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Obamacare Decision Hoopla

I’ve been adding to this post all day at Sohum Parlance, and thought maybe I’d drop it here for discussion.

It was 5-4, but curiously enough, it was Bush-appointed Roberts rather than Kennedy who broke from the conservative pack.  Roberts agreed with the conservatives that to force individuals to engage in affirmative economic activity (instead of mere prohibitions) was a “novel” application of the Commerce Clause (and only Ginsberg actually argued that proposition).  But he ruled that by allowing the choice between mandated coverage and a penalty, the act is lawful by virtue of taxing power – the “penalty” constituting a “tax.”

Josh Marshal on why this is a good result even if you support single payer healthcare.

Both Fox and CNN managed to bungle the story this morning, proclaiming that Dewey had won.

MSNBC did get it right.

Hank has some good stuff.

Republicans are pushing repeal (again).  Orrin Hatch twittered:

This ruling doesn’t change the fact that a majority of the people of Utah and across America want this law repealed. #utpol #SCOTUS — @OrrinHatch via Twitter for iPhone

Only, that’s not true.

I will have more to say later.

Addendum:  The Nation posted an excellent article on the ruling, explaining Roberts’ decision pretty well, and dismissing concerns about the impact on the Commerce Clause since this was the first law ever to mandate economic activity (usually it simply regulates or prohibits it).  And the Medicaid funding issue was explained, and I didn’t get it until I read the article as it has been misreported everywhere all day long.

The other provision challenged conditioned state’s receipt of Medicaid funding on their implementation of the Act’s greatly expanded Medicaid coverage. Where Medicaid initially covered only several discrete categories of persons, under the ACA it extends to all adults earning less than 133 percent of the poverty level. The states argued that threatening them with loss of all their Medicaid funding was a coercive condition on the funding. Seven members of the Court agreed that if the law were enforced to take away state’s existing Medicaid funds it would be unconstitutional, but the majority upheld the provision as a condition only on the funds provided for the expanded Medicaid program. It seems unlikely that states will turn down those funds. Under the ACA, the federal government initially covers 100 percent of all new Medicaid costs, and while the federal contribution diminishes over time, it never falls below 90 percent of the program’s cost, so any rational state will likely take the money and expand its coverage.

I think a few small red states might initially refuse the money, but I doubt that’ll last more than a few years.

And Nation also provides this survey of conservative responses.

So, did this decision render Obama a one-term President?  He goes down in history as having fundamentally altered the structure of the health care economy either way, and he did say the first time around that if passing a universal health care measure limited him to one term that he could live with that.  But can the rest of us live with three or four Justices being appointed by Romney?  I wish we had gotten a public option out of the deal, even though I think it will eventually happen.

I’m not convinced however.  Yes, Obama will be outspent thanks to Citizens United, but he does benefit from the fact that his opponent comes across as a dick that nobody really likes.  The polls released today look good for Obama.  But the GOP will do considerable fundraising over this, and voter suppression is in full swing in some key states.  Moreover, the ruling is likely to galvanize the Right through the summer and into the fall.  It could even have a negative impact on local elections.

And here are some more conservatives responses.   My favorite is the threat to move to Canada.

Second Addendum:  Here are the Fox and CNN clips.  How did both networks mess this one up?  Obama’s people reportedly had CNN on and believed the law had been overturned.

 

By the way, the four conservatives against the law – they would have repealed everything – all 900 pages, for the lack of a severability clause.

  1. What Now
    June 28, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Maybe this will inspire Conservatives to privatize a drive to build a colony on the moon.
    THERE they can have the ultimate “gated community.”

  2. Giggles
    June 28, 2012 at 11:48 pm

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/people-moving-to-canada-because-of-obamacare

    Meanwhile the Wikipedia article “Health Care in Canada” says “Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities”

  3. SOmewhat HUMan
    June 29, 2012 at 1:36 am

    The ruling emphatically states that the Commerce Clause does not give the Feds the power to force people to buy a product or service. Rather than toss the Individual Mandate completely, the court chose to label, as a tax, the penalty one pays for not having coverage. This effectively was a punt. If the penalty is a tax, it can be challenged in court once it kicks in, in 2014. Only the working stiff is required to pay the penalty/tax. The so-called poor are exempt. As usual, the middle-class chump has to pay the bill.

  4. SNaFU
    June 29, 2012 at 4:14 am

    In the early 1960’s, Nikita Khrushchev took his shoe off & slammed it on the counter & said to John F Kennedy “I will overrun your country and I can do it without firing a shot”.
    hmmmmmmm??

  5. unanonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 5:22 am

    i am surprised that liberals are happy to be forced to buy a product from predatory corporations to pay inflated prices to big pharma and medical supply corporations…

  6. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 5:45 am

    It’s a party thing, I guess. I sure as hell won’t buy unregulated insurance because the Our Corporate Masters demand it. It’s all moot, though, since the Romnoids will rescind the law.

  7. Ponder z
    June 29, 2012 at 6:08 am

    HUMan and SNaFu, got that right. The court just kicked obama in the nuts. The voters have the choice. The corporations will all get waivers. But the working guy pays for inflated rates or a new TAX!!!.
    The commies have taken over, but their bad ideas have shinny new names, so the sheep that dont know history think this is all new.
    Baaaaa.

  8. Noble
    June 29, 2012 at 6:13 am

    It certainly is a novel application of the commerce clause to say that the federal government can force individuals to buy services from private corporations simply for being alive, or penalize them by taking their money. Then again, I’ve been watching the Commerce Clause expand in scope to include the federal government controlling more and more aspects of people’s lives my whole life. So I don’t really expect the trend to stop anytime soon.

    So now the commerce clause is being interpreted as giving federal government the power to dictate what you buy, just for being alive. How you’re going to howl when the Republicans use this new power. And yes it is a new power. And yes despite whatever word games they use, they are interpreting the Commerce Clause as giving the feds the power to force you to buy services from private corporations.

    Maybe Hank or one of the other liberal super geniuses can explain why the hell they wrote a bill without a severability clause so that we dumb mud people can understand. Seems to me the only reason to do that is if a bill will fall apart if its clauses are not left intact. But I’m not a liberal super genius.

    From the Nation: The Constitution gives Congress broad power to raise taxes “for the general welfare,” which means Congress need not point to some other enumerated power to justify a tax.

    Nice paraphrase, ignores the fact that Congress cannot just pass whatever tax scheme they dream up next. Believe it or not there are rules for taxing your public in the US. At least that’s the way it was when that dusty old document Bush called “just a piece of paper” was considered worth the hemp it was printed on.

    And I love people who see decisions like this as a rigorous interpretation of law rather than a political event.

  9. Noble
    June 29, 2012 at 6:24 am

    “Health care in Canada is delivered through a publicly funded health care system, which is mostly free at the point of use and has most services provided by private entities.”

    You post this as if a single payer system has any resemblance to Obamacare. You do realize that “Obamacare” is for-profit corporate middlemen deciding the prices and their cut. Medical insurance companies are not known for their compassion, their charity, or their desire to put “the general welfare” before multi-billion dollar profits for their shareholders.

    So, let’s put Social Security into Wall Street? Might as well at this point.

  10. Percy
    June 29, 2012 at 7:13 am

    I would have thought that the right wing trolls on here would have drank their hemlock by now. It’s never too late.

