Can ObamaCare survive success?

posted at 1:01 pm on June 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The Supreme Court gave ObamaCare a new lease on political life by upholding the entirety of the law — well, almost the entirety of the law.  The decision by Chief Justice John Roberts threw out a portion of the bill in a dispute that didn’t get a lot of attention during the two-year legal fight, one that removes the penalties for states that don’t take part in the Medicaid expansion. Shortly after the decision was announced, at least three Republican governors announced that they would not expand Medicaid as dictated by the ACA.  Bobby Jindal of Louisiana declared in a conference call with the media that his state would not enact either the exchanges or the Medicaid expansion, which would force his state to absorb much larger costs.  Jindal wasn’t alone for long:

Gov. Scott Walker pledged again Thursday not to phase in any parts of President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law ahead of November’s elections even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it is constitutional.

Walker, a Republican, has said he holds out hope the GOP will recapture the White House and gain full control of Congress and repeal the legislation. He reiterated his stance Thursday minutes after the court released its ruling.

“While the court said it was legal, that doesn’t make it right,” Walker said at a news conference. “For us to put time and effort and resources into that doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

In Kansas, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ successor Governor Sam Brownback concurred:

A day after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said he had no plans to implement provisions of the health care law.

“This is now in the hands of the American public. Mitt Romney has said on Day One he’ll grant a global waiver from the implementation of Obamacare, so now it’s up to the American public to decide, and I’m going to see what’s going to happen in the fall election before we move forward,” he said on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.”

Chuck Blahous warns that the court’s change of the Medicaid-expansion provision makes ObamaCare much less sustainable and practically guarantees its failure:

The Supreme Court left intact most of the health care law’s provisions, excepting only one section that would have allowed the Secretary of HHS to withdraw “existing Medicaid funding” from states that fail to comply with the law’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

This is important. At first glance, it appears quite possible that this decision could:

  1. Considerably worsen the budgetary effects of the law, and;
  2. Result in substantial cuts, later in this decade, to the subsidies for low-income individuals who are compelled to buy health insurance under the law.

Blahous, a former economic adviser to George W. Bush and deputy director of the National Economic Council, argues that the states have very compelling reasons to stay as far away from the Medicaid expansion as possible.  The federal government covers the costs for the first few years, but after that it becomes a huge unfunded mandate.  If states refuse to participate — and remember, 26 states sued to block implementation of the law — the federal government will have to expand the subsidy program to help lower-income families in the 100-400%-of-poverty-line group buy health insurance.  And that means that ObamaCare costs will explode:

How much worse? No one (perhaps outside of CBO) can say. But under past estimates, a 1 million-person reduction in the law’s reliance on Medicaid has meant an increase in net costs of about $50-$90 billion over ten years. With 26 states joined in a lawsuit to be released from this forced coverage expansion, the fiscal worsening could be substantial.

The side effects of the court ruling don’t end there. The health law also contains a “fail safe” provision requiring that total costs of the health exchange credits be limited to 0.504% of GDP per year after 2018. In previous estimates, CBO projected that subsidy percentages would “eventually” be cut by this provision to keep their total costs beneath this cap. But if health exchange participation is to be significantly higher than previously projected, then costs will be also much higher. This would force significant cuts in subsidies to low-income individuals starting in 2019; the text of the law is explicit that the cap will be enforced by reducing these subsidies. Lawmakers would thus have to choose between allowing these cuts to low-income individuals to go into effect, and waiving the existing fiscal constraints of the health care law.

So much for the promise of cost control, which was always a shell game, with the states playing the role of sucker.  ObamaCare backers could only claim cost control by shifting the costs for the Medicaid expansion to the states, while taking credit for more-or-less universal coverage.  That would mean either higher state taxes, reductions of other state services, or both.  By freeing the states from having to bear those costs, the bill will come due at the federal level instead, and Blahous thinks that will start sinking into the national consciousness soon:

The Supreme Court may have just set in motion of chain of events that could lead to the law’s being found as busting the budget, even under the highly favorable scoring methods used last time around.

I’m not sure that really does us any favors, but at least the reversal on the Medicaid expansion exposes the dishonesty of the “deficit-neutral” argument.

Update: I wrote 200-400% of poverty line, but I meant 100-400%.  I’ve corrected it above.


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would also like to see group-insurance negotiation allowed and encouraged by more than just employers, ie churches, credit unions, professional associations, even neighborhood associations. This levels the playing field between individuals and insurance companies, and reduces insurance companies risk from accepting those with previous conditions.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Well, that used to be the way things went. But the feds stepped in.

For the libs reading this thread, Heeeere’s FLOTUS!

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:12 PM

You know what’s really cool about healthcare in the U.K.? If you’re old and need a life-saving operation, they just keep scheduling and cancelling it for whatever reason in hopes you die first. But it’s not a death panel or anything.

