March 26, 2010

Linda Greenhouse peers into the psyches of the Supreme Court Justices to predict what they'll say about the constitutionality of the health care bill.

She predicts the decisional path in the brains of the judges will be determined by deep instincts about the states and the federal government:
The architects of the Rehnquist federalism revolution....
Go to the link for some detail on what Greenhouse likes to call the "federalism revolution."
.... were Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and his fellow Arizonan, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor (Chief Justice Rehnquist was actually from Milwaukee, but he decided during his Army service in North Africa that he liked the air of the desert rather than the cold and damp of the Great Lakes.) They were Westerners to whom the notion of states’ rights came naturally.

But Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. is not William Rehnquist, and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. is not Sandra Day O’Connor. John Roberts has made his career inside the Beltway ever since coming to Washington to clerk for Rehnquist. As for Sam Alito, I don’t believe that apart from a brief part-time gig as an adjunct law professor, this former federal prosecutor, Justice Department lawyer and federal judge has cashed a paycheck in his adult life that wasn’t issued by the federal government. Nothing in their backgrounds or in their jurisprudence so far indicates that they are about to sign up with either the Sagebrush Rebellion or the Tea Party.

Chief Justice Roberts appears particularly in tune with the exercise of national power. 
Here, Greenhouse notes 2 dissenting opinions —Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, where Roberts would have saved the EPA from the state's lawsuit to force it to deal with global warming, and Gonzales v. Oregon, where Roberts would have let the United States attorney general keep doctors from prescribing the suicide drugs that were authorized by Oregon law.

Finally, Greenhouse aptly observes that even some of the Justices who favor the states in federalism decisions lose their nerve when they are confronted with "issues that people really care about." Chief Justice Rehnquist balked when he got to the Family and Medical Leave Act (in Nevada Department of Human Resources v. Hibbs) — and that case was only about whether an employee of a state could get back pay when the act was violated, not the more momentous question of whether the act was constitutional or could bind the state.

So now we have a monumental new law. Can we really imagine the Supreme Court thwarting it?
John Roberts is an acutely image-conscious chief justice, as watchful and protective of the Supreme Court’s image as he is of his own. I find it almost impossible to believe that this careful student of history would place his court in the same position as the court that has been rewarded with history’s negative judgment for thwarting the early New Deal.
But the Supreme Court got cold feet about standing up to the will of the democratic branches of government right after Franklin Roosevelt won a big landslide election in 1936. The health care reform law followed an election that wasn't about health care reform at all. The main thing people were thinking about when they voted for Obama in 2008 was the dramatic economic crisis. There were also the 2 wars and amorphous hopes for a post-racial America.

The 2008 election cannot be read as a mandate for health care reform, especially not for the aspect of it that is challenged in the current lawsuits: the  individual mandate to buy health insurance. That could not possibly have been foremost in the voters' minds. First, during the campaign, Obama spoke emphatically against it. And second, even after a year of talk about the reform, people don't really understand what the individual mandate is going to be.

There isn't a big majority of Americans who are counting on being compelled to buy insurance. There isn't even a majority — even a thin majority — of Americans who favor the health care reform as a whole, and this is even before they need to confront something that is probably going to shock and distress a lot of people who haven't studied the text of the law and have simply trusted that the government is about to give them the good things they need.

Greenhouse tries to patch this hole in her argument:
Midweek polls showed the public already rallying around the new health care law. That trend is likely to accelerate as people realize that the law’s benefits belie the scare stories — just around that time that the state challenges are likely to reach the Supreme Court. It won’t require a summa cum laude in history from Harvard to be able to tell history’s wrong side from its right.
So Chief Justice Roberts and the others are going to want to surf the wave of history... that wave that we're still watching for.

89 comments:

gs said...

An election is coming up.

The Supreme Court reads election returns.

Rich B said...

I think this monstrosity will have to be repealed, but I would love to see Obama's face if the Supreme Court nixes it.

gs said...

Obama and Democrats ambushed the Justices at SOTU with grandstanding and intimidation.

Just saying...

bagoh20 said...

"...they need to confront something that is probably going to shock and distress a lot of people who haven't studied the text of the law and have simply trusted that the government is about to give them the good things they need."

This is the wave that's coming: Years of slowly exposing what these people did as soon as they were given power. This bill has so many un-American, anti-growth and anti-jobs effects and is riddled with things the American public will find unfair, and frankly, stupid.

