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Health Care Reform Gearing Up - Page 48

post #2351 of 2677
If insurers are forced to pay the costs of sick people without a larger risk pool, that will jack up costs, forcing action to be taken. Why wouldn't a public insurance option be on the table?
post #2352 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post
If insurers are forced to pay the costs of sick people without a larger risk pool, that will jack up costs, forcing action to be taken. Why wouldn't a public insurance option be on the table?
Because republicans dont want it and democrats dont have enough balls to push for it.
post #2353 of 2677
Unfortunately, the bill's authors left out a "severability clause," which usually gets added to a law to prevent the entire thing being brought down by one aspect being declared unconstitutional. There is some chance that, if this ruling survives the appeals process, that we could be back to square one.

TPM Article
post #2354 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Closer View Post
Because republicans dont want it and democrats dont have enough balls to push for it.
Now, but what will happen if insurers are forced to deal with preexisting conditions and their risk pool doesn't increase. That situation is untenable and something will have to be done.
post #2355 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraxas View Post
Unfortunately, the bill's authors left out a "severability clause," which usually gets added to a law to prevent the entire thing being brought down by one aspect being declared unconstitutional. There is some chance that, if this ruling survives the appeals process, that we could be back to square one.

TPM Article
I believe the Virginia AG pushed for that and district judge rejected that argument.
post #2356 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post
I believe the Virginia AG pushed for that and district judge rejected that argument.
I just saw Howard Dean pointing that out, so you're right. Looks like the Affordable Care Act dodged that particular bullet.
post #2357 of 2677
Considering I was just ruled medically ineligible (and thus denied) insurance coverage because of being bipolar and suffering from depression, and the medication I take for my Bipolar disorder I really need his reform to go through without a hitch. I pretty much cannot get individual insurance because of how fucked up it is right now.
post #2358 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ Dylan View Post
Considering I was just ruled medically ineligible (and thus denied) insurance coverage because of being bipolar and suffering from depression, and the medication I take for my Bipolar disorder I really need his reform to go through without a hitch. I pretty much cannot get individual insurance because of how fucked up it is right now.
http://www.nchirp.org/

Quote:
Inclusive Health was originally created in August 2007 to offer more affordable health insurance coverage to North Carolina individuals with
pre-existing medical conditions. Since opening in January 2009, we have assisted thousands of people in finding coverage under the
Inclusive Health - State Option.
post #2359 of 2677
post #2360 of 2677

Not entirely unexpected, but man the comments on that article are depressing. What has happened to humanity?

post #2361 of 2677

 


Quote:
Providing "universal health care" (a.k.a National Socialist medicine) means I have to pay for your abortions and AIDS treatments. Not to mention your sex-change operations and other horrible things you contract. That in turn deprives ME of my right of the pursiut of HAPPINESS!

Ugh...just ugh...

post #2362 of 2677

My final on last year's constitutional law exam was about the constitutionality of the Act...  there are very strong arguments for deeming the Act unconstitutional, and unfortunately I happen to agree with them.  A personal mandate was just not the right way to go.  It will be very, very interesting to see what the Supreme Court does.

post #2363 of 2677

Yeah, while I'm for the act, I can totally see the Supreme Court shooting it down just on that one aspect.

 

However, isn't it weird for a judge to bring up a quote the president during the a statement he made during campaign?

 

 

Quote:

“I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, ‘If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,’” Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.

 

 

Into the Void - How the Democrats gave a conservative judge an opening to invalidate the health care law.

http://www.slate.com/id/2281290/

 

 
Quote:
Conservatives pleased about Judge Roger Vinson's 78-page decision rendering "void" the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 can send their letters of thanks to a group that doesn't get many of them—and is sure to get few from its liberal supporters outraged by the decision. I refer, of course, to Senate Democrats.

 

post #2364 of 2677

Not only is there a pretty good chance the Court will strike the law down, they'd be justified in doing so.  Congress has been pushing the limits of the Commerce Clause for decades, and I'm starting to think the Court is going to interpret this as far beyond Congresses' scope to legislate.  The conservative justices, certainly, are going to relish reigning the CC in and it has much more to do with constitutional interpretation than it does politics.  This is going to look terrible for Obama if the bill is voided, during an election year no less.  Fuck.

