Audio of Anthony Kennedy: The mandate fundamentally changes the relationship between citizens and the federal government

posted at 4:15 pm on March 27, 2012 by Allahpundit

Ed touched on this earlier but you should listen to the clip, as it’s surely the single most momentous exchange from today’s momentous hearing. If the mandate ends up being cashiered, this will be its epitaph.

A dirty little secret about Kennedy: He’s not nearly as centrist when it comes to the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment as he is on, say, abortion and gay rights. He’s been the fifth vote for a conservative majority on several landmark cases finding limitations on federal power. I get the idea sometimes from righties who don’t pay much attention to the Court that they view him as another Souter, but that’s not remotely fair. In fact, it’s telling that he begins here by noting enumerated powers. The liberal view of the Constitution on economic regulation is, for all practical purposes, that the only restraint on federal power is the Bill of Rights. My sense of how they imagine those rights is as a sphere that’s been carved out that the feds can’t invade, but as long as they stay outside of it, they can do anything they want. In reality, of course, it’s the feds who are trapped in a sphere. That’s the point of enumerated powers — to lock them inside an area within which they can act but from which they’re not supposed to escape. Everything outside that sphere is reserved for the people and their state governments. (That’s the point of the Tenth Amendment.) Kennedy seems to take that same basic view. It’s entirely possible that he’ll drive a stake through the mandate’s heart.

But it’s also possible that he won’t:

Later on, it would appear that Kennedy had some doubt about whether the health insurance market was, in fact, a unique phenomenon. But near the end of the entire argument, when challengers’ lawyer Michael A. Carvin was at the lectern, Kennedy made a comment that he may have started to see the issue differently.

To understand its significance, the context of this later remark is important. Justice Breyer had again, as he had done several times during the challengers’ argument, stressed that Congress was confronted with a situation in whch some 40 miliion people did not have insurance, and that gap was, in fact, having an effect on commerce that was substantial. “So,” Breyer said, “I thought the issue here is not whether it’s a violation of some basic right or something to make people buy things they don’t want, bujt simply whether those decisons of that groujp of 40 milliion people substantially affect the interstate commerce that has been set up in part” through a variety of government-sponsored health care delivery systems. That, Breyer told Carvin, ”the part of your argument I’m not hearing.”

Carvin, of course, disputed the premise, saying that Congress in adopting the mandate as a method to leverage health care coverage for all of the uninsured across the nation. Kennedy interrupted to that that he agreed “that’s what’s happening here.” But then he went on, and suggested that he had seen what Breyer had been talking about. “I think it is true that, if most questions in life are matters of degree,” it could be that in the markets for health insurance and for the health care for which insurance was the method of payment “the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries. That’s my concern in the case.”

If Kennedy can be persuaded that health care is sui generis, maybe he’ll split the baby by voting to uphold ObamaCare while emphasizing that a mandate for any other industry would be flatly unconstitutional. Not sure how that argument will work — listen to Roberts in the second clip below wonder why a cell-phone mandate would be any different than one for health insurance — but that’s the left’s best hope. Speaking of which, their explanation for today’s disaster appears to be not that they have a weak case on the merits but that Donald Verrilli’s performance was the legal equivalent of fumbling 10 times in the Super Bowl. In fairness to them, some of his exchanges with the Court are painful to read; the liberals on the bench had to bail him out repeatedly. But look: No case of this magnitude is being decided by oral arguments. If you think Breyer and Kagan and Sotomayor and Ginsburg were aggressive in arguing his case for him today, wait until they start going to work on Kennedy behind closed doors. Obama has four very good lawyers on his side in the Supreme Court’s chambers. Verrilli’s performance is unfortunate and terrible optics for O-Care’s superfans, but it’s not changing any votes.

Here’s the full transcript of today’s argument and complete audio. If you have the time, dive in.

Update: Orin Kerr notes the million-dollar phrase in Kennedy’s comments today: “Heavy burden of justification.” He didn’t suggest that mandates are always and everywhere unconstitutional, only that in order to justify using one the feds need to point to some very special and compelling circumstances. The whole question now is whether the allegedly “unique” health-care market is special and compelling enough to get Kennedy to vote with the left.

Update: To see what I mean about the liberal view of the Constitution, read lefty Michael Tomasky wondering why we can’t settle this issue with simple democracy. America elected a Congress that passed a mandate; if the people don’t like the mandate they came up with, let ‘em elect a new Congress to undo it. In other words, in lieu of enumerated powers in Article I, he’d apparently let Congress run wild with regulation and leave it to voters to rein them in. That’s a fine idea, and the Court’s ridiculously expansive Commerce Clause jurisprudence sometimes flirts with it, but it’s not the system we have. Enumerated powers mean something or they don’t.


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Thanks Rockmom, I guess I was in the minority all along then. It has always been about the mandate to me. I really believed it just shredded the constitution. At the time, I was unaware of the previous bad SCOTUS decisions on the commerce clause. I didn’t know they were forcing some wheat farmer who never sold his wheat and only grew it for his animals or whatever, somehow fell under the interstate commerce clause. That was a real stretch. And I was also unaware of the really old decisions upholding the lefty stuff from the 30′s. The Kelo was the first decision in my lifetime (besides Roe) where the Supreme Court really stopped in it.

We have a lot of work to do to get rid of these judges who legislate from the bench. And the worst part is, if we have a 5 to 4 decision to toss the mandate, the left will think that SCOTUS is legislating from the bench.

I see that tomorrow they will be discussing the severability clause. It will be interesting to see what the solicitor general tries to argue that if SCOTUS tosses the mandate, how and why obamacare should still stand without it, when the severability clause is absent in this entire bill.

karenhasfreedom on March 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM

This is a crap argument.

Rational Thought on March 27, 2012 at 5:41 PM

What do you expect? 0bamaderangementsyndrom is crap. Crap begets crap. And lefty crap is really smelly watery crap. Kind of like 0bamaderangementsyndrom.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM

The government incurs liability if an individuals goes into the hospital in a catastrophic event and is unable to pay for their care because care must be provided whether they can pay or not.

