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1 aagcobb  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 11:50:09am

Its funny how something that started as a GOP proposal, the individual mandate, became a commie plot to destroy Amurka!1!1!11

2 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 11:51:16am

re: #1 aagcobb

I could hardly care less who first proposed this horrible idea. From the states this makes far more sense. But from the Federal gov? Reason weeps.

3 aagcobb  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 11:59:01am

re: #2 Rightwingconspirator

Sorry, I just don't see why a federal mandate is awful but a state mandate is okie dokie. Health care is a national problem and calls for a national solution. Plus, if you are determined to not buy health insurance, you don't even have to pay the fine. The Act prohibits the IRS from filing a lien or taking other collection actions if you refuse to pay.

4 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 1:06:21pm

re: #3 aagcobb

I may have more of an appreciation for local control. My vote has far more power in my city than my state, more power in my state than the national. Many issues that cross state lines are regulated by the states. Our Public Utilities Commission for example regulates electricity in state. But like healthcare everyone needs electricity.

One size fits all is not necessarily a good idea in detail and at a national level. I suspect the needs of smaller states will be substantially different than say California.

5 KingKenrod  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 1:38:05pm

re: #3 aagcobb

Sorry, I just don't see why a federal mandate is awful but a state mandate is okie dokie. Health care is a national problem and calls for a national solution. Plus, if you are determined to not buy health insurance, you don't even have to pay the fine. The Act prohibits the IRS from filing a lien or taking other collection actions if you refuse to pay.

It doesn't matter what the Act says now. Acts can change. There are dozens of ways Congress could have funded HCR without resorting to a mandate. What really matters is whether the government has the power to compel a non-actor to act and enter into a legal agreement with another private party. I'm shocked by the number of liberals who see no jeopardy in this expansion of power and support the mandate simply because they like the current proposed application (HCR). If right-wingers were pulling this crap with one of their "national priorities" heads would be popping left and right.

6 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 1:48:19pm

re: #5 KingKenrod

Well said.

7 SpaceJesus  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 2:05:04pm

rational basis, bitches

8 garzooma  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 2:15:34pm

re: #5 KingKenrod

I'm shocked by the number of liberals who see no jeopardy in this expansion of power and support the mandate simply because they like the current proposed application (HCR).

I'm not particularly liberal, but I don't see the jeopardy either. As was pointed out in the original post, the government already has the power to tax me, buy from whomever they want with the money, and deliver the proceeds to whomever they want. With the mandate, I decide who I buy from and I keep what I buy. In other words, it's decidedly less onerous then what the government can already do.

The Supreme Court may yet decide that there's a technical reason why the mandate is unconstitutional, but I can't see any reason to get worked up about it.

9 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 2:40:54pm

re: #7 SpaceJesus
Hmm, I might be reading that cryptic comment right.
What do you suppose the Dems reaction would be if the Republicans had proposed such a controversial mandate? Heads would be a poppin'. But lets set aside the partisan stuff a minute.

I bet we agree 100% that reform is necessary. But did we really have to do it like this? I say not. And I really do share the legitimate concerns of the dissenting opinion. I'd rather have tax and benefit, as in a medicare buy in fro all ages as an option. Or single payer. Or state based mandates, as described above. The options abound once you set aside partisan rancor.

What might your answer be to the dissenters question?

10 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 2:43:27pm

re: #8 garzooma

Technical reason? Those bright lines the constitution laid out are hardly technicalities. The commerce clause is legally complex, but hardly a "technical" issue, it's bigger than that. How would you answer the dissenters implied question? (Where does the commerce clause end?/Does it have limits at all?)

11 aagcobb  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 3:57:04pm

re: #10 Rightwingconspirator

Congress can't make laws about who you can marry and similar very personal activities under the Commerce Clause. But all economic activity is fair game. The primary constraint on what Congress can do is the voters. I guess Congress could have imposed the mandate through the taxing power by making it a tax credit rather than a fine, but that's a distinction without a significant difference to me. While I agree that single payer would have been a better way, it wasn't politically feasible, and if we had insisted on a perfect bill, it would probably take another couple of decades with tens of millions of Americans uninsured before we actually got it.

