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Jun 28, 2012


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If you're fer it, we're agin' it. Simple.

David Boyd

If the Court ends up striking down the will be because the federal government failed to come up with a good explanation of how the law can be upheld without giving Congress nearly unlimited power to impose other mandates. - Ilya Somin

However it happened, let's be glad it did.


Conflating the suggestions of a handful of Republican leaders during the truly extreme HillaryCare attempted takeover of healthcare with the wishes of conservatives and libertarians in across America is a false comparison on multiple levels.

Andrew Brod

This is very similar to the GOP's about-face on cap and trade. It was originally a Republican initiative, first implemented by GHW Bush. In the early '90s I often defended C&T against criticisms from the left (who couldn't believe that markets, those vehicles of rapacious capitalism, could be harnessed to control pollution). C&T was the centerpiece of McCain's environmental platform in 2008. But when Obama proposed it, it very quickly became the Job-Killing Death of Freedom (TM).

If the Dems were smart, they'd get Obama to start advocating all manner of things Repubs say they want.


a handful of Republican leaders

A touch of the shaan gadgi from yi wee bampot.


Yes, a handful of Republican leaders. The Tea Party, the conservative base later rejected the idea.

These are two different groups yet when ED writes "the GOP came to hate its own health-care policy" he not only ignores the passage of time and the events (HillaryCare) under which such exchanges were conceived, but he ignores that Republicans won the battle over HillaryCare, that the battlefield shifted and continues to shift away from socializing medical care costs.

The battle has since moved on, Ed.

Bill Yaner

Indeed, the battle's moved on to the free and flailing use of catch all terms like "HillaryCare" to "explain" a clear reversal of policy. What nonsense.


Mandate upheld.


The above according to CBS News, CNN is reporting "Mandate struck down." Somebody has egg on their face.

David Boyd

SCOTUSblog says the whole thing is upheld. Roberts' vote decided it. Guess the court is not partisan after all.


and Teddy wouldn't confirm him


where's blubba?


As someone who's personally been denied insurance because of my bout w/ cancer, this is a major vindication. I'm very happy today, the court did the right thing. Millions of people will also now be able to take their work health insurance with them and leave jobs they hated but stayed in simply for heath insurance. Insurance providers will have to continue to spend 80-85% of our premiums on providing HEALTH CARE instead of ads and lobbying, and more. All around this is a win for the country. It's too bad our right-leaning fellow citizens don't see it that way.


Anyone know if Rush has exploded yet? (He's probably reading his Calhoun biographies and sighing.)

An interesting decision. The court apparently rejected the Commerce clause defense of the mandate because that clause only pertains to existing commercial activity. Why isn't buying and selling health care and health insurance considered commercial activity?


i just moved out of UHC to inclusive health, which is the state arm of the federal program. it's a bit complicated, but my premiums go from $520 to $171, even with a pre-existing. sure, my deductible jumps from $500 to $5000, but i don't go to the doctor too much, so OOP payments make sense to me. and if i go over $5000 in a year (god forbid), all costs are covered. plus, with this inclusive plan, i get a $3,100 health care savings account that's also a tax write-off.

so it's not perfect, but at least the foundation is in place to now start tackling costs.


Hey Sean, do you have a link to more information about that insurance plan?


Never mind, Sean. I found it.


sorry, roch, i just checked back in. for anyone else interested...


"The Democrats were at pains not to call this a tax because it is inherently regressive: the wealthy overwhelmingly have health insurance so have no fear of the mandate. But now that it is legally a tax, Republicans can and will declare that Obama has slapped the single biggest tax on the middle class in history, after promising not to do that."

-Jay Cost, Weekly Standard

What this ruling does is expose the already unpopular Obamacare for what it really is and what it really costs while at the same time making clear limitations on the scope of federal power. I'm not sure that can be counted as a win for Democrats.


