Up next: court challenges

posted at 11:36 am on March 22, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The passage of the ObamaCare bill and its certain signing by Barack Obama now moves the fight from Congress to the courts.  While the politics on Capitol Hill will continue for at least a few days on the reconciliation sidebar bill that will go to the Senate, the main damage has already been done with the vote last night in the House.  States have already begun preparations for constitutional challenges, mainly based on the unprecedented creation of federal mandates on individual citizens:

The next chapter in the health care fight will play out not only in the midterm elections, but also in the courts. Attorneys general in three states — Virginia, Florida and South Carolina — have indicated they will file legal challenges to the measure, on the grounds that it violates the Constitution by requiring individuals to purchase insurance.

In an interview Sunday, the Virginia attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli, said he intended to base his challenge on two grounds: that the federal bill conflicts with a newly passed state law that says no Virginian may be compelled to buy insurance and that Congress does not have authority to impose the mandate under its powers to regulate interstate commerce, as Democrats contend.

“This is such an incredible federal overreach,” Mr. Cuccinelli said, but added that he did not plan to ask the courts for an order that would prevent the bill from going into effect because the individual mandate does not take effect until 2013. “On our basis for a constitutional challenge, there’s no rush,” he said.

The courts seem like a fruitful place to deconstruct ObamaCare.  Even the CBO warned Congress in 1993 about the novelty of requiring Americans to buy health insurance as a requisite for residence:

AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE WOULD BE UNPRECEDENTED

A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States. An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.

Federal mandates typically apply to people as parties to economic transactions, rather than as members of society. For example, the section of the Americans with Disabilities Act that requires restaurants to make their facilities accessible to persons with disabilities applies to people who own restaurants.  The Federal Labor Standards Act prohibits employers from paying less than the federal minimum wage. This prohibition pertains to individuals who employ others. Federal environmental statutes and regulations that require firms to meet pollution control standards and use specific technologies apply to companies that engage in specific lines of business or use particular production processes.  Federal mandates that apply to individuals as members of society are extremely rare. One example is the requirement that draft-age men register with the Selective Service System. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is not aware of any others imposed by current federal law.

That’s because none other exists.  The Constitution gives Congress the right to regulate interstate commerce, not to force individuals to purchase items from that commerce.  And let’s not forget that no interstate commerce in health insurance exists, thanks to Congress keeping people from buying that insurance across state lines.

However, the politics of ObamaCare will continue to resonate this year, and into 2012.  Democrats insist that they will benefit politically from the passage of ObamaCare, but the numbers and the structure of the bill strongly suggest otherwise.  They jammed the bill through Congress using arcane parliamentary procedures despite the strong disapproval of their proposal among voters — between nine and 20 points, depending on the pollster.  In comparison, Democrats proclaimed a landslide when Obama won office by an impressive seven points among the popular vote, one of the larger margins of victory in the past 20 years.

The structure of the bill is another problem.  Very few of the benefits of ObamaCare even begin before 2014, but all of the taxes and business mandates start this year.  The extra expense on businesses (Caterpillar estimated it would cost them $100 million a year) will keep companies from hiring or investing in expansion.  That will kill any employment recovery in a weak economy, meaning that high unemployment will continue for the next several years.  Health care will cost more, be less available, and people will remain out of work.  In that kind of environment, Democrats will have to answer for their government takeover, and the results won’t be pretty — nor should they be.


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–Considering that the fine on employers doesn’t kick in for several years and that the fine is probably less than the employer’s portion of health care insurance premiums, I think her employer is lying or doesn’t understand the bill.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Re-read the post. More slowly this time. She said the employer couldn’t afford the new taxes and her existing health care premiums.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM

Last I checked, the federal government had the final say. They have the army, the air force and the navy. This thing is a done deal. No force in the history of the United States has been successful in fighting the US government. Even the Confederate States, with an army of their own, fought and lost against Washington. They can force the states do to whatever they want – at the point of a gun if necessary. And their guns are a lot bigger.

keep the change on March 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM

You missed class the day that the twenty-first amendment was dicussed, apparently.

Vashta.Nerada on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Stupak was had; Obama knew when he made the offer that no EO could override Law. ‘course, Nelson, Landrieu, and others were bought.

How’s that thirty pieces of silver working out for ya, Stupey?

Robert17 on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I’m not so generous to them. They want single payer. All of this is helping them achieve that.

Esthier on March 22, 2010 at 12:01 PM

They aren’t ever going to get that. In the first place, by the time they get to that spot? Europe is going to be totally broke, due to that system.