 

As for the footnote quoting Obama, it's a footnote, and judges often quote legislative history, press releases and the like in opinions on legislation.  I actually find that quote apt, and, frankly, troubling.

post #2365 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post

Not only is there a pretty good chance the Court will strike the law down, they'd be justified in doing so.  Congress has been pushing the limits of the Commerce Clause for decades, and I'm starting to think the Court is going to interpret this as far beyond Congresses' scope to legislate.  The conservative justices, certainly, are going to relish reigning the CC in and it has much more to do with constitutional interpretation than it does politics.  This is going to look terrible for Obama if the bill is voided, during an election year no less.  Fuck.

 

As for the footnote quoting Obama, it's a footnote, and judges often quote legislative history, press releases and the like in opinions on legislation.  I actually find that quote apt, and, frankly, troubling.


Hold on.  I'm curious to hear your reasoning why it will be struck down (beyond partisan bullshit from Roberts and the rest of the troglodytes).  I have yet to read an argument that leads me to believe the mandate is unconstitutional.

post #2366 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

Hold on.  I'm curious to hear your reasoning why it will be struck down (beyond partisan bullshit from Roberts and the rest of the troglodytes).  I have yet to read an argument that leads me to believe the mandate is unconstitutional.


From the ruling itself:

 

 

Quote:
It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting - as was done in the Act - that compelling the actual transaction is itself 'commercial and economic in nature and substantially affects interstate commerce', it is not hyper bolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted.

 

Nothing partisan about that.

post #2367 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by TzuDohNihm View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

Hold on.  I'm curious to hear your reasoning why it will be struck down (beyond partisan bullshit from Roberts and the rest of the troglodytes).  I have yet to read an argument that leads me to believe the mandate is unconstitutional.


From the ruling itself:

 

 

Quote:
It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause. If it has the power to compel an otherwise passive individual into a commercial transaction with a third party merely by asserting - as was done in the Act - that compelling the actual transaction is itself 'commercial and economic in nature and substantially affects interstate commerce', it is not hyper bolizing to suggest that Congress could do almost anything it wanted.

 

Nothing partisan about that.

Yeah, I guess it's just happenstance that the Florida AG filed the lawsuit in one of the most conservative districts in a conservative state to make sure his lawsuit was heard by a Reagan appointee judge.  There was no partisan gamemanship there at all. To say nothing of the fact the judge ignores the concept that, in this case, economic inactivity has a substantial affect on interstate commerce since the uninsured still get care at places like emergency rooms, which increases the cost of care on the entire health care system.
 

post #2368 of 2677

Here's a pretty good article discussing the partisan nature of the Vinson decision: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/82545/vinson-ruling-affordable-care-act-mandate

post #2369 of 2677


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

Here's a pretty good article discussing the partisan nature of the Vinson decision: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/82545/vinson-ruling-affordable-care-act-mandate



I haven't read the opinion, so I can't comment on Vinson's legal reasoning, and it should be noted that the author of that article is not a lawyer (I'd be more interested to hear from Jeffrey Rosen).  But wherever you come out on the desirability of the law, you should realize that there is a very legitimate constitutional issue at the heart of the matter.  

Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce under the commerce clause, but that power was originally a very, very narrow one.  Over time the courts broadened their interpretation of what kinds of activities could be regulated through the Clause.  Originally, the clause was simply not intended to regulate commerce within states let alone other kinds of activities affecting commerce.  Example:  In the late 19th century, EC Knight Company owned all but 5 sugar refineries in the United States and went ahead and purchased the 4 out of the 5 that were in Philadelphia, thereby converting a robust market into a severely monopolized one.  Under the Sherman Act (an antitrust act) the federal government tried to prevent the acquisition, but the Supreme Court held that they couldn't, that manufacturing was not commerce.  This is an example, not of a radically conservative opinion (it was decided 8-1), but of the way the clause was understood for more than half of our nation's history.  Congress couldn't implement child labor laws for decades because of this limitation.  It was only after the Court packing by FDR, and, frankly, judicial activism at the time, that this changed.  Today Congress' commerce authority in interpreted to include the power to regulate those activities that "substantially affect" interstate commerce, and the manner in which the courts arrived at what "substantially affects" commerce during the 1960s had practically unlimited application.  When abstracted enough, what doesn't "substantially affect" interstate commerce in some way?