The Republicans will be spoon feeding this stuff to the voters all year. I hope Obama learned to surf in Hawaii, but this is bigger than even North Shore tubes.

Joan said...

I don't know what polls Greenhouse is reading, but yesterday's Quinnipiac poll isn't among them.

garage mahal said...

There isn't even a majority — even a thin majority — of Americans who favor the health care reform as a whole

It seems this poll of Americans disagree with you.

Source

More Americans now favor than oppose the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law Tuesday, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds — a notable turnaround from surveys before the vote that showed a plurality against the legislation.

Peano said...

If I thought Linda Greenhouse's opinion on the matter amounted to a hill of beans, I would read through all that stuff.

But I don't, so I won't.

Calypso Facto said...

Wait. A a Hawaiian tsunami? I thought Obama said it was an earthquake?!?

I read the article as the NYT simply trying to write their own script for the play they'd like to see. Hopefully the SOTUS will disabuse that arrogant rag of its self-importance by reaffirming Constitutional Federalism.

Bob From Ohio said...

"Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, where Roberts would have saved the EPA from the state's lawsuit to force it to deal with global warming, and Gonzales v. Oregon, where Roberts would have let the United States attorney general keep doctors from prescribing the suicide drugs that were authorized by Oregon law."

I interpret those to say that Roberts is very attuned to conservative/Republican views and hence result oriented.

Conservatives wanted the EPA to win and Oregon to lose. [I freely admit that many conservatives, (liberals too) like federalism only when it favors them.]

Conservatives are very strongly against the individual mandate.

If the GOP wins the House in November, my guess is that maybe Roberts will be inclined to support them again.

The Greenhouse piece is just "wishcasting". It only predicts what will happen if the GOP loses in 2010.

Its the election that matters.

Palladian said...

Ah, polls! Heavily greased and slid gently up the public's asses. They never seem to realize that it's called being fucked, at least until the last few inches get rammed home.

edutcher said...

garage mahal said...

There isn't even a majority — even a thin majority — of Americans who favor the health care reform as a whole

It seems this poll of Americans disagree with you.


One poll, especially from Gallup and USA Today, hardly negates all the rest. Again, is this one of those surveys where 75% are Democrats?

Rasmussen, which you so studiously ignore, says 55% want this mess repealed.

AllenS said...

Good point, garage.

Meanwhile:
The health care overhaul will cost U.S. companies billions and make them more likely to drop prescription drug coverage for retirees because of a change in how the government subsidizes those benefits.

In the first two days after the law was signed, three major companies — Deere & Co., Caterpillar Inc. and Valero Energy — said they expect to take a total hit of $265 million to account for smaller tax deductions in the future.

Lem said...

Like Ford's well known quote "High crimes and misdemeanors means whatever Congress says it does", the meaning of Obama's election seems to be as varied and convenient to fit whatever the press says it does..

Joe said...

I'm afraid GAarge teh other polls beg to differ...the "bounce" still leaves HCR in the Negatives. But thank you for contributing, nonetheless.

Hoosier Daddy said...

It seems this poll of Americans disagree with you.

Funny how this poll disagrees with your poll.

Source

Maybe they were just polled on those individual components. You know where you get the free pony that someone else has to pay for.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Wow, did Anne miss the year or more that Obama and Hillary spent duking it out over health care reform? And the campaign in which Obama talked about health care reform nearly every time he opened his mouth? How about when Obama stated health care reform would be the main priority of his first term, about a thousand times? The health care reform infomercial that the Obama campaign ran in prime time? No? Nothing? Sleeping all that time?

RIDICULOUS.

Fen said...

I dont think SCOTUS will fix it.

Fen said...

did Anne miss the year or more that Obama and Hillary spent duking it out over health care reform

Which part? The parts Obama flipped on after he was elected? Or were you asleep too?

Montagne Montaigne said...

And jeez, how can you even begin to talk about "the majority of Americans being compelled to buy insurance" when the majority of Americans ALREADY HAVE insurance and won't be compelled to do anything at all? The mandate will apply to a small portion of the 30 million people without health care, most of whom will be overjoyed to have access to new subsidies and insurance exchanges that will enable them to buy health care insurance that a vast majority already desperately want but can't afford.

The constant half-ass lies and bs from opponents of this reform has become really tiresome.

Fen said...