Honestly, that’s not a threat.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

By “they” you mean some, not all.

But hey, if you don’t like the product, don’t buy it. Self insure or roll the dice, until yesterday there was no requirement that you hold health insurance.

Bishop on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

They can force the states do to whatever they want – at the point of a gun if necessary. And their guns are a lot bigger.

keep the change on March 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM

You are assuming that the majority of the armed forces would fight for the govt, rather than for the people.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

–My understanding is that the funding for high risk plans starts this year, but ends in 2013 or 2014 when the exchanges are up and running.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Sure hope a lot people are planning on tanning in salons to pay for this. :-)

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I never understand why anyone would defend the insurance industry.

Here’s my take on it. They have you fill out their application forms. They fail to verify information. They take your premiums. Then, when you get sick, they find something and boot you.

In what world would this practice ever be acceptable?

For heaven’s sakes, it was awful! And no car insurance company would dream of trying run that scam.

What were they thinking?

That’s what I keep asking.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

So you are blaming the insurance companies for people lying on their applications and then haveing to deal with the fallout?

Personal responsibility is not a phrase in your vocabulary apparently.

uknowmorethanme on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I’ve decided to call my rep Brad Miller (D-bag) every time I get a headache and demand my free MRI.

Monica on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Here’s my take on it. They have you fill out their application forms. They fail to verify information. They take your premiums. Then, when you get sick, they find something and boot you.

In what world would this practice ever be acceptable?

For heaven’s sakes, it was awful! And no car insurance company would dream of trying run that scam.

What were they thinking?

That’s what I keep asking.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

So you’re saying if you lie or withhold information on your insurance applications and the insurance company fails to discover that fact, then the insurance company should not be able to deny coverage? Surely that’s not what you’re saying. Insurance applications ask you to reveal all of your pre-existing health conditions, if you reveal the condition, the policy will clearly state that anything related to that condition is not covered. That’s why it’s called insurance, you’re insuring against future risks. And if you lie on your auto insurance applications, they will in fact boot you.

mbs on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Does anyone think like i do after the way Obama dist the Supremes at the State of the Union this year.Some of them are looking for a little payback???

thmcbb on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I’m a young lawyer and would like to know how I can help on any legal battles. Nothing I learned in law school allows this kind of mandate.

Byzantine on March 22, 2010 at 11:41 AM

Thanks! Consider yourself not part of any lawyer jokes I tell over the next few days.

Scott P on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Federal courts will have jurisdiction as this is a Federal issue, not state courts. The injunction will against the enforcement of the mandate.

theenforser on March 22, 2010 at 12:00 PM

Federal District Court first or direct to the Supreme Court?

ROCnPhilly on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

“This is such an incredible federal overreach,” Mr. Cuccinelli said, but added that he did not plan to ask the courts for an order that would prevent the bill from going into effect because the individual mandate does not take effect until 2013. “On our basis for a constitutional challenge, there’s no rush,” he said.

Unfortunately, there is a rush. The Court is as political as any branch. Maybe not in style as much as in practice, but it is ideologically partisan. Knowing this and the status of the Courts and, most acutely, SCOTUS, knocking down the Obamanation of health insurance mandate/single-payer precursor now while the Court leans Right is rather important. There is some urgency involved before a) essentially punitive and unrecoverable taxation initiates and b) the SCOTUS composition gets reconstructed to reflect Obama’s socialist preferences.

We cannot be naive and presume that even something evidently Unconstitutional will be refuted by SCOTUS. An ideologically crafted Court will bring the Constitution alive once again with penumbral rights shooting out of its ‘R’s. Justice delayed may be justice denied.

AnonymousDrivel on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Last I checked, the federal government had the final say. They have the army, the air force and the navy. This thing is a done deal. No force in the history of the United States has been successful in fighting the US government. Even the Confederate States, with an army of their own, fought and lost against Washington. They can force the states do to whatever they want – at the point of a gun if necessary. And their guns are a lot bigger.

keep the change on March 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM

delusional.

Heard of the Posse Comitatus Act?

heard of the Constitution?

There are 50 states and one federal government. –One of those entities is going to get cut down to size.

ted c on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

They aren’t ever going to get that. In the first place, by the time they get to that spot? Europe is going to be totally broke, due to that system.

Honestly, that’s not a threat.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Europe IS totally broke because of the system.