Huh? You think the government PAYS the hospital for the care? If they did, there wouldn’t be so many attempts to dump patients (check with Michelle Obama about hospital dumping patients because they can’t/won’t pay) because what the government DOES give the hospitals is not anything close to the actual cost of the non-insured patient.

Let’s not forget all the freeloading illegals who will not be effected by the ObamaCare law at all since the mandate is only for Americans. They will continue to freeload and remember, there’s about 20 million or so running around America right now.

katablog.com on March 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM

If ObamaCare is upheld, the next Republican President will gladly sign the legislation mandating purchase of a handgun by each adult citizen that passes medical test, augmented by mandatory monthly training. Individuals who fail to abide by the law will pay a fine to the National Ammo Fund so other law abiding citizens could have their range practice subsidized.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM

The government incurs liability if an individuals goes into the hospital in a catastrophic event and is unable to pay for their care because care must be provided whether they can pay or not. There is no other situation that compares.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:24 PM

The government doesn’t assume the liability, the hospital does, which then passes the costs onto other people. And why does the hospital have to take on those costs? Because the government requires them to. So what you are essentially saying is that the government can deliberately screw things up and then in order to “fix” the problem it created give its self radically new powers. That’s both ridiculous and a surefire path towards despotism.

HidetheDecline on March 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Did anyone hear that Roberts’ analogy to cell phones? Is this guy serious? Who forged his transcript??? WOW these guys are supposed to be smart????

simplesimplesimplesimon on March 27, 2012 at 4:58 PM

Listen to the whole argument… The Gov provides emergency services…… That is their market… In order to lower cost or some other goal the Gov wants, the Gov can say we need all individuals to have a cell phone probably with GPS…. Individuals don’t know when or how severe they will need emergency services… So the Gov under what it was arguing in court is saying it can Mandate a purchase in a market in order to help said Gov market.. HealthCare –> Emergency Services… Once that is allowed… There is no stop gap…

Y314K on March 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM

I used to think Mittbots were just naive. I now know that’s not the case and instead you’re just stupid.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 5:25 PM

I’ve been lucky enough to have met and known some genuinely brilliant people in my life, so I can say–with grounds for comparison–that I’m not one of them. Conversely, I’ve met a number of the none-too-bright, too. If pressed, I’d put me in the middle somewhere, commonly called ordinary. While sitting in the middle isn’t exactly an ego-expanding experience, it does give me a good view from one end to the other.

I’ve read a number of your posts, angryed. I’d put you over there in the Somewhat Slow crowd. You’re the folks who made Afternoon Delight a hit in the 70′s and hold some responsibility for the success of Gallagher the comedian, but otherwise harmless.

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM

And lefty crap is really smelly watery crap. Kind of like 0bamaderangementsyndrom.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Splatter. You forgot splattered-prone.

M240H on March 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Also have you all noticed how careful the gubmint lawyers were today to keep referring the PEOPLE, not AMERICANS or CITIZENS when they talked about the uninsured? Remember this 40 million people number they throw around, it includes about 15 million illegals, 15 million who are medicaid eligible but have not enrolled. The other 15 million are just the working poor, unemployed who lost their insurance, or the young who think they are invincible.

karenhasfreedom on March 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM

JUSTICE KENNEDY: But the reason, the reason
this is concerning is because it requires the individual
to do an affirmative act. In the law of torts, our
tradition, our law has been that you don’t have the duty
to rescue someone if that person is in danger. The
blind man is walking in front of a car and you do not
have a duty to stop him, absent some relation between
you. And there is some severe moral criticisms of that
rule, but that’s generally the rule.

And here the government is saying that the
Federal Government has a duty to tell the individual
citizen that it must act, and that is different from
what we have in previous cases, and that changes the
relationship of the Federal Government to the individual
in a very fundamental way.

There’s some more positive Kennedy dialogue.

preallocated on March 27, 2012 at 5:48 PM

People who grow tomatoes are unequivocally participating in a market, even if they are gardening for themselves. /?!/

Reference authoritarian legislation and policy. Laws now exist authorizing punitive federal agents to interfere in home gardening, selectively but arbitrarily at will.

maverick muse on March 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Nobody should get too excited about the questions asked today. It will come down to Kennedy. And my concern is that he will want to write the landmark decision that sets forth a new test for when the government can impose a right to buy stuff.

In other words, Kennedy is right that this law will fundementally change the way government interacts with individuals; and he wants to re-write the laws governing that interaction.

The law survives by a vote of 5-4 with Kennedy indicating that the government meet the high burden of showing a “unique market” of forced participation.

God help us…it will kill the Constitution…at least for some time…

RedSoxNation on March 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM

If ObamaCare is upheld, the next Republican President will gladly sign the legislation mandating purchase of a handgun by each adult citizen that passes medical test, augmented by mandatory monthly training. Individuals who fail to abide by the law will pay a fine to the National Ammo Fund so other law abiding citizens could have their range practice subsidized.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Now that’s a good idea, especially that bit about ammo subsidies. I could really get behind ammo subsidies.

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Afternoon Delight a hit in the 70′s and hold some responsibility for the success of Gallagher the comedian, but otherwise harmless.

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Hey, coming of age during that time, and always having that on my mind I liked that tune.

As for Gallagher, I make no claim of ever liking his brand of comedy.

I’m more into the likes of Steven Wright.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Problem is, that’s not a question of Constitutionality. But, would he ask that question if he was prepared to vote in favor of making that change?

farsighted on March 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

R-Care = O-care, just with fewer zeros at the end of the price tag. Anyone who defends R-care but then opposes O-care is either a liar or a fool. No two ways about it.
angryed on March 27, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Constitutionally, no. I would personally dislike being subject to R-Care. But, in the context of Federalism, a state may legally do that which the Federal government cannot. Thus prostitution may be legal in a state, or some states, and the Federal government could not ban it (Constitutionally). Therefore, the difference between R-care and O-care is that the former is legit (Constitutionally) and the latter is not.

