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1 Political Atheist  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 8:23:12am

Who was questioning the right to tax? That’s very different than requiring us to buy as far as the law goes.

2 Randall Gross  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 8:42:32am

If you read the article you see that it’s Justice Kennedy who is musing over the issue.

3 Political Atheist  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 8:49:33am

re: #2 Randall Gross

I listened to that on NPR. It’s an old argument. What is being considered is a ground breaking change “in the relationship” as was said.

4 Randall Gross  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 9:26:34am

I don’t know if it’s that groundbreaking. There are national fines, and national taxes based on behavior. Just one example: If you install a generator without a moat and then suffer a diesel spill, the EPA is going to fine you for not having a capture moat. They are in effect forcing you to purchase a moat anytime you put in a diesel power generator.

5 KingKenrod  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 11:44:45am

The government can “mandate” some things (like income taxes for medicare and SS), just read the Constitution. That doesn’t mean it can mandate anything it wants to regarding health care. Ginsburg seems to be struggling with this concept.

And notably Kennedy is musing about how Congress could have used its existing taxing powers to cover the uninsured, saying “it ought to be honest about the power that it’s using and use the correct power”. Yes, that’s exactly the point. There are many perfectly acceptable ways of doing “mandates”. It is unfortunate Kennedy seems ambivalent about his own point.

6 Political Atheist  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 12:57:54pm

The phenomenon is simple-If you want it badly enough you’ll do anything to get it. In this instance what has been overlooked is that when you choose a path that requires new powers never seen before, that may very well fly in the face of enumerated powers you have a fundamentally wrong approach to your law.

It works better the other way around. legislate with the bounds of establish constitutional law. But those in charge did not do that. They choose the far more questionable path because of the rushed political environment of the day. Again not the best way to get important legislation done.

7 Buck  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 1:21:18pm

Workers must pay it…. get it? Not everyone by the simple virtue of a pulse, but workers.

Car owners have to buy insurance. Don’t want to buy car insurance? You can avoid it by not owning a car.

8 Buck  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 1:42:25pm

re: #4 Randall Gross

They are in effect forcing you to purchase a moat anytime you put in a diesel power generator.

Want to avoid the moat purchase? Don’t put in a diesel power generator.

Want to avoid the insurance mandate (as it written now)?

9 Achilles Tang  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 2:01:22pm

re: #1 Daniel Ballard

Who was questioning the right to tax? That’s very different than requiring us to buy as far as the law goes.

It is? Requiring people to pay, via a tax, for anything is no different than requiring them to “buy” the same thing. The net financial effect is the same.

10 Achilles Tang  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 2:05:07pm

re: #7 Buck

Workers must pay it… get it? Not everyone by the simple virtue of a pulse, but workers.

Car owners have to buy insurance. Don’t want to buy car insurance? You can avoid it by not owning a car.

There is a simple solution to this problem. Hospitals should be told that they MUST NOT treat anyone who doesn’t have insurance or cash up front, and the government will allocate no funds for the same.

(The “must not” order is to make sure that they don’t just increase fees to cover this, thereby mandating that everyone else pay for the uninsured.)

11 surlymarv  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 3:11:30pm

re: #8 Buck

Want to avoid the insurance mandate (as it written now)?

You know the “simple” answer to this, of course, as stated by the person below: “Opt yourself out of all medical care completely.” Sorry to tell you but this is not a simple answer by any means. There is no ethical doctor who will refuse medical treatment for a hurt person and no ethical society that would close the doors on a dying person who could be easily saved by care they cannot afford.

One of the major points arguing for the mandate is that while, as you point out, you can opt out of the car insurance mandate by not driving, you cannot opt out of the medical insurance industry because you will always be treated at an emergency room. Even if you argue that you would rather die in your house, if you were in a car accident and unconscious, you would be taken to the hospital. A person with no insurance will still be treated at a hospital and because there is no system in place to pay for them, these costs get passed on to everyone else who does buy insurance. When someone says, “I don’t want to pay for anyone else’s healthcare!”, simply reply, “You already do.”

I believe this is a very compelling argument for the constitutionality of the mandate. You simply cannot disassociate yourself from the medical insurance industry because treatment is available to everyone and this is never going to change (despite the fantasies of sadistic libertarians). We already have a system where everyone can get some form of basic care although it is incredibly inefficient because it’s not directly paid for and hospital care is very expensive compared to cheaper preventative measures. It seems obvious that it would be better to come up with a system that covers 100% of the population up front.

12 Buck  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 3:51:13pm

re: #11 surlymarv

I believe this is a very compelling argument for the constitutionality of the mandate.

Well nine people are going to discuss it and decide if you are right or wrong in your belief.

13 Buck  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 4:08:00pm

re: #10 Flame Fin Tomini Tang

There is a simple solution to this problem. Hospitals should be told that they MUST NOT treat anyone who doesn’t have insurance or cash up front, and the government will allocate no funds for the same.

(The “must not” order is to make sure that they don’t just increase fees to cover this, thereby mandating that everyone else pay for the uninsured.)

You know that is not the point. If you find one good reason to make an exception to the power of the government, no matter how good that reason is, you need to make sure you fully understand the fallout.

Also, “the loyal opposition” is a very important (maybe critical) part of democracy. You think you are right? You have to convince a lot of people.

14 Achilles Tang  Sun, Apr 1, 2012 5:17:59pm

re: #13 Buck

You know that is not the point. If you find one good reason to make an exception to the power of the government, no matter how good that reason is, you need to make sure you fully understand the fallout.

I trust you understand that I was being facetious, yet making the argument that all those who refuse to pay for insurance, when they could, are mandating that all others cover them when they have an emergency.

You, being a good conservative, should be indignant that all these layabouts want society to pay for their needs. It’s called welfare on demand. The individual mandate was a Republican plan not long ago for those very reasons.

Also, “the loyal opposition” is a very important (maybe critical) part of democracy. You think you are right? You have to convince a lot of people.

What I see in the polls is that a majority support all the benefits of the health care act, but oppose having to pay for it.

This is the part of democracy where one party in a position to convince their flock of their own best interests, instead convinces them of the leadership’s self serving interests.

What can I say, except that a great many people are stupid, or ignorant.


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