In recent years the Court has pushed back somewhat, trying to limit the reach of the Clause, lest an enumerated power be contorted to allow federal regulation of, literally, anything.  Congress has never tried to regulate economic inactivity (which can certainly have affects on interstate commerce), but that is exactly what the mandate does.  Even for those of us who support health care reform, and I am among them, it would set a troubling precedent.  What if Congress decides it is in our best interests that everyone own a cellular phone?  Or that everyone work until they're 65?  Or that it's economically beneficial for families to have no more than 3 children?  Etc. Etc.  It's a question of how much power our federal government was intended to have. 

post #2370 of 2677
Thread Starter 

I probably shouldn't weigh in until I know more about this, but my first instinct is that if they can strip the individual mandate from the bill but keep the rest, that's not a bad thing.

post #2371 of 2677

Without the mandate the bill is economically untenable.  It will only be a good thing if it leads to a public option (for which there is no constitutional issue), which should have been done in the first place.

post #2372 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

Here's a pretty good article discussing the partisan nature of the Vinson decision: http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/82545/vinson-ruling-affordable-care-act-mandate



I haven't read the opinion, so I can't comment on Vinson's legal reasoning, and it should be noted that the author of that article is not a lawyer (I'd be more interested to hear from Jeffrey Rosen).  But wherever you come out on the desirability of the law, you should realize that there is a very legitimate constitutional issue at the heart of the matter.  

Congress has the power to regulate interstate commerce under the commerce clause, but that power was originally a very, very narrow one.  Over time the courts broadened their interpretation of what kinds of activities could be regulated through the Clause.  Originally, the clause was simply not intended to regulate commerce within states let alone other kinds of activities affecting commerce.  Example:  In the late 19th century, EC Knight Company owned all but 5 sugar refineries in the United States and went ahead and purchased the 4 out of the 5 that were in Philadelphia, thereby converting a robust market into a severely monopolized one.  Under the Sherman Act (an antitrust act) the federal government tried to prevent the acquisition, but the Supreme Court held that they couldn't, that manufacturing was not commerce.  This is an example, not of a radically conservative opinion (it was decided 8-1), but of the way the clause was understood for more than half of our nation's history.  Congress couldn't implement child labor laws for decades because of this limitation.  It was only after the Court packing by FDR, and, frankly, judicial activism at the time, that this changed.  Today Congress' commerce authority in interpreted to include the power to regulate those activities that "substantially affect" interstate commerce, and the manner in which the courts arrived at what "substantially affects" commerce during the 1960s had practically unlimited application.  When abstracted enough, what doesn't "substantially affect" interstate commerce in some way?

In recent years the Court has pushed back somewhat, trying to limit the reach of the Clause, lest an enumerated power be contorted to allow federal regulation of, literally, anything.  Congress has never tried to regulate economic inactivity (which can certainly have affects on interstate commerce), but that is exactly what the mandate does.  Even for those of us who support health care reform, and I am among them, it would set a troubling precedent.  What if Congress decides it is in our best interests that everyone own a cellular phone?  Or that everyone work until they're 65?  Or that it's economically beneficial for families to have no more than 3 children?  Etc. Etc.  It's a question of how much power our federal government was intended to have. 

 

Cohn isn't a lawyer, but his analysis jibes with the opinions I've read from other attorneys.  In fact the more legal analysis I've read on Vinson's decision, the more it becomes clear that his decision was based on ideology and not sound legal analysis. But anyway...

 

 

"What if Congress decides it is in our best interests that everyone own a cellular phone?  Or that everyone work until they're 65?  Or that it's economically beneficial for families to have no more than 3 children?  Etc. Etc.  It's a question of how much power our federal government was intended to have. "

 

In the words of very great lawyer, it depends on why Congress felt it needed to do those things.