SunSword on March 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

People are trying to low-ball the figures or number of people that rely on emergency medicine or the government to make their argument more palatable. If it is indeed true that the number of people without insurance is not that significant and the cost is not that significant then this mandate shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

And you don’t have to have insurance if you still chose not but the government should be able to reserve the right to tax you to cover for their liability in the case of the individual ending up in the hospital without coverage. It is not chump change, these costs, often exceed hundreds of thousands. If you think people are going to pay, you are dreaming.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

The difference with healthcare is that, the cost of catastrophic events can cost tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands. People who cannot pay for their healthcare are not held criminally liable however, in case of industry theft their is criminal liability and even more importantly the industry self insures for these events.
As it is, everybody pays extra for individuals without insurance, their cost is factored into healthcare and even worse it is affecting the solvency of the country due to the ever growing healthcare budget.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Right. And we can tell how much Obama really wants to prevent this wretched phenomenon by how committed he is to keeping illegal aliens (far and away the largest offenders) out of the country.

Obamacare is a power grab, dude. Just admit it. It’s either that or continue to try and make the case that King Barry gives a damn about saving money.

Kataklysmic on March 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Huh? You think the government PAYS the hospital for the care? If they did,

…the funding would come from taxation and/or the Federal Reserve printing press of fiat money — digging our economic black hole to China where our vital organs will find their way into the black market, “donated” of course.

maverick muse on March 27, 2012 at 5:53 PM

some 40 miliion people did not have insurance, and that gap was, in fact, having an effect on commerce that was substantial.

I never bought into that ’40 million’ number. During the heyday of Obamacare-passage drama, that number was ripped to shreds. But now Supreme Court Justices are using it? Great…

joejm65 on March 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

I have a fear that Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts will be the swing vote and vote FOR Obama care. They know if they vote down Obama care they will be vilified like Judge Thomas has been all these years. No invites to George Town parties, wine tasting at Maratha’s Vineyard, etc. Kennedy was grasping at a rational to vote it down when he spoke of the “special circumstances” of Obama care. They will all but destroy the US Constitution just to see good press about themselves and to not be cut out of the elite social set of Washington.

mike3121 on March 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

T minus about 10 minutes before Levin comes on his show and talks about the events at SCOTUS today. Can’t wait.

karenhasfreedom on March 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

then this mandate shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

Speak for yourself.

maverick muse on March 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

The government incurs liability if an individuals goes into the hospital in a catastrophic event and is unable to pay for their care because care must be provided whether they can pay or not. There is no other situation that compares.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:24 PM

The government doesn’t assume the liability, the hospital does, which then passes the costs onto other people. And why does the hospital have to take on those costs? Because the government requires them to. So what you are essentially saying is that the government can deliberately screw things up and then in order to “fix” the problem it created give its self radically new powers. That’s both ridiculous and a surefire path towards despotism.

HidetheDecline on March 27, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Most hospitals will not be able to survive and provide the necessary public service without the help of the government, therefore their debts become the government’s debts.
You don’t have to have insurance but you have to cover for the liability you pose to the system.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Now that’s a good idea, especially that bit about ammo subsidies. I could really get behind ammo subsidies.

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:49 PM

Did I hear ammo subsidies, why yes, yes I did. Would it be Constitutional?

Bmore on March 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM

Hey, coming of age during that time, and always having that on my mind I liked that tune.

As for Gallagher, I make no claim of ever liking his brand of comedy.

I’m more into the likes of Steven Wright.

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 5:51 PM

Steven Wright is awesome. I love his comment on rice: ‘I don’t like the idea of eating a thousand of anything.’

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

During the heyday of Obamacare-passage drama, that number was ripped to shreds. But now Supreme Court Justices are using it? Great…

Goes to show how much scholarly research the Justice touting the figure accomplished personally prior to argument.

maverick muse on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

By the way, on The Five today, Eric Bolling talked about the fine/penalty if someone doesn’t have insurance. He said that there is no provision in there if one does NOT pay that fine or penalty. No jail or so. However, they put the IRS in charge of collecting these fines/penalties. Wouldn’t the full power of the IRS seizures, etc also include collecting the obamacare fines? He said there isn’t even a provision on the bill to slap a lien on things. I haven’t read the bill myself, but this would be interesting for peeps here to talk about what they know about this part of the bill.

karenhasfreedom on March 27, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Steven Wright is awesome. I love his comment on rice: ‘I don’t like the idea of eating a thousand of anything.’

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Then stop knockin’ the goofy tune I had lots of fun to!

I think I will go play it for with the wife right now…

cozmo on March 27, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Is RomneyCare/Mandate constitutional… YES (The only thing that matters is MA Constitution)

Is RomneyCare Federally Funded… YES (Congress needs to stop all Federal Funds for propping up Romneys Mandate… Without Federall Funds RomneyCare would be gonzo by now)

If ObamaCare’s Mandate is found unconstitutional I wonder if Federal Funds going to prop-up Romney’sMandateCare can be challenge ala not paying for abortions Federally while abortions being legal…

Either way… Mittens is the worst person to have on this issue… He takes all 4 stances in it…

For States Federally Funded Mandates… (Legal at State level depending on State’s constitution but this should never be a GOP’s candidate default position)
Against Federal Federally Funded Mandates…
Will repeal Federal carbon copy of his States Mandate on day one mind u..
Won’t stop Federally Funding his State Federally Funded Mandate…

Pretzel = Romney

Y314K on March 27, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Most hospitals will not be able to survive and provide the necessary public service without the help of the government,

WRONG.

Every state that has imposed health care mandates involving an amalgamation of insurance industry with government bureaucracy has experienced BANKRUPTCY. As with Tennessee. As with Mitt’s Massachusetts.

Do your homework, dope.

The federal bankruptcy would be that much greater a fiasco. The last straw.

maverick muse on March 27, 2012 at 6:01 PM

To see what I mean about the liberal view of the Constitution, read lefty Michael Tomasky wondering why we can’t settle this issue with simple democracy.

