Catch21 - Our Charity ArmCatch21 is a charitable production company set up in 2005 which trains young people to make videos and engage with their communities.Catch Creative - Our Video Production ArmCatch Creative offers a complete video production service, from Conception to Distribution.Catch EngagementCatch Engagement is the new video interaction platform from Catch21 which allows you to run a campaign using both user generated films as well as professionally shot ones which are displayed via Video 'Walls'. Catch Engagement is all about using films to build an online community - welcome to the future of video.

We shoot cutting edge videos and provide a forum to give people a voice.
Engagement. Discussion. Empowerment.


All content featured on our charity site is produced by young volunteers with the support and mentoring of our professional production team.

International no image

Published on March 27th, 2012 | by Saira Khan
Image © [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="564" caption="Tea Party tax day protest, St. Paul, Minnesota, April 15th 2010, Fibonacci Blue ©"][/caption]   Last week saw the second anniversary of President Obama’s signature policy, Obamacare. Obamacare essentially makes minimal health insurance compulsory for individuals unless exempted on the grounds of religious beliefs or financial hardship. In the event that they are not insured, individuals are required to pay a penalty. The program's constitutionality is to be debated before the Supreme Court from Monday through to Wednesday of this week. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, two-thirds of the American public would support a court decision to throw out part or all of Obamacare. Obamacare is a drain on the public pocket. From 2013 through 2022, its cost will amount to $1.76 trillion, and approximately $250 billion for each year after that. As benefits would not kick in immediately in 2010, President Obama was able to trumpet a 10-year gross cost of only $938 billion, which was misleadingly low. This is at a time when the country is already in debt of approximately $16 trillion. On the issue of constitutionality, lawyers arguing against Obamacare declare that it an intrusion on personal liberty. The Commerce Clause may empower Congress to regulate the transactions that individuals are already engaging in but it does not empower Congress to force individuals to engage in commerce. Obamacare changes the very nature of the American social contract. As Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post puts it, if it is upheld, ‘it means the effective end of a government of enumerated powers — i.e., finite, delineated powers beyond which the government may not go’. If the federal Government can compel a private citizen to engage in a private contract with a private entity (i.e. to buy health insurance), is there anything the federal government cannot compel the citizen to do? Furthermore, there is the issue of a conflict between religious beliefs and the Government; Obamacare requires the free provision of contraceptives, sterilisation and abortion drugs. Opposition to one side, Obamacare has been, to some extent, a failure on its own terms. When the bill was signed into law, three things were promised. Firstly, that it would provide health insurance coverage for all Americans. Secondly, it would reduce insurance costs for individuals, businesses and Government. And thirdly, it would increase the quality of healthcare and the value received for each dollar of healthcare spending. In regard to the first point, universal coverage was not achieved; according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office released mid-March, Obamacare will leave 27 million Americans uninsured by 2022. In regard to the second point, the insurance cost for people who did not previously voluntarily choose health insurance will obviously be higher, and the Government cost is stated above. In regard to the third point, 17 of the 23 million receiving Obamacare will not be covered by real insurance, but be dumped into the Medicaid system with its limited access and quality. Additionally, as the race for Republican nomination continues, the candidates’ emphasis on repealing Obamacare increases. The limitations of Government’s role in American lives is a key issue on which Republicans and Democrats differ. Mitt Romney, often criticised as being an advocate of the individual mandate after his healthcare policy in Massachusetts, used this second anniversary to publicly declare his opposition to Obamacare in an article in USA Today: ‘The reforms I propose for the country could not be more different from Barack Obama's.’ he asserts, ‘They entail no new taxes, no massive diversions of funds away from Medicare, no tax discrimination, and no new bureaucracies. At the same time, they increase consumer choice, lower health care costs, decrease government spending, and give states responsibility for dealing with the uninsured.’ Not only does Romney promise to repeal Obamacare, he also promises further changes in healthcare. His free market approach to making healthcare more affordable involves libertarian state empowerment and an increase of competition. He argues that healthcare should be in the hands of state governments, in keeping with the 10th Amendment, and uses this proposal to defend his decision in Massachusetts. He further argues that the federal Government should lift the restrictions on purchasing insurance over state lines -- this will encourage competition and reduce the burden on state governments for subsidies. Romney also suggests a policy of tax benefits for individuals whose insurance is not subsidised by employers. But why is Obamacare such a controversial development whilst other compulsory welfare systems, such as Medicare and social security, are not? The difference, although somewhat blurry, is that Medicare and social security are Government-run programs with funding coming directly from taxes. Obamacare, on the other hand, is not a contract between an individual and the Government; it is a contract between the individual and a corporation, forced upon them by the Government. The question of Obamacare is much more than a question of healthcare; it is one of the very role of Government in American lives.

3

Obamacare: A threat to American liberty?

Tea Party tax day protest, St. Paul, Minnesota, April 15th 2010, Fibonacci Blue ©

 

Last week saw the second anniversary of President Obama’s signature policy, Obamacare. Obamacare essentially makes minimal health insurance compulsory for individuals unless exempted on the grounds of religious beliefs or financial hardship. In the event that they are not insured, individuals are required to pay a penalty. The program’s constitutionality is to be debated before the Supreme Court from Monday through to Wednesday of this week. According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, two-thirds of the American public would support a court decision to throw out part or all of Obamacare.

Obamacare is a drain on the public pocket. From 2013 through 2022, its cost will amount to $1.76 trillion, and approximately $250 billion for each year after that. As benefits would not kick in immediately in 2010, President Obama was able to trumpet a 10-year gross cost of only $938 billion, which was misleadingly low. This is at a time when the country is already in debt of approximately $16 trillion.

