Obamacare Supreme court case: Day 1

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http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120326/D9TO4G200.html

Obamacare is now in front of the supreme court, brought about by 26 of the states. Three days and six hours have been dedicated to this case, the most of any case since the 60's

Today's argument has been if the case ban be pushed to 2014 under a 19th century tax law, since the descion will come in mid june. If the argument fails, Obama either will be politically destroyed when it shows his "biggest achievement" was struck down by the Court, or be politically ruined as people scramble to vote for the Republican, which all have said they will repeal Obamacare (although I don't believe Romney, but that is another issue entirely).

If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

Mostly it will be big on the case of how much federal government power (which this bill grants a LOT of) is constitutional. That, I think is pretty big.

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

racism and sexism isn't so much a problem. We can get rid of that in time. If this case doesn't go for Obama, it will be a death sentence for any American who isn't sitting on million of dollars.

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

Well, this one case has already broken the record for amicus (spelling?) briefings filed for a single case. And it is shaping up to be one hell of a battle. So, I think historic is a decent term to apply to it.

OT: The outcome of this will pretty much make or break Obama's re-election chances, I think (you know, depending on who the final republican candidate is, Romney or frothy).

Odd the Republicans should be so dead set against Obamacare. It is, after all, their idea. Obama got the idea from Romney, who actually enacted it in Massachusetts. Also, the notion of an individual mandate to buy health insurance, which is at issue in the SC case, originally came from the Heritage Foundation.

"BUT WE GOTSA KEEP THE LIBRUL ATHEESTS FROM DESTROYN AMURKA BY TAKING THE TAX OBAMA MUNY AND GIVN ITTA POORASS CRACKHORS WHO'R TOO LAASY TA WORK!"

Being the main argument I have heard against Obamacare.

Not G. Ivingname:

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

Mostly it will be big on the case of how much federal government power (which this bill grants a LOT of) is constitutional. That, I think is pretty big.

I think William Marbury, Ernesto Miranda, and Clarence Earl Gideon would like to have a word with you.

Oh dear god are we serious?

The states and the National Federation of Independent Business say Congress lacked authority under the Constitution for its unprecedented step of forcing Americans to buy insurance whether they want it or not.

But it's OK to force Insurance on anyone utilizing a vehicle? Fine, I'm going to stop paying Taxes on any nationalized service I don't utilize because I don't fucking want to.

The law envisions that insurers will be able to accommodate older and sicker people without facing financial ruin because of its most disputed element, the requirement that Americans have insurance or pay a penalty.

So you're going to get money either way. Just call it a tax and be one with it!

Ok, sure, there are a lot of idiotic provisions in the bill. But we should take steps to correct it, not utterly destroy it.

Day two arguments... http://apnews.myway.com/article/20120327/D9TOMG500.html

The health care law is an unconstitutional, unprecedented federal power grab that intrudes on people's liberty.

By taxing them to support a system that protects their "life"? It's *life*, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The law doesn't regulate commerce but instead compels people to buy something - health insurance - whether they use it or not.

That's why they call it insurance! I pay taxes on many services I will *never* use.

The penalty for not buying insurance isn't what the Constitution envisioned in permitting federal taxes.

You are penalized for not paying taxes!

The reasons people oppose certain things will never cease to amaze me.

renegade7:
"BUT WE GOTSA KEEP THE LIBRUL ATHEESTS FROM DESTROYN AMURKA BY TAKING THE TAX OBAMA MUNY AND GIVN ITTA POORASS CRACKHORS WHO'R TOO LAASY TA WORK!"

Being the main argument I have heard against Obamacare.

The main argument the states are making is that breaks the commernce clause (I.E. the federal government can regulate trade between states but not the trade inside states) and forcing people to buy health insurance may easily constitute as such.

I'm really looking forward to seeing them rule on this issue. I think it will come down to Kennedy, and which way he swings. He has sided with the conservative bloc in several cases, but with the liberal side in others.

Comando96:

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

Oh, right. I forgot that racism and sexism didn't exist anymore since we legislated them away.

DevilWithaHalo:

The states and the National Federation of Independent Business say Congress lacked authority under the Constitution for its unprecedented step of forcing Americans to buy insurance whether they want it or not.

But it's OK to force Insurance on anyone utilizing a vehicle? Fine, I'm going to stop paying Taxes on any nationalized service I don't utilize because I don't fucking want to.

Auto insurance is regulated on the state level. Virginia actually doesn't require you do have minimum insurance, they make you pay a fee annually if you choose not to, which means its roughly equivalent to making you buy insurance anyway, but it at least shows an example that states can do whatever they feel like with that. Since the question is constitutionality, and constitutionally the state and federal governments have very different powers, this example doesn't apply at all.

Evidently many here miss the point. Even Romney has said that it should be a STATE issue. Not a federal one. Repeal the federal health care law and turn it over to the states, the way it should have been in the first place.

You don't get to force an American citizen to buy a product and then impose a fine (tax) on them if they don't. The next thing you know, we'll all be forced to buy Chevrolet's because the government has an interest in the company. Using the "interstate commerce law" as a foundation for ObamaCare is proof that they know they were wrong right off the bat.

Hell, the solicitor general practically got laughed out of the court yesterday, even by the liberal judges when he argued that the "tax is a penalty" and the judges noted that tomorrow he'd be in there arguing that the tax "is not a penalty". Even Justice Kagan (who is openly biased in favor of ObamaCare) got in on the action, telling the Solicitor General that he shouldn't mind his words when discussing the imposition of a "tax" or a "penalty".

