Supreme Court Hears Obamacare Arguments: Is This the Beginning of the End?

Rant 12

supreme courtObamacare has reached the Supreme Court this week, where the 9 justices will spend an unprecedented amount of time debating the constitutionality of the individual mandate included in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The court has set aside more than three times the amount it normally does for oral arguments on the individual mandate.

This is, as Vice President Joe Biden would say, “A big f****** deal.”

 

The individual mandate of Obamacare is the part of the bill that forces Americans to purchase a product (health insurance), whether they want to or not. This is not a debate on whether or not having health insurance is a good thing, it’s a debate on the power Congress holds under the Commerce Clause. Does Congress have the constitutional authority to tax people for the very act of breathing?

The individual mandate is a tax. It demands that people spend their money on a product, for the common good of the public. If that’s not a tax, I don’t know what is. The Constitution gives the power to Congress to tax individuals and businesses, to pay for our increasingly expensive government. We pay income taxes, property taxes, consumptive (sales) taxes, corporate taxes, payroll taxes, capital gains taxes, and inheritance taxes. Where does it end?

If the Supreme Court knocks down the individual mandate, Obamacare will not be able to fund itself. The health care law bars insurance companies from denying coverage to anyone due to pre-existing conditions, age, or overall health in general. It also sets limits on how much physicians may charge their patients, regardless of the cost of the procedure. The idea behind the mandate was that it would pay for the extra expenses incurred by health providers. Without the mandate, the whole law basically collapses.

(Although, one could argue that the whole thing will collapse anyway, as the true costs of Obamacare are beginning to come to light.)

On the other hand, if the court decides to leave the mandate in place, the battle isn’t over. 2014 will be the first year that people will have to pay their health insurance tax, which means that they can file suit against it in 2015, when they file their 2014 taxes.

It’s going to be interesting to watch, and I hope this is the beginning of the end for Obamacare. It was not fun receiving a letter from my health insurance company explaining that my premiums were skyrocketing ‘due to new health care regulations.’ When a few are required to provide for many, how long before they throw in the towel? 

Like Margaret Thatcher said, “Eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

 

Image via TexasGOPVote.com/Flickr

barack obama, health care, supreme court

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Autum... Autumnleaves87

You cannot possibly group the individual mandate into the same bracket as PROPERTY TAX. Miss Jenny you need to do some research. You can't just go spouting off about things you don't understand.



What happened to the republicans of the 80's and 90's who were always touting that everyone needs to pay thier own share and buy thier own healthcare so that the government (and in turn, the people) doesn't have to pay for it when uninsured people need to see a doctor...???? That is what the individual mandate DOES. The "tax" Jenny is talking about applies to only those who don't follow the law... To those who DON'T acquire health insurance.



It's amazing how they just FORGET things to play politics..

nonmember avatar Nicfit75

There is no "forgetting" going on here. The tax applies to all of us because who can afford health insurance these days thanks to the rising costs due to the rest of what's in the 3000 page behemoth of a bill?? Although previous commenter made like she knows all about everything, I'm willing to bet she DOESN'T run a company and hasn't faced either cutting yet another job or continuing health insurance for employees. It's a real fun decision. But since it's not the concern of ideologues inside the beltway whose health care comes directly from the people's pocket it's easier just to rely on nonsensical red herrings and rhetorical ad hominems. Further, this TAX (and yes, it is a tax, as onerous as the previously derided property tax-- which is REAL AND DEVASTATING in my fly-over county) will affect the poorest most harshly. Those working minimum wage jobs with no benefits~ they'll feel the kick of it worst of all.



So Miss High-N-Mighty, I would suggest YOU start talking about something you know about. I would suggest YOU look into the faces of 5 or 15 or 150 people whose paychecks you are responsible for writing and YOU tell them how sorry you are that because of Obamacare YOU can't continue providing health insurance AND continue paying all their salaries.



You want someone to go after, Princess? Try going after the trial lawyers lobby that got healthcare over a barrel in the first place.

nonmember avatar A

Oh geez, another anti-Obama Jenny article? Let me guess...Obama bad! Healthcare is a privilege! Poor people suck and should just die and get off of assistance...and everything is Obama's fault! How'd I do?

SwePea SwePea

I agree that healthcare needs to be affordable and available to anyone but I don't agree with making the working poor buy insurance. Down with corporatism!

nonmember avatar Kzinti

I completely agree with the author and with Nicfit75. The author is trying to make the point that it has always been illegal to force an individual to purchase something. You want to live in a shack with no electricity, plumbing or telephone? That is your right. Are you barely getting by providing for your family, so you cannot afford health insurance? It is your right to choose how you allocate the funds that you have at your disposal, rather than being forced to pay for health insurance.



The changes that have been proposed with Obamacare require people to purchase health insurance or to pay a penalty if they do not do so. I grew up poor, and such a thing when I was a kid would have made things even worse for my family.



In addition, many insurers are looking at reducing their coverage because Obamacare forces providers to limit the amount that they can charge for services under that law, so why should insurers pay any more than that? In turn, providers are looking at exit strategies.



Obamacare does not benefit anyone.



Nancy Pelosi said that we had to pass the law in order to

nonmember avatar InOneEar

The thing is, the arguments in the article above have many times been refuted, counter-argued, flaws pointed out etc. Jenny and followers of the same ilk choose to ignore them, half hoping that people will just find it true the more it is repeated (and some do), half scared of what exploring another opinion or, mor so fact, will result in. Ignorance is bliss; confident insistent ignorance is dangerous.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Miss "high and mighty" here is pointing out the OBVIOUS FAIL repubs like YOU NicFit have committed by saying (like kzinti, Jenny and other FORGETFUL righties out there) that an individual mandate is NOT the way to go, when less than 20 years ago, it had wide republican support.



This "princess" here is saying that if one looks at Obama’s basic policy agenda with reasonable (rather than ideological, or crazy) eyes, it is extremely difficult to use terms like “socialist” (let alone “Marxist”) with a straight face. And I really believe these policies are more center (if not, in some case, center-right) than left-liberal (let alone socialistic). And honestly, if there is a group of persons who ought to be upset about Obama’s basic policy agenda, it ought to be progressives, not conservatives.



Because his policies were born in the era where there were MODERATE republicans (wow...haven't seen one of those in a while.)



Heres a great article for you

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the-shocking-truth-about-the-birthplace-of-obamas-policies/2011/04/15/AF6qINpE_blog.html

LoveM... LoveMyViolet

You know what's funny, is that the individual healthcare MANDATE was actually a Republican idea.



In the late 80s, conservative economists were searching for ways to counter liberal calls for government-sponsored universal health coverage. The solution? A system of tax credits to ensure all Americans could purchase at least bare-bones “catastrophic” coverage. Then they proposed a mandate requiring everyone to obtain this minimum coverage, thus guarding against “free-riders”: people who refuse to buy insurance and then, in a crisis, receive care whose costs are absorbed by hospitals, the government and other consumers.

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Exactly lovemyviolet... What I've been saying this whole time! Thanks for the backup.

nonmember avatar Rocin

Ah, Love, yes, a Republican idea that they abandoned after realizing how bad it is, sheesh!

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