Scalia on severability: Making us read this entire bill would be cruel and unusual punishment

posted at 5:25 pm on March 28, 2012 by Allahpundit

Via the Washington Free Beacon, the oral argument laugh line du jour and further evidence that Scalia, whom the left once viewed as a potential vote to uphold the mandate, looks set to drop an atomic bomb on the whole scheme. The unspoken punchline is that Congress didn’t want to read the bill either (right, Nancy?), which is how this landmark boondoggle with a dubious constitutional novelty at its core somehow ended up … without a severability clause. That was today’s subject — if the mandate is struck down, does the rest of this thing have to die with it or can other provisions of the law be salvaged? Congress almost always adds a section about that when it drafts a bill. It forgot this time. Oops.

Two clips here, one of Scalia and the other a not very satisfying set of audio highlights from the AP. I think Sotomayor’s point is fair: If the Court creates an insurance “death spiral” by knocking down the mandate but leaving everything else intact, there’s nothing stopping Congress from eliminating that death spiral by simply repealing the rest of the statute and starting over. The argument for having the Court kill the whole thing is more pragmatic than legal, I think — no one wants to see insurers go out of business because Congress ends up gridlocked and paralyzed on yet another issue. But don’t forget (a) the insurance industry has a lot of political muscle and they’ll bring the full force of it to bear on incumbent congressmen to find a solution and (b) given that we’re all going to have to put on our big-boy pants soon to reform Medicare, maybe a crisis now will be a wake-up call in forcing Congress to start thinking big. Surely they wouldn’t sit idly by while America’s health insurance industry disintegrated around them. And before you say, “But that’s the left’s path to single payer!”, read Karl’s Greenroom post. The Republican House will never, ever, ever pass it, and The One really, really, really doesn’t want to preside over Americans losing their coverage as insurers go belly up. Especially in an election year.

Update: Speaking of single payer, Josh Marshall makes one of the left’s most effective arguments for ObamaCare: How can the mandate be unconstitutional when a far more aggressive power grab like single payer, i.e. “Medicare for all,” probably wouldn’t be? The latter would fall under Congress’s tax and spend powers, which dodges the Commerce Clause problem in forcing people to purchase things from third parties. But if liberty’s your bottom line, it’s cold comfort to know that the bigger of the two federal expansions is likely on safe ground constitutionally. For more on that, go read Jacob Sullum’s depressing take at Reason.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Medicaid and coercion were discussed in the afternoon.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/11-400.pdf

pp. 31 & 32, Scalia manages to apply both the old Jack Benny joke and the Godfather simultaneously, as he points out that there would be no choice between your money and your life—we’d be under the rule of the Godfather. The Feds want both.

JUSTICE SCALIA: No, no, no. To say — to say you’re — when you say you’re coerced, it means you’ve been — you’ve been given an offer you can’t refuse. Okay? You can’t refuse your money or your life.

INC on March 28, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I’m sitting here listening to a clip of Justice Kagan explaining that the federal government is going to give the states a “boatload” of money without restrictions to cover additions to the medicare costs.

Cindy Munford on March 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

It says everything about Kagan’s jurisprudence that she thinks the viability of the law is relevant to whether or not it should be ruled constitutional.

It says everything about her intellect that she thinks the law is viable, which makes her almost alone among people not drawing a check from the Obama administration (and most of them as well).

I said yesterday that if Kennedy is firm in deliberations, more than one liberal justice will jump ship to the winning side because the individual mandate really is counter to most people’s legal philosophies. Justice Kagan will not be among them. The idea that the federal government can do whatever it wants is the very crux of her judicial outlook.

HitNRun on March 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

coldwarrior on March 28, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Affirmative. Just pointing out how the poster and his ilk rise to the occasion.

chewmeister on March 28, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Scalia on severability: Making us read this entire bill would be cruel and unusual punishment

Making us live under this entire bill IS cruel and unusual punishment. I’m with wren and karenhasfreedom: it’s time for a total absolute House, Senate and WretchedHive housecleaning.

stukinIL4now on March 28, 2012 at 6:18 PM

None of these dolts are capable of saying, “maybe I shouldn’t meddle in affairs that do not concern me.”

Flyovercountry on March 28, 2012 at 6:15 PM

truth

ted c on March 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Yep, medicare for all… then instead of no insurance companies, we’ll have no doctors. Well, maybe you might find a veterinary with a degree from the Philippines to take out your appendix. And you’ll only wait two years!

Marcola on March 28, 2012 at 6:20 PM

If the gods of elections see fit to give the republicans and or conservatives control of both legislatures and the presidency, I would hope that they would amend the constitution to further define the limits of the commerce clause and the powers of the presidency to rule by ukase.

