#126  
Old 06-29-2012, 11:20 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Or that Scalia was just too damn scary for him to go along with.
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  #127  
Old 06-30-2012, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF View Post
I think if we're going to impute long-term political motives to the Chief Justice, it's more likely that he wanted to be on the right side of history.
Yeah, I agree. He saw the writing on the wall, and did not want to go down in history as a latter-day Roger B. Taney.

Although they have lifetime appointments, the Supremes are not immune to pressure. Roberts knew full well that American politicans (among them Richard Nixon, no less) had been trying to pass some form of universal health care since Theodore Roosevelt. Finally some vague version of the same is passed, and he, Roberts, is going to go down in history as the man who stamped his foot and said No?

:nope:
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  #128  
Old 06-30-2012, 01:53 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Yes, I think the reference to Taney* is apt. Taney's fate is the one that justices, especially Chief Justices or would-be Chief Justices, seem to fear the most. Even discounting the probably-apocryphal arrest warrant. Justice Scalia wrote about exactly that fear of an irredeemably tarnished legacy in 1992, in his opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part in Planned Parenthood v. Casey:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalia, J., dissenting
There comes vividly to mind a portrait by Emanuel Leutze that hangs in the Harvard Law School: Roger Brooke Taney, painted in 1859, the 82d year of his life, the 24th of his Chief Justiceship, the second after his opinion in Dred Scott. He is all in black, sitting in a shadowed red armchair, left hand resting upon a pad of paper in his lap, right hand hanging limply, almost lifelessly, beside the inner arm of the chair. He sits facing the viewer, and staring straight out. There seems to be on his face, and in his deep set eyes, an expression of profound sadness and disillusionment. Perhaps he always looked that way, even when dwelling upon the happiest of thoughts. But those of us who know how the lustre of his great Chief Justiceship came to be eclipsed by Dred Scott cannot help believing that he had that case--its already apparent consequences for the Court, and its soon to be played out consequences for the Nation--burning on his mind. I expect that two years earlier he, too, had thought himself "call[ing] the contending sides of national controversy to end their national division by accepting a common mandate rooted in the Constitution.
*For those wishing to sound informed at cocktail parties, pronounce it as Tawnee as in "dawn" and not "Taynee."

Last edited by ChuckF; 06-30-2012 at 02:30 AM.
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  #129  
Old 06-30-2012, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

See, this is why I read an entire textbook on US history. I still had to look it up in Wikipedia, because i had forgotten the name, but at least now I knew what it was about. So I hope you're happy, you bastards for making me do all that work! :shakecon: :eagletear:
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  #130  
Old 06-30-2012, 03:05 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Watser? View Post
See, this is why I read an entire textbook on US history. I still had to look it up in Wikipedia, because i had forgotten the name, but at least now I knew what it was about. So I hope you're happy, you bastards for making me do all that work! :shakecon: :eagletear:
If you really want to read something cool not just about American history, but from American history, I recommend the transcripts of the Lincoln/Douglass debates of 1858

You may recall that recently, before yesterday's Supreme Court decision, Obama timidly peeped up about how a Supreme Court ruling, even if adverse to the health care law, would not necessarily be the final word on the matter. The right wingers immediately pounced upon him and of course he shut the fuck up, as he always does when confronted with even a lick of opposition. I believe he even issued a craven statement affirming that the Supreme Court has the Last and Final World on Everything.

Just read, in the Lincoln/Douglass debates, Abraham Lincoln ripping Roger B. Taney a new asshole and basically telling him, and the Supreme Court, that they could go fuck right off with their Dred Scott decision. Read him asserting that Taney and the Democrats (read: Rethuglicans of that era) were in a conspiracy to nationalize slavery. Oh, for leadership again! Read him telling the public that some asinine Supreme Court decision was not a thus saith the lord and how important predecessors like Jackson and Jefferson agreed with him on that point.

These debates are so interesting on so many levels. Lincoln's humor, humanity, brilliance and his cunning nature shine through. Douglass reveals himself as an odious little bitch, an ugly and vulgar racist and a prevaricating swine with a Napoleonic complex. :yes: Great human and political drama. Not to be missed for history buffs.

