In Supreme Court, a lot more at stake than Obamacare

Lyle Denniston has covered the U.S. Supreme Court for more than half a century. As an eyewitness, he probably knows the institution and its history better than anyone.

So when he writes the following at Scotusblog, it’s worth paying attention:

Without exaggeration, the final ruling has the potential to be the most important declaration on how the Constitution divides up power between national and state governments since the New Deal days some three quarters of a century ago. Without exaggeration, it could be the most important pronouncement on the federal “safety net” since the Social Security Act was upheld by the Court in 1937. Without exaggeration, a decision to strike down all or part of the new health law could be the most severe rebuff of Congress’s power over the national economy since the Sick Chicken Case in 1935. And, without exaggeration, a nullification of the Act in whole or in part could be the most devastating blow to presidential power and prestige since the Steel Seizure Case in 1952.

I don’t think that aspect of “Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services” has been fully appreciated: It’s not just about Obamacare, not by a long shot.

Given the case law and precedents, if the Supreme Court decides to overturn significant portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it will also be forced to overturn at least 70 years of its own jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause. The entire balance of power between the states and the federal government and the federal government and business would change, with repercussions that would echo for decades.

These are days in which the course of history and the course of the nation may be changed, and nobody knows that better than the nine justices on the court. If I had to bet, I’d bet that they steer away from making such a momentous change with such unpredictable consequences.

But these days, I wouldn’t bet a lot.

– Jay Bookman

308 comments Add your comment

getalife

March 26th, 2012
10:49 am

OnamaCare is here to stay.

Get over it.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
10:50 am

Momentous indeed.

Freedom is at stake. Linguistic integrity is at stake.

I hope the SC finally declares a limit on the commerce clause.

I also hope some real healthcare reform will come to pass in this country. It may just take a long while.

getalife

March 26th, 2012
10:50 am

Oops ObamaCare and and firsty.

N-GA

March 26th, 2012
10:51 am

A few years ago someone polled a bunch of GOP politicians and couldn’t find a single one who would go on record and say that he/she would vote to end Medicare…..not a single one! There is little difference in requiring health insurance coverage for the elderly and requiring it for people of all ages. The same is true of Social Security.

Steve

March 26th, 2012
10:52 am

Why are you conservatives so up in arms about something that HELPS private business (insurance companies), was touted by the Heritage Foundation, and has been successful in Massachusetts? (RomneyCare)?

Our big problem is not ObamaCare – it’s the fact that we aren’t driving incentives for young people to strive to be PRIMARY CARE doctors. That is going to bite us in the behind.

Gale

March 26th, 2012
10:52 am

I expect them to rule very narrowly. As Jay says, “unpredictable consequences”.

Common Sense

March 26th, 2012
10:53 am

“… it will also be forced to overturn at least 70 years of its own jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause”

As it should….

barking frog

March 26th, 2012
10:55 am

A good bet. We can’t rule
until we have an injured
party, most likely.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
10:55 am

Gale. I would agree with you thinking they will just rule the mandate unconstitutional. But Obama is going for broke, arguing the whole law doesn’t work without the mandate.

Maybe Obama himself is ready for repeal, via the SC :)

Jm

March 26th, 2012
10:59 am

Btw, ruling against obamacare wouldn’t overturn commerce clause precedent

It would merely define a limit to the commerce clause

Jay

March 26th, 2012
11:00 am

Barking, on the one hand I suspect they might take that “out.”

On the other hand, why would they stage this high drama if they knew they might not even rule on the merits of the case?

Peadawg

March 26th, 2012
11:00 am

Kentucky/Louisville in the Final 4 or Obamacare/Supreme Court

2 very good showdowns coming up.

getalife

March 26th, 2012
11:00 am

A VP of a health care company wrote the bill. She got a standing ovation on the senate floor.

Some cons will vote yes for the corporate welfare.

Brace yourself cons.

You will lose.