Fine, if we want to settle this with simple democracy, remember that a majority of the voters consistently opposed this POS during the debate and since its “passage” (a sublimation of democracy to the will of a big Zero’s ego if there ever was one) a majority want it repealed. So, when does the “Obamacare Sh*t-Canned!” celebration start?

Marxism is for dummies on March 27, 2012 at 6:01 PM

Steven Wright is awesome. I love his comment on rice: ‘I don’t like the idea of eating a thousand of anything.’
troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Great, understated comedy. Always gets me guffawing.

whatcat on March 27, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I can’t believe the fate of our nation lies with one supreme court justice. I can’t believe that four supreme court justices are ready and willing to ignore the constitution to further their own political agenda. The constitution means nothing to them, or to liberals. I think this war is already over, and we lost. I won’t be surprised if the court upholds Obamacare at all. Even if it doesn’t, it’s just a matter of time before some liberal president stacks the court with enough ideological liberal justices.

Aodhan on March 27, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Steven Wright is awesome. I love his comment on rice: ‘I don’t like the idea of eating a thousand of anything.’
troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Great, understated comedy. Always gets me guffawing.

whatcat on March 27, 2012 at 6:01 PM

I still don’t see how “I paid a dollar for calendar…I asked why it was so cheap…it didn’t have any “9″s on it”

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I still don’t get it.

BobMbx on March 27, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Most hospitals will not be able to survive and provide the necessary public service without the help of the government,

WRONG.

Every state that has imposed health care mandates involving an amalgamation of insurance industry with government bureaucracy has experienced BANKRUPTCY. As with Tennessee. As with Mitt’s Massachusetts.

Do your homework, dope.

The federal bankruptcy would be that much greater a fiasco. The last straw.

maverick muse on March 27, 2012 at 6:01 PM

This argument is not logical. You are saying in effect that making people without insurance pay a tax penalty or get insurance makes the system more insolvent than the status quo of people free loading?

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

LOL @ mike3121…..Yea, ok

BrianVII on March 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

The difference with healthcare is that, the cost of catastrophic events can cost tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands. People who cannot pay for their healthcare are not held criminally liable however, in case of industry theft their is criminal liability and even more importantly the industry self insures for these events.
As it is, everybody pays extra for individuals without insurance, their cost is factored into healthcare and even worse it is affecting the solvency of the country due to the ever growing healthcare budget.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM

You missed the whole point. Uncompensated care accounts for $1 out of every $50 spent. How can you justify taking people’s rights away from them due to a rounding error loss? The government losses are 10% from medicare and medicaid. Much more than a simple rounding error.

The evidence indicates that people without health insurance fail to pay far less for their care than the government loses every year. By the way, the 2% uncompensated care includes those with insurance. So the uncompensated care loss from the uninsured is certainly even less than the 2% total.

Now then. In order to fix this problem of there being about 2% of healthcare dollars being uncompensated, the solution proposed will reduce the entire economy’s growth by about 2%, compounded every year it is in effect, far surpassing the savings in the first year of lost growth alone. Factor into that the fact that forcing everyone to pay into the system will increase use of the system, and you will actually end up causing even more harm than the nothing else changes scenario of the economy losing 2% of growth compounded.

health care has never been a real problem, ever. Certainly not the miniscule losses due to uncomensated care which can almost all be laid at the feet of government dependents and illegal aliens.

astonerii on March 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

“I thought the issue here is not whether it’s a violation of some basic right or something to make people buy things they don’t want, bujt simply whether those decisons of that groujp of 40 milliion people substantially affect the interstate commerce that has been set up in part” through a variety of government-sponsored health care delivery systems. That, Breyer told Carvin, ”the part of your argument I’m not hearing.”

Hmmmm……so the government CREATES a problem, then steps on individual rights to address the PROBLEM they created?

GarandFan on March 27, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Dear Roberts,

the firemen, police is a local non-federal activity.

they are for emergencies but not for giving out condoms and birthcontrol prevention for that matter.

the problem is scope of the bill hidden in those 2000+ pages and the unlimited power given to bureaucrats to add as the deem fit.

If it had been targeted only at emergency situations, I doubt this bill would ever had reached the courts.

huntingmoose on March 27, 2012 at 6:06 PM

This argument is not logical. You are saying in effect that making people without insurance pay a tax penalty or get insurance makes the system more insolvent than the status quo of people free loading?

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

It is perfectly logical. The penalty is not big enough. People will game the system. Pay the penalty, wait til they are sick, get insurance for a month, drop it again. Once you are forced against your will to partake in a contract, you will use every means possible to extract far more than you paid into the contract, thus causing the eventual demise of the party on the other end of the contract. People who do not have insurance do not have insurance for reasons that are far more different than just not enough money.

astonerii on March 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

This argument is not logical. You are saying in effect that making people without insurance pay a tax penalty or get insurance makes the system more insolvent than the status quo of people free loading?

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

You bet. Why? Because those people who couldn’t afford insurance before Obamacare still can’t afford it afterwards. But they’ll have insurance you say…how can that be?

Because the people who could afford insurance are now subsidizing those who couldn’t. But, hey, its just a little bit more.

The previously uninsured still aren’t participating in commerce. We are participating for them, but they get the credit and no fine or penalty.

BobMbx on March 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Dear Justice Kagan, Ginsberg and what have you,

how do you like the prospect that under the next conservative president, the secretary of Health will prescribe 3x praying and going to church?

After all, plenty of evidence that praying can be beneficial to health and for sure it will do wonders to the healthcare cost…

huntingmoose on March 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

karenhasfreedom on March 27, 2012 at 5:58 PM

If true…and God knows I just haven’t had time to read the entire health care law, yet, but I really intended to, really….but if true that no penalties affix….then why should anyone want to comply?

Sorta like telling a misbehaving kid that he’ll get a time out when he gets home…he will…and Mom really really means it this time.

Maybe we all should have had a chance to actually read the bill before it became law…like Team Obama promised.

