking us into ever smaller groups that allows them to raise premiums on individuals. D. Hospitals and Doctors have to charge the same rate to everyone regardless of insurance carrier, cash pay etc. Rates for ALL procedures must be public information.

E. Backstop the entire insurance industry with a buy in to Medicare for all. This gives the insurers an incentive to actually find ways to save money.

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Hi Chris - A month ago, on the thread in a piece titled "We're all in this together" you wrote " If insurance companies were forced to measure their risk against their entire population of insurance holders premiums would plummet. That is just one of the cost savings that a single payer system would provide."

You can dress it up all you want but your inclination to require everyone in the same insurance pool, the demand that economics be ignored in order to cover pre-existing conditions, combined with your expression of "the cost savings that a single payer system would provide" causes me to view you as a proponent of "a single-payer system."

You continue to assert some mysterious "actual data from American Citizens," while ignoring actual data from American elections. The actual data from American elections demonstrate consistently that voters want less government control over healthcare, even in liberal States like Colorado, California and Oregon.

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Scott Wedel 4 weeks, 1 day ago

I think that we will first need a Medicare reform that cuts the cost of Medicare to being closer to that which other countries spend per person. Then it becomes much easier for whatever resulting system to find a way to cover the entire population.

Government is paying for Medicare so it is much easier to reform. If malpractice insurance is a problem then make patients give up the option to sue as a condition of accepting Medicare and impose an arbitration system limited to actual damages. Stop paying for MRIs to set a simple broken bone or to diagnose a sprained ankle.

Maybe the general public on their employer health insurance will still want to pay more for the ability to sue for malpractice and pay for unneeded MRIs, etc, but there is no reason for the taxpayer to pay for waste that doesn't improve patient health.

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Hi Scott - You touch on one of the fundamental problems of centralized healthcare: How about letting the patient and doctor determine what is wasteful and what improves patient health? Why would the government have any voice in a decision made between a patient and doctor regarding what's wasteful and what's in the patient's best-interests?

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Robert Huron 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Ken, I hate to tell you this but under Medicare the patient and doctor determine the course to pursue not the Government. There is also Medicare Advantage which is open to all Medicare participants which is very similar to what Universal Health care looks like in Switzerland. There you can go to the Government Health Clinic or you can get you Health Care from the Doctor you prefer both are fully covered. The US Spends 17% of GDP on Healthcare and Switzerland less than 10%. Which country does a better job for its citizens? Before the ACA it was the Self Employed who got screwed because Insurance Companies would spend $Millions to find a way not to pay a claim. They also would use the pre-existing condition clause to charge outrageous premiums. A friend of mine 10 years ago was paying $2200 a month for a $5000 deductible policy because they said she had a pre-existing condition which was she had a non-cansuous lump removed from her back. She could not wait to get on Medicare. This is why the most satisfied group in our country are people over 65. Unfortunately Paul Ryan can't wait to get rid of Medicare and go to his voucher system so everyone can buy from the for profit HealthCare Companies which will reward him well.

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Scott Wedel 4 weeks, 1 day ago

The US Spends 17% of GDP on Healthcare and Switzerland less than 10%. Which country does a better job for its citizens?"

Well, it is Switzerland that has better outcomes of healthier people living longer.

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Chris Hadlock 4 weeks, 1 day ago

ACA Polling RCP +5.3 since Trump was elected http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/obama_and_democrats_health_care_plan-1130.html

PEW +7 http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/23/support-for-2010-health-care-law-reaches-new-high/

Gallup +58% support a single payer over the current system. http://www.gallup.com/poll/191504/majority-support-idea-fed-funded-healthcare-system.aspx

Medicare Polling CNBC +77% for Medicare, +83% for Social Security http://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/16/medicare-medicaid-popularity-high-ahead-of-birthday.html

I did not bother looking up the approval rating for Congress or Donald Trump but both of them are somewhere south of 33% right now.

Yes, Ken if you go back to your actuarial training and run the numbers they will tell you that putting every single insured individual into the same pool with premiums adjusted by age and nothing else will give all Americans a better cost structure than the current system. Either force insurance companies to do it that way or we are headed towards single payer.

You can read whatever you want into election results but in my experience the pendulum swings both ways and will continue to do so long after you and I have departed this earth. Elections are more like popularity contests than any actual policy differences. In the end, the party that has the best slogans ends up winning. As republicans have recently learned, a good slogan does not make good policy.

I stand by my words.
"If insurance companies were forced to measure their risk against their entire population of insurance holders premiums would plummet. That is just one of the cost savings that a single payer system would provide."

Each and every one of us will encounter health care expenses at some point in our lives. The only real question here is how to pay for those future costs. It is not a matter of if but when. The cause might be poor diet as John tells us, it might be a distracted driver as Rhys can attest, or maybe the dice roll came up snake eyes when you go in for your annual checkup. Why should we let anyone have a free ride until it is time to pay the piper? That is the reasoning behind the mandate that Republicans supported until Obama embraced it.

Finally, just because one individual might have a pre-existing condition that does not necessarily pre-dispose them to higher medical costs in the future. The one constant about predicting future health care costs is age. The older you get the higher your costs will be with the final year of life often costing more than the rest all added together. Forcing everyone into the same pool will help everyone insured to be able to pay those costs as the accrue. The current system allows individuals a free ride thru their 20's and 30's when the bank balance should be building for the future costs we know are coming and that is a bad plan.

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Hi Chris - Thanks for your reply. We agree on the math. Forcing everyone to do something against their will has actuarial benefits in many scenarios, no doubt.

You come very close to stating the real dilemma when you write "The only real question here is how to pay for those future costs." I would offer this simple correction to identify the real challenge "The only real question here is who will pay for those future costs" (emphasis added.)

I believe that a central component of Liberty is allowing people to experience the consequences of their decisions. People that choose to not get insurance when they're young and healthy are risking their life, their money and their future, not the life, money and future of another person. Society not intervening and allowing people to die because they were irresponsible with healthcare decisions is no different than society allowing people to suffer in poverty because they didn't get an education or die from having smoked 6 packs a day for 20 years. The United States of America isn't some giant hippy commune where we all live by the same template and share expenses and hardships.