John the Libertarian on June 30, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Here’s what I know, I want Republicans to shut up, sit down, and put a plan together. Put out a position paper that says, “If you believe everything that’s been said about this plan, look at Massachusetts, if you believe you can add 30 million people to the rolls and not increase costs, if you believe that we can give every woman who wants them, birth control pills and have it not cost anything, vote for the Democrats because you deserve what you’re going to get.” If you want real changes to health care that will ensure everyone who wants insurance can get it, insurance that will be reasonable, and plans that cover what needs to be covered, here’s what we have, vote for us and you’ll see that.

bflat879 on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

None of this will affect me because Obama said that if I don”t want to change my medical coverage, I won’t have to. And I will get to keep my doctor too!!!!! Right???
dirtseller on June 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM
You are correct. Nice to see some right wing ideologues starting to read what’s in the bill.

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

“[T]he CBO estimates that as many as 20 million Americans will be forced out of their plans as employers toss workers into government health exchanges to avoid ObamaCare’s costs.

A survey by McKinsey and Co. found that nearly one-third of employers will likely to drop coverage for their workers once ObamaCare kicks in.

And an analysis by the Medicare actuary found that ObamaCare’s attacks on Medicare’s private insurance options will force nearly 8 million seniors out of the coverage they’ve chosen.”

[from Investors Business Daily]

AZCoyote on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

The largest tax increase in history.

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Yes, but it must be specified – “in the world”.

Obama hates the middle class. Because this is a regressive tax, he also hates the poor. He only wants their votes, keeping them in the modern day plantations.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

On the first day of oral arguments, Verrilli argued that it WAS a penalty. The next day, he argued that it WAS a tax.

J. Alito:

“General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back, and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax. Has the court ever held that something that is a tax for the purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?”

Verrilli:

“No.”

**eyeroll**

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

And I still haven’t had much luck in determining if the waivers, which are now “tax exemptions” are even legal.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Resist We Much, this is of great interest at HA, and in general. Any feedback w/b highly appreciated.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

She was also on Mark Levin and she said the Tea Party Caucus is encouraging all Republican Governors to refuse to set up exchanges and the Medicaid expansion as well.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Their constituents should as well.

txmomof6 on June 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

I recall this, vividly, and I commented on it too, in the last 2 days. Thanks for affirming.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

The same teachers and firefighters your party’s leader has vowed to make unemployed if he wins?
 
Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

 
Wait, Romney is running for county manager?

rogerb on June 30, 2012 at 2:16 PM

She was also on Mark Levin and she said the Tea Party Caucus is encouraging all Republican Governors to refuse to set up exchanges and the Medicaid expansion as well.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

Recall, please, that the guy who is tasked by Romney as his transition guru is a huuuuge exchange owner, favors them, is a former HHS secretary and the entire relationship is very troublesome.

—————
Hardy anyone has commented, or I should say that I have not seen it here, on the HHS secretary unlimited powers within the ObamaTax law.

This is huge and can’t be ignored.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

The same teachers and firefighters your party’s leader has vowed to make unemployed if he wins?

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

You’re elitist, but not any less foolish.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

I’m not going to do it. The price of food is enormous; we cannot pay our other bills and eat at the same time.

God Damn Obama

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

The program was originally set up for people in your situation. You have been, and still are a productive member of society. If it will help you get through these tough times there is no reason for you not to do it. You have nothing to feel shame about.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

J. Alito:

“General Verrilli, today you are arguing that the penalty is not a tax. Tomorrow you are going to be back, and you will be arguing that the penalty is a tax. Has the court ever held that something that is a tax for the purposes of the taxing power under the Constitution is not a tax under the Anti-Injunction Act?”

Verrilli:

“No.”

**eyeroll**

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

But thanks to John Roberts, the next guy (or lady) can answer “yes” to that question!

AZCoyote on June 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

Here’s what I know, I want Republicans to shut up, sit down, and put a plan together. Put out a position paper that says, “If you believe everything that’s been said about this plan, look at Massachusetts…
bflat879 on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

What a great message ….. Only if Romney was not the nominee!

Can.I.be.in.the.middle on June 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

This is huge and can’t be ignored.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I agree. SCOTUS seemed perfectly happy with giving EPA unlimited power, why not HHS?

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

OR is full steam ahead setting up what is needed under Obamacare and we are already very close to CA style broke.

This thing completely collapses under its own weight, it has to.
Teachers and firefighters…..ha, there’s a joke. There is not enough money now to pay for their benefits and salaries. There is no way that the magical mystery of Obama can suddenly pull billions more out of his arse to pay for free health care too.

Let’s start with teachers. Here in OR (the people’s republic of Portland and surrounding areas) families are being asked to donate 200.00 per year per child to retain teaching positions. The district I’m in raised 150K from donations to retain teaching positions.
Obama has done so much for the middle class maybe every family can donate 400 next year so no teacher has to pay for Obozocare. 800 the year after that.
Right, Obama the savior/ They’d better fire up the printing presses. There’s idiots counting on his stash.

ORconservative on June 30, 2012 at 2:20 PM

The same teachers and firefighters your party’s leader has vowed to make unemployed if he wins?