The United Kingdom, with only 60 million people, has a national debt that rivals America, with her 300+ million.

uknowmorethanme on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Does anyone think like i do after the way Obama dist the Supremes at the State of the Union this year.Some of them are looking for a little payback???

thmcbb on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

I’d prefer to think that a person who made it to the highest court in the land doesn’t look for payback through legal rulings.

myrenovations on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

http://image.patriotpost.us.s3.amazonaws.com/2010-03-22-brief-cartoon.jpg

“For many years now, you and I have been shushed like children and told there are no simple answers to the complex problems which are beyond our comprehension. Well, the truth is, there are simple answers, they just are not easy ones. The time has come for us to decide whether collectively we can afford everything and anything we think of simply because we think of it. The time has come to run a check to see if all the services government provides were in answer to demands or were just goodies dreamed up for our supposed betterment. The time has come to match outgo to income, instead of always doing it the other way around.” –Ronald Reagan

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

So how exactly are they supposed to sell this to the voters come November?

Doughboy on March 22, 2010 at 11:39 AM

Create a large enough crisis so they can declare marshall law and cancel the elections. (tin foil cap off)

chemman on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Here’s my take on it. They have you fill out their application forms. They fail to verify information. They take your premiums. Then, when you get sick, they find something and boot you.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

I don’t know if you are parnoid, or merely insane.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

rockmom on March 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

I don’t even see why that is necessary. If I get sick, I’m not even required to go see a doctor. It’s my body, my choice, right?

Esthier on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

By the time it even reaches the Supreme Court, the political aftermath will have happened and we’ll be at some different point.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Un-Constitutional today, un-Constitutional tomorrow.

I’m keeping my reciepts so I can prove my claim for a refund of un-Constitutional taking of private property (my money) due to ObamaCare.

Democrats complete installation of first section of the wall around the new country…Obamastan.

BobMbx on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Re-read the post. More slowly this time. She said the employer couldn’t afford the new taxes and her existing health care premiums.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM

The employer is probably referring to an array of taxes. Some of them state-level. Taxes of concern to employers:
- Expiration of the 2003 tax cuts.
- Property taxes (I heard many states are hurting for money).
- Higher capital gains taxes (within and outside the health care bill).

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

–My understanding is that the funding for high risk plans starts this year, but ends in 2013 or 2014 when the exchanges are up and running.
Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

Most likely all those business can AFFORD to pay all those new taxes, what with the economy humming along, right?

Chip on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

FINALLY! Rush is on…

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM

If anyone is interested in helping Dr Dan Replace Stupak his pay pal donation webpage is up now Dr Dan Benishek for Michigan’s 1st District.

Dr Evil on March 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Ok, these AG’s may not be in a hurry on their Constitutional challenges since the mandate doesn’t begin until 2013, but many other aspects/taxes/etc of this bill go into effect much sooner.

We can’t wait for these guys to let a couple of years of taxes go by – what can we do *now*?

Midas on March 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM


Considering that the fine on employers doesn’t kick in for several years and that the fine is probably less than the employer’s portion of health care insurance premiums, I think her employer is lying or doesn’t understand the bill.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM
She’s not talking about the fine, she’s talking about the additional taxes.

mbs on March 22, 2010 at 12:01 PM

Re-read the post. More slowly this time. She said the employer couldn’t afford the new taxes and her existing health care premiums.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM

–Other than the fee on drug makers and the 10% tanning tax, no other new taxes kick in before 2013.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I don’t know if you are parnoid, or merely insane.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Mixture of both, I think…

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

What kind of law suit does one file to get that gavel out of Pelosi’s vagvajvag…?

Seven Percent Solution on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Federal District Court first or direct to the Supreme Court?

ROCnPhilly on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

It’s been a few years since I took constitutional law, but if it’s an action by the states against the federal gov’t, it goes to the supreme ct.

Any lawyers out there to correct me?

theenforser on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I’ve decided to call my rep Brad Miller (D-bag) every time I get a headache and demand my free MRI.

Monica on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

Excellent idea!
I had fantasies last night that as soon as the vote came down, ERs would be overrun by peeps demanding treatment for all manner of ouchys fer free from “Obama’s stash.”

Chewy the Lab on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I don’t even see why that is necessary. If I get sick, I’m not even required to go see a doctor. It’s my body, my choice, right?

Esthier on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

Only when it benefits the left.

ROCnPhilly on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I’ve decided to call my rep Brad Miller (D-bag) every time I get a headache and demand my free MRI.

Monica on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

When I was a banking lobbyist we called him the Congressman from ACORN. He’s a communist and a nasty one at that.

rockmom on March 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM

–Other than the fee on drug makers and the 10% tanning tax, no other new taxes kick in before 2013.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

But there are other taxes that employers are getting hammered with…see my comment here.

