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This week, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the debate over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act [ACA], the national health insurance coverage scheme dubbed "Obamacare" that was passed into law in 2010 by a slim margin, and only after much controversy and partisan debate. The nine Justices are debating different aspects of the law, and their verdict will ultimately decide whether or not one of Obama's signature legislative achievements will survive his presidency.
Both supporters and opponents of the law descended on Washington, D.C., this week to attend the various rallies taking place over the ACA. Conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity held a "Hands off My Healthcare" rally to drum up the Tea Party opposition; Obama supporters staged their own rally touting the benefits of the ACA in coverage of women's healthcare.
Naturally, iReporters were there as it all went down, and captured some great photographs and on-the-ground flavor of the dueling protests.
Conservative firebrands Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Rand Paul were on-hand at the Americans for Prosperity rally across the street from the Senate yesterday. Photographer Michael Kandel said that their speechifying delivered plenty of the usual red meat and "Republican talking points about health care that we've all heard before." He also notes that Bachmann and Paul "made sure to mention that Obama was out of the country on the second anniversary of the ACA."
Armando Gallardo had a prime view of the dueling camps when they staged simultaneous protests on the steps of the Supreme Court yesterday. He estimates that around 150 people showed up in total, and that the pro-ACA protesters had a slight numerical edge over their conservative counterparts.
Despite the charged nature of the debate, Gallardo said there was plenty of good will to go around. "It really surprised me how respectful both camps were of each other, no one was nasty or called each other names, it was surprisingly positive," he said.
iReporter Felix Masi has a personal stake in the ongoing debate over health care in the U.S., which is why he showed up to document the protest at the Supreme Court yesterday: "We have a 13-year-old with sickle cell," he said. If the Supreme Court renders a verdict that strikes down the ACA, his child may no longer be covered by insurance.
"You come to Uncle Sam, who has over 40 million people without health insurance," he said. "That means if you have over 40 million people without medical cover, it’s like a country without security. To me, strong security for a country is to make sure the people are not hopeless. People have a solid ground in that if they are sick, they’re not just going to die on the streets."
Did you attend any of the pro- or anti-ACA protests this week? Or do you have an opinion on healthcare that you're burning to share with the world? Now's the time to get in on the debate.
If health-care law is illegal than auto insurance,social security,and taxes too!!You can't have it both ways
57sontonic - Really? Do you have to pay for auto insurance if you DONT have a car? No. SSI and Taxes are legal...but your Obama friend stated that this IS NOT a tax. I cant believe that people actually think its ok for the government to tell them to buy something. It amazes me. Itll be even better when people are violat their probation and parole because they dont have healthcare.
"57sontonic - Really? Do you have to pay for auto insurance if you DONT have a car?"
- No you don't have to. Your argument is flawed though because by your argument you don't have to pay for healthcare only if you are dead. If you are alive, you need to pay for it.
Freelancerzz, you are wrong!!! You are contradicting yourself, you have the health, so you should have health insurance, the same way when you have a car, you have a car insurance. Every human HAS health and sooner or later health issues, that is exactly why we need UNIVERSAL health insurance.
the analogy is pointless, its stupid. Universal healthcare will drive down health cost and reduce prescription drug inflation. due to natural population increase its inevitable to need a health care system that covers everyone. quit the arrogance over individual liberties and wake up and see what works, Our European buddies have been doing this for decades
they can protest all they want. we are way beyond protests. the court will decide and it will be based on the constitution.
based on the justices questions and responses the mandate will be struck down and without a Severability clause the rest will be at risk.
what about Drivers license, birth certificate's, and Social Security numbers too?
This bill is bad for everybody. If it passes you will have to eat what the Gov. tells you too,afterall they are financeing your healthcare, and you can forget about playing high risk sports, be cause the Gov. has to finance it if something happens to you. this is a slippery slope
If it is upheld that we can get universal health insurance by requiring everyone to buy health insurance, then Obama can move on to solving the Housing crisis by requiring everyone to buy a house. Unemployment will end when everyone is required to hire someone to work full time for them.
And let's not compare Obamacare to what the Europeans have. They took the big step and just socialized medicine. Huge difference between universal health insurance and socialized medicine. They eliminated all the profiteering in health care so it could be delivered more cost effectively.
Many legal citizens in our country DIE because they do not receive the medical care that they need, but it is against the law of our country to kill yourself. We need to first take care of our US citizens. I have known many legal citizens going back to their home country for their surgery. By the grace of GOD I have medical insurance but I get tired of having to appeal all the claims that my health care provider refuses to pay. The middle class should not have to bankrupt their family to seek health care. Most bankruptcies are cause by a serious illness and most of these families do have health insurance.
Medicare, Medicaid and VA insurance and native American Indians all have forms of universal health care. Everyone that I know that turns 65 are relieve that they no longer have to worry about health care if they get sick. Many people in our country would not be on disability if they could have sought medical care in the beginning of their illness. This also includes people with mental illness. Our country would be much better off if it citizens were healthy. One out of three people in our country will die from heart disease. This is not true of other countries that live a much healthier lifestyle.
Some books that you should read are "Deathly Spin" by Wendall Potter, "Healthcare for All: A Global Quest for better, cheaper and fairer Health Care" by T. R. Reid, "Money Driven Medicine" by Dr. Sherry Rogers and "The Truth About Getting sick in America" by Tim Johnson.