I also highly recommend Lincoln's Cooper Union address of 1860, a tightly reasoned legal brief combined with poetry. Not often does one see such a combination.
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  #131  
Old 06-30-2012, 02:52 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Top it off with Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in 3D.
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  #132  
Old 07-01-2012, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Roberts switched views to uphold health care law

Quote:
Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations.

Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said. Ironically, Justice Anthony Kennedy - believed by many conservatives to be the justice most likely to defect and vote for the law - led the effort to try to bring Roberts back to the fold.
Some of the unnamed sources suggest that Roberts was swayed by the librul media as he wrote the decision striking down the mandate. Others claim he balked at the "historical consequences of a ruling striking down the landmark health care law" and at the new law he'd be making since there was no precedent for striking down the mandate.

Anyways much dramz and sour grapes. The article is long but worthwhile.
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  #133  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:57 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Dear Rick Scott: Die in a fire, kthx.

Quote:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott now says Florida will do nothing to comply with President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and will not expand its Medicaid program. The announcement is a marked changed after the governor recently said he would follow the law if it were upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Florida is not going to implement Obamacare. We are not going to expand Medicaid and we're not going to implement exchanges," Scott's spokesman Lane Wright told The Associated Press on Saturday. Wright stressed that the governor would work to make sure the law is repealed.

Scott told Fox News the Medicaid expansion would cost Florida taxpayers $1.9 billion a year, but it's unclear how he arrived at that figure.

Scott said the state will not expand the Medicaid program in order to lower the number of uninsured residents, nor will Florida set up a state-run health exchange, a marketplace where people who need insurance policies could shop for them.
This could also go in my Florida thrad but I'm too lazy to find it.

It is never irrelevant to mention that Rick Scott was involved in some kind of medical fraud before becoming governor, especially at times like these.
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  #134  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:08 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Rick Scott is such a corrupt Governor he's making Jeb Bush look good by comparison.
Give healthcare to the poor? Screw that. Force the poor to pay for a mandatory drug test because all poor people do drugs? Sure why not, so long as the money goes to his wife's company.

Luckily it was ruled unconstitutional, but not before his forced testing showed welfare recipients are less likely to use drugs than non-welfare recipients.
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  #135  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

"John Roberts has made his decision; now let him enforce it."
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  #136  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:23 AM
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What else has the Commerce Clause been used for?

What other important legal decisions or SC challenges have had this Clause as its underpinning?
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  #137  
Old 07-02-2012, 01:02 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

In California the commerce clause is used by the Feds to ignore state medical marijuana or decriminalization because they claim by changing the illegal pot economy in California it affects prices and sales in nearby states, thus bringing it into commerce clause jurisdiction.
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  #138  
Old 07-02-2012, 01:26 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Ok, so:
The Congress shall have Power . . . To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes. - U.S. Const. Art. I., sec. 8.
The commerce power is one of the most important sources of Congressional authority, and Congress uses it all the time for all sorts of reasons. It has been used to regulate steamboat traffic (Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824)), employment standards (United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941)), monopolies (the Sherman Antitrust Act, 15 U.S.C. 1 et seq.), one dude growing some wheat (Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)), civil rights (Heart of Atlanta Motel Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964)), growing pot (Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005)), and all kinds of other stuff. The commerce clause does not provide Congress with authority to regulate the possession of guns near schools (United States v. Lopez, 514 U.S. 549 (1995)) or violence against women (United States v. Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)). A huge portion of what Congress does is done under the authority of the Commerce Clause, and the history of commerce clause interpretation is an important part of American legal history.

Boiled down and simplified, under the Commerce Clause, Congress has the power regulate three things under the Commerce Clause:
  1. Channels of interstate commerce: things like waterways, roads, telephone lines, and fiber optic cables.
  2. Instrumentalities of interstate commerce: things like boxcars and trucks and engineers and truckdrivers.
  3. Activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even if those activities occur entirely within a single state: things that (1) occur within a single state but have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, such as the right of an individual to join a union or (2) are small or local activities, but, in cumulative effect, have or would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.

