Snowe & Collins Back Health Bill Court Challenge

November 22nd, 2010 at 11:54 am | 8 Comments |

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The Portland Press-Herald reports:

Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are co-signing an amicus, or friend of the court, brief to be submitted to the federal court in Florida that will hear a constitutional challenge of the federal health care reform law.

The brief was initiated by U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and boasts signatures of 30 Senate Republicans. The lawsuit was brought by the attorneys general for several states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, a small-business trade organization.

At issue is a requirement that U.S. citizens purchase health insurance beginning in 2014 or face a fine — known as the “individual mandate.”

Snowe was the only Republican to support any version of health care reform, but ultimately voted against the final bill. The version Snowe supported did include an individual mandate, but her aides said she opposed that provision and hoped to change it through the amendment process.

Snowe was concerned with the concept of government mandating an individual purchase of something, especially because she did not believe health insurance would be sufficiently affordable, her office has said.

Snowe and Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., tried to amend the reform to reduce the number of people subject to the mandate and allow Congress more flexibility to review the mandate altogether, but it failed in committee.

“The individual mandate has no place in a health care reform bill unless and until affordable health insurance is available for all Americans,” Snowe said in a release about the brief.

“We must take seriously the gravity of this imperious and intrusive government mandate and repeal the individual mandate before millions of Americans are forced to purchase health care coverage that they neither want nor can afford.”

Supporters of the individual mandate say it will help keep health insurance costs down because it spreads risk: Those who decline to buy insurance are often the healthiest, while those who buy it are often need it most and, therefore, cost more to cover.

Snowe, one of the senators most likely to vote across party lines, faces re-election in 2012. Many expect she will face a strong primary challenge, given the experience of several incumbent Republicans in the 2010 election cycle.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • balconesfault

    The version Snowe supported did include an individual mandate, but her aides said she opposed that provision and hoped to change it through the amendment process.

    So what did Snowe propose to substitute in order to make sure that it would be economically viable for insurance companies to accept the provision that they had to offer policies to the previously uninsured who had pre-existing conditions?

    Unless Snowe’s answer is “scrap the requirement that insurers cover pre-existing conditions” … she should simply not be treated as a serious participant in this discussion.

  • Tarvis

    If the primary concern against requiring Americans to have health insurance is affordability, wouldn’t a better course of action be to introduce measures to reduce the price of health care to more affordable levels rather than just leave it at unaffordable levels and repeal the requirement?

    Maybe I’m not seeing the bigger picture here.

  • balconesfault

    If the primary concern against requiring Americans to have health insurance is affordability, wouldn’t a better course of action be to introduce measures to reduce the price of health care to more affordable levels rather than just leave it at unaffordable levels and repeal the requirement?

    Which is, in fact, what HCR attempts to do – but not via reducing the absolute price of health care (which would require government command and control of the healthcare industry), but by reducing the functional price of health care to affordable levels based on means testing (subsidizing the purchase of private sector insurance for those who can’t afford it).

    Essentially – government is taxing people who don’t purchase insurance to cover the governmental costs of paying for everyone who walks into an emergency room to be treated regardless of affordability … and issuing vouchers to people to use to go out and purchase insurance with so that they (a) can afford the insurance and (b) can avoid the tax.

    ***

    I do believe that the “bigger picture” is that the GOP Senate is going to do everything they can over the next two years to try to prevent Obama from being re-elected.

  • politicalfan

    They simply wont allow the funding.
    While I can agree that the mandate stinks. (A Rep idea)
    My greater question is-
    If people do not have to carry insurance and end up in the ER, we still pay for it with rises to our health care cost. Hospital has to charge more, ect. ect. Why is it okay for people to be given “hand-outs” in this way? We know that answer is that we are a moral country and we would not refuse someone ER care. So, why would it be okay to refuse them preventive care that will save them? Futhermore, why is it okay that we allow wasted tax dollars to fund other projects that most Americans would not appreciate. (President Obama) time to make good on the sunlight is the best disinfective. Let’s discuss Senators and Congress benefits? All of them, any of them…

    P.S. If the Republicans to appeal to their base, they are cooked goose. I will be interesting. More noise.

  • balconesfault

    I will be interesting. More noise.

    Damn – I didn’t expect poetry here!

    Shades of Walt Whitman?

    Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.

  • politicalfan

    balconesfault-
    touche’

    Stand corrected as
    It will-

    “it is you talking just as much as myself” Self

    Yes, proofreading would help.

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