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Jim Kelley 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Ken, Go ahead and ask your doctor what your visit costs. Or a procedure, or mri, or even a simple CBC blood draw test. He or she will have no idea guaranteed. Nor should they. But it should be available to anyone who asks! I'm a free market guy, but explain how our health care either now or before ACA resembles a "market"? After breaking a leg and getting sledded off the ski hill and transported to YVMC, are you going to stop and discuss what is "wasteful" while he sets your fractured leg? Are you going to shop around at that moment for the best price while your leg is crooked?

The free market in healthcare doesn't, hasn't, and will not exist. It is not a commodity or scarcity either. It is a service that most people actually do want and are quite willing to pay for. Most people do not actually care if it is single payer, ACA, ACHA, or what we had for years prior.---They simply want the security of knowing if an ACL tear, cancer diagnosis, or MS is not going to get kicked to the curb or bankrupt them and their family. Period.

Neat political slogans and warped dogma about socialism and government interference actually doesn't register among most, reasonable folks who care more about health security than whats right or left.

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Paul Hebert 4 weeks ago

Jim,

You have made the most logical point made so far in this never-ending reply stream. It is important to note that in all surveys done in the past ten years or so, 58% of respondents have consistently said they would favor a single payer system of financing health care. Single payer health financing is not "socialized medicine", it is however the most sensible health financing system and has been adopted by nearly every developed country around the globe. Socialized medicine is when hospitals and clinics are owned and run by the government and doctors, nurses and staff are employed by the Government. This has never been proposed for the USA. Today, nearly 50% of the US population is already covered by a single payer system, which includes Medicare, Medicaid, Federal employees Health Benefit Program, VA and Tri-Care for our military, veterans and their families,and the Indian Health Service. With the exception of the VA, everyone can chose their doctor and hospital and decide with their doctor the treatment they need. All health services are provided by private for profit or non-profit entities. It is only the private health care insurance providers who interfere with patient and doctor choices and often prevent their insured individuals from getting the care they need. Mr. Ihde should educate himself rather than relying on tired conservative dogma. What we need is an expansion of Medicare to cover private care from doctors and hospitals to serve everyone from birth to death with a progressive tax that covers the costs, which will be controlled much more effectively than by the market, which has one overriding objective, to maximize profits.

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Hi Jim - Thanks for joining the conversation. Looking at it as a practical matter, I'm not sure why so many people see bankruptcy as a bad thing when compared to dying from a lack of medical care. What if someone is breaks their leg climbing Mt. Zerkel? Can they pick a hospital? Those are all of the things that should be considered before taking risks. Choosing not to climb Mt. Zerkel, and not risking a broken leg, is also a choice. Here's another example that doesn't involve risky choices; Let's say "Bob" is 47 years old and doesn't have insurance. Let's also set-aside, for the sake of the argument, how irresponsible it is for "Bob" to not have insurance at 47 years old.

Now, "Bob" has a serious medical event, like a stroke. Upon arriving at the hospital, "Bob" is unable to communicate to the ER staff that he has no insurance. The staff treats Bob anyway and saves his life.

Please explain to me how is it worse for "Bob" that he may have to declare bankruptcy in a few years as opposed to having died in the ER because they wouldn't treat him.

In a slightly different scenario, let's say that "Bob" could communicate to the ER staff and told them he didn't have insurance. They asked "Bob" "Do you want us to treat you and send you the bill?" Here's "Bob's" new choice; he can say "no" and risk dying in the next 24 hours or he can say "yes" and risk bankruptcy over the next few years. In what universe is dying better for "Bob" than being bankrupt? Either way, "Bob" being alive and bankrupt is better than the whole country being bankrupt through the imposition of an unsustainable ponzi scheme like single-payer healthcare.

Fortunately, voters have spoken clearly and we're not going to have a single-payer system imposed on us anytime soon.

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David Ihde 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Profit motives are not the problem. Government interference and regulations are. Having Medicare as a public option is not fair competition as they have no profit motives to control costs and can monetize any debt for ever.

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Chris Hadlock 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Ken, because Bob's bankruptcy is subsidized by all of us through higher costs and higher premiums.

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks, 1 day ago

Yes, everyone seeking services will pay a bit more because the provider must recover the loses from not getting paid. The same thing happens to every provider of a good or service that doesn't get paid and claims a loss. At some point, they have to either absorb the loss or modify pricing. This doesn't change the inherent inefficiencies of trying to pre-cover those costs/losses through centralizing a market. In addition to the increased inefficiencies and price distortions, removing the most effective incentive for innovation (profit) will also cause a lot of harm through opportunity costs.

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Jim Kelley 4 weeks, 1 day ago

David, Just as many liberals err by thinking that government can solve our problems, so do conservatives who believe that a free market is infallible or the only true solution for everything.

In regards to healthcare, a free market does not currently exist, nor did it before the ACA. The pricing is based on collusion between providers and insurers but the patient/consumer is not a direct participant at the point of care.

On a side note, wouldn't libertarians and conservatives see value in removing patent protection for pharmaceutical companies? I mean, isn't that an example of laws interfering with free market competition? Talk about healthcare savings!

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Lock McShane 4 weeks, 1 day ago

The reason that ColoradoCare failed here is the irrational hatred of taxes. Look back at the opposition's ads against it. They were all about the HUGE tax increase, even though the amount paid in taxes would be less than what would be paid to the insurance company for most. Because of TABOR, we get to vote on tax increases, but we reject them mostly, even when we need the money to do what we want government to do, like education and infrastructure.

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Larry Desjardin 4 weeks ago

Or, like me, people simply didn't believe the numbers, and therefore thought that the scheme would be catastrophic to Colorado health care.

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks, 1 day ago

As a conservative with a background in economics, I recognize a couple of serious flaws of free markets. These flaws are, however, vastly preferable to the serious flaws of other systems of economy.

I'm not exactly sure how allowing individuals that have been harmed by pharmaceutical companies to bankrupt those pharmaceutical companies would save lives considering the drugs have already passed FDA approval. There are already examples of limits to civil damages that are designed to compensate those harmed while not awarding excessive amounts in damages. Something like the Vaccine Injury Compensation Fund may be a possible solution here. Congress created the fund for those harmed by vaccines to protect the vaccine companies from a litigious society that would not have vaccines if left to the lawyers and sympathetic juries. Congress found that while being harmed by an approved vaccine was tragic, it could not be avoided in every case and shielded the makers from litigation to preserve the innovation of the industry. People that are harmed must recover damages from the fund. Since it's inception the fund has distributed more that $2B in damages. This isn't exactly a free market solution, but one that has tried to achieve a balance between reasonably compensating people that are harmed and not stifling important medical innovation.