 

I think your concern about the far reaching effects of the individual mandate are overblown.  In the examples you've cited, the connection between the actions and their ability to substantially affect interstate commerce are too attenuated to justify a mandate.  However, in the case of health insurance, the connection is much stronger.  Individuals who do not have health insurance still get care, and that raises the costs for both individuals and companies, which is spread throughout the entire health care system.  In order to lower costs and make health care accessible through private insurance (which is a crappy way to go), the insurance pool needs to be widened.  Widening the pool will lower costs because healthier people and now in the pool and paying premiums, which increases revenue and combined with the cost controls in the bill, should lower costs for everyone.

 

The way I look at it, a mandate is a tool, and it's not appropriate in all circumstances.  If Congress oversteps its bounds with another mandate, the courts are there to remove it.  I really don't see the problem with it in this case, beyond the fact that it's a crappy way of handling health insurance.
 

post #2373 of 2677


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

 

In the words of very great lawyer, it depends on why Congress felt it needed to do those things.

 

But it doesn't.  Congress is a legislative body of enumerated powers.  Like it or not, Congress can't simply do whatever it wants so long as it has a good enough reason.

 

Look, I think the personal mandate is reasonable.  I even think it's better than nothing.  The fact that it is effected through a tax will be the only reason it is upheld.  The problem with the personal mandate is that you are opening a door you cannot close.  The government is very clearly pushing the boundaries of the commerce clause, and it remains to be seen how the Court will come out.  Whether Vinson's opinion was politically driven or not is irrelevant.

 

Here's a good article on the subject: http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/is-the-health-care-law-unconstitutional/?scp=1&sq=health%20care%20constitutionality&st=cse

post #2374 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

 

In the words of very great lawyer, it depends on why Congress felt it needed to do those things.

 

But it doesn't.  Congress is a legislative body of enumerated powers.  Like it or not, Congress can't simply do whatever it wants so long as it has a good enough reason.

 

Look, I think the personal mandate is reasonable.  I even think it's better than nothing.  The fact that it is effected through a tax will be the only reason it is upheld.  The problem with the personal mandate is that you are opening a door you cannot close.  The government is very clearly pushing the boundaries of the commerce clause, and it remains to be seen how the Court will come out.  Whether Vinson's opinion was politically driven or not is irrelevant.

 

Here's a good article on the subject: http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/28/is-the-health-care-law-unconstitutional/?scp=1&sq=health%20care%20constitutionality&st=cse


You're mixing subjects here.  Of course Vinson's decision was politically motivated, but that's beside the current topic.

 

And I'm not advocating an unlimited Congress, either.  What I am saying is Congress (like the Executive, and the Judiciary) will always press against the limits of its power.  The other branches will check that power.  Before any other individual mandate can become law, it has to be signed into law and survive a court challenge.  There's nothing wrong with that process.

 

This mandate is constitutional due to the direct effect the uninsured have on health care costs, and the fact that Congress wants to make sure people with pre-existing conditions have coverage through private insurance.  The only way to make that happen is enlarge the risk pool.  This will not always be the case with everything Congress wants to do. 

 

If you haven't guessed, I don't truck with "originalism" much.

post #2375 of 2677


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

This mandate is constitutional due to the direct effect the uninsured have on health care costs, and the fact that Congress wants to make sure people with pre-existing conditions have coverage through private insurance.  The only way to make that happen is enlarge the risk pool.  This will not always be the case with everything Congress wants to do.



I'm not sure how I mixed subjects, but anyways, the above is an argument for why the mandate is reasonable, not why it's constitutional.

post #2376 of 2677

Everyone's a consumer of health care because no one wants to die prematurely. In a sense, right?

post #2377 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post

This mandate is constitutional due to the direct effect the uninsured have on health care costs, and the fact that Congress wants to make sure people with pre-existing conditions have coverage through private insurance.  The only way to make that happen is enlarge the risk pool.  This will not always be the case with everything Congress wants to do.



I'm not sure how I mixed subjects, but anyways, the above is an argument for why the mandate is reasonable, not why it's constitutional.



My argument is exactly why the mandate is constitutional.

 

Let's go over it again.  1: Congress has the ability to regulate interstate commerce.  The health care insurance industry substantially affects interstate commerce so it falls within Congress's sphere of regulation.   Congress passed a law that directs health insurance providers to do certain things. Since Congress can regulate this industry under the constitution, is able to pass laws that allow its regulations to be carried out. The individual mandate is a mechanism that is necessary for the new law to work (one might say its function is both necessary and proper, given how the health insurance market operates).  Ergo the mandate is constitutional.

