Tornoe’s Toon: Health Care Reform

Filed in Delaware by on June 28, 2012

For tea baggers, facts and constitutionality won’t change a thing – that bubble is too darn thick! And some of them just aren’t that bright (many on Twitter now plan on moving to Canada because of “socialist Obamacare:).

Consider the reaction to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act by tea party darling Rand Paul (R-Ky):

“Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right.”

Unfortunately, those “couple people” happen to be Supreme Court justices. You know, the ones who ultimately decide upon the constitutionality of the laws once enacted.

I guess Marbury v. Madison isn’t required reading for the tea party.

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About the Author ()

Rob Tornoe is a local cartoonist and columnist, and can be seen in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Press of Atlantic City, The News Journal, and the Dover Post chain of newspapers. He's also a contributor to Media Matters and WHYY. Web site: Twitter: @RobTornoe

Comments (54)

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  1. cassandra_m says:

    Oh the teapidity! (New word as of today). I am enjoying reading about conservatives looking to move to Canada — home of single payer healthcare.

    Nice job, Rob!

  2. xstryker says:

    Please do move to Canada, teabaggers! And enjoy their superior health care system. Tell your friends back home to support a similar program!

  3. fightingbluehen says:

    So it’s a tax, is it? If it’s a tax, then the health care mandate is a tax loophole. You can participate in the exemption program to avoid the tax, right?

  4. puck says:

    What other tax may be optionally paid to a private company?

  5. fightingbluehen says:

    Am I banned or something? My last comment wasn’t posted.

  6. fightingbluehen says:


  7. fightingbluehen says:

    …..and I was just being objective, not partisan.

  8. Aoine says:

    @Jason – obviously the ability to READ itself wasnt required for the Tea party members either….

  9. Truth Teller says:

    President’s Washington and Adams knew how to handle health care.

  10. Jason330 says:

    Searching for Delaware GOPers statement on the ruling and not finding any. Can someone help me out, was Kovach outraged? Does Wade want to take up arms to oppose this tyranny?

  11. Jason330 says:

    Oh I see in another thread that Kovach is going Mike Castle on this. This is good but also bad. he is happy, but also sad. I guess he is going for the Celia Cohen vote.

  12. fightingbluehen says:

    So what happens to the “undocumented workers”? Will they now be required to show proof of insurance at the hospital since everyone will have insurance ?As it stands now, hospitals can’t refuse treatment to anybody.

  13. fightingbluehen says:

    Damn, I went to the store yesterday, and wouldn’t you know it, all the Kool-Aid was gone. Be honest. Did you guys drink it all up?

  14. puck says:

    Beau Biden was on the air with Marty Moss-Coane when the news of the ruling came in (WHYY got it right, by the way). Beau wisely declined to comment until he had read the opinions, but he did point out that he had filed a brief on behalf of Delaware supporting ACA.

  15. Joanne Christian says:

    Ummmmm–that’s rich. After Delaware being denied a waiver they applied for in regards to ACA about health insurance compliance of the 80% rule. I guess if you can’t beat ’em , join them.

  16. fightingbluehen says:

    So, why did Obama insist that the healthcare bill wasn’t a tax? Was it a bait and switch tactic in order for it to be accepted by the American people.

  17. Dave says:


    1. I think that since there is a way not to pay the tax, it’s really an optional tax and so technically I might not refer to it as a tax in the formal sense. There are great many fees for services that are essentially taxes even when it doesn’t have the word “tax” as part of it’s formal name. This is just one more.
    2. In your opinion, do people generally need the word “tax” as part of the formal name to consider it a tax? I wonder if they are that simple? “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Do most people recognize that?

  18. cassandra m says:

    So before we all follow FBH down his own private rabbit hole, we should ask him to provide a link to an exact quote where he said this wasn’t a tax.

    Exact quote — not a tax.

  19. puck says:

    It’s a tax. So what?

    But it is a tax that doesn’t cost you any extra money. If you already have health care, you are exempt from the tax. If you can’t afford the tax, it will be subsidized for you.

    Although it is the most contorted implementation of a tax I have ever heard of. It’s begging to be converted to a straight tax with progressive brackets. And then let it pay directly for managed health care for all, not for private insurance. Then we’d be where we need to be with health care.

  20. heragain says:

    A highly Republican friend of mine, whose facebook page is full of agony about the perils of socialized medicine and Obamacare just said, “Why can’t we just buy into Medicaid?”

