Federal Judge Says Obama Health Care Plan is Unconstitutional

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The big news this morning: a federal judge in Virginia has ruled that a key provision of Obama’s health care plan is unconstitutional.

RICHMOND - A federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a key provision of the nation’s sweeping health-care overhaul is unconstitutional, the most significant legal setback so far for President Obama’s signature domestic initiative.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson found that Congress could not order individuals to buy health insurance.

In a 42-page opinion, Hudson said the provision of the law that requires most individuals to get insurance or pay a fine by 2014 is an unprecedented expansion of federal power that cannot be supported by Congress’s power to regulate interstate trade.

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228 comments
1 Merryweather  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 9:55:15am

For some reason, I don’t think we’ll be hearing the usual screams of ‘activist judge’ from the right. I can’t quite put my finger on why…

2 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 9:56:24am

I will laugh so hard if Obama manages to “legalize” his plan by replacing the Mandate with a one payer tax system….

(Which would be total constitutional after all…)

3 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 9:57:10am

re: #1 Merryweather

For some reason, I don’t think we’ll be hearing the usual screams of ‘activist judge’ from the right. I can’t quite put my finger on why…

///Well they’re only being an “engaged judge” don’t you know?

washingtonpost.com

4 PT Barnum  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:01:13am

re: #2 jamesfirecat

I will laugh so hard if Obama manages to “legalize” his plan by replacing the Mandate with a one payer tax system…

(Which would be total constitutional after all…)

Without the mandate, can the rest of the bill survive? If not then we’re all completely at the mercy of the same pricks that got us to this point in the first place.

5 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:02:50am

OT: Putin, Depardier, Russel, Stone, Muti, Costner, Rourke, Bellucci sing a Soviet song:

Youtube Video

6 uncah91  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:04:41am

What bulldonk.

It amounts to a $500 flat tax on every american with an offsetting tax credit for being insured.

No way that is unconstitutional.

7 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:05:17am

re: #4 PT Barnum

Without the mandate, can the rest of the bill survive? If not then we’re all completely at the mercy of the same pricks that got us to this point in the first place.

Without the mandate the bill will make the entire insurance industry throw up its hands and say “f*** it!” before leaving the country to go whittle wooden nickels, as this would be more profitable than selling health insurance.

No mandate means you can buy whenever you want, no getting turned down for pre-existing conditions= buy only when you need it= cost of insurance rapidly approaches cost of whatever healthcare you need at the moment.

8 elizajane  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:05:52am

And here I thought that all those years of Republicans quietly packing Federal courts with sympathetic justices would never effect anything that mattered.

//

9 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:06:31am

re: #6 uncah91

What bulldonk.

It amounts to a $500 flat tax on every american with an offsetting tax credit for being insured.

No way that is unconstitutional.

I thought the issue was the government forcing people to purchase insurance. Am I wrong?

10 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:08:19am

re: #9 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the issue was the government forcing people to purchase insurance. Am I wrong?

If the mandate can be re-framed in a constitutional manner while still achieving the same effect then lets reframe it and stop arguing about if it is constitutional or not.

Unchan91’s idea sounds constitutional to me, how about to you NJD?

11 researchok  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:09:42am

re: #5 Sergey Romanov

OT: Putin, Depardier, Russel, Stone, Muti, Costner, Rourke, Bellucci sing a Soviet song:


[Video]

That reminds me, whatever happened to the Leningrad Cowboys?

Their Kalinka with Russian Army Choir was….classic.

12 uncah91  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:09:54am

I’m not reframing it. That is what it is.

A $500 penalty on your taxes if you aren’t insured.

13 PT Barnum  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:10:06am

re: #9 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the issue was the government forcing people to purchase insurance. Am I wrong?

The question is whether the government can penalize you for not engaging in an economic activity. However, the issue is complicated by the fact that you are forced to engage in the act of purchasing medical care if you get sick or you will lose your ability to live.

Frankly I think the issue is that medical care is so expensive that at some point the costs have to be spread out further than the current system is capable of doing. The individual mandate was a way of accomplishing that. Another way to do it would be simply to implement the ability of everyone to buy in to Medicare at a set cost.

14 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:10:35am

re: #4 PT Barnum

The individual mandate is the penalty portion of the package to expand the pool of people paying into the insurance plan. As written, the mandate requires almost everyone to get insurance or face a fine - $95 in 2014, $325 in 2015 and $695 in 2016 (with a maximum of $2,250 for a family). There is an exemption for low-income people.

This portion could be struck down, the the remaining portions of the bill are unaffected - such as the expanded requirements that the insurers cover to age 26, preexisting conditions, etc.

Also expect this to be appealed to the US Supreme Court (it should go without saying). Other circuits will likely take a different tact, but in the end I think it will be upheld on Commerce Clause grounds because Congress does have the power to affect interstate commerce (Art 1, Sec 8) and Congress has previously imposed requirements on insurers nationally. It’s an incremental change that is within Congressional power under the Constitution.

That doesn’t mean that I agree with the personal mandate provisions, which essentially tax millions of people who have made the decision not to pay for insurance. Congress could disguise it under different terms, but the penalty provisions and enforcement are through the tax code. It represents a significant tax hike if these people opt not to buy insurance. It’s a real hike in costs to these individuals in the wishful thinking of bending the cost curve for services by expanding the pool of health care consumers to include those in good health who do not normally seek health care.

15 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:10:57am

re: #1 Merryweather

For some reason, I don’t think we’ll be hearing the usual screams of ‘activist judge’ from the right. I can’t quite put my finger on why…

A judge who makes a ruling one agrees with is merely interpreting the law. A judge who makes a ruling one disagrees with is an activist judge, disregarding the law to push through his or her own vile agenda.

16 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:11:06am

re: #11 researchok

And Sweet Home Alabama was epic :-)

17 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:11:47am

re: #10 jamesfirecat

If the mandate can be re-framed in a constitutional manner while still achieving the same effect then lets reframe it and stop arguing about if it is constitutional or not.

Unchan91’s idea sounds constitutional to me, how about to you NJD?

I thought the left was against a flat tax. What gives? This still doesn’t answer the question of where the government has the right to force people to buy anything.

18 KingKenrod  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:12:53am

re: #6 uncah91

What bulldonk.

It amounts to a $500 flat tax on every american with an offsetting tax credit for being insured.

No way that is unconstitutional.

If the law said that, it would be OK. But Congress had to buy the support of the insurance industry, hence the individual mandate. Basically the insurance industry wanted young, healthy people to be forced into buying their product.

19 PT Barnum  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:12:59am

re: #14 lawhawk

The individual mandate is the penalty portion of the package to expand the pool of people paying into the insurance plan. As written, the mandate requires almost everyone to get insurance or face a fine - $95 in 2014, $325 in 2015 and $695 in 2016 (with a maximum of $2,250 for a family). There is an exemption for low-income people.

This portion could be struck down, the the remaining portions of the bill are unaffected - such as the expanded requirements that the insurers cover to age 26, preexisting conditions, etc.

Also expect this to be appealed to the US Supreme Court (it should go without saying). Other circuits will likely take a different tact, but in the end I think it will be upheld on Commerce Clause grounds because Congress does have the power to affect interstate commerce (Art 1, Sec 8) and Congress has previously imposed requirements on insurers nationally. It’s an incremental change that is within Congressional power under the Constitution.

That doesn’t mean that I agree with the personal mandate provisions, which essentially tax millions of people who have made the decision not to pay for insurance. Congress could disguise it under different terms, but the penalty provisions and enforcement are through the tax code. It represents a significant tax hike if these people opt not to buy insurance. It’s a real hike in costs to these individuals in the wishful thinking of bending the cost curve for services by expanding the pool of health care consumers to include those in good health who do not normally seek health care.

Why not just be honest about it then, and say we’re going to tack on a couple percentage points on everyone’s tax bill to pay for universal care? That would probably be just as much money (I don’t have time to check this) and would result in the same result with less obfuscation.

20 uncah91  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:13:24am

re: #17 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the left was against a flat tax. What gives? This still doesn’t answer the question of where the government has the right to force people to buy anything.

Are you forced to by electric cars? Energy star rated HVAC units?

All of these give flat credits if you buy them.

21 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:13:45am

re: #17 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the left was against a flat tax. What gives? This still doesn’t answer the question of where the government has the right to force people to buy anything.

flat tax for one thing ≠ flat tax for the whole tax burden


sheesh 9_9

22 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:13:57am

re: #20 uncah91

Are you forced to by electric cars? Energy star rated HVAC units?

All of these give flat credits if you buy them.

THE LEFT!!!

OMG THE LEFT!!!

23 PT Barnum  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:14:10am

re: #17 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the left was against a flat tax. What gives? This still doesn’t answer the question of where the government has the right to force people to buy anything.

You’re not forced into buying anything. You can either buy insurance or pay much less than you’d pay in actual premiums for the privelege of not buying it in any given year.

