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Author Topic: SUPREME COURT DECISION- OBAMACARE  (Read 1460 times)
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CBB
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« on: March 29, 2012, 12:57:08 PM »

I was just curious what you guys think will happen. The oral arguments are over. At issue are:

*** I'm using the term "Obamacare" because both republicans and Democrats seem to be embracing it. It is actually "The Affordable Care Act". I mean no offense to anyone by use of that term. ***

1. Is the mandate to compel every American to have healthcare insurance, under penalty of law, constitutional?
 Related questions asked during the hearings:
 Can the government force individuals to purchase a product, and if so, can they force individuals to purchase any product? (examples used include broccoli, cell phones, and burial insurance).

Does the fact that the government's product is part of the market, impact the decision?

Does the fact that the mandate's required product is regulated by government, matter?

Does the fact that those who do not have insurance bring a burden of increased costs on those who do, impact the decision?

Would the mandate fundamentally change the relationship between government and it's citizens?

The mandate is the heart of the act because young, healthy citizens are needed to be in the pool to help finance those who would be brought in with pre-existing conditions and to accommodate the millions who would be added to the healthcare rolls. Does that restrict the freedom and liberty of young, healthy citizens who choose to only purchase catastrophic health insurance because they feel in no need of the comprehensive plans required by the mandate?

2. IF the mandate is found to be unconstitutional, is the entire law (Obamacare) struck down or does the rest of the law remain intact?

Issues raised during the hearings include:

What role should the Supreme Court play in determining what pieces of Obamacare should or should not be struck down because of the impact of eliminating the mandate? (There was a humorous moment here when one of the Justices said it would violate the 8th amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) to make them go through the 2,700 pages of the bill). LOL!

What about the deals made to gain the votes needed to pass the bill? Those deals are part of the bill, what happens to those without the mandate?

When the bill left the House, there was a "severability" clause contained within it. That means that if part of the bill was struck down, the rest remains intact. However, when it came to final passage in the Senate, the clause had been removed. "Intent" is a legitimate consideration for the Supreme Court. Does the obviously purposeful omission give direction to the Supreme Court to simply strike down the entire law if they find the mandate unconstitutional?

3. Under Obamacare, millions of citizens would be added to Medicaid rolls to provide the mandated insurance coverage. Medicaid is a split financial responsibility for the federal government and individual state budgets. Although for an initial period, the Federal Government would absorb the added financial burden for the States, that increase is phased out and ultimately the burden falls to the States. Therefore, 26 States were at the Supreme Court challenging Obamacare. Included in Obamacare is the Federal Governments right to withold ALL Medicaid funds from any State who does not provide medicaid funding for all their citizens who meet the criteria under Obamacare.

Issues raised:

Because States cannot afford to absorb the financial burdens brought about by Obamacare, state taxes would have to be drastically raised adding a punitive tax on all it's citizens. Weren't Americans told that Obamacare would not raise taxes?

Can the federal government withold their obligation to the States under the medicaid law based upon a layered law that changes the State's burden?

I'm sure you guys can add much more but I thought I'd get a start anyway. I should note that I left out the question of whether it was appropriate for the Supreme Court to hear the case at all before anyone had actually been penalized for not having insurance and before the entire law was in effect. They seem to have accepted that one.

Full disclosure here; I don't like the bill and while I did listen to all of the oral arguments via audio recording and haven't purposefully omitted major points made, my bias may have caused me to "hear better" points I agree with. Please, I sincerely invite anyone, regardless of point of view, to add other points that may have been made.

So, what do you guys think the court will decide?

I'm on the fence, but I will say I'm not as sure as some of the commentators that the Court will strike down the individual mandate. I am totally convinced that if the court does strike it down there will be a major attempt to pin the reason for the action on a "conservative" court, rather than on a constitutional issue. JMO.
 
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 02:40:49 PM by CBB » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 01:33:01 PM »

I thought it was a slam dunk, unconstitutional, but I also thought there was no way KC Anthony would walk.  Anxious to hear how it comes out, tough.   
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2012, 01:55:33 PM »

Obamacare is so Unconstitutional that it was shocking it ever made it out of Congress.

