I was not surprised at all by the ruling yesterday, in my opinion there was a better than 50/50 chance that the Affordable Care Act was going to receive the stamp of approval from the SCOTUS. What I was surprised by was the means by which the result was reached. I thought the “Commerce Claws” was going to be cited as the basis for requiring someone to engage in commerce and purchase health insurance but instead it was ruled that ACA is a tax, and it falls within the Congress’s power to tax.
A few things jumped out at me more than others when reading articles and Robert’s and Scalia’s opinions since the ruling.
The ruling seems pre-determined. The result was known going in or shortly after this dance started. The time spent deliberating was likely not spent discussing the constitutionality of the law but how they can twist reality into a believable pretzel. I still think justice Kennedy was the swing vote, I believe if he would have voted to uphold the law, Roberts would have voted against it, knowing it would be upheld anyway. But when Kennedy voted to strike it down, Roberts went the other way.
The most dangerous thing is that now the definition of “tax” has been further broadened. It is now a penalty not only for an action, but a penalty for inaction. They can’t mandate that you buy insurance but they can tax you for not doing so. I am having a hard time seeing the difference.
Roberts is the “Chief Justice” and he very likely was looking at this not just in terms of constitutionality but as the head administrator of an institution. He may have been afraid of what would happen to the reputation/viability of the Supreme Court and the Federal government in general if such a high publicity law was struck down, especially by a narrow margin. I believe at least part of this ruling has to do with Roberts being a bureaucrat and protecting the institution of the federal government while biting his thumb at its true responsibilities which is protecting our freedom and rights. Much in the same way PSU and the Catholic Church tried cover up the wrong-doings of their members in the hopes of saving the institution from the controversy. Much like those instances the truth will eventually come out, even executive privilege can’t change facts.
With a ruling of 5-4 and Justice Roberts voting in favor of it, the vote was essentially decided by a single person; it might as well have been a 1-0 vote (only the delta matters). I can read the headlines and mental gymnastics now; Romney will get a boost in donations from people who believe he will fight to repeal Obamacare, right after he audits the Fed (hahaha). I don’t need to remind you that Obamacare was designed in the mold of Massachusetts’s Romney-Care. Of course we could make sure we vote in a conservative so the next justice(s) are appointed as conservative(s) by a conservative president. Except Roberts was appointed by the conservative (lol) George W. Bush. I can only speculate, but if this ruling had come out say 3-4 months ago, Ron Paul would have become a more viable candidate to the people outside of his dedicated 10% that do not support Obamacare.
Some random thoughts/questions?
• If I choose not to vote for either of the evil emperors running for Fuhrer in November can I be taxed/fined/penalized for my inaction?
• When is biometric info like your BMI going to become a requirement on govt ID or other filing system similar to a W4 followed by the “fat tax”?
• If I go to a Chinese Buffet and I see an overweight person eating what I deem excessive quantities of food, can I “cut him/her off” because we are now all “in this together”?
• Can I refer to my next speeding ticket as a “tax”, and my School/Property Taxes as “penalties”?
• How is this not simply coercion? The definition being the act of gaining compliance through the use of force and/or intimidation. If any entity other than govt did this, it would not be legal. So is if is only legal because of who is committing the act, how is it not immoral?
• Can renters have taxes/penalties/fines levied against them for not being homeowners if it is decided that such a tax/penalty/fine would improve housing and be beneficial to the public?
• What is going to happen when an incident similar to the “Boston Tea Party” occurs? Remember, that was an assault and destruction of property; from the perspective of the British (or any other oppressive govt) this would be considered an act of terrorism.
Liberty/freedom is your 16 year old daughter; she is tall, fit, smart and beautiful. Politicians/Govts are the virile 17 year old boys that go to high school with her. He acts nice, he tells her how smart and pretty she is. He says he likes “just hanging” out with her and she thinks he likes her for “her mind” and he’ll wait until she is ready. Don’t kid yourself, all of them have only one goal, to f%#k your liberty. What are you going to do about it?
Justice Marshall was quoted as saying “the power to tax is the power to destroy”; he was referencing that if govt had unlimited power to tax, it could levy taxes to the point of destroying whatever it chooses. Here it is taxing choice/freedom, in the hopes of destroying it.
poof, it’s gone…
Harry, my personal interest is in how this effects US expats. I wonder how I’ll find suitable health insurance in another country? What happens if I move to Chile, spend a year there, qualify for *their* version of nationalized health care, and so don’t buy insurance? o I get fined by the IRS? Wouldn’t that be rich…
All of this is to say I doubt the plan is well thought out. I wish it were at least possible for the SCOTUS to reject a law based on incompleteness, but I did hear Judge Roberts mention something to the effect that it wasn’t the Court’s purview to decide whether a law was objectively “good”, that was a mater for the electorate. All the Court could do was establish whether or not it was Constitutional. Although I don’t favor the outcome in this case, I do respect the principal.
