Up for Debate: Supreme Court considers ObamaCare

Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 2:45am

What do you make of the prospect that the U.S. Supreme Court could severely undercut ObamaCare?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

147 Comments on this post:

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 4:11

This same nutty court ruled a Corporation is a "person".
Some justices are asking about "half a loaf" and sliced balogna.
Appointed for life, it's a good job.
ObamaCare is a 2,700 page bill that no one has read...or want's to.
For me, at 50, the "pre-existing condition" now exempting me from getting health insurance, is all I care about.
Anyone over 40 has, "a condition". That exemption has to change.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 4:22

Good morning, Nashville.

Once again, we can thank the Bush family for buggering the nation...the Bush Supreme Court appointments have been a disaster for American democracy....from Clarence Thomas refusal to recuse in Bush v Gore in 2000 to the present fiasco...these must the "activist judges" that the right-wingers are always complaining about, right?

Go ahead, strike down the law, you fascist jurists...if that happens, the voters may react by putting the Congress back into Democratic hands with a wide majority and by re-electing Barack Obama.

The voters are not quite as stupid as the Republican Party imagines them to be....give these right-wingers enough rope and they will surely hang themselves by November.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 4:37

I complained that Thomas should have recused, in Bush v Gore; to be fair, Elena Kagan should recuse on the Obamacare decision...she helped to craft the law, right?

I do not expect the Democratic USSC judges to have any more decency or virtue than the GOP judges, so Kagan will probably not recuse as she should....the right wingers should hammer & yammer about Kagan loudly...on the talk shows...on the floor of the House...in their newsletters etc.

The Dems did not bitch loudly enough about Thomas, in 2000...the GOP should not make that same mistake...they should demand Kagan's recusal on this case.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 4:43

The 2012 election will be a nail-biter. With gas approaching $5.00 a gallon and Obama's "Open Mike" sessions putting his hands on Russian President's legs, he could lose to Mitt "Magic Underware" Romney.

By: Ummm... on 3/29/12 at 4:47

So if the politically biased SCOTUS strikes down this law as unconstitutional, guess what? Medicare- a single-payer system - IS constitutional. Sooo...

What truly amazes me in this whole debacle is that the Republicans should want this system- it does what they've always claimed to prefer- leaves the matter of health care to private insurance companies. When the state forces you to buy auto insurance, it is to protect the other drivers you might injure- not to protect you. Apparently the Republicans don't understand that this law does the same thing- it protects the insured patients from having to pay higher prices as a result of the uninsured ones (who will be given care at the emergency room no matter what). I guess a defeat for Obama is a win for them, even if the country as a whole is the loser, as usual.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 4:50

The dullard Democrats have nobody but themselves to blame for the fact that most people are now calling The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act simply, "Obamacare". Even the acronym, PPACA, sucks. (Sounds like PP CACA?)

The Democrats need the services of a professional wordsmith who specializes in acronyms and mnemonic devices.....enter: Jingle James....at your service....just think JAMES:

J is for Jingles
A is for Acronyms
M is for Mnemonic devices
E is for Euphemisms
S is for Slogans

To contact Jingle James, call the NCP and ask about contacting "Loner"...free estimates, satisfaction guaranteed.

Never underestimate the power of a good acronym.....or the harm of a bad one.

By: govskeptic on 3/29/12 at 5:02

A large selling point of Obamacare to the American Public and quoted oh
so often by legislators and pundits was the insurance companies wouldn't
be able to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. Loud applaud by all!
What that doesn't mean is the cost to those individuals would be close to
that of all other rate payers. False, but never mentioned is what these
companies have told the government is those that are currently
uninsurable will be required to pay between $12-$14,000 annually for
this undeniable insurance. Some can afford that, , but my guess is that
90% won't be able to and will remain uninsured!

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 5:08

Gov...this is the AFFORDABLE Care Act....what you are claiming is heresy....if the government pronounces it affordable, dammit, it's affordable...get with the program, man.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 5:13

As I understand it, the court is looking at four issues. (1) the insurance mandate;(2) whether to put off decision until after mandate has taken effect; (3) whether the rest of the law must fall if the mandate is struck down and (4) whether the law coerces the states to expand Medicaid.

We all know about the mandate, does the Commerce Clause give the government legal ground...enumerated powers...etc. As for (2), Obama is arguing that the mandate is a tax, so it should fall under the Anti-Injunction Act of 1867 which bars court challenges until the tax becomes effective. Opponents say it isn't a tax, it's a penalty, thus that law doesn't apply.

For (3), Obama is arguing that if the mandate falls, only two other items should go with it: pre-existing conditions and fees for the ill. Obviously the opponents think the entire law is illegal.