  11. Noble
    June 29, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Admittedly I didn’t know much about the Medical Loss Ratio provision (control over the cut). That is a big deal and to be celebrated even if yesterday’s decision is not, provided it is enforced appropriately.

    http://cciio.cms.gov/programs/marketreforms/mlr/index.html

    And I hope that comment wasn’t for me Percy. I’m left of Obama, and a left wing troll if anything.

  12. Percy
    June 29, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Nope, that was for SNaFU and the rest of the right wing rabble that usually comments on here. I would have lost if I had bet on this ruling, especially with Roberts being the swing vote. I guess even a republican supreme court appointee can have a moment of clarity.

  13. Mitch
    June 29, 2012 at 7:51 am

    Here’s one article that finally points to what is coming. I’m not expressing any opinion except to say that she gets it:

    http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2012/06/29/yes-virginia-employers-will-drop-coverage/

  14. SNaFU
    June 29, 2012 at 8:13 am

    RE: Percy (7:50) is receiving some sort of gov’t assistance already.

  15. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Giggles, it is important that you understand that almost nothing in life is “free”. That Canada health care is NOT free.

    Someone said yesterday that this will be the largest tax increase in the history of the world and they are right. Liberals are drinking champagne today but will be crying later.

    Just a couple of taxes are;
    – A “Cadillic tax” on high cost health insurance plans. Hello gov’t workers like teachers ?
    – Tax on insurance companies. As their cost rises they will have to raise their prices.
    -Excise tax on Medical-device manufacturers.

    A 27 year old kid making $30,000 a year will be faced with deciding between several bad options. He/She will be forced to either; paying $6,000 a year for private health insurance or paying $2,500 a year for the gov’t subsidsed program or paying a $700 tax.

    Many businesses will dump their current health insurance for employees. They can now pay a $2,000 tax and feel guilt free because their employees will get the subsidised gov’t plan.

  16. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Do you always tell such crazy lies, SNaFU? How could you possibly know what Percy has or hasn’t received? I’ve never received a dime of govt. assistance or worked for the govt, and had health insurance provided by my employer and I agree with Percy 100%. Some people, but not conservatives, can see a bigger picture than what benefits “me and mine” and understand that health care is mandatory for everyone at some point in their life. Refusing care to those who lack insurance or allowing them to buy insurance only after they become ill (which was never allowed prior to ACA) will destroy our health care system for everyone. Forcing insurance companies to insure everyone regardless of risks requires that everyone (personally or govt) buy insurance or it isn’t financially sustainable. Most people in this country want a public option or universal coverage. Mitt’s promise to repeal ACA may be a positive for people like you, but most of us elected Obama on his promise of reform and at least a public option. The public option funded by taxes is, of course, an alternative to a mandate which you find so objectionable and is supported by a large majority.

    As to the post above about the commerce clause, that wasn’t the basis for Roberts or the majority vote to affirm the ACA mandate, in fact just the opposite. The basis was congress’ constitutional authority to tax. PERIOD.

  17. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Some other things for liberals to think about.

    Health CARE quality has to decrease because of the Law of Supply & Demand. You are increasing the demand because people will use the system more often without increasing the supply of doctors.

    Obama may lose the election because of Obamacare. It is unpopular and will energize conservatives & moderates to come out & vote for Romney. In a very close election this will be the tipping point.

  18. High Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Sorry, those last two posts were by me.

  19. High Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Oops, somebody sneaked in on me. The posts at 8.29am & the SECOND one at 8.32am were mine.

    The first 8.32am was by somebody else.

  20. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Do you think health care supply won’t increase with demand 8:32? There is no limit to how many health care providers we can educate when there is money to pay their salaries. As it now stands, health care is being rationed by too few doctors reimbursed at lower rates while their costs for malpractice and employee insurance has skyrocketed. Our local hospital is laying off workers already because so many more people are uninsured due to job loss and have no money to pay for the care they receive. The idea that the dwindling numbers of privately insured health care consumers can support a first world health care system is crazy and anyone with knowledge of health care delivery knows it.

  21. Mitch
    June 29, 2012 at 8:53 am

    But HiFi, everyone already gets health care. Just in the expensive emergency room if they lack insurance, instead of in a doctor’s office, months prior to the crisis. So, yes, demand for preventive care may go up, but the demand for expensive care may even go down.

  22. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 9:05 am

    An ounce of prevention, Mitch.

    If billions of health care dollars weren’t paid in salaries to executives and employee’s whose only role is to delay, deny and cancel coverage we could fund more medical schools and better prepare students to attend them. Maybe even give scholarships to students who go to work in under-served regions or specialties. The possibilities are almost infinite.

  23. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 9:06 am

    It’s all moot, though, since the Romnoids will rescind the law.

    That’s not going to happen, unless the Republicans gain 14 seats in the Senate.

    Maybe Hank or one of the other liberal super geniuses can explain why the hell they wrote a bill without a severability clause so that we dumb mud people can understand. Seems to me the only reason to do that is if a bill will fall apart if its clauses are not left intact. But I’m not a liberal super genius.

    IMO, they omitted the severability clause so that the insurance industry in Connecticut would allow Lieberman to vote for the bill.

    Nice paraphrase, ignores the fact that Congress cannot just pass whatever tax scheme they dream up next. Believe it or not there are rules for taxing your public in the US. At least that’s the way it was when that dusty old document Bush called “just a piece of paper” was considered worth the hemp it was printed on.

    Can you cite the provisions you’re talking about?

  24. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 9:08 am

    A 27 year old kid making $30,000 a year will be faced with deciding between several bad options. He/She will be forced to either; paying $6,000 a year for private health insurance or paying $2,500 a year for the gov’t subsidsed program or paying a $700 tax.

    By some estimates, he or she will be paying as low as $116 a month for coverage.

  25. Giggles
    June 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Some of you people wouldn’t get irony if it was a solid rod that hit you upside your head.

    So… for those too thick to get the joke, here’s the explanation:

    There’s two paragraphs, a link and some words… with me so far?

    The link is to a page that says people disappointed in Obamacare winning in Supreme Court are threatening to move to Canada.

    If you read the second paragraph, quoted from Wiki, Canada is already more socialized for its health care than the United States.

    Irony huh? The haters want to move somewhere with *more* socialism to get away from Obamacare – branded socialism by more than one commentator.

    There are no lines to read between. I never said I support or don’t support the Supremes. I made a joke. My name is “Giggles.”

    Imho Humboldt blogs need some lightening up, many of you are way too sunk in your own miserable slough of despond to see the sunshine outside.

    Take your dogma for a walk around the block and smell some flowers, watch the birds and think of pleasant things for a change before kneejerking so hard you puke all over the computer again.

    Just sayin’ — the “Peace and Love Humboldt Nation” sure doesn’t look like it on the blogs, now does it?

  26. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Obama may lose the election because of Obamacare. It is unpopular and will energize conservatives & moderates to come out & vote for Romney. In a very close election this will be the tipping point.

    Romney has a problem however. He passed a nearly identical bill as governor – mandate and all. And considering that the whole model was proposed by conservatives back in the 1990s, I suspect that there are a number of moderate Republicans (including Justice Roberts apparently) who are privately happy this happened.

