Medicare presents an enormous unfunded liability — $24.6 trillion, according to its trustees — to the U.S. government and, by extension, to U.S. taxpayers, who will have to pony up their hard-earned income to pay for the government’s promises of free healthcare for senior citizens. A reasonable person might give serious consideration to radically altering, if not abolishing, the program to reduce its long-term, clearly unsustainable cost.
Sen. Bernard Sanders was obviously correct when he stated recently that the citizens of his home state of Vermont believe healthcare is a right. At least enough of them believe it to convince their state legislature and governor to make socialized medicine the law of the land.
The fundamental premise of universal healthcare, be it a Canadian-style government-run system or an ObamaCare-like public-private insurance scheme, is that individuals have a right to healthcare. That assumption, said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), is akin to a belief in slavery. Paul made that assertion during the course of a May 11 hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging, the subject of which was using community health centers to reduce emergency room use for non-emergencies.
Sen. Barbara Boxer can’t decide whether she wants the Internal Revenue Service to police Americans’ healthcare decisions or not.
About half the states are suing to overturn all or part of ObamaCare for a variety of reasons, foremost among them the undeniable fact that it oversteps the federal government’s constitutional authority.
As if there weren’t already enough reasons to hope Newt Gingrich never becomes President, here comes another one: He says that he has no regrets about having supported the Medicare prescription drug benefit even though that program now presents the federal government with a $7.2 trillion unfunded liability.
In a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on March 14, the Obama administration argued that the court should deny a request to bypass the appeals process and hear directly a case involving the constitutionality of ObamaCare.
On January 31, U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida ruled that President Barack Obama’s healthcare law is unconstitutional, essentially halting implementation of the law. However, on March 3 he issued a stay of his own ruling, thus allowing implementation of the law to proceed.
The Associated Press reports that President Barack Obama made “a concession over his divisive health care overhaul” during a February 28 address to state governors. The “concession” was a mild one indeed: Instead of forcing states to wait until 2017 to opt out of ObamaCare, Obama will allow them to opt out beginning in 2014, the year the individual mandate takes effect.
In an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Lloyd M. Krieger argues that while the Republicans in Congress are right to seek the repeal or defunding of ObamaCare, “the law has already yielded profound, destructive changes that will not be undone by repeal or defunding alone.” These changes, he says, can only be reversed by “active steps and new laws.”