For (4), the government is arguing that it has the right to to attach requirements to aid it provides. States think it's unduly coercive, yet they seem to forget that the Feds pay most of the costs.

So, that's it in a nutshell. What think you?

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 5:35

The people deciding this issue are all appointed "for life". They have full medical insurance up the ying-yang, until they drop dead.
All are over 50. Some approaching 80.
They couldn't get health insurnce in America if they lost their jobs.
So, they have NO idea what the average America goes thru.
Look at Lon Chaney who at 71 got a heart transplant. That's about $60,000, retail, even with a Pep Boy's discounted coupon.
All these lawmakers have free, lifetime, tax-payer paid, health insurance.
For whatever ails them. Heart, kidneys, lungs, prostate, cancers.
50% of the rest of America are on their own and out of luck.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 5:41

That isn't the issue, Darge. The issue is, when you break it down, does the government have enumerated powers or unlimited powers? I'd say there's a 99% chance the mandate is unconstiutional. Can the government regulate inactivity?

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 5:44

But don't misunderstand, I agree with your assessment, the health care system in the country is as dysfunctional as a Bravo reality show. I think there were good intentions with the law (reminds me about the roads in Hell...) and I think that if the pre-existing conditions portion is struck down, that's a major setback, but let's not pretend the law, and the process in passing it, wasn't flawed.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 5:52

Gd has broken it down nicely...good work, Gd....this is a complicated law and a very complicated court case....even the experts get confused over the details.

My basic question to our federal lawmakers is this; if a single payer system and universal health care is affordable and available to all Israeli citizens, then why isn't such a system good for the USA...I tho and vice versa...no?

The Israelis have one of the best, most generous national health care systems on the planet...nobody in Israel goes bankrupt because of a medical emergency. Seems like the Israelis ought to be sending Uncle Sam annual foreign aid payments, not the other way around....just sayin'.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 5:54

Big glitch: "I tho and vice versa...no?" S/H/B: "I thought that what was good for Israel is good for the USA and vice versa....no?"

Sorry about that....need my morning meds.

By: Ummm... on 3/29/12 at 6:01

What this discussion needs now is a bunch of deluded over-65 Republicans on Medicare screaming their opposition to "socialized medicine." (Which, of course, Medicare is.)

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 6:01

All I know is that "the system" is broken. Half of all Americans get laid off or lose their jobs in their lifetime.
So, they lose their health insurance after COBRA runs out.
After 35, everyone has a "health issue", called a "pre-existing condidtion", and cannot get health insurance. Unless you're hired and re-employeed, then everything's rosey.
Now, Republican morons will say, "that's what the ER is for", but, because they're morons, don't know reality and the cost of taking your kids to the ER or yourself, is 10x more than visiting a Dr. for a check-up. An acute illness? Thousands.
We have to DO something, Clinton tried in 1990 and now Obama in 2010.
All Republicans care about is starting wars in other countries and re-building them into Christian nations.
Maybe one day we'll get it.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 6:02

The US Constitution was written and adopted before anesthesia was invented and before sterile surgical techniques were standard practice....life was short and brutish, by today's standards...the Founders never considered the idea of national health care because health care itself was still in the dark ages...of course, the Founders did not address such an issue...therefore, it's "constitutionality" may be in grave danger.

I think that it's about time that another Constitutional Convention was convened....a whole lot of stuff has happened since the 1790's.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 6:12

The founders allowed the Constitution flexibility, hence you can add amendments, if necessary. Now, Congress can't even agree on the debt limit without forfeiting our credit rating, what makes you think anyone would be able to agree to terms in a Constitutional Convention, much less get an amendment passed?

I think that's why the health care law reflects just how lazy and incompetent Democrats are...there was no reason, at the time, that they couldn't have passed a sound and equitable law. They couldn't do it.

But, hey, it's more than what the GOP could offer...which is nada (even though it's almost entirely their idea...cough...Romneycare...cough...).

By: Kosh III on 3/29/12 at 6:16

If I could wave a magic wand, I would have the whole thing struck down, then Obama and Congress would:
Abolish Medicaid
Abolish VA Health System
Any other federal or state govt health scheme

Replace with the AMA-endorsed single-payer Medicare plan:

"Medicare for All, a bill to provide high-quality health care to every American. This bill would provide all Americans the health care they need, from any doctor they choose, at a universal, high standard of quality. Americans would not be burdened with co-payments, premiums or deductibles. Rather, they would be guaranteed access to medically necessary health care, including inpatient and outpatient care, dental care, vision care, pharmaceuticals, and other treatments that a patient’s doctor would deem necessary.