24 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:14:27am

re: #17 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the left was against a flat tax. What gives? This still doesn’t answer the question of where the government has the right to force people to buy anything.

I’m against using a flat tax as the only singular tax that is instituted.

You’re right on its own as a flat tax it probably has some problems but we could offset that by also giving tax credits to those who are too pour to afford insurance.

Either way NJD it all comes down to how do you define “force” does the government has a right to tax people for committing certain activities it wants to discourage ?

The fact that there are “sin taxes” on smoking would argue “yes’ and therefor it seems not unreasonsable that the government could tax you for doing something it wishes to discourage, going without insurance…

25 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:14:36am

re: #20 uncah91

Are you forced to by electric cars? Energy star rated HVAC units?

All of these give flat credits if you buy them.

No, we aren’t forced to buy those.

26 Stanley Sea  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:14:46am

From the Plum Line:

ThePlumLineGS

Experts: Didn’t Supremes uphold law forcing wheat farmers to engage in interstate commerce in Wickard vs. Filburn? wapo.st

27 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:14:58am

re: #13 PT Barnum

The question is whether the government can penalize you for not engaging in an economic activity. However, the issue is complicated by the fact that you are forced to engage in the act of purchasing medical care if you get sick or you will lose your ability to live.

Frankly I think the issue is that medical care is so expensive that at some point the costs have to be spread out further than the current system is capable of doing. The individual mandate was a way of accomplishing that. Another way to do it would be simply to implement the ability of everyone to buy in to Medicare at a set cost.

Insurance itself (private or public) is a form of spreading the wealth.

28 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:15:03am

re: #18 KingKenrod

If the law said that, it would be OK. But Congress had to buy the support of the insurance industry, hence the individual mandate. Basically the insurance industry wanted young, healthy people to be forced into buying their product.

which I agree with. if we can’t have universal care or a public option, that’s the only way the numbers work.

29 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:15:07am

re: #18 KingKenrod

If the law said that, it would be OK. But Congress had to buy the support of the insurance industry, hence the individual mandate. Basically the insurance industry wanted young, healthy people to be forced into buying their product.

Hey lets be fair… without the mandate as it stands now the whole thing falls apart, because people could just wait to buy healthcare until after they’ve gotten sick…

30 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:16:00am

re: #24 jamesfirecat

I’m against using a flat tax as the only singular tax that is instituted.

You’re right on its own as a flat tax it probably has some problems but we could offset that by also giving tax credits to those who are too pour to afford insurance.

Either way NJD it all comes down to how do you define “force” does the government has a right to tax people for committing certain activities it wants to discourage ?

The fact that there are “sin taxes” on smoking would argue “yes’ and therefor it seems not unreasonsable that the government could tax you for doing something it wishes to discourage, going without insurance…

The new health care bill says you have to buy health care or be fined. That is wrong IMHO.

31 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:16:10am

re: #19 PT Barnum

Why not just be honest about it then, and say we’re going to tack on a couple percentage points on everyone’s tax bill to pay for universal care? That would probably be just as much money (I don’t have time to check this) and would result in the same result with less obfuscation.

Because Single payer medicare is SOCIALISM!!!1111!!!1

32 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:16:20am

re: #30 NJDhockeyfan

The new health care bill says you have to buy health care or be fined. That is wrong IMHO.

Do you agree with car insurance?

33 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:16:30am

re: #31 jamesfirecat

Because Single payer medicare is SOCIALISM!!!1111!!!1

THE LEFT HOLY SHIT

34 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:16:33am

re: #30 NJDhockeyfan

The new health care bill says you have to buy health care or be fined. That is wrong IMHO.

Would “everybody is taxed but you get credits to offset it if you have insurance’ be more acceptable?

35 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:17:11am

re: #17 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the left was against a flat tax. What gives? This still doesn’t answer the question of where the government has the right to force people to buy anything.

You’re forced to buy roads, and a military, etc… Should you have the option to pay your taxes or not?

36 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:17:13am

re: #34 jamesfirecat

Would “everybody is taxed but you get credits to offset it if you have insurance’ be more acceptable?

THE LEFT!!!!

37 mikefromArlington  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:17:34am

If they swap out the mandate with the Public option, then I’m fine with that. Otherwise, trying to care for the extremely sick and poor is going to cost a FORTUNE for everyone who has health insurance.

38 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:17:42am

re: #35 recusancy

You’re forced to buy roads, and a military, etc… Should you have the option to pay your taxes or not?

Those fuckers on the left! Forcing us to pay for that military! Socialists!

39 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:17:59am

re: #32 WindUpBird

Do you agree with car insurance?

Sure. If you do not own a car you don’t have to purchase insurance, correct?

40 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:18:06am

re: #30 NJDhockeyfan

The new health care bill says you have to buy health care or be fined. That is wrong IMHO.

It seems you have more a problem with semantics then the actual policy.

41 APox  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:18:44am

Such a stupid logic.

If this fine isn’t in place, then when someone who doesn’t have insurance needs healthcare, it places a burden on everyone else.

One, this should line up with the “personal responsibility” rhetoric.

Two, next time I’m asked for my car insurance from a cop or in an accident I’ll say it’s unconstitutional and that I won’t provide it. Let’s see how that goes.

There are so many instances where you MUST have something to get a service.

42 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:18:55am

re: #39 NJDhockeyfan

Sure. If you do not own a car you don’t have to purchase insurance, correct?

And if you don’t own a body, you don’t have to purchase insurance.

43 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:19:09am
Karma: 0

Alpha Girl

(Logged in)
Registered since: Dec 10, 2010 at 8:29 am
No. of comments posted: 0
No. of Pages posted: 0

44 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:19:12am

re: #39 NJDhockeyfan

Sure. If you do not own a car you don’t have to purchase insurance, correct?

And if you don’t have health (ie being alive) you don’t have to purchase health insurance.

45 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:19:18am

re: #40 recusancy

It seems you have more a problem with semanticsTHE LEFT!!!! then the actual policy.

46 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:19:19am

re: #38 WindUpBird

Those fuckers on the left! Forcing us to pay for that military! Socialists!

What the hell does the military have to do with this health care bill?

47 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:19:53am

re: #42 WindUpBird

And if you don’t own a body, you don’t have to purchase insurance.

Damn it when will we have those android bodies ready that I can upload my personality to? My fleshy exterior continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace!

48 Kragar  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:19:54am

re: #22 WindUpBird

THE LEFT!!!

OMG THE LEFT!!!

re: #33 WindUpBird

THE LEFT HOLY SHIT

re: #36 WindUpBird

THE LEFT!!!

Now dip, baby, dip!

49 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:19:57am

re: #44 recusancy

And if you don’t have health (ie being alive) you don’t have to purchase health insurance.

You mean I don’t need to purchase health insurance in Denver when i’m dead?

50 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:20:05am

re: #46 NJDhockeyfan

What the hell does the military have to do with this health care bill?

You’re forced to pay for it whether you want it or not. You don’t see the parallel?

51 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:20:19am

re: #46 NJDhockeyfan

What the hell does the military have to do with this health care bill?

And over his head the ball sails! Right through the uprights!

52 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:20:32am

re: #48 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

re: #33 WindUpBird

re: #36 WindUpBird

Now dip, baby, dip!

THRUST IT!! THRUST IT!!!

53 uncah91  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:20:37am

re: #18 KingKenrod

If the law said that, it would be OK. But Congress had to buy the support of the insurance industry, hence the individual mandate. Basically the insurance industry wanted young, healthy people to be forced into buying their product.

re: #18 KingKenrod

The law does say that. It doesn’t force you to buy anything. You just pay a higher tax bill if you don’t.

54 CuriousLurker  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:20:49am

re: #43 Sergey Romanov

You noticed that too, huh? Willy-nilly down-dings, regardless of position.

55 Kragar  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:21:21am

re: #52 WindUpBird

THRUST IT!! THRUST IT!!!

NOW FREESTYLE! FREESTYLE!

56 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:21:21am

re: #50 recusancy

It’s actually not the best parallel, since the military isn’t something consumed or taken advantage of by the citizenry, except in rather odd circumstances.

The legal system is a better example, especially since we actually have public defenders.

We all pay for the upkeep of the legal system even if we make no use of it.

57 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:21:30am

re: #47 jamesfirecat

Damn it when will we have those android bodies ready that I can upload my personality to? My fleshy exterior continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace!

I was promised I could become the Lawnmower Man

58 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:21:47am

re: #54 CuriousLurker

You noticed that too, huh? Willy-nilly down-dings, regardless of position.

Serial dinger with 0 comments. What could go wrong? /

59 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:21:48am

re: #56 Obdicut

It’s actually not the best parallel, since the military isn’t something consumed or taken advantage of by the citizenry, except in rather odd circumstances.

The legal system is a better example, especially since we actually have public defenders.

We all pay for the upkeep of the legal system even if we make no use of it.

Good call!

60 SpaceJesus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:22:01am

re: #14 lawhawk

and Congress has previously imposed requirements on insurers nationally. It’s an incremental change that is within Congressional power under the Constitution.