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

You are so fun to play with. You’re like a little ball of fuzz wrapped in duct tape.

It’s the public sector unions that need to go. Not the individuals who work UNDER them.

And, mark my words little kitten. Public Sector Unions are done. Everyone seems to know this except the libs. What part of “we’re out of money” don’t you understand, little kitteh?

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:21 PM

Pressure your State Governors and Legislatures. I’ve been saying this since Thursday. txmomof6 on June 30, 2012 at 1:04 PM

THIS!

indyvet on June 30, 2012 at 2:21 PM

bflat879 on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

The House republicans had many ideas. If you remember, they were locked out of the committee rooms where the dealing was going on. Freedom Works has something ready to go. Heritage Foundation (if we trust them now- LOL) has a plan. We are not lacking ideas, just the power to implement them.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 2:23 PM

He has done a lot of positive things for the middle mindless class.

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Gratis

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:27 PM

Recall, please, that the guy who is tasked by Romney as his transition guru is a huuuuge exchange owner, favors them, is a former HHS secretary and the entire relationship is very troublesome.

That is troublesome. I suggest we mention that at every opportunity, and perhaps send Romney an email along with the tons of donations he has received since Thursday.

—————

Hardy anyone has commented, or I should say that I have not seen it here, on the HHS secretary unlimited powers within the ObamaTax law.

This is huge and can’t be ignored.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

We’ve been pre-occupied :) I consider that to be part of our basic viewpoint of getting rid of as much regulation and as many of those departments as possible. It is a good question though, if separate legislation is needed to reign in power that was, until recently, inconceivable.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

Not until every low information voter is fully aware of st romni’s intention…
 
Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM

 

The same teachers and firefighters your party’s leader has vowed to make unemployed…
 
Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

 
For the win.

rogerb on June 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

David Axelrod helped craft the goodness of patient dumping. Michelle Obama was the architect of it

Racists.

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:19 PM

She was paid 450,000/yr. for that job, for the “illegal patient dumping”, yes, the oh so nice FLOTUS. She is a witch more bitter than Nancy Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz. That job is now held by a guy in their cabal, btw.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Because we need to do the Alinsky

She does not wear anything well. And those shoes! Guffaw!

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

For the win.

rogerb on June 30, 2012 at 2:33 PM

You two are most definitely creepily insane.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

It’s A Penalty! It’s A Tax! No, It’s Obamaman, The Middle Class Tax Hiker!

http://predicthistunpredictpast.blogspot.com/2012/06/its-penalty-its-tax-no-its-obamaman.html

M2RB: Five For Fighting

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

There goes the weekend…where’s that bleach?

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Uh

SCOAMF speaks

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:38 PM

Resist, I’ve been trying to find an answer to how the Obama exemptions, incl. of the Muslims, will be affected by the SC ruling. Thanks ahead.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:38 PM

SCOAMF speaks

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:38 PM

See this, for the truth on the CO fires.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM

The same teachers and firefighters your party’s leader has vowed to make unemployed if he wins?

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Teachers and firefighters (and cops) should face the exact same realities everyone else does. The same wages, the same job security issues, the same benefits and the same retirement challenges. Their compensation should reflect the requirements of the job. Soldiers have a sometimes deadly job, and they get some of the worst pay you can get. Firefighters and cops should only get more to the extent that the requirements are higher, since they also face danger. Teachers, not so much.

The starting pay of any public position should be gauged to what is necessary to fill the positions with qualified applicants. The ongoing pay should be gauged to what is necessary to ensure turnover is at or below a reasonable level. Not a penny more. That’s how we do it in the private sector, and it always works.

Immolate on June 30, 2012 at 2:41 PM

O/T but a classic for all time

Man v SCOAMF

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Because we need to do the Alinsky

She does not wear anything well. And those shoes! Guffaw!

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Yep, still looks like a tranny.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Hardy anyone has commented, or I should say that I have not seen it here, on the HHS secretary unlimited powers within the ObamaTax law.

This is huge and can’t be ignored.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I disagree, my friend. From Roberts’ opinion:

“We have already explained that the shared responsibility payment’s practical characteristics pass muster as a tax under our narrowest interpretations of the taxing power. Supra, at 35–36. Because the tax at hand is within even those strict limits, we need not here decide the precise point at which an exaction becomes so punitive that the taxing power does not authorize it. It remains true, however, that the “‘power to tax is not the power to destroy while this Court sits.’” Oklahoma Tax Comm’n v. Texas Co., 336 U. S. 342, 364 (1949) (quoting Panhandle Oil Co. v. Mississippi ex rel. Knox, 277 U. S. 218, 223 (1928) (Holmes, J., dissenting)).”

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Can ObamaCare survive success?

ObamaCare wasn’t designed to survive. It was designed to destroy.

This is like trying to take solace in the fact that a suicide bomber won’t survive his first attack.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 30, 2012 at 2:46 PM

O/T but a classic for all time

Man v SCOAMF

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:44 PM

And that is why I forgive him anything he didn’t get perfect!