Thanks Sean, UHC has me on the high premium, high deductible, low benefit plan.


haha. kim, they've had me on that for *years*. my original premium was ~$200 just five years ago. sure, i'm 41 and not 36, but a 262% increase? i'm outta there.

welcome spag. i see you're the first to venture into the political spin. oooh, a middle class tax of $95 dollars! i can't wait to see the GOP turn this into an evil turn of events. particularly when these types of articles will be flying about left and right.


Ed Cone

I agree that this is not a clear political victory for the Democrats, or at least not an unmitigated one.


nothing is a clear victory in party politics, but obama does have better footing today than he did yesterday.

re: the important stuff, good luck overturning the ACA, even with romney in office and a GOP senate. and if obama is re-elected, look for this law to be fine-tuned more along the cost savings/patient care avenues.


A victory for judicial restraint? If it quacks like a tax...


the article ed linked to in the post is a must read on the subject of the individual mandate... and how the GOP won't pay child support to their own baby.


"But now that it is legally a tax, Republicans can and will declare that Obama has slapped the single biggest tax on the middle class in history, after promising not to do that."

What SCOTUS called a tax is the penalty to be paid to the IRS if you don't have health insurance. If you have insurance, you don't pay the tax.

Bill Bush

Don't worry. Nothing has changed. Not five minutes after the decision was announced, Mitch McConnel was on tv going through his usual dull anti-Obama routine. I still wish we had a universal plan that treated every citizen the same, with special sameness reserved for legislators so they could be sure they were getting the same sameness as the regular same that the non-legislators got. It would doubtless be an excellent plan. It would remove the current system of the haves gettting to choose crumbs for the have-nots. And I say this from the position of having employer-paid insurance that covered my child's serious medical issues from spina bifida. Had we not had insurance that did not disallow for preexisting conditions and was non-cancellable due to conditions, we would still be bankrupt from the first 10 years of surgery. The difference between insurance and cherry-picking is pretty clear to me.


SCOTUS gave Obama a Judicial Activist win today.

The Supreme Court was presented with two arguments. One was that ObamaCare was constitutional on the basis of the Commerce Clause and one that it was unconstitutional on the basis that the Commerce Clause does not cover coercion.

Of those two choices the Supreme Court found a third: that fines are taxes even when exacted as a penalty. And as such, that it is within the taxing authority of congress to implement ObamaCare. SCOTUS, and more explicitly Roberts, rewrote the law in question. An Obama win.

The Supreme Court refused to hear the argument as presented, and refused to find in favor of an unlimited expansion of the Commerce Clause, while also refusing to overturn the Commerce Clause. A progressive wash.

The court punted.

It is clear that legal shortcuts regarding law are the exclusive province of progressives. Conversely the defense of individual liberty, it appears, has a single source: the individual citizen acting in concert.

ObamaCare is now back in the glove of the American voter.

And that has already proven to be a loser to Obama.


SCOTUS was presented with three possible justifications for allowing the individual mandate to stand. The first was the commerce clause and the third was the penalty-as-tax. I forget the second. They split on the first two and came down in favor of the third.


First of all, Pelosi/Reid/Obama and their lackeys lied to get this passed. If they had called this a tax, which it is by definition of the Supreme Court, it's doubtful it would have passed the House, and it's doubtful more than 15 senators would have voted for this.

Second, they lied about the costs, and did not disclose the huge increase in government bureaucracy this piece of.....abomination will actually cost, and the depth to which it will further degrade our economy and jobs. And since the power to tax people for health care is now established, guess what the Democrats will utilize to cover the immense shortfall this program will create. "Affordable Care Act"! As if.....

Third, they lied about how people who liked their insurance could keep it. We've already seen results that prove otherwise, and we will continue to see the numbers of people forced off their coverage grow.

Fourth, the out-of pocket cost for EVERYONE-- regardless of whether someone gets insurance through their employer or through an exchange-- will likely DOUBLE, at a minimum, over the course of the next five years.