Not a good start for Obamacare, or at least the individual mandate.

tstorm823:
Auto insurance is regulated on the state level. Virginia actually doesn't require you do have minimum insurance, they make you pay a fee annually if you choose not to, which means its roughly equivalent to making you buy insurance anyway, but it at least shows an example that states can do whatever they feel like with that. Since the question is constitutionality, and constitutionally the state and federal governments have very different powers, this example doesn't apply at all.

It depends entirely on the perspective of it being "insurance" or a tax. If it's a nationally mandated program, then it needs to be a tax. They need to stop calling it health "insurance"; because then that opens up to my point where if I don't utilize a service, I can stop paying for it... which seems to be the entirety of the argument against it.

Not G. Ivingname:

renegade7:
"BUT WE GOTSA KEEP THE LIBRUL ATHEESTS FROM DESTROYN AMURKA BY TAKING THE TAX OBAMA MUNY AND GIVN ITTA POORASS CRACKHORS WHO'R TOO LAASY TA WORK!"

Being the main argument I have heard against Obamacare.

The main argument the states are making is that breaks the commernce clause (I.E. the federal government can regulate trade between states but not the trade inside states) and forcing people to buy health insurance may easily constitute as such.

And exactly where the line of interstate commerce ends is not exactly clear. For example, schools has been determined to be not covered, but hotels and accommodations have been. Healthcare, particularly the more networked form of healthcare groups and insurance companies (where they have partnerships and stand-alone subsidiaries as the local companies), in my opinion, is probably closer to interstate commerce (and thus constitutional) rather than simply being solely located within a state.

What is more interesting would be the political fallout if it were to be overturned. The democratic base, and a sizable number of independents, would become mobilized and become much more aggressive in attempting to retake the congress. Republicans, who have spent the last three years focusing on Obamacare, will then be in a "now what?" phase, and what little passion that they have remaining after so many years will likely flame out over the lackluster nomination (assuming Mitt Romney). Democrats retake the House and make gains in the Senate and the first bill on the floor will end up being "Medicare for All" which was already polled as being much more acceptable to US voters. The end result, ironically enough, will end up being government-ran health insurance rather than the private-ran health insurance the government is defending in court.

EDIT:

DevilWithaHalo:

tstorm823:
Auto insurance is regulated on the state level. Virginia actually doesn't require you do have minimum insurance, they make you pay a fee annually if you choose not to, which means its roughly equivalent to making you buy insurance anyway, but it at least shows an example that states can do whatever they feel like with that. Since the question is constitutionality, and constitutionally the state and federal governments have very different powers, this example doesn't apply at all.

It depends entirely on the perspective of it being "insurance" or a tax. If it's a nationally mandated program, then it needs to be a tax. They need to stop calling it health "insurance"; because then that opens up to my point where if I don't utilize a service, I can stop paying for it... which seems to be the entirety of the argument against it.

However, the US Supreme Court tends to view laws as they are rather than how they are framed. If you create a law which clearly aims for a non-tax purpose (such as a price control), they're inclined to not view it as a tax. It's one of the reasons why most lawyers pretty much agree that the subject of yesterday's arguments (whether it constituted a tax or not) likely will be against it as a tax. If it was, then when the decision is made, it will essentially say "sorry, no jurisdiction until the tax goes into effect and has been paid. See you in three years."

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

In order to understand why this case is important, you would have to understand how the government has been abusing the commerce clause for the last 70 odd years. There's a reason that originally in order to ban alcohol it required a constitutional amendment, but in order to ban marijuana it did not. That reason is because the Federal government has been expanding it's control continuously in those 70 odd years, and this is where we find out if there is actually any limit to that power.

ravenshrike:

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

In order to understand why this case is important, you would have to understand how the government has been abusing the commerce clause for the last 70 odd years. There's a reason that originally in order to ban alcohol it required a constitutional amendment, but in order to ban marijuana it did not. That reason is because the Federal government has been expanding it's control continuously in those 70 odd years, and this is where we find out if there is actually any limit to that power.

Abuse of a clause of a constitution is determined by your high court. If your high court allows it, it is not abuse.

I'm sick of self-described "constitutionalists" forgetting that you have an entire branch of your government who's job is to interpret your law and constitution and determine the boundaries of the law and what is permitted. It's not rocket science. When they say what the law is, regardless of whether you agree with their reasoning, that is what the law is...

The Gentleman:

ravenshrike:

Comando96:

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

In order to understand why this case is important, you would have to understand how the government has been abusing the commerce clause for the last 70 odd years. There's a reason that originally in order to ban alcohol it required a constitutional amendment, but in order to ban marijuana it did not. That reason is because the Federal government has been expanding it's control continuously in those 70 odd years, and this is where we find out if there is actually any limit to that power.

Abuse of a clause of a constitution is determined by your high court. If your high court allows it, it is not abuse.

I'm sick of self-described "constitutionalists" forgetting that you have an entire branch of your government who's job is to interpret your law and constitution and determine the boundaries of the law and what is permitted. It's not rocket science. When they say what the law is, regardless of whether you agree with their reasoning, that is what the law is...

The abuse of this particular clause began after a certain asshole prog threatened to pack the courts and render their judgements moot. It has continued apace because the sitting justices are too afraid to overturn the precedent.