  27. Eric Kirk
  28. RefFan
    June 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Mitch, wld our local dr offices be able to accept & care for this increase? I know of few of the ones I go to wldn’t be able to take new patients. How about the rest of the country? There wld have be an increase in dr’s offices evrywhere to accept the newly insured.

  29. Mitch
    June 29, 2012 at 9:20 am

    Eric,

    I think the political question is going to be whether, when businesses start dumping their health care benefits, they make their employees whole with higher wages. For businesses where that happens, everyone will come out winners.

    If the business community collectively decides to cancel plans and pocket the savings instead of paying out the equivalent in salary increases, the ACA will become yet another excuse for wealth redistribution upwards. I hope the first large corporation to try this approach gets hit fast and hard.

    But the idea of providing health insurance through employment rather than citizenship or residency was always a bad one and seriously distorted many aspects of the free market. For starters, how many people do you know who have stuck it out in a job they hate purely because it was the only way they could keep health care?

    And why should a 20 year old single person, who can get individual health care for a low price, get the same salary and benefits as the next person, who is 40 years old and covering a family of eight? Let them get the same salaries, and each can buy the plan they need in the free market.

    The best system, by far, would be single payer universal care. I hope this eventually helps us get there, because there is simply no point in devoting a shocking portion of society’s health care resources away from health care and to health insurance companies instead.

  30. Mitch
    June 29, 2012 at 9:24 am

    RefFan,

    What do you think happens now, when a substantial portion of our community has no insurance? When more people have insurance, more doctors will move to the area for its appeal, unless that appeal is destroyed.

    Seriously, by what magic do you think people who get sick now get health care?

  31. RefFan
    June 29, 2012 at 9:53 am

    another thought- wld we see a increase in ER & urgent care centers cuz appts for a dr office is weeks to a month out and if you need immediate attention, the ER or UC is the only option.

  32. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Don’t you think if there was more demand by paying patients (and fewer uninsured) the supply would increase, RelFan?

  33. HUUFC
    June 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Stop with the Citizen’s United baloney, Obama is projected to raise a billion dollars for himself.

  34. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 10:36 am

    If grocery stores were reimbursed less for food stamps than face value and stealing groceries wasn’t illegal, what do you think groceries would cost for law abiding people who paid for their own food and how many grocery stores would there be? Health care providers must provide reduced price and free health care for those who can’t or won’t pay. Not paying for (stealing) heath care is not a crime. As the numbers of govt insured (Medicare and Medicaid) have increased, the numbers of health care thieves have increased, insurances have reduced reimbursement and raised their rates and are now forcing patients to go out of area for care for some elective (non-emergency) care, there is less money to pay health provider salaries locally and much harder to recruit new doctors to replace those who retired or left. It’s not rocket science.

  35. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 11:07 am

    “Not paying for (stealing) heath care is not a crime.”

    The cost of an xray is a crime. That’s not to say a doctor shouldn’t be well paid, they NEED to be happy about their work and rightfully should be. The government and insurance companies are screwing everybody involved. Pharmaceutical companies are gouging absolutely everybody. I cut myself with a saw, it cost $100 PER STITCH and took all of ten minutes. If I’d have had any idea it was going to cost that much, I would have butterfly stitched it myself and just taken some time off work…I’d be out less money with some time off ta boot!

  36. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 11:17 am

    The cost of an x-ray is to pay for the very expensive equipment, the insurance to cover the procedure and cost shifting to cover the un and under insured. The same is true for the cost of your stitches. The emergency room doctor who sutured you gets paid a salary unrelated to the charges for your injury. The rest is cost shifting.

  37. RefFan
    June 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Some1 obviously didn’t understand or get the meaning my question. Sleep in a little longer tomorrow, it does wonders for my moods.

  38. A-nony-mouse
    June 29, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Some local outfits like Open Door Clinics are stepping up to fill the need. They have several incentives to bring Doctors to the area. Not the least is assistance paying off student loans that almost all doctors are burdened with after graduating. Maybe some of the other local medical groups could use similar incentives.
    In the long haul, improving and increasing educational opportunities for those willing to go into health care is the only alternative to either rationing or ending up with care only for the rich.
    It does make the discussion more interesting, doesn’t it?

  39. RefFan
    June 29, 2012 at 11:26 am

    That was what I was asking anon 10:18. Are we going to see this increase in dr’s? My guess wld be not for a while at least and what do ppl do till then? They will still go to the ER.
    I heard ppl say comments about the ER visits going down with ObamaCare but I just dont see that, until we get more dr’s in the area.

  40. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Orrin Hatch twittered:

    “This ruling doesn’t change the fact that a majority of the people of Utah and across America want this law repealed.”

    Polls show that most Americans want a universal health care system.

    Too bad that the 25% of eligible voters that bother to vote…and the 12.5% that vote democrat, didn’t support democrats that support Obama’s original single-payer agenda…

  41. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 11:41 am

    There is no magic bullet RelFan. It took a long time for things to get this bad and it will take some time to fix it. Even if they just let those without ability to pay die, the system will collapse everywhere but major cities. You can get excellent health care in major cities everywhere in the world. But if that’s the only place it is available, you have a third world system.

  42. Jack Sherman
    June 29, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Orin Hatch’s quote is the same right-wing BS we read in Australian newspapers and watched on TV.

    Once they passed a $50 “tax” on any eligible citizen who refused to vote…Australia soon joined the rest of the industrialized world with universal healthcare!

  43. tra
    June 29, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Compared to a single-payer system, Obamacare is certainly bound to be a less effective, less efficient, and more complicated, convoluted, and fractured way of trying to achieve greater coverage for more people, at a more affordable price.

    But by the same token, Obamacare may in fact be a big improvement compared to our current , unwieldy, complicated, convoluted, fractured and extremely inefficient and ineffective so-called “system,” under which more and more people are finding themselves unable to get any coverage, and many others are paying ridiculous sums for lousy coverage.

    Despite its somewhat Rube Goldbergesque architecture, Obamacare does have a lot of important benefits contained within it — people with pre-existing conditions can get coverage, people can’t have their coverage taken away when they get sick, etc. Hopefully the health care exchanges will turn out to be useful, and the expansion of Medicaid and the provision for subsidies for lower-income folks will be funded well enough that most working poor people will actually be able to get coverage, rather than have to pay the tax penalty while remaining without coverage. If all goes well, I can see how it could end up working out fairly well for most people. I can also see numerous ways it could fall apart, but I don’t think it’s fatally flawed in the sense that it’s sure to fall apart.

    I’m not at all happy that we’re going to be shoving federal funds, in the form of subsidies, to for-profit insurance companies, but that was the grand political bargain that was struck — the private insurance companies get mandated customers and government subsidies, government gets increased power to set the underlying rules for what kind of plans can be issued, what kind of factors can be used to determine premiums, and how much of each premium dollar must be spent on actual medical care vs. administration and profit, and so on.

    I think the bottom line is that even a rather inefficient system like the one created through Obamacare, may still turn out to be a whole lot better than the extremely inefficient, highly dysfunctional, rapidly failing mess of a system, which is what we have now.

    At any rate, the battle is certainly not over…in some ways it is just beginning. Now that there is, in fact, some kind of real federal health insurance “system,” we can expect attempts from all kinds of folks, to change it in all sorts of ways, some good, some bad, and some ugly. What happens from here forward will probably prove to be just as important to the success or failure of this initiative as what has taken place up to this date.