That cumulative effects one is the most often contested. That is Wickard, which was decided by the court during World War II, after the New Deal, and after the Court's come-to-Jesus moment.

However expansive that the power articulated in Wickard may seem, Congressional power under the commerce clause is not unlimited. Congress cannot rely on substantial effects to regulate non-commercial activity that occurs entirely within a single state. Things like possession of a handgun (Lopez) and violent crime are not economic activities for purposes of the Commerce clause. So when a Congressional action in exercise of the power to regulate commerce relies on a substantial effects theory, the question frequently comes down to whether the subject of the regulation is an economic activity. That's what happened here and the majority held that not purchasing health care is not an economic activity.

Neither can Congress use the commerce power to overcome the sovereign immunity of the states, by creating a cause of action for money damages against a state. So, for example, Congress can use the Commerce Clause to prohibit racial discrimination by private intrastate entities (Heart of Atlanta) it can't use the commerce power to enable private persons to sue a state for money damages because the state engaged in racial discrimination. Seminole Tribe v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44 (1996). In other words, the Commerce power can't be used to do an end-run around the tenth amendment.

Last edited by ChuckF; 07-02-2012 at 01:38 AM.
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  #139  
Old 07-03-2012, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

The problem is that Roberts wrote his opinion piecemeal. He was clearly sober when he wrote that the Commerce Clause didn't authorize the mandate, even in conjunction with the Necessary and Proper Clause. But then he stopped writing! Sometime thereafter he got all gooned up on epilepsy meds, reached the preposterous conclusion that the mandate was a constitutional exercise of the taxing power and wrote it up.

After drying out again, Roberts correctly wrote that ACA's Medicaid expansion was an unconstitutionally coercive exercise of the spending power. However, he then went on a full-blown, straight-up epilepsy meds bender and decided that the Medicaid expansion was severable. :drunk:

If only Roberts had done all his writing while sober, American might not be the wild-eyed socialist shithole it is now. :sadnana:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF View Post
The merits ruling that the mandate is not a constitutional exercise of the commerce power is an important data point in terms of commerce clause jurisprudence. But it doesn't really amount to some huge new limitation on Congressional power to regulate.
I agree. The big limitation on the commerce power is found in the language "The power to regulate commerce presupposes the existence of commercial activity to be regulated." That ain't much of a limitation, is it now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF View Post
But Roberts endorsed an alternative basis for the Congressional power that was presented by the government all along.
Mad props to the government for continuing to pursue it, though. The first judge to rule on the taxing power argument came this :rarrow: :larrow: close to saying the government's lawyers should be disbarred for advancing such a preposterous and fraudulent contention. A bunch of legal scholars recommended dropping the argument altogether. Following that advice would have been an epic blunder, as things turned out.
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  #140  
Old 07-03-2012, 02:21 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Doctor SavageTherefore neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems."

Why thank you Dr. Savage for your enlightening medical diagnosis, I await your other diagnosis from something you heard others say. While some anti-epileptic drugs can cause impaired functions (such as barbiturates and benzos) a number of other classes of drugs are currently being used as front line treatment for epilepsy that cause little to no mental impairment, replacing it with physical symptoms like swelling hands and feet. Perhaps Roberts fingers got too fat and he hit the wrong keys while typing his opinion.

With a girlfriend who's on a couple anti-epileptic drugs for pain management I can tell you I constantly hear "If I have to take these many pills, they should be getting me high!"

Dear Dr. Savage,
Did you know light sensitivity can be a sign someone is on mind altering drugs. You seem very squinty, is there anything you would like to tell us?
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  #141  
Old 07-03-2012, 02:40 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari View Post
Dear Dr. Savage,
Did you know light sensitivity can be a sign someone is on mind altering drugs. You seem very squinty, is there anything you would like to tell us?

