Archive for Thursday, April 8, 2010

Take a pass

Attorney General Steve Six has presented some strong, practical reasons why he thinks Kansas should bypass litigation on the federal health care act.

April 8, 2010

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In announcing his intention last week not to pursue litigation concerning the recently passed federal health care act, Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said, “my decision is based strictly on law, not politics.”

Because Six is a Democrat, some observers may doubt that politics wasn’t involved, but the attorney general laid out a couple of practical reasons why Kansas should bypass this legal battle. First, after an extensive legal review, he and his staff believe there is little chance that the lawsuit claiming the health care act is unconstitutional will be successful. The debate over the health care bill is a policy issue, he said, not a constitutional issue.

Six also pointed out that it wouldn’t be fiscally responsible to pursue the litigation. State finances are strained, and litigation is expensive. Besides, he noted, other states already have filed a lawsuit and any decision by the U.S. Supreme Court would apply equally to Kansas — at no cost to Kansas taxpayers.

Nonetheless, when it returns later this month, the Kansas House is expected to consider a resolution ordering Six to file the lawsuit. Legislators can do that, but if they simply want to register their displeasure over the health care bill or even their support of the litigation being pursued by other states, they can do that without forcing Six to join the lawsuit or committing state money to the effort.

Given the state’s financial condition, accepting Six’s decision to bypass the health care litigation seems the most prudent course.

Comments

Brent Garner 5 years, 1 month ago

And does the good attorney general ignore the massive increase that ObamaCare will impose on Kansas via Medicaid? If he thinks litigating to block this bill is expensive, just wait until that bill is presented for payment.

boltzmann 5 years, 1 month ago

Solomon (anonymous) says… "I don't mind him deciding to by-pass the law suit since if it's successful it's likely Kansas would reap whatever benefits without the cost of participation.

However, I would like to know on what basis it is constitutional for the federal government to force an individual to purchase a specific product. Don't try to equate this with purchasing auto insurance, because it isn't the same at all. If the government can force me to buy this particular product (health insurance) what's to keep it from requiring me to buy another product (solar panels?), or prohibiting me from buying another (SUV?)?"

The bill doesn't force anyone to buy anything. If you don't have insurance through your employer and do not wish to purchase insurance then you can simply pay the extra tax associated with that and go on your merry way. There are no criminal penalties associated with not buying insurance. The so-called "mandate" is being implemented through income tax policy, which the 16th amendment to the constitution gives the federal government rather broad powers to implement. This use of the tax code to drive social policy, whether you agree with it or not (that is a different question than its constitutionality) is used all the time. Anyone who pays mortgage interest will pay less in taxes than someone who doesn't - that does not mean that anyone is "forced" (your words) to take out a mortgage.

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

vertigo (Jesse Crittenden) says…

"In Fountas v. Commissioner of the Department of Revenue (2010 Mass. App. Unpub. Lexis 223 (Marchs, 2010)) the Massachusetts Court of Appeals rejected all of those arguments."

Does the Constitution grant the federal government the right to regulate insurance, or is that right reserved to the states (or, in this case, the Commonwealths)?


boltzmann (anonymous) says…

"If you don't have insurance through your employer and do not wish to purchase insurance then you can simply pay the extra tax associated with that and go on your merry way. There are no criminal penalties associated with not buying insurance."

There are, however, for not paying said "extra tax" - a tax which is specifically levied for not buying insurance.


Made_in_China (Paul R. Getto) says…

"There is no force to buy, just penalties for burdening the system when you have a car wreck, go to the emergency room and expect them to save your life."

Based on the assumption that the person won't pay their own bill for the ER services. That's called 'projection' and it does not speak highly of those who present that 'argument'.

"I liked an idea I saw a while back: "If you want to live an insurance-free life, prove you have assets of about $500,000 locked up and saved for your needs." This should take care of most worse case scenarios, an organ transplant, for example."

And it's never occurred to you that THAT is the problem, that a person might incur a bill of $500,000 for medical treatment? A problem that, incidentally, the legislation as passed does absolutely NOTHING to address, and actually makes worse?

Mike Wasikowski 5 years, 1 month ago

"And it's never occurred to you that THAT is the problem, that a person might incur a bill of $500,000 for medical treatment? A problem that, incidentally, the legislation as passed does absolutely nothing to address, and actually makes worse?"

Do you have a plan that will cut the cost of an organ transplant to $5,000? Does anybody? Face it: without health insurance, the most pricey of medical treatments will never be affordable to anyone except for the super-rich. Not providing yourself with a financial safety net in case of a health care catastrophe is economically negligent.

Brent Garner 5 years, 1 month ago

deathpenaltyliberal:

Every state in the union, unless you were cut a special deal, will see a large and significant increase in Medicaid expenses since Medicaid is significantly expanded under this law. It is inevitable. What will be the cost of that to the state of Kansas? As reported in the paper today, the Kansas Supreme Court just dismissed a lawsuit trying to block cuts to state funding for Medicaid and disabilities. Will Obamacare result in even lower reimbursement rates as states try to comply with the law and at the same time balance their budgets? Take a lesson from what is already happening, my leftist friend. In Washington state 2 major chain pharmacies will no longer fill prescriptions for medicaid patients. Why? Because the reimbursement rate is below the cost of the pharmacy to buy the drugs for resale to the public. Doctors everywhere are cutting back on or eliminating acceptance of Medicaid patients and for the very same reason. Even the vaunted Mayo Clinic in Arizona has announced it will no longer accept medicaid patients. So, if Obamacare is left in place states will either have to cut reimbursement rates or drastically raise taxes. You want an example of what drastically raising taxes will do? Look at the outmigration of higher income earners from California and businesses leaving California. Is that what you want here?

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