  44. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Doctors look at demographics when deciding where to practice. A few decades ago we had an abundance of doctors clamoring to open or join a practice here. Now they have to be enticed with signing bonuses and moving expenses to get them to overlook the decreased salaries available and most of them still leave for greener pastures. Expecting there to be more doctors than health care consumers can afford is unrealistic. If virtually everyone is a paying consumer, regardless of other economic constraints, supply will increase to meet demand and plenty of doctors will once again be able to choose between rural communities and large cities based on where they want to raise their families and not on where they can survive financially.

  45. High Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    Many doctor offices and even St Joseph has been giving doctors incentives to move up here for years Mouse, including paying off student loans.

    The reason is there are not enough doctors to go around already and the big cities offer more career oportunities.

    RefFan made a good point. With more people than ever using doctor offices service will suffer and we will have to wait longer than ever for appointments. That may very well drive MORE people to the emergency room than less.

    Then anonymous above said we will just increase supply. First of all medical schools can’t graduate much more but also insurance companies drive doctors out of the business.

    Insurance companies (and the government insurance co will be no exception) hammer doctors on their fees and pay them less at the same time requiring insane paperwork filings. You rarely see a doctor over age 52 or 55 anymore. The stress of overwork and underpaid makes them retire and leave the profession just as soon as they can.

  46. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    I hadn’t considered this, but as the penalty has been deemed a “tax increase,” it may be that it can be repealed with a simple 51 vote majority in the Senate, and there are a few Democrats facing tough races in swing states.

    That won’t overturn the whole law, but it could have insurance companies freaking out about being regulated without the cash benefit of a mandate with teethe.

    So will the Republicans hang the insurance industry out to dry? Wouldn’t break my heart. Then there would be pressure to come up with some alternative set up to placate the insurance companies, which would have to survive a filibuster. And maybe a public option could be dangled by Senate liberals as part of a compromise. Could they get 40 Democrats to filibuster in favor of a public option?

  47. High Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    But forget about declining service and rising fees for a moment.

    The Supreme Court has just declared that Congress can mandate anything by taxing it.

    Whats to keep a left wing Congress from mandating we buy only hybrid cars in the future by declaring a $10,000 tax on all other cars or a $5,000 tax on any gun purchase ? Could they impose a 50% sales tax on any fast food purchase ?

    Mitch stop cheering because a right wing congress could bystep the Constitution by imposing a $10,000 tax on anyone who has an abortion or anyone wanting a permit for a demonstration.

    Does the Constitution mean anything at all anymore ? Do we have any personal freedoms or rights if everything is now at the whim of the government ?

  48. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    The insurance companies require a lot more paperwork and refiling than government insurances HiFi, and their administrative costs are a lot higher as well. What sort of businessman are you who thinks supply comes before demand? What I get from you and RelFan is that all you care about is your own access to care without understanding that people like you can’t support the system. Why would you want to deny health care to people so you don’t have to wait a few more days for an appointment? Are you really that selfish? The only sort of appeal you seem able to understand is one that is solely self-serving. So, a large share of funding for our system is from the government. Cut that out and the whole thing collapses and that means no health care for you either. Wasting billions of health care dollars to deny and cancel coverage and exorbitant executive salaries isn’t affordable and would be better spent by building more medical schools to supply the increased demand. Medical schools have always had much greater demand than supply so there won’t be a problem filling the slots. Maybe we could even get the nursing school reopened at HSU.

  49. Just Middle Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    But forget about declining government service and rising taxes for the working class. The government can send drones to kill anybody at anytime. And the government can TAX the working class to bailout the Billionaire Banksters. What’s to keep a millionaire Congress from mandating that we always pay even more taxes so the rich can get even richer? Does the Constitution mean anything at all anymore ? Do we have any personal freedoms or rights if everything is now at the whim of the government ?

  50. Smart 5th Grader
    June 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Hi Fear-Monger 12:06 “RefFan made a good point. With more people than ever using doctor offices service will suffer and we will have to wait longer than ever for appointments.”

    1.) RefFan is completely illiterate and an embarrassment to the American Educational system, I am sure you agree with him Hi Fear-monger.
    2.) RefFan’s logic is so flawed it would not pass the muster of a 5th Grade Debating class.

  51. High Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    No PJ, Medicare requires the worst paperwork of all. What makes you think the government insurance program will require less than the private insurance programs.

    And it is your typical style to accuse those of us opposed to mandatory insurance of wanting to “deny health care to people”. Trying debating more honestly in the future.

    As usual Factless 5th Grader, your post lacks substance only slams.

    After thinking about it I understated what the Supreme Court now allows. It isn’t just that the government can now put a higher tax on a regular car than a hybrid, they could tax you for not buying a hybrid even if you don’t own or need a car !

  52. Just Middle Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Bootstraps! We don’t need no Socialist Security nor Socialist Health Care. Survival of the fittest. The rich become richer because this is natural selection at work. The poor and weak trees must die to make room for the strong. The problem with the Libtards is they want the government to prop up the weak trees. The government merely exists to repel foreign invaders and keep the peace in society. Free trade with no wage nor import/export restrictions and presto! A truly free society.

  53. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Whats to keep a left wing Congress from mandating we buy only hybrid cars in the future by declaring a $10,000 tax on all other cars or a $5,000 tax on any gun purchase ? Could they impose a 50% sales tax on any fast food purchase ?

    As long as the tax is passed for the general welfare, the only regulating factor is the electorate. What constitutes the general welfare has been a source of debate since Hamilton and Madison gave contradicting interpretations in the Federalist Papers.

  54. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I received an email from someone criticizing the “Obamacare” title. She argues that Romney came up with the plan first and so he deserves the name.

    I expect that Obama will be hammering on that point over the next few months. He should invoke the Bush line against Kerry – did he vote for it before or after he supported it?

  55. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    You are completely wrong HiFi and just talking out your ass. Medicare and Medicaid have clear cut rules about what they will pay and not pay which is the same for all their “policyholders.” Private insurances have different tiers in their myriad plans which offer a multitude of different coverage so what is and is not covered and for how much makes it much more complicated for both providers and patients. They have the additional profit incentive to wrongly delay or deny payment of claims which requires doctors to write letters of appeal or write off the balance. What you know about health care delivery would fit easily in a cockroach backpack in one of your ghetto apartments.

  56. RefFan
    June 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Anon 12:30 quite makin assumptions that you know what I am saying. Do you have medical conditions that require immediate dr attention or else suffer till you can get some? My questions deal with a part of this bill that some ppl are wondering how others think it will play out.
    THEY ARE SIMPLE QUESTIONS JACK WAGON.

  57. RefFan
    June 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Dumb 5th grader, explain yourself! Just cuz i didnt go to college, went to work instead in the lumber industry doesnt give me a lesser say here than your critical ass

  58. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Medicare and Medicaid are the only insurances that don’t waste time and money trying to find a pre-existing condition or “mistake” on your application (forgot about some trivial illness or injury, for example) as an excuse to deny authorization and / or reimbursement for needed care.

  59. Smart 5th Grader
    June 29, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    RafFan. Many of the workers in the lumber industry are literate. You insult timber industry workers when you imply that to work in the Timber industry equals illiteracy and extremely poor critical thinking skills.

