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Listening to the Supreme Court hearings on Obamacare. . .

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 12:44 pm
@Irishk,
Interesting. Thanks!
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 12:56 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

wandeljw wrote:
Verrilli did discuss the anomalies of healthcare economics in this exchange with Scalia:

I agree he discussed it, but what do you think about the manner in which he discussed it? If you were a skeptical Supreme-Court justice, would Verilli's discussion persuade you?


If I was a skeptical justice, I would admire Verrilli's restraint and diplomacy toward Scalia. Smile

Verrilli answered all of Scalia's points. I probably would be persuaded if I had knowledge of the cases Verrilli referred to and if I understood what "Lochner" was about.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 12:57 pm
@Thomas,
Do u believe that the Founders awarded power to Congress
to mandate that individual citizens buy insurance (or buy anything) against their will ????????





David
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 01:19 pm
@Irishk,
Irishk wrote:

Tom Goldstein does have a dog in the fight, since he's representing AARP in support of upholding the statute, and he still contends that although it could go either way, he still gives the government a 60%-40% chance to prevail.


I never cease to be amazed at AARP thinking. "Obamacare" was touted as being affordable partly because of funding coming from Medicare savings. The numbers varied from as low as 340B to 500B, depending, I guess on who was supposed to be impressed. May I point out that that was my ox getting gored, and dues from my former membership were supporting the goring?

Subsequent to announcing "our" support of the bill, they ran a major article on the dangers of federal deficits.
Irishk
 
  3  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 01:43 pm
@roger,
AARP is the largest provider of 'Medigap' type policies. And, since they received a rate review exemption from HHS, they obviously stand to make boat-loads of money on the for-profit side of their organization. Not hard to figure out why they'd be supportive of the bill, including spending millions on donations and lobbying efforts.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 01:55 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
Do u believe that the Founders awarded power to Congress to mandate that individual citizens buy insurance (or buy anything) against their will ????????

Yes to health insurance, but not to "anything". Krugman persuasively explains the distinction in his Op-Ed. When people abstain from buying broccoli, they don't make broccoli less available to those who want it. But when people abstain from buying health insurance until they're too sick to self-insure, that's different. Now they do make health insurance less affordable to those who want it, sometimes even unobtainable.

Because this effect spills across state lines, it rightly falls under Congress's Commerce-Clause powers. And because the necessity of the mandate derives from a rare kind of market failure, permitting it would not fester into a power of Congress to mandate everything. Therefore, the Affordable Healthcare Act is a necessary and proper exercise of Congress's Article-1 powers.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 02:01 pm
@Thomas,
Thank u.

For my part, I 'm sure that it WOUD lead to ending all limits
on the jurisdiction of government.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 02:11 pm
@OmSigDAVID,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
For my part, I 'm sure that it WOUD lead to ending all limits on the jurisdiction of government.

Then you must be believing that my reasoning is either fallacious or derived from false assumptions of fact. May I ask you to identify the particular points on which I'm wrong, and why I am indeed wrong on those points?
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 02:49 pm
@Irishk,
It is so nice to feel well taken care of.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 06:03 pm
@Thomas,
OmSigDAVID wrote:
For my part, I 'm sure that it WOUD lead to ending all limits on the jurisdiction of government.
Thomas wrote:
Then you must be believing that my reasoning is either fallacious or derived from false assumptions of fact.
May I ask you to identify the particular points on which I'm wrong, and why I am indeed wrong on those points?
The Revolution against the King of England was a very anti-authoritarian revolution.
The love of personal freedom pervades the Founders' writings.
Thay knew that personal freedom and jurisdiction are INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL.
The Bill of Rights was enacted to specifically enlarge & expand freedom,
by constricting, strangling and curtailing jurisdiction in 37 different ways.
Note particularly its 9th and 1Oth Amendments.

The philosophy behind obamacare is paternalist, casting our lowly hireling
into the role of our parents who will have authority to do
what thay know is best for us, from the cradle to the grave.
"Father knows Best." I reject that. Madison & Washington woud.

It is a radically alien philosophy. It is antithetical to the spirit
of personal freedom in which the Constitution was created.