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Dearest RWM, thank you for your explanation but we are not on the same wave-lenth.

I called it mockingly the ObamaTax, the new name for Obama’care’. Get with the program, dear!

I didn’t mean the tax part. I meant the unlimited powers of decisions on anything related to heald that the HHS secretary now has, under Obama’care’.

Secondly, I’m trying to find out what about the excemptions that Obama granted to millions, incl. unions, corporations that supported the travesty and Muslims. How are they affected by the SC decision.

Lastly, may he and the entire Congress suffocate for exempting themselves from it.

Thanks ahead.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Sorry for ‘eating’ letters. The drie to push the comments through is obviously bigger than the care to read comments first…duh, on me.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:51 PM

See this, for the truth on the CO fires.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:40 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

Duly noted, and I give you this

This will blow it all up

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

Rewrite

Dearest RWM, thank you for your explanation but we are not on the same wave-length.

I called it mockingly the ObamaTax, the new name for Obama’care’. Get with the program, dear!

I didn’t mean the tax part. I meant the unlimited powers of decisions on anything related to health that the HHS secretary now has, under Obama’care’.

Secondly, I’m trying to find out what about the exemptions that Obama granted to millions, incl. unions, corporations that supported the travesty and Muslims. How are they affected by the SC decision?

Lastly, may he and the entire Congress suffocate for exempting themselves from it.

Thanks ahead.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

This will blow it all up

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:52 PM

I’ll have to watch it all. For now, let’s just say that one of Farrakhan’s “brothers” had the knife stuck into his other “brother”s derriere.

Egypt is the prime example of what Obama is all about, his brothers. They succeed, slowly but surely, in taking over the world.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:58 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Wrong.

The “law” was upheld.

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I don’t know what that means!

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I think the question was whether unelected beaurocrats have the authority to make things up as they go along, including making tax law.

I don’t know what that means!

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I’m with her!

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM

Shoot, I’m paying $300.00 a month for insurance for just me so hence I am paying $3600.00 per year with a $5000.00 deductible. Hmmmmmmm, let’s see now, $8600.00 vs $700.00 and I can get insurance only if I have a serious medical condition and need it then? Hmmmmmmm, makes sense to me. Yepper!

sicoit on June 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM

Problem: the sudden emergency. You are outside jogging. The next time you open your eyes a doctor is saying “congratulations, your bypass operation was a complete success.”

You will not be able to sign up for previous-condition insurance retroactively.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2012 at 3:09 PM

And I still haven’t had much luck in determining if the waivers, which are now “tax exemptions” are even legal.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Resist We Much, this is of great interest at HA, and in general. Any feedback w/b highly appreciated.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 2:15 PM

The tax code is something like 70,000 pages long filled with carve-outs, exemptions, deductions, etc. So, the exemptions granted by Congress (union Cadillac tax exemption until 2019) and HHS will almost certainly be upheld.

As for exemptions based upon religion, Obamacare wrote it as the “religious conscience” objection to the insurance mandate, which is how it has been done since the Social Security Act. The language of the objection has always been — or roughly so — “individuals of recognised religious sects” who are “conscientiously opposed” to accepting benefits from any insurance — private or public — “which makes payments in the event of death, disability, old-age, or retirement or makes payments toward the cost of, or provides services for, medical care.”

In 1982, in United States v Lee, the Court attempted to make it unconstitutional to exempt people from paying social security taxes based on religious objections in a 9-0 decision, but Congress later passed laws and Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which reverted the law back to pre-Lee. If the Courts deem a right is not covered under the Constitution, the Congress can nevertheless enact the right by “legislative grace.”

So, Congress can exempt Muslims, Mennonites, the Amish, etc., from being compelled to purchase health insurance. I agree that it would seem to conflict with the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause, but the law since Smith v EEOC was overturned is on the side of religious freedom and conscience, which bodes ill for the contraception mandate.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

“The CBO estimates that as many as 20 million Americans will be forced out of their plans as employers toss workers into government health exchanges to avoid ObamaCare’s costs.

A survey by McKinsey and Co. found that nearly one-third of employers will likely to drop coverage for their workers once ObamaCare kicks in.

And an analysis by the Medicare actuary found that ObamaCare’s attacks on Medicare’s private insurance options will force nearly 8 million seniors out of the coverage they’ve chosen.”

[from Investors Business Daily]

AZCoyote on June 30, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Yes, and still, the 20,000,000 uninsured illegal aliens that were used to justify the Obamacare manure pile, will remain uninsured because FREE will always be the cheapest way to go.

I’ve heard estimates that up to 80,000,000 will be uninsured once the ravages of Obamacare are fully implemented.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Obamacare only deals with regulating health INSURANCE, right?

And SCOTUS just ruled that nobody can be forced to purchase insurance.

AND that nobody can be denied care if they can prove that they paid the “penalty” for not carrying insurance.
(And that can be overturned under the rules of reconciliation, as the “mandate” was included in the AMENDMENT bill which passed)

Obamacare doesn’t regulate health CARE.