I'm sorry, but I must be missing something...
I see that some privileged Americans are provided with quality healthcare and a growing number are blocked from it.
Tell me, America - is that justice?
And yet - here's a real shocker for you:
Not all of those blocked from quality healthcare are minorities.
Isn't that surprising?
All created by YOU.
Stumbeton, Thats just it, its not working in europe.
@GySgtG -- No, the Supreme Court decision will not be based on the Constitution. It will be based on politics, just like Bush v. Gore. The Supreme Court has lost all credibility as an impartial institution.
@Wiggs81 -- European universal health care was working fine while I lived there for 18 years. I thought it was terrific. So, do you have first-hand knowledge, or are you just quoting Rush Limbaugh?
@Stumbleton - "quit the arrogance over individual liberties and wake up and see what works, Our European buddies have been doing this for decades."
The sole purpose for our constitution's creation and existence was to preserve and insure individual rights and liberties. Most of the founding father were profound believers in the concept that the liberties of the individual supersede and outweighed the needs of the state as a whole.
If you want to throw out the concept of individual liberties then fine, we've been given a way to do that. But until you have the necessary two-thirds vote of congress and three-quarter's ratification by the states, we are still a nation whose federal government is restricted to those "expressly enumerate powers" granted by the constitution; and forcing an individual to buy a private product for the benefit of the American society is not one of them.
Yes Sev - It works fine until you run out of other peoples money (ala Greece, Italy, Spain and Ireland)....or need to ration it as they do in England. I have relatives in England who love, though they admit that they need to purchase additional private insurance in order to ensure that their needs are met in a timely and acceptable fashion!
It's strange that people are actually fighting so that other people will be denied health care. Once again so called Conservatives are on the wrong side of progress. The Affordable Health Care Act is a move in the right direction, everyone in America should have affordable health care.
Actually, I think most people are missing the nature of the discussion and therefore do not understand the opposing viewpoint. We are too controlled by our own bias.
The problem is in the way the law was written, which nearly everyone agrees is problematic. The conservatives are asking the question, "Can the government force you to buy something you don't want?" The progressives are insisting that since everyone is going to buy health insurance sometime, it ought to be regulated... that health insurance is different from other kinds of purchases.
So, the sides are talking past each other. But, it turns out that this is primarily a legal question. The progressives are missing this fact. The question that the supremes are supposed to be asking is about the constitution. Does the constitution set apart healthcare as a right? No, not explicitly. Is it true that every person is going to want medical coverage? No. This is a false premise. I know people who don't want it. So we're back to the question that the conservatives are asking.
You see, universal health coverage might be a good idea. But this bill might be determined by the Supremes to go at it in a way that is illegal.
The congress is allowed by the constitution to levy taxes. But, they are not (probably) allowed to force you to buy stuff you don't want. There are many postentially good things that congresss is not allowed by the constitution to do. They cannot force me to give to charity, even though it might be a good idea.
IF people are not told to buy the Insurance, then may will just wait until they get sick to buy one, due to the preexisting condition.
Also, republicans always complain about people going into the emergency cares and usually they dont have insurance and the tax payers are left with the bills. WELL, this will take care of that.
All of you who like to talk about Europe, think.
No dialysis if your over 60 (unless you pay).
Months or years before you get a needed procedure.
...and Europe is BROKE.
Canada is not broke.
Germany is not broke.
Switzerland is not broke.
England is not broke
and all those countries have universal healthcare.
BREAKING NEWS: Dogs goes nuts when soldier comes home.
Nice rag CNN has become.
You are all dreaming if you think the cost of healthcare will come down just because everyone has to have. Until some controls the insurance premiums nothing is going to change. Premiums will sky rocket and you will be forced to pay for them.
The consertives protesting the health care that they creataed. i can't see why the republicans are in such a tizzy about this. when Obama care as the republicans like to call it is their idea. it is what they planned. it is what they put forward. in fact it was the same as romney care. it was boted on and passed in the senate with the republicans supporting it. now they are playing politics with the lives of millions of people. wake up and vote democrat where we can get every one insured.
If I can be forced to pay for an uninsured, unhealthy person, then I should be able to force people to take care of themselves. When an uninsured person is treated, that cost is passed on to those of us who do pay. So, my insurance costs more because hospitals cost more because they have to recoup the lost revenue. Also, my tax dollars go to things I don't use like medicaid. So, if we get rid of the insurance mandate, then we must also allow hospitals and doctors to tell uninsured people with no cash to get lost. The mandate does take into account those who can not afford it (though it may need a tweak or two). But, being on the other side I say, "uninsured person, I don't know you and I don't particularly care if you die so quit costing me money by going to the hospital.". Oh, and if you can't afford insurance because it would mean you'd have to quit smoking, please do me a favor, save us all some money, and go jump off of a bridge; one high enough to do the job.
More @indepenent58, et.al.
Japan is not broke
Norway is not broke
Brazil is not broke
Chile is not broke
Australia is not broke
France is not broke
Finland is not broke
Sweden is not broke
Doesn't seem to me that ALL of Europe is broke. And, BTW, "Europe" does not have a continent wide universal health care system.
So given that only 2 countries(Italy and Greece) are actually broke, the smacks more of mismanagement than having anything to do with universal health care. Could be a California thing; give me free stuff and don't raise enough money to pay for it.