Medicare for All would cost the same amount of money that is now spent on health care costs. Funds would be provided by savings from a vast reduction of paperwork, existing government spending on healthcare, savings from rational bulk procurement of medications, a tax on the top 5 percent of income earners, a small tax on stock and bond transfers, and a phased-in payroll tax that is less than what employers currently pay on average for less complete employee health coverage. "

Single-payer is the most efficient and most COST-EFFECTIVE method.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 6:25

I always get a kick out of "The Founding Fathers" argument.
Like 1776 is anything like 2012.
The Second Amendment is the biggest hoot.
Single action pistols and gun powder loading muskets were anything like a Glock 9mm. with an extended magazine.
The Earth was considered by many to be flat.
Kinda like the Republican party still thinks today.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 6:29

The Constitution was 1787, Darge. Personally, I think that this country could use some of the Founders collective brilliance and leadership today.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 6:31

I agree, Gd...the ems hit the E-Z button...they just rammed it through....the Pelosi Push...the backlash was inevitable.

Primarily, IMO, this is a management versus labor issue, with management hoping the law is tossed out in its entirety. I can see their point, to a degree.

The basic flaw in our system...again IMHO, is that we tie employment and health insurance together...this places an unnecessary and certainly unwanted burden on employers. Of course, in this system the unemployed, the elderly, the children, the infirm and the mentally incompetent are not contributing, but they are the ones who are most in need of the services....something just is not right in that paradigm.

Seriously, the US should study and emulate the Israeli healthcare system....if they can afford the Rolls Royce of healthcare vehicles, why can't we? After all, we give them more in US foreign aid than we give to any other nation in the world...if a poor, aid-receiving country like Israel can afford the best in national healthcare, then we can afford it too.

Perhaps, we should commission the Israelis to design a healthcare system for the USA....they are experts in that area....and they are our best friends...we should ask them for advice....seriously.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 6:33

The Dems hit the E-Z button....and Loner is screwing up this morning.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 6:38

Loner, that's the only way Americans can afford healthcare. If the employee were to pay on their own, they'd probably opt out. Think COBRA. Then, the ER would be the treatment choice for almost everyone. Imagine costs then.

I haven't really had to think about it from a different perspective until recently. My parents are in their late 60's, early 70's...the amount of money they pay for prescriptions is unbelievable. The number of prescriptions is just as bad. The number of times they have to see a physician is going up...I honestly don't know how they would do it if not for government assistance. They would literally be using their entire retirement exclusively on health care.

As boomers age, it's only going to get worse. That's why I say the only positive from the Dems is that they tried. Someone had to. It's a train-wreck waiting to happen.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 6:39

Kosh...from your keyboard to God's monitor screen....we may need Divine Intervention.

As for a modern Constitutional Convention...I dunno...this is the Age of the Super-PAC's....maybe we should stick with amending the original, when needed...it was designed in the pre-Super-PAC era....and it's about as pristine as you're gonna get....let's not re-write a hit?

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 6:41

1787 vs. 1776?
Got me. I was a Zoology major.
Ask me a genetics or chemistry question.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 6:45

I agree, Gd, this is a slow-motion train wreck...but I do not agree that employment-related healthcare coverage is "the only way Americans can afford healthcare". Other nations do it differently...we should take a look around and see who has figured it out and then copy that system...IMO.

What we have now is failing....if PPCACA goes down the toilet...the nation will be SOL.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 6:48

I mean in our current system, Loner. If employers just started dropping the option, who could afford it?

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 6:48

In layman's terms, Darge, explain the Krebs cycle....no fair Googling it!

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 7:10

Right now, Gd, as I understand it, the employer puts in so much and the employee puts in so much into the health insurance pot, right? I know, "benefits" are not wages, but still, their is an employee contribution in the present formula(e).

If the employers were allowed to opt out, a government-administered national insurance consortium could step in the void and pick up the employer's share...exercising such an option would have some tax consequences for employers, of course.

Those employers who don't mind the present system could stay with it; those who want out could have that option.....just an idea off the top of my head...or some lower anatomical point.

In my "utopian" makeover, those who are working for a living would still be forced into contributing a fair share...their employers, or the proposed National Insurance Consortium would kick in their fair share as well, spreading the load as evenly as possible.

I think that realistically Kosh's 7:16 suggestion represents a quicker and already in place system that could act as a bridge to a future "solution" of a basically unsolvable societal dilemma.

In any system, there will be children, elderly, infirm and the unemployable...they cannot contribute to the system, but their needs must be met in a civilized modern society.