Jefferson

March 26th, 2012
11:02 am

Too much profit n health care, that where the cost savings are.

massachusetts refugee

March 26th, 2012
11:02 am

who knows, they may even rule they can’t hear the case yet. from npr…

The court has boiled the arguments down into four questions. The first and threshold question is Monday, when the justices must decide whether an 1867 law called the Tax Anti-Injunction Act prevents the court from even considering this bill right now.

The theory of the law is that the U.S. could not have an effective tax system if every time somebody thought a tax provision was unconstitutional, he could just refuse to pay until a court makes a ruling. Thus, the Anti-Injunction Act requires people to pay the tax and then challenge it.

Under the health care law, the penalty for not having health insurance, which is paid to the IRS, doesn’t kick in until 2015, so the argument is that there is no case because nobody has paid the penalty or suffered any financial injury yet.

Doggone/GA

March 26th, 2012
11:02 am

“There is little difference in requiring health insurance coverage for the elderly and requiring it for people of all ages. The same is true of Social Security”

In effect, you are correct…but the big difference is that the health insurance for the elderly is paid for by a tax, which is constitutional…Congress has the power to tax. It is less clear that it has the power to force the purchase of insurance from a private company. Which is why the single-payer option would have been better. It’s more clearly constitutional, because it could be a tax.

Peadawg

March 26th, 2012
11:03 am

Steve
March 26th, 2012
10:52 am

For a lot of people it’s the state vs. federal argument. Massachusetts doing it ok but not the federal gov’t.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:03 am

This election is also of monumental importance.

The choice is between Obama with a bankrupt country, or Romney who will turn things around.

barking frog

March 26th, 2012
11:04 am

Jay,
They may be gathering
ammo for a later decision.

JohnnyReb

March 26th, 2012
11:04 am

“Given the case law and precedents, if the Supreme Court decides to overturn significant portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it will also be forced to overturn at least 70 years of its own jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause.”

Not according to many pundits. According to them, this is the first individual mandate for a citizen to purchase something. Therefore, it can be struck down without affecting other interstate commerce decisions.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:05 am

Jay 11:00 agreed

carlosgvv

March 26th, 2012
11:05 am

None of us know what the Court will do. But, I do wonder if their decision could possibly affect the November election?

Ennis

March 26th, 2012
11:07 am

I truly hope the SC rules that the law stays as is, intact. Universal health care is the future. Everybody says that it don’t work. Why, oh why, doesn’t the people in charge take a close look at the Swiss, and model it exactly as they did. It works there. They changed everything and made hospitals better they made health care delivery better. and on top of that there are no long lines or waits for the care they need. wake up American, you don’t need Obama care, you don’t need Romney care, YOU need care exactly as the people in switzerland get..

JohnnyReb

March 26th, 2012
11:08 am

I’m not reading or hearing of it, but why would citizens not revolt if SCOTUS does not overturn the individual mandate?

If the Federal Government can mandate a citizen purchase health care insurance, there will be nothing they cannot mandate from the type food you buy/eat, the kind of car you drive, the size house you own, et al.

It will be a very sad day for our country if the mandate is not overturned.

ty webb

March 26th, 2012
11:09 am

Politically, it helps Obama if it’s stricken down by the SCOTUS. His unpopular, “biggest achievement”(other than ordering the operation to get Osama) is no longer a campaign issue. Plus he saves face with his base, by saying “at least I tried”,and the”Party of No” meme is extended to the SCOTUS majority.

harvey

March 26th, 2012
11:09 am

It is the individual mandate which has triggered this appeal. Of course, if it fails, then the Act is unsustainable. It is probably unsustainable anyway, because as a practical matter the penalties for failure to purchase health care are so low, no one will do it anyway, and the whole bill will redound to the taxpayer anyway. If they mandate this, I wish they would then say they have the power under the commerce clause to just shoot all obese people as being detrimental to the overall good of the country due to the heavy burdens on healthcare that they create.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:09 am

The SC will not “punt”

For a variety of reasons. Among them because they actually spines unlike politicians. Especially that guy named Obama.