 

2. Your arguments against the mandate (near as I can tell, please correct me if I am wrong) are A) that Congress is exceeding its authority to regulate the health care industry because the Commerce Clause was not originally intended to provide such a power, and B) if the mandate is allowed to stand, Congress would have the ability to order US Citizens to do anything.

 

Your second argument is a classic slippery slope argument that is not backed up by current SCOTUS case law.  As we saw in both Morrison and Lopez, the SCOTUS has applied limits to Congressional actions under the Commerce Clause. The Lopez factors clearly forbid your previous examples from becoming law, because their links to interstate commerce are too attenuated, and are non-economic activity.  The individual mandate, however, does not run afoul of Lopez because there is a direct link to the costs of health care and individuals who do not buy health insurance. Individuals who do not buy health insurance still receive health care, and that drives up the costs for the entire system.  The link is direct and immediate.

 

Your first argument, that Congress is not utilizing the Commerce Clause as originally intended, is immaterial.  Whether or not this legislation runs afoul of the original intent of the Framers does not matter.  The SCOTUS has ruled on the application of the Commerce Clause and as constructed, the Health Care bills regulations and mechanisms are Constitutional. Unless you want to re-litigate Marbury v Madison, that's all the Constitutional authority Congress needs. 

post #2378 of 2677

Your argument as explained in that previous post was not an argument as to why the mandate is constitutional... this post connects the dots.  And I get it, that's the argument that's going to be made.  But the question of constitutionality is not whether Congress has the power to regulate they healthcare industry, undoubtedly they do.  The question is whether they have the power to enforce a personal mandate.  People who do not purchase health care have a substantial effect on the health care market, that direct link exists, but there is a legitimate question about whether or not the SCOTUS will be willing to characterize their behavior as "economic activity".  Because strictly speaking it's not "activity", it's inactivity.  In any market, those who do not participate arguably have a substantial effect on that market.  Even our President, a constitutional scholar, has suggested as much as El Capitan's post indicates.

 

The reason that I mention the history of the CC is not because I think the SCOTUS is going to recommend a return to the original understanding of the Clause, not even Scalia would suggest that, but because I was trying to highlight how the CC does have limits.  These limits have gradually been eroded but, arguably, such a mandate crosses the line (as did Lopez and Morrison, albeit in different ways).

 

All I'm saying is that it's not clearly constitutional, and I'm not totally convinced that it ought to be.  I don't like the idea of the government mandating that people participate in a private market, regardless of the social benefits.  Particularly when this was not the only, or the most beneficial method of improving our health care system.  It is very possible that even a liberal justice will agree.

post #2379 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL View Post

Your argument as explained in that previous post was not an argument as to why the mandate is constitutional... this post connects the dots.  And I get it, that's the argument that's going to be made.  But the question of constitutionality is not whether Congress has the power to regulate they healthcare industry, undoubtedly they do.  The question is whether they have the power to enforce a personal mandate.  People who do not purchase health care have a substantial effect on the health care market, that direct link exists, but there is a legitimate question about whether or not the SCOTUS will be willing to characterize their behavior as "economic activity".  Because strictly speaking it's not "activity", it's inactivity.  In any market, those who do not participate arguably have a substantial effect on that market.  Even our President, a constitutional scholar, has suggested as much as El Capitan's post indicates.

 

The reason that I mention the history of the CC is not because I think the SCOTUS is going to recommend a return to the original understanding of the Clause, not even Scalia would suggest that, but because I was trying to highlight how the CC does have limits.  These limits have gradually been eroded but, arguably, such a mandate crosses the line (as did Lopez and Morrison, albeit in different ways).

 

All I'm saying is that it's not clearly constitutional, and I'm not totally convinced that it ought to be.  I don't like the idea of the government mandating that people participate in a private market, regardless of the social benefits.  Particularly when this was not the only, or the most beneficial method of improving our health care system.  It is very possible that even a liberal justice will agree.