Old Country Boy on March 28, 2012 at 6:21 PM

“Medicare for all”… would fall under Congress’s tax and spend powers

I get where the “tax power” comes from–it’s right there in the 16th Amendment, all spelled out nice and clear, for better or worse. Can you show me where this “spend power” comes from? I see that Congress has the power “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers”, but the “foregoing Powers” are all stuff like raising a Navy and building postal roads in my copy of the Constitution. I can’t find “provyde chirurgeons freely to alle Citizens” anywhere in the thing.

Fabozz on March 28, 2012 at 6:21 PM

You sank my Battleship!

reddevil on March 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

MediCare for all = No doctors

Good luck with that, lefties.

Norwegian on March 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

lol, Bishop, you will appreciate this classic from Maine:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8Mf4xKRhIU

Del Dolemonte on March 28, 2012 at 6:03 PM

Can’t watch from where I am now – but if you’re talking 2 story outhouse, it’s got to be Joe Perham.
My Dad sent me several of his CDs – classic downeast Maineiac humah.

dentarthurdent on March 28, 2012 at 6:24 PM

Isn’t it about time SOMEONE read the damn thing? It is for sure, that Obama, his entire administration, and the brilliant Congressional representatives that voted for it have yet to turn a page.

phoebe1 on March 28, 2012 at 5:40 PM

*shrug* I read the whole damn thing, and thought it sucked monkey barf. And you want to talk about tedious…a whole mess of the thing refers to other documents, and was near impossible to make sense of the stupid thing without them.

Kill it. Before it breeds.

sage0925 on March 28, 2012 at 6:25 PM

DrRich on March 28, 2012 at 6:06 PM

I found what you’re referring to. Kagan snarked at Scalia at the bottom of page 39.

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/11-393.pdf

JUSTICE KAGAN: I mean, we have never suggested that we’re going to say, look, this legislation was a brokered compromise, and we’re going to try to figure out exactly what would have happened in the complex parliamentary shenanigans that go on across the street and figure out whether they would have made a difference.

Instead, we look at the text that’s actually given us. For some people, we look only at the text. It should be easy for Justice Scalia’s clerks.
(Laughter.)

You can tell she worked for Obama.

She should have recused herself. Whatever happened to Jeff Sessions wanting to know if she perjured herself in her written answers to questions about her participation in ObamaCare during her confirmation hearings?

INC on March 28, 2012 at 6:26 PM

the fact is that congress did not make the mandate a tax because they did not have the votes to pass a tax. Instead they tried a gimick mandate because it wasn’t called a tax but it is a tax but not called a tax. Therefore they thought they pulled one over on the American people. I hope people now understand words mean things. Call it a mandate and it is likely to be declared null and void. call it a tax and it stands. The elites in DC think they are so smart and have been hoodwinking the people for so long that they think they can do anything call things anything and get away with it. enough with the left rewriting our dictionary in order to pass things they could not pass if they called the laws what they are.

unseen on March 28, 2012 at 6:27 PM

What a great day for the Romney campaign! Willard will be able to tell the electorate that he successfully got Romneycare implemented in Massachusetts while that schmuck of a loser in the White House signed an Obamacare bill that was D.O.A. at the SCOTUS. Makes me want to run out an vote for Mitt right now.

My collie says:

Oh wait…

CyberCipher on March 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

On Special Report, yummy Shannon Bream just interviewed an Obama tool. I can’t listen to those Obama people.

BuckeyeSam on March 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Why would congress bother to read the bill? They’re exempt from it, remember?!

IrishEi on March 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

MJBrutus on March 28, 2012 at 6:08 PM

That or they think that it’s their printing press and their ink. They only played a short clip on Special Report but apparently the gentleman arguing against, Clements (?) pointed out that it was their own money. Ace has written about it, I’ll go read the whole article in a bit. Humor might make it less maddening, but I doubt it.

Cindy Munford on March 28, 2012 at 6:33 PM

blink on March 28, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Thank goodness, I’ve been looking around for you, I thought you might have gotten bounced. Good to “see” you.

Cindy Munford on March 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

On Special Report, yummy Shannon Bream just interviewed an Obama tool. I can’t listen to those Obama people.

BuckeyeSam on March 28, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Just mute it and watch her. I’m sure you already did that though. If their was an app to block offensive tools it would be even better.

arnold ziffel on March 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Speaking of single payer, Josh Marshall makes one of the left’s most effective arguments for ObamaCare: How can the mandate be unconstitutional when a far more aggressive power grab like single payer, i.e. “Medicare for all,” probably wouldn’t be?

Isn’t there a couple of fundamental differences though? You are not mandated to buy Medicare are you? And, funding (subsidizing) Medicare for all vs those 65+ (whatever the age is) is a huge difference. Don’t you wind up right back at an individual mandate? Seems like it’s a circular argument to me.