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Matthew Kuckkahn 4 weeks ago

The day after my son was born he had to have spinal surgery. We had no warning and no choice. The bill for a 4hr surgery, by a single surgeon, was 2 MILLION dollars. The cost of administering a Tylenol pill by a nurse was $400. Although I enjoy my employment, I am bound like an indentured servant to my employer for group health insurance.

Single payer is basically a larger group, all the people of the united states coming together to spread risk and spread cost. A larger group should be able to bargain with drug companies for bulk discount prices. Currently Medicaid and Medicare must pay full 1-unit price for all drugs because of a stupid rule republicans passed to put more money into the hands of their donors. This is corporate welfare.

I'm all for single payer. The abuses in this private for profit system are disgusting that deny my son life-changing treatment over wether insurance will cover it or not. This is the real life death panel. I have to deal with bills every single day, for the rest of my son's life. Imagine if you had a bill in the mail every single day you had to do extensive paper work on, and argue with insurance, and argue with hospital billing departments. It is a soul crushing burden I would be willing to do nearly anything to alleviate and ensure my son's future.

You can call me selfish all day long, I'm still going to vote for single payer until the day I die.

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David Ihde 4 weeks ago

Single Payer at the federal level is unconstutional per the tenth amendment. States can do what they want and Colorado has spoken on the matter.

For profit healthcare is what brings the world 75% of all the new drugs to market and most of the innovations in healthcare. Government regulations and cronyism is why it's so expensive. It costs an average of one billion dollars for every new drug brought to market. That is the result of the FDA regulations. Those costs have to be recovered. We can debate how long to allow for that recovery or how high the bar on regulations there should be. But again, liberal progressives always call for every more government to fix the problems they cause. It's time to have a real free market in healthcare like we mostly do in other parts of the healthcare industry where prices are falling and supplies are up.

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Chris Hadlock 4 weeks ago

10th Amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Article I, section 8 of the U. S. Constitution grants Congress the power to "lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts, and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defense and general Welfare of the United States."

Seems to me that Article 1 section 8 over rides your amendment. The common defense and general welfare of the US are specifically written into the constitution thereby granting the power to create a single payer if that is what Congress decides to do. Whether that is the right or wrong approach is a different topic.

You gotta read the whole thing David , not just the parts you agree with.

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Nancy Spillane 4 weeks ago

Chris Hadlock: You are right on with every single one of your points. The MAJORITY Americans DO want universal health care or single payer or medicare for all. They are tired of the insurance companies making big money off of the sick and dying. I am with you all the way. When asked their opinion, nearly 6 in 10 Americans (58 percent) say they favor the idea of Medicare-for-all, including 34 percent who say they strongly favor it. This is compared to 34 percent who say they oppose it (from the Kaiser Family Foundation). http://kff.org/uninsured/poll-finding/kaiser-health-tracking-poll-december/

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George Hresko 4 weeks ago

The much more fundamental issue, when the government attempts to 'satisfy' all parties, is that it cannot predict how those will react to its impositions! Government created the postal service, and while many of those who we interact with on a daily basis are helpful and courteous, that doesn't change the fact that the postal service is woefully inefficient--as a result lots of others have made inroads--FedEx, UPS, to name just two, profitably! In the medical arena we see increasing numbers of providers refusing Medicaid patients, and some Medicare too. Some providers have adopted a concierge practice. And in spite of promises to the contrary, it appears that emergency room visits have NOT declined--so the promised cost savings are not materializing. It would be folly to try to predict who will be providing services in five or ten years. Government has essentially zero mechanisms to force it to be both effective and efficient. Competition does. Government has great difficulty in forcing medical folks to behave exactly as it would like. My guess is that most who read and comment here have never experienced a free market medical system, because we haven't had one in something like 50 years! Government does well in narrow areas, military and printing money for example. There are several medical areas where government can provide support for certain, well-defined cases. For the rest, unshackle the market and let it solve the problems.

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Matthew Kuckkahn 3 weeks, 3 days ago

The US postal service would be profitable if they were not forced by Republicans to pay for 70 years of pensions in 10. Also many locations fed ex and UPS will not deliver. USPS delivers to ALL locations, so ALL people can get mail, because the fore-fathers, Thomas Jefferson in particular, believed the free travel of information was necessary to maintain a democracy. And they weren't profitable in his day either.

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Marie Matta 4 weeks ago

David, you claim that the fact the US is the only western, industrialized country without a universal health care system "should be celebrated not criticized", and that "those same countries also brought us fascism, Nazism, socialism and communism".

You mean "tyrannies" like Canada, the UK, Australia, New Zealand? Countries that are so totalitarian and oppressive, their populations can't wait to replace their universal health care system with the so-called "freedom" of the American system? I think not!!

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Ken Mauldin 4 weeks ago

Hi Marie - Thanks for equating tyranny with universal healthcare. Here are a few relevant quotes from people that agree with that perspective:

"Healthcare — Control healthcare and you control the people". - Saul Alinsky.
"Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state." - Vladimir Lenin
“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” - Robert Heinlein

Americans that ignore Jefferson and Madison and embrace the teachings of Alinsky and Lenin are playing with fire.

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David Ihde 4 weeks ago

Total BS Nancy Spillane. Which part of the last election did you not get concerning single payer? That's the problem with liberals, despite election results you still think you know best and why Obamacare was stuffed down our throats despite a huge backlash, not only in town hall meetings, but at the voting booth too.

And frankly I don't care if what you believe were actually true. It would still be unconstutional!

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 6 days ago

I would also like to see your polling results in as much as how the question was posed and who was actually polled. Because it does not equate with any election results.

Colorado elected Hillary by 47%-45% or 49%-45% but voted against single payer 79%-21%. That means a whole bunch of liberals voted against it!

As for National Single Payer, our Founders never intended for the federal government to control 1/7th of our economy. It's unconstitutional.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Nice yet Chris Haddock, but you have it backwards. The tenth overrides the general welfare clause as that was one of the impetuses for the tenth in the first place. Our Founders so feared they gave too much power to the Federal Government that they demanded the Bill of Rights be incorporated or the Constitution would never have been ratified.

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Chris Hadlock 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"As for National Single Payer, our Founders never intended for the federal government to control 1/7th of our economy. It's unconstitutional."

How so David? The only decisions we have to go one said that the ACA penalties were basically a tax, and that Congress has the authority to levy taxes for "the general welfare".