  60. justanothergoodoldboy
    June 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    “The insurance companies require a lot more paperwork and refiling than government insurances”. Like so much of the garbage on this site you are full of it. Medicare requires much more paper work in the way of SOAP’s, bulshit PART’s exams, and on and on. For much less money. If you change your address you need to refile 30+ page paperwork. With dead lines. Just middle finance is a perfect example of the foolish train of though practiced here.
    Most of you have no idea of what it takes to be able to practice medicine. An the frustration, because of insurance companies, to actually treat your patients the way they deserve to be treated.
    It will be way worse under Obamacare. Anybody who thinks this is an improvement is a fool. Anyone who voted for the idiot deserves what they get.

  61. Smart 5th Grader
    June 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    JustAnotherIlliterateAmerican 3:29 The Insurance have a Billion ($) reasons to deny people health care. I too believe that government programs can be inefficient but the private Health care insurance I have has a booklet, the part about “exclusions” is 5 times more pages than what they cover. Preditorial Capitalism is killing working people. The misinformation you spew can be heard on Rush Limbaugh’s show any day of the week. Are you blissful yet?

  62. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    Medicare billing is so simple it is done automatically by most provider computer systems Goodoldboy. You are another one who knows nothing about what he is ranting.

  63. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    The most time consuming paperwork process is,worker’s comp.

  64. High Finance
    June 29, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Oh bull 4.20pm. My worker’s comp report takes me 10 minutes every three months.

    I have a friend who is the office manager for a large medical practice. She calls you a liar 2.58pm, Medicare billing is the worst. Not only does it take longer, they take far longer to pay and they pay far less.

  65. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I have to concur that Medicare is slow. When I settle a personal injury case, it takes months, sometimes as much as a year, to get the final lien on the claim. So money which my client can use sits in my trust account for months. Mind you, I’m trying to pay them money and they won’t give me the damn lien amount!

    Thing is, I’m dealing with MSPRC, initials for a private company Medicare has outsourced. They haven’t sped things up, in fact they’ve slowed them down. The vaunted private sector efficiency doesn’t materialize when there’s no competition.

  66. Giggles
    June 29, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Last time I looked the Government mandates car seats for various size children and you have to buy those from private companies or face the wrath of the law.

    Same thing with car insurance… so folks stop fussing yourselves. There’s no telling what will happen with this, sit back & enjoy the ride.

    And besides, “Obama” copied most of it from Romney’s term as governor … which means Romney cannot really take shots at it without his film clips of him defending his program getting used against him.

    This just gets more amusing by the day.

  67. Eric Kirk
    June 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    Arguably, car insurance should be a prerequisite for the privilege of moving a two ton chunk of metal all over the public roadways, because you are a danger to others. The car seat law, ostensibly, protects children from irresponsible adults. But under quasi-libertarian principles of the “utilitarian” view of law, a mandate which protects an individual from him or herself is excessive government – otherwise known as “nanny state.” So this mandate can be distinguished from your examples. A more appropriate comparison would be seat-belt laws or helmet laws.

  68. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Slow doesn’t mean difficult. How long it takes an employer to fill out their work comp forms is irrelevant to how long it takes a medical practice to do the paper work required by work comp, even disregarding the followup reports and letters of appeal for denial of authorization, etc.

  69. Anonymous
    June 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm

    Maybe HiFi’s friend doesn’t know that private insurers administer Medicare so their speed of payment has nothing to do with govt inefficiency.

  70. SOmewhat HUMan
    June 30, 2012 at 12:55 am

    The Affordable Care Act is 900 pages long, 2,700 pages if you include footnotes and annotations. It should have been declared unconstitutional on ‘overburdensome’ grounds alone. The Supreme Court did not look at the details of the law. They ruled on the very narrow issue that it was Constitutional as a tax. I doubt if any single human on the planet has read all of it. Companies have hired stables of lawyers to try to figure out it’s requirements. It is the most sweeping attempt at social engineering ever attempted by government. It regulates everything from the content of menus in restaurants, to requiring employers to provide a breast pumping room for lactating employees. It creates a bureaucracy the likes of which the world has never seen, a bureaucracy that will decide what care will be given to whom, and at what cost. It sets forth exactly how much a care-giver can charge for everything from snakebite to frostbite. It spends forty billion dollars, over ten years, to solve a problem (the uninsured) that was costing four billion. It may have been sold as an attempt to insure those in the lower income bracket, but it morphed into a monstrous government over-reach that will effect every aspect of our lives. You wanted fundamental change? You got it.

  71. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 1:22 am

    Well I hope it includes treatment for the epidemic of hyperventilating and pantswetting that is now sweeping through the Tea Party crowd.

  72. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 7:34 am

    “It spends forty billion dollars, over ten years, to solve a problem (the uninsured) that was costing four billion. ”

    Yesterday’s paper cited that California alone spends $10 billion each year addressing the needs of the uninsured. My guess is your quote of $40 billion is also unreliable.

    I understand a concern about a large complex government program. However, I don’t understand why conservatives are OK with the status quo of the most expensive, ineffective socialized medicine of any developed country.
    Our current system of Emergency Room care for the uninsured dramatically drives up the cost of our premiums so those of us who have insurance see an increasing decline in the quality of care. I’ve never seen a realistic Republican solution to that problem – so year after years premiums sky rocket and bankrupt both private and public enterprises. Year after year conservatives say we have the world’s best medical care which is clearly not true if you look at health statistics of developed countries. It’s expensive and it’s not very good. So come up with a better solution.

  73. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 7:46 am

    “A more appropriate comparison would be seat-belt laws or helmet laws.” And even for those a simple case can be made that a “nanny” is needed because of how much it costs the taxpayers to treat the brain injured / paralyzed who become disabled and unable to care for themselves or pay for that care.

  74. High Finance
    June 30, 2012 at 7:56 am

    How unpopular is Obama Care ?

    Poll Favorable Unfavorable
    ABC/Wash Post 36% 52%
    Fox 39 49
    NBC/Wall St Jr 35 41
    AP-Gfk 33 47
    PEW 43 48

    http://pollingreport.,com/health.htm

  75. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

    A large percentage of those who view it unfavorably do so for just the opposite reason the rest do, i.e. they think it doesn’t go far enough. Only 27% of those who want ACA overturned think it goes too far, the rest think it doesn’t go far enough. I bet you also also think that everyone who doesn’t like Obama because he’s too conservative is going to vote for Romney.

  76. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 8:24 am

    USA Today / Gallup “”As you may know, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the entire 2010 health care law, declaring it constitutional. Do you agree or disagree with this decision?”

    All 46 to 46 agree.
    Ind 45 to 43 agree
    D 79 to 16 agree
    R 13 to 83 agree.

    http://www.pollingreport.com/health.htm

  77. Eric Kirk
    June 30, 2012 at 9:45 am

    There has also been several billion dollars in advertising against the bill. It will be the Republican rallying cry for the next couple of years, until the full benefits kick in.

    8:24 – not to split hairs, but there is a difference between agreeing with the court decision and liking the law.

    I did see some polling which indicated that if the mandate were out, the law would be very popular. Almost as popular as the public option, which at last count drew about 70 percent favorability.

  78. Eric Kirk
    June 30, 2012 at 9:47 am

    It is the most sweeping attempt at social engineering ever attempted by government.

    Not even close.