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

I still don’t see how “I paid a dollar for calendar…I asked why it was so cheap…it didn’t have any “9″s on it”
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I still don’t get it.
BobMbx on March 27, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Wright is a bit of an absurdist comic. Well, actually, it more like it’s his whole routine. The differences in comedians are acquired tastes. A diff strokes/folks thing, y’know.

whatcat on March 27, 2012 at 6:09 PM

If it is indeed true that the number of people without insurance is not that significant and the cost is not that significant then this mandate shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

Most people without insurance don’t spend a ton of money on health care which means if they are required to not only buy insurance but insurance with all the bells-and-whistles mandated by the government then they will be paying far more for health care than they currently are(this is especially true for me since I don’t have insurance and have spent practically nothing on health care the last 10 years). That is the real point of the mandate. It’s not about getting the uninsured to pay their fair share, it’s about getting them to pay their UNfair share in order to arbitrarily lower the costs for the types of people politicians prefer (older people who are more likely to vote). That’s why not only are young people not allowed to buy just catastrophic insurance, but insurance companies are capped at how much they can charge older people which necessarily means that younger people will have to pay far more than they actually get back.

And you don’t have to have insurance if you still chose not but the government should be able to reserve the right to tax you to cover for their liability in the case of the individual ending up in the hospital without coverage.

But it’s not the government who is paying for those uninsured! That’s why the government isn’t imposing a straight tax but forcing everyone to purchase an ostensibly private sector product. It would as if the government required supermarkets to provide food for people even if they didn’t pay for it, and then require everyone to purchase Food Insurance in order to “fix” all the problems their short sighted policy created. The penalty in ObamaCare is not meant to generate revenue, it is meant to coerce people into buying private insurance which means if the penalty “works” then government wouldn’t get any money from it.

HidetheDecline on March 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

If true…and God knows I just haven’t had time to read the entire health care law, yet, but I really intended to, really….but if true that no penalties affix….then why should anyone want to comply?

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 6:08 PM

They slipped the camel nose under the tent with none of those icky penalties. 2 minutes after Kennedy rubber stamps this, there will be a 20 year jail term because not paying the tax penalty tax penality is racist unpatriotic a danger to interstate commerce

pedestrian on March 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Steven Wright is awesome. I love his comment on rice: ‘I don’t like the idea of eating a thousand of anything.’

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

A supremely dry guy.

“Do you realize you can’t make a paper airplane out of flypaper?”

profitsbeard on March 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

As it is, everybody pays extra for individuals without insurance, their cost is factored into healthcare and even worse it is affecting the solvency of the country due to the ever growing healthcare budget.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:42 PM

You are either truly ignorant or you never attended school or both. Health insurance or lack thereof is NOT affecting the solvency of this country. It is literally impossible for one/sixth of the economy or about 2.6 trillion to affect the solvency of this country. This country has far worse issues affecting it’s “solvency”.

If what you said was true THEN Moody’s would never have downgraded this country’s debt. If anything, Obamacare became an ADDITIONAL liability because of the accounting gimmicks that were used to make it look as though it would ” fix” healthcare. If anything,based on CBO numbers, it made the situation FAR worse. Insurance comapnies have NO interest in making this a zero sum game.

But go ahead and keep sucking the Kool~Aid straw. You fell for Obama’s BS. He counted on your stupidity and YOU played right into his hands.

DevilsPrinciple on March 27, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Most hospitals will not be able to survive and provide the necessary public service without the help of the government, therefore their debts become the government’s debts.
You don’t have to have insurance but you have to cover for the liability you pose to the system.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:56 PM

That isn’t the rationale used by any other ObamaCare defender. The argument is that the “freeloading” drives up the insurance costs of other people. ObamaCare isn’t about saving the government money (on the contrary, it drastically increases expenditures) but reducing the insurance premiums of people already with insurance.

HidetheDecline on March 27, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I have a fear that Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts will be the swing vote and vote FOR Obama care. They know if they vote down Obama care they will be vilified like Judge Thomas has been all these years. No invites to George Town parties, wine tasting at Maratha’s Vineyard, etc. Kennedy was grasping at a rational to vote it down when he spoke of the “special circumstances” of Obama care. They will all but destroy the US Constitution just to see good press about themselves and to not be cut out of the elite social set of Washington.

mike3121 on March 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

very scary thought Mike

screwed again by the beltway

audiotom on March 27, 2012 at 6:18 PM

People are trying to low-ball the figures or number of people that rely on emergency medicine or the government to make their argument more palatable. If it is indeed true that the number of people without insurance is not that significant and the cost is not that significant then this mandate shouldn’t be a problem for most people.

And you don’t have to have insurance if you still chose not but the government should be able to reserve the right to tax you to cover for their liability in the case of the individual ending up in the hospital without coverage. It is not chump change, these costs, often exceed hundreds of thousands. If you think people are going to pay, you are dreaming.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

#1) Just becasue the number of people is small doesn’t mean that we should change the rules of how our government runs. If we only had to kill a few of our citizens (say 100) to give everone healthcare, would that be okey-dokey? Its not that big a number of peopel so the cost/detriment to society isn’t that big. It shouldn’t be a problem. ( sacrificing your morals and rules is ALWAYS a big F’ing deal – ends don’t justify the means )

#2) The chimpanzee that ripped off a woman’s face – do you think the owner carried enough liability to pay for that? Most people don’t have the funds/liability insurnace to pay for most of the things in life that happen.

#3) Repeal EMTALA free rider problem solved.

Green_Bay_Packers on March 27, 2012 at 6:20 PM

ObamaCare isn’t about saving the government money (on the contrary, it drastically increases expenditures) but reducing the insurance premiums of people already with insurance.

HidetheDecline on March 27, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Do they have water on the planet you are on?

0bamacare is specifically for providing free health care for people who prefer a permanently underemployed lifestyle.

pedestrian on March 27, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Most hospitals will not be able to survive and provide the necessary public service without the help of the government,

Hey idiot- ObamaCare massively CUTS hospital reimbursements by almost ONE TRILLION DOLLARS over the next decade to pay for handouts.

This argument is not logical. You are saying in effect that making people without insurance pay a tax penalty or get insurance makes the system more insolvent than the status quo of people free loading?

