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Republicans Gut States Rights

When Democrats were in power, Republicans hollered “states rights” every time Democrats tried to help the poor and downtrodden. Now that Republicans are in power, they are trampling “states rights” in order to help their friends in the business community. Business before pleasure… or… “states rights.” Republicans have approved in committee a health bill that emasculates state health laws by overriding them with a weak federal health law. Republicans are gutting a strong pillar of conservatism: States rights.

The bill is called The Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act (HIMMAA), and was introduced by Mike Enzi, a Republican representative from New York. It would bring a single law to bear across the entire U.S. This is a good idea - if it were a decent law. But it is a weak law. It would allow insurance companies to ignore nearly all state laws that require insurance coverage for certain treatments or conditions.

If a benefit is in place in at least 45 states, insurers will need to include it. If not, insurers need not include it. In plain language, citizens of more liberal states like California, New York and Massachusetts, who are blessed with good health insurance laws, would lose benefits they already have. Instead of making our dysfunctional health system better, this law will make it worse. Some people call this bill

The Lose Your Benefits Bill

I don't mind Republicans gutting "states rights" if the result is an improved, not a restricted, healthcare system. We need health insurance for all. We need to have the federal government in charge. We need to have a universal healthcare system. However, you cannot expect Republicans to provide it.

Posted by Paul Siegel at April 11, 2006 5:25 PM
Comments
Comment #139977
Republicans are gutting a strong pillar of conservatism: States rights.

Why not? They’ve gutted every other pillar of conservatism.

Posted by: Grant at April 11, 2006 5:41 PM
Comment #139979

A perfect reason why we need Libertarians in charge, neither party cares about Individual Choice or States Rights.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 11, 2006 5:51 PM
Comment #139981

Insures and insured can include any benefit they want and mutually agree to include. There is no restriction on that. The state simply cannot force them to include a benefit they may not wish to include and/or the insured may not wish to pay for with increased premiums. I prefer choice. Most people do. It prevents political allocation of resources and allows you not to pay for things you may not want.

The text is available here. It seems a fairly sensible way to lower health care costs by streamlining and making multi state insurance more efficient. It will probably also encourage more firms to insure their workers, by lowering the costs and administrative work. I doesn’t seem like something to get worked up about. Looks like a good idea.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #139983

“We need to have a universal healthcare system. However, you cannot expect Republicans to provide it”

Thank god.

“neither party cares about Individual Choice or States Rights”

Rhinehold, you know thats not true. They care about individual choice and states rights when it supports THEIR particular agenda.
Well, at least they SAY they do.

Posted by: kctim at April 11, 2006 5:57 PM
Comment #139987

Uh,

I assume it was not actually proposed by a Republican Senator from New York, seeing as how they are none.

I am torn on the health care issue. Although I’d love to have healthcare for everyone, I am reluctant to have the government provide it. Of course, nobody else will if they do not, and the current system promotes our money going to pay for emergency health care for indigents anyway, so the increased costs would not be ridiculous. The Massachusetts system isn’t terrible, as it provides for significant choice and also the ability to secure your own healthcare. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Libertyman13 at April 11, 2006 6:05 PM
Comment #139988
Insures and insured can include any benefit they want and mutually agree to include. There is no restriction on that. The state simply cannot force them to include a benefit they may not wish to include and/or the insured may not wish to pay for with increased premiums.

You make the presumption that there will be mutual agreement between insurer and insured, but that’s not the way insurance companies work. Insurance companies don’t work in cooperation with the public. This will lead to insurance companies chosing what they will or won’t cover, based on what’s best for their bottom line, and the insured will be stuck with whatever the insurance companies choose to dole out.

Posted by: Grant at April 11, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #140005
Well, at least they SAY they do.

You should know better by now, we’ve been proven that everything they SAY is just lip service to get votes. Once they get elected, they abandon what they say as quickly as possible.

After all, if they actually solved these problems, what would they use to gain power next election cycle? It’s all about stringing everyone along in order to remain in power or regain power and expand the governmental control over our lives. Both parties are doing it, both party should be kicked out for doing it.

But we keep believing the rhetoric!

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 11, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #140006

I agree with most of what everyone is saying. The current system is not working and, in fact, may be beyond fixing.

But, I am confused about one point. Hasn’t the term “state’s rights” always been considered conservative code words for racism?