I read over 2,000 pages before I quit in disgust.

There are more difficulties than the Individual Mandate.  Gathering records of ordinary individuals, storing and transferring them between departments, (at will) with no warrent and no evidence of wrongdoing, is a violation of Individual Rights.  When the Government dangles a carrot, it can be followed by a big stick.

Last week, I joined a free class "Constitution 101" to more fully understand the Document designed to control Government--while preventing Government control over our Individual Rights.  Governments, like fire, will gobble up everything in the way.  Controlled Government, like controlled fire, serves the people it benefits.
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« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2012, 03:39:44 PM »

Obamacare is so Unconstitutional that it was shocking it ever made it out of Congress.

I read over 2,000 pages before I quit in disgust.

There are more difficulties than the Individual Mandate.  Gathering records of ordinary individuals, storing and transferring them between departments, (at will) with no warrent and no evidence of wrongdoing, is a violation of Individual Rights.  When the Government dangles a carrot, it can be followed by a big stick.

Last week, I joined a free class "Constitution 101" to more fully understand the Document designed to control Government--while preventing Government control over our Individual Rights.  Governments, like fire, will gobble up everything in the way.  Controlled Government, like controlled fire, serves the people it benefits.

Is that the course through Hillsdale College?  Would love to hear that, but time is so limited.
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A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 NAB

We don`t know who the monsters are.  And as a parent, our job is to take care of our children. Ken Fries, Sheriff Allen County commenting on the death of Aliah
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2012, 06:10:22 PM »

Yes, it is. 

http://www.hillsdale.edu/constitution/

It's a 10-week course you can do anytime.  Doesn't matter if it takes you a year to finish.  The quiz section is fun:  they don't keep the score, and you can reset and take as often as you wish.  So, I took some of them before I read the material--just to see what I knew before I heard their info.

It's the most enjoyable, least pressure, course I've ever taken.
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Constitution101    hillsdale.edu/constitution/
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« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2012, 11:27:17 PM »

That course sounds like something I'd enjoy doing and also something that should be required in public education as well!

I have to admit that recent news took me off guard a bit:

 ::snipping2::
(President Obama speaking in quotes)
"Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said at a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

Conservative leaders say the law, which once fully implemented will require Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty, was an overreach by Obama and the Congress that passed it.

The president sought to turn that argument around, calling a potential rejection by the court an overreach of its own.

"And I'd just remind conservative commentators that, for years, what we have heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism, or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law," Obama said.

"Well, this is a good example, and I'm pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step," he said.
 ::snipping2::
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/02/us-obama-healthcare-idUSBRE8310WP20120402

Really? The bill passed with "a strong majority"? I seem to recall it passed by 7 votes and there were, unrelated to healthcare, perks and deals made to buy the votes that put it over the top.

The rejection of it would constitute an overreach because it was passed by elected representatives and Supreme Court Justices are appointed?  Silly me, but I thought that the function of the Judicial Branch of government was to assure and balance the other two branches against the measuring rod of the constitution.

Isn't President Obama a constitutional lawyer? I really need to take that course. Obviously I've missed something.
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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 12:40:17 AM »

That course sounds like something I'd enjoy doing and also something that should be required in public education as well!

I think most people, who understand the importance to our freedom, would like the course.  With computers in the schools, it would be easy for public education to join in.

Quote
I have to admit that recent news took me off guard a bit:



 ::snipping2::
(President Obama speaking in quotes)
"Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress," Obama said at a news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico.

Unprecedented?  Only by 158 or 258 (I forget which) other steps which overturned laws.  Strong majority?  Was that why they were so desperate they almost "deemed" it passed, when they couldn't think of another trick to get it passed?  Many of those "democratically elected" were un-elected in 2010.

Quote
Conservative leaders say the law, which once fully implemented will require Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty, was an overreach by Obama and the Congress that passed it.

The president sought to turn that argument around, calling a potential rejection by the court an overreach of its own.