David
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 06:11 pm
@OmSigDAVID,

Political philosophy is interesting, but not justiciable. It seems that what you have here is a passion, not a legal argument.
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Mar, 2012 09:59 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:
Political philosophy is interesting, but not justiciable.
It seems that what you have here is a passion, not a legal argument.
I suppose that I coud argue the reasoning of the Lopez case, around 1995, was it,
if I were less lazy, but I feel that my life is behind me
and whatever becomes of the Earth will be none of my business;
its just casual discussion.

I 'm expecting a few decades of increased freedom
attributable to the effects of repeal of all gun control,
but that before the turn of the next century,
our grandchildren will fall into a blacker & more permanent world-wide despotism
than we have ever known; worse than the commies or the nazis.
The eventual success of the collectivist philosophy of obamacare will gain momentum toward that end.

I think that its deplorable, but it will not be my problem.
Below viewing threshold (view)
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Apr, 2012 11:11 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
But when people abstain from buying health insurance until they're too sick to self-insure, that's different. Now they do make health insurance less affordable to those who want it, sometimes even unobtainable.


This entire situation is a good example of the mess an ever intrusive government will make.

If the market operated freely, people who abstain from attempting to buy insurance until they are sick would find they are unable to purchase such insurance because no capable underwriter would provide them with coverage. This being the case, their self-interest would be best served by their buying health insurance when they are most healthy and it is cheapest

By mandating that health-providers not turn away patients who cannot afford to pay them for their services, and artificially managing the service fees providers can charge those on taxpayer assisted programs, the government has caused healthcare for those who can afford it to increase. This increase has led to the point where an increasing numbers of people are forced into the segment which must receive care, funded by the rest of us, and thereby drive the cost even higher.

As a result the government must resort to increased intrusion as exemplified by the mandate provision of Obamacare, and if that doesn't solve the problem the government will need to intrude even further.

While you may find arguments why the mandate should be considered constitutional, many do not, and the fact that the constitutionality of the mandate is anything but a slam dunk indicates a decision in its favor will be groundbreaking.

Certain laws break new legal ground and so the fact that this one might is not reason alone to reject it, but it is reason to respect the scrutiny it will receive from the Court.

Most people tend to view the constitutionality of a law based on whether or not they like it, and if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional in a 5-4 decision, the supporters of Obamacare will condemn the politicization of the Court. Of course they won't do so if it's 5-4 or 6-3 in favor of the mandate, then they will praise the jurisprudence of justices Kennedy and Roberts...until they rule against another law they like.

I suppose there will be opponents of Obamacare who will make the same claims if their side is on the losing end, but I doubt they will be of such numbers or vehemence as their counter-parts.

It is ironic that folks with serious illnesses and medical conditions who require the most expensive care and cannot afford or obtain insurance are cited as examples of why we need governmental intrusion.

Despite what so many of our public servants seem to believe, the government doesn't have an endless supply of funds. In order to assure that basic healthcare is available to all citizens, it will be necessary to restrict expenditures for extraordinary healthcare, which is what so many of these poster children require.

Taxes will increase, and not just on the wealthy and business, and as taxes on business increase so will prices.

Americans may be ready to accept a lower standard of living in trade for an increase in government provided benefits, but I doubt it.

It's unfortunate that the election in November will not be framed in terms of what it really is: A choice between two very different paths and very different interpretations of what life in America should look like. Neither path is perfect and both have a downside, but the two parties will never paint a full picture of what they are offering, and so no one can do so and have any chance of winning.

For me it's a simple choice because government never properly delivers on its promises. Even if I accepted that Obamacare was well intentioned (which I do not) the program is a colossal cluster f-ck riddled with contradictory provisions, political payoffs and financial chicanery.

Even programs that may have been constructed relatively soundly and which the public appreciates are inevitably run into the ground by political games and bureaucratic administration.

The notion that we can give the government extraordinary power for one program and that it will not then continue to use and abuse that power is a fantasy.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2012 05:58 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
The notion that we can give the government extraordinary power for one program and that it will not then continue to use and abuse that power is a fantasy.