  79. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 10:01 am

    I didn’t say agreeing with the court decision and liking the law were the same thing. I made the point that most people who don’t like ACA don’t like it because it doesn’t go far enough. The majority want single payer / public option. These polls are a deceitful cover for our congress which is ignoring the vast majority desire for at least a public option in favor of major corporate campaign contributors.

  80. SOmewhat HUMan
    June 30, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Has anyone posting here, or anywhere else, attempted to read this sucker of a law? You can download it from the Congressional website if you have the time, and the space on your computer. Read ten pages here, ten pages there. Try getting through fifty pages of this aberration, and tell me what you think. Tell me what you would do as a business person who pays five or six grand a year, per employee, to provide health insurance for them, when you realize that you can drop that insurance and just pay a twenty-one hundred dollar fine, per employee, in lieu of providing that insurance. Thereby forcing your employees to give up their existing coverage, giving them no option but to choose from the government-provided menu of “bronze, silver, or gold coverage.” Tell me what you would think if you were running a restaurant and you find out you are required to list the caloric, sugar, and trans fat content of everything you offer. Tell me what you think if you are twenty-seven years old, active and fit, when you find out that you have to pay the same rate for health insurance as a fifty-year old, tobacco addicted, alcoholic with diabetes.

    The Affordable Health Care Act, at twenty-seven hundred pages in length, is not a law. It is a manifesto masquerading as a remedy. It is an authoritarian edict disguised in a cloak of good intentions. The architects of this bill may have correctly identified the problem, but, as usual, the fix is all wrong.

    Read at least some of this legislation, you clones. Until you do, you’re just spouting bullshit.

    BTW, I reject the Left/Right paradigm. It doesn’t exist. It is a media-created concept designed to divide folks. Labels are for canned soup, not human beings.

    “You dont get time
    To hang a sign
    On me…..” George Harrison

  81. SOmewhat HUMan
    June 30, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Mea culpa. I should not have called you all ‘clones’ while I was objecting to the labeling of people. Apologies all around.

  82. Eric Kirk
    June 30, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Just as bad as 911, right SH?

    10:01 – the same thing is true of “favorability” polls. The fact that you do not like Obama does not mean you’re going to vote for his Republican opponent. In fact, it doesn’t even mean you’re not going to vote for Obama. Yet they spend a lot of money on what seems to be useless polling. But it gives something to the talking heads to yammer about I suppose, and maybe that’s good for the economy if they’re being paid to yammer.

  83. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    It would be nice to have a fourth estate worthy of the special rights they are granted, but then who would pay their salaries?

  84. Eric Kirk
    June 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    John Cole isn’t afraid of the great conservative revival.

    http://www.balloon-juice.com/2012/06/29/you-just-keep-on-pushing-my-love-over-the-borderline/

    They are now in disarray. Half of them feel betrayed by Roberts, the other half feel betrayed by life in general. The message for liberals should not be to move on from this victory, but to press the advantage. Obviously, Obama wants to move on and talk about jobs and the economy, but for those of us in the rank and file, this decision is an unlimited ammo dump. Keep pressing the advantage, keep talking about the benefits that consumers will experience under the law, keep mocking the “socialism” and “unconstitutional” claims, and keep moving forward. Remember, this is easy turf. A couple years ago Republicans were arguing that crushing a child’s testicles was constitutional. Now they want to argue that denying your child health care when he has leukemia is constitutional. Go in for the fucking kill, liberals.

  85. High Finance
    June 30, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    8.15am “…. they think it doesn’t go far enough”

    Some do, but most of those who oppose do so because they think it goes too far. But if you have any reliable polls please show us.

    But I agree with you partly Eric, most people favor keeping the kids on until age 26 and allowing pre existing conditions. And the Republicans will move to make that part of the law as soon as President Romney & the Republicans get rid of the rest.

  86. Anonymous
    June 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Read Charles Blow HiFi

    “A lie is like a cat: you need to stop it before it gets out the door or it’s really hard to catch.

    This cat is already out, but let’s try to round him up, shall we?

    A New York Times/CBS News poll released early this month found that 41 percent of Americans thought that the entire law should have been overturned, while 27 percent thought only the mandate should have been overturned and 24 percent thought the whole law should have been kept intact.

    If you just took the numbers at face value, they would seem to support the Republican position. But let’s not. The same poll found that 37 percent of Americans believed the law went too far, while 27 percent said not far enough and 25 percent said about right.

    When you cross-reference the numbers, just over two-thirds of the people who wanted the law struck down thought it went too far. That’s only 27 percent of those polled. Suddenly, the claim that a majority of the public wanted the court to strike it down for overreaching evaporates.

    Slightly more than a quarter of those who thought the court should strike it down thought it was about right or wanted the government to go even further. Ever heard of single-payer?”

    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/07/new-poll-the-supreme-court-and-the-health-care-law/

  87. Eric Kirk
    June 30, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    HF – the Republican promises to repeal are pure PR. They know they can’t do it, and they really don’t want to – not the moderates anyway. They’ll trim away a couple of things, and maybe water down the mandate somewhat, and then tell you they gave it the college try, but Washington is so messed up, and yada, yada, yada. And that’s if they actually win the Presidency and Congress, but they’re as likely to lose seats in the Senate as gain and I give Romney maybe a 30 percent shot at defeating Obama – I think that’s generous.

    It’s here to stay. That’s why the hard right is wigging out.

  88. High Finance
    June 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    Baloney Eric, repeal is very possible if the Republicans take over the Senate and assuming Romney wins. Repeal may mean mostly just the mandate but the mandate would be toast.

    Since the charade of the “penalty” has been done away with and the Supreme Court has even labeled it a tax I understand that part only needs 51 in the Senate. Even some Democrats would vote to get rid of that part.

    If you think Romney only has a 30% chance, does that mean you’ll give me 2-1 odds ? Name the amount you’re willing to put up and let’s get it on !

  89. Thorstein Veblen
    June 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Sorry Eric, have to agree with hifi; its more likely that the gop wins seats in the senate and house, given the propensity of left/moderate voters to stay home, the dis-enfranchisement of voters in democratic districts, and the gazillion dollars available to corporate conservative candidates.

    and the problem with repeal of ‘parts’ of obamacare is that it won’t work, insurance companies can’t be required to cover more people for longer times or lifetimes and with pre-existing conditions unless somebody pays for it. Without the mandate, that pot is no longer there. So, we go back to what we’ve had in the past, or move toward medicare for all. How voters go will decide which.

  90. High Finance
    June 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Charles Krauthammer asked a good question today.

    If government can compel people to buy health insurance when they don’t want to, what can government not do anymore ?

  91. Thorstein Veblen
    June 30, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    Dumb question. Govt can already compel people to buy car insurance when they don’t want to. Whats the big deal?

  92. Eric Kirk
    July 1, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Thorstein – the insurance regs would remain in place unless there aren’t 40 Democrats to keep it in place.

    I would be fine with the mandate going and everything else staying in place. The insurance companies pull out of the business, and if 40 Democrats hold strong, the only solution would be to universalize Medicare as an option.

    But it’s not going to happen. The Republicans won’t do it, even if they have the opportunity, because it would generate chaos and they would be on the hook for it. They had the opportunity to do it at the Supreme Court. Roberts drew the short straw.

    As for the seats, Warren will probably defeat Brown, which even a sweep in Montana, NC, Missouri, and the other state I can’t remember, won’t be enough.