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:09 PM

Last I checked, the federal government had the final say. They have the army, the air force and the navy. This thing is a done deal. No force in the history of the United States has been successful in fighting the US government. Even the Confederate States, with an army of their own, fought and lost against Washington. They can force the states do to whatever they want – at the point of a gun if necessary. And their guns are a lot bigger.

keep the change on March 22, 2010 at 11:58 AM
delusional.

Heard of the Posse Comitatus Act?

heard of the Constitution?

There are 50 states and one federal government. –One of those entities is going to get cut down to size.

ted c on March 22, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Constitutionally I agree with you.

Practically speaking – as with the fact that the Congress and President have yet to allow the Constitution to guide their actions, I’m not pragmatically sure that what ted c is saying wouldn’t be reality.

Midas on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

They aren’t ever going to get that. In the first place, by the time they get to that spot? Europe is going to be totally broke, due to that system.

Honestly, that’s not a threat.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

That’s already the case, and it hasn’t stopped politicians from promising single payer – and of course it’s the entire point of the public option in the first place.

I realize it’ll help bankrupt this country, but if politicians cared about that, they would have focused on fixing Medicare and Social Security before taking on a new government entitlement program.

You’re giving them way too much credit.

Esthier on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I never understand why anyone would defend the insurance industry.

Here’s my take on it. They have you fill out their application forms. They fail to verify information. They take your premiums. Then, when you get sick, they find something and boot you.

Let me defend it because I have worked for both a private blue and medicare. You are an ill-informed lout. Let me guess, you had a bad experience or know someone who has so now you want the government to get rid of the whole thing and lord it over us.

So I assume everyone you know has signed on for insurance and received nothing in return, right? Cuz they just take the premiums and do nothing for you, right? Lies.

WitchDoctor on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

“Everybody is covered” is the law.

You are not garuanteed the treatement you may be expecting. Need hip surgery? Yep, you’re covered. But, the Government has decided the treatment you’re entitled to is a jar of aspirin.

Thank you sir, may I have another?

BobMbx on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Does anyone think like i do after the way Obama dist the Supremes at the State of the Union this year.Some of them are looking for a little payback???

thmcbb on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

No – but I do think the comments and applause were directly linked to knowing – they needed back-door payola deals to get this through, along with bloated state mandates and budget load – and a SC challange was inevitable.

i.e. Dems fired the first shot, regardless of Obama’s accuracy in his statements, supported by Dem parrots – who then turned on the MSM to villify Alito’s “not true” mouthing, while repeating the lie concerning the SC ruling. I even saw a “poll” – about a week later to validate this lunacy.

The war against the Judicial branch was their intention, as it will be the dialogue in the months to come.

We haven’t seen anything yet; concerning seperation of powers, state v federal rights and checks and balances…

Odie1941 on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I’ve decided to call my rep Brad Miller (D-bag) every time I get a headache and demand my free MRI.

Monica on March 22, 2010 at 12:04 PM

That sounds like fun. “Debbie Halverson, my son is throwing up, what should I do?”

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

I had fantasies last night that as soon as the vote came down, ERs would be overrun by peeps demanding treatment for all manner of ouchys fer free from “Obama’s stash.”

Chewy the Lab on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

I would LOVE to see the GOP run some ads in these Democratic districts telling people to “call Congressman Murphy today to sign up for your free health insurance.”

rockmom on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

I don’t know if anybody’s said this yet. There was an article in the American Thinker about how screwed the United States is right now. It’s based on the premise that no repeal has ever before been successfully undertaken against an “entitlement”. In answer to this I say that no health care legislation of this magnitude has ever before been enacted. Further, the the ‘benefits” from this legislation aren’t going to go into effect until 2014. The cost to the citizenry is going to occur immediately, and no one but a left wing nut job is going to like it. This means that the repeal will be like repealing a tax, which has been done before. No one wants this. I don’t think a politician has much to worry about if he succeeds in repealing it.

jakabok_botch on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

We can’t wait for these guys to let a couple of years of taxes go by – what can we do *now*?

Midas on March 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM

It’s not the taxes but the entitlements that are the danger. It’s almost impossible to kill entitlements.

ROCnPhilly on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

I called my State Senator’s office and encouraged his staffer to to ask Senator to introduce legislation similar to what Idaho did. She sounded receptive to the idea but who knows.

So call your governor, state lawmakers, anyone who will listen. It only takes a few minutes of your time.