I mean c'mon Montage, its only 8 posts down:

Obama: "When Senator Clinton says a mandate, it's not a mandate on government to provide health insurance. It's a mandate on individuals to purchase it. Massachusetts has a mandate right now. They have exempted 20% of the uninsured because they've concluded that that 20% can't afford it. In some cases, there are people who are paying fines and still can't afford it so now they're worse off than they were. They don't have health insurance and they're paying a fine. In order for you to force people to get health insurance, you've got to have a very harsh, stiff penalty."

AJ Lynch said...

The people have to resolve this once and for all at the ballot box. Unless there was a 9-0 Scotus verdict against Obamacare, any Scotus decision will be viewed as a partisan verdict IMO.

So let's get that tsunami of repeal voters in November to get us smaller, responsible-sized govt, freedom and state rights.

sunsong said...

My hope is that since so many millions are exempted from the mandate - Muslims, illegals, Amish and others - and it seems that most of them will, therefore, simply continue to use the ER for their health needs - and that so many states are filing suit - that the Supreme Court will find against the mandate.

Fen said...

Montage: The constant half-ass lies and bs from opponents of this reform has become really tiresome.

Then you should hide from the mirrors in your house.

Half-ass lies:

1) the majority of Americans ALREADY HAVE insurance and won't be compelled to do anything at all

2) The mandate will apply to a small portion of the 30 million people without health care

3) most of whom will be overjoyed to have access to new subsidies and insurance exchanges that will enable them to buy health care insurance

4) that a vast majority already desperately want but can't afford.

[...]

I guess you haven't seen the rash of memos from companies that are restructuring their plans because of this bill. We'll all be part-time contract employees soon.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Yeah, Obama changed his mind about the mandate. He was convinced about the need for it and changed his mind. So fucking what? That obviates the entire reform? The point of the mandate is that to lower insurance costs you need a bigger pool of insured people. Being forced to buy $150 a month insurance is not stalinism. Even if you're healthy you can get hit by a bus and go to the ER for free, which we all pay for.

Face it, it turns out that the reforms that just got signed into law were desperately needed, long overdue, and for the most part a product of prudence and commons sense, which you can't handle if you've spent the better part of two years describing it as something closer to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

jeff said...

"The constant half-ass lies and bs from supporters of this reform has become really tiresome."

Fixed that for you.

AllenS said...

Well then, I guess health insurance will be so cheap, that it'll be almost free!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

The 2008 election cannot be read as a mandate for health care reform...

You are think about this in a logical objective way, and that's wrong.

The mandate is defined ex post facto. Bush had a mandate after his first election in 2000 to lower taxes, and he did, even though he stole the election. He also claimed a mandate after his 2004 victory. A mandate for what, you ask? Well, he had the mandate first, and he could use it wherever he needed to.

Now if the public had longer memories and actually gave a fuck about the campaign promises of politicians, things might be different. But with the voters abdicating their responsibility to keep candidates honest, the voters have also handed over the ability to say when a victor has a mandate and what that mandate is for.

I think you could say that Obama had a mandate to stick it to the Republicans and make our country more Socialist in ways that other Western countries already are. This was the subtext of all his campaign talk; always there under the blah blah blah, and always behind the nice smile. It's what he was really saying, although that's easier to see in retrospect.

Peter V. Bella said...

I think it would be wise if the states also allowed individuals to join the suits as plaintiffs. If enough citizens are involved it demonstrates the impact on the people- individual rights vs the states.

Can the Government compel and individual to not only purchase a consumer product, delineate criteria for that product, and mandate individuals report that purchase to the government?

Individuals can make a better argument for negative impact than the states.

traditionalguy said...

The lies continue like rain. The bankrupting of the USA and the devaluation of our dollars is all that this monstrosity achieves in the real world. Without five more amendments, the Bill accomplishes nothing the praising fantasy sellers continue to say that it does. All it does in the real world is express a fantasy upon which to build another fantasy of rights of all people to free services...just like Castro has done for his Cuban slaves for 50 years.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And jeez, how can you even begin to talk about "the majority of Americans being compelled to buy insurance" when the majority of Americans ALREADY HAVE insurance and won't be compelled to do anything at all?

Allow me to educate you young padwan. Its not the majority that will be compelled, its everyone. Those who currently have insurance now do so by choice. I can drop my coverage today and use that money for beer and popcorn. Well not anymore. I will then be compelled to forego my beer and popcorn and find other coverage.