On the issue of constitutionality, lawyers arguing against Obamacare declare that it an intrusion on personal liberty. The Commerce Clause may empower Congress to regulate the transactions that individuals are already engaging in but it does not empower Congress to force individuals to engage in commerce. Obamacare changes the very nature of the American social contract. As Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post puts it, if it is upheld, ‘it means the effective end of a government of enumerated powers — i.e., finite, delineated powers beyond which the government may not go’. If the federal Government can compel a private citizen to engage in a private contract with a private entity (i.e. to buy health insurance), is there anything the federal government cannot compel the citizen to do?

Furthermore, there is the issue of a conflict between religious beliefs and the Government; Obamacare requires the free provision of contraceptives, sterilisation and abortion drugs.

Opposition to one side, Obamacare has been, to some extent, a failure on its own terms. When the bill was signed into law, three things were promised. Firstly, that it would provide health insurance coverage for all Americans. Secondly, it would reduce insurance costs for individuals, businesses and Government. And thirdly, it would increase the quality of healthcare and the value received for each dollar of healthcare spending. In regard to the first point, universal coverage was not achieved; according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office released mid-March, Obamacare will leave 27 million Americans uninsured by 2022. In regard to the second point, the insurance cost for people who did not previously voluntarily choose health insurance will obviously be higher, and the Government cost is stated above. In regard to the third point, 17 of the 23 million receiving Obamacare will not be covered by real insurance, but be dumped into the Medicaid system with its limited access and quality.

Additionally, as the race for Republican nomination continues, the candidates’ emphasis on repealing Obamacare increases. The limitations of Government’s role in American lives is a key issue on which Republicans and Democrats differ. Mitt Romney, often criticised as being an advocate of the individual mandate after his healthcare policy in Massachusetts, used this second anniversary to publicly declare his opposition to Obamacare in an article in USA Today:

‘The reforms I propose for the country could not be more different from Barack Obama’s.’ he asserts, ‘They entail no new taxes, no massive diversions of funds away from Medicare, no tax discrimination, and no new bureaucracies. At the same time, they increase consumer choice, lower health care costs, decrease government spending, and give states responsibility for dealing with the uninsured.’

Not only does Romney promise to repeal Obamacare, he also promises further changes in healthcare. His free market approach to making healthcare more affordable involves libertarian state empowerment and an increase of competition. He argues that healthcare should be in the hands of state governments, in keeping with the 10th Amendment, and uses this proposal to defend his decision in Massachusetts. He further argues that the federal Government should lift the restrictions on purchasing insurance over state lines — this will encourage competition and reduce the burden on state governments for subsidies. Romney also suggests a policy of tax benefits for individuals whose insurance is not subsidised by employers.

But why is Obamacare such a controversial development whilst other compulsory welfare systems, such as Medicare and social security, are not? The difference, although somewhat blurry, is that Medicare and social security are Government-run programs with funding coming directly from taxes. Obamacare, on the other hand, is not a contract between an individual and the Government; it is a contract between the individual and a corporation, forced upon them by the Government. The question of Obamacare is much more than a question of healthcare; it is one of the very role of Government in American lives.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author



  • leader

    Great stuff, very well written!

  • Cullin

    A resounding article no doubt, but make sure and know your authors sources people.
    "The ACA’s provisions related to insurance coverage are now projected to have a net cost of
    $1,252 billion over the 2012–2022 period (see Table 2, following the text); that amount represents a gross cost to the federal government of $1,762 billion, offset in part by $510 billion in receipts and other budgetary effects"
    That's 1.2 trillion, from the source about the 1.76, as for the extra 250bn per year after that, it is simply not supported by the attached article. Also, the ideas explored in the internals of this article, especially
    " Obamacare has been, to some extent, a failure on its own terms… but be dumped into the Medicaid system with its limited access and quality."
    That passage explores approaches to the bill that are not fully truthful about the situation. The first goal is achieved through the same means Michigans' version (installed by Romney) does and that is by increasing the amount of insured as high as is possible, and simply penalizing those who do not comply, namely the five percent whom it would behoove not to pay into health insurance. Secondly, the argument of costing those who don't already pay is a childs' reasoning seeing as how the author exclusively speaks of those individuals while the bill will equalize the market as a whole (a game of averages no doubt, which I don't have the specifics on) and finally, the third goal works the same way the Social Security system works and that is to provide a security net, not a down pillow, but a net. The more comfortably you wish to live the harder you must work and the more you must apply yourself, it is simply the governments job to assure those in dire need that they will not die cold and alone on the streets simply because they do not have the same fiscally savvy attitude that the most successful members of society do.
    As for 'Leader' above me, you give me

    • Saira Khan

      Well, $1.76 trillion in gross cost, then.

      The $250 billion figure is from the hyperlink after that, from the Washington Post; http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/obamacare-….

      Hmm, I may be wrong, but I'd be so bold as to guess you didn't like that paragraph! Jokes aside, I don't think there was any need for you to be overly harsh about your disagreement, I was simply echoing Michael Tanner's views. Again, the facts — and your points — do not match up to the promises he stated. All you are doing is justifying why the Government has not met their promises. My concern is not whether Government's promises are idealistic or were not meant literally, it is that they have not been met and have consequently disillusioned people from the whole concept of Obamacare. You are excusing the promise of universal coverage by saying they took 'universal' to mean as-many-as-possible, excusing the promise of lower costs for individuals by saying it is a game of averages, excusing the promise of better quality by saying their only goal is to provide a safety net.

      If the end product does not even meet its promises, taking away a population's freedom for its purpose does not endear many to the end product. Thus, it has been a failure to some extent.

Back to Top ↑