Anyone can go see a doctor and pay them for their services.

Obamacare has no teeth – if my employer decides to quit providing health insurance, I’ll just refuse to purchase health insurance, pay the fee, and go on from there.

Given that Congress requires a hospital to treat anyone who shows up, regardless of their abiity to pay – and now they can only ask for proof that you have paid the penalty if you don’t have insurance – it seems as if they are now in a bit of a pickle, no?

What we need to do is draft a Constitutional Amendment which says that the Government cannot penalize a citizen for economic inactivity.

I think that’s what Roberts wants to see happen.

TeresainFortWorth on June 30, 2012 at 3:16 PM

I don’t know what that means!

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 3:01 PM

I’m with her!

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:06 PM

It’s Benedict Roberts giving America the finger. The traitor conveniently used a quote of another decision but declined to include what was said in the decision that Benedict Roberts alleges to cite, which started with the more sensible idea that some taxes (and I am not allowing for the clear idiocy of calling ObamaCare’s penalty for not doing what the government says to be a “tax”, but as the idiot Roberts tries to claim) are designed to destroy and can be lethal in the hands of unscrupulous people (like the ones who forced this laughable legislation through Congress by hook or by crooks and crimes:

‘A tax upon the leases is a tax upon the power to make them, and could be used to destroy the power to make them,’

Of course, Traitor Robers couldn’t cite this little introduction since he was in the process of certifying a penalty on inactivity to be a “tax” and couldn’t be held back by any logical problems even more extensive than his own anti-American, Constitution-hating idiocy. Basically, he was saying that the Court would trust the same people who lied about everything in the world to shove this steaming pile of feces past Congress and that, only after America was destroyed would the Court consider whether that destruction had been, in fact, un-Constitutional – even as the Constitution makes no mention of any of this …

Hey, when you’re writing an absolutely insane and irrational opinion, might as well go full retard on it. Benedict Roberts is the full retard.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

I think the question was whether unelected beaurocrats have the authority to make things up as they go along, including making tax law.

Congress does give broad powers to regulators when it passes laws because it doesn’t want to have to write all of the rules, regs, and minutiae. Tax law is a different matter considering the Constitution requires that all revenue raising bills originate in the House. Since the Obamacare Tax (ridiculous) is not allegedly punitive in nature (ridiculous), it must, therefore, be seen as a revenue-raiser for the use and service of the government. DHHS lacks taxing authority. So, if it were to attempt to increase the Obamacare Tax, I think people would have a legitimate cause of action against the Secretary.

Furthermore, I do not think that the Court would give an unelected apparatchik that which it has refused to give the elected officials closest to the people, the House, and that is unlimited taxing power and/or the power to destroy through taxation.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

The tax code is something like 70,000 pages long filled with carve-outs, exemptions, deductions, etc. So, the exemptions granted by Congress (union Cadillac tax exemption until 2019) and HHS will almost certainly be upheld.
Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

That’s the thing, though. The waivers were not granted by Congress, they were granted by one single lady at HHS. Yes you are that right some exemptions were actually part of the bill, but the 1,200 waivers granted to companies, municipalities, and even whole states were not in the bill. J.E. Dyer pointed out that we are really in unfamiliar territory here, because the bill was not written as a tax bill, but it’s only Constitutional as a tax bill. Chaos ensues.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 3:23 PM


Can ObamaCare survive success?

What success? You mean Roberts’s Folly?

That’s “success”?

Jaibones on June 30, 2012 at 3:25 PM

DHHS lacks taxing authority. So, if it were to attempt to increase the Obamacare Tax, I think people would have a legitimate cause of action against the Secretary.

Furthermore, I do not think that the Court would give an unelected apparatchik that which it has refused to give the elected officials closest to the people, the House, and that is unlimited taxing power and/or the power to destroy through taxation.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Yes. HHS also can’t exempt taxes to whole states and companies and not to others. Mcdonald’s was exempted from requirements of the mandate by HHS, but my company was not. Main is exempt from the financial burdens of the mandate but Texas is not. Those exemptions were not in the bill, but simply came out of the head of a single lady in D.C. There is no representation in that taxation scheme, because the House of Representatives isn’t raising taxes, HHS is; and that’s under the Executive Branch.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

So let me see if I understand. Because the law (Obamacare) gave the Secretary of HHS the ability to grant waivers, the change of designation from mandate to tax doesn’t make any difference.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

So, let’s all claim to be Muslim, Mennonite or Amich then. Of course, the former is very risky, but the two latter ones s/b ok.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

But Sibelius, or the future HHS secretary has unlimited powers on how to distribute the funs – she has already wasted billions of dollars in handout to joints which supported the ObamaTax; plus her panels decide who gets treated for what, who lives, who dies, etc.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:35 PM

He has done a lot of positive things for the middle class.

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 1:45 PM

(Looks at stopwatch)

Still waiting for you to name lots of them, but obviously you can’t come up with even one.

