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GrantherBirdly
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Joined: 05 Jun 2004
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Healthcare Reform Law Upheld!  Reply with quote  

Roberts swung to form the 5-4 majority. My cynical estimation is that his vote was a move to protect his legacy from accusations of blatant partisanship and conservative activism. I don't really care too much why he voted the way he did though, just glad the law will stand for now. I really did not see this coming at all. yay.
Post Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:44 am
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name



Joined: 12 Nov 2002
Posts: 955
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agreed.

but prepare yourself for the chorus of forumites with more finely tuned political sensibilities, who will explain that the ACA actually sucks and that Obama and Romney are basically the same person.
Post Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:11 am
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Charlie Foxtrot



Joined: 23 Jan 2008
Posts: 1379
Location: Rochester, NY
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I don't understand this interstate commerce thing. Health insurance companies, unlike auto insurance companies, are not allowed to exist across multiple states. How can congress pass a law that, to pick just one example, requires companies to take on people with preexisting conditions? How do you use the interstate commerce clause to regulate an industry that is legally prohibited from being interstate?

And what would the individual mandate have to do with ICC? I think Roberts' reason for upholding the law was quite valid, but I don't really get where the other four justices are coming from.

This isn't an argument against the law necessarily, I just don't understand how parts of it could be constitutional.
Post Thu Jun 28, 2012 11:43 am
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GrantherBirdly
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My understanding is that since the cost of providing care to the uninsured is largely absorbed by state and federal governments, the commerce referred to is the economic activity (in this case defrayed costs) generated by uninsured individuals receiving care. Because federal tax dollars ultimately support care for an uninsured person in, say, california getting treatment, this makes the commerce "interstate."
Post Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:14 pm
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1972
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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This interpretation (the Court needs to look at the mandate as a tax if the alternative is severing the provision) has been predicted by at least some of the analysts who followed the oral arguments this spring.
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/05/the-health-care-mandate-is-clearly-a-tax-0151-and-therefore-constitutional/256706/#

The part of the decision allowing states to refuse part of the Medicaid funding (and obligations to insure) while continuing to take the pre-PPACA money is surprising, though--in practice it will result in millions more poor Americans going without access to Medicaid that Congress tried to give them.

This is the third ruling in a week that has Roberts siding with Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan--this time even without Kennedy, the traditional "moderate" member of the court. I'm expecting to see a lot of noise in the press about whether he's still a part of the "conservative majority" or if he's become a second moderate swing vote.

But, much like the the Arizona ruling earlier this week, the strains of compromise are apparent just in the structure of the opinion, its concurrences, and its dissents. In particular, the Medicaid thing appears to have been struck down by a plurality consisting of Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Breyer, and Justice Kagan. Four justices (Kennedy and the three hard-line conservatives) opposed the Medicaid decision on the basis that the whole law should be struck down, and two justices opposed the decision on the basis that the Medicaid part of the law was fine. So the opinion held by 3-6 minority (that the law should remain intact, but that the Medicaid piece was unconstitutional because it coerced the states too effectively) won the day. It seems like we came very close to losing the whole law.

Another ruling that was announced today struck down the "Stolen Valor" law which prohibited people from falsely claiming that they had received medals for military service. A fun quote from that ruling:

Quote:

Permitting the government to decree this speech to be a criminal offense, whether shouted from the rooftops or made in a barely audible whisper, would endorse government authority to compile a list of subjects about whichfalse statements are punishable. That governmental power has no clear limiting principle. Our constitutional tradition stands against the idea that we need Oceania’s Ministry of Truth. See G. Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) (Centennial ed. 2003).


This ruling was an example of the reason why I've started reading Supreme Court rulings: Constitutional scholars opining on when it's okay to lie, and trying to weave that together in a broader philosophy about the importance of the right to free speech.

I've been trying to draw a through line of how Roberts finds himself to the left of Scalia, Alito, and Thomas but to the right of Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan:
- In Citizens United and the Stolen Valor thing, he seems to believe in a strong First Amendment that sometimes lets the bad guys win, but in some of the other recent rulings around prisoners' rights he has seemed to believe in a comparatively weak Eighth Amendment. What's the through line that lets him strike down law after law in the name of free speech but constraints him from striking down law after law in the name of just treatment of prisoners?
- In the Arizona ruling earlier this week, he found that the Constitution allowed a fairly powerful Congress protection against undermining by recalcitrant states attempting to enact competing laws of their own, but in the PPACA ruling he found that recalcitrant states could undermine the will of a decidedly powerful Congress by refusing to implement new laws of their own. What's the through line here? Why does the supremacy of federal law over state law keep Arizona from making immigration laws of its own to go above and beyond what Congress intended, when Congress can't even make all-or-nothing offers of federal money to the states for the implementation of programs like Medicaid?
Post Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:35 pm
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lord soth



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 174
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sole has me wondering what in the fucks going on. I assumed people like him who wear a "socialist" badge would be into this ruling but i guess not. is this just more capitalist propagandanism?