The mandate will apply to a small portion of the 30 million people.... overjoyed to have access to new subsidies

I'm sure they will be overjoyed. Hell I'd be overjoyed if the taxpayer started chipping into my monthly premium deductions too.

and insurance exchanges that will enable them to buy health care insurance that a vast majority already desperately want but can't afford.

You know, I'd like to see some real numbers on those who truly can't afford basic health insurance. I've gone out and priced it (I also work in insurance) and unless you're a complete physical basket case, its not out of bounds unaffordable (no its not a cadillac plan, yes you're going to have a large deductible and yes you you're going to have to pay some money). Perhaps it means you don't get a full service Iphone package or you're smart like garage and drive a used POS rather than a new car.

I suggest you watch a money management show sometime. You'd be surprised at what people spend their money on and then say how broke they are. I'm not saying all of them but when the median income is a tad south of $50K in this country, I tend to get out my violin.

Comrade X said...

Being forced to buy $150 a month insurance is not stalinism

this is funny

Paul Zrimsek said...

The dopey strawman version of federalism holds that in a jurisdictional dispute between a state and the federal government, a federalist must always side with the state.

The REALLY dopey strawman version of federalism holds that in a dispute of any kind between a state and the federal government, a federalist must always side with the state.

If the plaintiffs in Massachsetts v EPA had been individuals trying to get the EPA to impose emissions regulations on all individuals, would Greenhouse have regarded the outcome as a triumph for individualism?

Montagne Montaigne said...

Why is car insurance mandatory, and why is being forced to buy car insurance not stalinism?

DaveW said...

I don't know if I agree that the election wasn't about health care reform "at all". It came up several times, it was debated and Obama won. He lied about what he'd support, but politicians lie.

The real problem isn't necessarily Obama it is total democratic party control of all the levers.

People voted carelessly in my opinion. If they really dislike this reform maybe next time they'll investigate the candidates more closely. In the meantime we get this bill and anything else they can cram through using the same tactics they did here since that is the new norm. Elections have consequences (trite, I know).

Once people get what this is about they can rise up and vote the rascals out if they wish. Does anyone seriously think, or trust, that republicans will undo this if they get power? I have serious doubts about that myself.

Lem said...

More Americans now favor than oppose the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law

I doubt pollsters wade into the details of the bill when trying to keep the caller from hanging up is also a competing factor.

Peter V. Bella said...

Being forced to buy $150 a month insurance is not stalinism.

What world or universe do you live in? Or did you conveniently or coincidentally leave off a zero?

There is no such thing as $150.00 a month health insurance. The average cost of health insurance where I live is roughly 1500.00-$1800.00 per month- not counting dental and vision care. Even with a government subsidy, that cost will be only be roughly half.

Unless, hey, hey, hey, this is nothing but a cruel canard for a public option death insurance.

Quit smoking the hopium and changium, bongs.

edutcher said...

One more note on polls. Gallup only specifies adults, while Rasmussen asks voters, an important distiction.

Montagne Montaigne said...

And jeez, how can you even begin to talk about "the majority of Americans being compelled to buy insurance" when the majority of Americans ALREADY HAVE insurance and won't be compelled to do anything at all? The mandate will apply to a small portion of the 30 million people without health care, most of whom will be overjoyed to have access to new subsidies and insurance exchanges that will enable them to buy health care insurance that a vast majority already desperately want but can't afford.

The constant half-ass lies and bs from opponents of this reform has become really tiresome.


Everybody will get the tax increases for this and the layoffs of businesses which will have to find a way to afford them. And that, of course, doesn't take into account the fact that they'll be paying for this for 4 - 7 years before all your wonderful services start.

Then there are the people who will be fined when they don't want to participate and will have the IRS poking into their lives even more deeply.

We can also contemplate the joy the of the uninsured when they have to submit to rationing and enforced lifestyle changes or do you really believe people like DeCarlo Flythe will be allowed to sit on the couch stuffing HoHos in his face the rest of his life? These morons also believe it's all going to be free, so I doubt they'll be "overjoyed".

Then again, I thought there were 45 uninsured, but, that's right, The Zero and all his little minions keep changing the number. Last I saw, only 15 million will be covered and 30 mil left out in the cold.

Then, of course, there's The Zero's doublecross of Big Pharma, which did a lot of hiring in the last quarter.