    We need to get boots on the ground explaining this. The middle class people who don’t understand it COULD.

  21. puck says:

    If this tax costs you extra money from what you are paying now, you are underinsured.

  22. puck says:

    “Why can’t we just buy into Medicaid?”

    Medicare, more likely. I like that plan but it needs to be fleshed out. What happens to people who can’t afford to buy in?

    There are so many people in the marginal middle class now with insufficient and insecure incomes who can’t consistently afford buy-in payments. If you aren’t currently feeling sick, it is very difficult to choose to pay the health insurance bill instead of groceries and mortgage.

    Can you imagine being told you make too much for subsidies, yet you end up with your insurance lapsing every so often because you can’t make the payments? This is actually happening right now to people with all sorts of essential services and utilities. It is a symptom of the disintegration of the middle class.

    You are supposed to cut out other parts of your budget in order to pay for overpriced services from banks, insurance companies, and utility companies. It is part of the process of forcing working Americans to accept a continuous downgrade in their standard of living – i.e., the upward redistribution of income.

  23. cassandra m says:

    Buying into Medicare was an idea floated (mostly by Howard Dean if I recall) when the public option looked like it was a goner. It was also killed by conservative Dems in the Senate for reasons I couldn’t quite get — maybe because it would upset some deal they thought they could get with Republicans. People who couldn’t afford it would be subsidized — they way that some people will be subsidized via exchanges.

  24. xstryker says:

    I’m all for expanding Medicaid elibility, with a sliding cost scale based on income. That’s public option health care – the chance to get health insurance that treats you like a citizen rather than a sucker. It’s virtually impossible to get any health insurance company to treat you fairly – they will screw you, not if but when.

  25. puck says:

    I’d like to just keep incrementally lowering the age of eligibility for Medicare, along with a package of funding and cost-cutting. Health care cost per person would go down because you would be bringing younger and healthier people into the pool. Keep the buy-ins low and not the primary source of revenue. Make the Medicare tax progressive, require drug price negotiation, etc.

  26. Joanne Christian says:

    No puck…Medicare is for all of us who hit RETIREMENT age, regardless of income. Medicaid is the gold card I would love to buy into. I even suggested let every state offer purchase of whatever plan is offerred state workers. At least self-employed folks have the benefit of a greater risk pool, to keep premiums reasonable.

    Buying into Medicaid–as great as it sounds–really would be cost prohibitive for states. It is (at least in Delaware) no cost, full pass healthcare for healthcare, prescriptions, and minor age dental care. It is reserved for our neediest. The only buy-in is under SCHPS for minor children. We can dream though.

    And no–have to disagree w/ you. The upward redistribution of income in regards to healthcare is a myth. What I see now is a narrowing of who will qualify (medicaid)–because of the “all or none” payment thing, and MORE widening of the lower/middle middle class. Everybody thought the benefit was for them–and it wasn’t. Example–free prescription to low income group–however my prescription coverage is completely dropped July 1st. As we all know–one prescription may cost you 400 bucks (just using an example–some alot less, some alot more)–anyway–I certainly don’t make 400x more than low income qualifier to justify no prescription coverage. What are other folks going to do who have multiple prescriptions, increased co-pays, or no prescription coverage? It has got to hit an equitable distribution market–and this “oh the rich benefit, or can afford it” meme is just wrong–AND very misrepresentative of the real damage done to middle Americans. If you’re not living under a bridge practically, ALL OF US are taking a huge hit.

  27. fightingbluehen says:

    The US has the best healthcare system in the world. The only problem is that health insurance costs too much. Why couldn’t the government allow new insurance companies to open up as Non-profits with tax exempt status. Then they could charge less and the government would have less involvement which means the over all cost would be cheaper for the country as a whole.

  28. puck says:

    “The upward redistribution of income in regards to healthcare is a myth. ”

    Sorry Joanne, you can’t convince me.

    When I was a child, in the heyday of private medical insurance, physicians lived in my middle-class neighborhood and I played with their children and went to public school with them. But now they live in neighborhoods two or three upgrades from mine, and their children go to private schools.

    Hospital administration used to be a fairly ordinary middle-management job. Now hospitals are filled with an army of highly-paid empty suits with no apparent reason for their existence.

    Something changed, correlating with the Reagan administration.

    But looking past the physicians and administrators for a moment – the system is most of all driven by Wall Street, with its blood lust for profits at the expense of anything else, including national prosperity and even human life.

    This economy includes many engines pumping income upward, and the health care system is one of the biggest. National health care is a plan for prosperity and individual freedom.

  29. Joanne Christian says:

    Non profits w/ tax exempt status? No thanks…we have enough other entities hiding behind that one.

    This can be solved. But Americans also need to realize that the very best healthcare in the world does cost. So, thinking that your Latrisse eye drops to grow or thicken your eyelashes isn’t really healthcare in my book, but other Americans would go to the mat fighting for prescription coverage over.

    I believe in a “basics” package for all Americans as public policy. Free immunizations, birth control and a couple other things. Other than that, you buy healthcare for the roller coaster ride in life you take from genetic pool, risk taking, misfortune, accident etc…

  30. Joanne Christian says:

    puck–Conspicuous consumption is a values disease, not a healthcare one. Because actually, healthcare providers did a heck of alot better financially in the 70’s than they are doing now.

  31. Geezer says:

    “Other than that, you buy healthcare for the roller coaster ride in life you take from genetic pool, risk taking, misfortune, accident etc…”

    Shorter Joanne: Devil take the hindmost.

  32. xstryker says:

    FBH, I don’t know what planet you’re on if you think our healthcare system isn’t a complete mess. How do you explain the fact that our infant mortality rate is 49th in the world, according to the CIA factbook (34th on the UN’s ranking – the CIA counts places like Guernsey and Isle of Man). It’s astounding to me that wingnuts can act like infant mortality isn’t nearly as important as abortion – there is just no internal logic for these sheep at all.

  33. liberalgeek says:

    The US has the best healthcare system in the world.

    Please define best system…

    We have some of the best docs, but the SYSTEM isn’t even close to the best.

  34. Geezer says:

    “healthcare providers did a heck of alot better financially in the 70’s than they are doing now.”

    Because until the 1970s we didn’t have for-profit insurance. You keep pretending nobody is making money here because the money is going not to health-care professionals. The money is going instead to insurance-company bean-counters and coverage-deniers. So you might want to re-think your blithe dismissal of non-profit insurance.

  35. Geezer says:

    We do not have the best health care in the world by any standard that can actually be measured. We have a widely held belief, taken on faith, that we have the best health care in the world. The belief is mostly held by those who have little contact with other Western societies.

  36. liberalgeek says:

    Geezer – that can’t be right… FBH ALWAYS has well-informed opinions based on TONS of real evidence. I’m sure he’s just compiling it before he replies with a succinct and comprehensive explanation of the standards that he is using.

  37. Joanne Christian says:

    Aw shoot Geezer–I didn’t mention “guaranteed nursing home bed” in my basics proposal.

    And you are correct–the layers of mid level admin. costs have soared the consumer costs. But a blithe dismissal of the tax exempt, non profit status? Hardly. I can’t believe I would even have to defend that one on DL. Just look at your United Way and Red Cross CEOs….oh and the disaster at Father Flanagan’s Boys Home….and…..the YMCA “going rate” day camps and pre-after school care…..

    And yes LG…it is a system problem.

  38. fightingbluehen says:

    If you have the money, it’s the best. People travel to the US from all over the world for our healthcare services. It’s not the healthcare system that’s broke. It’s the fact that insurance costs are too high for average people to afford on their own.

  39. fightingbluehen says:

    I don’t know anybody who travels outside the US for medical care unless they are trying to save money or they are having procedures performed that are experimental or illegal in the US . I’m sure their are exceptions, but it’s not the norm.

    Geezer, name a hospital that has better credentials than the Mayo Clinic.

  40. Geezer says:

    “Just look at your United Way and Red Cross CEOs”

    Yes, look at them. Their “exorbitant” salaries pale beside those of CEOs of for-profit health care and health insurance companies. You are taking a few examples of non-profit bad behavior (funny how you failed to mention Komen in your list) to smear all non-profit enterprises. Logical fallacy there. “A is a non-profit. A is badly behaved. Therefore all non-profits are badly behaved.” I hope that spelling it out that way helps you see the illogic of your position.

    “People travel to the US from all over the world for our healthcare services….name a hospital that has better credentials than the Mayo Clinic.”

    People from the US also travel to countries like Mexico, India and Thailand to access medical services for the reasons you cite. And most of those traveling to the US are seeking surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions — hip replacements and the like — or are among the world’s wealthiest/most powerful. I’m not sure which is the larger group, but neither are you.