Posted by: ulysses at April 11, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #140007

HIMMAA is a bill which is directed at small businesses only (fewer than 50 employees). This federal legislation would pre-empt many state mandated insurance regulations. The primary purpose is to reduce the cost of health insurance for small businesses (it does nothing to address the high cost of health care)by allowing insurance companies to avoid state mandated health benefits such as mammograms, contraceptives, and mental health benefits among others. Very few businesses this size operate outside of one state so the legislation isn’t really necessary. Although reducing the cost a small employer pays to provide insurance for its employees may seem like a good idea it is unlikely that this will result in a mass rush by mom and pop businesses to provide health insurance. More likely, the mom and pops will merely use the reduced cost to try to keep their business afloat longer. The high cost of health services isn’t even addressed by this weak effort. Big business (Halliburton, General Motors) wouldn’t be affected by this bill. This is like swatting a fly on a hippo. What a worthless effort. No doubt Bush and his cronies will showcase this bill as cutting edge health care reform.

Posted by: Riskman at April 11, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #140019

Grant

I chose my insurance based on the package they offer and the price they charge. I would like to have dental insurance, for example, but it is not worth it for me to pay the extra amount, so I don’t. If government mandated dental care, I would have to pay for it and I calculate that it would cost more than my paying out of pocket for dental care when I need it.

Ulysses

States’ rights was a Democratic platform during the segregation era, when they controlled most southern states. It had some racist meaning in those days.

In its current form, it has more to do with pushing the power to regulate to the states. I don’t think it has much to do with racism any more.

Actually, the modern states’ rights is more aimed at business and environmental regulation.

Posted by: Jack at April 11, 2006 8:31 PM
Comment #140022

Jack, the insuance companies aleady have free reign when it comes to what you can be hit with I don’t know if you have ever heard of “DOUBLE MAX” premiums. It seems as though this bill is their attempt at bringing the few states that do impose restrictions on them into line with the states they already control.

Posted by: Ted at April 11, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #140025
Hasn’t the term “state’s rights” always been considered conservative code words for racism?

Only by non-thinking individuals who don’t really have a valid point to make against their opponents so they try to play the race card to invalidate what their opponent is arguing for.

It’s really the case with most ‘codewords’, it hampers free thought and discussions in the political arena. Even if your oppononet IS racist, you should be able to defend your position without resorting to calling him one.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 11, 2006 8:53 PM
Comment #140033

As was pointed out in an earlier comment, there are no republican senators from New York.

Paul Siegal shows his ignorance of government by refering to Represenative Enzi as a Senator. It surely makes one wonder about his credibility.

Posted by: DemYankee at April 11, 2006 9:24 PM
Comment #140047

Rhiney, your about as much a libertarian as I’m a Vegetarian.

Posted by: Norby at April 11, 2006 9:43 PM
Comment #140092
I chose my insurance based on the package they offer and the price they charge. I would like to have dental insurance, for example, but it is not worth it for me to pay the extra amount, so I don’t. If government mandated dental care, I would have to pay for it and I calculate that it would cost more than my paying out of pocket for dental care when I need it.

This isn’t about a state mandate to cover dental insurance. This is about Ohio requiring insurance companies to cover cervical cancer screenings. Tennessee requires insuranse to cover osteoporosis screenings. Multiple states allow pregnant women to stay with the same OB/GYN throughout their pregnancy whether or not their insurance company drops that doctor during the pregnancy. You make it sound like choosing health insurance is comparable to selecting the right phone plan.

And who out there believes that the insurance industry is competitive? Come on, let’s see a raise of hands. Most of us can only afford the insurance we get through our work, assuming our jobs carry insurance. How many plans do your employers offer? How much choice do we really have here?

No, I don’t see anything wrong with individual states choosing to pass laws that place requirements on insurance companies to cover certain critical items. If the insurance companies don’t like what they are doing in Ohio, New Hampshire, Tennessee, etc…, then they can do business elsewhere. That’s their choice.

Posted by: Grant at April 11, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #140105
Rhiney, your about as much a libertarian as I’m a Vegetarian.

Really? What do you base this on? Or are you just taking a pot shot because you, as I expect, have no real position or ideas on the subject?

FYI, I am involved in the Indiana State Libertarian Party and have run for office as a Libertarian in Indianapolis at the request of the party (and hope to do so again).

So, exactly how am I *not* a Libertarian?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 12, 2006 12:10 AM
Comment #140106

I am proud of our Republican Leadership for supporting this law. Considering how much money HMOs, Insurance Companies and Pharmaceuticals give to the GOP each year, its about time they get a return.

The GOP are just showing their loyalty. Nothing wrong with that.