Mayday on March 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

I can’t find “provyde chirurgeons freely to alle Citizens” anywhere in the thing.

Fabozz on March 28, 2012 at 6:21 PM

According to liberals, that’s the real meaning behind the 2nd amendment, because if we don’t have government-run health care our arms will fall off or something.

malclave on March 28, 2012 at 6:40 PM

no one wants to see insurers go out of business because Congress ends up gridlocked and paralyzed on yet another issue.

oh please….Carville is eager to dance on the grave of the private sector insurance…he’s giddy about how w/out the mandate private insurance would be crushed under the weight of the rest of the bill

Single payer funded from a tax would be more constitutional…but that’s for the good.

Obama.care sets the precedent for far reaching government power in the ‘private sector’…basically state-run capitalism (Volts). Single payer does not achieve that precedent. The left would have to wait until congress would pass a bill that provides ‘free’ Volts…funded with a tax.

r keller on March 28, 2012 at 6:42 PM

How can the mandate be unconstitutional when a far more aggressive power grab like single payer, i.e. “Medicare for all,” probably wouldn’t be?

You’ve just described the real intent of ObamaCare. But first, the health insurance companies have to be dispensed with so that all thats left is the government plan.

BobMbx on March 28, 2012 at 6:43 PM

Mayday on March 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

The difference, legally, as I see it, is that Medicare is transaction between us and the government. That is different than requiring citizens to transact business with groups outside of the government. I’m surprised that the matter of contracts wasn’t brought up (or perhaps I missed hearing about it). A fundamental principle in our society is that a contract is a voluntary act by both parties. When we are forced in to one, it cannot be a valid contract and so cannot be legally binding.

MJBrutus on March 28, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Just mute it and watch her. I’m sure you already did that though. If their was an app to block offensive tools it would be even better.

arnold ziffel on March 28, 2012 at 6:34 PM

actually, that’s a good idea…an O chip in the TV. Block the tool and look at eye candy

r keller on March 28, 2012 at 6:46 PM

Speaking of single payer, Josh Marshall makes one of the left’s most effective arguments for ObamaCare

If that’s their most effective argument, it’s toast.

There are a lot of things the government can buy and give away, that it can’t force individuals to buy. The federal government can make national parks. It can’t force you to make a “donation” to the wilderness society to buy up land and keep it free form development. The Federal Government can give money to farmers, but it can’t force you to buy their food.

If the Democrats want to pass single payer, they’re welcome to try, and to lose. That would be wrong, but it probably wouldn’t be unconstitutional. The IM is unconstitutional.

Greg Q on March 28, 2012 at 6:46 PM

state-run capitalism

Just like on Ferenginar.

BobMbx on March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

Last I checked, Medicare is payed into ONLY buy those who are employed. How fair of a mandate is that ?

FlaMurph on March 28, 2012 at 6:47 PM

I’m glad you all agree Single Payer is constitutional.

ElenaKagan on March 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Congress almost always adds a section about that when it drafts a bill. It forgot this time. Oops.

No. Earlier drafts did have a severability clause. One axiom of legislative intent is that if a legislature had a clause in a draft version, but not a final one, that legislature intended to do that.

rbj on March 28, 2012 at 5:28 PM

So they are playing chicken with the Supreme Court, or perhaps have a contingency plan if/when it gets struck down?

sharrukin on March 28, 2012 at 5:33 PM

Chicken. They took out severability because they wanted to make the monster too big for a Supreme Court to dare tackle. Severability makes it much easier for the court to nibble away at it, even in lower courts.

They will not admit that because obviously they won’t admit trying to game the courts.

slickwillie2001 on March 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

actually, to me the saddest part of this is watching the left/libs on the court say ‘whatever’. The Kagan thing about states getting boatloads of money is really dim. The Obama-stash money I guess. Thank G_d we have an infinitely wealthy prez to give us free-stuff. We are soooooooo lucky to have barry and elena

r keller on March 28, 2012 at 6:51 PM

MediCare for all = No doctors

Good luck with that, lefties.

Norwegian on March 28, 2012 at 6:23 PM

What are you talking about? They’ll just assign you a nice Muslim doctor from Pakistan!

Now, you’re not going to get all racist, are you?

Now where does it hurt, infidel?

Dack Thrombosis on March 28, 2012 at 6:52 PM

MJBrutus on March 28, 2012 at 6:44 PM

I agree with you about the contract issue, and that is yet another reason to be rid of this monstrosity. And I also see your point about the difference between transacting with the gov’t vs a private business. Isn’t “Medicare for all” more or less the same thing as single payer?