"And I'd just remind conservative commentators that, for years, what we have heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was judicial activism, or a lack of judicial restraint, that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law," Obama said.

"Well, this is a good example, and I'm pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step," he said.
 ::snipping2::
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/02/us-obama-healthcare-idUSBRE8310WP20120402

Really? The bill passed with "a strong majority"? I seem to recall it passed by 7 votes and there were, unrelated to healthcare, perks and deals made to buy the votes that put it over the top.

The rejection of it would constitute an overreach because it was passed by elected representatives and Supreme Court Justices are appointed?  Silly me, but I thought that the function of the Judicial Branch of government was to assure and balance the other two branches against the measuring rod of the constitution.

Isn't President Obama a constitutional lawyer? I really need to take that course. Obviously I've missed something.

Well, we didn't see his transcripts, did we?  IIRC, he and FLOTUS turned in their law licenses.  We know less about this President than we know about Bush, Clinton, and Bush; but then, "actions speak louder than words."

He's said to be paving the way for anger against SCOTUS, and the speculation is that someone leaked the vote/opinions.

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« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2012, 06:26:53 AM »

Nancy Pelosi was at her finest with this quote:
Quote
Nancy Pelosi said, "But we have to pass the [health care ] bill so that you can find out what is in it."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoE1R-xH5To

As to whether or not BO is a constitutional lawyer, this in from Fact Check and from last Democratic primary between Hillary Clinton and Obama:

Quote
Sen. Obama, who has taught courses in constitutional law at the University of Chicago, has regularly referred to himself as "a constitutional law professor," most famously at a March 30, 2007, fundraiser when he said, "I was a constitutional law professor, which means unlike the current president I actually respect the Constitution." A spokesman for the Republican National Committee immediately took exception to Obama’s remarks, pointing out that Obama’s title at the University of Chicago was "senior lecturer" and not "professor."

Recently, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has picked up on this charge. In a March 27 conference call with reporters, Clinton spokesman Phil Singer claimed:

    Singer (March 27): Sen. Obama has often referred to himself as “a constitutional law professor” out on the campaign trail. He never held any such title. And I think anyone, if you ask anyone in academia the distinction between a professor who has tenure and an instructor that does not, you’ll find that there is … you’ll get quite an emotional response.


http://www.factcheck.org/2008/03/obama-a-constitutional-law-professor/

Another example of him massaging the truth.   

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A joyful heart is the health of the body, but a depressed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22 NAB

We don`t know who the monsters are.  And as a parent, our job is to take care of our children. Ken Fries, Sheriff Allen County commenting on the death of Aliah
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« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2012, 07:42:27 AM »

Why is it ever a good idea for government to force anyone to provide free services?  Force/mandate health care providers to provide 'free' care?

Do healthcare providers really provide 'free' care to the uninsured?  I don't think so.  For many years, they have provided care and passed the costs on to others - those who self insure and those who buy plans and insurance.  Why should buyers of insurance and prepaid health plans pay for those who choose to go without?  Why not let providers decide who get's charity care and who does not?  And, pay for it out of their own pockets?

Did Obama ever argue a case in court involving constitutional issues?  Argue before the supreme court?  If somone with a medical degree never treated a patient, and only taught say anatomy, would that make them an expert in treating lung disease?

Have cancer?  Here's a million dollar a year treatment.  Still alive and it didn't cure you?  Here's a two million dollar a month treatment.  Still alive and it didn't cure you?  Hmmm...we've got this experimental drug...we think it might help...it's just a BILLION a year...it's free...





