A Friend of the Court
Today I joined 49 other physicians across the nation in signing an Amicus brief which was filed at the US Supreme Court in support of the various states, including Utah, which are seeking to overturn the individual mandate and other portions of the Affordable Care Act. Here is the press release about the filing of the brief:
For Immediate Release
Tuesday February 14, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Oliver Hall, attorney
Single Payer Action 202.468.8868
Margaret Flowers, MD
It’s Our Economy
It’s Our Economy
Fifty Medical Doctors for Single Payer Urge
Supreme Court to Strike Down Individual Mandate
Fifty medical doctors who favor a single payer health insurance system today urged the US Supreme Court to strike down the individual mandate.
In a brief filed with the Court, the fifty doctors and two non-profit groups – Single Payer Action and It’s Our Economy – said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional.
The individual mandate is the provision of the ACA that requires Americans to purchase health insurance from private insurance companies if they do not otherwise have coverage.
The doctors are challenging the government’s claim that the individual mandate is necessary to reach Congress’ goal of universal coverage.
“The court should decide the constitutionality of the individual mandate based on the best available evidence,” said attorney Oliver Hall. “That’s why it is so important that these medical doctors provide the court with the information in their brief, which demonstrates that Congress can address the United States’ healthcare crisis by adopting a single payer system.”
“It is not necessary to force Americans to buy private health insurance to achieve universal coverage,” said Russell Mokhiber of Single Payer Action. “There is a proven alternative that Congress didn’t seriously consider, and that alternative is a single payer national health insurance system.”
“Congress could have taken seriously evidence presented by these single payer medical doctors that a single payer system is the only way to both control costs and cover everyone,” Mokhiber said. “Instead, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana), chair of the Senate Finance Committee which drafted the law that became the ACA, had two of those doctors – Dr. Margaret Flowers and Dr. Carol Paris – arrested and thrown in jail. Those doctors are now two of the 50 who have signed onto this brief challenging the Constitutionality of the ACA.”
“If the US Congress had considered an evidence-based approach to health reform instead of writing a bill that funnels more wealth to insurance companies that deny and restrict care, it would have been a no brainer to adopt a single payer health system much like our own Medicare,” said Dr. Margaret Flowers. “We are already spending enough on health care in this country to provide high quality universal comprehensive lifelong health care. All the data point to a single payer system as the only way to accomplish this and control health care costs.”
"People will have the greatest control of their own healthcare if the insurance industry is removed from between doctors and patients,” said Kevin Zeese of It’s Our Economy. “And, people will no longer be threatened with increased premiums, decreased coverage and financial ruin caused by a health crisis."
Both Kevin Zeese and Dr. Margaret Flowers are organizers with the National Occupation of Washington, D.C. (nowdc.org).
One month ago, Rep. Chavez-Houck (D-SLC) was in the news because she signed onto an amicus brief in support of Obama-Care, alleging that most of her constituents favor the individual mandate. I am one of her constituents and I am definitely opposed to a mandate requiring me to buy the most useless and wasteful product on the market. What kind of market is it, by the way, which requires a buyer to make a purchase upon penalty of law?
I do not believe that I am alone, or in the minority, among her constituents, either. I challenge Rep. Chavez-Houck to debate me in public about whether Obama-Care is a step forward in health system reform.
Unlike most critics of the Affordable Care Act, I have actually put before the public a proposal for comprehensive health system reform. The essential features of this proposal were offered during my 2008 campaign for the legislative seat Ms. Chavez-Houck currently holds. She and Pres. Obama went on to election that year and they and their many colleagues in Congress and the Utah Legislature have pursued health reform policies which are neither affordable nor caring.
I challenge my readers to take a look at the Utah Healthcare Initiative proposal, compare it to the Affordable Care Act, and judge which health system reform strategy actually has a chance to reduce the waste inherent in the current American health care business model.
I challenge all Utahns to take an interest in health system reform. Make a judgment about what policy would best serve our patients and support the movement to change the way we do health care business. I will challenge Rep. Chavez-Houck for her legislative seat again if individual Utahns will donate the necessary funds for the campaign to the Utah Healthcare Initiative, which is a registered political issue committee. PayPal donations can be made on this website.
The entire text of the Amicus brief will soon be available on this website by clicking on the 'Solutions' tab.
Dr. Joe Jarvis