But, of course, that's OK because the Demos have introduced the single payer legislation, along with all the other stuff they thought was in the bill, but wasn't.

The lies have been all on your side.

traditionalguy said...

No Obamunist will even let reality be discussed. The government will now determine ever health care decision ever made in a single payer national plan. To ignore that and pretend is not a real option. Why should only the Obamunists know the truth? Castro is not cheering Obamaunists because a few more people get insurance coverage.

Lem said...

by the caller I mean the person answering the poll.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Why is car insurance mandatory, and why is being forced to buy car insurance not stalinism?

What's with the slow pitch?

Ok, driving a car is optional. Driving a car is also a privledge and not a right.

Following me so far?

The government permits you to drive a car therefore they have a right to require auto insurance to use that privledge.

Your serve.

Peter V. Bella said...

Why is car insurance mandatory, and why is being forced to buy car insurance not stalinism?

You do NOT have to buy car insurance, nor do you need a drivers license. Just do not get caught or have an accident. A driver's license is a privilege of the state. The state can and does mandate certain criteria for the privilege.

If you want to be a licensed driver and own a vehicle you must have insurance. Oh, and in many states, you do not need a license to buy car insurance. Car insurance is registered to the vehicle, not the insured. The penalties for driving without insurance are more severe than driving without a license.

Living and health are not state privileges. Only life is a right. You, the individual are responsible for your health.

garage mahal said...


Maybe they were just polled on those individual components. You know where you get the free pony that someone else has to pay for.


We already spend a shit ton of money on healthcare now, and people with insurance are already paying for people that are uninsured or underinsured. The pony is believing that system can sustain itself without everyone paying into it. Christ, this used to be a Republican position. See Romney, Mitt.

Chip Ahoy said...

I can never ever ever guess what the Supreme Court is likely to do, nor penetrate the impulses and the reasoning behind their decisions. They confound me completely.

On the other hand, I'm quite good at discerning disguised themes in crossword puzzles.

Wanna see? Okay, spoiler alert. Stop reading right now if you're interested in solving the 3/26 WSJ yourself.

The title is "enough!"

The ! is an important clue within the title. Otherwise, why have it? Read: "Stop it, enough already!"

The thematic entries have a * in front. The first three thematic answers are:

FILETMIGNON
SALTMINES
DETROITMICHIGAN

See what they have in common? TMI in the middle. TMI = too much information
There's the theme.

For all intents and purposes the puzzle is solved. All the rest is pure filler. There's little point in continuing except to go through all the remaining thematic entries and fill in the TMI and work around it to see what they are, but frankly, there's little joy in that.

bagoh20 said...

Is anybody selling shirts or bumper stickers yet with: "Remember in November"?

Peter V. Bella said...

Catepillar has estimated the first year of HCR will cost it 100 million dollars. John Deere's estimates are 150 million dollars.

Can you say good by USA, hello Korea, China, or Japan?

Hoosier Daddy said...

There is no such thing as $150.00 a month health insurance.

Actually Peter there is. Check out ehelathinsurance.com and you might be surprised to see there are plans out there even cheaper than that. Depending on your age and health and choosing a higher deductible you can get by pretty reasonable.

Again it depends on what you consider health insurance. If you want a $10 copay, full Rx coverage, a minimal deductible and minimal out of pocket co-insurance, yeah, you're going to pay a shit ton of money. Then again if you're looking for health insurance and not a pre-paid health plan, yes, you can find reasonable plans.

Again, this whole debate goes back to the differences between health insurance (which should be covering you for unexpected injuries and illnesses) versus health coverage where you pay your $20 copay and that's it. One is insurance the other isn't.

Hoosier Daddy said...

We already spend a shit ton of money on healthcare now, and people with insurance are already paying for people that are uninsured or underinsured.

Actually this raises another issue which no one wants to address. The 10-15 million illegals who, by law, will not be permitted to use 'affordability credits' (taxpayer dollars) to purchase health care.

Now we know that they won't be turned away from their primary care physicians (that means Emergency Rooms) so who is going to pay for that?

Bueller? Garage? Anyone?

bagoh20 said...

"The pony is believing that system can sustain itself without everyone paying into it. Christ, this used to be a Republican position."