Byzantine on March 22, 2010 at 11:48 AM

I emailed my governor (Dave Heineman R-NE) encouraging him to take whatever steps he can to oppose this trillion dollar disaster.

I also sent messages to Rep. Lee Terry and Sen. Johanns encouraging them to run on repeal platforms in upcoming the election(s) if the legal challenges fail. I didn’t even bother writing to Sen. Nelson as he’s a lost cause who I look forward to voting out of office.

Yakko77 on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

That’s not true, we got welfare reform in 1996 after 30 years or failure, and it has worked. We CAN repeal this before it ever gets off the ground.

rockmom on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

SCOTUS can decide on what cases it will hear, so a petition can be made right away. I doubt the Court would act without at least one petition acted upon in a lower court, but you never know; SCOTUS procedure is largely a mystery to most everyone.

The public is skeptical of this bill, which doesn’t involve the courts directly (and shouldn’t), but another immediate effect is selling this mess to the public. Unions and other liberal groups will be spending millions on TV and radio adds, telling why this is such a good thing.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20100322/pl_politico/34785

Those opposing the bill will be doing much the same. It’s going to be a long journey before everything is finalized. And, while tied up in courts, I don’t believe a new bill can be put into action until all is resolved.

The Dems sure put this country in a huge mess.

Liam on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

LIMBAUGH: AMERICA IS HANGING BY A THREAD

carbon_footprint on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

this is gonna get ugly. if the individual mandate is found to be unconstitutional (good chance) then the reform will lose its biggest funding incentive – the insurance companies will be stuck with insuring everyone who walks in without being able to adjust for risk (hello Fanny Freddie). democrats panic and tripple the taxes to help fund the big gaping budget hole. BTW, big pharma is up – Merc , Pfizer, Abbot, JNJ, Bristol all of ‘em – they worked hard for this “reform”, they stand to gain gazillions from it.

runner on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

–Other than the fee on drug makers and the 10% tanning tax, no other new taxes kick in before 2013.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

Bushes tax cuts expire in December.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I have a high-deductible insurance policy and an HSA. I like it. When does Øbama take that away from me?

Kafir on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

–Other than the fee on drug makers and the 10% tanning tax, no other new taxes kick in before 2013.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:08 PM

States are going to have to start raising taxes to pay for the expansion of medicaid.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

I would LOVE to see the GOP run some ads in these Democratic districts telling people to “call Congressman Murphy today to sign up for your free health insurance.”

rockmom on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

rofl

Midas on March 22, 2010 at 12:13 PM

That sounds like fun. “Debbie Halverson, my son is throwing up, what should I do?”
WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

Ha, this would be fun to get millions of people calling, emailing and sending letters every day.

“Senator Franken, I have an owie on my toe, where do I go for help with this? Please advise.”

Bishop on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Rush is in rare form! I always feel better after his show.

theenforser on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

But hey, if you don’t like the product, don’t buy it. Self insure or roll the dice, until yesterday there was no requirement that you hold health insurance.

Bishop on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

I think the insurance products spun out of control, much like the mortgage industry.

It’s been quite a “roaring 20′s” decade.

I personally come down on the side of even some GOP, who did present proposals to intervene. I suppose some of you call those voices, “Rinos.”

I don’t. Obviously, intervention should have been taken earlier, particularly on Wall St.

But, hey….”woulda, coulda, shoulda” at this point.

The real focus I have, and I doubt I’m alone, what next?

And this “answer” by the Dems isn’t what I was looking for, anyway.

I’m more optimistic than many here. I think there’s a real opportunity for someone with a real vision to emerge right now, with answers that make sense.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Yakko77 on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Ditto. And I didn’t bother with Judas Nelson either. He just had better stay the hell away from here for awhile.

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

–My understanding is that the funding for high risk plans starts this year, but ends in 2013 or 2014 when the exchanges are up and running.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

And I’ll point out, once again, that there is a difference between being “covered” and receiving healthcare. You and everybody else at the DMV-like clinic will have coverage to see the one doc.

BTW, don’t think that the federal funding for abortions that got snuck through last night is going to hold up its first brush with the court system. The accounting scheme is blatantly illegal and will be shot down.

highhopes on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Don’t forget:

While you’re slaving away to pay your bills, you’re also funding the life-time medical needs of those who don’t have incomes above the subsidy level like gang bangers, pedophiles, convicts, perpetually lazy, etc….

BobMbx on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Texas is there:

daddio on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Almost none of the taxes and mandates start in 2010, according to this WSJ summary:
But many Dem Reps presented hardship stories of why they are voting on this bill. Are hardships postponed for fours years? Or, are these hardships not worth spending money on for four years to get ensure a good CBO score?