Ayn Rant

March 26th, 2012
11:10 am

They’ll vote along party lines, just as they did in Bush vs. Gore when the Republicans on the Supreme Court elected George Bush, despite the statistical dead heat in Florida and the clear will of the majority of American voters.

harvey

March 26th, 2012
11:12 am

Ennis: It can work in Switzerland, Norway, and other homogeneous countries. There are very few obese in those countries, the countries are wealthy, and the citizens are overtaxed anyway. We have too much diversity in population, unhealthy people with significant bad choices in lifestyle, and half our population doesn’t pay taxes, and in sum, we are not Switzerland.

stands for decibels

March 26th, 2012
11:12 am

why would they stage this high drama if they knew they might not even rule on the merits of the case?

Something I’ve asked myself; my totally SWAG take would be that Roberts is a petty little man who wants to have the ability to influence political events as he sees fit, and if he decides to convince his stooges to take that uppity muslim down a peg, he’ll have this at the ready in order to do so.

But who knows, maybe he’s a better man than that. Wouldn’t be the way I’d bet though.

Peadawg

March 26th, 2012
11:12 am

I just hope they overturn the mandate. The other parts of the bill with regards to dropping coverage, denying coverage, is fine.

Mandating that everyone buys a private product or pay a fine just opens up a can that shouldn’t be opened imo. I would just rather not go down that road.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:13 am

Ennis, you want the law left intact and then say we don’t need obamacare…

Ok. You might want to rephrase your statement…. Just food for thought

getalife

March 26th, 2012
11:13 am

The con sc activists do not care about our Constitution and precedent.

They care about money and corporate welfare.

citizen united proved this fact.

Jimmy62

March 26th, 2012
11:16 am

Yes, it’s about freedom. If the Supreme Court upholds this, then there are no more limits on what our government can do. We might as well scrap the Constitution, because Congress will be able to ignore and just say something affects commerce, thus our rights no longer matter. They will be able to tell us what to buy and who to buy it from, and throw you in jail if you don’t want to.

This is an incredibly important issue. On one side is freedom, and on the other side is Jay Bookman.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 26th, 2012
11:16 am

4 conservatives (who invented the mandate)
4 liberals (who support the mandate)
1 libertarian (who made money off the whole shebang)

I love American politics.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:16 am

The Swiss also have mandatory military service. Maybe we should do that too.

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
11:19 am

If I had to bet, I’d bet that they steer away from making such a momentous change with such unpredictable consequences.

Prior to the Citizen’s United ruling, I would have agreed with you. Now, I’m not too sure that anybody making decisions in this country gives a thought to long term or unpredictable consequences anymore.

massachusetts refugee

March 26th, 2012
11:20 am

jm — no “maybe” about it. good luck getting that thru though.

Peadawg

March 26th, 2012
11:20 am

“The Swiss also have mandatory military service. Maybe we should do that too.” – For anyone who runs for office and has ANY say in where/when we send our troops I 100% agree!!!!!!!!!

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:21 am

Btw

Transportation department planing to make a ruling that would make all navigation systems illegal.

Brilliantly stupid government (see autoblog)

Gale

March 26th, 2012
11:23 am

The fact that everyone does not pay taxes should not stand in the way of tax based health care. Those people who do not pay taxes will have insurance “subsidized” by the tax payers under this plan. No real difference. Either way the non-payers get health care and the tax payers will pay for it. The benefit of a tax based system is removing the profit based insurance companies from the equation. Doing away with the mandate does not invalidate the whole plan. It just puts the burden back squarely on the tax payers; unless we plan to start letting people die in the streets.

Bruno

March 26th, 2012
11:23 am

Given the case law and precedents, if the Supreme Court decides to overturn significant portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it will also be forced to overturn at least 70 years of its own jurisprudence on the Commerce Clause. The entire balance of power between the states and the federal government and the federal government and business would change, with repercussions that would echo for decades.

JohnnyReb, ty, and Pea–I see that you guys have adequately addressed the core issue here, which is the forced purchase of a commercial, for-profit product as a condition of citizenship. It’s frightening to me that Jay and some of the Libs here are okay with that. The argument being that the other provisions of Obamacare would be ineffective without the gun to the head approach. Talk about opening up Pandora’s Box……..