I hope the SC overturns the whole law and congress has to start over (2013 congress, nothing will get done before the election). No one will look forward to this but it’s necessary. Free up the markets, interstate competition, tort reform, etc. The political environment will not only require bipartisan consensus but the change in composition means the Rs will be leading the effort rather than shut out of it.

Mayday on March 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Isn’t “Medicare for all” more or less the same thing as single payer?

Mayday on March 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

Indeed it is. I have no doubt that that is where PBHO and co. want to take us. We need to win this election both in Congress and the POTUS!

MJBrutus on March 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

But if liberty’s your bottom line, it’s cold comfort to know that the bigger of the two federal expansions is likely on safe ground constitutionally.

That is not the bigger of the two though. Adding in the new power to force people to engage in commerce allows them into every single aspect of a person’s life. Medicare just simply lets them into your specific health care life. They cannot force you to buy a cell phone, a car, or other stuff through use of medicare.

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

We need to win this election both in Congress and the POTUS!

MJBrutus on March 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

I do not agree with you. If we put the wrong person forward, we will end up at the same place, just 4 years later, and likely in a worse way.

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Single payer would be the “unionization” of an entire private industry. I can’t see how single payer cound pass constitutional muster when it involves the Government interfering with the transaction of business between willing parties.

I can see lots of doctors opting out of single payer and dealing with new entities which cannot be called insurance companies but which would function effectively as such — we’ll call them HMOs to be nice.

I can see people who want to lower their rates contracting with these new “HMOs” to get their care. The HMOs can undercut Government pricing by offering caps on coverages, no contraceptives or abortions, etc.

The only way the goverment could get around this underground economy would be to outlaw or tax it.

It’s where Canada is going right now.

unclesmrgol on March 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

Medicare just simply lets them into your specific health care life. They cannot force you to buy a cell phone, a car, or other stuff through use of medicare.

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

You do have the opportunity to go outside of Medicare. That would not change unless the liberals are far more stupid than I think they are. Changing the ability to directly obtain healthcare would be their ultimate disaster.

unclesmrgol on March 28, 2012 at 7:01 PM

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Give it up. Romney is nothing like the smears you tell about him.

MJBrutus on March 28, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Isn’t “Medicare for all” more or less the same thing as single payer?

Mayday on March 28, 2012 at 6:53 PM

The Democrats treated it differently, raiding Medicare to make Obamacare be “revenue neutral”.

They’s have to cut coverages a lot more than that to make a version of Medicare covering our entire population fly.

And then there’d be the paperwork, because money of that magnitude attracts criminals like you wouldn’t believe. Just look at the current medicare program.

unclesmrgol on March 28, 2012 at 7:04 PM

Medicare on safe ground constitutionally? Which enumerated power does Medicare fall under?

gryphon202 on March 28, 2012 at 7:05 PM

I’m glad you all agree Single Payer is constitutional.

ElenaKagan on March 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Must be in with the abortion clause in that living, breathing document, thingy.

dthorny on March 28, 2012 at 7:26 PM

How can the mandate be unconstitutional when a far more aggressive power grab like single payer, i.e. “Medicare for all,” probably wouldn’t be?

It’s the argument of “ends and means” — the “end” may be laudable, but not by any “means”. Re the ACA, Congress lacked the courage to ask Americans if they would support “Medicare for all”. Hey, America, in the middle of the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression should we enact the entitlement of all entitlements? They knew the answer and they tried an end run — thankfully the defense has caught them behind the line of srimmage and is about to throw them for a loss!

BillyRuffn on March 28, 2012 at 7:34 PM

Congress almost always adds a section about that when it drafts a bill. It forgot this time. Oops.

I betya that claiming ‘we were too incompetent to include standard boilerplate verbiage’ is not a big endorsement of Congress having actually done a good job in drafting, creating, or passing the bill.

And having had the severability clause in on previous versions and removing it for the version that passed speaks to an action taken to remove it. Better to claim volition and making it an all or nothing deal, than incompetence and having it thrown out and back in your face.

Courts have ruled that if THEY can’t figure out what a law’s intention is or how its internal workings actually result in due process that such laws are not due process and are tossed out. A couple of years ago that happened with some bureaucratic language left up to bureaucrats to figure out and no one could discern what Congress’ actual intention was nor how the language should be implemented. That got tossed out as not being due process… Obamacare is one big mess that Congress admits to not having read, the President didn’t read it and now the SCOTUS should toss it out as unreadable, incomprehensible and not stating clearly what the intent of Congress actually IS. The mandate is the easiest portion to puzzle out… the rest of it?