MMdocsavage01b.gif
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  #142  
Old 07-03-2012, 03:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrotherMan View Post
But what about anecdotes like one I read just the other day? A guy breaks his ankle and spends a few days in the hospital. You know what his bill was? $70,000. That's 3 or 4 small cars. That's half a small house. For a broken ankle.
In Sydney that will get you a nice front porch. I'm not joking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by "Ladyshea
Mom's ER visit for a broken finger in NOLA? $1500.00 for cash people, 850.00 just for the ER facility (not the doctor or pharmacy or x-ray). Medicare paid the hospital 8.00 for that. Not 80.00, but 8.00. And the hospital took that 8.00 "as agreed"
My darling wife's (Anastasia Beaverhausen on this august forum) visit to the ER + 3 or 4 GP visits + X-Ray + ultrasound for a severely twisted ankle including possible ligament damage? $0. I love socialism.
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  #143  
Old 07-03-2012, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Maturin View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckF View Post
But Roberts endorsed an alternative basis for the Congressional power that was presented by the government all along.
Mad props to the government for continuing to pursue it, though. The first judge to rule on the taxing power argument came this :rarrow: :larrow: close to saying the government's lawyers should be disbarred for advancing such a preposterous and fraudulent contention. A bunch of legal scholars recommended dropping the argument altogether. Following that advice would have been an epic blunder, as things turned out.
Can someone explain to me just what this tax is a tax on? Maybe I just don't understand how taxation works, but I have long been under the impression that a tax is on something. You know, like on property, income, financial transactions, etc. What exactly is this new tax a tax on? :confused:
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  #144  
Old 07-03-2012, 03:40 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

I'm starting a new thread. About healthcare. and stuff...
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  #145  
Old 07-03-2012, 03:46 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angakuk View Post
(snip)
Can someone explain to me just what this tax is a tax on? Maybe I just don't understand how taxation works, but I have long been under the impression that a tax is on something. You know, like on property, income, financial transactions, etc. What exactly is this new tax a tax on? :confused:
You get taxed for things you don't use all the time, just not at the federal level. You get taxed for living in a certain school district, to support schools you don't/can't use. Even private schools benefit from your taxation.

In this case, you get taxed for living in the US, to support a health insurance you don't use. Or buy insurance from a private carrier, and don't get taxed.
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  #146  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:04 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

I took Angakuk to be asking what, exactly, is being taxed -- what activity, property, or whatnot -- and not what the tax is being used for.

Though I think the underlying assumption that you have to do or own something specifically in order for a tax to be levied is inaccurate; a poll tax is just levied per living person, innit?
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  #147  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

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But Roberts endorsed an alternative basis for the Congressional power that was presented by the government all along.
Mad props to the government for continuing to pursue it, though. The first judge to rule on the taxing power argument came this :rarrow: :larrow: close to saying the government's lawyers should be disbarred for advancing such a preposterous and fraudulent contention. A bunch of legal scholars recommended dropping the argument altogether. Following that advice would have been an epic blunder, as things turned out.
Can someone explain to me just what this tax is a tax on? Maybe I just don't understand how taxation works, but I have long been under the impression that a tax is on something. You know, like on property, income, financial transactions, etc. What exactly is this new tax a tax on? :confused:
First, the administration positioned this as not being a tax, but being an extension of the Commerce Clause. IMHO, that is what it is - and under a less rightwing Court, that is exactly what it would have been decided.

Second, the attorneys for the administration had three points of constitutionality they wanted to argue. The third point was that even if it were a tax - as its detractors claim - then it is still constitutional. That is the point that SC Justice Roberts agreed on. Basically, the administration did a bit of jiu jitsu with the Court: "let's assume you're right about it being a tax. So what? We have the power to tax."