Ennis

March 26th, 2012
11:24 am

That isn’t what I meant. I meant they should go back to the drawing board and set it up exactly as the Swiss. JM that is what I meant to say. And as Harvey said the people in America are too fat and lazy and would create a bigger burden on the state than it does in Switzerland.. I’m well aware of all the obstacles…I can take a snooze and prehaps dream???

Gale

March 26th, 2012
11:25 am

jm, IMO we should have mandatory military service. Our young people and our country would benefit.

Jimmy62

March 26th, 2012
11:25 am

Brosephus: I would say the exact opposite. No one criticizing Citizen’s United bothers to think of implications and long term consequences. If they did, they would see how it helps ensure freedom that otherwise the government would restrict, and not just for rich people and corporations. I won’t bother to explain it to you, however. If you are able to thinking of implications and long term consequences then you won’t need me to point it out.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:25 am

Bro’s 11:19 suggests the supreme court is dumb and that they don’t think long term, only short term

I respectfully disagree. And I think the justices are smarter than Bro (who incidentally is one of the smarter folks here, but doesn’t mean he’s SC material)

:)

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
11:26 am

I just hope they overturn the mandate. The other parts of the bill with regards to dropping coverage, denying coverage, is fine.

Not gonna happen. You’re basically stating that you’d rather have people wait until they need insurance, then have the ability to buy it without penalty. Using your idea, I’d make insurance costs high as hell for somebody who doesn’t purchase it until they need it. You’re setting the insurance business up for failure. There’s no way to keep the pool large enough to absorb the costs of the very ill when there’s no reason for the healthy to buy it until they are sick.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:27 am

Gale

Military leadership wants voluntary service for obvious reasons

Otherwise I would agree with you

Gale

March 26th, 2012
11:29 am

JM, I think the attitude of people toward military service would change if it was a shared experience.

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 26th, 2012
11:29 am

Jimmy62

March 26th, 2012
11:16 am

That’s a little hysterical, I think…but consider this….
If I’m not mistaken, this bunch of Judges have always upheld federal decisions and giving greater power to the President/Congress.

St Simons - codewords are the new black

March 26th, 2012
11:29 am

momentous only in which way the SC steers healthcare reform.
continuing with this slow gradual change approach,
or throw it out & the People will force Medicare for All
either way, there is no Future in the Past

go ahead, make his day – oh but you prob’ly burned that video….heheh

Bruno

March 26th, 2012
11:31 am

Those people who do not pay taxes will have insurance “subsidized” by the tax payers under this plan. No real difference. Either way the non-payers get health care and the tax payers will pay for it.

There IS one huge difference, Gale, and that is price. Using multiple private insurance companies is very inefficient, and thus expensive. It’s not just the profit margin of the insurance companies that drives costs up.

The bottom line is that the whole idea of using third-party reimbursement for routine costs makes no sense. Health care is the only industry in the US which is predicated on third-party payments, and it’s no surprise to me that prices have risen waaaaay out of line with normal inflation. Maybe DF will poke his head in here with more stories about people being charged $30.000 for a few days in the hospital when only IV fluids were administered. None of that will change under Obamacare.

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
11:31 am

The ONLY good reason I can see for reimplementing conscription is to watch the endless trail of UGA’s Young Republicans, and their courageous brethren in the101st Chairborne – all over the nation – making a beeline for Canada.

I would want a front row seat to that show…

Ennis

March 26th, 2012
11:32 am

The draft would be great if we could do it without deferrments. Or have a duckout by going into national guard. Only choice you get is:::: Army Navy Air force Marines Coast Guard. I could vote for a law such as that.. I served in the back-seat of a F-4 during the Vite Nam conflick. Wasn’t pretty, but it taught me a lot

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 26th, 2012
11:32 am

jm wants to be like the Socialistic Swiss??? Who knew???

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
11:34 am

Jimmy62

So the flood of corporate money into Super PACs that we’re now witnessing was not something that was warned about and dismissed by those in the majority on the Citizen’s United ruling? I’m also gonna guess that you have no problem with corporations and rich people drowning out the voices of the rest of America when it comes to politics as well. Well, maybe if you get rich enough, you’ll be able to buy you a congressman some day….