You can scream your "opinion" to high heaven and to anyone that will listen but just like so many others that scream "unconstitutional" you are wrong based on what the Constitution actually says.

My "opinion" is backed up by Supreme Court decisions. You have yet to show me a single thing that backs up yours other than a strongly held belief. That is nice, but your belief does not make it "unconstitutional"

I think Citizens United is "unconstitutional" but just like you, my "opinion" is subservient to the actual law. Please refer back to the actual wording of the 10th amendment and you will find that the Congressional power to levy taxes for the common defense and general welfare is specifically written into the Constitution and therefore not affected by the 10th amendment. Spin it however you would like, but 250 years of Supreme Court decisions would confirm that you need to find a different argument because your current tact is leading you to the rocky shoals of defeat. In my "opinion"

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Nancy Spillane 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Again, Chris, you are right on. Thanks for your intelligent contributions to this conversation.

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Hi Chris - Once again, you completely misrepresent the US Constitution. We'll start with your incorrect assertion that the ACA was upheld by the SCOTUS through some function of the "general welfare clause" in the preamble to the Constitution. The ACA decision makes no reference whatsoever to the "general welfare clause" of the preamble. The ACA was upheld based on Article 1, Section 8 (Congress' authority to levy taxes) because the preamble carries zero legal weight and has never been interpreted by any Court in the US to confirm authority to the Federal government. Only Sections of the Constitution confer authority to government.

See here for zero references to the preamble's "welfare clause" in the ACA opinion:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/supreme-court-health-care-decision-text.html

See here for a definition of the preamble to the US Constitution:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/preamble

Next. Where did you get the incorrect idea that Amendments don't affect what was specifically written into the Constitution? The whole point of "Amendments" is to amend/change the Constitution. As a simple example of how completely wrong that assertion is; Article 1, Section 3 of the original Constitution was overturned by the 17th Amendment.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Oh really Chris. Then I suppose that blacks are still only 2/3rds a person because that's what the constitution says for representation in Congress. Or that public elections for Senators doesn't apply because the constitution says they are to be appointed by the respective state legislatures.

The whole point of the amendment process is to amend! And in this case the tenth was to make clear what powers the federal government had and what was to be reserved to the states. Healthcare was not a power giving to the federal government by the constitution's nor was it prohibited by it to the states. Therefore it is reserved to the states. The tenth couldn't be more clear!

The power to tax doesn't give the federal government Cart Blanche into every aspect of our lives. What's the point of having states at all? So it looks good on a map? Welcome to beautiful Colorado?

If the constitution can be violated for the supposed good, it can be violated for the bad too. And we see that every day with the feds spying on us, 4th amendment violations without a warrant, fifth Amendment violations of eminent domain and asset forfiture among others. All tolerated by that same Supreme Court which BTW, said the same thing about SS. Congress sold it one way and argued something else entirely in court.

We ignore the Constitution at our peril.

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Lock McShane 3 weeks, 6 days ago

There were recent examples on NPR about health insurance in California and Wyoming. The CA exchange was successful with lots of choices for the 40 million population. The WY exchange was failing with little or no choices for the population of 600,000. Health care would work best with a pool of 300+ million, because the costs would be spread out among the most people. For-profit health insurance worked in the past because the pool consisted of mostly healthy people, younger and getting their insurance through work, while the sick were excluded.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Ken & David --

You guys are very confused about the difference between the Bill of Rights, and later amendments. There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that "overturns" anything in the Constitution. Why would there be? It came about within what, a year of the Constitution being ratified?

If you think the 10th Amendment totally negates the preamble, then you're woefully misinformed.

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Lock McShane 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Ken, if you are going to quote a fictional character, it is better to give some context for the passage. Your quote is said by Professor Bernardo de la Paz, a self-proclaimed “rational anarchist. As he says,

A rational anarchist believes that concepts such as "state" and "society" and "government" have no existence save as physically exemplified in the acts of self-responsible individuals. He believes that it is impossible to shift blame, share blame, distribute blame. . . as blame, guilt, responsibility are matters taking place inside human beings singly and nowhere else. But being rational, he knows that not all individuals hold his evaluations, so he tries to live perfectly in an imperfect world. . . aware that his effort will be less than perfect yet undismayed by self-knowledge of self-failure.

I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/The_Moon_Is_a_Harsh_Mistress

He is living on the moon in a actual tyranny where the Authority controls every aspect of the necessities of life, mostly water and air, and is plotting the overthrow of an oppressive government. His philosophy is concerned with the morality of doing what is best for the most of the population, being as self-reliant as possible while realizing that he has to be morally responsible for the consequences of his actions and society consists of individuals that have to act morally towards each other no matter what their differences are.

One of our dilemmas we have today is that we are not allowed to be responsible for our actions, where we hurt each other with selfish decisions. Lawyers argue the letter of the law and technicalities, rather than discussing the harms done by citizens in our society. It is rare to consider society as a whole and we think first about our “tribe”, whoever that is. Prof de la Paz believes that government is necessary for society to exist. Sometimes I think that the United States has gotten too large to be run efficiently, and the states should all become their own countries to reduce them to a manageable size, but that would probably trigger a global economic collapse. So we have to struggle imperfectly in a flawed world, but strive to make the world better for ALL, not just for our individual group.

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Hi Lock - I respect Heinlein's work and find this specific artistic expression I referenced to be aligned with those those of Alinsky and Lenin, and relevant to the moral discussion of a society based on force/compelled behavior vs. individual liberty. That's the basis of the universal healthcare argument: are people free or not to make their own economic decisions? This is a moral debate on freedom and there is no political freedom without economic freedom. Compelled trade is tyranny.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"Healthcare was not a power giving to the federal government by the constitution's nor was it prohibited by it to the states. Therefore it is reserved to the states. The tenth couldn't be more clear!"

No, the Commerce Clause couldn't be more clear! Or are you saying health insurance isn't interstate commerce, which the Constitution explicitly gives Congress the power to regulate? Or do you seriously think the Tenth Amendment overrides the Commerce Clause?

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 6 days ago

BTW, that same Supreme Court changed the 5th Amendment from public use to public purpose. Who gave them permission to do that? I don't see an amendment changing the fifth. Do you? And it has led to havoc in eminent domain giving us the disastrous Kelo decision.

That came Supreme Court has upheld the second credo of the communist manifesto, namely a graduated income tax, which has no place in our country and clearly does not square with the 14th amendment's equal protection clause.