DevilWithaHalo:

It depends entirely on the perspective of it being "insurance" or a tax. If it's a nationally mandated program, then it needs to be a tax. They need to stop calling it health "insurance"; because then that opens up to my point where if I don't utilize a service, I can stop paying for it... which seems to be the entirety of the argument against it.

Right, but it cannot be a tax if the money never gets to the government. This is not government revenue and spending, it's a law telling citizens to spend their money with certain private entities. If they called it a tax, it would be just a lie. If they changed it to be a tax with federal spending, it would be closer to socialized medicine (which would probably be better, though I'd prefer free market health care, and can personally validate from my dental reciept this morning that going through insurance company bureaucracy adds to the cost of a a service) and that would have completely different issues to be brought before the Supreme Court.

ravenshrike:

The Gentleman:

ravenshrike:
In order to understand why this case is important, you would have to understand how the government has been abusing the commerce clause for the last 70 odd years. There's a reason that originally in order to ban alcohol it required a constitutional amendment, but in order to ban marijuana it did not. That reason is because the Federal government has been expanding it's control continuously in those 70 odd years, and this is where we find out if there is actually any limit to that power.

Abuse of a clause of a constitution is determined by your high court. If your high court allows it, it is not abuse.

I'm sick of self-described "constitutionalists" forgetting that you have an entire branch of your government who's job is to interpret your law and constitution and determine the boundaries of the law and what is permitted. It's not rocket science. When they say what the law is, regardless of whether you agree with their reasoning, that is what the law is...

The abuse of this particular clause began after a certain asshole prog threatened to pack the courts and render their judgements moot. It has continued apace because the sitting justices are too afraid to overturn the precedent.

Irrelevant. The reasoning and ruling of your court is the law. If they rule something is constitutional, then it is constitutional. (Do not pass Go, Do not collect $200.) Any reasoning beyond the published opinion, regardless of whether it is true or not, is wholly irrelevant.

Side note: there's no constitutional provision specifying the number of justices on your high bench (Article III of the US Constitution is quite short). "Court packing" where your legislature adds seats by statute and the president would fill them through the regular nomination process would be well within constitutional limits).

tstorm823:
...it would be closer to socialized medicine (which would probably be better, though I'd prefer free market health care, and can personally validate from my dental reciept this morning that going through insurance company bureaucracy adds to the cost of a a service)...

Shh! You don't want to use that phrase in this discussion. The next thing you'll hear is death panels this, communism that, old people holding signs that say; "keep the government out of my medicare", and additional political rhetoric.

DevilWithaHalo:

Shh! You don't want to use that phrase in this discussion. The next thing you'll hear is death panels this, communism that, old people holding signs that say; "keep the government out of my medicare", and additional political rhetoric.

But seriously though. The people who want less government involvement in healthcare abhor Obamacare, but the people who are upset about corporations involvement in healthcare should be equally upset. Obamacare only adds in the bad parts of socialized medicine (choice restrictions and general inefficiency issues) and doesn't add any of the percieved benefits. Why are some of the people so adamantly against for-profit healthcare defending a bill that forces them to use for-profit services? I really don't get it.

Ultratwinkie:

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

racism and sexism isn't so much a problem. We can get rid of that in time. If this case doesn't go for Obama, it will be a death sentence for any American who isn't sitting on million of dollars.

Bullshit

Our standard medical insurance system works reasonably well, and no one, regardless of funds, can ever be refused emergency treatment. Yes the old system has flaws, so does the one going on trial.

I can sort of understand you preferring government regulated private healthcare as opposed to simply private healthcare, (the system in question is NOT universal) propaganda is after all quite difficult for some people to see through. But there is a huge difference between a small handful of people having more trouble dealing with medical issues, and "everyone who isn't rich is dooommmeddd!"

tstorm823:
But seriously though. The people who want less government involvement in healthcare abhor Obamacare, but the people who are upset about corporations involvement in healthcare should be equally upset. Obamacare only adds in the bad parts of socialized medicine (choice restrictions and general inefficiency issues) and doesn't add any of the percieved benefits. Why are some of the people so adamantly against for-profit healthcare defending a bill that forces them to use for-profit services? I really don't get it.

I think a lot of it comes from ignorance to be honest. I've personally only read a small fraction of the actual bill, while attempting to do a little research on the various details within it. My coworker put up a "map" of the system in the office, and it's quite convoluted to say the least. Most of the problems with the bill can be easily fixed if one took the time to do it, but the issues people focus on are nearly always perceptual.

The intention of the bill is to provide healthcare to the American people. This isn't a "power grab" as many would suggest. It's also not a ploy by the democrats to ruin America. But there are many things that got stuck in there that are entirely unnecessary (WTF do we need a tanning tax for?). Most of the complications behind it might actually just be a poor reflection on how complicated our system has actually become.

If you look up various "facts" (and I use the term *very* loosely), you'll see suggestions (or political implications) like Obamacare costing 800,000 jobs (one wonders how they came up with that). It's no surprise with the amount of misinformation how there people are continually arguing about things that may or may not even be impacted by the bill.

I chalk if up to a matter of efficiency. Our Medical System has a standard (because we don't like the metric system here!) ass ton of problems with it. But the wheels keep on turning. Someone comes in and suggests a way to improve the machine, and everyone freaks out because they just see it working; they don't know the mechanics behind it. Sort of like if someone suggests you get your oil changed but damned if you're going to let him tell you what to do because your car has run perfectly for the first few thousand miles!

The average American citizen won't actually be impacted very much by the bill whatsoever. You'll still see your Doctor (unless they decided to personally change professions), and you'll still get treatment. Hospitals will still insure that the seriously injured receive immediate care, and there will still be waiting lists for organs, surgeries and other non-life threatening treatments. Money will still be exchanged, it's just going to be regulated by the government a little more.

If the simply fix the bill and simplify the program, there would be a lot less opposition to it... on whatever ground people feel like. We don't have to shred it simply because it was proposed under Obama. And we don't need to judge the entire thing based on one or two provisions in it we find questionable; we just need to address those concerns.

DevilWithaHalo:

I think a lot of it comes from ignorance to be honest. I've personally only read a small fraction of the actual bill, while attempting to do a little research on the various details within it. My coworker put up a "map" of the system in the office, and it's quite convoluted to say the least. Most of the problems with the bill can be easily fixed if one took the time to do it, but the issues people focus on are nearly always perceptual.

The intention of the bill is to provide healthcare to the American people. This isn't a "power grab" as many would suggest. It's also not a ploy by the democrats to ruin America. But there are many things that got stuck in there that are entirely unnecessary (WTF do we need a tanning tax for?). Most of the complications behind it might actually just be a poor reflection on how complicated our system has actually become.

If you look up various "facts" (and I use the term *very* loosely), you'll see suggestions (or political implications) like Obamacare costing 800,000 jobs (one wonders how they came up with that). It's no surprise with the amount of misinformation how there people are continually arguing about things that may or may not even be impacted by the bill.

I chalk if up to a matter of efficiency. Our Medical System has a standard (because we don't like the metric system here!) ass ton of problems with it. But the wheels keep on turning. Someone comes in and suggests a way to improve the machine, and everyone freaks out because they just see it working; they don't know the mechanics behind it. Sort of like if someone suggests you get your oil changed but damned if you're going to let him tell you what to do because your car has run perfectly for the first few thousand miles!

The average American citizen won't actually be impacted very much by the bill whatsoever. You'll still see your Doctor (unless they decided to personally change professions), and you'll still get treatment. Hospitals will still insure that the seriously injured receive immediate care, and there will still be waiting lists for organs, surgeries and other non-life threatening treatments. Money will still be exchanged, it's just going to be regulated by the government a little more.

If the simply fix the bill and simplify the program, there would be a lot less opposition to it... on whatever ground people feel like. We don't have to shred it simply because it was proposed under Obama. And we don't need to judge the entire thing based on one or two provisions in it we find questionable; we just need to address those concerns.

I don't mean this as an insult (trust me, I'm very forward when I'm insulting people) but it seems from your post that you don't understand what about this is being contested. Most of those "efficiency" pieces are just putting into law things that are already being practiced. It was already common practice that almost everyone would get health insurance. It was already common practice that insurance companies would push minimum bundles. All the specific practices and procedures addressed in Obamacare were already being implemented somewhere, and almost all of them were being pushed by the insurance companies, it's just that the consumers had the right to decline them. What Obamacare is doing is writing into law everything that the large healthcare companies were already pushing for (maximum consumer base, more comprehensive packages; the things that makes them money) and takes away all bargaining rights from the people. I cannot imagine, for an instant, how having to purchase a plan that meets certain requirements is better for me or more efficient than having that option available to me but being allowed to decline.

At any rate, if the small, specific regulations enacted by Obamacare would make healthcare more efficient, they'd be implemented by health service providers anyway. All the mandates do is screw with the people who don't want to by those services for themselves. And as I said, I got a $40 discount on dental work for not using insurance this morning because it costs them less to not go through a 3rd party.

And it's common sense- because the insurance companies are getting paid, the average person's healthcare costs are higher than if the fees went directly from the person to the healthcare provider. So why would we all want health insurance?

tstorm823:

And it's common sense- because the insurance companies are getting paid, the average person's healthcare costs are higher than if the fees went directly from the person to the healthcare provider. So why would we all want health insurance?

That's not a problem with Obamacare, it's a "problem" with insurance in general. No matter what. House, health, car...we always pay insurance "just in case", so that our ass is covered if something happens.

Say you (editorial, not personal you) have your car insured, and you drive it for 12 years, not once coming near any accident, not even a minor one like knocking off a side mirror. You pay your insurance company monthly, yet since you never need its services do you go and complain "Why the hell am I paying for this?". Or do you keep paying, "just in case"? And it's the same thing the money you pay will, provided you never have need of the insurance service, go for the compensation of those who do.

I mean, the argument against public <whatever> seems to be "But I don't want to pay taxes for someone else's <whatever>!" Guess what, if you go private, you still pay your regular fees for someone else's <whatever>. Or do people who go private live more recklessly so that they actually need the insurance?

With health insurance, the thing is that the moment you go private, your health is no longer the insurance company's concern, it becomes the insurance company's problem instead.

The state tends to be interested in keeping its people alive and well so that they can work efficiently and bring revenues in, the state usually tends to think long-term because it has to think long-term in order to be able to exist with some degree of reliability. Private companies' first concern, however, is to turn a profit.

So, here's a challenge for people: How many of you people drive carefully, and therefore pass up on insurance for your car? (Note: There's a trap hidden here. Somewhere, I set it)

The Gentleman:

Not G. Ivingname:

renegade7:
"BUT WE GOTSA KEEP THE LIBRUL ATHEESTS FROM DESTROYN AMURKA BY TAKING THE TAX OBAMA MUNY AND GIVN ITTA POORASS CRACKHORS WHO'R TOO LAASY TA WORK!"

Being the main argument I have heard against Obamacare.

The main argument the states are making is that breaks the commernce clause (I.E. the federal government can regulate trade between states but not the trade inside states) and forcing people to buy health insurance may easily constitute as such.

And exactly where the line of interstate commerce ends is not exactly clear. For example, schools has been determined to be not covered, but hotels and accommodations have been. Healthcare, particularly the more networked form of healthcare groups and insurance companies (where they have partnerships and stand-alone subsidiaries as the local companies), in my opinion, is probably closer to interstate commerce (and thus constitutional) rather than simply being solely located within a state.

What is more interesting would be the political fallout if it were to be overturned. The democratic base, and a sizable number of independents, would become mobilized and become much more aggressive in attempting to retake the congress. Republicans, who have spent the last three years focusing on Obamacare, will then be in a "now what?" phase, and what little passion that they have remaining after so many years will likely flame out over the lackluster nomination (assuming Mitt Romney). Democrats retake the House and make gains in the Senate and the first bill on the floor will end up being "Medicare for All" which was already polled as being much more acceptable to US voters. The end result, ironically enough, will end up being government-ran health insurance rather than the private-ran health insurance the government is defending in court.

On the other hand, it could look like a political disaster for the Democrats and Obama, and nobody will be wanting to push another one in the near future will be dead before launch. Also even if what you predict is true, Obama will lose a LOT of support as Democrats try to distance themselves from him, and he will lose to the Republicans, making it hard to pass the bill.

Not G. Ivingname:
On the other hand, it could look like a political disaster for the Democrats and Obama, and nobody will be wanting to push another one in the near future will be dead before launch. Also even if what you predict is true, Obama will lose a LOT of support as Democrats try to distance themselves from him, and he will lose to the Republicans, making it hard to pass the bill.

I wouldn't be too sure. After the original bill passed, many moderate Democrats tried to distance themselves as you predicted. The majority of them lost their seats, while those who remained loyal kept their seats because they actually were willing to fight for something.

More importantly, in the absence of an individual mandate, there has to be an alternative that increases insurance coverage. In the formulation of the bill, there were three options: Medicare-for-all (extending Medicare coverage to all rather than just over 65, effectively single payer), a public option (a government-ran insurance corporation similar to some used in some states), or the individual mandate originally proposed by the Republicans. Because Republicans and conservative Democrats kicked and screamed about the first two, the last option was the individual mandate and that was the necessary mechanism added to insure broader coverage.

If the mandate is dropped, you're left with the other two options, both of which are constitutionally tested and green-lighted. One has to be passed and the Democrats, for all their spinelessness, are not going to abandon their signature achievement when they could fix it with something more in line with their party ideology.

tstorm823:
I don't mean this as an insult (trust me, I'm very forward when I'm insulting people) but it seems from your post that you don't understand what about this is being contested.

It's more that I interpret the arguments differently than you do. Some are arguing the constitutionality of it, while others are arguing the efficiencies, etc. Like you, and anyone else, I simply choose to rail against the things I personally take issue against it. But please, let us continue to help each other understand our perspectives...

tstorm823:
Most of those "efficiency" pieces are just putting into law things that are already being practiced.

Efficiency is actually one of my issues with the bill. It really needs to be corrected. I get they're trying to centralize the process, but they're going about it all wrong. However, I can't support the idea that our current system is already efficient on its own.

tstorm823:
It was already common practice that almost everyone would get health insurance.

Everyone who could afford it. Therein lies our first dilemma.

tstorm823:
It was already common practice that insurance companies would push minimum bundles.

For certain companies perhaps. This however was not a standard; minimum packages are often not profitable in nature to many various companies. Why would any company risk offering a service that didn't net a profit?

tstorm823:
All the specific practices and procedures addressed in Obamacare were already being implemented somewhere, and almost all of them were being pushed by the insurance companies, it's just that the consumers had the right to decline them.

I'd honestly have to address this on a case by case basis. The problem with declining insurance coverage is that by its very nature, it provides a safety net for you in case you need it, while supporting a system that protects others in the same way. Unfortunately I only have car insurance examples to work with, would you find those acceptable?

tstorm823:
What Obamacare is doing is writing into law everything that the large healthcare companies were already pushing for (maximum consumer base, more comprehensive packages; the things that makes them money) and takes away all bargaining rights from the people.

Not exactly. Obamacare is actually protecting people's interests (most obvious in the clause disallowing companies to deny coverage to pre-existing conditions), while requiring companies to further lower their cost of their services while making up the difference in tax support. It would also prevent companies from denying payouts on other various excuses. All in all, it will actually cut into insurance profits; what they don't want to see happen. What benefits the consumers doesn't always benefit the companies.

tstorm823:
I cannot imagine, for an instant, how having to purchase a plan that meets certain requirements is better for me or more efficient than having that option available to me but being allowed to decline.

Because your $50 a month (or whatever it will be), will prevent you from shelling out $3,000 to a hospital when you break your arm after declining coverage. It also goes to support the little old lady down the street who can't afford the $150 per month (or whatever it is) she is paying now for her coverage. It helps the system cover its growing costs to service the ever growing public in all its health needs. I'm actually surprised you don't see that benefit.

tstorm823:
At any rate, if the small, specific regulations enacted by Obamacare would make healthcare more efficient, they'd be implemented by health service providers anyway.

Not if it costs them money.

tstorm823:
All the mandates do is screw with the people who don't want to by those services for themselves. And as I said, I got a $40 discount on dental work for not using insurance this morning because it costs them less to not go through a 3rd party.

That's a very rare instance. I personally had to shell out $400 for something insurance was going to cover 100%. Some people have a hard time even covering dental costs, especially when they don't have any insurance. I would suggest thinking about this issue as one that impacts society as a whole, not just on an individual level; you cannot go through life without requiring some kind of medical support... even if it was just getting pushed out your mother.

tstorm823:
And it's common sense- because the insurance companies are getting paid, the average person's healthcare costs are higher than if the fees went directly from the person to the healthcare provider

In a perfect world, that might make sense, but people wouldn't be able to afford medical care as it stands right now without the use of insurance companies. What would the doctor do? Provide patients with a payment plan option for the rest of their lives? Worry about people actually paying their bills or skipping town? Charging interest rates on loans? Sending information to collections? That's a lot of overhead; which is currently being handled by insurance companies, mostly upfront so they can insure costs are being better covered instead of chasing the money down after the fact.

tstorm823:
So why would we all want health insurance?

Because when you get sick or injured, you can afford the help you need. If health care cost the US $2.6 trillion in 2010 and our tax budget was $3.6 trillion, and our spending on health care only accounted for 17.9% of our GPD, that's a lot of ground to catch up on. Private insurance companies can't do it, especially if they want to stay in the black. Assuming our rough 309.5 million citizens in the US during 2010, that would be $8,400.00 per person to cover our health care expenditures. If you have that kind of cash to burn, then you should shell out the costs as needed. The rest of us who can't afford that on a yearly basis (which has no doubt increased), should contribute some tax dollars to insure we aren't draining the system when we suffer injury from accident or catch the latest flu craze (I'm guessing monkey) and need some shots. But that's all rough math.

Vegosiux:

That's not a problem with Obamacare, it's a "problem" with insurance in general. No matter what. House, health, car...we always pay insurance "just in case", so that our ass is covered if something happens.

Say you (editorial, not personal you) have your car insured, and you drive it for 12 years, not once coming near any accident, not even a minor one like knocking off a side mirror. You pay your insurance company monthly, yet since you never need its services do you go and complain "Why the hell am I paying for this?". Or do you keep paying, "just in case"? And it's the same thing the money you pay will, provided you never have need of the insurance service, go for the compensation of those who do.

I mean, the argument against public <whatever> seems to be "But I don't want to pay taxes for someone else's <whatever>!" Guess what, if you go private, you still pay your regular fees for someone else's <whatever>. Or do people who go private live more recklessly so that they actually need the insurance?

With health insurance, the thing is that the moment you go private, your health is no longer the insurance company's concern, it becomes the insurance company's problem instead.

The state tends to be interested in keeping its people alive and well so that they can work efficiently and bring revenues in, the state usually tends to think long-term because it has to think long-term in order to be able to exist with some degree of reliability. Private companies' first concern, however, is to turn a profit.

So, here's a challenge for people: How many of you people drive carefully, and therefore pass up on insurance for your car? (Note: There's a trap hidden here. Somewhere, I set it)

Oh yeah, I understand that's with all insurance. I personally think the concept of insurance is just as much of a scam as credit cards, and I'm tremendously thankful that debit cards came out so I can get that convenience without spending the money of scam artists...

As far as health care is concerned, I'd be equally grateful to have health care that I can just spend my own money on...

DevilWithaHalo:

It's more that I interpret the arguments differently than you do. Some are arguing the constitutionality of it, while others are arguing the efficiencies, etc. Like you, and anyone else, I simply choose to rail against the things I personally take issue against it. But please, let us continue to help each other understand our perspectives...

Fair deal.

tstorm823:

Everyone who could afford it. Therein lies our first dilemma.

Yeah, but that's Medicaid, that's already a program. Obamacare is quite a bit more than Medicaid reform.

For certain companies perhaps. This however was not a standard; minimum packages are often not profitable in nature to many various companies. Why would any company risk offering a service that didn't net a profit?

I could have phrased that better, by minimum package, I meant that they sold their insurance in bundles that hit a minimum number of things for exactly the reason you explained, that it's profit for them. Obamacare now put in that all insurances have to cover certain things which means that every policy will be atleast so large, and therefore atleast so profitable. For example, if you look at the contraceptive controversy from the economic viewpoint instead of the social one, they were planning on having groups pay for a service they would 100% never use, which amounts to just profit for them.

I'd honestly have to address this on a case by case basis. The problem with declining insurance coverage is that by its very nature, it provides a safety net for you in case you need it, while supporting a system that protects others in the same way. Unfortunately I only have car insurance examples to work with, would you find those acceptable?

In arguements about the constitutionality of Obamacare those examples don't work, but when argueing about the benefits of the program those are certainly acceptable.

Not exactly. Obamacare is actually protecting people's interests (most obvious in the clause disallowing companies to deny coverage to pre-existing conditions), while requiring companies to further lower their cost of their services while making up the difference in tax support. It would also prevent companies from denying payouts on other various excuses. All in all, it will actually cut into insurance profits; what they don't want to see happen.

I'm not sure that's true. The specific policy about denying coverage do to pre-existing conditions may be a cut into their profits, but I am positive the mandate makes up for that with room to spare.

What benefits the consumers doesn't always benefit the companies.

This I understand, which is why the amount of benefit to the companies can be alarming.

Because your $50 a month (or whatever it will be), will prevent you from shelling out $3,000 to a hospital when you break your arm after declining coverage.

Well, you're $50 a month ignores deductible, but assuming that's the only cost I'd still have to only break my arm every 5 years to break even. Not so, you might say, because that's not the medical cost I have, but in truth, that's the only medical cost I have. In my 21 years of living, I've had 1 broken collarbone (a few appointments, a cloth figure-8 brace, and a pair of x-rays: like $2000), 1 replaced tooth (not that that's covered, but that was also about $2000), a few appointments with a scoliosis specialist (at a few hundred each, probably $1500), and the standard check-ups, shots, and physicals to be allowed in normal activity (I have no idea how much this is). Clearly, I'm not the epitome of health. I've had both chronic and sudden health issues. That's still amounted to about $4500 over the expected costs for a child and young adults health care. If we replace that with $50 a month, the number would be $12,600. Now, if we extrapolate the next 21 years, I'll likely not run into any diseases associated with old age, but I also won't have the frequent physicals and innoculations associated with children's care. That means not buying insurance could undercut my cost of living by $8000 through my 20s and 30s. Just comparing $50 to $3000 dollars is a naive comparison that you shouldn't even bring up.

It also goes to support the little old lady down the street who can't afford the $150 per month (or whatever it is) she is paying now for her coverage.

Where is my purchasing of health insurance helping her cover the $150? She's still paying that. It helps cover her care, sure, but at the benefit of the insarance, not the old lady. Me buying a Hershey Bar helps make Hershey Bars be profitable to sell to people, but it doesn't make the $1 any cheaper for the kids who want them.

It helps the system cover its growing costs to service the ever growing public in all its health needs. I'm actually surprised you don't see that benefit.

I see the benefit to the system alright. It helps the system. And what helps the consumer and the system aren't always the same, right?

tstorm823:
At any rate, if the small, specific regulations enacted by Obamacare would make healthcare more efficient, they'd be implemented by health service providers anyway.

Not if it costs them money.

That's sort of what I mean by efficient. Costs less to do the same.

tstorm823:

That's a very rare instance. I personally had to shell out $400 for something insurance was going to cover 100%. Some people have a hard time even covering dental costs, especially when they don't have any insurance. I would suggest thinking about this issue as one that impacts society as a whole, not just on an individual level; you cannot go through life without requiring some kind of medical support... even if it was just getting pushed out your mother.

See above example. You had to shell out $400 for something that could have cost you thousands to get covered in monthly fees. Fully covered does not tell you at all whether it was cheaper or not.

In a perfect world, that might make sense, but people wouldn't be able to afford medical care as it stands right now without the use of insurance companies. What would the doctor do? Provide patients with a payment plan option for the rest of their lives? Worry about people actually paying their bills or skipping town? Charging interest rates on loans? Sending information to collections? That's a lot of overhead; which is currently being handled by insurance companies, mostly upfront so they can insure costs are being better covered instead of chasing the money down after the fact.

No, the doctor would provide care and accept payment. If people obtain credit from him, there are billing companies already that provide that service if necessary. If people skip town, oh well. Every business loses out sometimes on theifs. A grocery store puts in minimal shoplifting prevention measures, but it really wouldn't be difficult to steal hundreds of dollars in food over the course of a year. But people have the general decency to pay for the things they take. The same principle would probably be magnified even further with health care since you can't skip out on paying secretly. You'd have to move your whole life to escape payment, and moving probably costs more.

Because when you get sick or injured, you can afford the help you need.

But spending $50 a month makes you less able to afford things...

If health care cost the US $2.6 trillion in 2010 and our tax budget was $3.6 trillion, and our spending on health care only accounted for 17.9% of our GPD, that's a lot of ground to catch up on. Private insurance companies can't do it, especially if they want to stay in the black. Assuming our rough 309.5 million citizens in the US during 2010, that would be $8,400.00 per person to cover our health care expenditures. If you have that kind of cash to burn, then you should shell out the costs as needed. The rest of us who can't afford that on a yearly basis (which has no doubt increased), should contribute some tax dollars to insure we aren't draining the system when we suffer injury from accident or catch the latest flu craze (I'm guessing monkey) and need some shots. But that's all rough math.

Right, but that's the actual cost, not the hypothetical cost of care. That 8400 per person includes the insurance profits and bureaucracy payments. Google tells me that right now, "administrative costs" are 31% of health care payments. That 31% does not include the money going to paid government employees to reassign the revenue and spending where they're involved. That 31% does not include the oppurtunity cost of health care providers having to negotiate with insurers or change treatment to meet coverage. We're looking at a system where almost half the cost to run it provides no advantage to the consumer other than more detailed paperwork. The fallacy of your $8400 a year is that it includes the cost of the insurance inefficiencies in it. What I want is the statistic for the actual average treatment cost per person. For that, we'd need the actual costs for treatments and the amount of each treatment going on in the US, and the only group that has that is the insurance companies.

DevilWithaHalo:
Oh dear god are we serious?
[quote]The states and the National Federation of Independent Business say Congress lacked authority under the Constitution for its unprecedented step of forcing Americans to buy insurance whether they want it or not.

But it's OK to force Insurance on anyone utilizing a vehicle? Fine, I'm going to stop paying Taxes on any nationalized service I don't utilize because I don't fucking want to.
[quote] There is a big differeance between auto and heath insurance here. For starters if you to not have a car you do not need auto insurance. On top of that even if you do have a car you do not need auto insurance and still be legal. The only time you are mandated to have auto insurance is if you are using public roads. Public roads are built and maintained by the state and federal goverments which means those roads belong to them. That alows them to set the rules of when and how they will let you use their roads.

As for your other argument of just calling it a tax, you can't. Just because you say somthing is a tax does not make somthing a tax. A tax goes to the goverment not a private party. If the goverment could get away with forcing you to by a prouduct by simply calling it a tax, they could basicily make you buy what ever they want you to.

Goverment:"Oh the auto industry is failing, go out and buy a ford."
The people: "No, we don't want to."
Goverment:"Well... it's a tax so you have to"

To give the goverment the power to force you to buy somthing because it effects commerce is a very scary thing. Every thing you do or don't do effects commerce in some way shape or form.

The Gentleman:

Not G. Ivingname:
On the other hand, it could look like a political disaster for the Democrats and Obama, and nobody will be wanting to push another one in the near future will be dead before launch. Also even if what you predict is true, Obama will lose a LOT of support as Democrats try to distance themselves from him, and he will lose to the Republicans, making it hard to pass the bill.

I wouldn't be too sure. After the original bill passed, many moderate Democrats tried to distance themselves as you predicted. The majority of them lost their seats, while those who remained loyal kept their seats because they actually were willing to fight for something.

More importantly, in the absence of an individual mandate, there has to be an alternative that increases insurance coverage. In the formulation of the bill, there were three options: Medicare-for-all (extending Medicare coverage to all rather than just over 65, effectively single payer), a public option (a government-ran insurance corporation similar to some used in some states), or the individual mandate originally proposed by the Republicans. Because Republicans and conservative Democrats kicked and screamed about the first two, the last option was the individual mandate and that was the necessary mechanism added to insure broader coverage.

If the mandate is dropped, you're left with the other two options, both of which are constitutionally tested and green-lighted. One has to be passed and the Democrats, for all their spinelessness, are not going to abandon their signature achievement when they could fix it with something more in line with their party ideology.

If the personal mandate is the only thing that is dropped. If the entire law is, then the entire thing is dead in the water. And even if it just the personal mandate that is cut, it doesn't mean it will default to one of the other two. An amendment would have to be voted on by the Congress. How badly do you think the Republicans would fight if anybody tried to make a "universal healthcare," or extending medicare?

Comando96:

Not G. Ivingname:
If it isn't delayed, no matter how the vote goes, it is going to be one of the most historical Supreme Court cases in United States history.

Really?

Getting rid of racism... sexism... getting rid of 1 shit and ineffective bill?

What exactly are you're priorities here? O_o

It's historical because the Supreme Court has ruled on social issues of that sort before and that was part of it's intent. If The Supreme Court knocks this law down it will be one of the few times it has taken action directly against a presidential policy of this sort.

What's more the whole situation involves far more people than either racism or sexism did arguably, since according to some hype this bill will wind up affecting like 95% of people, either in having to pay into Obamacare or face a penelty for not joining it and using a differant service.

I confess to some concern over it because I believe it's heavy handed, and to be honest as someone who is disabled and on social security I'm not entirely sure I'm going to be able to afford to pay for it, not to mention concerns over how it's going to work with my current Medicare benefits, and ultimatly what kinds of treatment I'm going to be able to get. Not to mention how doctors are going to react to being forced to accept it, and how that might influance treatment.

I've seen those concerns answered in a few differant ways by differant people at differant times, but the end result seems to be that for all the experts claiming they know what's going to happen on both sides, the bottom line is nobody knows what's going to happen for sure until it actually goes through and we start gauging reactions.

I do not like the idea of the goverment telling me that I have to have their insurance or pay a penelty, and to be honest despite my personal needs I am sort of a supporter of the rights of private businessemen, including doctors. A principle I stick with despite it not nessicarly representing my own best interests.

All rambling aside, the point is that this will be a huge, huge thing that is going to affect an unprecedented number of people.

Also The Supreme Court is in a position to play "Kingmaker" right now. A ruling right now, in either direction, could very well determine who the next president is going to be, especially if they deliver the ruling the right way. That is an unusual turn of events. Heck, even delaying the ruling could very well have that effect.

My gut feeling is that all my Republican tendencies aside, Obamacare being shot down is probably not a bad thing in of itself. However in shooting it down the Supreme Court is causing a problem by basically saying the goverment can't require any kind of nation-wide health insurance of grant it. As wary as I am of Obamacare, I am not entirely opposed to the idea of a similar program that is more carefully crafted and with more certainy in what it's going to actually do, especially if the people who don't use it are not forced to pay a panelty for not having it.... that's the part that really sucks to me. The Supreme Court is probably taking so long to debate this because there are a lot of ramifications here, and it really can't say no to Obamacare without basically nixing other similar programs since it's ruling more on the federal goverment's abillity to require something like that, than the program itself.

JSF01:
If the goverment could get away with forcing you to by a prouduct by simply calling it a tax, they could basicily make you buy what ever they want you to.

Goverment:"Oh the auto industry is failing, go out and buy a ford."
The people: "No, we don't want to."
Goverment:"Well... it's a tax so you have to"

To give the goverment the power to force you to buy somthing because it effects commerce is a very scary thing. Every thing you do or don't do effects commerce in some way shape or form.

And once again, we get to hear from the "I live in a world of ridiculous hypotheticals" crowd. Because clearly, ensuring that everyone in America actually has a health care plan is equivalent to forcing everyone to buy a luxury good they do not necessarily need.

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