By: Kosh III on 3/29/12 at 7:12

Yeah, Darge, what's "valence;" and I don't mean window curtain parts.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 7:15

Interesting off-topic discussion: Video surveillance shows Zimmerman without marks, blood or bruises. Now, I've had two broken noses...both bled profusely , ruining a couple of shirts and it also turned my sinuses into a waterworks...for days. I was bruised and swollen for about a week. Not to mention the corrective surgery...

I understand the EMT's treated him onsite and it was determined that he didn't need to go to the hospital.

So, what gives? If Trayvon was beating the hell out of him, wouldn't there be a mark? Honestly, has there ever been a case so contradictory in nature??

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 7:24

Let me put it this way...if I was on Jeopardy, I'd run the "Science" category as well as "60's Rock". "The Beatles" would be a lay down. (gD, notwithstanding).
Krebs had something to do with CO2 and was circular.
Valence is an electron thingy. Extra?
Come on guys, give me a hard one....that's what my 1st wife always asked for, anyway.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 7:25

As long as we are talking about current and utopian schemes, to cure mankind's afflictions, let's revisit the old "guns versus butter" conundrum.

Here again is the running tally on the Iraq & Afghanistan Wars...it's over 1.3 trillion dollars.



And here is a current article in Reuters...I left a comment there...the article's headline: "Exclusive: U.S. sees lifetime cost of F-35 fighter at $1.45 trillion"

Here is the URL:


Here's a snippet:

(Reuters) - The U.S. government now projects that the total cost to develop, buy and operate the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be $1.45 trillion over the next 50-plus years, according to a Pentagon document obtained by Reuters.

Remember, we have three nuclear aircraft carriers currently under construction too....and a whole lot more than that.... Defense is sucking us dry....Holy Wars Suck.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 7:26

Venetian Blinds, K-3?

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 7:28

Good morning people. This debate is a little lopsided, but once the village idiot starts, it will lean to the obscene.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 7:31

I like the term, "Joint Strike Fighter"....maybe we should just Strike a match and light-up a Joint...why Fight each other over ridiculous and trumped-up causes? Kum-Bah-Yah....Kum-Bah-Yah-Yah....(cough...cough)

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 7:31

gD: You're right. It's all over the tv...Zimmerman taken into the Police station, clean as a hound's tooth. Guy's lawyer is a weasel. On tv saying, "no comment".

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 7:31

They reduced the charges to a misdemeanor? She should own the city after this. These situations are usually a 'tone from the top' problem.


By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 7:34

I’m sure that the mental dwarfs yogi and budlight will not see this as evidence, but only a cover-up to protect Obama what-every the government is covering up. LOL

Trayvon Martin Video Shows No Blood or Bruises on George Zimmerman


By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 7:36

Yeah, the Krebs Cycle has "something to do with CO2"...our judges say..."Good Enough!!" OK, you've got cred, Darge.

Let's not taunt the V.I., Captain Nemo..it's against Star-fleet Command's General Order 4:20.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 7:37

FYI: I was banned from Gannet,Inc.: The Tennessean, USA Today, and The Detroit Free Press, for 48 hours, for calling an as*-hole, well, an as*hole. No accounting for taste I guess.
Since I worked for them last year, I contested, as was re-united with full honors.
I feel as Randal P. McMurphy did after his electro-shock episode...."All better now".

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 7:38

Sorry Ben ,but I could not get the link you showed.

By: dargent7 on 3/29/12 at 7:39

Loner: My favorite in Bio 101 was, "The Gogli Apparatus".
There was this co-ed I always tried to show mine to.
She called the campus police several times.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 7:39

I’m Klingons today day Loner.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 7:40

I can't blame her d7

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 7:49

Back to the question; I will be surprised if the Court rules for the Plan, because it is stacked to the right.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 7:49

Ben, I went to your link...outrageous. Yeah she should own the city after that...they reduced it to a misdemeanor? Ridiculous. Was the woman black or white? The story does not say, or does it?

Next time I'm stopped, I should call my insurance number and leave the phone on...concealed from view? That might backfire.

Maybe an onboard recording system for the car, complete with satellite link and data storage is the next big "Fuzz-Buster" gadget for the family wagon....audio and/or video systems available, of course.....three easy payments...Call NOW....operators are standing by...Order "Silent Witness" today...turn the tables on the dirty cops....now you can sue!

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 7:53

I still can't get that link...help.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 7:56

Darge, I am banned on the Jerusalem Post and on Bloomberg News...on Bloomberg, it was after only 4 posts...Verboten! Raus! Again, not for violation of the TOS, but for the forbidden content and the unpopularity of my posts....Mayor & Editor Bloomberg runs a tighter ship than the Jerusalem Post...and that is one tight-sphinctered media organ....let me tell you.

Police states always resort to media manipulation...the NCP remains an island of freedom.