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:04 PM

ObamaCare rewards and expands freeloading. Tens of millions of Americans will now get Medicaid and the evil insurance companies will get your tax money. Plus ObamaCare massively jacks up health insurance costs by forcing people to pay for coverage they don’t need or want. The costs of freeloading is just billed a different way- and it will be very clear come 2014.

Indiana for example is expecting premiums to go up from 70% as 250% come 2014, depending on your age.

Chuck Schick on March 27, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Maybe we should have a government option for healthcare. For those that want to place their life in the hands of the government, they can agree to pay for a government plan that covers what the government wants to cover with only doctors and other medical resources that agree to be part of the government plan.

The money collected from the participants would be put in Al Gore’s lockbox. The premiums collected can not be used for any other government program AND the government cannot borrow or use ANY funding from other government programs. Once the funds are gone for the year, the medical care is gone for the suckers participants .

In addition, the private health care system option (the rest of us) will have no legal obligation to cover the uninsured or illegal aliens. The government participants will have to rely on the charity of friends, family and the community when the funds are exhausted.

If they want choice and want to be do-gooders, then let’s them share the cost (and benefits-hahahhahahha) of their convictions.

bigjacket on March 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM

screwed again by the beltway

audiotom on March 27, 2012 at 6:18 PM

The Beltway makes an excellent foundation for the wall that really needs to be built around Washington, DC.

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Why isn’t this case titled “Obama vs America”? Never mind, there would be too many to pick from.

arnold ziffel on March 27, 2012 at 6:22 PM

All I see here are people in denial about the problem of healthcare system. Intentionally low-balling the problem will not make it go away. At least 50 million people have no insurance.
There two classes of people without insurance, those who are truly poor and can’t afford it and those who are freeloaders but can afford preventative care. There are truly very few people that can afford catastrophic care.
This law accounts for these people in appropriate way, so that indigent people with medicaid can get preventative treatment which is far cheaper than emergency treatment. And finally people who can afford to pay for their insurance but are deadbeats will be forced to pay a penalty for the risk they pose to the system.

If you insist that the number of people without insurance is not significant then this law should not affect most people in a significant way.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

karenhasfreedom on March 27, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Levin’s on his first break … so far, so great. ;-)

pambi on March 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM

They will continue to freeload and remember, there’s about 20 million or so running around America right now.

katablog.com on March 27, 2012 at 5:45 PM

That’s just not right, we’re told they are not a drain on our economy. /

arnold ziffel on March 27, 2012 at 6:25 PM

And finally people who can afford to pay for their insurance but are deadbeats will be forced to pay a penalty for the risk they pose to the system.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Fine. Send it to the states to take care of. It doesn’t belong at the federal level.

pedestrian on March 27, 2012 at 6:26 PM

If you insist that the number of people without insurance is not significant then this law should not affect most people in a significant way.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

How unbelievably clueless you are.

From yesterday:

Residents of Indiana who buy individual health-insurance policies can expect to pay 75 to 95 percent more when the Affordable Care Act takes effect in 2014 than they would have had the health-care-overhaul law never passed, largely because of changes to the health insurance marketplace dictated by the law.

And the news is even worse for young people. Young healthy men earning $28,000 a year can expect to pay nearly 100 percent more for health insurance, even after counting the new tax credits for which most will be eligible.

Young healthy males at higher income levels earning about $45,000 a year can expect to pay two-and-a-half times more for health insurance in 2014, according to studies produced by independent actuaries who are helping the Hoosier state calculate the impact of Obamacare.

The premium-cost increases are caused primarily by two key provisions in Obamacare — “essential health benefits,” in which the government determines what must be covered by health-insurance policies, and the community rating provisions, which require health insurers to level out premiums so younger people pay more and older people pay less.

Link

Chuck Schick on March 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM

If you insist that the number of people without insurance is not significant then this law should not affect most people in a significant way.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

The voters never wanted this, and they still don’t. In your world it doesn’t matter, the government always knows best.

arnold ziffel on March 27, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Given Kennedy’s requirement of “heavy burden of justification” and his suggestion toward the end of the argument that healthcare might in fact be unique enough lead me to believe that he could easily be persuaded to support the mandate. Hope I’m wrong, but that’s how I read him.

guitarman67 on March 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Given Kennedy’s requirement of “heavy burden of justification” and his suggestion toward the end of the argument that healthcare might in fact be unique enough lead me to believe that he could easily be persuaded to support the mandate. Hope I’m wrong, but that’s how I read him.

guitarman67 on March 27, 2012 at 6:30 PM

True, he is already talking like a legislator. His only concern should be “Which provision in the Constitution permits this?”

pedestrian on March 27, 2012 at 6:32 PM

And finally people who can afford to pay for their insurance but are deadbeats will be forced to pay a penalty for the risk they pose to the system.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Ya mean Congress ?

pambi on March 27, 2012 at 6:33 PM

If you insist that the number of people without insurance is not significant then this law should not affect most people in a significant way.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

A significant increase in my own health insurance premiums is already a fact of life, thanks to Obamacare provisions and the insurance industry’s response. I am paying more for “coverage” for services, most of which I do not require, than I did just a couple short years ago.

Add to that my purchasing power of the scant dollars I take in every month is a lost less than it was a few short years ago thanks to the many-trillion dollar debt we have had imposed on us, which will increase significantly in 2015, thanks to Obamacare.

So, it is significant to me that I have to pay more for services I do not require and my dollars are worth a lot less in the process. And my government, and perhaps the Supreme Court as well, will impose this obligation on me, my kids and their kids in perpetuity.

Obamacare is a scam, was designed as a scam, and is perpetrated by an Administration which relies on scams…and Piven and Cloward are just glowing with excitement that their ideas are now fundamentals, essentials, if you will, of US domestic policy, thanks to their disciple, Barry Obama.

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 6:33 PM

So Kagan, Wise Latina, Souter and Breyer are trying to convince Kennedy? hahaha good luck with that. The 4 conservative justices have more experience then the 4 liberal ones put together.