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 11:56 AM

If they truly cared, as much as they say they do, they would never have done it this way in the first place. They’re so full of it, and themselves, it’s just sickening.

I’m pretty dang sure that the mandates and taxes won’t take hold, til they’re politically safe. AFTER elections are done, and their seats are secured!

capejasmine on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Re-read the post. More slowly this time. She said the employer couldn’t afford the new taxes and her existing health care premiums.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM
The employer is probably referring to an array of taxes.

Some of them state-level. Taxes of concern to employers:
- Expiration of the 2003 tax cuts.
- Property taxes (I heard many states are hurting for money).
- Higher capital gains taxes (within and outside the health care bill).

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:06 PM

–The only expiring 2003 tax cut that should affect most employers is the higher capital gains rate. The other federal stuff relates to individuals (reduced regular income rates, AMT “fix”, reduced tax on some dividends and long term capital gains, estate tax). But I’m sure some states (like Illinois) have/are planning to increase property taxes and might be thinking about changes to corporate income taxes.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

That’s not true, we got welfare reform in 1996 after 30 years or failure, and it has worked. We CAN repeal this before it ever gets off the ground.

rockmom on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Exactly! If anything last night’s vote just made me more determined to call, write, fax, campaign even harder to repeal.

There is always a first – this can be the first entitlement program to be repealed in history.

gophergirl on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Rush is in rare form! I always feel better after his show.

theenforser on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Friday was the first time I felt totally dispirited after his show.

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

While you’re slaving away to pay your bills, you’re also funding the life-time medical needs of those who don’t have incomes above the subsidy level like gang bangers, pedophiles, convicts, perpetually lazy, etc….
BobMbx on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

In other words, demorats and liberals. Crr6 I’m talking about you.

Bishop on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

States are going to have to start raising taxes to pay for the expansion of medicaid.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Yes.

Or, what I think will really happen is that they’ll dismantle state programs and just rely upon whatever the Feds provide.

That’s the real mandate.

Just vote out current state programs. Give people exactly what the Feds are providing.

It’s pretty paltry, actually.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Greg Abbott AG of Texas

daddio on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

States are going to have to start raising taxes to pay for the expansion of medicaid.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Good luck getting states to do that. Tennessee requires a Constitutional Amendment to enact a state income tax.

Holger on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Uh oh. I hope he has a better effect on you today.

theenforser on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

That’s not true, we got welfare reform in 1996 after 30 years or failure, and it has worked. We CAN repeal this before it ever gets off the ground.

rockmom on March 22, 2010 at 12:11 PM

Reform is not the same as repeal. Getting to it before it actually goes anywhere is probably the only way we’ll be able to repeal this.

Esthier on March 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Even if the courts strike down the individual mandate, which I think has a greater than 50/50 chance, they are not going to touch the pre existing conditions. I suspect the Democrats welcome this scenario because it will quicken the pace at which the insurance industry will go bankrupt.

At that point they will charge that gov’t has to move in to assist the people who were left high and dry by those evil bankrupt insurance companies. Only in a Democrats mind can an industry be both evil for being in business and going out of business.

Remember, single payer is their ultimate goal. Do not forget or doubt this for a second.

WisRich on March 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

BTW, don’t think that the federal funding for abortions that got snuck through last night is going to hold up its first brush with the court system. The accounting scheme is blatantly illegal and will be shot down.

highhopes on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

–We’ll see. On what grounds will it be shot down?

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

highhopes on March 22, 2010 at 12:14 PM

Exactly spot on!!! What the hell was the point of any of this, when we don’t have enough doctors to cover everyone. It’s paying for health care, without recieving health care. Like some in Canada say about their health care system. DON’T GET SICK!!!!

capejasmine on March 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Uh oh. I hope he has a better effect on you today.

theenforser on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Wasn’t his fault. I just think he made me realize this crap sandwich would pass.

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Let me defend it because I have worked for both a private blue and medicare. You are an ill-informed lout. Let me guess, you had a bad experience or know someone who has so now you want the government to get rid of the whole thing and lord it over us.

So I assume everyone you know has signed on for insurance and received nothing in return, right? Cuz they just take the premiums and do nothing for you, right? Lies.

WitchDoctor on March 22, 2010 at 12:10 PM

No, it’s not personal.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I asked this yesterday, but no one had answer so I’ll try again…

I’m not a lawyer, so can someone answer this, if the lawsuits are successful isn’t only the offending portion stricken from the law, ie- the mandate to purchase?