Sucks to type faster than your two brain cells can fire, isn’t it?

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 3:38 PM

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:19 PM

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

Thanks, what do we owe you?

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:40 PM

For the libs reading this thread, Heeeere’s FLOTUS!

Key West Reader on June 30, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Contrary to Uppereastside’s inanities, Obama will tax the middle class, small businesses and familied, to the hilt.

Obama hates the middle class and the poor, because this is the most regressive tax, ever, and the biggest in int’l history.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

The tax code is something like 70,000 pages long filled with carve-outs, exemptions, deductions, etc…
Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

Yes. But again, the tax code, and each “tweak” (ie exemption) was passed by Congress. From the Geoge Washington University website:

Some tax protestors like to argue that we can only be taxed by law, not by some mere “code” like the Internal Revenue Code. These protestors are often under the mistaken impression that the Internal Revenue Code was written by the IRS…There have been many amendments since then, but each amendment was passed by Congress. The current Internal Revenue Code is the result of the original law plus all the amendments over time. But the Code is still made up of laws passed by the Congress. It was not written by the IRS.

HHS cannot claim that it’s helping implement ObamaTax when it’s carving out people and entities who don’t have to abide by this new tax increase, independent of Congress. This goes to the heart of no taxation without representation.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I think Scientologists are included as well. That one might be easier to pull off without buying a complete new wardrobe. Oh, and driving a horse and buggy everywhere.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Their MO is to drop and abandon, leaving no facts, just their stench and the flies around it. May the worms eat them, as we starve them, soon.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:43 PM

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Thanks for the tip, being associated with that nitwit in the news now notwithstanding.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:44 PM

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I think Scientologists are included as well. That one might be easier to pull off without buying a complete new wardrobe. Oh, and driving a horse and buggy everywhere.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

I think I got that wrong. It might be Christian Scientists. I have no idea what they wear.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Main is exempt…

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 3:28 PM

s/b Maine.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

I think I got that wrong. It might be Christian Scientists. I have no idea what they wear.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 3:46 PM

Heck, let’s form our own religion, with or without clothes, so long as we’re able to claim exempt status.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 3:42 PM

I know that the exemptions that Sebelius granted were not in the legislation. The Stupid Party Republicans in Congress did nothing about it at the time or later. They should have challenged it.

As for the “tax,” however, there is a formula in the Act to determine the amount so she can’t unilaterally change it.

If you read my earlier post on the precedents set, you will notice that I challenge libertarians and conservatives to start fighting in the courts like Progs have for the last century.

Let’s get cracking…and start challenging some of the laws that are the books while we have the Roberts’ Court and see if we can’t turn tiny fissures into cracks and cracks into chasms.

When the Supreme Court ruled that Connecticut’s ban on contraception was constitutional in Tileston v Ullman, 318 US 44 (1943), did Progressives accept the decision and sit around meekly for the next 100 years? No. They plotted and planned. In 1961, they returned to the Supreme Court, once again, challenging the Connecticut ban on contraception. Did the Court simply say: “Hey, ever heard of stare decisis, dummies? Get the hell out of here”? No. The Court, in Poe v Ullman, 367 US 497, ruled that the challenge to the law barring the possession of birth control was not ripe for constitutional challenge because of lack of enforcement. The Justices were practically begging the petitioners to go back to Connecticut and force the state to enforce it by charging someone so that the matter would come before the Court again, which is exactly what happened four years later in Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 47, when the Court found the heretofore unrecognised constitutional right of privacy.

When the Supreme Court ruled that bans on sodomy were constitutional in Bowers v Hardwick, 478 U.S. 186 (1986), did Progressives accept the decision and sit around meekly for the next 100 years? No. They plotted and planned. Seventeen years later, Justice Kennedy authored the landmark decision, Lawrence v Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), overturning Bowers and ruling that bans on sodomy across the country were unconstitutional.

When a people have voted against SSM or a moment of silence in the classroom or anything else, has that ever stopped the Progressives? No. Then, why the hell do we stop? We must fight Progressives with the same intensity that we have fought Obamacare and we must do it every day for the rest of our lives. In so many ways, Obama is irrelevant. He is just a haemorrhoid on the ass that is Progressivism.

So, “born to raise hell, be a good soldier and die where you fell.”

So, let’s challenge the exemptions! Let’s get the Court to define the extent of DHHS’ powers under Obamacare…and other agencies, as well, and keep fighting even nibbling at the edges under the radar, if need be.

Do you know how many Progs believe that the Court ruled that the Federal government can force you to purchase health insurance?

They don’t realise that they lost all of the arguments that they have been making for the last 3 years. I’ve been getting tonnes of emails and replies on posts telling me how wrong I was and stupid I am because Roberts joined with the Libs and ruled that the govt can force people to purchase a product. They are perpetually clueless. We need to take advantage of that!

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

In 1982, in United States v Lee, the Court attempted to make it unconstitutional to exempt people from paying social security taxes based on religious objections in a 9-0 decision, but Congress later passed laws and Clinton signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which reverted the law back to pre-Lee. If the Courts deem a right is not covered under the Constitution, the Congress can nevertheless enact the right by “legislative grace.”