Have those previous laws been challenged in scotus?

61 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:22:09am

re: #50 recusancy

You’re forced to pay for it whether you want it or not. You don’t see the parallel?

It’s in the Constitution. Read it. Nothing there mentions the health care bill.

62 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:22:22am

re: #19 PT Barnum

Tax law is not simple and raising tax rates are an anathema to politicians who are all about reelection. It would also require significant hikes to taxes across the board, including the middle class (against certain promises made).

63 Kragar  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:22:42am

re: #57 WindUpBird

I was promised I could become the Lawnmower Man

Jeff Fahey version or Matt Frewer version?

64 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:23:28am

re: #61 NJDhockeyfan

Do you think that people who cannot afford a lawyer should be provided with one?

65 researchok  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:23:53am

re: #16 Sergey Romanov

And Sweet Home Alabama was epic :-)

Are the LC still around?

66 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:24:06am

re: #61 NJDhockeyfan

It’s in the Constitution. Read it. Nothing there mentions the health care bill.

I did, guess what I noticed up near the top….

“insure domestic Tranquility,”

“Promote the general Welfare”

Both of these causes are served by not having people with infectious diseases be out among the general public because they don’t have the money to pay for health insurance….

67 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:24:29am

re: #64 Obdicut

Do you think that people who cannot afford a lawyer should be provided with one?

Sure. It’s the law isn’t it? Are they forced to pay for that lawyer? No.

68 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:24:53am

re: #67 NJDhockeyfan

Sure. It’s the law isn’t it? Are they forced to pay for that lawyer? No.

But they’re forced to pay a tax which ends up paying the government who pays the lawyer….

69 Lord Baron Viscount Duke Earl Count Planckton  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:26:01am

re: #65 researchok

To be honest, don’t know. I’m not their consistent fan, so to say. :)

70 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:26:09am

re: #67 NJDhockeyfan

Sure. It’s the law isn’t it? Are they forced to pay for that lawyer? No.

They are forced to pay through it by taxes. Right now, when you pay your tax bill you’re paying for another person’s lawyer and possibly your own should you ever need one.

71 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:26:23am

re: #29 jamesfirecat

The individual mandate takes effect 2014. The preexisting condition requirement went into effect for children under 19 who are to be on their parents insurance. Adults will have the preexisting condition requirement starting in 2014.

The federal government is counting on substantial noncompliance in order to balance the books on this - it takes billions in penalties imposed under the individual mandate in order to fund other aspects of the health care reform act, and that’s shaky ground because you’re hoping that millions of people choose to not pay for insurance and then take the tax penalty hit.

72 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:28:03am

re: #71 lawhawk

The individual mandate takes effect 2014. The preexisting condition requirement went into effect for children under 19 who are to be on their parents insurance. Adults will have the preexisting condition requirement starting in 2014.

The federal government is counting on substantial noncompliance in order to balance the books on this - it takes billions in penalties imposed under the individual mandate in order to fund other aspects of the health care reform act, and that’s shaky ground because you’re hoping that millions of people choose to not pay for insurance and then take the tax penalty hit.

We’ll just have to see how things shake out you raise a good point but I don’t think anybody can confidently predict how the American people will act these days…

73 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:28:34am

re: #67 NJDhockeyfan

You’re looking at the analogy rather backwards. The jargon is that if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you. So if you can afford one, you are not allowed to take advantage of the government (and tax-payer-funded) lawyer, you have to pay for them yourself.

If you can’t afford a lawyer, one is provided for you, in the same way that if you can’t afford to pay for health insurance, tax credits enable you to pay for it.

Incidentally, the analogy works even better for supporting the public option:

You pay tax money that goes to pay for public defenders for those who can’t afford to hire lawyers. Given that you’re willing to pay money to provide people who may in fact be criminals with lawyers, doesn’t it make sense that you’d pay money to provide those who can’t afford it, health care?

74 researchok  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:29:25am

re: #69 Sergey Romanov

To be honest, don’t know. I’m not their consistent fan, so to say. :)

I always thought their stage antics as Kalinka went on was the perfect metaphor for the emerging Russia.

Kind of like a strange prelude to Putin’s populist efforts.

75 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:29:41am

re: #71 lawhawk

Can you cite any support for that— that the government is depending on noncompliance?

What other aspects are funded through that mechanism?

76 mr.fusion  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:30:04am

Here’s what really gets me. I live in Florida, home of “The Original Obamacare Lawsuit.” A few months ago our AG pulls some 50-something up at a press conference that he’s going to parade around as an example of what the individual mandate does. She’s too young to get into Medicare, and makes too much money to get into Medicaid. She doesn’t want to pay for insurance and says it infringes on her freedom or something. So let’s say this woman gets sick….do I have the freedom to deny paying for her treatment?

Remember when Republicans stood for personal responsibility? For me, the individual mandate falls squarely and quite clearly into that category.

77 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:31:06am

iPhones are unconstitutional! They aren’t in the Constitution!

78 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:31:07am

re: #73 Obdicut

You’re looking at the analogy rather backwards. The jargon is that if you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you. So if you can afford one, you are not allowed to take advantage of the government (and tax-payer-funded) lawyer, you have to pay for them yourself.

If you can’t afford a lawyer, one is provided for you, in the same way that if you can’t afford to pay for health insurance, tax credits enable you to pay for it.

Incidentally, the analogy works even better for supporting the public option:

You pay tax money that goes to pay for public defenders for those who can’t afford to hire lawyers. Given that you’re willing to pay money to provide people who may in fact be criminals with lawyers, doesn’t it make sense that you’d pay money to provide those who can’t afford it, health care?

You also have the right to defend yourself without a lawyer (not a good idea BTW) and you will not be fined for it.

79 NJDhockeyfan  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:31:43am

BBL…gotta get for a while.

80 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:31:49am

re: #78 NJDhockeyfan

You also have the right to defend yourself without a lawyer (not a good idea BTW) and you will not be fined for it.

But you still have to pay for it. You don’t have to use the health insurance. You can treat yourself but you still have to pay for it.

81 APox  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:32:23am

re: #78 NJDhockeyfan

You also have the right to defend yourself without a lawyer (not a good idea BTW) and you will not be fined for it.

Cool. So getting back to the analogy then: If you don’t have health insurance, and you want to get service in a hospital or doctor’s office, you can either 1) Pay out of pocket, or 2) Try to heal yourself.

Otherwise, you are kicked out and not given any treatment.

82 researchok  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:32:58am

Another Leningrad Cowboys Classic- or a Twilight Zone episode…
Your text to link…

83 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:33:03am

re: #78 NJDhockeyfan

You also have the right to defend yourself without a lawyer (not a good idea BTW) and you will not be fined for it.

Yeah but regardless of if you use the lawyer or not you’re still taxed the same and some of that tax money goes to pay for the lawyers of other people who couldn’t pay for one.

84 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:33:08am

re: #78 NJDhockeyfan

You also have the right to defend yourself without a lawyer (not a good idea BTW) and you will not be fined for it.

You’re really missing the point of the analogy. It’s imperfect, of course, all analogies are. But the real analogy would be that you’re not allowed to simply go without any representation. If you represent yourself, you still have representation.

Do you understand the point about paying taxes to provide for public defenders, and the relationship between that and paying taxes to provide health care for those who can’t afford it?

85 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:34:05am

re: #81 APox

Cool. So getting back to the analogy then: If you don’t have health insurance, and you want to get service in a hospital or doctor’s office, you can either 1) Pay out of pocket, or 2) Try to heal yourself.

Otherwise, you are kicked out and not given any treatment.

Actually if you go to the ER you are still treated but everyone else has to pay for it who actually do have insurance and pay their medical bills.

86 APox  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:35:19am

re: #85 recusancy

Actually if you go to the ER you are still treated but everyone else has to pay for it who actually do have insurance and pay their medical bills.

Right, that’s why I was saying if you can’t pay for the treatment out of pocket then you are kicked out.

87 uncah91  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:35:51am

Public option or not, it doesn’t affect the idea of an individual mandate.

The public option was just an insurance plan run by the federal government, it still would have to be supported by the premiums paid by those who were insured.

88 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:37:53am

re: #38 WindUpBird

Those fuckers on the left! Forcing us to pay for that military! Socialists!

I can provide my own national security for my own apartment! I don’t need this expensive government-provided military!

89 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:38:04am

re: #39 NJDhockeyfan

Sure. If you do not own a car you don’t have to purchase insurance, correct?

You own a body?

90 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:38:43am

re: #88 SanFranciscoZionist

I can provide my own national security for my own apartment! I don’t need this expensive government-provided military!

Solder of Fortune! :D

91 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:39:19am

re: #46 NJDhockeyfan

What the hell does the military have to do with this health care bill?

It’s something I and you are forced to cough up money for, whether we approve of what they do with it or not.