—————————

jm

I think you’re dumb, but I have said no such thing about the SCOTUS. Learn to think for yourself first before you try to think for me. K. Thx..

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
11:38 am

Bruno

Do you realize that, overall, conservatives are making a better reasoning for a single payer system than liberals are right now? Ruling the mandate unconstitutional will put the healthcare system right back to square one. There has not a single cohesive GOP plan to tackle health care. They’ve thrown around pieces of legislation, but there has not been a complete plan yet (that I’ve seen).

TaxPayer

March 26th, 2012
11:38 am

Oh NO! If I do not purchase insurance, I’ll get fined and if I don’t pay my fine nothing will happen except I’ll… lose my citizenship? Huh!

They BOTH suck

March 26th, 2012
11:38 am

“jm

I think you’re dumb,”

You will never walk alone with this particular opinion

Bruno

March 26th, 2012
11:39 am

This is an incredibly important issue. On one side is freedom, and on the other side is Jay Bookman.

JohnnyReb–It’s amazing to me how eager some of the folks here are to prop up an outdated, inefficient health care delivery system by bringing in the full force of the federal govt. I work in healthcare, and I’m telling you all that prices are way out of line with other, normal consumer costs. I avoid medical care, so my costs are extremely low. Maybe some of you can relate stories of how much it cost some of you to visit the ER or stay in the hospital for a few days. We need to be talking about lowering costs, not spreading the over-inflated costs around to more suckers.

ByteMe

March 26th, 2012
11:39 am

So under what constitutional provision can Congress mandate that hospitals — a local function — must accept all patients regardless of ability to pay? Certainly not the commerce clause, since a hospital caring for someone is a local business.

And yet that’s settled law.

My guess is that the SC narrowly rules that because people without an ability to pay for healthcare still receive healthcare because of the above law, that there is no “inaction” being regulated, only a tax — the penalty — placed on those who do not purchase insurance coverage.

HDB

March 26th, 2012
11:39 am

Brosephus
March 26th, 2012
11:26 am

I got this from the Ryan Plan…..does it look like Obamacare to you (as it does me)??

•Provides transparency in health care price and quality data, making this critical information readily available before someone needs health services.
•Creates state-based health care exchanges, so individuals and families have a one-stop marketplace to purchase affordable health insurance without being discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions.
•Equips states with tools like auto-enrollment programs and high-risk pools, so affordable health coverage can be accessed by all.
•Addresses health care’s growing strain on small businesses, by allowing them to pool together nationally to offer coverage to their employees.
•Encourages the adoption of health information technology and assists states in establishing solutions to medical malpractice litigation.

Conservatives created the individual mandate…and were FOR it until a Democrat took their idea and ran with it!! They were for it…before they were against it………

Ennis

March 26th, 2012
11:40 am

My fingers got ahead of my brain… Viet Nam conflict

mm

March 26th, 2012
11:41 am

The handwringing by the righties is hilarious. What’s wrong, it’s not going to be the slam dunk ruling you thought it would be?

Paul

March 26th, 2012
11:41 am

“I don’t think that aspect of “Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services” has been fully appreciated: It’s not just about Obamacare, not by a long shot.”

That’s true of most Court cases – it’s about the principle illustrated by the specifics of the case, while most people focus on the specifics and give little thought to the principle.

I’m trusting the Court will continue its deference to Congressional latitude.

And if the decisions break the way they might, particularly with Roberts, Alito and Scalia, I’m looking forward to the thread where liberals post a variation of mea maxima culpa while conservatives don’t post anything, as they’ll be in shock and unable to move.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
11:41 am

Agree. True hope and change.

David Shivers

March 26th, 2012
11:42 am

Not sure what to expect from a court that ruled corporations have the same rights as individuals.

Paul

March 26th, 2012
11:42 am

And conservatives still haven’t explained how their version of ‘freedom’ means “I’ll do what I want and not provide for myself or my family and when I get really sick or injured I expect the rest of you to pay for me and mine.”