I disagree that the decision now revolves around electing Mittens in the hope he’ll throw out the AHCA or keeping Barry, who we might expect will continue to support it. Nether has the ability to repeal the Act single-handed. The battle will be fought (if at all) in Congress. Personally I don’t believe it will be fought. I believe this is the dog and pony show phase of the legislation and that it will now pass into obscurity as the MSM turns its jaundiced eye to some other pressing social concern.
I am beginning to envy you because you are an expat. Not knowing how they are gong to fleece you from outside teh country is about as good a problem as one can have, methinks. Not sure you will get away from the US, especially with things like schumer’s EXPATRIOT Act trying to make it harder for people to leave along with clawing back funds from people expatting in the last 10 years.
Not sure how effective suing you will go, unless Chile is willing to arrest/kidnap you and extradite you, seems ridiculous but these are crazy times.
I don’t think the bill was incomplete in the sense that all the issues were not worked out. I don’t think its goal was to fix or work out the issues. It was a transfer of wealth by the strong arm of govt. I think it is fair to call it incomplete because it wasn’t a 100% clover approved bill, i.e. single payer system.
I understand neither one can repeal the law, I was simply pointing out how many sheeple will use that false belief as a battle-cry for their respective candidate. Later in the day I heard that the Romney campaign had a donation splurge of over $1 million.
This election cycle is reminding me of an old Futurama episode “Ahead in the polls” where Jack Johnson was running against John Jackson and they were literally clones. Robot Nixon ended up winnng, if you have netflix instant, it is a must-see episode.
The US is too fascist for a single payer system. It has to get there the same passenger rail and transit did. First the companies get in bed with government. They get protected. To have protection government gets to set service and rates. The companies agree because government has favorable to them ideas of service and rates.
However… Elections are an advance auction on stolen goods as has been said. Each election cycle will promise new and better services for the same or less money. Eventually the protected companies go bankrupt. Then the government steps in to be the sole provider of a required service that the “free market” failed to provide. Never mind that the failure was because the free market wasn’t allowed.
That is where health care will go. Oh and a renewed attack on alternatives.
In a discussion with a cow-orker I could not get her to understand that:
1) Romney cannot repeal obamacare even if elected.
2) Romney and team R have no intention and no history of ever rolling back government power.
3) Romney says whatever he has to say to be elected.
4) There’s no difference between Romney and Obama.
Failed to do all four. But I succeeded with my theory of government take over of an industry illustrated above. Little victories I suppose.
Oh as far cartoons… The Simpsons had something similar. The two big ugly aliens ran against each other. No fundamental difference.
It is easy to forget that for decades the United States HAD a health care system that was the envy of the world. We had the finest doctors and hospitals, patients received high-quality, affordable medical care, and thousands of privately funded charities provided health services for the poor. I worked in an emergency room where nobody was turned away for lack of funds. People had insurance policies for serious health problems but paid cash for routine doctor visits.
–Ron Paul. The Revolution: A Manifesto
Words of wisdom.
It is going to get much worse from here.
I think a perfect analogy is forcing everyone to buy auto-maintenance insurance. It could cover engine rebuilds, oil changes, tire rotations etc. But what happens when people decide not to change their oil and their engine seizes, they are already “paid up” so it is no sweat off their sack. They will end up with a new car or rebuilt engine at someone else’s expense. But what is the alternative, everyone “needs” a car to to get to work, blah blah, blah greater good, blah… Essentially every car would be treated like a rential car. Why don’t we all have mercedes for life then, if someone else is paying I will take a Veryon.
Someone can choose to help someone or take responsibility for them (like having a child) but “they” are requiring us to be our brother’s keeper. It really is tragic.
Your statement “The ruling seems pre-determined…” seems exactly correct.
I believe every legislative bill and court ruling is more about the salesmanship and the flurry to decide who gets to vote against something unpopular to save face.
Consider the NFL for example. It is completely possible that an inside Cabal plans out the winners of the games years in advance, who could stop them?
Some maverick owners exist outside this “Old Money” but have a tougher time due to municipal funding issues and a high incidence of legal problems for their players and stadiums.
Our elite Cronies are in expansion mode right now. The best we can hope for is that they return to stability and image preservation mode soon and consolidate their gains.
After i wrote this and sent it to eric i watched some youtube videos of jydge napolitano’s reaction to the ruling and he said much the same thing, except in a muchbetter way. He said the decision was “result driven instead of process driven.”
It amazes me that people still dont see that the game is rigged.
There definitely seems to be a certain amount of that in the nfl. There arent many organizations more fascist/socialist than the nfl. The way they pool all their earnings together along with how billionaires use public money to build stadiums annoys me to no end.
I remember my pops going off about the “patriots” winning the first sb after 911. It’s a sport that the refs have too much influence on so it is bound to be orchestrated on some level.