"well the romneycare bill was upheld in the criminal court... i mean.. the obamacare bill was written by insurance companies in criminal court... i mean... the criminal health care bill which was written by insurance companies has been held up as constitutional by 9 glorified pigs in robes... oh america you are a piece of shit! seriously though, shouts out to all my homies with pre existing conditions and kids and shit... to the rest of us who couldn't afford health care now we have to pay the IRS for your right to get mandatory health care from a corrupt corporation! wooptee fucking doo! hooray for citizens united! medicare for all or no government. no government and medicare for all i mean."
Post Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:32 am
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19356
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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Shit is a republican healthcare bill. I don't care how offended they pretend to be. This is a shovel of money into a corrupt and broken industry. Glad obama got his ego stroked though. Maybe he wont sick the robots on some "combatants" today. Single payer is the only solution. Anything else is a bandaid.
Post Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:18 am
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GrantherBirdly
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Joined: 05 Jun 2004
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all or nothing huh? If we can't have the single-payer system you know in your heart to be right (despite the complete lack of popular will for it), then it's best to sit on our hands and wait patiently for the promised utopia to arrive?
Post Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:28 am
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Vegas
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Yeah this thing give more coverage and cheaper coverage to so many more people. As far as the insurance companies just making more money, do you really think all of this new business will result in more profit when you figure in all the people with pre existing injuries and the claims they will eventually open?

You really think republicans hate it only because it came from Obama? I figure they are getting their cues from the insurance industry who will now have to cover all sorts of sickly people and only be able to charge them 30% more on their premiums.

Libertarians acting like their rights have been stepped on by a mandate are fucking stupid.

And we will not get a single payer option any time soon. Make due and stop crying. This is a good thing compared to what it was. Insurance was outrageous for pre existing conditions.
Post Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:51 pm
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tommi teardrop



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Location: Las Vegas
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Just read that sole quote above. That shit is dumb as fuck.
Post Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:57 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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GrantherBirdly wrote:
all or nothing huh? If we can't have the single-payer system you know in your heart to be right (despite the complete lack of popular will for it), then it's best to sit on our hands and wait patiently for the promised utopia to arrive?


He took single payer off the table way too early considering the majorities he enjoyed in both houses. Sorry I'm not through the roof when the only big change is now everyone has to have shifty insurance. I had insurance last year and went to the doctor four times last year. They fucked up my bill every single time. And then you have to fight with them for a week before it gets fixed. If it does. Yippieeee.
Post Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:31 pm
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name



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futuristxen wrote:
GrantherBirdly wrote:
all or nothing huh? If we can't have the single-payer system you know in your heart to be right (despite the complete lack of popular will for it), then it's best to sit on our hands and wait patiently for the promised utopia to arrive?


He took single payer off the table way too early considering the majorities he enjoyed in both houses. Sorry I'm not through the roof when the only big change is now everyone has to have shifty insurance. I had insurance last year and went to the doctor four times last year. They fucked up my bill every single time. And then you have to fight with them for a week before it gets fixed. If it does. Yippieeee.


there are literally thousands (perhaps millions) of people in this country whose lives will be saved as the result of the passage of this "republican" bill, and its various elements. you obviously don't know any of them personally. while most people met thursday's news with a ho-hum "pppffffhhh", a smaller number were chewing their nails off and weeping openly upon hearing the verdict. and it had nothing to do with the politics, the optics, or getting a fucked up bill from your general practitioner.

the fact that it is far from perfect, or not single payer, doesn't mean that it is complete bullshit. not by a long shot.

that sole quote would be funny if it wasn't so childishly ignorant and sad.
Post Sat Jun 30, 2012 7:22 am
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Mark in Minnesota



Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 1972
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Best article I read on the ruling so far: http://www.healthreformwatch.com/2012/06/29/the-umpire-throws-a-curveball/

It in turn links to an article suggesting that the conservative dissent reads like the skeleton of a document that was originally a majority opinion, and that Ginsburg's concurring opinion reads more like a dissent; the implication is that Roberts changed his vote very late in the process, such that the two main blocs did not have time to thoroughly rewrite their opinions.