I see what you're saying.  Frankly, I'm not a fan of the mandate at all, but I still think that's it's constitutional as comprised, even when examining it under the Lopez factors.  If there's wiggle room, it's under the economic inactivity problem, as you highlighted.   But, given health care's unique issues, I think a line can be drawn in this instance that wouldn't work in others (like forcing everyone to buy a car, for instance).

post #2380 of 2677

Once something can be regulated, prohibitions and mandates are definitely allowed.  Look at OSHA and the reason why people have to wear safety equipment for some activities.  A big reason (of many, really) why the latest decision is so ridiculous is because it puts into question so much of the power of the current federal regulatory scheme.

post #2381 of 2677

Health care reform is likely having a major impact on many hoteliers. The rolling requirements mean that the clock started to tick when the Patient Protection,

genf20 plus

post #2382 of 2677

Meanwhile, once the healthcare bill goes into effect and people start seeing its benefits with their own eyes, maybe the "anti-Obamacare" propaganda will finally be seen as ridiculous.

 

 

Quote:

The Bomb Buried In Obamacare Explodes Today-Hallelujah!

I have long argued that the impact of the Affordable Care Act is not nearly as big of a deal as opponents would have you believe. At the end of the day, the law is – in the main – little more than a successful effort to put an end to some of the more egregious health insurer abuses while creating an environment that should bring more Americans into programs that will give them at least some of the health care coverage they need.

 

There is, however, one notable exception – and it’s one that should have a long lasting and powerful impact on the future of health care in our country.

 

That would be the provision of the law, called the medical loss ratio, that requires health insurance companies to spend 80% of the consumers’ premium dollars they collect—85% for large group insurers—on actual medical care rather than overhead, marketing expenses and profit. Failure on the part of insurers to meet this requirement will result in the insurers having to send their customers a rebate check representing the amount in which they underspend on actual medical care.

 

This is the true ‘bomb’ contained in Obamacare and the one item that will have more impact on the future of how medical care is paid for in this country than anything we’ve seen in quite some time.  Indeed, it is this aspect of the law that represents the true ‘death panel’ found in Obamacare—but not one that is going to lead to the death of American consumers. Rather, the medical loss ratio will, ultimately, lead to the death of large parts of the private, for-profit health insurance industry.

 

Why? Because there is absolutely no way for-profit health insurers are going to be able to learn how to get by and still make a profit while being forced to spend at least 80 percent of their receipts providing their customers with the coverage for which they paid. If they could, we likely would never have seen the extraordinary efforts made by these companies to avoid paying benefits to their customers at the very moment they need it the most.

 

Today, that bomb goes off.

 

 

Read the rest here:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/12/02/the-bomb-buried-in-obamacare-explodes-today-halleluja/

post #2383 of 2677

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/ap-newsbreak-medicares-drug-coverage-140356631.html

 

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/123881-most-seniors-unaware-health-reform-closes-doughnut-hole

 

 

 

You're welcome America. It's my greatest hope that all these Republican nuts who proudly claim they will repeal the law will have such a stance explode in their faces in short order.

 

 

post #2384 of 2677

seeing as the SCOTUS is reviewing the healthcare issue, I thought it would be the time resurrect this thread....

 

I have to admit a bit of trepidation regarding the SCOTUS ruling against healthcare reform. Even though it shouldn't really matter, politics are going to play a big factor in their decision.

 

 

 

 related-

 

This article was published in a local paper the other day and IMO, shows the one of the blatant problems with the current healthcare system in the US.

This article hits home as I can personally relate to the author's situation in attempting to purchase health insurance.

 

Quote:

Hitting below the belt

 

Insurance companies seek intimate health details before deciding whether to sell him a policy

By Herbert A. Sample

 

Call me crazy. I’m a few months from losing my health insurance coverage – the “COBRA” plan you can buy after you leave a job that initially provided the benefit. So I figured

I should start planning now to find an individual policy to replace my current plan before I lose it.

 

This shouldn’t be too difficult, right? After all, the federal Affordable Care Act – colloquially known as “Obamacare” – was signed into law two years ago. Its mandate that all

American citizens obtain coverage of some sort, coupled with a prohibition on insurers denying applicants because of pre-existing health conditions – takes effect in less than two years, assuming the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t strike it down after hearings this week.

 

It couldn’t be all that tough, I thought to myself, to find an affordable health plan.

 

I was wrong.