  93. Eric Kirk
    July 1, 2012 at 12:24 am

    Five Thirty Eight on the impact, if any, on Obama’s chances of reelection.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/in-health-ruling-relief-for-obama-but-a-blow-to-conventional-wisdom/#more-31616

    He argues that next week’s jobs report will have a much bigger impact, one way or another.

  94. Eric Kirk
    July 1, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Okay, on the Senate, there are currently 53 Democrats, 47 Republicans. Republicans have to net four.

    I count 7 vulnerable Democratic seats – MO, FL, MT, ND, NM, OH, VA. I think they will lose ND and probably MO. I’m certain they will hold NM and OH. I don’t know about MT, FL, or VA. So that’s potentially five gains in my view.

    I count 4 vulnerable Republican seats, IN, MA, ME & NV. I think the Republicans will probably hold IN, and lose ME & NV. MA is perpetually too close to call, though I really think Warren will pull it out despite her resume problem. That’s potentially 3 gains.

    Actually, I’m not predicting just yet. But here’s another rub. If Brown wins in Mass, he may not be willing to repeal. Certainly not if Warren comes close to beating him.

  95. Anonymous
    July 1, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Health care is a product that everyone uses throughout their life. Since very few people can afford to pay cash not having insurance often means the people who pay their medical bills pay for those who don’t. Its federal law signed by Reagan. Either people will be denied health care if they can’t pay (the GOP plan)..the insure pay for the uninsured (status quo) and health care becomes increasingly unaffordable or we mandate insurance purchase from the private market or single payer via taxes. ACA was a compromise to save the private insurance industry and their campaign contributions. If you don’t like the mandate and don’t want people dying because they cant afford healthcare you might prefer single payer. Is there another option?

  96. High Finance
    July 1, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Thorstein, there is a huge difference between having to buy car insurance and being forced to buy health insurance.

    The requirement to buy car insurance only comes if you want to buy a car. If you don’t have a car you don’t have to have car insurance. The health insurance requirement would be for everyone. Can you see the difference ?

    7.22am. Actually health care is far cheaper for most people than health insurance. You spend $6,000 a year on health insurance and unless you get cancer or a heart attack the insurance is a waste of money. That is why they call it insurance.

  97. Anonymous
    July 1, 2012 at 11:36 am

    And the reason most people who can afford insurance buy it is because almost everyone has an unaffordable illness or injury in their life and a very expensive end of life experience. What about those who can’t buy it or won’t buy it who suddenly need very expensive health care?

  98. Eric Kirk
    July 1, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Take Ohio out of the mix. I just checked the polls, and it’s looking like a cakewalk for Dem. Sherrod Brown.

  99. Anonymous
    July 1, 2012 at 11:50 am

    HiFi wants labor paid according to supply and demand which results in millions without enough to live on, much less pay for their health care or insurance and then he wants to let them die because they’re poor. It’s like a slow motion final solution to the glut of labor no longer needed by our betters.

  100. Jack Sherman
    July 1, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Half a century of planning communities for independent vehicle ownership makes cars mandatory for most Americans. Be my guest and attend a local courtroom hearing…the first few hours are consumed by unlicensed, uninsured drivers caught trying to get to work.

    We are driving further than ever to find work. Affordable housing is often affordable because of it’s inconvenient location.

    Despite what one thinks personally of Michael Moore, he allowed actual doctors to speak at length in his documentary “SICKO”.

    If government-paid doctors all earned $250,000/year plus bonuses for exemplary results, Humboldt would have the number of physicians it needs, despite the huge number that might actually desire our rural quality of life AND $250,000/yr.! As citizens fear/avoid the cost of healthcare, increasing numbers of doctors are pressured to recommend unnecessary surgical procedures to maintain their expected lifestyle.

    Register the other half of Americans to vote and they’ll soon have universal health coverage.

    We read many stories about illness-related foreclosures….few seem to involve those with Medicare.

  101. Eric Kirk
    July 1, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    And the irony is that the majority of medical-cost bankruptcies happen with people who are “insured.”

  102. Eric Kirk
    July 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Some interesting notes in the Sunday morning yack show fallout.

    Chuck Schumer, while happy about the results, says that Justice Roberts broke his word on the Commerce Clause ruling.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/chuck-schumer-john-roberts-broke-promise-commerce-clause-health-care-wickard-filburn-gonzales-raich.php?ref=fpb

    The Republican leadership is dodging questions about whether Romneycare was a tax.

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/romney-complicates-gop-push-to-label-obamacare-a-tax.php

    Mitch McConnell says that the 30 million lacking coverage are “not the issue.”

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/07/mcconnell-coverage-for-30-million-uninsured-not-the-issue.php?ref=fpb

    I have no idea why it would work this way, but support for the law is actually up since the ruling came down.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/poll-support-for-obamacare-up-after-supreme-court?ref=fpb

    CBS reports that Roberts went back and forth before settling on his position. He was under intense pressure from the conservative block apparently.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3460_162-57464549/roberts-switched-views-to-uphold-health-care-law/

    And some are wondering if Justice Roberts is the new Souter.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/wrath-cons-chief-justice-john-roberts-bashed-traitor-casting-key-vote-uphold-health-care-law-article-1.1104064

  103. tra
    July 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    And then there’s Paul Ryan, who says we should repeal Obamacare because it’s an insult to God Almighty.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/paul-ryan-bashes-obamacare-because-rights-come-from

  104. God
    July 2, 2012 at 7:15 am

    No, Paul, wrong again.

  105. Thorstein Veblen
    July 2, 2012 at 8:27 am

    Always interesting to hear what God has to say.

    Look, I’m reluctant to defend mandatory health insurance, ala Romneycare. Lets face it, it sucks, me and HiFi agree on that.

    But, back to car insurance as a model. We do require everyone who drives a car to have car insurance. Similarly, we now require everyone who uses health care services to have health insurance. See, they are the same thing, try ‘choosing’ not to see a doctor or get a prescription, ever.

    But, lets suppose that we could adjust our system so that anybody who doesn’t get any health care services ever doesn’t have to get insurance. The fly in that ointment is that we also require everyone to get health care services, like immunization from measles and polio and other bad diseases that are just waiting to make a comeback. Thinking is that those who don’t get health care still affect the rest of us, even aside from the issue of cost.

    And even if you don’t want health care services yourself, you still will be sent to the emergency room when your heart stops after a meal at Carls Jr., because you will be out of it and the bystanders around you probably won’t let you just lay there and die in the parking lot. They’ll call 911 and the fire department or an ambulance will come and you will be resuscitated despite your wish for no health care. So even if you choose not to have any health care, its hard to see how you can go thru your whole life without any.

    Now, to costs. We make everyone get car insurance because uninsured drivers were being subsidized by the insured drivers. Premiums for car insurance were getting exorbitant due to the people who didn’t have it, and then crashed into insured drivers. And insured drivers would still have liability when they crashed into uninsured drivers. It wasn’t fair, the burden of cost was borne by responsible people who had insurance.

    Health care is kinda the same. Someone is paying for the health care services provided to the uninsured. Turns out that its us responsible people who do have health insurance. Go to St. Jo’s and ask how much it costs for a procedure, and you’ll get a different answer depending on if you have insurance, if you don’t have insurance but can pay for the procedure out of pocket, or if you are low income and can’t afford it. Guess what, right now those with insurance are subsidizing those without, and we are doing it thru our deductables, our premiums, or our coverage. The health insurance companies take their cut for handling the subsidy which results in even higher premiums. And all without any oversight or regulation.