Flapjackmaka on March 27, 2012 at 6:33 PM

gerrym51 on March 27, 2012 at 4:32 PM

You, and Eyeore, forget that the law specifically states that it is inseparable from the mandate…if the mandate is thrown out, the law in toto, must be struck down.

ladyingray on March 27, 2012 at 6:34 PM

The scary part, for me, is that people are stunned that anyone is questioning the mandate. God help us all.

SouthernGent on March 27, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Link

Chuck Schick on March 27, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Chuck, tell me friend, if there is a period where healthcare cost stopped increasing? It’s all the more reason why we need healthcare insurance reform.

These inflated figures are the works of doomsayers. The market will work itself out. This problem is soon to go away when the health insurance exchange is implemented and people have more options in getting health insurance.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Steven Wright is awesome. I love his comment on rice: ‘I don’t like the idea of eating a thousand of anything.’

troyriser_gopftw on March 27, 2012 at 5:57 PM

A supremely dry guy.

“Do you realize you can’t make a paper airplane out of flypaper?”

profitsbeard on March 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I was a student at Emerson College in Boston the same time Wright was there in the mid 1970s, but never got to actually meet him as we were in different majors and thus different Departments.

My fave:

“For a while I lived in Vermont with a guy named Winny. We lived in a house that ran on static electricity.”

Del Dolemonte on March 27, 2012 at 6:44 PM

This problem is soon to go away when the health insurance exchange is implemented and people have more options in getting health insurance.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

What will happen is that even more sluts will go in front of staged press conference and cry for more provisions to support their sex lives at our expense. I suppose the growth of lumping lifestyle expenses into health care would eventually level off, but at a level far higher than actual health care would cost.

pedestrian on March 27, 2012 at 6:46 PM

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Exactly how many dollars of uncompensated care is there in this country?

Now tell me how a 1.8 trillion dollars over ten years stacks up to that.

astonerii on March 27, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Chuck, tell me friend, if there is a period where healthcare cost stopped increasing? It’s all the more reason why we need healthcare insurance reform.

These inflated figures are the works of doomsayers. The market will work itself out. This problem is soon to go away when the health insurance exchange is implemented and people have more options in getting health insurance.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

That was a study done for the state of Indiana on the costs of insurance in the exchange once guaranteed issue and risk mandates go into effect.

And your second statement is particularly funny and shows you haven’t a clue how ObamaCare works. ObamaCare specifically decreases the amount of available plans, policies and providers overall so it can increase uniformity and spread the increased costs.

Read up more on it and do everyone a favor. You are pretty ignorant.

Chuck Schick on March 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:36 PM

The easiest and most cost-effective way is to eliminate state boundary redstrictions on health insurance coverage.

But, that was already suggested, and raised on the floor of both the House and the Senate…but Team Obama said it was merely a ruse by Republicans to reward their fat-cat insurance company cronies…which, and there is irony, at the same time Team Obama was actually rewarding its own fat-cat cronies via Solyndra and other recipients of our tax dollars in return for raising cash for Obama’s election.

So…since rational solutions were shot down by Team Obama already…we are being compelled to accept without question Team Obama’s super-duper fix-it?

Not a chance.

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Constitutionally, no. I would personally dislike being subject to R-Care. But, in the context of Federalism, a state may legally do that which the Federal government cannot. Thus prostitution may be legal in a state, or some states, and the Federal government could not ban it (Constitutionally). Therefore, the difference between R-care and O-care is that the former is legit (Constitutionally) and the latter is not.

SunSword on March 27, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Which is pretty much what I am saying. One is legal, one is not. But that doesn’t mean functionally speaking there is any difference between the two. Which means if you support R-Care functionality you are de facto a supporter of O-Care functionality. And there are people here who have praised R-Care for being a great free market solution to health care who then turn around and say O-Care is the worst thing to ever happen to America.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

I was a student at Emerson College in Boston the same time Wright was there in the mid 1970s, but never got to actually meet him as we were in different majors and thus different Departments.

Del Dolemonte on March 27, 2012 at 6:44 PM

About 10 years ago or so on a bidness trip to Boston I met a girl from Emerson. Good times. Verrrry good times.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 6:53 PM

And finally people who can afford to pay for their insurance but are deadbeats will be forced to pay a penalty for the risk they pose to the system.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

No penalties paid by the ones granted exemptions, tho.
Might wanna check out just who those people are, k ?
Not on your list of deadbeats ?
Yet, WE (without exemptions) will be making up the differences.
Got that ??

pambi on March 27, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Which means if you support R-Care functionality you are de facto a supporter of O-Care functionality. And there are people here who have praised R-Care for being a great free market solution to health care who then turn around and say O-Care is the worst thing to ever happen to America.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

The difference is that 1) you can vote with your feet, and that greatly limits what the nanny-staters are able to get away with, 2) the cost of buying 50 legislatures is much greater than just 1 Congress, 3) it is easier to vote the bums out at the state level because they don’t have as much pork money to use to buy their votes.

pedestrian on March 27, 2012 at 6:57 PM

And finally people who can afford to pay for their insurance but are deadbeats will be forced to pay a penalty for the risk they pose to the system.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

47% of the country pays no income tax. How are you going to force that group to pay a fine that is collected as tax? Deadbeats will continue to be deadbeats. Free riders will continue to be free riders. O-Care solves nothing but costs $1T+ so libs like you can feel good.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 6:58 PM

0bamaderangementsyndrom

Taking a mandatory 15 minute work break or are you off for the rest the night?

astonerii on March 27, 2012 at 6:58 PM

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Bingo.

pambi on March 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM

I have a fear that Justice Kennedy and Chief Justice Roberts will be the swing vote and vote FOR Obama care. They know if they vote down Obama care they will be vilified like Judge Thomas has been all these years. No invites to George Town parties, wine tasting at Maratha’s Vineyard, etc. Kennedy was grasping at a rational to vote it down when he spoke of the “special circumstances” of Obama care. They will all but destroy the US Constitution just to see good press about themselves and to not be cut out of the elite social set of Washington.

mike3121 on March 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

You know nothing about John Roberts to even make such a suggestion. He’s Chief Justice for life. He has the job he has always wanted. You really think he rules based on getting invited to cocktail parties???