 

Advocates of President Obama’s health reform say I am a case study in how untold numbers of Americans have been caught in a no-man’s land waiting for the new federal law to take full effect.

 

I am a healthy 51-year-old freelance writer. I’ve never had a major illness or disease (knock on wood). The only broken bone I’ve ever suffered was a fractured jaw, and that was almost three decades ago. I have minor, not-so-unusual conditions for an African American male of my age – borderline high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which have been controlled by one medication each for years, and a hormonal issue for which I also take medication. I’m not overweight. I don’t smoke, and my drinking habits are somewhere between light and moderate.

 

But three insurance companies – Blue Shield of California, Kaiser Permanente and Aetna – all refused to cover me, at any price. Anthem Blue Cross said yes – but only if I accepted a plan that would cost more than three times as much as the plan for which I applied, or $1,350 a month. The justification cited by all four insurers: Pre-existing conditions.

 

This is the state of American health insurance, California-style, circa 2012.

<cont.>

 

 


Edited by VTRan - 3/27/12 at 10:17am
post #2385 of 2677

There's no way this thing makes it out of the SC huh?  

post #2386 of 2677


Quote:

Originally Posted by Rando View Post

There's no way this thing makes it out of the SC huh?  


I don't think so. I think it all boils down to the mandate.

post #2387 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangy View Post


Quote:


I don't think so. I think it all boils down to the mandate.



Sadly, it always was.The administration's defense of it before the SCOTUS was tortured and convoluted. They have to find a way to do this and still follow Constitutional law. 

post #2388 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Vivisector View Post



Sadly, it always was.The administration's defense of it before the SCOTUS was tortured and convoluted. They have to find a way to do this and still follow Constitutional law. 

 

If you really think about it, our entire legal system and it's laws ARE tortured and convoluted and have been for a long time.

The world we live in has become much more complicated since 1776 (hell, since 1960!) so it should only follow suit that the laws, IMO, should evolve and change with the times.

  

I do believe that Healthcare Reform does follow Constitutional law, albeit in a complicated way.

Unfortunately, to a large percentage of Americans these days, "complicated" is considered a bad thing....you know like science.

 

 

 

post #2389 of 2677


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Vivisector View Post



Sadly, it always was.The administration's defense of it before the SCOTUS was tortured and convoluted. They have to find a way to do this and still follow Constitutional law. 



The notion that ACA's mandate is unconstitutional is bonkers.  Absolutely bonkers.  Congress has the power to require Americans to buy health insurance under the Commerce Clause.  It really is that simple.  Anyone who says otherwise is trying to break the legitimate regulatory scheme enacted by Congress and the President for political purposes.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

 

If you really think about it, our entire legal system and it's laws ARE tortured and convoluted and have been for a long time.

The world we live in has become much more complicated since 1776 (hell, since 1960!) so it should only follow suit that the laws, IMO, should evolve and change with the times.

  

I do believe that Healthcare Reform does follow Constitutional law, albeit in a complicated way.

Unfortunately, to a large percentage of Americans these days, "complicated" is considered a bad thing....you know like science.

 

 

Don't buy into the hype.  It's not complicated.  At all.  If you want a rundown (warning, big lawyer words):

 

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2012/03/understanding-affordable-care-act.html

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rando View Post

There's no way this thing makes it out of the SC huh?  


It's Justice Anthony Kennedy's world, and we're all just living in it.

 

ETA: posted wrong link, but now fixed.


Edited by Spook - 3/27/12 at 11:46am
post #2390 of 2677

interesting piece Spook, thanks...

 

I came across this positive article over on Mother Jones this morning...

 

Why Obamacare Will Survive

 

the part the really stood out to me was the final paragraph.

 

Quote:

 

...The only question, then, is whether the Supreme Court will treat it as a proper legal question rather than an overtly political one in which they simply express their disapproval of Obamacare or try to cement their reputations on the right by rolling back decades of well-accepted jurisprudence. I realize that this is an act of obvious foolhardiness, but this is why I'm sticking with my prediction that Obamacare and the mandate will be upheld 7-2. I think that Thomas and Alito are true believers who are perfectly willing to overturn two centuries of precedent just to satisfy their own ideological fancies. But I have more respect for Roberts, Kennedy, and Scalia. I think they'll judge the law on its proper legal merits, and conclude that Obamacare is broadly reasonable and the individual mandate is indeed a necessary and proper part of it.