Starting from scratch is the best option when a legislative body cannot properly tell which powers it is exercising and why it is doing so. Come back with a better crafted and to the point law, not a dog’s breakfast of verbiage.

ajacksonian on March 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM

I’m glad you all agree Single Payer is constitutional.

ElenaKagan on March 28, 2012 at 6:49 PM

I am fully in support of converting the legal industry to Single Payer. There needs to be a fixed rate, determined by non-lawyers, for any legal filing, and anyone receiving a law degree really should be facing a federally mandated salary cap.

malclave on March 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I am really okay risking Medicare for all in exchange for repeal.

rob verdi on March 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Maybe Obama can call the Justices racists.
It’s always worked for him before.
Or one percentors. Or mean-spirited.
Or accuse them of shoving granny off a cliff.

gordo on March 28, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Josh Marshall makes one of the left’s most effective arguments for ObamaCare: How can the mandate be unconstitutional when a far more aggressive power grab like single payer, i.e. “Medicare for all,” probably wouldn’t be? The latter would fall under Congress’s tax and spend powers

BULL.

Sure it falls under Congress’ power to tax. BUT ITS UNCONSTITUTIONAL HOW THEY’RE SPENDING THAT MONEY!

There are two parts to the equation. Congress can tax. But Congress is also (supposed to be) severely restricted on what it can spend that money on.

Why are “conservatives” so STUPID when it comes to this argument? Stop playing the game by their rules. POINT TO THE D@MN CONSTITUTION!

If you can find the Article, Section and Clause that authorizes Congress to spend money (even that raised by Medicare taxes) on retirement for the elderly, I’ll eat my words.

dominigan on March 28, 2012 at 8:09 PM

It’s occurred to me that the Lib justices hate the manner in which the Dems got this passed, and now it is in their laps to justify, which they know they realistically cannot do and still be viewed as credible. They truly hate the position they are in.

I believe they will try to argue intent on severability and strike the mandate so as to keep the remainder intact. I think Kennedy will once again prove the pivot and the Libs lose this one.

They aren’t going to read the bill either.

goflyers on March 28, 2012 at 8:16 PM

I propose Nancy and Harry read it all by themselves first. After her head explodes, then we can decide whether we can tolerate that amount of pain.

nor on March 28, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Scalia is such a kidder. Read all 2700 pages, you’ve got to be kidding, right? Wonder if Mr. Buffet will warm up to the single payer system that will put him out of business.

Kissmygrits on March 28, 2012 at 8:20 PM

Scalia on severability: Making us read this entire bill would be cruel and unusual punishment

Heck, most of the members of Congress who voted for it had never read the entire bill!

They were lemmings, doing what their party leadership told them to do.

And if there wasn’t time to read the bill, then who the heck really wrote the bill? It takes longer to write something than it does to read it.

The answer is that it was written by unelected people in Democratic Socialist think-tanks. Then cut and pasted into a bill and passed by members of Congress who were not representing “We the People”.

ITguy on March 28, 2012 at 8:27 PM

I get where the “tax power” comes from–it’s right there in the 16th Amendment, all spelled out nice and clear, for better or worse. Can you show me where this “spend power” comes from? I see that Congress has the power “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers”, but the “foregoing Powers” are all stuff like raising a Navy and building postal roads in my copy of the Constitution. I can’t find “provyde chirurgeons freely to alle Citizens” anywhere in the thing.

Fabozz on March 28, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Yep, they’ve been outside the Constitution for quite a while now.

“Don’t Tread On Me!”

Who is John Galt on March 28, 2012 at 8:48 PM

I really hate that SCOTUS is making us wait til summer.

sage0925 on March 28, 2012 at 8:50 PM

“…and now the SCOTUS should toss it out as unreadable, incomprehensible and not stating clearly what the intent of Congress actually IS.”

ajacksonian on March 28, 2012 at 7:48 PM

You got that right. That thing was the biggest pile of gobbletygook that I’ve ever tried to puzzle through.

sage0925 on March 28, 2012 at 8:56 PM

It’s a very convincing dog and pony show meant to distract from the reality that there are activist judges subverting the process who likely have had their judgments pre-written for them months ago.

The candid deliberations is meant to show how hard they considered the opposition viewpoint. I hope I’m wrong.

contrarytopopularbelief on March 28, 2012 at 8:57 PM

I am fully in support of converting the legal industry to Single Payer. There needs to be a fixed rate, determined by non-lawyers, for any legal filing, and anyone receiving a law degree really should be facing a federally mandated salary cap.

malclave on March 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Hear, Hear! LOL!

Way to shoot back, malclave, looks like a headshot.

Why should Doctors be the only ones forced to provide a service below market cost, like slaves?