Congress already has the power to provide Medicare for all and pay for it with Social-Security taxes. (A frequently-repeated question from the conservatie judges was why it didn't do just that.) Obamacare is less intrusive to the private insurance market than a Medicare-for-all system would be. As a practical matter, then, how would a win for Obamacare be a grant of extraordinary government power?
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2012 09:26 am
@Thomas,
I think you know that's an evasive argument. The legal precedents involved in the issues in question on the law at hand would remove most existing constraints on the Federal Government's ability to regulaste private economic activity. The Congress didn't pass a single payer, MEDICARE for all, law, and, in view of the cost trajectory of MEDICARE & MEDICAID it is fairly clear that we couldn't afford extending them to everyone. The European model doesn't work very well in Europe anymore.

Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2012 11:01 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
I think you know that's an evasive argument.

No it's not. When a real law is less invasive than a hypothetical one that is unquestionably constitutional, deciding that the real one is constitutional will not grant Congress "unprecedented power". That's what Finn said Obamacare does. That's the claim I addressed in my response. What did I evade?

georgeob1 wrote:
The Congress didn't pass a single payer, MEDICARE for all, law, and, in view of the cost trajectory of MEDICARE & MEDICAID it is fairly clear that we couldn't afford extending them to everyone.

Fairly clear? That'll be news to France, Canada, and other countries that actually have enacted Medicare-for-all systems. Great Britain went even further and enacted a Veterans'-Administration-for-all system. Financial markets seem conspicuously unworried about those countries' finances. So if what's "fairly clear" to you is actually true, you will make $$$BIG BUCKS$$$ in the derivatives market by shorting their national debt right now. What percentage of your money have you put where your mouth is?

As a separate issue. House Republicans are trying to solve the problems in the existing Medicaid system by voucherizing it while mandating that citizens buy vouchers. I believe you support the Ryan plan that implements the change---correct me if I'm wrong. Since you think Obamacare is unconstitutional, how does Ryancare pass constitutional muster in your view?
Irishk
 
  3  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2012 11:29 am
@roger,
roger wrote:
It is so nice to feel well taken care of.
The beatings will continue until morale improves. Smile
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  0  
Reply Mon 2 Apr, 2012 04:26 pm
@Thomas,
Thomas wrote:

georgeob1 wrote:
I think you know that's an evasive argument.

No it's not. When a real law is less invasive than a hypothetical one that is unquestionably constitutional, deciding that the real one is constitutional will not grant Congress "unprecedented power". That's what Finn said Obamacare does. That's the claim I addressed in my response. What did I evade?


Unfortunately, the role of the Supreme Court is to determine whether the eneumerated powers of the Federal government permit the legislation that was enacted, and not its "invasiveness" as you and others might judge it. That is the point I believed you were evading earlier and appear to be evading now.

There's plenty pf political hypocrisy on both sides of the political debates on these issues, as they maneuver to get or prevent various Federal programs. There is also a great deal of blatant hypocrisy to be observed now on the parts of "progressive" commentators about the potential for usurpation of the democratic process by a supposedly activist court. It is merely interesting that for the past several decades as the court overturned numerous democratically enacted laws in the States and federal government concerning issues as varied as abortion, criminal process, voter registration and employment they were contentedly silent on the issue. Our President has also taken up this theme, along with wistful references to FDR's New Deal. Perhaps he should remember the political reverses that FDR encountered when he publically attacked the Supreme Court and threatened to pack it with a new, more compliant, majority.
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Wed 4 Apr, 2012 06:13 am
@georgeob1,
georgeob1 wrote:
Unfortunately, the role of the Supreme Court is to determine whether the eneumerated powers of the Federal government permit the legislation that was enacted, and not its "invasiveness" as you and others might judge it. That is the point I believed you were evading earlier and appear to be evading now.

Then let me rephrase it in terms of government expansion instead of intrusion. With the blessing of the US Constitution, Congress can undoubtedly (*) force you to pay taxes and provide you with health insurance out of those taxes. In particular, it has the power to make you pay taxes and give you a refund if you buy health insurance on your own. That's just a less-expansive subset of the power Congress undoutedly (*) has. Obamacare, in turn, is in practice indistinguishible from that, because the penalty tax for noncompliance is limited to the cost of the insurance you haven't bought, but should have. Obamacare is therefore a valid exercise of Congresses taxing power under Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution.

-----
(*) If you want to be pedeantic about the "undoubtedly", replace it with "not even doubted by the conservative justices during the hearing, indeed actively suggested by them."
 

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