Third, it is not the "largest tax increase in history". People who repeat that are either stupid, or too lazy to look it up -- probably both. The largest tax increase in history using inflation-adjusted dollars, was Reagan's tax increase in 1982. More info here as Politifact shoots down this tired, ragged rightwing urban legend:
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-me...ase-us-histor/

Fourth, in this society, if you are hurt or sick and present yourself for care at a hospital, there is a legal requirement that you receive treatment. But people who don't pay for that treatment are abusing the system. The costs they incur are paid for by the rest of us - in terms of increased healthcare premiums, tax dollars used to pay for their care, etc. To make it worse, people in that situation usually wait until their condition is very far gone and very expensive to fix. They do this, because they are trying to avoid bills they cannot pay. But this is more expensive, instead of dealing with the problem in the early stages when treatment would be far cheaper.

Fifth, this is not a penalty for not doing something, because such people *ARE* doing something. They are acting as free riders in our society, and especially on our healthcare system. That's a deliberate act on their part. And it's a decision that imposes costs on others, in the form of increased taxes and higher insurance premiums, since free riders will receive the benefits but without paying the cost. It's a form of public theft, actually. And it's no different from someone who decides not to pay the renewal fees for the license tabs for their car or truck. Both situations involve a decision *not* to pay for something which equates to a willful decision to become a free rider on some publicly provided service. This is a tax on free riders for their deliberate decision, their deliberate act, to be a free rider in our healthcare system. And I have no problem calling it a tax. Or a ticket.
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  #148  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:43 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

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Can someone explain to me just what this tax is a tax on?
It's a tax on going commando with regard to health insurance, or "a tax on not obtaining health insurance," as C.J. Roberts described it.

The most obvious construction of the mandate is as a requirement to buy health insurance. That construction was what the government was trying to salvage by arguing that the mandate was a proper exercise of the commerce power.

The Commerce Clause argument didn't fly, so the question became whether the mandate could be construed as "a tax on those without insurance" and upheld as a proper exercise of Congress' authority "to lay and collect Taxes." That interpretation doesn't need to be the most natural one to carry the day; it need only be "fairly possible."

According to Roberts, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan, the tax interpretation is indeed a reasonable one. After all, the provision is found in the Internal Revenue Code, the money is collected by the IRS and the amount is determined with reference to income tax filing status, taxable income, number of dependents, etc.

It didn't matter that Congress called the mandate a "penalty" (which the taxing power does not authorize) rather than a tax. It didn't matter that Congress failed to cite the taxing power anywhere in the ACA. The mandate had to be upheld as valid taxing power exercise if it was reasonable to construe it that way, which a majority concluded that it was.

Thus did the mandate come to be viewed as a provision that "makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income."
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  #149  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

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Fourth, in this society, if you are hurt or sick and present yourself for care at a hospital, there is a legal requirement that you receive treatment. But people who don't pay for that treatment are abusing the system. The costs they incur are paid for by the rest of us - in terms of increased healthcare premiums, tax dollars used to pay for their care, etc. To make it worse, people in that situation usually wait until their condition is very far gone and very expensive to fix. They do this, because they are trying to avoid bills they cannot pay. But this is more expensive, instead of dealing with the problem in the early stages when treatment would be far cheaper.
I know you know this already, but a lot of people don't seem to, so I think it's important to point out: Hospitals that receive federal funds are required to stabilize patients who present with emergent conditions. They'll stabilize you if you're having a heart attack, they'll probably set a broken bone. If you show up in an emergency room with a potentially cancerous tumor, you're not even going to get a biopsy, much less chemotherapy. You'll be told to follow up with an oncologist, and they can and will refuse to see patients who can't pay.

So for a lot of uninsured people, preventative care or early intervention wasn't even an option. They wouldn't have much choice but to live with it until it gets to the point that they end up in an ER.

As the provisions roll out, these things should improve significantly, though, and the people who are left will probably have a good percentage of irresponsible freeloading types; but at this point, I don't think it's fair to characterize the uninsured that way. (And note that the uninsured who do pay pay a hell of a lot more than anyone else does.)
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  #150  
Old 07-03-2012, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: SCOTAL Itch

As evidenced by the [thanks], our ol' friend D. Scarlatti has been looking in of late. Like most everyone else, he figured that the taxing power argument wouldn't succeed. Even so, big ups to him for foreshadowing the outcome of the ACA litigation back in March of 2010.
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