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: Loner on 3/29/12 at 7:58

Nemo...it's not abut the Trayvon shooting...Ben's link is about another outrage....I found it OK....try again.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 8:01

Loner, I did not think that it was, but I have tried several ways and still can't get it.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 8:03

I need to be going. You can come out now yogi.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 8:17

See ya, Cap.n!

Well my hopes and ambitions as to running for Congress have been dashed...that's right, there will be no "Congressman Do-Rag" from New York state in the House of Reps.

As the following video shows, members who cover their heads with a hoodie are considered in violation of a no-hat rule in that hallowed chamber....here's the video:


I wonder how many times Jewish Congressmen have worn a yarmulke in that same room....do we ask the Oil-Sheiks to take off their turbans, if and when they or their ministers enter that room? Would we ask Bibi Netanyahu to remove his yarmulke while in that room? How about we demand any Muslim women who enter that room remove their head-coverings? Methinks not.

The Congressman was a black man in a hoodie...that crossed the line...this nation is nuts....we sweat the small stuff and ignore the big stuff. I support Congressman Hoodie!

By: pswindle on 3/29/12 at 8:19

Judge Roberts does not want a political decision of 5 to 4. It looks bad for the Court. The Court has lost all credibility. When one vote can give the presidential election to Bush, when later proved that Gore won FLorida, the Court is so political that their decision is weaken by their own actions. If the Court cannot rule for what is in the best interest of the people, do we need them? .

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 8:20

We should demand that all artificial hair-pieces be removed while in the House Chamber?

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 8:23

Politics aside, pswindle, can you defend the mandate? Make your argument that it doesn't violate the Constitution. Illustrate how the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate inactivity. Explain how the government is granted unlimited powers. If they don't have that power, extrapolate how the 10th amendment wouldn't apply here.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 8:25

PSwindle...do you agree with me, that Judge Elena Kagan, as Obama's former Solicitor General, should recuse herself on the PPACA decision?

A 4-4 tie would really bind things up nicely....a 5-4 decision with Kagan in the majority will forever stink, in the opinions of many. She should do the right thing and recuse.....she'd take heat for that, no doubt from the WH....but her credibility would be enhanced.

By: Ummm... on 3/29/12 at 8:41

Loner, if Kagan recuses herself it wouldn't lead to a 4-4, it would lead to a 5-3.

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 8:41

I've been off the grid for a while but I thought Kagan did recuse. It's definitely unconstitutional. The question is whether activism will trump the constitution... again.

By: slacker on 3/29/12 at 8:43

Complicated problem. Maybe scrap Obama Care, and start over with a bi-partisan study. That of course will end up stymied by politics.

I suggest we let insurance companies compete nationally. Build walk in health clinics to replace hospital emergency rooms for the poor & uninsurable. The Govt. could offer to pay a portion of a medical students tuition to serve a couple of years in these clinics. No doubt adjustments will have to be made as the flaws surely will appear
Universal health care can work in a small, well educated country, such as Sweden or Israel. Not so easy in the heavily populated U.S.A.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 8:48

Here's a better video of Congressman Hoodie getting the Bum's Rush:


By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 8:50

The arguments would indicate that the justices are going to shoot the law down. The question is whether severability applies I think.

Once they force insurance companies to accept preexisting conditions then health insurance in this country is no more. We may have health administration companies to do billing and bulk buys and such; but no more insurance. That is the ultimate goal and that is the reason they should kill this thing before it grows.

It'll be an even bigger c_ f_ if they let the law stand without the individual mandate. Scrap it all and replace it with a nation wide taxpayer funded risk pool for preexisting conditions administered under medicaid. It will be a charitable thing at first but it will become a risk management tool of insurance over time since everyone will contribute and everyone will be covered for catastrophic care.

Cut the 2000 pages down to 10 ... cut the $1.5 trillion+ down to $50 billion... and let's roll.