    I agree that Romneycare and the individual mandate sucks. Also agree that our former health care system that brought us to this point sucks. So, maybe we should look to other models of how to make sure everyone can access affordable health care services.

  106. High Finance
    July 2, 2012 at 10:33 am

    The difference is that you can choose not to have a car (and many do). Government is not mandating car insurance it is mandating car insurance if you want to own a car.

    To make the two cases identical you would have to have the government madate car insurance for every person because you might drive a car in an emergency.

  107. Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 at 10:55 am

    MIGHT drive a car doesn’t equal WILL use medical care. Everyone WILL use medical care whether they have insurance or not.

  108. Just Middle Finance
    July 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Bootstraps! Survival of the fittest! We need the government to require auto insurance to protect private property. Why have a government if they don’t protect my wealth? This is why we have a standing army and a well armed police force. To protect wealth from harm, destruction, theft, etc. Why should my family pay for some other child’s education and health care? I pay for my family’s health care and private education because we are the fittest and we will survive. Other families can pay their own way.

  109. Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Another note on the auto insurance analogy…car insurance is for the car, not the driver, and the mandatory part is to protect the property of others. Insuring your own property is not required. Driving while unlicensed or uninsured is a crime. Using health care without paying for it is not a crime, but it should, and now does, carry a penalty. Everyone uses health care and benefits from a healthy populace. It’s a no-brainer that health care will be cheaper when everyone has insurance and which is why, in a more perfect world, we would have universal single payer.

  110. tra
    July 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Rush Limbaugh on Obamacare: ““What we now have is the biggest tax increase in the history of the world.”

    So, that’s the claim. Now here are the facts:

    * The taxes included in Obamacare will amount to about about half a percent, the same size as George H.W. Bush’s 1990 tax hike.

    * Meanwhile, Reagan’s 1982 tax hike to more than three-quarters of a percent of GDP.

    * Among all major tax increases since 1950, Obamacare comes in as only the tenth-largest.

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/07/no-obamacare-not-biggest-tax-increase-history

  111. tra
    July 2, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Nevertheless, I’d be willing to bet that we’ll keep hearing this “largest tax increase in history” claim, over and over, in the months ahead.

    Facts only matter to those who are willing to consider them, and there are many who take a more “faith-based” approach to politics.

    And that includes at least a few million hopelessly deluded, intellectual stunted, self-described “dittoheads” who worship at the feet of Rush Limbaugh and accept his wild claims as if they were proven facts.

  112. Thorstein Veblen
    July 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    Ok, Mr. Fi, one last try.

    Go ahead and ‘choose’ not to have any health care ever. I personally will grant you an exemption from Romney/Obama Care mandates. Similarly, ‘choose’ not to have or drive a car, you are exempt from mandated auto insurance.

    I can’t say that you will ever drive or own a car, so you only need auto insurance when either of those events occur. But I am certain that you will use health care services at some point in your life, most likely when you are sick. Thats a really bad time to get insurance. And thats where our auto/health insurance examples diverge.

    I understand that you don’t like Romneycare or its spawn Obamacare, I don’t either. If you ‘choose’ to believe that the two mandates are different conceptually and in practice, well, I tried.

    If you have a better way to handle health care, fine, I’d like to hear it.

  113. Just Middle Finance
    July 2, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    Survival of the fittest!!!

  114. Eric Kirk
    July 2, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    TRA – they will if Romney doesn’t keep messing up their narrative.

    http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entries/top-romney-adviser-individual-mandate-penalty-not-tax

  115. High Finance
    July 2, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    10.55am Everybody will use medical care but most will not have a catastrophic event requiring major bills that will make health insurance a necessity.

    Factless 11.07am, you are a troll.

    Thorstein, again with the misstatement. There is a huge difference between health CARE and health INSURANCE. I had no health insurance from age 21 until age 38. During that time my entire health CARE costs were a total of $300.

    From age 38 on my insurance saved my family around $60,000 in medical bills but the cost of my medical insurance premiums for that time was around $180,000.

    A better way to handle health insurance is to give people a refundable tax credit on their health insurance premiums. Let people decide for themselves and with a credit they would have cheap insurance they can choose from the private sector. No hugely expensive government bureacracy would be necessary.

  116. Eric Kirk
    July 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I had no health insurance from age 21 until age 38. During that time my entire health CARE costs were a total of $300.

    That is the age level, particularly of men, who may be hit with the penalties. They’re immortal at that age. Nothing will happen to them. I was there.

  117. Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    When you don’t have health insurance your access to medical care is often restricted to the ER whose prices are catastrophic for most people, HiFi. You are so out of touch with regular people, apparently as out of touch as Romney who said kids should just borrow from their parents to pay for college. How many people do you think are without insurance who could afford to buy it? Where are they supposed to get the monthly premiums in order to get the refund? No need for any bureaucracy in HiFi’s world where the last dog standing wins.

  118. Thorstein Veblen
    July 2, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    “A better way to handle health insurance is to give people a refundable tax credit on their health insurance premiums. Let people decide for themselves and with a credit they would have cheap insurance they can choose from the private sector. No hugely expensive government bureacracy would be necessary. ”

    Maybe, in a perfect world. Market solutions might work, but only if we had a market. Which would entail breaking up the big 3 health insurance companies Or setting up somewhat more competitive exchanges like the Romney/Obama program is supposed to do next year.

    What we have now is kind of like the mafia running our health care system. At least with Romney/Obama Care, there might be some oversight and lessening of the worst abuses. Corporatocracy and government might suck us citizens dry a little slower.

    Free market solutions in a world without free markets just keeps us digging our hole deeper and deeper.

  119. Smart 5th Grader
    July 2, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    “Free market solutions in a world without free markets just keeps us digging our hole deeper and deeper.”
    Wow! Thank you!!!

  120. Anonymous
    July 2, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    The Reichwing solution would be a boon to Medicare and Social Security with more poor people dying before they can collect much in the way of SS and MC, if any.

  121. Jack Sherman
    July 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    A better way to handle health care is universal coverage…like the rest of the industrialized world proved long ago.

  122. Eric Kirk
    July 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Again, I think that yesterday’s jobs report will have much more impact on Obama’s chances of re-election than the health care decision. Fortunately, he’s up against a pretty lame candidate.

  123. mresquan
    July 7, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Eric Kirk says:
    July 7, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    “Again, I think that yesterday’s jobs report will have much more impact on Obama’s chances of re-election than the health care decision. Fortunately, he’s up against a pretty lame candidate.”

    And a lame candidate who signed health care legislation in the state he governed which is even more progressive than the one passed through by Obama. This situation is too reminiscent of 2004 when the incumbent Bush had an incredibly low support rating,yet his opponent was so stunningly uninspiring that he managed to lose the election.

  124. Thorstein Veblen
    July 8, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Well, yeah, a lame candidate. But one with a gadzillion dollars on his side, when you count the campaign plus all the PACs. It got this lame candidate thru the primaries to the nomination.

  125. High Finance
    July 14, 2012 at 7:38 am

    If Eric is right about “yesterday’s jobs report” then Obama is toast.

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