So I don't have much faith in the Supreme Court to not only do what's right and what's clearly in the constitution but to act as the check and balance our Founders intended when separating powers.

So if the federal government can tax us and use it for any purpose then we are back to that old adage...... The power to tax is the power to destroy.

Therefore we are done!

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Hi Eric - The Bill of Rights took a little over two years for complete ratification. I was simply responding to Chris' assertion that "Congressional power to levy taxes for the common defense and general welfare is specifically written into the Constitution and therefore not affected by the 10th amendment." The suggestion that what is "specifically written into the Constitution and therefore not affected by" Amendments is an incorrect statement. The 17th Amendment "overturned" the original text of Article 1, Section 3 which required Senators to be elected by the legislature.

As you are aware, none of the Amendments has any effect at all on the Preamble because the preamble carries no legal weight.

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Lock McShane 3 weeks, 6 days ago

If the phrase,"in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity' has no legal weight, then the Government doesn't have to do anything.

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Hi Lock - It's fascinating that you continue to believe that Preambles in our founding documents have legal weight when there isn't a single example, in over 220 years, of a US court interpreting any of our preambles as law. Not. A. Single. Example.

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Lock McShane 3 weeks, 5 days ago

The Preamble is not the Letter of the law, but is the Spirit of the law, just as important. All our laws should have a preamble, to state the goals of the law, so we can determine later if the spirit is being upheld.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 6 days ago

The Commerce Clause was designed to stop trade wars between the states Eric Bowman, not micromanage our lives, businesses, make things illegal or to downright take over industries. Truman tried that with steel and was struck down.

But based on your own statement about interstate commerce; because we are not allowed to purchase across state lines for health insurance it is therefore intrastate commerce by definition and not covered by the commerce clause anyway.

And the Bill of Rights are not the same as the other amendments is absurd! It's the first ten amendments and most certainly​ did limit the general welfare clause if not overturning it entirely, the phony federal supremacy clause and clearly delineated powers between the states and the feds.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"It's the first ten amendments and most certainly​ did limit the general welfare clause if not overturning it entirely..."

Wow. That's, just, well erm... creative interpretation. Madison didn't agree to negate everything he wrote in the Constitution via the Bill of Rights. No. Sorry. Please don't re-write history to fit your worldview... You've really got how the Constitution and Bill of Rights work, just exactly backwards. Yes, there is a difference between the Bill of Rights and other amendments, if you're reading the Bill of Rights as negating anything in the Constitution, you get an F in Civics.

"Against the Tenth Amendment's text, history, and jurisprudence, Tenth Amendment (and related federalism) claims against the ACA, both in the litigation and in the public debates, are simply breathtaking. In short, they are bald-faced attempts to rewrite the Tenth Amendment and give birth to an entirely new kind of federalism, one that has no support in the text, history, or practice of the Tenth Amendment."

http://www.scotusblog.com/2011/08/the-aca-and-the-tenth-amendment/

There IS NO "clear delineation of power" between State and Federal, there's lots of ambiguity and uncertainty, because the Founders were only laying out a framework for governing the United States. Otherwise there would be a precise list laying out exactly what you're reading into things, which is exactly what Madison argued would be a silly thing to do (as absolute laws would negate the need for that 3rd branch of government to interpret), and why the wording of the 10th Amendment -- delegated vs. enumerated -- is what it is.

What you think the Constitution is, sounds rather like the much-more-republican Articles of Confederation, which didn't work, hence their replacement by the much-more-federalist Constitution. You can't just ignore the Preamble and declare that the 10th Amendment somehow negates it, as that would result in some other form of government entirely. The Preamble is the "thesis" of the Constitution, so while it carries no legal weight, if you're interpreting the Constitution in a way that goes against its own thesis, then perhaps you're simply wrong? ;)

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"But based on your own statement about interstate commerce; because we are not allowed to purchase across state lines for health insurance it is therefore intrastate commerce by definition and not covered by the commerce clause anyway."

Insurance companies sell their products (policies) in all the States. Therefore insurance is, by definition, interstate commerce. Unless you're using some other definition of that term, which doesn't have 230 years of legal precedent behind it?

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Hi Eric - Taking us back to the ratification of the Bill of Rights, you're statement that "There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that "overturns" anything in the Constitution" is completely wrong and misses the reason the Bill of Rights was ratified. The Constitution was ratified on June 22, 1788 and became effective on March 4, 1789. The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791 and necessarily overturned parts of the original Constitution.

As an example; Article 1 Section 1 and Section 8 provides; "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States" and "To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof," respectively.

The point of the entire Bill of Rights was to overturn the new Federal government's unlimited authority and made significant changes to the original Constitution.

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Nancy Spillane 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Lock, you are on target with every single point you make. Nice to have the facts. I thank you.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"The point of the entire Bill of Rights was to overturn the new Federal government's unlimited authority and made significant changes to the original Constitution."

No, the purpose of the Bill of Rights was NOT to "overturn" the new Constitution in favor of your preferred form of government (whatever that may be). It's a codicil, i.e. elaborates on the premises of the Constitution. While it restricts various powers granted to the three branches of Government in order to protect our rights as citizens, it does NOT "overturn" the Constitution! Not even the preamble.

Maybe you can cite some sort of legal precedent, or peer-reviewed scholarly work to support your argument, as I have?

What "significant changes" are you talking about? If you already believe that the 10th Amendment negates the Preamble and the Commerce Clause, what about the Supremacy Clause, Treaty Clause, or the Necessary and Proper clause? If our Constitution was that horrific that it immediately needed nullification (via the RATIFICATION process, somehow, in your worldview), then shouldn't it have been rejected and re-written instead of clarified and limited?

Clarifying and limiting is one thing, but you seem to be arguing that the 10th Amendment trumps pretty much the entire Constitution, which certainly isn't what the courts think. Unless you're saying that 230 years of jurisprudence is entirely wrong and that what you think should be weighted above that, "just because?"

"What about the Ninth and Tenth Amendments? Aren’t they limits comparable to the First and Second Amendments? The answer is “no.” The Ninth and Tenth Amendments are clarifying, not substantive rules. If the Constitution grants the federal government a power through the Treaty Clause, the Ninth and Tenth Amendments do not apply."

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2013/11/13/can-treaties-override-the-constitution/

The Treaty Clause is the "supreme law of the land" but that doesn't mean our rights can be negated by treaties. It does mean the federal government can legislate (as per the Necessary and Proper clause) in support of a treaty, and the States have to go along with that legislation, provided it's Constitutional, 10th Amendment be damned because that isn't what it's there for.