So, Congress can exempt Muslims, Mennonites, the Amish, etc., from being compelled to purchase health insurance. I agree that it would seem to conflict with the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection clause, but the law since Smith v EEOC was overturned is on the side of religious freedom and conscience, which bodes ill for the contraception mandate.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:10 PM

It follows income tax code and social security contributions. You aren’t allowed to draw on any benefits to qualify for he exemption and lots of Anabaptists sects don’t qualify. Muslims aren’t exempt. There is one small sect that might qualify on grounds of conscience but they don’t pass a number of other criteria.

lexhamfox on June 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

So, let’s all claim to be Muslim, Mennonite or Amich then. Of course, the former is very risky, but the two latter ones s/b ok.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:32 PM

I told that to so Progs a few years ago and it really pizzed them off.

“You’re an atheist! You can’t do that!”

We need to start our own religion. That reminds me, a judge in London ruled that belief in global warning was a religion a few years ago!

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Heck, let’s form our own religion, with or without clothes, so long as we’re able to claim exempt status.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM

How about we all get together and help get Romney and 4 or 5 more R’ Senators elected and insist that they “kill the damned bill”.

VegasRick on June 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

So, let’s challenge the exemptions! Let’s get the Court to define the extent of DHHS’ powers under Obamacare…and other agencies, as well, and keep fighting even nibbling at the edges under the radar, if need be.
Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I’m right there with you. I’ve already called my state’s A.G., and they are interested and looking into the waivers/exemptions. But J.E. Dyer also suggested class action suits against HHS. But since all that will take time, the GOP needs to point this out as a possibility of tax evasion by McDonald’s et al, in order to gain as much institutional support for repeal as possible.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Today a Rice University professor said the states should take the money for Medicade expansion because “it’s free money”.He’s teaching the young.

docflash on June 30, 2012 at 4:07 PM

How about we all get together and help get Romney and 4 or 5 more R’ Senators elected and insist that they “kill the damned bill”.

VegasRick on June 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

I don’t know about the other people who have been joking about all this but I have gone way past the point of wanting to take any of it too seriously. Either all of the arguments in this post are true, and Obama’s success is going to blow up in his face because he can’t enforce it, or he’ll be gone in November and we can set about repealing it. I prefer the latter.

As Resist We Much says: Obama is irrelevant. He is just a haemorrhoid on the ass that is Progressivism.

Night Owl on June 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Re: Exemptions

Let’s keep in mind that when exemptions were made in the past, the government’s position was that the penalty was a penalty and not a tax. Now, we have a ruling that it is a tax. If she grants new waivers, other than under the conscience exemption, then we now have grounds to challenge under the Equal Protection clause and, most likely, on bases.

We should, at least, try.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Yu aren’t allowed to draw on any benefits to qualify for he exemption and lots of Anabaptists sects don’t qualify.

lexhamfox on June 30, 2012 at 3:59 PM

I believe that I said that. If not, I meant to do so. It has been that way since the 1950s.

Muslims aren’t exempt. There is one small sect that might qualify on grounds of conscience but they don’t pass a number of other criteria.

The government will decide who is exempt after conscience challenges are made. If you read my post as singling out Muslims, that was not my intent although there are examples where government programmes have been tailored to meet the religious objections of Muslims. In Minnesota, the government set up a programme to help Muslims finance homes in some manner because standard mortgages are against their religious tenets due to the charging of interest.

The religious exemption provision of Obamacare is so far off of my radar that I’d actually forgotten about it until I read it here today.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:18 PM

The Supreme Court left intact most of the health care law’s provisions, excepting only one section that would have allowed the Secretary of HHS to withdraw “existing Medicaid funding” from states that fail to comply with the law’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility.

So instead, they’ll simply say if you don’t set up these exchanges and accept the medicaid expansion, we’ll withhold highway funds, or something.

None of this will affect me because Obama said that if I don”t want to change my medical coverage, I won’t have to. And I will get to keep my doctor too!!!!! Right???
dirtseller on June 30, 2012 at 1:07 PM
You are correct. Nice to see some right wing ideologues starting to read what’s in the bill.

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM | Delete | Delete and Ban

When are you going to read it, because none of that is actually in the bill.

HHS cannot claim that it’s helping implement ObamaTax when it’s carving out people and entities who don’t have to abide by this new tax increase, independent of Congress. This goes to the heart of no taxation without representation.

Weight of Glory

They can’t? And what are we going to do to stop them, take it to the supreme court, lol?

xblade on June 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM

I don’t think I could stand a court fight about the legality of the waivers go all the way to SCOTUS to end the same way as the EPA. Can’t we please just elect people who will get rid of it?

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM

How come Allahpundit, lawyer extraordinaire, hasn’t chimed in to help us out with these weighty questions?