Then this still forces the insurance Co’s to accept the additional burdens without the benefit of added revenues. Thus driving them into bankruptcy and leaving the guv insurer of last resort, or single payer. The stated end game of the Dem’s all along!

As I’ve warned for months, these people are not amatuer or stupid, but are incredibly devious.

Any lawyers care to comment?

Archimedes on March 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

They aren’t ever going to get that. In the first place, by the time they get to that spot? Europe is going to be totally broke, due to that system.

Honestly, that’s not a threat.

AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

The whole goal is a single payer system. If you think the rate increase in California by Anthem/Blue Cross caused a furor wait until the massive increases occur for the required coverage of preexisting conditions start later this year. The howling will wake the dead and congress will insist it needs a government plan or they will impose a rate freeze on the insurance companies that will bankrupt them in a few years thus forcing a single payer system.

chemman on March 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

They can force the states do to whatever they want – at the point of a gun if necessary. And their guns are a lot bigger.

What an asinine statement. But it’s from a liberal, so it’s understandable. But to make a point to ‘keep the change’, the individual STATE NATIONAL GUARD units outnumber the FEDERAL army.

GarandFan on March 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM


My understanding is that the funding for high risk plans starts this year, but ends in 2013 or 2014 when the exchanges are up and running.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM
Sure hope a lot people are planning on tanning in salons to pay for this. :-)

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:03 PM

–My wife and older daughter use one here in Texas. I’ve given up arguing with them about why they need to use one down here and why it’s not a good idea generally to get tanned/sunburned.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM

States are going to have to start raising taxes to pay for the expansion of medicaid.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:12 PM
Good luck getting states to do that. Tennessee requires a Constitutional Amendment to enact a state income tax.

Holger on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

I’m sure you realize that income taxes are not the only taxes that states levy on their citizens.

Property taxes, sales taxes, licenses, fees, etc.

Midas on March 22, 2010 at 12:20 PM

In other words, demorats and liberals. Crr6 I’m talking about you.

Bishop on March 22, 2010 at 12:16 PM

Not just them. We’re creating incentives for this kind of behavior. Good people will decide it’s not worth it as well.

Esthier on March 22, 2010 at 12:21 PM

The other federal stuff relates to individuals

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

Last time I checked, employers are also individuals. Though many on the left do prefer to deny their humanity.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Let me guess, you had a bad experience or know someone who has so now you want the government to get rid of the whole thing and lord it over us.

You will discover that Ann has experience with everything. In fact, she made a handful of helpful suggestions that Noah used. She also knows the story behind gravity.

BobMbx on March 22, 2010 at 12:21 PM

The leftist Democrats are the most despicable slugs that ever walked the floors of those government buildings. Their sole purpose was to pacify their parasitic constituency with more free nanny state give aways and solidify their prime voting block. The rest of us and our grandchildren will pay dearly for this massive welfare program these wormy politicos have dumped upon us. Work, give, fight and persevere . . . we may not be able to eliminate all of it but by God we can certainly put a gaping hole in it.

rplat on March 22, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Unfortunately, we’re about to undergo several months of propaganda from Barry to sell his program. Bad enough we had to endure months of his visage and voice everywhere promoting it. Now we’ve go to listen as he tries to sell it.

Guess Axelrod doesn’t believe that people can OD on Obama every day, all the time, everywhere.

GarandFan on March 22, 2010 at 12:21 PM

It was the mean, rich, white Republicans who opposed “free” health care all the way.

Just keep repeating that up through November and the defecrats won’t have any election problems.

And wait until that “free” health care means free drugs for any and all ailments.

Terminal cancer? Here are some pain meds. Sniffles? Here are some sleeping pills. Headache? Here’s some morphine.

Passing amnesty through reconciliation? Why not?

This is going to go as planned.

BowHuntingTexas on March 22, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Archimedes on March 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Not a lawyer but if McCain-Feingold is any indication that is how it works. SCOTUS strips the offending portion out of the bill and lets the rest stand.

chemman on March 22, 2010 at 12:22 PM

“The extra expense on businesses (Caterpillar estimated it would cost them $100 million a year) will keep companies from hiring or investing in expansion. That will kill any employment recovery in a weak economy, meaning that high unemployment will continue for the next several years.”

If you do have a job, best hang on to it with tight fingers. Changing jobs will mandate that you switch to the government’s health care option because your new employer’s plans are considered grandfathered options under the Obamacare bill.

serpentineshel on March 22, 2010 at 12:22 PM

FINALLY! Rush is on…

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM

Unfortunately, he is one of ones most responsible for our current predicament.