The Court's Opinion in the ruling does something very funky, in parts reading as a majority opinion by Roberts and other justifes, and sometimes reading (and being labelled) as an opinion by Roberts alone.

People are going to be studying this one in law school 20 or more years from now.
Post Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:55 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
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name wrote:
futuristxen wrote:
GrantherBirdly wrote:
all or nothing huh? If we can't have the single-payer system you know in your heart to be right (despite the complete lack of popular will for it), then it's best to sit on our hands and wait patiently for the promised utopia to arrive?


He took single payer off the table way too early considering the majorities he enjoyed in both houses. Sorry I'm not through the roof when the only big change is now everyone has to have shifty insurance. I had insurance last year and went to the doctor four times last year. They fucked up my bill every single time. And then you have to fight with them for a week before it gets fixed. If it does. Yippieeee.


there are literally thousands (perhaps millions) of people in this country whose lives will be saved as the result of the passage of this "republican" bill, and its various elements. you obviously don't know any of them personally. while most people met thursday's news with a ho-hum "pppffffhhh", a smaller number were chewing their nails off and weeping openly upon hearing the verdict. and it had nothing to do with the politics, the optics, or getting a fucked up bill from your general practitioner.

the fact that it is far from perfect, or not single payer, doesn't mean that it is complete bullshit. not by a long shot.

that sole quote would be funny if it wasn't so childishly ignorant and sad.


There are millions of people who will die or experience financial ruin because of how inadequate this bill is at addressing the real problem. It is so profoundly shortsighted and ignorant to celebrate this like it means something great.

Compare our health system to any other industrialized country. It fucking sucks beyond belief. Maybe you are doing too well off to not have to deal with the shitty end of this system, and just think "hey if everyone gets on my insurance plan, shit will be dope". But I'm married to someone with over 100,000 in medical debt. They call every few days to try and collect in full. Not working a payment plan. They want 100k in total. From someone who makes about 25k a year. You do the math on that one, and tell me how great this health system is.

Sole's comment is on point. Sorry you don't get that. As someone who has been living the last ten years on the margins of healthcare, it's pretty easy for me to see the current system is completely broken, and we didn't need a minor fix of the current system. We needed a complete overhaul. A new deal. This doesn't even qualify as a half measure.

Which is appauling considering the wide margin Obama was put in by, and the wide margins he had in both houses. That he lacked the political ability to drive through a better bill than this, just shows it's just about politics and not about real change that actually matters.

Enjoy your individual mandate for shitty ass healthcare that god forbid you ever have to actually rely on.
Post Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:04 am
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AdamBomb



Joined: 05 Mar 2004
Posts: 3174
Location: Louisiana
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F**k insurance in general and the whole gambling concept it represents. Why does it cost almost a million dollars if you have a heart attack? Why do insurance companies have some of the most tall buildings in the world? Why does an individual aspirin cost $50 for a hospital stay? We are stupid. Why is there legislation to help poor folks afford expensive medical care instead of legislation to fix the system that makes medical care unaffordable? If we all got pissed off and made this a deal breaker whether or not people got elected, this could be fixed. I'd rather lawyers, doctors, insurance company stock holders, pharmaceutical companies, medical equipment supply companies (and all other associated parties) make less money so we can afford health care (save on taxes and insurance) and spend our shillings on something else.

Some ideas:
* Limit malpractice lawsuits, so doctors(and practices) don't have to command a high wage to offset this cost.

* Lower school costs (which arbitrarily go up each year) and make it where medical professionals have to command a higher wage to pay off the hefty debts (avg. Doctor school debt =>$150K). Maybe all of us could deal with making less money if we didn't have to take on a giant debt before we even know who we are yet.

* Fix the system where the medical community inflates costs because the insurance company will pay it and the counter system where the insurance companies inflate rates to offset its losses.

* If we are protecting capitalism and letting all these entities make money as they are a business, why is the key component of "capitalism" missing? This would be competition. If we are the consumers, where are the choices, the more affordable options, etc? Since the insurance companies foot the bill, we don't see the total costs. Wouldn't we have more incentive to demand lower costs if we had to bear the full burden of the cost? My grandpa worked as an insurance agent (way back in the day). When they added a new policy to cover something, the costs skyrocketed instantly, just because they knew the insurance company would pay it. This is an artificial capitalism that does not get you the full benefits of what capitalism is supposedly supposed to bring you. Also, hell with fostering a profit system that preys on our well being.

* Bring back the doctor who makes house calls. I want to feel more like a customer and less like cattle that overbooked for an appointment.
Post Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:29 am
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