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 8:53

Slack's point about clinics is excellent as well.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 8:55

Ummm, your crystal balls may be mor sensitive than mine....so, you think if Kagan stays it will be 5-4 against? If she recuses 5-3 against? Could well be...a 4-4 tie would be historical, if not hysterical.

Ben thinks that Kagan has recused already...I'll have to Google it, I reckon.....

I found this:



"The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request for debate over whether Justice Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the health care reform case due to be argued in March.

Freedom Watch, a group led by Larry Klayman, asked the court for permission to file a brief on Kagan's participation in the case. The court on Monday denied the request without comment, though it did note that Kagan did not participate in the discussion."

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 9:00

I remember being shocked that she would recuse. If so I figured it would be so that they could harangue and demagogue about the decision for years to come like they still do about when Gore tried to steal the election from Bush.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 9:02

Scrap it all and replace it with a nation wide taxpayer funded risk pool for preexisting conditions administered under medicaid.

This assumes that Congress can actually agree to compromise. I suggest they can't. I suggest that if the entire law is scrapped, that's it, don't expect more health care reform.

At least not until the baby boomers lose the majority of their wealth due to medical costs. Then, maybe, the public outcry will be loud enough to get something done.

By: Ummm... on 3/29/12 at 9:04

BenDover said: "Gore tried to steal the election from Bush"

I knew there was a reason to take everything he says with a grain of salt...

By: BigPapa on 3/29/12 at 9:08

"Universal health care can work in a small, well educated country, such as Sweden or Israel. Not so easy in the heavily populated U.S.A."

That is a great point that is consistently overlooked when comparing the US to any other country, especially little bitty homogenous countries barely the size of one of our states.

When you have a country that is largely of the same, race, culture, ethnicity etc.. you can easily enact any number of "universal" measures because due to everyone's similarity of thought and life experience, most will go along with it. That applies to education reforms, health care...you know the BIG things we grapple with here in the USA.

Trying to give all the diverse groups and regions here one universal plan seems too big and one that will eventually (like TnCare here in TN) start to consume our entire budget.

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 9:14

The media consortium recounts held that Bush won under every recount scenario.

Then they box up the ballots and send them to Chicago for ANOTHER recount that finally favored Gore... imagine that. Thus, so continues the meme that "Bush Stole the Election!!". The whole purpose was to undermine his legitimacy for political purpose and it served them well.

More history rewritten before our eyes just as it happens.

By: slacker on 3/29/12 at 9:22

LBJ's well intentioned ''Great Society'' program, set the stage for a group of people to become generationally depended on the govt. for cradle to the grave assistance in everything. I can see how that mindset occurs, if I was in their shoes I'd do the same thing. That govt. cheese goes well with my ripple.
-Maynard G. Krebs

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 9:22

I thought that I would be needed, but I am not. Been reading some of the interesting post and BigPapa caught my attention. Maybe this will help in the discussion.

Ethnicity and Race by Countries


By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 9:25


-Maynard G. Krebs

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 9:27

Well I would agree there is a welfare mentality in this country, slacker. And it isn't limited to the poor.

But that doesn't change the fact that the costs of health care in this country has risen about 8% each year and wages haven't kept that pace. And, it is becoming unsustainable for most small businesses to contribute to employees health care costs.

Both my father and sister have had a recent health care crisis and I can attest that we are all one serious illness/injury away from financial ruin.

By: slacker on 3/29/12 at 9:27

Women mistakenly walks into a bar and demands birth control...

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 9:33

It's easy to have universal health care when you've got the profit incentive of the free market of your big brother the, US of A, underwriting all the advancement and R&D for all these whiz bang devices, procedures and medicines. They do like the Honey Badger and just "take what they want" not considering what removing the profit incentive will do to future development and advancement. As long as they've got our market to rely on to spur advancement there will continue to be solutions though so it doesn't matter to them.

Interestingly though health care is bankrupting Western Europe anyway even with them taking our advancements... it has to do with taking evil profit out of the system (and this is on top of us having their back militarily).

