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But does it make sense?

June 30, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

Not all Democrats joined President Barack Obama in gloating over the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of most requirements of "Obamacare," the law allowing the government sweeping control over health care in America.

A key facet of the law, forcing people to buy government-approved health insurance or pay fines for failure to do so, "doesn't make sense for West Virginians," U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., noted.

Manchin is absolutely correct. A divided court voted 5-4 to uphold that requirement, often referred to as the individual mandate. But justices did so by deciding fines levied against those who do not obtain insurance are, in fact, taxes. Until that technicality became useful, Obama and liberals in Congress had insisted the fines were not taxes.

As Manchin understands, the individual mandate will cost Mountain State residents dearly. Those who buy insurance themselves will have to pay more - probably much more - for policies. Those who do not will have to pay the stiff fines. Many companies will drop health insurance policies for employees, deciding it is cheaper to pay the fines than to fund the more expensive coverage required by the government. Many West Virginians who now have health insurance will lose it because of Obamacare.

All health insurance will become more expensive because of Obamacare's requirements, such as the one mandating coverage for children up to age 26 on their parents' policies.

State taxes will have to go up to cover the enormous expansion of the Medicaid program required by the law. One estimate is that 140,000 more Mountain State residents will have to be offered Medicaid coverage. After the federal government stops paying the additional cost, in three years, West Virginians will have to find a way to cover it.

West Virginia's other U.S. senator, Democrat Jay Rockefeller, was happy about the Supreme Court ruling. He has been a staunch supporter of Obamacare, as well as the president's other harmful initiatives, including the war against coal.

"It's real people in West Virginia who I'm concerned about," Rockefeller said Thursday.

But real people by the hundreds of thousands will pay more for health insurance and in state taxes because of the health care law. What about them?

Manchin is right. The law's expensive, intrusive requirements such as the individual mandate should be repealed.



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