Posted by: Aldous at April 12, 2006 12:13 AM
Comment #140125

You’re all mindless Liberal douche bags who complain and waste your breath while you could be doing something more constructive such as WORK.

Posted by: Grey Fox at April 12, 2006 4:30 AM
Comment #140142

I have Three Words whenever this Topic comes up:

Bush v. Gore

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 7:06 AM
Comment #140148

FYI…
Senator Enzi is from Wyoming, not New York.

Posted by: TheTraveler at April 12, 2006 7:54 AM
Comment #140151

demyankee wrote:

Paul Siegal shows his ignorance of government by refering to Represenative Enzi as a Senator. It surely makes one wonder about his credibility.

Now see, When someone misstates a fact, simply directing them to a source where they can find the correct info, instead of calling them names and trying to make them feel small, one often ends up with egg on their own face.

“Representative Eno” (as you call him)is indeed a Senator as Paul Siegel says.

http://enzi.senate.gov/

Paul simply mistakenly moved him to New York.

sassyliberal


Posted by: sassyliberal at April 12, 2006 8:37 AM
Comment #140152

Traveler,

Sorry, I posted before I read your comment. Thanks, sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at April 12, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #140154

I think the REPs need to stick what they a good at…

Prayer in School. Afterall, it’s not about results - it’s all about faith.

Faith-based initiatives
Faith-based econimics
Faith-based foreign policy
Faith-based judicial
Faith-based health care

….
…..

Posted by: tony at April 12, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #140160

Paul,

This is a great example of how hypocritical the GOP is. They accomplished the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions by tapping into anti-Washington sentiment. Federal bureaucrats were supposed to be the problem, not the solution. Now that they have their hands on the levers of federal power, they think that the real wisdom is in DC, not Boston or Sacramento. Fortunately, real conservatives seem to be slowly wising up.


Jack,

People don’t really have choice in the health insurance market. They are basically stuck with the company their employer selects. It is not like buying a car or something. If I want leather upholstery in my car, I can pay a little more and get it. Employer-sponsored health care is usually not like that.

Posted by: Woody Mena at April 12, 2006 9:54 AM
Comment #140213

I apologize. Enzi is a representative, not a senator.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at April 12, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #140225

Paul, Enzi was indeed a Representative but is now a Senator, as Traveler and Sassy stated, for Wyoming.

This is an absolutely terrible bill. It’s a Neocon gift for the insurance industry. I’ve read that these pre-emptions are going to affect almost everybody, because they’re going to apply not only to small employer plans, but to individual health insurance and large group plans, too.
You know what other legislation is a Neocon gift to their corporate friends that really stinks?
The House voting to kill the internet. But you can take action here to try to stop them.

Posted by: Adrienne at April 12, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #140254

Paul Siegel,

I apologize. Enzi is a representative, not a senator.

Paul, You were right the first time, Enzi is a Senator from Wyoming.
http://enzi.senate.gov/


Hey, at least you are ready to stand-up and amend your statements if you think you made a mistake. I commend you for it.

Although your credibility was questioned by demyankee, misstating something happens to the best of us.

sassyliberal

Posted by: sassyliberal at April 12, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #140315

Good info on some scary new News, Adrienne. Sent and Sent.

Posted by: Betty Burke at April 12, 2006 10:46 PM
Comment #140582

People want a free health care. Republicans dont believe a free system can provide services everyone feels they deserve. Democrats want a free system provided by others and government.

Free health care will fail without curbs. Currently biggest abusers are whites with insurance - hospitals and doctors are happy to provide them all the services they request.

Posted by: Reporter for Doody at April 14, 2006 1:08 AM
Comment #140615
After all, if they actually solved these problems, what would they use to gain power next election cycle? It’s all about stringing everyone along in order to remain in power or regain power and expand the governmental control over our lives. Both parties are doing it, both party should be kicked out for doing it.

Amen, brother. Term limits would solve so many problems. The term “career politician” should be abolished!

Posted by: tom at April 14, 2006 8:10 AM
Comment #145191

As a wise Senator said in 2000: “Among the handful of principles that are fundamental to any true protection for health care consumers, probably the most important is allowing states to continue in their role as the primary regulator of health insurance.”

Who said it? Oh, Mike Enzi. The statement’s still on his Senate web site; I wonder how long it’ll take for him to take it down. (Too late, Mike, archive.org already has a copy.)

Posted by: Christopher Davis at May 3, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #145355

Check out www.stopenzi.com for more information and a link to take action against S.1955

Posted by: Walter Jones at May 4, 2006 11:19 AM
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