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:24 PM

So let me see if I understand. Because the law (Obamacare) gave the Secretary of HHS the ability to grant waivers, the change of designation from mandate to tax doesn’t make any difference.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 3:29 PM

The Act never gave Sebellius the ability to grant waivers and the tax designation makes a great difference.

I thought that you guys were talking about something entirely different. Sorry.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

The law providing for these exemptions and waivers having already been declared constitutional, on what basis would one appeal them, even under the Equal Protection clause?

And– this goes to the heart of Roberts did=–is his declaration of the penalty to be a tax a judicial transmogrification that occurred at the moment of his pronouncement, or judicial recognition that the penalty has always been a tax, since the moment the bill was passed?

I ask because, if the latter, and the bill is now upheld as constitutional, then the tax and the waivers and exemptions therefrom have always been constitutional, from the moment the bill was passed. No?

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:26 PM

So instead, they’ll simply say if you don’t set up these exchanges and accept the medicaid expansion, we’ll withhold highway funds, or something.

They can’t.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM

They can’t? And what are we going to do to stop them, take it to the supreme court, lol?

xblade on June 30, 2012 at 4:22 PM

One step at a time. Once we make the case and establish that they are taxing without representation, then further steps can be taken. But we must exhaust all possibilities.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:27 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:10 PM

Ok, let’s say the best case scenario is that xtra congressional waivers are disallowed.

Won’t they just grant waivers through the congress? Isn’t tax code the province of cronyism right now. I guess it’s a bit of a hassle to go through the house but isn’t it status quo right now? If I’ve got the $$ and connections won’t I still get the waiver, just like I got exceptions and write offs in the tax code before?

BoxHead1 on June 30, 2012 at 4:29 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM

I don’t know about anyone else but I’m talking about the unions and various contributers supporters of Obama and his vision who have been given a pass on meeting the employer requirements for Obamacare. I know I was less than clear but I have a problem with how much power SCOTUS has given to unelected cabinet appoints in the form of the EPA.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

We need to start our own religion. That reminds me, a judge in London ruled that belief in global warning was a religion a few years ago!

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Dear, you are a genius! I like the new one “Global Warning”, yeahhhhhh…I don’t even care if we have to dress at all :)

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Hopefully we won’t have to. If the GOP can start calling McDonald’s et al “tax evaders” and begin to threaten the possibility that they’ll soon owe millions in back taxes, then maybe large institutional players, who thought they were protected by HHS, will align with the GOP to repeal it. If we can get a few GOP states to say they won’t enforce ObamaTax until every state has to enforce it, then maybe enough budgetary chaos can be created to make ObamaTax completely unworkable and ripe for repeal. We Just need 51 in the Senate. That would be the best case.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:25 PM

Oh, and if Sebellius didn’t give waivers to the unions (and others I can’t remember but I thought McDonalds) than who did and can they still?

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:33 PM

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

Ah hah!! Thank you, I thought McDonalds was part of this group. I have zero problem with calling out anyone taking advantage of any loophole provided by The Won. The louder the better.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:35 PM

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:26 PM

If the penalty had continued to be a penalty, then DHHS could set the figure at whatever it wanted, but now that it is a tax, I would think that one could argue that a hike would, in effect, be rewriting tax law. Thus, it would require new legislation originating in the House. Further, granting exemptions could be argued as changes. When Congress grants a tax exemption for small businesses or a deduction for hiring new workers, it has to pass a new law.

If DHHS can “rewrite tax laws” through grant of exemption unauthorised under the Act, are we not being treated unequally? I believe that the argument can be, at minimum, made.

I’m with Cindy though. Let’s get these Progs outta there. As long as they infest the halls of government, like a cancer, they will grow.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 3:55 PM

If you’re still around, I did finally see your reply to my QOTD comment. They say that puns and wordplay are the lowest form of humor (I deny that base characterization), but you have made it eine Kuntsgattung!

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Resist, please devise a 5 or so steps process by which we can propagate not participating. Yes, I know about the Randian one already. Thanks.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Oh, and if Sebellius didn’t give waivers to the unions (and others I can’t remember but I thought McDonalds) than who did and can they still?

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:33 P

She DID grant waivers. That is NOT what I said. I SAID that Obamacare’s language did not give her that authority. She took it. Be angry with The Stupid Party the Republicans in Congress, who said and did nothing.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

I’m with Cindy though. Let’s get these Progs outta there. As long as they infest the halls of government, like a cancer, they will grow.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:36 PM

No argument there. And make all of these questions moot in November.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:38 PM

but you have made it eine Kuntsgattung!

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:37 PM

My good e-friend, and you made my day!

I’m so glad you did see. I tried to connect with you about it yesterday…but things move so fast these day. It’s what makes life still worth rejoicing in, if only for such fleeting moments.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Dear, you are a genius! I like the new one “Global Warning”, yeahhhhhh…I don’t even care if we have to dress at all :)

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

That must have been a Freudian slip. It was not intended!!! LOL!

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

No, our religious order should be the Global Warming Is Bu!! Sh!t Church of the Unrepentant.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM

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