Yes it is the conservative position, but the Democrats never ask for more equitable contribution from the people. They like to pick and choose and every time they get the power to do so, they give away to the many and take even more from the few. As soon as the resistance is felt, the already unfair exemptions from paying into this will explode. It happens every time.

This bill is a Godsend for Republicans. We just need to make sure Republican means conservative this time.

Lem said...

Which of these assertions is the less plausible?

1 The Supreme Court will find the new health care legislation unconstitutional.

2 The South Koreans will respond in kind after being attacked earlier today.

Rialby said...

So, this bill excludes the Amish and Christian Scientists from key provisions. How is the government going to prove who is Amish and who is not?

Are they going to be measuring beard length?

What if I buy one of those cool Amish-made mantles for my electric heater like I see on infomercials all the time? Does that lend some credibility to my newfound Amishness?

DaveW said...

Is anybody selling shirts or bumper stickers yet with: "Remember in November"?

Remember in November bumper sticker. 5 bucks - cheaper than a bus ride to DC.

I don't put bumper stickers on my car usually but...

bagoh20 said...

Well, Lem #2 may happen: "Yonhap also reported a South Korean navy ship firing toward an unidentified vessel to the north."

#1 I don't expect. They will massage the constitution to make it fit. It's very lawyerly stuff way beyond me.

In their minds, I suspect they will accept that the electorate can reverse this if it really wants to. I feel that is not how they should think, but it seems an irresistible dodge.

bagoh20 said...

"I don't put bumper stickers on my car usually but..."

Yea, I only have one on my angry racist pickup truck: a small American Flag. But I will be getting one of these. I know a lot of liberals, I live in LaLa land, and none of them ever display an American flag anywhere. They really find it yucky. It's hard to understand that kind of patriotism. Not that I would ever question their's, it just seems odd to me.

AlphaLiberal said...

These lawsuits are frivolous political stunts.

Rialby said...

Really? Is suing on the basis of religious discrimination a political stunt? How about racial discrimination?

MayBee said...

How long will it take to realize the benefits outweigh the "scare stories"? What scare stories does she mean, and how does she come to the conclusion they won't happen?

Hoosier Daddy said...

I wonder if anyone noticed the front page of the WSJ - DEBT FEARS SEND RATES UP.

Yes kids, there was weak demand for the US 2-year note. No what that means? We'll I'll tell ya. Interest rates are going up me bucko! That means in order to get more folks to fund Obama's spending spree, we'll all be paying a lot more for the shit burger that we're getting.

I mean its all well and good that we got health care reform in but how about The Won start working on the country's financial health and maybe a little reform there? Oh wait, that means we'd probably have to cut spending and laws no! Can't do that now. I mean you and I (the great unwashed) have to cut spending when revenue drops but not Washington. Hell, we're just not going to cut spending, we're going to takeover the student loan program from the private sector (helloooo more unemployment) and of course we'll need more government workers.....

Unlike the President's wife, I have always been proud of my country and it tears me up at what is happening to it.

Mick said...

Who TF is Greenhouse? Another typical MSM hail Obama piece justifying government takeover of our lives. I will NEVER comply.

sunsong said...

So, this bill excludes the Amish and Christian Scientists from key provisions. How is the government going to prove who is Amish and who is not?

It not just the Amish (who pay their own way) it is Muslims (there are millions of them) and illegals ( how many millions? 15? 20?

They will be using the ER for healthcare. So that puts the lie to 'everyone must contribute so that people aren't using the ER for healthcare and making the rest pay for it'. The rational for the mandate is not sound. Besides the unconstitutionality of it. There is no authority for the feds to force citizens to buy something.

I am one of those without insurance. I am NOT overjoyed by this. Just the opposite. I prefer alternative medicine. In other words - if I hurt my back I'd rather see a chiropractor than have an allopath fuse my discs together. I'd rather take supplements than pharmaceuticals etc

If I am forced to purchase insurance for allopathy - with what money will I purchase the healthcare that I do want?

It is maddening to see so many assert that *all* should be insured. Why not, all those who don't have it and "want" it? key phrase "and 'want' it. They have come to say that regarding employment -" every American who wants job can find one" - etc so why not "everyone who wants insurance can afford it or be helped"?

Fred4Pres said...

The Supreme Court should carefully review the arguments and do what is right. Not what is political. Not what the Obama administration wants, the Democratic Party wants, the Republican Party wants, or the Tea Partiers want. They will make the arguments to frame the issue.