The Conservatism of the New Millennium.

Erwin's cat

March 26th, 2012
11:42 am

Pats by 3
but I’ll wait until it all plays out

They BOTH suck

March 26th, 2012
11:43 am

Bro @ 11:38

Great post. Except for tort reform (how is that going in TX to reign in costs?) most of what Republicans have even spoke about in regards to HC reform was at the time Obama and Dems were working on the legislation…….

They all have plans to help fix the system, which many acknowledge needs work, yet how many comprehensive plans of we seen?

Repubs had Congress from 94 to 2006 and a Republican Pres for 6 of those yrs………….. How many plans did we see?

I think Obamacare could use work, but in the end, for right or wrong, he and the Dems did what Republicans REFUSED to do………. make some sort of effort to better the system

Jimmy62

March 26th, 2012
11:44 am

Brosephus: It was predicted, but is it a problem? Are they drowning out voices? I read the paper every day, there are lots of opinions from people who aren’t rich and who aren’t corporations. Same on the internet and in newspapers. As far as the election, the general election will pit two people against each other, the same two people that I could have predicted would be there before the Citizen’s United decision.

Since you don’t think, you don’t realize that the New York Times is a corporation. Yes, they are press, but few people will disagree that that paper is basically liberal and supports the Democratic Party. Same for the other side with FoxNews. But it’s really easy to see a world where Fox loses press credentials because liberals are in power, and then conservatives comes to power and the New York Times loses credentials. Or let’s say I’m GE and want to publish a newsletter. Well, hey, now they are press, right? Who are you to decide who gets to be press and who doesn’t? This opens up a huge can of worms. I have a feeling in the current environment, the FCC would happily give a company like GE the right to publish a newsletter, but then deny Koch that same right. All you are doing is basically saying that whoever is in power should get to decide who is allowed to share their opinion.

But beyond that, if you are so worried that words will hurt you or your point of view, then maybe your point of view isn’t all that defensible. You view smacks of fear of ideas, and a desire for censorship to keep any ideas you don’t agree with from being aired.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
11:44 am

I think we can all agree the four leftists on the court will robotic-ally affirm for the law and against individual freedom. On the other side, only Clarence Thomas is certain to advocate for individual freedom against the power of the state. I think Alito and Kennedy are likely to similar agree that “breathing is not commerce” and “the commerce clause does not give Congress power to compel individuals to participate in commerce.” Roberts and Scalia are the squishy middle.

mm

March 26th, 2012
11:44 am

“Conservatives created the individual mandate…and were FOR it until a Democrat took their idea and ran with it!! They were for it…before they were against it………”

Exactly. If they can’t take credit for something (pick up votes), they will trash it. But they are so good at stealing ideas and claiming credit.

Simple Truths

March 26th, 2012
11:45 am

Sick Chicken Case?

Brosephus

March 26th, 2012
11:45 am

HDB

Saw something similar the other day.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/paul-ryans-2012-budget-medicare-plan-similar-obamacare/story?id=13431119

That wasn’t the article I read, but I probably read the wire version from another outlet.

Bruno

March 26th, 2012
11:46 am

Do you realize that, overall, conservatives are making a better reasoning for a single payer system than liberals are right now? Ruling the mandate unconstitutional will put the healthcare system right back to square one. There has not a single cohesive GOP plan to tackle health care.

Brosephus–I won’t disagree with you that single-payer is a much more attractive system than the forced purchase of private insurance. However, restoring consumerism to health care is the BEST solution, IMO, and I believe the Repubs advanced a few bills along those lines which were squashed by the Dems.

I think the danger here is believing that we need a “comprehensive” plan to overhaul healthcare. I think we would be better served by making baby steps in the right direction, that direction being for people to take control of their own health.

How’s your weight these days??

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
11:47 am

The core question for you practical law-types is whether young people starting careers and raising families should subsidize the medical woes of older and generally wealthier folks.

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:47 am

Bro, apparently you don’t stand by your own words

If you need to call me dumb to do so, I think that’s weak, but have at it.

Short term thinking is synonymous with “dumb”. You said it. You think the SC is full of short term thinkers. Have fun proving that one….

