Bloggers look at a doctor criticizing patients who supported health reform, whether soft drink taxes work and how many legal scholars think the new law is unconstitutional.
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey relays the story of a Florida urologist who “has decided to make his opposition to ObamaCare as public as possible. Dr. Jack Cassell put a sign on his door telling patients who supported the health-care overhaul bill to find another urologist. He’s also stocking his waiting room with information on the problems in ObamaCare — and so far, most of his patients have agreed with him.” Morrissey includes an informal reader poll asking if doctors should express their political viewpoints in their offices, and the vast majority of readers (~90%) respond that “[doctors] have a right to free speech like anyone else.”
Wonk Room’s Igor Volksy looks at two new studies that found current soft drink taxes may have little effect on obesity rates. Volksy responds, “So a small soda tax may not trip the waistline, but so long as any revenue is dedicated towards funding public health programs, the people who choose to consume ridiculous amounts of Diet Coke or Mountain Dew are paying some part of the extra medical costs associated with that behavior. It’s a good way to raise money and discourage unhealthy behavior (to some degree). Too bad it’s not part of how we’re financing health reform.”
In a new installment of “Side Effects of ObamaCare,” the Heritage Foundation’s Kathryn Nix reacts to confusion over whether the new health law required insurers to cover children with preexisting conditions and AHIP’s letter clarifying that insurers would “fully comply” with rules after the Department of Health and Human Services Secretary releases them. Nix says, “But is this anyway to run a country? To have lawmakers and regulators coerce the private sector into doing what they simply declare to be their ‘intent,’ rather than what is actually written in the law? Legislation is supposed to be scrubbed of shortcomings such as this before it’s brought to the floor for a vote.”
James Capretta of the New Atlantis argues that “Now that the health-care bill has been signed into law, President Obama wants to ‘pivot’ to other pressing issues. But, truth be told, the biggest issue the country now faces is still, in large part, about health care. … Moreover, it is clear that Democrats have no intention of actually tackling the core problem in the federal budget, which is rapidly rising entitlement costs, especially for health care. They say their health-care bill has already addressed the problem. In the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ‘health reform is entitlement reform.’”
David Koppel of The Volokh Conspiracy says he can find plenty of legal scholars who think the new health overhaul law is unconstitutional despite the lack of that viewpoint at a recent debate on the issue at the University of Washington Law School “on the constitutionality of Obamacare. All four of the debaters said that the new law is unquestionably constitutional. According to moderator Hugh Spitzer, the reason that the ‘debate’ featured only one side was that ‘we tried very hard to get a professor who could come and who thinks this is flat-out unconstitutional…But there are relatively few of them, and they are in great demand.’”
And Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag says, “If you look at the policy options CBO assessed as having the biggest potential for reducing long-term health care cost-growth, you will see that a vast majority of these proposals are, in some form, part of the historic health care reform legislation the President signed into law last week.” Orszag then provides a list of what’s included, like bundled payments to doctors and hospitals and ‘accountable care organizations’.