Blogs: News & Views

Health Care Bill: Is it Constitutional?

Mike Hennessy
Published Online: Monday, April 2, 2012

The constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) moves from water cooler talk to the Supreme Court on March 26. That’s almost the exact same day just 2 years ago when the bill was first passed. The American public continues to voice its own opinion of the health care bill, which mandates that individuals must buy health insurance—or pay a fine. Considerable new opposition is reflected in a new survey conducted by USA Today/Gallup among the nation’s top dozen “battleground states.”

Now, as the presidential primary season heats up, President Obama would like to take credit for this health care bill. It already covers 2.5 million young people, and by the time it is fully implemented “will give 30 million people health insurance,” as he noted at a recent local fund-raiser. But it seems that the president doesn’t want to draw too much national attention to it—the PPACA was only mentioned twice, briefly, at the recent State of the Union speech. If this new poll is any indication, the health care bill will be inescapable as an important national topic. In fact, it rates at the very top of voters’ concerns—right after the economy and the deficit.

The new poll, taken in mid-February, revealed that middle-of the-road voters ultimately felt uncomfortable with the health care bill as it is unfolding. Eight in 10 say it is “a bad thing,” and nearly 6 in 10 would like to see it repealed. If the poll is any indication of sentiment against big government, the 9 in 10 who feel the provision for requiring Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine is unconstitutional are speaking up loudly against more government intervention in the public’s daily life.

Some health care policy makers say that Americans are wary of the bill and its long-term impact—plus, most don’t see what the bill can do for them. A total of 69% nationwide and 72% in the battleground states say that it has had no effect on their family yet. But when asked how it will ultimately affect their family, fully 41% nationwide and 42% in the swing states say that it will “make things worse.”

Certainly, making things worse is not what this country needs as small businesses, pharmacy owners among them, continue to struggle with rising health care costs. One has to question the time and money spent in Washington to debate these issues with no positive result. Now that presidential politics enters the scene, one can only wonder how the upcoming Supreme Court debate will impact public opinion further as the onion is peeled back and reality sets in.

Mike Hennessy, Chairman and CEO
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Mike Hennessy shares his views and perspectives on issues that affect pharmacists.
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ABOUT MIKE HENNESSY, President, Chairman, CEO

Mike Hennessy is President, Chairman, and CEO of MJH & Associates and Intellisphere, LLC, publisher of influential journals in health care, finance, and politics, including Pharmacy Times. Pharmacy Times is a clinically based, monthly journal providing practical information pharmacists can use in their everyday practice. Each issue contains articles and features covering medication errors, drug interactions, patient education, pharmacy technology, disease state management watches, patient counseling, product news, pharmacy law, and specialty pharmacy. Pharmacy Times is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) as a provider of free continuing pharmacy education.

As a businessman, entrepreneur, and publisher of magazines, iPad editions, projects, and Web sites that focus on the needs of health care professionals, Hennessy is intimately familiar with the challenges these professionals face every day in today's competitive practice environment. News & Views: Hennessy's Highlights dissects health care policy issues, the impact of pharmacy on national health care, and the critical issues that concern pharmacists as the new health care reform legislation is debated.

As publisher of Pharmacy Times, Mr. Hennessy launched the Next-Generation Pharmacist Awards in partnership with Parata Systems, to recognize the achievements of pharmacists in health care. "As the leader in pharmacy publishing, Pharmacy Times is shining a light on the critical role of the pharmacist in today's health care world and providing invaluable insight into the profession," Mike Hennessy, chairman, chief executive officer, and president said. "We are proud to recognize individual pharmacists in this 2nd annual awards program."

Pharmacy Times is published by Intellisphere, LLC, a leading provider of health care publishing, research, information, and education. Operating within both traditional and digital media channels, Intellisphere serves the needs of health care professionals through an extensive suite of magazines, journals, e-mail databases, Web sites, events and personal meetings. Intellisphere reaches more than half a million health care professionals through Pharmacy Times, Specialty Pharmacy Times, The American Journal of Managed Care, The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, MDNG,, Oncology & Biotech News, Oncology Net Guide, Contemporary Oncology, and Oncology Net Guide: Nurses' Edition.
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