Oh wait you won’t.

CJ

March 26th, 2012
11:48 am

If I had to bet, I’d bet that they steer away from making such a momentous change with such unpredictable consequences.

I pray that Jay is right, but I fear that he is wrong.

The conservatives on this court have demonstrated–via Gore v. Bush (with Rehnquist), Lily Ledbetter, Citizen’s United, and other decisions–that they don’t have much respect for precedent or even, as they claim, original intent. To the contrary, despite cries to the contrary, this court is about as activist and as extreme as they come.

Unless Democrats, liberals, progressives, and independents take the courts as seriously as the Tea Party crowd does, we’re going to see more of the same.

getalife

March 26th, 2012
11:49 am

It is not about health care.

It is about money like everything else.

We are a green country.

We worship money for the wealthy.

Gale

March 26th, 2012
11:49 am

Ennis, the only deferment to “all citizens serving” in the military –as opposed to Draft– is complete physical or mental disability (which cannot be undone when you exceed service age.) The reason for this deferment is that someone who cannot function without external support is unfit for duty. I do not have a problem with National Guard per se. But it should not be the one weekend a month service. The individual serves 24/7 for 2-3 years. National Guard could be used for many domestic functions.

Bruno, I totally agree that 3rd party payer drives up the cost.

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
11:50 am

B, I have made the arguments so many times, that to quote John Lennon, “I’ve got blisters on my fingers!”

Thousands of different companies and payers with tens of thousands of different rules and policies. Layer after layer after layer of paper pushers, many of whom are used to keep unprofitable people from getting basic and proper healthcare.

Tens of thousands of Americans die every single year for this reason alone.

$350 billion, close to a third of all health care spending on things that have nothing to do with health care—overhead, underwriting, billing, sales and marketing departments, huge profits and exorbitant executive pay.

GARGANTUAN waste – to the tune of $200 billion every year in fraud and abuse. Multiple billings, over-billings. Complete lack of cooperation by the mega-bureaucracies.

And the kicker?

Right now we spend $7,129 per capita on health care—more than twice as much per capita as the rest of the industrialized world.

Single Payer Now. Everybody in, nobody out.

They BOTH suck

March 26th, 2012
11:50 am

“I read the paper every day, there are lots of opinions from people who aren’t rich and who aren’t corporations. Same on the internet and in newspapers.”

So you think Senator Chambliss or Boxer for that matter is paying as much attention to the opinions you are speaking about or to the unions, corporations and other orgs who are directly and indirectly pouring in millions into the candidate and Party coffers?

Jefferson

March 26th, 2012
11:50 am

So all the premium increases blame on the new law will be rolled back if the law is overturned ?

Jimmy62

March 26th, 2012
11:51 am

BTW, there have been plenty of conservative plans for fixing health care. Many of them revolve around cutting the connection between employer and health insurance, a distortion which causes many of the problems people are trying to fix. That relationship began in WWII when there were wage freezes, so to attract potential employees, companies started offering health insurance as a non-wage benefit. Over the years it has changed so instead of being an extra benefit, they just lower your salary to pay for the insurance. It’s a system that should have been scrapped decades ago.

It’s easy to say conservatives have never presented anything when you never bother to read anything conservatives have written and just depend on news articles. I mean it’s not like 80% of newspaper reporters self-identify as Democrats or liberals, no bias in what stories they cover there.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
11:51 am

Wonder if Chauncey dissing the Supremes at the SOTU a couple of years ago will play a factor?

They BOTH suck

March 26th, 2012
11:52 am

“The core question for you practical law-types is whether young people starting careers and raising families should subsidize the medical woes of older and generally wealthier folks.”

When you elect to take insurance at work via a group policy are you not to an extent already doing this?

Jm

March 26th, 2012
11:53 am

Ryan plan doesn’t include trillions upon trillions in new subsidies

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
11:53 am

Oh, and Ennis, salute!

(I too spent a lot of time in an F4 c0ckpit, all of it on the flight line or in a hangar…)

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
11:53 am

Think I see the political calculus differently than everyone else. If ObamaCare is affirmed by the court, the republicans will sweep in November. If ObamaCare is voided, the leftists will vote early and often.