Fifth, while Dems/Lefties/"Progressives"/Statists/Bureaucrats are doing their victory dance, the rest of us welcome the powerful motivation all of you are giving Republicans/conservatives/libertarians/independents, and everyone else in the majority that dislikes or hates this thing.

The next four months are going to be tough for you. I understand the Romney campaign passed the million dollar mark daily fundraising by noon today.

And then of course, there are the substantial setbacks to the "progressive" agenda the Roberts decision created.


I really like the setback John Roberts applied to Clarence Thomas' agenda.


This was a huge victory for the Republicans and Mitt Romney - a man who despises universal healthcare. Huge. Don't fall for the liberal hype.

Also, why do wear gloves when you vote, Jeri?



The first was the commerce clause and the third was the penalty-as-tax. I forget the second. They split on the first two and came down in favor of the third.

The tax argument was before them in concept only as it was not written in the law. SCOTUS was forced to rewrite the law to accept the tax argument.

Judicial Activism.

Additionally ObamaCare has done damage to the use of the Commerce Clause by progressives. The decision did not expand the commerce clause as progressives had hoped, a progressive loss, and, in fact prescribed the use of the Commerce Clause, a win for liberty.

Furthermore, coercion of the individual states is now far more constrained. A win for federalism.

These are long term wins for liberty. Obama still won the day with a decision that leaves him with a proven political albatross.


Love the spin going on here. A bunch of people *firmly* in the bargaining stage.


funny how it's (capitalized) Judicial Activism when the court doesn't rule in your favor.

get over it, froggy. i realize you can't view this law without feeling obama breathing on your neck, but it's an important issue to get right for the american people. seems like the SCOTUS ultimately judged based along those lines, NOT political lines.


"I really like the setback John Roberts applied to Clarence Thomas' agenda."

What part about the Court's decision restricting the use of the Commerce Clause deals a setback to Clarence Thomas' agenda?

Billy Jones

More politics, I'm out of this one.

Account Deleted

I'm curious, going forward, as to how Romney runs against this health care law in that it mirrors one he pioneered as a governor?


I don't spin. Obama won the day.

Progressives lost the Commerce Clause argument. It was found unconstitutional. The Commerce Clause is now limited -- or do you deny that.

Furthermore, ObamaCare was not written as a tax -- or do you deny that? It now is a tax -- or do you deny that? ObamaCare was rewritten as it passed through the Supreme Court.

That is Judicial Activism -- in this case by a conservative for a progressive cause. Frankly, I'd like to have been privy to the internal politics between the Nine that resulted in this decision.

Progressives also lost in respect to Federalism. Federal coercion of the states is now more restrained or do you deny that?

What bothers me is that Roberts extricated the Supreme Court from a politically charged decision even while finding the law unconstitutional as it was written and as it was presented in the arguments. He did so by rewriting the law.

To what end? My guess is that he feels some issues are so hot that even the legitimacy of the court is not enough to diffuse them (Roe v. Wade for example) -- they must be diffused by the ultimate authority in our nation to have meaningful legitimacy, the citizenry itself.

In this, I can agree with his reasoning.


"I'm curious, going forward, as to how Romney runs against this health care law in that it mirrors one he pioneered as a governor?"

I'm curious, going forward, as to how Obama runs with the Supreme Sourt decision that says this mandate a tax, when he strictly disavowed such a notion when this thing was being promoted?"


"seems like the SCOTUS ultimately judged based along those lines, NOT political lines."

Seems like you didn't bother reading Roberts' decision.


PF, you are exactly right. Roberts WAS correct in that if the mandate is a tax, then it is not Unconstitutional. Where I think he strayed is in changing the plain language of a Congressional statute from "penalty" to a "tax". I am puzzled as to why Roberts who is usually a reliable conservative would do such a thing.

One can argue that deference to Congress is the most conservative position and that Roberts' simply took that approach in this case. However, reading something into an act of Congress (a "tax") that isn't there is not granting deference to Congress- it's legislating from the bench.