Think for yourself and organize.

True_King on March 22, 2010 at 12:23 PM

FINALLY! Rush is on…

OmahaConservative on March 22, 2010 at 12:07 PM
Unfortunately, he is one of ones most responsible for our current predicament.

Think for yourself and organize.

True_King on March 22, 2010 at 12:23 PM

Blame Rush… how original.

Odie1941 on March 22, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Even if the courts strike down the individual mandate, which I think has a greater than 50/50 chance, they are not going to touch the pre existing conditions.

WisRich on March 22, 2010 at 12:17 PM

States regulate most utilities. These utilities have gone to court to protest regulations that prevent them from earning a profit. The courts have almost always ruled in favor of the utilities in such cases. I believe the SC will be sympathetic to a complaint that a regulation will make impossible to stay in business.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:24 PM

The only expiring 2003 tax cut that should affect most employers is the higher capital gains rate. The other federal stuff relates to individuals (reduced regular income rates, AMT “fix”, reduced tax on some dividends and long term capital gains, estate tax). But I’m sure some states (like Illinois) have/are planning to increase property taxes and might be thinking about changes to corporate income taxes.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:15 PM

The income tax on “high” earners will surely expire under this leadership. You well know that many small business are S-Corps or LLC partnerships and taxes fall to the individual. Ergo, business taxes are going up.

You are lucky your are in Texas, make sure the libs don’t screw up that state…we need somewhere to go to lessen our tax burdens if we cannot win in our current home states.

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:24 PM

They’re creating demand for a ‘public option’. Sure they thought of it.

ProfessorMiao on March 22, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I agree, but I don’t think it’ll begin to work. They have totally bound themselves to this bill.

They’ll have to live with the fallout.
AnninCA on March 22, 2010 at 11:57 AM

To put it bluntly, bullsh*t. Both Obama and Pelosi have said explicitly that this bill is just the beginning.

ProfessorMiao on March 22, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Archimedes on March 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM
Not a lawyer but if McCain-Feingold is any indication that is how it works. SCOTUS strips the offending portion out of the bill and lets the rest stand.

chemman on March 22, 2010 at 12:22 PM

So SCOTUS strips out the mandate… and what would that do to the cost of the bill to taxpayers?

ProfessorMiao on March 22, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Any lawyers care to comment?

Archimedes on March 22, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I believe that unless the bill’s authors declare that a particular section is severable, if a portion is declared unconstitutional, the whole bill goes down.

MarkTheGreat on March 22, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 11:59 AM

My understanding is that Insurance companies must issue policies beginning this year for preexisting conditions but no funding begins until 2014/2015. The one area that may get funding is for preexisting conditions of children but don’t quote me on it.

chemman on March 22, 2010 at 12:27 PM

My wife and older daughter use one here in Texas. I’ve given up arguing with them about why they need to use one down here and why it’s not a good idea generally to get tanned/sunburned.

Jimbo3 on March 22, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Ugh! Doesn’t seem like that should be necessary in TX. I have a pool in my backyard. I either use SPF50 sunblock or wear a swim shirt (or whatever they call’em). I want to make sure I full use of my skin into my 90′s.

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Not a lawyer but if McCain-Feingold is any indication that is how it works. SCOTUS strips the offending portion out of the bill and lets the rest stand.

chemman on March 22, 2010 at 12:22 PM

And thats the good news. Pull out the mandate, the funding mechanism collapses. End of the exhanges. In the interim, I suspect we’ll see new sorts of healthcare delivery, like medical co-ops which would operate outside the definition of “insurance”, like credit default swaps.

“As long as you don’t call it insurance, it ain’t insurance, and it aint’ regulated”.
-Geithner

BobMbx on March 22, 2010 at 12:28 PM

To put it bluntly, bullsh*t. Both Obama and Pelosi have said explicitly that this bill is just the beginning.

ProfessorMiao on March 22, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Right on . . . they’ve breached the bunker and have created a hole big enough to push much more of their socialist crap through.

rplat on March 22, 2010 at 12:28 PM

My understanding is that Insurance companies must issue policies beginning this year for preexisting conditions but no funding begins until 2014/2015. The one area that may get funding is for preexisting conditions of children but don’t quote me on it.

chemman on March 22, 2010 at 12:27 PM

I think that is correct to. That is why that Naked Emperor News video linked to on Drudge is huge. WIll be great for commercials in 2012 when it is obvious this is not happening.

WashJeff on March 22, 2010 at 12:29 PM

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