I suspect they will uphold most of this legislation. Not because it is good or proper policy, but because it is Congress' power to make such legislation (however bad). Nevertheless, there are sigificant problems with aspects of this legislation (such as impacts to states and requirements to buy insurance) and how it was done and I hope that the Court takes a jaundiced eye to those expansions of federal power. This should be done by all members of the Court.

Fred4Pres said...

So, this bill excludes the Amish and Christian Scientists from key provisions. How is the government going to prove who is Amish and who is not?

There may be an equal protection argument.

As for proving who is Amish, I always liked those bumperstickers that say "Honk if you are Amish."

Ann Althouse said...

"Wow, did Anne miss the year or more that Obama and Hillary spent duking it out over health care reform?"

Did you miss the links in this very post?

Answer: Yes.

garage mahal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DaveW said...

I mean its all well and good that we got health care reform in but how about The Won start working on the country's financial health and maybe a little reform there?

Be careful what you wish for. I have a feeling anything this bunch does will be counterproductive. They appear to have no clue how the U.S. economy works.

One data point would be their reaction to the announcements by Cat and Deere that they were revising their projections. Do they not know that public corps have to do this? Seems like they don't.

garage mahal said...

Oh my garage, am I getting a tingle up my leg or are you suggesting that everyone start paying into the system?


Illegals? Yes. Definitely. Aren't you?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Illegals? Yes. Definitely. Aren't you?

Uh no. I'd like them to go back from whence they came and enter the country through the proper channels like my great grandparents were required to do.

In the interest of fairness you know. Fairness, your side is big on that right?

No garage, I was hoping you would agree that everyone should have to pay into the system (pay Fed income tax) but I see you won't rise to the challenge and evidently feel that one half should shoulder the burden for the other half.

See now the tingle is gone and its that damn pins and needles feeling.

bagoh20 said...

At my company we have many employees who choose not to take the company-assisted insurance plan. They are no less able financially than many who do take it. They simply choose to buy other things with that money and go to the emergency room when needed.

This is the majority of the uninsured in my opinion and the main problem with costs. I don't know how to deal with that equitably as long as hospitals are required to treat them for free. I'm sure there is a way, but this bill is about 5% that and 95% political payola and power grabbing.

If the Repubs take over this year. There will be stripping and redoing, but Obama will insist on keeping his bill and letting the Repubs fix it (relatively) for him.

Hoosier Daddy said...

At my company we have many employees who choose not to take the company-assisted insurance plan.

I remember a few years back when I was working with the marketing and sales people in reviewing plan proposals they were talking about trying to get the marketing material to appeal to the younger crowds (this was for the group health plans) because they were the one demographic within businesses that tends to foregoe health insurance.

mccullough said...

Maybe all the people who don't want to buy health insurance will convert to Christian Scientists.

What's cheaper, the donation to the church and a subscription to the Monitor, or buying health insurance?

I don't see why religious people should be exempt. It may be against someone's religion to receive health care, but is it against anyone's religion to buy health insurance?

sunsong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sunsong said...

but is it against anyone's religion to buy health insurance?

Yes, apparently it's against Muslim's religion. They consider insurance something akin to gambling and it is *forbidden" - that's why they are exempted from the mandate.

mccullough said...

Sunsong,

Didn't the health bill make amendments to the Muslim religion?

Given that most Muslims don't drink, smoke, or eat pork, they probably should be exempted

veni vidi vici said...

Since my recent fame here is in connection with pointing out interesting things about names (just ask Steny Hoyer a/k/a American Eidolon), allow me to state the obvious:

Greenhouse is one gassy dame.


wv: "filinde" -- sorry, drawing a blank.

edutcher said...

AlphaLiberal said...

These lawsuits are frivolous political stunts.

As opposed to the ones filed against Sarah Palin, of course.

You betcha.

sunsong said...

mccullough,

Didn't the health bill make amendments to the Muslim religion?



This is what I've seen


Given that most Muslims don't drink, smoke, or eat pork, they probably should be exempted

Mormons don't drink or smoke either - nor do they ingest caffeine - so they should also be exempted ? :-)

What about health food nuts - who also don't drink or smoke?

My suggestion is - since many millions are already exempted and will use the ER for their healthcare - why not let personal choice reign supreme? :-)

What a radical idea - freedom of choice and self-determination. Why not those who truly *want* health insurance but can't afford it - getting help?