There is a doctrine of plain meaning which is inherently conservative and basically states that statutes should be interpreted using the common meaning of words unless there is an ambiguity. In this case, there is nothing ambiguous about the term "penalty". In fact, the government made it clear that penalty meant penalty when they argued the case. Yet somehow Roberts decided that the word "tax" could be substituted for "penalty" despite spending quite a bit of time differentiating the two.

It has now been established that the power of taxation includes the ability of government to tax you for doing nothing. Roberts may be correct in that not being unconstitutional, but it is politically unwise as the dissent pointed out. So if you buy a loaf of bread, the government can tax you. If the government requires you to buy a loaf of bread or pay a tax, that's okay too. So either way, you get taxed. Surely if Obamacare had been debated as a tax - something Democrats vehemently denied - it probably would have failed.

So Roberts' interpretation is troubling and activist on one hand. On the other hand, it has forced Obama and the Democrats to own up to a tax that they denied existed. In approving Obamacare, Roberts has made it clear that playing games with words to avoid a tax being called a tax isn't going to fly considering the limitations that the Court did put on the Commerce Clause in the same ruling.

But the fact that Roberts chose to analyze the semantics rather than adopt their plain meaning and let the chips fall where they may is more disappointing than his decision to write the word "tax" on the football and give it back to Obama and the Democrats is politically satisfying. For a conservative Justice, I don't know what he was thinking.

The rest of PF's points are also correct regardless of the taunts and lack of analysis from the uninformed partisans.

David Hoggard

If you have health insurance, no tax (penalty, whatever), will be assessed... correct?

Sounds fair. People should pay their own way if at all possible. If they are able, but unwilling, to purchase insurance, the burden of their care currently falls to us the un-remunerated 'public'. This 'health insurance avoidance tax' makes non-insured scofflaws pay their share.

I'm all about promoting personal responsibility.

Ed Cone

Hoggard, that's a key point.

Pretty much everyone ends up using the system. People who pay into it pay for those who don't, or won't.

We now have a way of making sure that everyone at risk (aka, everyone) is in the risk pool. The methodology has been voted on by Congress, signed by the President, and vetted by the Supreme Court.

Un-American, I know.

Morgan Glover

Spag might want to take a look at this article.


"People who pay into it pay for those who don't, or won't."

We will pay MORE under the Obamacare status quo....MUCH more, in ways most of you can't even comprehend.


David Hoggard:

Sounds fair.

A broken market is not fair.

Why should the healthcare industry give you the best service? It gets no money from you.

Why should your healthcare provider respond to government rather than you? It will, it will get its money from government, not you.

What drives government to get the best healthcare? It accrues no benefit - the healthcare it purchases goes to a third party, you. The drive for government will be to minimize healthcare as a cost to it and to drive up taxes as revenue.

The government will break the dollar communication between you and your healthcare provider.

Your power as a consumer to influence the healthcare industry (1/6 of the economy) will effectively be transferred to government. Furthermore, government will become the only consumer in America for healthcare -- a consumer with monopoly power. How does that benefit the healthcare industry? How does that benefit you, or any of us? It doesn't. It only benefits government. Broken markets do that. That is why governments break them.


"We now have a way of making sure that everyone at risk (aka, everyone) is in the risk pool."

No, we don't. Younger, healthier uninsured people will stay that way, either ignoring the mandate, or paying the absurdly low "tax". And as already known, millions of people will not be covered under Obamacare.


"The methodology has been voted on by Congress, signed by the President, and vetted by the Supreme Court."

Not quite. Either Obama and the Democrats lied when they said it wasn't a tax, or the Supreme Court engaged in activism when they decided that it was.

Hardly the American way.

Which one do you choose, Ed, the lie or the activism? It has to be one or the other.


Tonight, us Tim Dunkin-like Liberty Lovers mourn LIBERTY lost and FREEDOM denied. It's been a rough day for the Constitution. I hope it will be OK in the morning. Like, I hope it will remain intact.

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