They BOTH suck

March 26th, 2012
11:53 am

Jimmy

Take an article from today’s AJC that is not an editorial and provide with facts all the left wing bias you claim there is…..

Thanks

Ennis

March 26th, 2012
11:54 am

ragnar danneskjold on your 11:47 The answer is yes. Isn’t that what SS is doing now?? Congress raided SS coffers and took all the money, so now younger people are paying my SS benefits. What is the difference to the guvment???

Doggone/GA

March 26th, 2012
11:55 am

“Congress raided SS coffers and took all the money, so now younger people are paying my SS benefits”

Those 2 statements have nothing to do with each other.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
11:55 am

Dear Both @ 11:52, correct in principle but not in practice – 50% of the average person’s lifetime medical expenses arise within six months of death, and for most that is well after working years.

godless heathen©

March 26th, 2012
11:55 am

If the mandate is upheld by the SCOTUS, then Congress can pass a law that everyone must buy a Chevy Volt. Common good, interstate commerce, blah, blah. Win, win, win for everyone. Everyone except those that cherish freedom.

They BOTH suck

March 26th, 2012
11:55 am

ragnar

If you look at the lower than normal turnout to nominate one of the 3 stooges plus Paul (if he even counts)……… going to take some motivation from someone or something

Lakeisha Jackson

March 26th, 2012
11:55 am

I think it is an absolute disgrace that our country does not provide nationalized health care for its citizens. But I am vehemently opposed by this mandate. (And yes, I was as bitterly opposed to it when it was recommended by a damn republican, as well.)
I do NOT believe that the federal government has the right to FORCE anyone to participate in a private business transaction or else be in violation of federal law. (Nor do I want it to have that power.) The federal government has the right to “regulate” interstate commerce, but this is not regulation..it’s COERCION. If the federal government has the right to force us to purchase something against our wishes, what can it NOT force us to do? It could require that everyone who is more than twenty pounds too heavy must go to a “fat farm” and lose weight. It could require that…since the police can’t be everywhere 24/7…every family must purchase a handgun for protection. Or it could solve the unemployment problem by just ordering every business to hire more workers.
I do believe that the government has the right to raise taxes to provide single-payer coverage, and I believe that is what we should do. The easiest way would just be to expand Medicaire to cover everyone.
But I am not willing to “wink-wink” away my beliefs just to see President Obama get some kind of political win over the damn republicans, hoping that we can fix it later on.
I applaud the President for pushing hard and trying to get nationalized health care. But this ridiculous bill is an abomination, and I will not support it. I’d be a damn hypocrite.
(And Lord knows, there are already enough of those around…on both sides of the political spectrum.)

JamVet

March 26th, 2012
11:56 am

…the republicans will sweep in November.

No doubt.

In Marietta and Macon and Milledgeville and Moultrie.

But in Washington, DC?

That’s funny…

Bruno

March 26th, 2012
11:56 am

And conservatives still haven’t explained how their version of ‘freedom’ means “I’ll do what I want and not provide for myself or my family and when I get really sick or injured I expect the rest of you to pay for me and mine.”

Paul–Do you have any evidence that the “free riders” of our country are conservatives?? Since the vast majority of folks without insurance in our country are either young, poor, or illegal immigrants, I would see them more as liberals. There is a substantial portion of non-insure who are super-wealthy, but my guess is that they pay as they go like I do.

http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/05/uninsured-cps/index.htm

The bottom line, Paul, is that the “free riders” account for about 8% of insurance premiums. And since virtually none of them will be buying insurance with their own funds, explain to me how the mandate is going to fundamentally change the dynamics of our system. In fact, with the new prohibition on excluding pre-conditions, I can foresee many more “free riders” who will opt to pay the fine until they get sick.

ragnar danneskjold

March 26th, 2012
11:57 am

Dear Ennis @ 11:54, we can say anything we wish but we cannot call it a Ponzi Scheme, and we cannot say it will be bankrupt in 2040.