    The Mayo Clinic is indeed a wonderful provider. That’s not the issue. When you measure health care outcomes across the entire population, the US does not score well. You didn’t say “the US has SOME OF the world’s best health care.” You said the whole country did, which isn’t true.

    “If you have the money, it’s the best. … It’s not the healthcare system that’s broke. It’s the fact that insurance costs are too high for average people to afford on their own.”

    First, most people don’t have the money, and even some who do won’t if the costs keep rising at four times the rate of inflation. And insurance CAN’T do anything to keep costs down other than denying coverage. Insurance is merely a middleman, adding nothing to health care but spreading the risk over the people it allows into the pool. That’s why they currently try to keep people with pre-existing conditions out of the pool.

    My No. 1 complaint about Obamacare, and the reason I did not and do not support it, is that it pretends that our problems are solved by getting insurance. It has been my experience that your problems don’t truly begin until you get health insurance and then have to deal with that wonderful private-sector, profit-driven customer service they supply.

    I know you’re passionate about this, FBH, but you’ll never understand it until you understand the system itself.

  41. fightingbluehen says:

    I’m actually not that passionate about it Geezer, but when someone censors my comments unfairly, I tend to get passionate. If I can get cheaper health insurance without the government implementing some type of European style of socialized medicine, I will be happy enough.

  42. fightingbluehen says:

    ……BTW, if the rising cost of higher education wasn’t so obscene, maybe healthcare costs could stabilize. Why don’t we ever hear about “Big Education” like we hear about “Big Oil” or “Big Pharma”. I think we all know the answer.

  43. socialistic ben says:

    and maybe if eggs didnt go bad in the sun, plastic bottles would decompose faster.

  44. socialistic ben says:

    This isnt a European style of socialized medicine. Its a Romneyan style of compulsory payment to private insurance companies. FBH, what do you think socialism is? truly. what do you consider to be the definition of socialism… here is the rule
    you aren’t allowed to use the terms “communism, Communism, Marxism, Maoism, Soviet, Nazi, or Bolshevik” because NONE of those things are socialist.

  45. fightingbluehen says:

    I never said it was. That’s why I said I’m not that passionate about it, and that I will be happy enough if it doesn’t end up being a European style of socialized medicine.

  46. fightingbluehen says:

    “and maybe if eggs didnt go bad in the sun, plastic bottles would decompose faster.”

    So I take it that you don’t think more doctors would cheapen the cost of healthcare?

  47. xstryker says:

    “unless they are trying to save money” bingo, that’s a large category of people which includes Sarah Palin. It’s not simply the insurance that is expensive – its the cost of treatment that has also skyrocketed. A healthcare system that is only best for 10% of Americans is, in our case, on the average, pretty much the worst of any developed nation. And the other 300 million of us shouldn’t put up with that. My tax dollars are being used to subsidize the development of procedures that I will never be able to afford (especially if we go back to allowing insurance companies to have lifetime limits). That reverse Robin Hooding, aka exploitation, and I for one won’t stand for it. A healthy economy depends upon healthy people.

    Infant mortality rate! Do you care or not!?

  48. xstryker says:

    FBH, the reason you don’t hear about the rising costs of education is because you don’t listen to progressive reporting on the subject.

  49. Not a Tax says:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

    OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.

  50. puck says:

    STEPHANOPOULOS: But you reject that it’s a tax increase?

    OBAMA: I absolutely reject that notion.

    ROMNEY: I – uh – I agree with my opponent.

    Actually, the Court found the individual mandate to be simply a TAX. If you want to know if it is a TAX INCREASE, you will have to know the facts and do some math – two things that are consistent problems for conservatives.

  51. puck says:

    I can’t wait for Romney to come out and argue that there is no legal controlling authority that has declared the Massachusetts individual mandate to be a tax.

  52. liberalgeek says:

    FBH – Here is a great study about people coming to America for medical treatment. It may burst a bubble or two about your assumptions.

    Or a discussion about the study:

  53. puck says:

    When I snarked above that Romney would agree the mandate is not a tax, Romney proves once again it is impossible to parody Republicans:

    Note: The Romney staffer who was quoted saying this is also the Etch-A-Sketch guy.

  54. fightingbluehen says:

    “Actually, the Court found the individual mandate to be simply a TAX. If you want to know if it is a TAX INCREASE, you will have to know the facts and do some math – two things that are consistent problems for conservatives.”

    You’re having a laugh, aren’t you?