Who is John Galt on March 28, 2012 at 9:03 PM

I am fully in support of converting the legal industry to Single Payer. There needs to be a fixed rate, determined by non-lawyers, for any legal filing, and anyone receiving a law degree really should be facing a federally mandated salary cap.

malclave on March 28, 2012 at 7:59 PM
Hear, Hear! LOL!
Way to shoot back, malclave, looks like a headshot.
Why should Doctors be the only ones forced to provide a service below market cost, like slaves?
Who is John Galt on March 28, 2012 at 9:03 PM

American healthcare providers are the highest paid by FAR in the entire world. And while most advanced nations spend approximately 12% of GDP on healthcare we spend about 22%. A lot of the blame falls on lack of oversight in the way this industry does business not the practice itself.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 28, 2012 at 9:24 PM

Heck, most of the members of Congress who voted for it had never read the entire bill!

Fact check: Most of the members of Congress who voted for it have no idea what “enumerated” means, nor can they use it in a sentence.

Reading it or not reading it would have produced the same outcome.

BobMbx on March 28, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Saying Tax and Spend is the simplest narrative and a misnomer.

Please stop using illdefined phrases that confuse the gullible or encourage the politburo

John Kettlewell on March 28, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Give it up. Romney is nothing like the smears you tell about him.

MJBrutus on March 28, 2012 at 7:02 PM

I know, it is like that history of his that is written down and laid bare in video and audio format is so totally smearing him.

Romney created Romneycare, the father of Obamacare. With the exception of one being at the state level and the other at the federal level, they are the same.

Tells insurance companies and individuals what the minimum level of health insurance coverage should be. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Gives wide ranging law creating powers to executive branch hacks. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Pays for abortions. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Forces Churches to go against their morals and doctrine. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Gives special interest groups immunity from the law. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Uses money from Medicare/Medicaid dollars to make it seem less costly than it really is. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Increases the actual cost of insurance for everyone. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Does not decrease emergency room usage as advertised, but in fact increases it. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

Has an individual mandate penalty that uses the taxing authority to collect it. Romneycare Check, Obamacare Check.

That is just one aspect of his tenure as governor that matches exactly what I have written about him. Care to refute it? No? Thought not.

How about energy as governor? Created the first in the nation cap & trade, it failed quickly and was replaced by the first in the nation Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Called coal powered plant people killers, created regulation preventing coal power plants to be built in Massachusetts unless they used sequestration of plant food CO2, something that in the test site is showing it has very dangerous side effects and does not work. Shut down the cape wind power because it would interfere with people’s view of the ocean. Yeah, pretty much what Obama would have done.

He also was not very open about what was going on. Everything got done behind closed doors with small groups of intellectuals (morons and Malthusians). Then all the notes and such of those meetings were destroyed or otherwise removed from review by the people who paid for their creation. He had so much filth in his correspondence that he chose to use insecure third party email. He had so much filth in his office computers he bought the hard drives and destroyed the evidence. We the people do not have any right to be able to review the actions of our betters in government. Sounds quite a bit like one Barack Obama to me.

You would be hard pressed to find one big picture aspect of the Romney tenure as executive that does not match what Obama does. Appointment of progressive liberals to the bench, check. Have anti-human Malthusians and other mega progressives as his advisers, check. Attacking private sector energy producers, check. Raising taxes stealthily, check. Increasing spending, check. Using fuzzy math and one time cost savings (which never materialize) to push legislation apparent costs down, check.

It is all in his record, the public one. The one you and I and everyone else who looks has access to. You call it smears, I call it vetting the candidate and calling him on his lies.

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM

American healthcare providers are the highest paid by FAR in the entire world. And while most advanced nations spend approximately 12% of GDP on healthcare we spend about 22%. A lot of the blame falls on lack of oversight in the way this industry does business not the practice itself.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 28, 2012 at 9:24 PM

That is market dynamics. By the way, the reason they get to save that extra 10% is because they refuse to provide care for many people. Did you get a positive result on a cancer screening. 6 months and you can have that screening verified, sometime long after you have died you can start getting treatme… oh yeah, your dead, no need for treatment huh, and by the way, since we did not get a third screening done, you died of natural causes, not cancer. Need an MRI and CT scan? See you next year, maybe, if you live that long…

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 10:39 PM

American healthcare providers are the highest paid by FAR in the entire world. And while most advanced nations spend approximately 12% of GDP on healthcare we spend about 22%. A lot of the blame falls on lack of oversight in the way this industry does business not the practice itself.

0bamaderangementsyndrom on March 28, 2012 at 9:24 PM

I’ll grant your premise, and accept your stats as accurate, only because they make a point you do not comprehend; we have the best compensated professionals, and spend the most, as a percentage of GDP, because:
1. We have the best health-care system in the world.
2. We lead the world in childhood surviveabilty.
3. Our quality of life, well into an advanced age, exceeds most every country on earth.