Why should I have to pay for shit for the Army? What if I’m a pacifist? What if I’d rather take my chances with North Korea nuking me to hellandgone?

92 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:40:33am

re: #91 SanFranciscoZionist

It’s something I and you are forced to cough up money for, whether we approve of what they do with it or not.

Why should I have to pay for shit for the Army? What if I’m a pacifist? What if I’d rather take my chances with North Korea nuking me to hellandgone?

Well, that’s different because military is GOOD government, health care BAD government :D

93 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:41:27am

re: #70 recusancy

They are forced to pay through it by taxes. Right now, when you pay your tax bill you’re paying for another person’s lawyer and possibly your own should you ever need one.

And, you know, I’m OK with that…kind of a fan of our Anglo-American legal system.

94 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:41:31am

re: #92 WindUpBird

Well, that’s different because military is GOOD government, health care BAD government :D

Culture of Life™

95 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:41:47am

remember, a government that can be trusted with the most advanced military on earth is somehow totally untrustworthy when it comes to the machinery of health care

Whatta country!

96 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:42:34am

re: #95 WindUpBird

remember, a government that can be trusted with the most advanced military on earth is somehow totally untrustworthy when it comes to the machinery of health care

Whatta country!

And it’s not even the machinery of health care. It’s the machinery of health insurance.

97 webevintage  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:42:59am

re: #76 mr.fusion

She doesn’t want to pay for insurance and says it infringes on her freedom or something. So let’s say this woman gets sick…do I have the freedom to deny paying for her treatment?

Yes.
If she has an emergency the hospital must treat her and if she cannot afford to pay her bill then the hospital eats that cost when the hospital eats the cost the taxpayer/consumers pay.

(of course I’d rather we take care of anyone who has an illness)

98 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:43:00am

Car insurance is a STATE, not FEDERAL, requirement where it’s mandatory, and is within the state’s purview as licensing authority for operating motor vehicles. Driving a car is not a constitutionally-protected right.
Forcing a person to purchase a commercial product that they might not want is well beyond the scope of the federal government’s powers, no matter how you warp the commerce clause. It is yet another example of grotesque federal overreach into an area where they have no constitutional grounds for interfering.

99 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:43:36am

re: #98 Lanzman

Do you approve of the public option?

100 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:43:39am

re: #90 WindUpBird

Solder of Fortune! :D

My dad used to read SoF religiously until they got into deep shit for allowing ads for hit men or something.

He cancelled his subscription then. I think that was about the same time he and Bush Sr. also cancelled their NRA memberships.

101 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:44:04am

re: #98 Lanzman

Car insurance is a STATE, not FEDERAL, requirement where it’s mandatory, and is within the state’s purview as licensing authority for operating motor vehicles. Driving a car is not a constitutionally-protected right.
Forcing a person to purchase a commercial product that they might not want is well beyond the scope of the federal government’s powers, no matter how you warp the commerce clause. It is yet another example of grotesque federal overreach into an area where they have no constitutional grounds for interfering.

Hay what’s happening freeper

102 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:44:11am

Oh, and national defense is an explicitly enumerated responsibility of the federal government, which is why your taxes pay for it whether you like it or not.

103 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:44:15am

re: #35 recusancy

You’re forced to buy roads, and a military, etc… Should you have the option to pay your taxes or not?

One may be “forced” to “buy” roads however that is done on the state, county or local level. These entities are under no obligation to accept Federal funding for highway projects and the regulatory mechanisms attached therein.

104 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:44:20am

re: #75 Obdicut

Look at the CBO scoring (full scoring here - See Table 2 (penalties)). It assumes that a percentage of the public is noncompliant and balances the HCR on that basis. It figures that $4 billion will be collected in each of 2017 through 2019. It further assumes that 4 million will choose to pay the penalty rather than pay for the IM.

The HCR came to include non-health care related items, like federal student loan program items, Pell grants, etc., to balance the overall package. The $4 billion per year on the IM penalty provision helps to balance the scoring on the 10-year CBO estimate.

105 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:44:41am

re: #98 Lanzman

Car insurance is a STATE, not FEDERAL, requirement where it’s mandatory, and is within the state’s purview as licensing authority for operating motor vehicles. Driving a car is not a constitutionally-protected right.
Forcing a person to purchase a commercial product that they might not want is well beyond the scope of the federal government’s powers, no matter how you warp the commerce clause. It is yet another example of grotesque federal overreach into an area where they have no constitutional grounds for interfering.

OK. Now, what should we do with the uninsured person who’s just been hit by a car?

106 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:45:26am

re: #102 Lanzman

Oh, and national defense is an explicitly enumerated responsibility of the federal government, which is why your taxes pay for it whether you like it or not.

Sure, but my taxes also pay for things that are not explicitly enumerated. Lots of ‘em.

107 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:45:37am

re: #105 SanFranciscoZionist

OK. Now, what should we do with the uninsured person who’s just been hit by a car?

Let the slob die! Ron pauL!

108 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:45:53am

re: #104 lawhawk

That’s a rather different way to state it, isn’t it?

If everyone actually did buy health insurance, there would be a large, large savings in terms of money spent in emergency rooms. I have no idea if it’d match up with that lost revenue, but that calculation would have to occur to really figure out what would happen if everyone was suddenly compliant.

109 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:46:12am

re: #99 Obdicut

Do you approve of the public option?

No. I don’t trust the feds to run health insurance. You’d wind up with the competence of the Post Office and the customer service of the IRS. Health insurance needs to be straightened out and brought into some kind of rational state, but handing it over to the fed is not the answer.

110 webevintage  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:46:28am

re: #105 SanFranciscoZionist

OK. Now, what should we do with the uninsured person who’s just been hit by a car?

check their bank balance/credit score before offering care if they have signed the card that says “I refused to take part in the mandate when I had a chance”.

111 MinisterO  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:46:34am

re: #104 lawhawk

Unless you’ve run the numbers honestly with 100% compliance you don’t really know the fiscal score.

112 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:47:30am

re: #109 Lanzman

No. I don’t trust the feds to run health insurance. You’d wind up with the competence of the Post Office and the customer service of the IRS. Health insurance needs to be straightened out and brought into some kind of rational state, but handing it over to the fed is not the answer.


Ron paul! End medicare! Let them eat gold! hahahahaha I love a crank, please stay around dude, we need more entertainment

113 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:47:49am

re: #104 lawhawk

Look at the CBO scoring (full scoring here - See Table 2 (penalties)). It assumes that a percentage of the public is noncompliant and balances the HCR on that basis. It figures that $4 billion will be collected in each of 2017 through 2019. It further assumes that 4 million will choose to pay the penalty rather than pay for the IM.

The HCR came to include non-health care related items, like federal student loan program items, Pell grants, etc., to balance the overall package. The $4 billion per year on the IM penalty provision helps to balance the scoring on the 10-year CBO estimate.

It’s effectively a hidden tax.

114 webevintage  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:48:32am

re: #109 Lanzman

No. I don’t trust the feds to run health insurance. You’d wind up with the competence of the Post Office

I’ve said this before, but I ship each and every week for at least the last 4 years.
I have had nothing but great service AND in those 4 years they have lost 4 or 5 packages most of which got lost after they left this country and were no longer the responsibility of the USPS.

115 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:48:57am

re: #109 Lanzman

No. I don’t trust the feds to run health insurance. You’d wind up with the competence of the Post Office and the customer service of the IRS. Health insurance needs to be straightened out and brought into some kind of rational state, but handing it over to the fed is not the answer.

also, I’m betting I’ve shipped ten times as many things as you have through the post office, since part of my business involves shipping one of a kind items

never lost a single package through the post office, never had a single thing damaged on arrival.

INCOMPETENCE!!111

116 Romantic Heretic  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:49:01am

re: #47 jamesfirecat

Damn it when will we have those android bodies ready that I can upload my personality to? My fleshy exterior continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace!

5 Reasons Immortality Would be Worse than Death

117 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:49:03am

re: #112 WindUpBird

Ron paul! End medicare! Let them eat gold! hahahahaha I love a crank, please stay around dude, we need more entertainment

Yes. How dare Lanzman state his honest point of view which may be in opposition to the group. Best to reply with ad hominem and cat calls no?

118 Decatur Deb  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:49:23am

re: #100 SanFranciscoZionist

My dad used to read SoF religiously until they got into deep shit for allowing ads for hit men or something.

He cancelled his subscription then. I think that was about the same time he and Bush Sr. also cancelled their NRA memberships.

Through a very strange twist of international law, I was classified as a “mercenary” for 3 years. SoF still wanted full subscription price, though.

119 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:49:54am

re: #109 Lanzman

No. I don’t trust the feds to run health insurance. You’d wind up with the competence of the Post Office and the customer service of the IRS. Health insurance needs to be straightened out and brought into some kind of rational state, but handing it over to the fed is not the answer.

The post office is enormously competent. I don’t know why you think they aren’t. Can you explain?

You are aware, right, that very large amounts of health insurance in the US are already handled by the federal government, and those programs get generally good scores for customer satisfaction?