Sheesh.

rockmom on March 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM

And your second statement is particularly funny and shows you haven’t a clue how ObamaCare works. ObamaCare specifically decreases the amount of available plans, policies and providers overall so it can increase uniformity and spread the increased costs.

Read up more on it and do everyone a favor. You are pretty ignorant.

Chuck Schick on March 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Death panels…

ladyingray on March 27, 2012 at 7:06 PM

EddieC on March 27, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Oh, so you’re just a Lib, then? After all, you’re attacking a Conservative Judge who will be instrumental in overturning Obamacare. What other reason would you have to be doing that right now on a onservative site?

kingsjester on March 27, 2012 at 4:53 PM

That doesn’t make EddieC a liberal.

Here’s a quote from a NRO article about Obamacare and Gonzales v. Raich:

Virtually any activity, of course, can be said to “substantially affect” interstate commerce. Therefore, in the eyes of the Supreme Court, the Commerce Clause gives the federal government license to regulate everything from how much wheat a farmer can grow — even if he’s not going to sell it — to the racial-discrimination policies of restaurants that serve food that has crossed state lines.

Six years ago, Justice Scalia helped to further this trend.

Gelsomina on March 27, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Which is pretty much what I am saying. One is legal, one is not. But that doesn’t mean functionally speaking there is any difference between the two. Which means if you support R-Care functionality you are de facto a supporter of O-Care functionality. And there are people here who have praised R-Care for being a great free market solution to health care who then turn around and say O-Care is the worst thing to ever happen to America.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Actually, most of us don’t like either one. The difference is that one is a legal and proper use of state power, exercised through a legitimate democratic process and supported by the population affected, while the other is an illegitimate use of federal power, rammed through in an undemocratic fashion against the clearly expressed will of the people.

The other difference is the “problem” which the policymakers thought needed to be solved. In Massachusetts, it was believed that hospitals were going broke and facing closure because of the cost of caring for large and concentrated numbers of uninsured people. In Washington, it was simply a Holy Grail for progressives to enact “universal health care” and they got extremely sloppy in coming up with a jury-rigged solution to a problem that they could not even define.

rockmom on March 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM

rockmom on March 27, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Robert’s has no need to impress anyone and is not the cocktail party type, anyway.

Now then, from friends in DC, I understand a couple of the newer justices do seem to have a need to impress people on the cocktail and dinner circuit.

And these are also the ones who are quite poorly based in law. But they make wonderful additions to the colors of the rainbow we’ve come to know as the Supreme Court.

coldwarrior on March 27, 2012 at 7:07 PM

Chuck, tell me friend, if there is a period where healthcare cost stopped increasing? It’s all the more reason why we need healthcare insurance reform.

What is the relationship between the cost of healthcare, and the price of healthcare insurance? The ACA addresses insurance policies and who pays for it (price). It does nothing about the cost of healthcare.

Anybody know why an MRI costs thousands of dollars? Its really nothing more than a magnet with a camera. Must be the cost of electricity or something.

No, wait. I think it has to do with the availability of “risk pools”, otherwise known as insurance policies that continue to pay what the good doctors charge.

Want to reform healthCARE? Get rid of insurance. Period. Suddenly, that MRI will cost about $10.00. And don’t start with the innovation and R&D crap. The cost of that will plummet likewise.

Its all relative. And the US Treasury artificially keeps prices high by providing “a backstop” for those that can’t afford to pay. Funny, no matter how much the government pays, there’s always another group that can’t afford the service and must rely on the government.

Tuition, healthcare, the mortgage market, energy, you name it. If the government participates in a market, that market is over-priced.

BobMbx on March 27, 2012 at 7:09 PM

The cell phone argument could backfire. We have universal 9-1-1 coverage because of government mandates, and the government requires us to pay for it as fees attached to our telephone and cell phone bills, although I am not sure whether this is at the federal or local level.

topdog on March 27, 2012 at 4:33 PM

I think that particular example is backwards of the insurance mandate. You pay the fee for 911 coverage because you have a cell phone, and if you don’t own a cell phone, you don’t pay the fee. It’s more similar to being required to have liability insurance if you drive a car.

The health insurance mandate would be more like requiring you to purchase a cell phone so the government can reach you wherever you are. Especially if they also have mandates on how many minutes you are required to have each month on that cell phone.

tom on March 27, 2012 at 7:10 PM

The view of the constitution as restraining the federal government according to enumerated powers isn’t just “another way of looking at things.” It’s the reason the constitution was written in the first place. As long as we have a place at the table for those in government who think the concept of enumerated powers is “fringe” or “unpractical,” I hold out little hope for our nation’s future.

gryphon202 on March 27, 2012 at 7:10 PM

And finally people who can afford to pay for their insurance but are deadbeats will be forced to pay a penalty for the risk they pose to the system.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 27, 2012 at 6:23 PM

sadly, even this is not true as shown by the Alito/SG exchange yesterday…if you are poor and decline Medicaid and don’t get any tax refund the ER will have to pay for you out of their pocket…just like now.

but thx for playing

r keller on March 27, 2012 at 7:12 PM

ObamaCare specifically decreases the amount of available plans, policies and providers overall so it can increase uniformity and spread the increased costs.

Read up more on it and do everyone a favor. You are pretty ignorant.

Chuck Schick on March 27, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Silly me. I always thought that more choices provided competition and results in lower costs to consumers no matter the market.

So I guess, by Chucks’ logic, that Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Defense, Big bank, etc. is a good thing. Uniformity and all that.

All in all we’re just another brick in the wall.

BobMbx on March 27, 2012 at 7:13 PM

People who do not have insurance are not any kind of “risk to the system.” Repeal the law that says ERs have to treat everyone who comes in their doors, and people will go back to paying what they can afford and insurance will go back to keeping people from going bankrupt after catastrophe. Real simple, no?

gryphon202 on March 27, 2012 at 7:17 PM

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