See, having the best means acknowledging/compensating those who provide the service, and paying the cost to be the boss.

massrighty on March 28, 2012 at 10:49 PM

Health care providers are paid too much. They should feel bad for charging as much as they do. They are part of the problem.

Mormontheman on March 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Health care providers are paid too much. They should feel bad for charging as much as they do. They are part of the problem.

Mormontheman on March 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM

See my 10:49 above.

Also, you might want to talk to a “health care provider,” right after they spend 5 hours in surgery to correct your sons’ heart defect.

massrighty on March 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Mormontheman on March 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Dude. do you work 72-hour shifts? For $10/hr? After 10 years of the most intense training in the known history of Civilization?

STFU, Dr. MMTM.

Who is John Galt on March 28, 2012 at 11:13 PM

If the gods of elections see fit to give the republicans and or conservatives control of both legislatures and the presidency, I would hope that they would amend the constitution to further define the limits of the commerce clause and the powers of the presidency to rule by ukase.

Old Country Boy on March 28, 2012 at 6:21 PM

I just can’t see the current mushes in congress under president Willard Fillmoure Romneycare wanting to do a godd*&^%ed thing to reduce the size of the federal government. They don’t see the government as tyrannical and overreaching when they are the slave drivers running the Politburos. It’s only bad to then when the Marxists liberals are steering us off a cliff.

It’s just fine when a pack of east-coast RINOS do it…

SilverDeth on March 28, 2012 at 11:29 PM

Health care providers are paid too much. They should feel bad for charging as much as they do. They are part of the problem.

Mormontheman on March 28, 2012 at 11:04 PM

Is this sarcasm? I find this level of stupidity beyond impossible. Literally, I cannot fathom how someone holding such an opinion has enough brain capacity to keep their heart beating. Do you s*&^ yourself every time you post a message? I just can’t see how you can write something so fundamentally stupid and still maintain you bodies automated functions at the same time.

Unless you are being sarcastic.

In which case… well played.

SilverDeth on March 28, 2012 at 11:32 PM

What a great day for the Romney campaign! Willard will be able to tell the electorate that he successfully got Romneycare implemented in Massachusetts while that schmuck of a loser in the White House signed an Obamacare bill that was D.O.A. at the SCOTUS. Makes me want to run out an vote for Mitt right now.

CyberCipher on March 28, 2012 at 6:29 PM

There is one fundamental difference between RomneyCare and ObamaCare that people on the left and on the right somehow fail to grasp. Its a difference that Mitt Romney has been making for many months now and its a distinction that the attorneys opposing ObamaCare in the Supreme Court explained yesterday:

If the Supreme Court overturns the individual mandate based on the theory argued by Paul Clement, the attorney representing the 26 states that filed lawsuits against Obamacare, Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign could get a big boost from the ruling.

Clement told the court, just as Romney has told Republican primary voters, that states have the power to enact individual mandates wheras the federal government has no such authority.

“I do think the States could pass this mandate,” Clement said today in response to a question from Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

“[T]he States can do it because they have a police power, and that is a fundamental difference between the States on the one hand and the limited, enumerated Federal Government on the other.”

Romney has argued throughout the presidential primary that Massachusetts has the ability, under the 10th Amendment, to enact an individual mandate for health insurance.

Democrats prepping for the general election have attacked Romney for supporting the individual mandate in his state while opposing President Obama’s mandate.

If the Supreme Court agrees that states can enact mandates, but rules that Obama’s mandate is an unconstitutional infringement on individual liberty, then Romney will have a solid rebuttal.

Conservative Samizdat on March 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM

I was discussing the individual mandate with a social conservative friend of mine earlier, who supports the mandate. I said the following in the hopes that it offends his sensibilities to the point where he realizes the error of his ways, but I’m not optimistic.

“If the individual mandate is upheld, I am going to lobby for a law requiring all pregnant women to abort their first, third, and fifth pregnancies with a $100,000 penalty/”baby tax” attached to non-compliance in order to support Women’s Healthcare. [...] [D]oing so would fall under the interpretation of the Commerce Clause supported by the court if it upholds the mandate, as it’s requiring the purchase of a commercial service (an abortion) regardless of whether the citizen desires such a service. This country’s getting too crowded anyway, and if I have to pay for people’s health insurance through higher taxes and forced participation in insurance schemes, I want to make sure there’s a whole lot less of those people whose insurance I’m subsidizing.”

Professor de la Paz on March 28, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Conservative Samizdat on March 28, 2012 at 11:33 PM

That is what he is saying in the primary this go around. Previously, he was on board with the federal government having the power of mandates at their disposal. He stated that he would keep the good and toss the bad, and part of the good was the incentive (read that as mandate) to have insurance.

Depends on the audience as to what Romney says.

astonerii on March 28, 2012 at 11:59 PM

I find it extremely ironic that the government considers control of healthcare an “interstate” Commerce issue when the states and medical insurance industry are controlled and issued by individual states. Oh, I understand the involvement of Medicare and Medicaid allowed them to play this hand, but the ironic part of this is if we on the Right had our way, the over 1000 insuance companies across this country would have to compete for our business. Then you would have had a stronger Commerce clause argument lol….(for the record, dropping state restrictions would help eliminate the almost monopolistic conditions insurance companies have to set premiums….lower premiums=more participation=lower uninsured=no need for Obamacare….duh.

DrRich on March 29, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Just a reminder: We don’t have the money to pay for this if it is upheld. Hell, we don’t have any money, period.

It’s like a broke family just got a new credit card—after maxing out all their old ones—and they’re debating whether they’re going to go on vacation to Europe or the local beach. One is certainly worse, but the bill collector will be coming around around regardless.

wte9 on March 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM

wte9 on March 29, 2012 at 12:45 AM

We got plenty of money to pay for this. How many babies can we sell into slavery indentured servitude to the Chinese?

astonerii on March 29, 2012 at 1:24 AM

Amazing how we can tie ourselves in knots to avoid the central question: the one that matters the most to literally everything: the proper, sustainable, survivable relationship between man and the state.

Government is so convoluted and extensive now that it has become the butterly in Brazil. Anything it does, in any branch, anywhere, about anything, can produce a Cat 5 hurricane on the other side of the world.

That means the obvious thing: government is too big.

J.E. Dyer on March 29, 2012 at 3:13 AM

Congress almost always adds a section about that when it drafts a bill. It forgot this time. Oops.

What else did congress forget? If it’s not in black and white, it’s not there. Sorry if you didn’t read your own legislation before “turning it in”. Live with the consequences.

Flush this turd!

freedomfirst on March 29, 2012 at 7:47 AM

“The Republican House will never, ever, ever pass it…”

Don’t count on this. The Republicans have yet to miss a chance to betray us into the hands of the Progressives. Maybe someday a true conservative/libertarian party can rise from the ashes of the GOP. Until that happens: every Republican incumbent must be viewed as a “John McCain”, never to be trusted.

Richard Blaine on March 29, 2012 at 7:50 AM

There is no way the Supremes prop up Obamacare. In fact, I think even 1 or 2 liberals will jump ship on this. They are going to school Obama on the Constitution. Go back and watch the Justices’ faces during Obama’s 2010 State of the Union speech where he is trashing them. They couldn’t respond then, but they are going to respond in June — big time.

bitsy on March 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM

I’m sure someone else has pointed this out, but just in case. Congress didn’t forget to add a severability clause, they removed that clause. Early versions had it, later versions didn’t.

hawksruleva on March 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM

I’m sure someone else has pointed this out, but just in case. Congress didn’t forget to add a severability clause, they removed that clause. Early versions had it, later versions didn’t.

hawksruleva on March 29, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Excellent point. I had actually forgotten that.

J.E. Dyer on March 29, 2012 at 1:58 PM

” …How can the mandate be unconstitutional when a far more aggressive power grab like single payer, i.e. “Medicare for all,” probably wouldn’t be?”.

As I have said elsewhere on these threads, Single Payer, by definition would be supra~Constitutional, to wit: Single payer health insurance is one in which the government finances health care but is not involved in delivering the care, much like Medicare and Medicaid.

It would therefore have to be called a tax within the literal context of a written law. Additionally, it would have to pass means tests, like, Medicare OR Social Security, because technically it would be a revenue raising measure or “tax”. This however poses other problems in that an elected body of representatives might be less likely to pass a bill with more taxes in our current economic atmosphere.

Pragmatism combined with hubris is clearly one of the reasons Obama didn’t want single~payer.It just was an easier sell to Americans and Congress.

I’ll be stunned if the USSC doesn’t strike the whole law down. The only other option is to accept all of it, and frankly, I don’t see the votes for that.

The Law will be struck down, 7~2.

DevilsPrinciple on March 29, 2012 at 3:17 PM

There is no way the Supremes prop up Obamacare. In fact, I think even 1 or 2 liberals will jump ship on this. They are going to school Obama on the Constitution. Go back and watch the Justices’ faces during Obama’s 2010 State of the Union speech where he is trashing them. They couldn’t respond then, but they are going to respond in June — big time

To quote Tyrion Lannister, “…a day will come when you think yourself safe and happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth, and you’ll know the debt is paid.”

Dave in San Diego on March 29, 2012 at 10:19 PM

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