"The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791 and necessarily overturned parts of the original Constitution."

What parts? References? Seriously, what in the Constitution (besides apparently pretty much all of it) do you think is "overturned" by the Bill of Rights? Specifically, now, with cited precedent, if that's not too much to ask?

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"The point of the entire Bill of Rights was to overturn the new Federal government's unlimited authority and made significant changes to the original Constitution."

Seriously, if you think any of the Bill of Rights negates the "Necessary and Proper" clause, surely if you're right, you can cite references where a court has agreed with you? All the Bill of Rights does is limit that clause to those things which aren't blatant violations of our rights. But claiming the Bill of Rights negates Necessary & Proper or any other clause, is a serious misunderstanding of pretty much everything about the government of this country.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Preamble to the Bill of Rights:

"THE Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution."

I just have to wonder if that wouldn't have been worded differently if what you believe, were true:

"The Conventions of a number of the States having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, due to the document being wholly unsatisfactory despite its ratification, that the whole gosh-darn thing be changed to mean something else, as a vote of public no-confidence in our new form of Government, will best insure it isn't taken seriously as an institution."

Preventing misconstruction or abuse of the governmental system laid out, is not the same thing as overturning/overriding/altering ANY of it. Which later amendments set out specifically to do, nothing unconstitutional about it, just not what the Bill of Rights is about! By any stretch.

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Chris Hadlock 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Ken, there is a new tool out there called "google" you should use it sometimes before spouting off your opinions as facts. you wrote: " It's fascinating that you continue to believe that Preambles in our founding documents have legal weight when there isn't a single example, in over 220 years, of a US court interpreting any of our preambles as law. Not. A. Single. Example."

Example 1. (Actually two cases but hey)

Prior to 1936, the United States Supreme Court had imposed a narrow interpretation on the Clause, as demonstrated by the holding in Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co.,[23] in which a tax on child labor was an impermissible attempt to regulate commerce beyond that Court's equally narrow interpretation of the Commerce Clause. This narrow view was later overturned in United States v. Butler. There, the Court agreed with Associate Justice Joseph Story's construction in Story's 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States. Story had concluded that the General Welfare Clause was not a general grant of legislative power, but also dismissed Madison's narrow construction requiring its use be dependent upon the other enumerated powers. Consequently, the Supreme Court held the power to tax and spend is an independent power and that the General Welfare Clause gives Congress power it might not derive anywhere else. However, the Court did limit the power to spending for matte rs affecting only the national welfare.

Example 2: Shortly after Butler, in Helvering v. Davis,[24] the Supreme Court interpreted the clause even more expansively, disavowing almost entirely any role for judicial review of Congressional spending policies, thereby conferring upon Congress a plenary power to impose taxes and to spend money for the general welfare subject almost entirely to Congress's own discretion. Even more recently, in South Dakota v. Dole[25] the Court held Congress possessed power to indirectly influence the states into adopting national standards by withholding, to a limited extent, federal funds. To date, the Hamiltonian view of the General Welfare Clause predominates in case law.

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George Hresko 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Chris-I think you ought to check which clause is being referred to here! I think you will find the preamble has been regularly held by the courts to confer no rights not specifically included in the body of the Constitution. The clause you are referencing is Article 1, Section 8! Google can lead you astray, perhaps?

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

There is no reasonable debate that the Bill of Rights dramatically changed Article 1 through establishing articulated limits to Congress' authority to make laws. The difference between "no articulated limits whatsoever" and "specific articulated limits" was a dramatic change. The difference between allowing general warrants and not allowing general warrants was another dramatic change to the original Constitution brought by the ratification of the Bill of Rights.

There isn't a single Court precedent, including those Chris cites above, that makes reference to a preamble that doesn't also reference the Article of the Constitution that supports the opinion. There has never been a decision on US law that turned solely on any part of any preamble. Never. The idea that the preambles are law is demonstrable nonsense.

Don't take my word for it. I put more confidence in Cornell Law School than either Eric or Chris' imagination. See here (again): "Courts will not interpret the Preamble to confer any rights or powers not granted specifically in the Constitution."
https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/preamble

Perhaps Eric and Chris should contact the Cornell Law School and educate them on what the Preamble really means so they could update their website. I'm sure they would appreciate that.

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Chris Hadlock 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Helvering v. Davis 301 U.S. 619 (1937)

  1. Congress may spend money in aid of the "general welfare." P. 301 U. S. 640.

  2. The concept of "general welfare" is not static, but adapts itself to the crises and necessities of the times. P. 301 U. S. 641.

  3. When money is spent to promote the general welfare, the concept of welfare or the opposite is shaped by Congress, not the States. P. 301 U. S. 645.

reference: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/301/619/

Looks like direct references to me. I guess you can twist your eyeballs around and say that the supreme court did not say "general welfare" but I think most Americans know what is meant here.

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Chris Hadlock 3 weeks, 6 days ago

United States v. Butler, 297 U.S. 1 (1936)

reference: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/297/1/

  1. In Article I, § 8, cl. 1 of the Constitution, which provides that Congress shall have power

"to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States,"

the phrase "to provide for the general welfare" is not an independent provision empowering Congress generally to provide for the general welfare, but is a qualification defining and limiting the power "to lay and collect taxes," etc. P. 297 U. S. 64.

  1. The power to appropriate money from the Treasury (Constitution, Art. I, § 9, cl. 7) is as broad as the power to tax, and the power to lay taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States implies the power to appropriate public funds for that purpose. P. 297 U. S. 65.

  2. The power to tax and spend is a separate and distinct power; its exercise is not confined to the fields committed to Congress by the other enumerated grants of power, but it is limited by the requirement that it shall be exercised to provide for the general welfare of the United States. P. 297 U. S. 65.

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Hi Chris - What does any of that have to do with my claim, supported by Cornell Law, that the Preamble carries no legal weight? Why did you change the subject to Article 1 Section 8?

My point, all along has been that the Preamble carries no legal weight and that all decisions of law turn on a specific section of the Constitution. It appears we agree.

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Chris Hadlock 3 weeks, 6 days ago

These are pulled from the "Actual" Supreme court decisions. There are others I could reference but most scholars agree that these two decisions confirm both the authority and the limitations of the "general welfare" clause.