120 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:50:04am

re: #114 webevintage

I’ve said this before, but I ship each and every week for at least the last 4 years.
I have had nothing but great service AND in those 4 years they have lost 4 or 5 packages most of which got lost after they left this country and were no longer the responsibility of the USPS.


The Post Office meme is standard far right wing talking point for the dull, it’s one of those signposts of partisan idiocy

121 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:50:28am

re: #112 WindUpBird

Ron paul! End medicare! Let them eat gold! hahahahaha I love a crank, please stay around dude, we need more entertainment

Ah. Disagree with the Holy Consensus and I’m a crank. Got it.

122 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:50:47am

re: #117 Gus 802

Yes. How dare Lanzman state his honest point of view which may be in opposition to the group. Best to reply with ad hominem and cat calls no?

Post office meme!

Sorry jack, this guy’s a butthole, you want to defend him, go ahead :D

123 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:50:50am

Can’t even say anything in opposition without being hit by the ankle biters.

What a place. This is like the left wing version of the Class of 2004.

124 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:50:56am

re: #109 Lanzman

No. I don’t trust the feds to run health insurance. You’d wind up with the competence of the Post Office and the customer service of the IRS. Health insurance needs to be straightened out and brought into some kind of rational state, but handing it over to the fed is not the answer.

Why do you hate America? Do you not think we are exceptional?

125 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:51:06am

re: #121 Lanzman

There isn’t a consensus.

126 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:52:01am

re: #121 Lanzman

Ah. Disagree with the Holy Consensus and I’m a crank. Got it.

The post office meme REALLY makes you a crank.

127 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:52:27am

re: #123 Gus 802

Can’t even say anything in opposition without being hit by the ankle biters.

What a place. This is like the left wing version of the Class of 2004.

Do you believe in The Post office meme as well?

128 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:52:34am

re: #123 Gus 802

Where are you getting this from?

On the subject of Assange and Wikileaks, the majority of LGFers are in opposition to him, so much so that people on the other side of the issue are also complaining about the ‘consensus’ against Wikileaks.

Now you’re complaining against some sort of left-wing consensus.

I really don’t get it.

And the post office really is very, very competent.

129 MinisterO  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:52:35am

re: #123 Gus 802

Flounce already. /

Seriously, if his contribution is to post standard right-wing slogans verbatim then he’s earned the derision he’s getting.

130 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:53:11am

re: #111 MinisterO

The CBO is running the scoring here. I’m using those numbers since they’re nonpartisan and based on the law as it exists.

They (and I) aren’t going to assume 100% compliance when that doesn’t happen in other areas of insurance. We don’t have 100% compliance in auto insurance. According to one study, the range of uninsured drivers is 10-14% nationally from 1999 to 2004, but the range by state varies from 20% to 4-5%.

States and insurers deal with uninsured drivers by setting up uninsured drivers’ funds, which are generated from those who are insured, along with increased penalties to force compliance.

131 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:53:34am

re: #128 Obdicut

Where are you getting this from?

On the subject of Assange and Wikileaks, the majority of LGFers are in opposition to him, so much so that people on the other side of the issue are also complaining about the ‘consensus’ against Wikileaks.

Now you’re complaining against some sort of left-wing consensus.

I really don’t get it.

And the post office really is very, very competent.


IMMA ANKLEBITER!

132 MinisterO  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:54:03am

re: #130 lawhawk

You’re changing one number and assuming the other numbers are unchanged. That’s a problem.

133 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:56:59am

re: #123 Gus 802

Can’t even say anything in opposition without being hit by the ankle biters.

What a place. This is like the left wing version of the Class of 2004.

Dude, make your point in an intelligent and gracious way and we’ll respond in the same manner.

Were we “ankle biting” NJD as well?

134 Spocomptonite  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:57:23am

re: #85 recusancy

Actually if you go to the ER you are still treated but everyone else has to pay for it who actually do have insurance and pay their medical bills.

See, this is why I really, really support the public option. I used to have a relatively high-paying job and paid lots of income taxes then. Earlier this year, I was in between jobs, had no savings, and suddenly I got appendicitis. Going to the ER made me feel ridiculously irresponsible and a drain on society, because I wasn’t going to be able to pay for it, and thus far in my life I’ve been pretty responsible with my finances.
If there had been a public option, I would have paid into it when I had the money and reaped the benefits guilt-free when I didn’t have the money. As our current system is, you change jobs your insurance disappears, or you pay a ridiculously high amount to continue it after leaving when you no longer have any income in the first place. With a public option, you are vested in and covered by it no matter what your employment situation is.

135 Romantic Heretic  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:58:02am

re: #109 Lanzman

No. I don’t trust the feds to run health insurance. You’d wind up with the competence of the Post Office and the customer service of the IRS. Health insurance needs to be straightened out and brought into some kind of rational state, but handing it over to the fed is not the answer.

How odd. It works just fine up here in Canada. It is a provincial responsibility though.

Still, as far as I recall, no heads exploded when we bought single payer health care in. Just as well. I don’t think that would be covered. /

136 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:58:49am

re: #135 Romantic Heretic

How odd. It works just fine up here in Canada. It is a provincial responsibility though.

Still, as far as I recall, no heads exploded when we bought single payer health care in. Just as well. I don’t think that would be covered. /

lanzman clearly believes that the US is not as exceptional as Canada :D

137 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 10:59:23am

re: #133 jamesfirecat

Dude, make your point in an intelligent and gracious way and we’ll respond in the same manner.

Were we “ankle biting” NJD as well?

I was talking about the dingers. But hey, who care what I think.

138 Stanley Sea  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:00:01am

ThePlumLineGS

Legal expert says Fed judge’s ruling on Obamacare is “very defective” and will certainly be overturned on appeal: wapo.st

139 Romantic Heretic  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:01:34am

re: #119 Obdicut

The post office is enormously competent. I don’t know why you think they aren’t. Can you explain?

You are aware, right, that very large amounts of health insurance in the US are already handled by the federal government, and those programs get generally good scores for customer satisfaction?

It’s part of the myth. The federal government is, always has been and always will be incompetent. There are no contradicting facts.

Except when the Armed Forces are kicking the living shit out of some country far away that’s on this week’s hit list. But that’s different. /

140 Spocomptonite  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:02:29am

re: #102 Lanzman

Oh, and national defense is an explicitly enumerated responsibility of the federal government, which is why your taxes pay for it whether you like it or not.

The Army and Navy are, but the Air Force isn’t! They didn’t think about the Air Force in 1776 when they wrote it, thus the founding fathers must have supported the free market of mercenary jet fighters to defend the country because it was explicitly omitted. Don’t try that “the Air Force falls under the ‘national defense’ part of the constitution”, you are just grabbing for straws. Just like saying health care falls under ‘National welfare’.

141 webevintage  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:04:07am

I did want to ask if this really matters since other judges have thrown out the challenges and/or said the mandate is constitutional?

142 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:05:18am

re: #140 Spocomptonite

The Army and Navy are, but the Air Force isn’t! They didn’t think about the Air Force in 1776 when they wrote it, thus the founding fathers must have supported the free market of mercenary jet fighters to defend the country because it was explicitly omitted. Don’t try that “the Air Force falls under the ‘national defense’ part of the constitution”, you are just grabbing for straws. Just like saying health care falls under ‘National welfare’.

lol

143 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:05:42am

re: #141 webevintage

It still matters. It will proceed, and the judges in higher courts will consider those other rulings when ruling on this ruling. Ruling ruling ruling.

144 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:05:54am

re: #141 webevintage

I did want to ask if this really matters since other judges have thrown out the challenges and/or said the mandate is constitutional?

It matters because he’s a federal judge.

145 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:07:46am

re: #143 Obdicut

It still matters. It will proceed, and the judges in higher courts will consider those other rulings when ruling on this ruling. Ruling ruling ruling.

We’ll see how it goes. Eventually, something will have to be worked out.

146 imherefromtheinternet  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:09:09am

I suppose that this means that the Supremes have to take the case, now that there are conflicting rulings in the Federal Courts?

Not that it was really ever in question that they would hear it…

Well that’s two or three interesting cases in the next few years - gay marriage and now this. I really wonder what the right wing of the court is going to do. It seems like a shoo-in for the law being upheld, but I can see a split decision with Scalia, Alito, Thomas, and maybe Roberts peeling off.

147 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:10:25am

re: #76 mr.fusion

Here’s what really gets me. I live in Florida, home of “The Original Obamacare Lawsuit.” A few months ago our AG pulls some 50-something up at a press conference that he’s going to parade around as an example of what the individual mandate does. She’s too young to get into Medicare, and makes too much money to get into Medicaid. She doesn’t want to pay for insurance and says it infringes on her freedom or something. So let’s say this woman gets sick…do I have the freedom to deny paying for her treatment?

Remember when Republicans stood for personal responsibility? For me, the individual mandate falls squarely and quite clearly into that category.

There’s the rub, and the reason for the mandate. Hospitals don’t have the right to turn away the deathly ill, so they get treated regardless, and if they can’t pay, the cost gets passed on to those whop do pay.

One way or another, we all pay for it. The mandate is one way to actually deal with that issue on the books instead of pretending it doesn’t exist.

148 BongCrodny  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:12:36am

Let’s say for the sake of argument that the USPS is incompetent.

The USPS delivers some 250 BILLION pieces of mail each year.

If the duties of the USPS were suddenly gifted to the marketplace, presumably a *lot* of people would need to be hired to process and deliver that mail.

Many of whom, by necessity, would be former USPS employees and managers.

Would those same incompetent employees, through the magic of “the marketplace,” suddenly become competent?

149 garhighway  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:12:38am

re: #17 NJDhockeyfan

I thought the left was against a flat tax. What gives? This still doesn’t answer the question of where the government has the right to force people to buy anything.

They force you to buy auto insurance and they force businesses to buy workers comp.

150 Decatur Deb  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:15:43am

re: #140 Spocomptonite

The Army and Navy are, but the Air Force isn’t! They didn’t think about the Air Force in 1776 when they wrote it, thus the founding fathers must have supported the free market of mercenary jet fighters to defend the country because it was explicitly omitted. Don’t try that “the Air Force falls under the ‘national defense’ part of the constitution”, you are just grabbing for straws. Just like saying health care falls under ‘National welfare’.

The standing army, like the one we’ve had since the Civil War, isn’t in the Constitution. That was not an oversight, and the Navy often reminded us of it.

151 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:16:19am

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Remember, calling something a “meme” as a way to disparage it is, in itself, a meme.

152 Decatur Deb  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:17:53am

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Remember, calling something a “meme” as a way to disparage it is, in itself, a meme.

The USPS is required by law to maintain service to areas that cannot be profitable. They still like to get their mail in Gullet Gap, KY.

153 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:18:06am
In a 42-page opinion, Hudson said the provision of the law that requires most individuals to get insurance or pay a fine by 2014 is an unprecedented expansion of federal power that cannot be supported by Congress’s power to regulate interstate trade.

I’ve not read the bill. Is this for real? What happens to mooks like me who can’t afford insurance or a fine?

154 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:18:50am

re: #153 Slumbering Behemoth

I’ve not read the bill. Is this for real? What happens to mooks like me who can’t afford insurance or a fine?

It’s subsidized for people who can’t afford it.

155 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:19:48am

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Remember, calling something a “meme” as a way to disparage it is, in itself, a meme.

Are you aware that FedEx and UPS both subcontract rural delivery to USPS? Why? Because what they do is inherently unprofitable.

156 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:20:25am

re: #151 Lanzman

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Then you’re not really understanding the mission of the Post Office.

They have to deliver to every address in the United States, no matter how remote, at the same rates.

You’re complaining, apparently, that they overspend in doing so. Can you point to another organization that is more competent than them in a similar mission?

157 Slumbering Behemoth Stinks  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:21:24am

re: #154 recusancy

It’s subsidized for people who can’t afford it.

Well that’s a relief. I was worried that I’d end up in a Debtor’s Prison.

/not really worried, just curious.

158 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:22:57am

re: #156 Obdicut

And there it is. There is literally no other organization that does what USPS does, vapid memes notwithstanding. We have the choice of either accepting that they operate at a loss, or pay a lot more for the commerce we do. There isn’t a third option.

Privatizing USPS would mean either poorer-quality service, or much more expensive service, or both, because what they do cannot be profitably done for as little as they charge.

159 tomg51spence  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:23:03am

Set the individual mandate at 0$.
Would it be legal?
Would Obamacare default to government healthcare supported by taxes only?
Is this a scary thought? (my vote is yes, it is)

160 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:23:22am

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Remember, calling something a “meme” as a way to disparage it is, in itself, a meme.

Well you know maybe if the post office charged more because they were interested in making a profit rather than providing a service they wouldn’t be in the red.

///By the way you know I have a great idea for how we could really improve water quality and make a lot of money for people at the same time! Am I the only one tired of utilities sanctioned by Uncle Sam telling them what is clean and what isn’t?

161 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:24:32am

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Remember, calling something a “meme” as a way to disparage it is, in itself, a meme.

It’s a postal service, not a business.

162 garhighway  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:25:09am

re: #61 NJDhockeyfan

It’s in the Constitution. Read it. Nothing there mentions the health care bill.

We could have a lot of fun listing all the things modern governments do that aren’t listed in the Constitution, couldn’t we?

163 mr.fusion  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:28:26am

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Did you know establishment of postal service is explicitly authorized by the US Constitution? Now, this might really knock your socks off, but the Constitution calls for the establishment of Postal Service and availability of this service to all citizens. It does not call for a business like venture, mandating that the US Post Office make money, only that citizens have access to this service.

With that being said —- the Post Office takes a piece of paper in my hand here in Tampa Fl, and will deliver it to my sister in Sacramento, Ca in 4 days all for the whopping cost of .44 cents. Yea…..real terrible gubmint run program there

:rolleyes:

164 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:28:30am

re: #161 SanFranciscoZionist

It’s a postal service, not a business.

Indeed. I wonder why so many people reference profit as a measure of efficiency, when profit is a measure of how much money is taken out of an enterprise, thus making it more expensive to perform.

Capitalism is fine, but lets please take off the blinders when we talk about it in comparison to government services.

165 Decatur Deb  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:29:41am

Duty calls. It has a Kentucky accent.

166 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:32:18am

re: #162 garhighway

And just as easily, we can point to Article 1, Sec. 8, clause 18, as the source of authority (necessary and proper clause):

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

usconstitution.net

167 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:33:37am

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Remember, calling something a “meme” as a way to disparage it is, in itself, a meme.

You are really not a very smart person

Also, nice Mohammad drawing lol

168 garhighway  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:34:03am

re: #166 lawhawk

And just as easily, we can point to Article 1, Sec. 8, clause 18, as the source of authority (necessary and proper clause):

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

[Link: www.usconstitution.net…]

Agree. The “this isn’t listed in the Constitution” argument is almost always asserted out of ignorance or bad faith.

169 Spocomptonite  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:35:13am
And there it is. There is literally no other organization that does what USPS does, vapid memes notwithstanding. We have the choice of either accepting that they operate at a loss, or pay a lot more for the commerce we do. There isn’t a third option.

Privatizing USPS would mean either poorer-quality service, or much more expensive service, or both, because what they do cannot be profitably done for as little as they charge.

It would mean that the nation’s rural population that predominantly votes Republican would learn that they’ve been taking their cheap socialistic mail services for granted. Don’t they also complain when stamp prices increase by a few cents?

170 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:35:50am

re: #169 Spocomptonite

It would mean that the nation’s rural population that predominantly votes Republican would learn that they’ve been taking their cheap socialistic mail services for granted. Don’t they also complain when stamp prices increase by a few cents?

complaining is easy!

THESE GUYS IN GOVERNMENT I TELL YOU

171 BongCrodny  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:41:36am

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The website ask500.com asks “Combine the compassion of the IRS with the efficiency of the post office” — could this be in our future?”

A blog entry dated September 8, 2009 at a site called coldfusionguy.com is titled “The Efficiency of the Post Office, the Compassion of the IRS.”

In an article on the Politico website dated May 4, 2009, a commenter named Jiggs writes: “A healthcare system with the compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the Post Office.”

CafePress offers a T-shirt with the caption: “Obamacare: the service of the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, the efficiency of the Post Office and the compassion of the I.R.S.”


If you don’t see a meme, you haven’t looked.

172 lawhawk  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:42:05am

re: #163 mr.fusion

Yup. Art. 1, Sec. 8, Clause 7 (along with creating post roads - the precursor to the Interstate highways).

The USPS rate system established a single price regardless of destination in the country, as opposed to a system where the rate is generated based on distance (zone). This was done purposefully to better integrate the nation as it was developing and helped keep far-flung communities in contact.

However, with greater costs to keep that kind of system going and higher transportation costs at a time when first class postage is declining due to e-filing of bills, email, etc., we might have to see a fundamental change to the structure of the rate system to keep the USPS going.

UPS and FedEx both have distance/zone based rate structures. Neither is required to provide service to the entire nation and all ZIP codes.

173 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 11:58:43am

re: #164 Fozzie Bear

Indeed. I wonder why so many people reference profit as a measure of efficiency, when profit is a measure of how much money is taken out of an enterprise

Which it isn’t, of course, because any profit made is simply the positive difference between running expenses and earnings, expressed in wealth. And it is not neccessarily “taken out of” an enterprise but can just as well remain in it in order to expand the business.

174 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:00:12pm

re: #173 000G

Which it isn’t, of course, because any profit made is simply the positive difference between running expenses and earnings, expressed in wealth. And it is not neccessarily “taken out of” an enterprise but can just as well remain in it in order to expand the business.

It’s still a measure of how much more a business is charging than it needs to to remain in the black, no matter how you slice it. Whether it is taken out or not is immaterial.

175 (I Stand By What I Said Whatever It Was)  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:05:55pm

re: #174 Fozzie Bear

It’s still a measure of how much more a business is charging than it needs to to remain in the black, no matter how you slice it.

No, it is not. An alternative to raising the price of a product unit is simply to sell more units (which you can actually achieve by lowering prices in order to increase sales rates and effectively increase profit).

And really, the neccessities of business are not so much of needing to remain in the black but to get out of the red. Businesses constantly go into debt in order to be able to go into production competitively.

Whether it is taken out or not is immaterial.

I don’t know what you mean by “immaterial” here, but you brought the “taken out of” thing up.

Anyhow, I am not arguing against the USPS here, and I am neither arguing that it is an “ineffecient business” or whatever. I personally would call it welfare, but somehow welfare has become a dirty word in U.S. politics. Dunno why, but you will have to forgive my ignorance on that part. I am an immigrant.

176 Stormy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:09:05pm

re: #27 recusancy

Insurance itself (private or public) is a form of spreading the wealth.

Insurance is a form of spreading the risk. Or am I being too literal?

177 recusancy  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:20:08pm

re: #176 Stormy

Insurance is a form of spreading the risk. Or am I being too literal?

Yes but that’s what spreading the wealth does, decrease risk. Hence the “safety net” metaphor.

178 Unsympathetic  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:22:50pm

If the requirement to pay for insurance is unconstitutional, then the requirement of hospitals to fix every person who comes through the door of an emergency room is equally unconstitutional.

Pick one, judge. Hospitals can’t work without receiving payment!

179 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:34:26pm

re: #171 BongCrodny

The website ask500.com asks “Combine the compassion of the IRS with the efficiency of the post office” — could this be in our future?”

A blog entry dated September 8, 2009 at a site called coldfusionguy.com is titled “The Efficiency of the Post Office, the Compassion of the IRS.”

In an article on the Politico website dated May 4, 2009, a commenter named Jiggs writes: “A healthcare system with the compassion of the IRS and the efficiency of the Post Office.”

CafePress offers a T-shirt with the caption: “Obamacare: the service of the Dept. of Motor Vehicles, the efficiency of the Post Office and the compassion of the I.R.S.”

If you don’t see a meme, you haven’t looked.

it’s like this lanzman guy has never heard of the internet or of looking stuff up.

EARTH TO OLD GUY: WE GOOGLE THINGS

180 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:35:34pm

re: #151 Lanzman

So there’s a Post Office meme? Fascinating.

The Post Office operates at a loss just about every year. It borrows from the treasury to cover the difference. I’d not assign a lot of “competence” to that, regardless of whether the mail gets there on time.

Remember, calling something a “meme” as a way to disparage it is, in itself, a meme.

What I love about this, is you got so thoroughly owned, so completely dismantled in this thread, that there’s no disputing it

181 garhighway  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:37:24pm

re: #180 WindUpBird

What I love about this, is you got so thoroughly owned, so completely dismantled in this thread, that there’s no disputing it

It looks like Lanzman has left the building.

And we were having such fun with him.

182 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:40:23pm

re: #181 garhighway

It looks like Lanzman has left the building.

And we were having such fun with him.

Least he lasted long this time around than he did after really “getting our number” over on the Sarah Palin killing animals on television one…

183 elizajane  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:41:20pm

Just to add to the dismantling: our US PO does a phenomenal job over a huge geographical scale at a very reasonable cost. Heck, it costs more to mail a letter from Brussels to Paris than it costs to mail a letter from San Francisco to Paris! That is incredible! Plus every mail delivery person I’ve ever had has been cheerful, helpful, and generally exceedingly nice.

In fact, I always leave Christmas cookies for my postperson. Do you, Lanzman?

184 garhighway  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:41:59pm

re: #183 elizajane

Just to add to the dismantling: our US PO does a phenomenal job over a huge geographical scale at a very reasonable cost. Heck, it costs more to mail a letter from Brussels to Paris than it costs to mail a letter from San Francisco to Paris! That is incredible! Plus every mail delivery person I’ve ever had has been cheerful, helpful, and generally exceedingly nice.

In fact, I always leave Christmas cookies for my postperson. Do you, Lanzman?

Lanzman leaves a leghold trap with cookies in it.

185 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:43:28pm

re: #184 garhighway

Lanzman leaves a leghold trap with cookies in it.

Still better than last year when he left a plate of cookies carefully balanced on top of a landmine…

186 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:44:05pm

Yet a federal judge still ruled that the mandate provision of health care reform was ruled unconstitutional and in conflict with the Commerce Clause. The ruling currently stands. Sometimes legal decision are hard to accept. This will no doubt make it all the way to the SCOTUS.

187 garhighway  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:52:18pm

re: #186 Gus 802

Yet a federal judge still ruled that the mandate provision of health care reform was ruled unconstitutional and in conflict with the Commerce Clause. The ruling currently stands. Sometimes legal decision are hard to accept. This will no doubt make it all the way to the SCOTUS.

As discussed uptread, there is still SOME doubt, in that the various CCAs need to rule yet. If the various circuits all come out in favor of constitutionality, then an appeal to Scotus becomes something that Scotus can choose to accept or pass on.

Mind you, Scotus could still take the appeal anyway, and for my money the current Scotus is so political I think it will. On the merits, the case for overturning the law is very weak. Legislating in the health care space is obviously within the purview of the commerce clause. To suggest that health insurance doesn’t affect interstate commerce is absurd on its face. And the “mandate” doesn’t break any new ground. It works like this: your tax is X. But if certain facts are true (that are under your control), then your tax is Y.

My oddsmaking is that it is 70-30 in favor of Scotus getting the case one way or another, and it’ll be 5-4 in favor, if Kagan gets to participate.

188 BongCrodny  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:08:21pm

re: #179 WindUpBird

it’s like this lanzman guy has never heard of the internet or of looking stuff up.

EARTH TO OLD GUY: WE GOOGLE THINGS


Considering he used pretty much the same phrasing as those other guys did, I’d say he *does* know how to look stuff up.

Admitting that something’s a meme, however…I guess not!

189 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:16:21pm

re: #182 jamesfirecat

Least he lasted long this time around than he did after really “getting our number” over on the Sarah Palin killing animals on television one…

You think I have nothing better to do all day then lurk here waiting for responses to comments? LGF is just one site I visit. It’s informative to check the various echo chambers around the web and see which way the lemmings in each are running.

190 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:21:29pm

re: #189 Lanzman

You think I have nothing better to do all day then lurk here waiting for responses to comments? LGF is just one site I visit. It’s informative to check the various echo chambers around the web and see which way the lemmings in each are running.

Interesting, care to argue the point that the postal service may have other possible measures of efficiency than how much money it makes?

191 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:25:48pm

re: #190 jamesfirecat

Interesting, care to argue the point that the postal service may have other possible measures of efficiency than how much money it makes?

It’s not a matter of how much money it makes. The PO is not for profit. It’s a matter of operating in a way that doesn’t cover costs. Or put another way, that causes expenditures to exceed revenues. Now lemme think … hmmm … who does that sound like … ?

192 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:28:12pm

re: #191 Lanzman

It’s not a matter of how much money it makes. The PO is not for profit. It’s a matter of operating in a way that doesn’t cover costs. Or put another way, that causes expenditures to exceed revenues. Now lemme think … hmmm … who does that sound like … ?

I’ve got not idea.

But are you saying that the post office should discontinue activities which cost it more money than it makes? Or should it races costs to cover the difference?

193 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:28:40pm

re: #192 jamesfirecat

I’ve got not idea.

But are you saying that the post office should discontinue activities which cost it more money than it makes? Or should it races costs to cover the difference?

I’ve got “No idea”.

194 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:33:19pm

re: #192 jamesfirecat

I’ve got not idea.

But are you saying that the post office should discontinue activities which cost it more money than it makes? Or should it races costs to cover the difference?

Yes. Costs should cover expenses. That’s how a free market works. Absent borrowing from the Treasury - if the Postal Service was FedEx, say - the USPS would have gone belly-up some time ago. That’s not a model to emulate no matter what kind of program you’re advocating. Mind you, it’s not entirely the Postal Service’s fault. They operate under the rules Congress imposes, after all, and must get approval for any rate increases. But they still operate in a very poor manner.

195 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:34:05pm

re: #194 Lanzman

The Post Office isn’t part of the free market. Why do you think it should be?

196 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:34:57pm

re: #194 Lanzman

Yes. Costs should cover expenses. That’s how a free market works. Absent borrowing from the Treasury - if the Postal Service was FedEx, say - the USPS would have gone belly-up some time ago. That’s not a model to emulate no matter what kind of program you’re advocating. Mind you, it’s not entirely the Postal Service’s fault. They operate under the rules Congress imposes, after all, and must get approval for any rate increases. But they still operate in a very poor manner.

Would you say the same of the library system? That they’re incompetent? Because I bet their book fines fail to meet the costs of buying all those books…

197 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:35:36pm

Because unlike many other federal government services, the Postal Service charges a fee for each transaction. They act as a de facto business, they’re just insulated from the realities of that situation.

198 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:36:54pm

re: #197 Lanzman

That isn’t actually an answer. You can call any service provided by the government a ‘de facto business’, especially if there is an actual fee— and there are many that do have fees.

You do realize that if your ‘free market’ idea of the Post Office came true, that people mailing to or from rural areas would be charged much, much, much more than they are now, right?

199 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:37:11pm

re: #197 Lanzman

Because unlike many other federal government services, the Postal Service charges a fee for each transaction. They act as a de facto business, they’re just insulated from the realities of that situation.

The library service charges a fee for late books.

Does this make them a defacto business?

How about the utilities that provide us with water, are they incompetent?

200 Lanzman  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:37:41pm

re: #196 jamesfirecat

Would you say the same of the library system? That they’re incompetent? Because I bet their book fines fail to meet the costs of buying all those books…

Libraries are not sustained by late book fines. They get donations, in some cases government funding (local, state, and/or fed), and have patrons. And libraries, as non-government entities, can and do “go out of business” when their expenses exceed their revenues.

201 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:38:37pm

re: #197 Lanzman

Because unlike many other federal government services, the Postal Service charges a fee for each transaction. They act as a de facto business, they’re just insulated from the realities of that situation.

I pay a fine when I park in the wrong place. Does that make the court system a “de facto business”?

202 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:38:44pm

re: #200 Lanzman

Libraries are not sustained by late book fines. They get donations, in some cases government funding (local, state, and/or fed), and have patrons. And libraries, as non-government entities, can and do “go out of business” when their expenses exceed their revenues.

So which are you in favor of for the post office?

Should it raise fees or drop those activities that are unprofitable?

Which do you think would make it a more competent business?

203 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:41:20pm

Also, court fees, municipal parking garages, and public toll roads. Please explain how these are de facto businesses.

204 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:42:07pm

re: #203 Fozzie Bear

And business licenses, fees for entering state parks, etc.

205 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:42:23pm

re: #203 Fozzie Bear

Also, court fees, municipal parking garages, and public toll roads. Please explain how these are de facto businesses.

SOCIALMALISM!

206 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:43:26pm

re: #188 BongCrodny

Considering he used pretty much the same phrasing as those other guys did, I’d say he *does* know how to look stuff up.

Admitting that something’s a meme, however…I guess not!

he knows how to read t-shirts, haha

207 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:44:16pm

re: #203 Fozzie Bear

Also, court fees, municipal parking garages, and public toll roads. Please explain how these are de facto businesses.

Lazeman do you understand how there are some organizations that are more about providing a service to the people of the US than turning a profit or even breaking even?

They may charge a fee that does something to defray a portion of the cost of providing the service, I think it’s more important that the Postal Service get my package where it needs to go within a reasonable amount of time than that it perfectly makes ends meet.

Some things are just to important to be left to the whims of the free market, don’t you agree?:

208 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:45:46pm

re: #207 jamesfirecat

This guy’s a punchline, I’m done wasting my time :D

209 Usually refered to as anyways  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:46:14pm

re: #207 jamesfirecat


Some things are just to important to be left to the whims of the free market, don’t you agree?:

I knew it fuckin commies.

210 Fozzie Bear  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:47:47pm

re: #200 Lanzman

Libraries are not sustained by late book fines. They get donations, in some cases government funding (local, state, and/or fed), and have patrons. And libraries, as non-government entities, can and do “go out of business” when their expenses exceed their revenues.

I asked earlier, but it may have gotten lost in the shuffle:

Are you aware that neither UPS nor FedEX do their own rural delivery? Both contract USPS to do so, at a loss, because they realize that they cannot do so profitably.

So that begs the question: would you prefer it if people who do not live in suburbs or cities to not have access to mail delivery, or would you instead prefer it if they paid much more for the service than they currently do?

211 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:48:45pm

re: #210 Fozzie Bear

I wonder if he’ll stick around to get ALL the bottom ten

212 jamesfirecat  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:50:37pm

re: #211 WindUpBird

I wonder if he’ll stick around to get ALL the bottom ten

Meh, its not much of an achievement on a slow day like today…

213 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:52:43pm

re: #212 jamesfirecat

I don’t see any virtue in downdinging him. Downdings are for whatever people want them to be, but I think in this case the deconstruction of his argument is a better and more visible sign.

214 WINDUPBIRD DISEASE [S.K.U.M.M.]  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 1:55:46pm

re: #213 Obdicut

I don’t see any virtue in downdinging him. Downdings are for whatever people want them to be, but I think in this case the deconstruction of his argument is a better and more visible sign.

My thing with downdinging is all the red negative numbers draw attention to the proceedings, mostly for the people who skim comments, then they see all the minus action and slow down to watch :D But yes, ultimately, the argument itself speaks for itself

215 palomino  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:01:54pm

re: #191 Lanzman

It’s not a matter of how much money it makes. The PO is not for profit. It’s a matter of operating in a way that doesn’t cover costs. Or put another way, that causes expenditures to exceed revenues. Now lemme think … hmmm … who does that sound like … ?

Your argument seems to be that the Feds can’t be trusted to run anything competently, and since HCR is a “govt takeover of health care” then it will be a disaster.

But your assumptions about HCR are faulty. It’s a plan in which the govt regulates private insurance companies, who will be getting millions of new patients and an expanded risk pool. These patients won’t be going to govt hospitals or treated by govt doctors (that’s really more like the military’s health care plan). Instead they will still be covered by private insurance companies and mostly treated by doctors in private practice. Thus your analogy to the post office simply doesn’t stand, as the new system has little in common with collectivized health coverage, and is thus different from the plans in nearly all other industrialized countries.

216 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:06:34pm

It’s good to know who your friends are. Or even acquaintances. While not something of great note it has been very revealing.

217 Varek Raith  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:11:36pm

re: #129 MinisterO

Flounce already. /

Seriously, if his contribution is to post standard right-wing slogans verbatim then he’s earned the derision he’s getting.

Flounce already?
Look, I don’t have an informed opinion as to whether the government can mandate health care. I just don’t know. I’ll let the courts sort that out.
But!
Calling on Gus to flounce is low. Just low.

218 No Country For Old Haters  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:14:25pm

re: #217 Varek Raith

Looks like a joke to me with the slash on the end.

219 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:16:14pm

re: #218 JeffFX

It’s a joke, but it’s not a funny joke.

220 mr.fusion  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:22:21pm

re: #178 Unsympathetic

If the requirement to pay for insurance is unconstitutional, then the requirement of hospitals to fix every person who comes through the door of an emergency room is equally unconstitutional.

Pick one, judge. Hospitals can’t work without receiving payment!

This is a great point

If we, as a society, have determined that hospitals aren’t going to let people die in their lobbies then it seems to me that the “conservative” take on that should be personal responsibility…..aka, individual mandate

221 No Country For Old Haters  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:24:50pm

re: #219 Obdicut

Why? He was acting very flouncy in this thread. 123 and 216 for example. I’m sure he’s just having a bad day, but why not joke about flouncing when someone is acting like that?

222 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:25:16pm

re: #221 JeffFX

Because you’re sure he’s having a bad day.

Why pile it on?

223 No Country For Old Haters  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 2:27:02pm

re: #222 Obdicut

Good point.

224 MinisterO  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 3:17:38pm

The same people who complain about others piling on to unpopular viewpoints are piling on the WikiLeaks defenders with zeal. It’s unbecoming.

I do apologize for being unforgivably unfunny.

225 Gus  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 3:33:35pm

re: #224 MinisterO

The same people who complain about others piling on to unpopular viewpoints are piling on the WikiLeaks defenders with zeal. It’s unbecoming.

I do apologize for being unforgivably unfunny.

The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat - Confucius

226 Ford Prefect  Mon, Dec 13, 2010 9:55:12pm

re: #50 recusancy

What part of “Provide for the Common Defense” do you not understand?

227 Fairly Sure I'm Still Obdicut  Tue, Dec 14, 2010 4:10:54am

re: #226 Ford Prefect

What part of ‘general welfare’ don’t you understand?

228 harrylook  Tue, Dec 14, 2010 5:56:26am

re: #14 lawhawk

It’s a real hike in costs to these individuals in the wishful thinking of bending the cost curve for services by expanding the pool of health care consumers to include those in good health who do not normally seek health care.

Those of us who live in Mass., whose system (‘romneycare’) was essentially the model for ‘obamacare’, know that it doesn’t work. Our premiums have skyrocketed - the highest in the nation. The only difference I’ve seen since romneycare has been much higher insurance costs, and less benefits in return. It has truly sucked. I find it unbelievable that during the debate over this federal law, no one asked, “Hey, how has the ‘model’ worked up in Mass.?”


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