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« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2012, 01:36:30 PM »

“Men in Black” by Maureen Dowd [4/4/2012, NYT, A21]
could be subtitled “Trashing SCOTUS”

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/opinion/dowd-men-in-black.html?_r=1&ref=maureendowd#

Quote
This court, cosseted behind white marble pillars, out of reach of TV, accountable to no one once they give the last word, is well on its way to becoming one of the most divisive in modern American history.
It has squandered even the semi-illusion that it is the unbiased, honest guardian of the Constitution. It is run by hacks dressed up in black robes.
All the fancy diplomas of the conservative majority cannot disguise the fact that its reasoning on the most important decisions affecting Americans seems shaped more by a political handbook than a legal brief.
(snip)

Still, it was stunning to hear Antonin Scalia talking like a Senate whip during oral arguments last week on the constitutionality of the health care law. He mused on how hard it would be to get 60 votes to repeal parts of the act, explaining why the court may just throw out the whole thing. And, sounding like a campaign’s oppo-research guy, he batted around politically charged terms like “Cornhusker Kickback,” referring to a sweetheart deal that isn’t even in the law.
If he’s so brilliant, why is he drawing a risible parallel between buying health care and buying broccoli?
The justices want to be above it all, beyond reproach or criticism. But why should they be?
(snip)

Now conservative justices may throw Obama’s hard-won law out of those fine big windows. They’ve already been playing Twister, turning precedents into pretzels to achieve their political objective. In 2005, Scalia was endorsing a broad interpretation of the commerce clause and the necessary and proper clause, the clauses now coming under scrutiny from the majority, including the swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy. (Could the dream of expanded health care die at the hands of a Kennedy?)
Scalia, Roberts, Thomas and the insufferable Samuel Alito were nurtured in the conservative Federalist Society, which asserts that “it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to say what the law is, not what it should be.”
But it isn’t conservative to overturn a major law passed by Congress in the middle of an election. The majority’s political motives are as naked as a strip-search.


Here come the Trash Armies to attack SCOTUS and the Commander-in-Chief is at the head.
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« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2012, 11:46:19 PM »

Why is it ever a good idea for government to force anyone to provide free services?  Force/mandate health care providers to provide 'free' care?

Do healthcare providers really provide 'free' care to the uninsured?  I don't think so.  For many years, they have provided care and passed the costs on to others - those who self insure and those who buy plans and insurance.  Why should buyers of insurance and prepaid health plans pay for those who choose to go without?  Why not let providers decide who get's charity care and who does not?  And, pay for it out of their own pockets?

Did Obama ever argue a case in court involving constitutional issues?  Argue before the supreme court?  If someone with a medical degree never treated a patient, and only taught say anatomy, would that make them an expert in treating lung disease?

Have cancer?  Here's a million dollar a year treatment.  Still alive and it didn't cure you?  Here's a two million dollar a month treatment.  Still alive and it didn't cure you?  Hmmm...we've got this experimental drug...we think it might help...it's just a BILLION a year...it's free...







Some of what you're asking had an answer and was in practice before DRG's came into effect in the early 1980's. At that time, Medicare adopted a plan to "classify" hospital products. For example, a tonsillectomy was classed as a "product" and all products were assigned a payment limit by Medicare. Remember when someone in the hospital actually received a lot of attention and family members weren't depended upon to meet many of the patient needs? That was before DRG's. Remember when almost any job came with insurance and almost all insurance plans were a standard 80% costs covered and 20% personal responsibility? That was before DRG's.

During that time, almost all private insurance companies offered an inexpensive separate catastrophic plan that covered the 20% for illnesses and injury that were, well...... catastrophic. Community hospitals commonly accepted the 80% as full payment and almost all cut the additional costs to 10% if a patient had a catastrophic plan because they wanted to encourage both the insurance company and the patient to use their facility. By policy, no individual was turned away from the ER for inability to pay, and community hospitals had foundations that generated money in various ways to help cover the costs for those indigent patients. There were even funds set up with yearly budgets to cover prescriptions for indigent patients, largely supported by local churches.