12 KingKenrod  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 4:07:19pm

re: #7 SpaceJesus

rational basis, bitches

If the government left the mandate in place but provided no subsidies for the poor to meet the mandate, what would happen?

When the court rules that there is no fundamental right at stake, they are being blinded by the details of the system, which is (as presented) benevolent. If the government stopped the subsidy, it would immediately turn every poor person who couldn't afford insurance into a law-breaker and subject to sanction. In my opinion, this makes it the equivalent of a poll tax.

13 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 4:09:02pm

Down your throats, cons.

14 aagcobb  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 4:21:43pm

re: #12 KingKenrod

That's not an argument for limiting the scope of the Commerce Clause. You can create a hypothetical that any law could be changed to make it impossible to comply with it.

15 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 4:22:11pm

re: #13 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

Down your throats, cons.

Got anything... substantive?

16 moderatelyradicalliberal  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 4:55:46pm
What do you suppose the Dems reaction would be if the Republicans had proposed such a controversial mandate?

I think we already got the answer to this question last year: The Democrats would steal the idea for themselves in lieu of single payer not having a chance of passing, then pass a health care reform bill with an individual mandate and sign it into law because it's the only other way to create universal health care.

17 dragonfire1981  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 5:07:52pm

If you think that insurance companies are going to stop denying coverage to people once this law goes into effect you are extremely naive. They may not be able to use the same old tricks but rest assured they will find new ones.

Remember, the law requires people to get insurance if they have none. It does NOT mean insurers now have to accept everyone who walks through their door.

18 Stanghazi  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 5:09:05pm

Heard on NPR on the way home the Appeals Court judge who wrote the opinion clerked for Scalia, was appointed by Bush 2, and has argued many of the prominent states rights cases. The group who lost were pretty shocked.

The theory was that he was opining much that Scotus would.

Good news.

19 aagcobb  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 5:25:51pm

re: #17 dragonfire1981

Ultimately, single payer is the best way to go. However, I firmly believe that leaving ten of millions Americans uninsured until a perfect law is passed, which may never happen, is not morally defensible.

20 mr.fusion  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 5:28:27pm

I still fail to see how you paying more in taxes than me because I have health care and you don't is any different than me paying more in taxes than you because you have a kid and I don't

21 Stanghazi  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 5:34:49pm

re: #20 mr.fusion

I still fail to see how you paying more in taxes than me because I have health care and you don't is any different than me paying more in taxes than you because you have a kid and I don't

VERY good point. I have no kids. I cringe every April.

22 dragonfire1981  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 6:27:25pm

re: #19 aagcobb

You're preaching to the choir. I'm Canadian. I know all about single payer and how non evil it is. Now if only I could convince others...

23 Our Precious Bodily Fluids  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 6:38:07pm

re: #2 Rightwingconspirator

I could hardly care less who first proposed this horrible idea. From the states this makes far more sense. But from the Federal gov? Reason weeps.

I don't understand your distinction. If the mandate were hypothetically exactly the same in both cases, what difference does it make whether it's the state or the Feds mandating it?

In order to legally operate a vehicle in my state, I am required to purchase a state-mandated minimum amount of insurance coverage. There are stiff penalties for driving without insurance. I don't see the downside to this.

24 moderatelyradicalliberal  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 7:34:25pm

re: #18 Stanley Sea

Heard on NPR on the way home the Appeals Court judge who wrote the opinion clerked for Scalia, was appointed by Bush 2, and has argued many of the prominent states rights cases. The group who lost were pretty shocked.

The theory was that he was opining much that Scotus would.

Good news.

Scalia has actually dropped hints during Michele Bachmann's seminar on the Constitution for new Congress members that he doesn't see many limitations to the Commerce Clause and disagreed with TPers on the 10th Amendment.