Almost Ali said...

Almost Ali said...

The garbage bag of all doctrines - written and unwritten - is the doctrine of Greater Good, the preeminent nullifier of laws constitutional or otherwise.

Would they risk civil unrest to "simply" uphold the law, or rather, defer to the doctrine of Greater Good? 5-to-4 says they'll opt for the latter, that is, they'll defer to Congress - Alito writing the scathing dissent.
3/24/10 3:18 PM

Almost Ali said...

but is it against anyone's religion to buy health insurance?

Yes, Christian Scientists, the Amish, and Mennonites. Also, given the abortion language, the Catholics.

Almost Ali said...

...Uh, did I mention the Baptists, Lutherans, and Episcopalians? Jehovah Witnesses may also have a problem with the language.

Michael McNeil said...

Being forced to buy $150 a month insurance is not stalinism.

It won't be $150 — because the new law rules out basic high-deductible catastrophic coverage. Insurance plans will have to cover far more than that, and thus it will be expensive: way beyond $150.

But beyond that, nobody will be forced to buy insurance. Instead folks will be fined (taxed by the IRS) perhaps $900 a year (the figure I've seen) if they don't. Even presuming that that $150 per month for insurance is accurate, that adds up to $1,800 per year. Why should any healthy person buy insurance coverage at $1,800+ a year when one can simply pay the $900 fine/tax, and then go get insurance (which cannot be denied them under the new law) the moment they become sick? (Then drop back off again once they're better, and so on, ad infinitum.)

What do you suppose is going to happen to insurance rates and the viability of the insurance companies once a significant portion of the healthy population realizes that?

AJ Lynch said...

Is it really true that Muslims don't buy insurance? How can they buy a car or a home unless they buy the required insurance coverages?

BTW I am still Amish.

Synova said...

I have several friends who will be in the "mandate" group. I'm not sure that one of them has figured that out yet. The other couple who *could* get medical insurance despite pre-existing conditions but don't because it's heinous expensive are clearly aware that they are most likely going to be screwed by being forced to pay with money that is going to come out of their bottom line as they are self-employed.

They're exactly the ones who are supposed to be served by this... helped by this... saved by it.

Maybe someone should have asked them first.

AJ Lynch said...

Synova:

Theoretically, the plan should benefit your friends with pre-existing conditions by evening out premiums across young [healthy] and old [less healthy on average]age groups.

The key word,natch, is theoretically.

Eric said...

I think this monstrosity will have to be repealed, but I would love to see Obama's face if the Supreme Court nixes it.

Can you imagine next year's SOTU if that happens?

Almost Ali said...

We've entered the Age of Stupidity - immediately preceded by the Age of Willful Ignorance.

And willful ignorance of candidate Obama is also no excuse, particularly among the educated class. Just as ignorance of the bill is unforgivable among the political class.

The average American got the triple whammy, yet there are even more whammies to come.

Alex said...

Ann:

The health care reform law followed an election that wasn't about health care reform at all. The main thing people were thinking about when they voted for Obama in 2008 was the dramatic economic crisis. There were also the 2 wars and amorphous hopes for a post-racial America.

yet our resident trolls would have us believe that Obama was elected with a massive socialist mandate. Already re-writing history by the minute.

Fr Martin Fox said...

The no-health-insurance tax doesn't apply to Muslims?

This is effectively a dhimmi tax--you become Muslim, you don't pay.

What? You don't think someone would "become Muslim" to save $900?

jaed said...

Is it really true that Muslims don't buy insurance? How can they buy a car or a home unless they buy the required insurance coverages?

Mortgages and loans in general are also problematic under sharia (because they require paying interest). There are various workarounds to this for mortgages though I suspect most (devout) Muslims pay cash for cars rather than take out a conventional loan for which the lender would require insurance on the car.

You can google "takaful" under various spellings for more than you probably want to know. How this interacts with Obamacare I have no idea, and given that no one seems to have actually read the thing or checked it for inconsistencies, I doubt anyone else knows either.

Seven Machos said...

Poor people in this country who don't now have health insurance will not for having to queue up for world-class medical care.

DaveW said...

This is our future.

"Hospital wards to shut in secret NHS cuts"

"Tens of thousands of NHS workers would be sacked, hospital units closed and patients denied treatments under secret plans for £20 billion of health cuts."

"The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped."