Friday, April 9, 2010

Health Care Reform Title I Part 5

The opinions in this blog represent my personal opinions only and do not represent the opinions of Cottonwood nor it's administration.

We have been looking at the new health care law and I have been discussing Title I of the law which is Quality Affordable Health Care for All Americans. I have provided my editorial comments and have found much to like about this part of the law as well as some concerns. I want to finish up Title I today.

This section of the law gives the states flexibility to establish basic health care programs for low income individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid. This is for people whose income is at least 133% of the federal poverty level but less than 200%. The law provides for states to structure this in a variety of ways including the ability to negotiate regional contracts with other states. This is basically an expansion of the Medicaid program which I agree is a good idea. As I have noted before I think that giving states flexibility is much better than a one size fits all requirement from the federal government.

The rest of Title I includes small business tax credits for employee health insurance expenses which I agree with as well as the controversial requirement that everyone must purchase some form of health insurance and report this to the IRS.

While this requirement might seem to some to be a good idea I have a problem with it in principle. My problem is the federal government making any requirement about how I may choose to spend my money. We have certain requirements already such as the need to purchase automobile coverage if we drive but whether or not I drive is a choice. In this situation the government says we have no choice. I think it is a very bad precedent to allow the federal government this amount of control over my personal finances. The government has right to tax me in any way that it seems fit but there is nothing in the Constitution that gives the federal government any rights as to what I can or must spend with my own money. I am not alone in this opinion as there are many states attorneys general who are filing suit, challenging the Constitutional right of the government to invade privacy in such a manner. If it is found by the courts to be acceptable there is nothing to prevent the government from making other similar requirements that are felt to be in the public good.

This requirement is my main objection to the law in it's current form and has possible far reaching and long term consequences.

Thought for the day

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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