25 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 8:06:39pm

re: #23 negativ

I don't understand your distinction. If the mandate were hypothetically exactly the same in both cases, what difference does it make whether it's the state or the Feds mandating it?

In order to legally operate a vehicle in my state, I am required to purchase a state-mandated minimum amount of insurance coverage. There are stiff penalties for driving without insurance. I don't see the downside to this.

Take a look at my #4. I could expand but to be brief-States can be more responsive to local conditions than an entity responsible for 50. Plus I respect the separation of powers state vs. national. With few exceptions this constitutional balance of legal powers should be maintained. Especially in this case. Kinda interesting we have private providers required to have separate divisions by state while we insist national based is the better way. How the heck does that work? Looks like a double standard to me.

26 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 8:12:00pm

re: #23 negativ

At this point the commerce clause is truly altering the const. mandated balance of powers, for better or worse. That's the highly debatable part.

27 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 8:43:44pm

Would anyone like to address this concern?

“It is difficult to see what the limits on Congress’s Commerce Clause authority would be,” Graham wrote.

28 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 9:01:32pm

re: #15 Rightwingconspirator

Got anything... substantive?

Yeah.

29 Political Atheist  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 9:24:00pm

re: #28 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin

Way to go for the shallow partisan rancor. Congrats.
///

30 OhCrapIHaveACrushOnSarahPalin  Wed, Jun 29, 2011 10:08:04pm

/Schadenfreude

31 aagcobb  Thu, Jun 30, 2011 6:24:01am

re: #27 Rightwingconspirator

If you want to read the opinion, it states the limits on the reach of the Commerce Clause which were provided in the few cases in which SCOTUS found that Congress had overreached. I'm not overly worried about that issue, because voters serve as a brake on Congress. The government is not some evil other bent on enslaving us, as the Tea Party would have it. Its made up of elected representatives who want to be re-elected by addressing our concerns. If the electorate think the individual mandate goes too far, they have the option of replacing Obama with a Republican and electing a GOP majority to the Senate so that the Act can be repealed.

32 BishopX  Thu, Jun 30, 2011 7:35:08am

re: #27 Rightwingconspirator

Sure. Certain areas of non-economic activity are off limits to federal regulation. Health care insurance is by definition an economic activity, one which has a substantial impact on interstate commerce, therefore it's all good.

The exact limits currently held to be in effect come from US V. Lopez, where the supreme court laid out it's test. From the wiki:

Chief Justice Rehnquist, delivering the opinion of the Court, identified the three broad categories of activity that Congress could regulate under the Commerce Clause:

- the channels of interstate commerce,
-the instrumentalities of interstate commerce, or persons or things in interstate commerce, and
-activities that substantially affect or substantially relate to interstate commerce

The third category has a four part test for determining how substantial the link between an activity, in this case carrying a gun in a school, and interstate commerce. Again, from the wiki:

The Court specifically looked to four factors in determining whether legislation represents a valid effort to use the Commerce Clause power to regulate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce:

-Whether the activity was non-economic as opposed to economic activity; previous cases involved economic activity.
-Jurisdictional element: whether the gun had moved in interstate commerce.
-Whether there had been Congressional findings of an economic link between guns and education.
-How attenuated the link was between the regulated activity and interstate commerce.

So lets take a look at whether health care substantially effects interstate commerce (it was well fall into the other two categories from Lopez but I don't feel qualified to argue that). Health insurance is economic activity. Insured individuals move between states. There have been congressional findings linking access to insurance with access to quality care. The link between health insurance and interstate commerce (health insurance ->healthy workforce ->interstate commerce) is more direct that the link between guns and school and interstate commerce (guns in schools -> quality education ->educated work force->interstate commerce). I think there can be a very good argument made that the affordable care act falls within the recognized limits for the commerce clause.


Commerce clause issues aside, there is absolutely nothing in the constitution to prevent the federal government from setting all income tax rates at 100% at providing all necessaries of life at government expense (okay they would probably need to have the state run a lot of the day to day stuff, but they could still do that with block grants and funding assistance.)


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