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Happy Mandate-mas! Supreme Court verdict on Obamacare today

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by jmervyn, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    I'll not bother to post a poll, since the U.S. Supreme Court is going to publish their ruling on the legality of Obamacare in just a few hours. What I'm wondering is, were you originally for it, have you changed your mind, and what do you think of their verdict?

    There's a lot of sphincter-clenching on both sides. Notable is the preparation by the Left to spin a loss of some kind. While I'm generally a good prognosticator (and my guess is currently the favored inTrade bet), the reason the Left is wetting their knickers is that Ginsburg and one other were quoted saying the issue is that they must decide whether the overturn of the mandate requires the whole accursed shyte sandwich be overturned.

    Why is this foreshadowing? Because if they had approved the mandate, they wouldn't be as concerned about whether they can excise the tumor and save the body.

    EDIT - Just for the memories:
    "Are you serious? Are you serious?"
    “nobody questions” Congress’ authority
    The authority “Under several clauses, the good and welfare clause and a couple others."
     
  2. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    I guessed wrongly; while the Supremes rejected some of the arguments, nothing was struck down; Roberts joined the Left for the decision. They approve the mandate as an outright tax, which I don't get. I'll read the ruling when I have a few...
     
  3. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    You don't have to get those decisions if there are enough others who did :p. In fact, it's better for Obama if you don't get it, that might leave you at a disadvantage when opposing it :D.
     
  4. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    Gee, thanks. So when Fr. Merkel levies a tax on you for not watching enough DW, the proceeds going to help relieve Greece kleptocracy, it's just peachy?



     
  5. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    I didn't mean to support or oppose the US medicare system because I'm torn about which one sucks the most, the "let the poor die" one or the "people don't know what's good for them" one. It's better to let people suffer because they are what they are than to let them suffer for what they aren't.

    People here are almost fully behind mandatory health insurance (after all, the grand Bismarck introduced it... to give people less of a reason to support socialists BTW), so it's OK to have it here. If the US voters really don't want it they have to put it more on top of their criteria for deciding for a future government.
     
  6. jimmyboy

    jimmyboy Diabloii.Net Member

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    Good job Roberts. I was wrong when I thought that you would fall in line with Scalito & Clarence.
     
  7. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    Good thing that the U.S. wasn't the former, though it is definitely now part of the latter. Thing is, this part of the issue essentially is fascist in principle; we're now forcing the consumer to buy an unnecessary product from a company, and levying a punitive tax against them if they refuse. One wonders what other things we will now find mandatory to purchase? Of course, the solution to all this is the single payer system which THE WON originally said he wanted. Then it's openly socialist rather than covertly fascist, which makes it just fine.
    Interestingly, Bismark is viewed as the father of the Progressive state here. Most of our "Great Society" concepts trace back to him.
    Where you been, jimmy? I've had to resort to shadow-boxing krischan and stevinator... but yeah, Roberts unzipped it for everyone to see today. Not like he's a Lefty, just that he's as Progressive and pro-Gov't as the rest.



     
  8. BobCox2

    BobCox2 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Per SCOTUSBlog. Opinion by Roberts. [1] HERE IS THE OPINION
    Ginsburg writes separately for the liberal wing of the Court. Kennedy dissents.