Same thing happened when Hugo took over Venezuela and nationalized all the oil fields. Evil profit was eliminated... all the oil fields were given back to the people... commandeering all of the investments by corporations in the oil fields... now they only are able to produce a small fraction of what the private firms were doing and the country is falling to pieces with Hugo locusting whatever is left of individual wealth to buy political favor; resembling greatly several chapters from a well know Ayn Rand novel.

When the populist movement is finally able to extricate the evil profit from health care in the United States the whole world will suffer... but they'll claim victory because we'll only suffer in terms of what might have been. Covering that up will be a piece of cake for the Politburo and their friends in the media.

By: slacker on 3/29/12 at 9:33

So true gdiafante. Property tax subsidies, for big entertainment property owners, while raising John Q. Public's home prop. tax.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 9:40

Well, Ben, my father's one night stay at a hospital for a procedure cost in excess of $100K. That's the hospital bill alone. There's still the doctor, anasthegia, etc. The insurance should take care of most of it, I can only imagine how those without insurance manage.

However, a few more stays like that and I'm sure the insurance will be looking for excuses...

The health care system here is a CF. No doubt about it.

By: Captain Nemo on 3/29/12 at 9:41

Perhaps if profit was not so evil, then there would not be any disagreement. Ben you always tent to blame bad judgment in the Stock Market on anything but the market.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 9:44

Now, as far as insurances go, they're the ones making the medical decisions not doctors. I can prove this with my own case.

I injured my hip during a run, went to the doctor, who then referred me to a specialist. The specialist wanted an MRI (apparently only ER's do xrays anymore) to make sure of what was going on. The insurance denied the request.

The cost without insurance: $1500. No thanks.

Call me crazy, but I trust my doctor to make medical decisions, not my insurance.

By: pswindle on 3/29/12 at 9:48

Thomas needs to recuse himself. His crazy wife demonistrated and collected money while preaching against Obamacare. If the mandate goes, so does the whole bill. We are mandated to contribute to Medicare, SS and other needed programs. If it were a perfect world, we would not need safety nets, but the safety nets are needed for survival of many. The GOP keeps saying we are a Christian Nation, then we should act like one. Of course the insurance companies do not want this health care law, it keeps their profits down, and they cannot make all of the decisions about one's health.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 9:50

Actually, I've read the opposite, pswindle. The insurance companies are on board with a program that mandates people buy insurance. Why wouldn't they?

They're probably not happy about the pre-existing condition issue though.

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 9:55

Well... the AMA is the biggest unregulated trust our country has ever known but don't expect the SEC to do anything about it, gd. 8 years of med school, 2 - 4 years residency, to become a GP that a well programmed Commodore 64 could out diagnose?

Hospitals are under strict regulation about number of beds and such and there's no open market for inpatient services because number of beds is a false scarcity.

Obamacare is not going to do anything to save $s... it's going to raise costs and simply shift the cost burden away from the consumer (another huge problem adding to the cost of our existing system) and onto the evil rich.

There comes a point when it don't pay to play offense with the family budget anymore, gd and we are knocking on that door and to a large degree many have already crossed the threshold (evidence decline in earnings of higher earners over the past 4 years). Even lefties understand if you have to manage wildlife to assure the game or fish doesn't go extinct. Why would they advocate poaching of game that can reason they are coming and adjust their behavior to compensate?

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 10:03

I take it by your post that you think the burden should be totally on the consumer. I can easily see a day when the majority of people in this country choose to go without insurance and the the cards fall where they may.

Someone's going to have to eat those costs.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 10:04

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 10:04

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 10:04

Sorry, messed up the italics...

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 10:05

"Now, as far as insurances go, they're the ones making the medical decisions not doctors. I can prove this with my own case."

Well that has to do with the contract you entered into with the insurance company for the level of risk they are willing to accept for they $s you pay them.

I'm sure there are insurance companies out there willing to offer you a greater deferment of your capital risk for unexpected illness or injury for a larger premium. Probably some with even less cost and better coverage; but often times that's not practical because it is customary in this country for the employer to offset a large part of the insurance burden for his/her employees as an employment benefit; and typically he/she makes the choice of health provider.