So, what happened that hospitals began to struggle financially? Medicare became the standard that all private insurance companies adopted and it began with DRG's and was sealed with government regulation. If Medicare could limit payment for a particular "product", why couldn't private insurance companies? There were some free market pesky problems that could be a threat, after all, people just might shop elsewhere if they followed Medicare's lead! Enter our Government who regulated that no one can shop their insurance needs across State lines. Enter our Government who regulated that each State sets up the criteria that every policy sold within the State has mandated coverage areas. In my State, maternity, mental health, substance abuse, and contraceptives MUST be included in every policy sold whether you need those services or not. You can be a stable, tea toddling male, but you're going to pay for those items. Consequently, we have 1 insurance company in the State holding 82% of the policies with a second company holding the remainder. WOO-HOO....... you have a choice of two companies! AND guess what? The prices for health insurance have skyrocketed in the same way all monopoly endeavors do. The hospitals found themselves no longer able to absorb the cost of indigent patients because DRG's dictated that patients were sent home sicker than ever before, length of stay was drastically reduced, their litigation expenses went sky high because patients went bad more often, and hospital floor staff became way overworked due to staffing cuts.

Government involvement in healthcare has grown ever since (surprise, surprise), and the private companies adopt either voluntarily or by regulation, the same policies Medicare has almost automatically at this point. Remember when your Physician could simply prescribe for you a medication he/she thought would help you? Let's say he thinks that Celebrex would help your arthritis. Think you can go fill the prescription? Think again. In order for your insurance to cover the prescription, you must first try a course of at least 2 other anti-inflammatory drugs that are cheaper. The same applies to antibiotics, etc. I cannot tell you how many times we, at the clinic, have put money in a pot to help one of our patients just buy the medicine needed to get them well. We have honestly been fearful a patient would die before they could jump through all the hoops between them and the physician. We hoard samples for patients we know simply cannot afford to get around the red tape. We know that every Spring, there are certain patients that will show up with upper respiratory problems. Many have COPD, and from past experience we know which medications work best for them. It doesn't matter. The Physicians cannot write what they need and Medicare cover it without the mandated process of going through other medications first. Private insurance companies have followed suit. Oh, there's so much more, but I'll leave it there.

Which brings us to the philosophic differences of how to fix our healthcare system. One side thinks that more government is the answer. The other side feels that government is the source of most the problems.

It's interesting to me that these policies have given Private Insurance Companies record profits, while it's left the Government broke. One is a business, the other is a bureaucracy. The government has the power to spend the money collected from taxpayers specified for Medicare and Social Security and then come up short when it's needed.  I've over-simplified some things and left out obvious responses like the rise in hospital charges as they struggle for ways to stay solvent.

I'll leave this with a quote from Donald Trump (and I never, ever quote Donald Trump) but this one made me laugh:

 ::snipping2::
Here's his take on Obamacare:

“Let me get this straight.  We're going to be “gifted” with a health care plan we are forced to purchase and fined if we don't, which purportedly covers at least 10 million more people, without adding a single new doctor, but provides for 16,000 new IRS agents, written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that didn't read it, but exempted themselves from it, and signed by a Dumbo president who smokes, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, for which we'll be taxed for four years before any benefits take effect, by a government which has already bankrupted Social Security and Medicare, all to be overseen by a Surgeon General who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What the hell could possibly go wrong?”

http://www.examiner.com/bay-area-moderate-conservative-in-san-francisco/donald-trump-defines-obamacare
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 11:37:43 AM by CBB » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2012, 09:25:14 AM »

I've heard the president talk about the duly elected and their Obamacare law...

Why would 37 of 50 states (74%) file to protect their citizens from Obamacare? 

Perhaps their is a communication problem between big machine politics in Washington and all the little people on Main Street?

Too much bling for special interests in Congress, the White House, and the healh care industry?  How many blank checks will Main Street be forced to cover to pay for corruption in the medical industry?

Why would anyone, in their right mind, pay Washington $100 for an aspirin when they can buy a whole bottle for about a dollar at the dollar stores and Aldi?

What happens to the other $99?  Big government corruption?

Maybe Obama's problem is one of communication.  Big government types aren't listening to the little people, all the folks on Main Street.  Maybe big government is putting it's need to steal/tax/confiscate the wages of working people, retirees, and future generations.

It's OBNOXIOUS that anyone would be forced to buy a one sized fits all product from a corrupt central government.

just my humble opinions
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