    Decision is "very complicated."
    Plain English, per SCOTUSblog:
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.
    More plain English:
    Essentially, a majority of the Court has accepted the Administration's backup argument that, as Roberts put it, "the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition -- not owning health insurance -- that triggers a tax -- the required payment to IRS." Actually, this was the Administration's second backup argument: first argument was Commerce Clause, second was Necessary and Proper Clause, and third was as a tax. The third argument won.
    The first paragraph from the SCOTUSblog write-up about it (which is still a work in progress; it was copied to the liveblog):
    Salvaging the idea that Congress did have the power to try to expand health care to virtually all Americans, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld the constitutionality of the crucial – and most controversial — feature of the Affordable Care Act. By a vote of 5-4, however, the Court did not sustain it as a command for Americans to buy insurance, but as a tax if they don’t. That is the way Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., was willing to vote for it, and his view prevailed. The other Justices split 4-4, with four wanting to uphold it as a mandate, and four opposed to it in any form.
    Roberts joins the liberal wing of the Court in UPHOLDING the mandate as constitutional.
    For readers of the opinion, a quick look at pp. 31 and 32 of Roberts' opinion tells you why the Court is sustaining as a tax measure.
    Medicaid provision is limited but not invalidated.
    the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read.
    According to SCOTUSBlog, "Chief Justice Roberts' vote saved the ACA." So 5-4, with Kennedy...in the dissent?
    The money quote from the section on the mandate: Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.
    The court reinforces that individuals can simply pay the tax and not comply with the mandate.
    On Medicaid:
    On the Medicaid issue, a majority of the Court holds that the Medicaid expansion is constitutional but that it w/b unconstitutional for the federal government to withhold Medicaid funds for non-compliance with the expansion provisions.
    Also on Medicaid:
    The key comment on salvaging the Medicaid expansion is this (from Roberts): "Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding." (p. 55)
    On severability:
    The Court does not reach severability issues, having upheld the mandate 5-4.
    BIG DEAL: COMMERCE CLAUSE! -- Would have struck the mandate!
    The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn't matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.
    More Commerce Clause:
    Justice Ginsburg makes clear that the vote is 5-4 on sustaining the mandate as a form of tax. Her opinion, for herself and Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, joins the key section of Roberts opinion on that point. She would go further and uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause, which Roberts wouldn't. Her opinion on Commerce does not control.
    Key language re: Commerce Clause:
    the money quote on the fifth vote to hold that the mandate is not justified under the Commerce Clause (recognizing that doesn't matter because there were five votes under the Tax Power): "The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated." That will not affect a lot of statutes going forward.
    On the Anti-Injunction Act:
    The Court holds that the Anti-Injunction Act doesn't apply because the label "tax" is not controlling.
    Kennedy's dissent:
    In opening his statement in dissent, Kennedy says: "In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety."
    Commentary on Commerce Clause, Necessary & Proper:
    The rejection of the Commerce Clause and Nec. and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress's authority to pass social welfare laws. Using the tax code -- especially in the current political environment -- to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.
    At least one SCOTUSblog author disagrees with the above interpretation, saying:
    I dissent from Lyle's view that the Commerce Clause ruling is a major blow to social welfare legislation. I think that piece of the decision will be read pretty narrowly.
    Footnote 11, re: options under the law
    Footnote 11, which is on page 44 of the slip opinion: Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes. The only thing that they may not lawfully do is not buy health insurance and not pay the resulting tax.
    As to page length:
    By the way, the opinions collectively are a monster. The Chief's opinion is 59 pages, Justice Ginsburg's opinion is 61 pages, the four dissenters are 65 pages, followed by a short two-pager from Justice Thomas. You do the math.
    As to whether the policy is a good idea:
    From the beginning of the Chief's opinion: "We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation's elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions."

     
  9. Technomancer

    Technomancer Diabloii.Net Member

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    I was actually torn about the mandate. I supported the bill overall, but that was a bad (republican) way to do it. I'm still not quite sold on single-payer, but my main issues are: A.) Health coverage should NOT (NOT!!!!!!!) be employer-based. It places an effing stupid burden on employers, and is one of the larger causes of outsourcing jobs, and B.) We spend double, per capita, on healthcare compared to the civilized world. Whatever we've been doing is obv-fail.
     
  10. SaroDarksbane

    SaroDarksbane Diabloii.Net Site Pal

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    Well, since the last government fix we had passed to try and fix the holes in the previous government fix we put in place to fix the holes in the government fix that failed before that, the obvious solution is more government fixes.

    This time will be different. I can feel it!
     
  11. BobCox2

    BobCox2 Diabloii.Net Member

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    It is. Really.

    The Constitutional question is dead.

    Taxes are next as that's what Congress can do.
    Don't have a ?, well you don't pay the tax for that, but here is another tax.

    I sense "Certain Death and Taxes" in the Future.


     
  12. jmervyn

    jmervyn Diabloii.Net Member

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    Courtesy of the indomitable S. Weasel:

    [​IMG]


    "there’s nothing Congress can’t make you buy. Hope you like broccoli."



     

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