Sure, argue with me all you want, but this is the actual law of the land.

IMO, healthcare falls directly in the "general welfare" clause should Congress decide to write laws concerning healthcare and health insurance. Every single court decision I can find supports this line of thought. Come at me with more than somebody's opinion all due respect to Cornell University aside. Show me actual Supreme Court decisions that define the boundaries.

Even the most recent ACA decision by the Robert's court seems to agree with my point of view and also throws out the implied heavy hand of the Federal Gov't to force its will on the States or lose funding (ie the Medicaid expansion). I suspect the attempts to pull funding from sanctuary cities will find the same fate.

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

You took issue with my statement, and quoted where I wrote, "It's fascinating that you continue to believe that Preambles in our founding documents have legal weight" then, for some strange reason, proceeded to provide multiple citations for Article 1, Section 8 to prove I was wrong. Citations of Article 1, Section 8 are non-responsive to my assertion that the Preamble carries no legal weight! All of your citations demonstrate and support my point that the Preamble isn't law. You're arguing with yourself. Have a great night.

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Chris Hadlock 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Ken, I most definitely did not change the subject. We are discussing the "general welfare" clause which is referenced twice in a document of roughly 4400 words. The fact it is in the pre-amble in no way reduces it's meaning when it it also included in Article 1 Section 8. If you read my 1st posting on this topic you will see that I specifically referenced that Article and Section to support my assertion that the 10th amendment does not over ride the general welfare clause.

The topic here is whether a single payer system would be "Constitutional" Again, I believe the courts would find that just like all the rest of the social programs, a single payer system would be upheld. Both you and David are trying to argue the opposite.

Whether that is the right path to take and what our other options might be is a completely different conversation.

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Ken Mauldin 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Chris - I wasn't discussing the "general welfare" clause of Article 1, Section 8 in my words that you quoted. I was expressly discussing the Preamble. See your post above that begins with "Ken, there is a new tool out there called "google"..." You can see that I only referenced the Preamble in my quote that you took issue with.

I was responding to Lock, who referenced the legal weight of the Preamble with "It's fascinating that you continue to believe that Preambles in our founding documents have legal weight when there isn't a single example"

Lock was talking about the Preamble and I responded referencing the Preamble.

Then, you barged in, literally quoted my reference to the Preamble, and immediately changed the subject to the "general Welfare" clause of Article 1, Section 8 without making any reference at all to the legal weight of the Preamble - which was the subject of both Lock's post and my reply.

Obviously, the "general Welfare" clause of Article 1, Section 8 carries legal weight. The fact that the Articles carry legal weight and the Preamble carries none has been my only point about the Constitution on this whole thread. Argue it with someone else. I'm done. Have a nice night all the same.

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rhys jones 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Chris -- Let's hope that CERTAIN MEMBERS of the Contributing Public never undertake HTML Markup. And that they don't possess SMART MACHINES. Gimme an icon, I'll use it, if it makes me look smart... No really, this is a bad trend...

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"Don't take my word for it. I put more confidence in Cornell Law School than either Eric or Chris' imagination."

Heh. Your link contradicts your own statements that the Preamble, because it carries no legal weight, must not be relevant. However:

"The Preamble to the Constitution is an introductory, succinct statement of the principles at work in the full text..."

You keep stating that the 10th Amendment somehow means the Preamble doesn't apply. Whereas 230 years of jurisprudence has upheld the use of enumerated powers in Article I Section 8 to provide for the social welfare of the country. Then you point to this:

"Courts will not interpret the Preamble to confer any rights or powers not granted specifically in the Constitution."

But, the Constitution, through the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper clause, the Treaty Clause, etc. directly empowers Congress to act in accordance with, well, the Preamble. Calling you out for having an extremist opinion about the Constitution based in your notion that it's all been negated by the Tenth Amendment, is not an ad-hominem attack.

When you're asked for citations to back up your position, like I've provided, your response is to accuse ME of imagining things? Well, that's an ad-hominem argument. Best you got?

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

"There is no reasonable debate that the Bill of Rights dramatically changed Article 1 through establishing articulated limits to Congress' authority to make laws. The difference between 'no articulated limits whatsoever' and 'specific articulated limits' was a dramatic change."

Imposing restrictions by recognizing natural rights explains the first 8 amendments. The unreasonable debate you're trying to support, is that the 10th Amendment invalidates any action by Congress not spelled out in Article I Section 8, because it somehow "overturns" the Commerce Clause, etc.

Which is simply wrong, and why the 10th Amendment says "delegated" not "enumerated" according to Madison -- Article I Section 8 was not meant as a be-all, end-all list providing a clear line between State and Federal authority. Non-enumerated powers are delegated to Congress by various clauses, and I know of nothing in the ratification-convention records for the Constitution or the Bill of Rights which supports your contentions otherwise.

Let alone this notion that the Preamble is invalidated, or meaningless. Promoting the general welfare (if you want enlightenment on what the Founders thought it meant, read Thomas Paine's Agrarian Justice instead of Ayn Rand), etc. in the thesis statement is elaborated upon by the various clauses you think the 10th Amendment somehow invalidates along with rendering the Preamble irrelevant as a premise for any of 'em.

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Eric J. Bowman 3 weeks, 6 days ago

Anyway, I believe the topic is health insurance, and I support federal single-payer as likely the only way I'll ever have it again. In terms of altering the ACA, I do like the GOP idea to repeal the tax penalty and replace it with a lapsed-coverage penalty. Not that any of it matters to me, as my only options under ACA would cost 85% of my income, but thanks for the tax penalty two years running, Obama.

I'm opposed to the entire notion of capitalized health insurance. All it's led to is a spectacular mess. David, 24M Americans aren't so opposed to government-run health insurance that they'd rather go back to just not having any, but half of us it was supposed to cover still aren't and that's just a drain on the economy.

As an entrepreneur, I find it ridiculous that above some number of employees I have to make Human Resources a core competency to manage their health insurance. Shouldn't be any of my business. I should be comfortable in the knowledge that my workers' health coverage is something I can take for granted, and that no disgruntled worker is sticking it out (and to me) instead of moving on because their health insurance is tied to their job.

Is single-payer socialized medicine? No, nor is it government-run healthcare. It's socialized medical insurance because profit margin has no place in life-or-death healthcare decisions -- death's more profitable. Healthcare (except the VA) would still be capitalist, and Type II Diabetes will still further-bankrupt this country in the near future. Regardless of whether the next solution's socialist or capitalist, there's nothing unconstitutional about Congress passing legislation regulating this market under the Commerce Clause in order to promote the general welfare of We The People.