 

 

post #2391 of 2677

Sorry VTran.  I posted the wrong link in my post above.  Here's what I wanted to direct you guys to:

 

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2012/03/understanding-affordable-care-act.html

post #2392 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post

Sorry VTran.  I posted the wrong link in my post above.  Here's what I wanted to direct you guys to:

 

http://balkin.blogspot.com/2012/03/understanding-affordable-care-act.html


Ok, that makes a little more sense....:)

 

post #2393 of 2677

Really seems that the law is going to be struck down.

http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2012/03/27/scotus_health_care_hearings_conservative_justices_pose_hard_questions_about_mandate.html

 

 

All I can really say is, Motherfuck this Supreme Court.
 

post #2394 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

 

I do believe that Healthcare Reform does follow Constitutional law, albeit in a complicated way.

Unfortunately, to a large percentage of Americans these days, "complicated" is considered a bad thing....you know like science.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, but the SCOTUS is the best legal minds we have. It shouldn't be that tortured a explanation to them, should it? 

 

Don't get me wrong, I want this to somehow survive. I don't have coverage now. 
 

 

post #2395 of 2677

Can anyone post that "I Got This" JPEG? 

 

I think it's looking bad now, but the writer of the Mother Jones article that VTran posted makes a good point.  If the Court strikes this down, it will undo precedent dating back to the early days of the Republic (as built by the Constitution, so 1789, not 1776).  It may be 5-4, but it'll likely be 7-2, with Scalia and Roberts joining a Kennedy opinion wherein the mandate gets upheld as a "necessary and proper" mechanism to enforce ACA and make sure that the President can implement the new regulatory regime.

post #2396 of 2677

ygRUM.jpg

post #2397 of 2677
post #2398 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spook View Post

Can anyone post that "I Got This" JPEG? 

 

I think it's looking bad now, but the writer of the Mother Jones article that VTran posted makes a good point.  If the Court strikes this down, it will undo precedent dating back to the early days of the Republic (as built by the Constitution, so 1789, not 1776).  It may be 5-4, but it'll likely be 7-2, with Scalia and Roberts joining a Kennedy opinion wherein the mandate gets upheld as a "necessary and proper" mechanism to enforce ACA and make sure that the President can implement the new regulatory regime.


The Mother Jones prediction was predicated on the Court being honest brokers in all of this.  I have no such faith. Frankly, neither should anyone else.

 

post #2399 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devildoubt View Post


The Mother Jones prediction was predicated on the Court being honest brokers in all of this.  I have no such faith. Frankly, neither should anyone else.

 

/\

This

 

Of note is the fact that the ACA has already been upheld by other conservative judges...<crosses fingers>...this might factor into this decision

 

Does anyone know if Scalia or Thomas have ever issued a decision that could be considered non-partisan because those 2 guys seem to be real set in their conservative(GOP) ways ?

post #2400 of 2677
Quote:
Originally Posted by VTRan View Post

/\

This

 

Of note is the fact that the ACA has already been upheld by other conservative judges...<crosses fingers>...this might factor into this decision

 

Does anyone know if Scalia or Thomas have ever issued a decision that could be considered non-partisan because those 2 guys seem to be real set in their conservative(GOP) ways ?


Forget about Thomas (and Alito to an extent).  The game here is Scalia.  If you get Scalia, you get Roberts and Kennedy. 

 

I think we can honestly say that Scalia is intellectually honest (for the most part, with some exceptions with respect to personal morality where he goes overboard).  Scalia is an ardent defender of the rights of criminal defendants with respect to due process and confrontation of accusers.  Scalia may be a conservative individual, but he's not a party hack--certainly not a Republican party hack.

 

I think you have to have faith that SCOTUS will be a neutral arbiter in this.  As a lawyer, I certainly have faith in that.  Citizens United was a bad decision and the Court knows it--especially Kennedy.  The Justices are all too isolated and cloistered, which is why they didn't anticipate the consequences of that decision.  They're students of history and, hopefully, most of them know that the Court usually has been on the wrong side of history in striking down major pieces of federal legislation. 

 

That's really all we can hope for.

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