From experience we at our company put a lot of time and energy into shopping to get the best value for the $ for insurance for our employees and that works to our employees advantage, in addition to us paying the biggest part of the employee's premium.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 10:08

I'm not convinced that a country has to be small, well-educated and relatively homogeneous in their ethnicity in order for a national single-payer system to be feasible and do-able....it seems like the bigger the pool, the more efficient the system.

Any credible sources to back up these claims would be helpful.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 10:10

Yes Ben, you get what you pay for. Cheaper insurance, the insurance is responsible for medical decisions. However, unless you're employed by a small business, the employer usually doesn't consult with employees in regards to what insurance carrier to use.

My company didn't consult me or anyone else when changing insurance carriers. We weren't given advance notice nor choice. Well I take that back, we could have opted out and had to scramble to find coverage for my family.

It's a CF.

By: Moonglow1 on 3/29/12 at 10:12

Moonglow1: Obama Care needs to be re-named Heritage Care because the idea of the Individual Mandate was "conceived" by the right wingers at the Heritage Foundation to counter Clinton's health plan based on Employer-based Coverage.

It is amusing to see Republican justices argue about "Obama Care" which is actually a big give away to fatten the Insurance Company's bottom line. There are some positives about it, but I prefer a Public Option with Republican's having the option to "Opt Out", eat carbs and sugar, sit all day, smoke, drink, choke on smog and "clean"coal induced air pollution, eat foods loaded with pesticides, and then pay out of pocket for their own health care.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 10:14

As for Maynard G. Krebs...he was my boyhood hero...I used to go trick or treats as Maynard G. Krebs....fake goatee , inside-out cut-off (sleeveless) sweat shirt, and of course, the bongo drums....I was born a slacking-off hippie, I suppose....The beatniks led the way!

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 10:19

Moonglow throws in another great thought-provoking post....Pat Robertson is now pro-legalization of Canmnabis...his think-tank may have actually spawned Obamacare? Hmmmm...it's all making sense now.....Robertson is a stealth hippie....stoned out and all Kum-Bah-Yah.

By: BenDover on 3/29/12 at 10:19

I don't know if there are any med-supps out there for regular plans GD but usually employer subsidized plans are a very good deal; and usually the insurance companies do a good job of managing the costs in the interest of the consumer's well being.

Having a competitive market is far better than having to stand in a DMV-like queue where there's little incentive for the life-time bureaucrat to get to the next of us unwashed drones any faster unless we have some personal or political pull.

By: Loner on 3/29/12 at 10:20

s/h/b Cannabis....(need more?)

By: slacker on 3/29/12 at 10:25

Loner, I don't have any credible sources, I work along. Just consider that a small country with a well educated pop., would probably be gainfully employed, and have the funds to pay the required taxes to finance the health issue.
Think Abba.

By: gdiafante on 3/29/12 at 10:27

I don't see the competitive market, Ben. I either pay COBRA like prices or stay with the employer subsidized plan, which is chosen for me.

By: pswindle on 3/29/12 at 10:28

In the Tennessean this morning, It was staed that without Obamacare in order to insure 4 people in a family the cost could reach upward to $20,000 a year. We will be at the mercy of the insurance conmpanies.

By: Rasputin72 on 3/29/12 at 10:31

Health care is overpriced due to medicare. Cut the payments to the private hospitals like HCA and the doctors. Refuse to allow the hospitals and doctors to go after any additional charges to the patient. Make sure that the insurance companies do not discriminate against anyone for entry into their health care plan.

Then the hospitals should have an area where those who are unwilling to pay for the health care insurance or the cost of the procedure can writh in agony until they come up with the money or die.

By: Ummm... on 3/29/12 at 10:39

Rasputin72 said: "Then the hospitals should have an area where those who are unwilling to pay for the health care insurance or the cost of the procedure can writh in agony until they come up with the money or die."

Spoken like a true right-wingnut.