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Lock McShane 3 weeks, 5 days ago

As I stated way above in a reply before I read the rest of the comments,

"The Preamble is not the Letter of the law, but is the Spirit of the law, just as important. All our laws should have a preamble, to state the goals of the law, so we can determine later if the spirit is being upheld.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 4 days ago

Single payer is not regulating a market. It's taking it over! If they can do that then they can take over everything which is the central component of Fascism Don't think that's what our founders intended or gave us. Healthcare is not mentioned as a power of the federal government nor does the constitution prohibit it to the states. Therefore it's a state issue. Why the tenth was put in there. To limit the power of the federal government not give it them wholesale.

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Lock McShane 3 weeks, 3 days ago

David, what is your alternative to single payer? Our current system is broken; the system we had before ACA didn't work. Please explain the details of a for-profit health insurance industry plan that will cover everyone at lower costs.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 3 days ago

My answer is in my letter which after 72 comments has probably been forgotten. Lol.

What we had before ACA was not the free market.

But I'll entertain any ideas as long as they stay at the state and local level as intended by our Founders or there is an amendment giving federal authority.

Interesting that you believe that Coloradocare failed because of our aversion to taxes which probably at least has some truth to it. But that is why we passed TABOR. But wouldn't that also be a problem as a national Pegram?

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Lock McShane 3 weeks, 1 day ago

David, let's go over your plan.

States taking over health care I don't believe that the states can do a better job than the Federal government. Where will the states get the money? Same for the high-risk pools. These would price many out of the ability to get health care. One of the problems of the for-profit insurance system is dividing the population into small pools, resulting in a wide disparity in pricing. Selling across state lines is available in a few states, but no insurance company took them up on the offer. When selling across state lines, which state's regulations apply, the state of the seller or the state of the buyer? This will not simplify the situation.

There are 7 states now where every county has just one health insurance provider. The insurance companies are shying away from health care. It worked in the past because union health benefits put many health workers into the pool, while at the same time, they could exclude the sick.

Individuals joining co-ops If individuals could join together, that would help as the individual is the one who pays the most for health care. But those pools would remain small, resulting in higher premiums. Let individuals have the option of buying into MediCare in order to join a large pool.

Stupid mandates I don't know which mandates you believe are stupid, as you didn't specify which ones. I think that the amount they add to the cost of the premium is small, and won't do much to bring down costs.

Fraud There is the same amount of fraud in public and private insurance, so there is no answer there. The expensive toilet seats and hammers and other boondoggles are for the military and space services, some of which have specific requirements, plus procurement systems that encourage overspending.

That universal health care inevitably leads to Fascism is an unproven hypothesis that only leads to fear, rather than rational discussion. The people usually give the governments more power because they are afraid, in times of war, disaster and uncertainty. Look at the powers given after 9/11. Our present Administration's agenda is to take away power from the people and give it to Big Corp and Big Gov, not the other way around.

Nothing in your plan addresses the costs of providing health care, which is why we spend more and get less than any other country. Single-payer could regulate prices; the private sector has no incentive to do that.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Lock, where do the countries of the European Union, akin to our states, get their money? Where will the federal government get their money? As stated in my letter, borrowing endlessly from the Chinese or monetizing the debt is unsustainable.

Where in the constitution does it mention healthcare as a Federal function or more importantly​, prohibit it to the states? Again the Tenth rules here.

Buying across state lines fits neatly into the original meaning of the commerce clause. Which is to say, even and uniform commerce. So the feds rules would prevail.

The ACA is killing competition instead of enhancing it as promised by Obama and others. Another reason to get them out!

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 1 day ago

Rand Paul has been pushing for individual to be able to join larger pools for purchasing power which will reduce premiums. He is also advocating to get rid of the mandates for preexisting conditions and other mandates which are pushing up premiums. Allow the individual to purchase insurance that they need and can afford, not what the government thinks they need. The Republicans just yesterday talked about creating risk pools for those with preexisting conditions in the manner the state of Maine is doing with success.

Forcing us to buy female birth control coverage as a male or as an elderly woman is one example of stupid mandates. Forcing insurance companies to do the unfunded welfare work of the government by making them take those with preexisting conditions is a major driver of healthcare premiums and renders it no longer insurance in the real sense of the word.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 1 day ago

The point of expensive toilets seats and hammers is not reserved only for the military. There are no incentives for government to control costs. Why it's a big lie that Medicare has lower administration costs. They get away with that lie by cost shifting from the differences in accounting methods mentioned in my letter. For instance, there is a cost component to collecting premiums that is incurred by the insurance companies​. There is a cost component to collecting taxes but that is incurred by the treasury Dept not Medicare. Private companies depreciate buildings and other assets. Government does not. The SEC requires all publicly traded companies, for which most insurance companies are, to get an outside audit by one of the Big Three accounting firms. That cost is incurred by the insurance company. The government on the other hand does an interagency audit for which the agency doing the audit incurs the cost. Complete opposite of the private sector. Just a few examples.

I never said that universal healthcare leads to fascism. But that all fascist countries have universal healthcare. It's a big conduit to centralized power our Founders warned us about. Not all countries that have power abuse it. But they can only abuse it when having that power. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The point of the constitution of to not concentrate that power in the first place, not hope they won't abuse it. History is replete with plenty of examples of abuse.

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David Ihde 3 weeks, 1 day ago

I also said that if the federal government can take over healthcare or the insurance market for it by some misguided understanding of the general welfare clause, that it can take over anything and everything which is a central component of fascism. Not what our Founders gave us. And because they feared they gave too much power to the federal government, they demanded the Bill of Rights and tenth amendment be ratified. The tenth severely limited the power of the Federal government. Or at least it was suppose to.

The Patriot Act is another conduit to that power and Obama signed an even more virulent one than Bush. I believe both were and are unconstutional and we are seeing the results as we speak with illegal spying, leaks and other mischief and malfeasance of a police state. Obama was the one for bigger government not Trump. Remains to be seen on corporations but Obama empowered big pharma through the ACA and too big to fail got bigger under his adminstration.

And my letter did too address costs as I have here. But you are mistaken that government can control costs. They only appear to do that by rationing. Competition controls costs and so does the profit motive. If it didn't you would still be paying $7,000 for a plasma TV and sky high prices for computers.

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