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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but you have made it eine Kuntsgattung!

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

Kunstgattung :)

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:41 PM

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

Yep, which is why I alluded to the fact that the tax code is 70,000 pages long. The issue, however, was whether Sebellius could do it.

:-)

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

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

Did you see the exact spelling, good lady?

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

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

There still might be some debate on who the “progs” (on the R side) are but those we can’t get rid of should be sufficiently frightened into submission. Those who can’t learn must be taught, those who cannot be taught, must be gone.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:43 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

Over 1,200 waivers were given out by HHS, waiving the onerous financial obligations of the mandate (now Tax). And those waivers saved McDonald’s $750,000 in 2011, and will save them $1.2 million this year. If the waivers are illegal, then McDonalds will have to pay back taxes or drop their low wage employees health plans. Those employees will now have to pay the “tax” to the insurance company or the Fed Government. Seems to me we could get McDonald’s lobbying support to repeal the whole thing if they fear that possibility.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:44 PM

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

LOL! I hadn’t and it is far more public friendly than my little rant.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:44 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…

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

But that really is my question: did the Roberts decision turn the penalty into a tax NOW (or 2 days ago), or in finding ACA constitutional, was he not arguing that, whatever Congress called it, it always WAS a tax, hence the constitutionality of it? Hikes and future events, I see your point, but the waivers and exemptions that have been issued were done under a law that has been held constitutional, ergo, aren’t the waivers constitutional.

Another way of asking: I know that WE are saying “Justice Roberts re-wrote the law, changing a penalty into a tax,” but that is not how Roberts would look at it or argue it. He “found” the penalty to be a tax, he didn’t “make” it one– he would say. Obviously, Thomas, Alito, Scalia, and Kennedy said otherwise.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:44 PM

My fingers are crossed but I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason the Dems are so quiet (relatively) is that they are finding their way around what little good was in the ruling.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 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

Agree, highway funding would be too obvious. He absolutely will do it with emergency funding though, and already is with Texas and other states he doesn’t like.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Oh, even the “good ones” should be reminded whom they work for.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:47 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.

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

Exactly. Which is why I think the administration is still desperately trying to call this a penalty and not a tax. I think they know that “tax” really means something different than “penalty” and that the bill is not sufficient when viewed as a tax.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:49 PM

Yep, which is why I alluded to the fact that the tax code is 70,000 pages long. The issue, however, was whether Sebellius could do it.

:-)

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

But then it’s only a small victory if she can’t, right?

BTW the thinnest of silver linings in this decision has been getting to learn a bit about tax/con law. Thanks go to you and the other lawyers here for some of that.

BoxHead1 on June 30, 2012 at 4:49 PM

but I have a sneaking suspicion that the reason the Dems are so quiet (relatively) is that they are finding their way around what little good was in the ruling.

Cindy Munford on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

So true, Mrs. Munford. So very true.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Kunstgattung :)

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Danke!

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:51 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

I am part of a Christian health care sharing ministry, and they are exempt from Obamacrap. We pool our monies together (20,000+ members with my org.) and share expenses. Here is link if you wanted more info.

hillsoftx on June 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

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

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

Teh heh, but it’s good :)

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 4:52 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

Are we going to have a Divinity School flunkie and someone like this* as our leaders as the Gaian Cultists do?

*As you’re reading it, keep in mind that this is the guy, who was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Fat Al Bore and was the Chairman of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is the body that makes all of the hysterical findings, conclusions, and proclamations that lead to countries like the UK deciding that it wants to have less emissions in 2020 than it did in 1520. To ensure that it meets its target, the “really, really smart people” have spent hundreds of billions of pounds insuring that windmills will be the main source of energy even though they only provide 2% of the country’s needs!!!

#winning!

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Cindy et all, Sibelius/Obama not only waved McDonalds, Maine, unions, Muslims but also a whole bunch of companies which are health care related, all sorts, if they propagated and supported the ObamaTax. There are millions of people who are exempt.

We need to find a way to be so too.

Resist, pro bono?

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Exactly. Which is why I think the administration is still desperately trying to call this a penalty and not a tax. I think they know that “tax” really means something different than “penalty” and that the bill is not sufficient when viewed as a tax.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 4:49 PM

On the right, so far, only Reince Priebus knows how to argue against ObamaTax. It’s frightening how poor the right is in communicating all this.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

hillsoftx on June 30, 2012 at 4:51 PM

Thank you. I saved the link.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 5:14 PM

On the right, so far, only Reince Priebus knows how to argue against ObamaTax. It’s frightening how poor the right is in communicating all this.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 5:10 PM

True. But that’s what we’re here for. We’ll push them!

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 5:19 PM

F* Roberts.

The American people shouldn’t have to rely on fate, cosmic interference, economic reality, alien invasion, or whatnots for a montrously bad bill to die, with the country going down with it.

CJ can not tell if it is constitutional, then he/she is way over his/her head.

Sir Napsalot on June 30, 2012 at 5:20 PM

We need to find a way to be so too.

Resist, pro bono?

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 5:08 PM

I believe the HHS Secretary stopped granting waivers in January and no longer can do so. Have to get our waivers tax exemptions or tax forgiveness some other way.

I do like the idea of shaming the waiver recipients (MacDonalds, the unions, et. al.) as tax evaders… although that actually qualifies you to be Secretary of the Treasury.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 5:21 PM

although that actually qualifies you to be Secretary of the Treasury.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 5:21 PM

heh.

Weight of Glory on June 30, 2012 at 5:23 PM

STOP THE OBAMA TAX HIKE!

The Obamacare Tax must be repealed!

Period.

All the rest is fudging.

The GOP has enough fudge to last 200 years.

Time they got some nuts.

And stop the O-TAX!

profitsbeard on June 30, 2012 at 5:24 PM

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Theoretically, “penalty is a tax” should go back to when the law was enacted, but because this case was one of first impression and Roberts’ reasoning for finding it is a tax (in contravention of City of New York v Feiring, in my opinion), I believe the safer and firmer ground would be to use the date of the ruling as the demarcation line with regard to waivers.

Agree, highway funding would be too obvious. He absolutely will do it with emergency funding though, and already is with Texas and other states he doesn’t like.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

He was going to do that regardless of the ruling. OTOH, Roberts actually cited one of my favourite clubs over which I hit Prog heads, South Dakota v Dole, and then gave us some express guidance on how to interpret how far the government can go. Inducement through goodies with “reasonable conditions”? OK (in Dole, it was 5% of the state’s highway money). Coercion through refusal to pay money to which the state was entitled? No. Progs are under the mistaken belief that the Feds can tell the states what the speed limits must be, including on the Federal highway system, the BAC limit, the driving age, the drinking age, etc. They are always stunned when they learn that the Feds don’t have plenary police powers like the states nor can they bully the states into submission.

As disappointed as I am in Roberts, especially knowing that he CREATED this Obamatax and SAVED Obamacare after it appears that Ginsburg’s concurrence was the dissent in a 5-4 decision, and perturbed that the entire law was not overturned or the mandate thrown out, in the least, I have to say that, in many ways, the Medicaid ruling was actually bigger than the IM ruling. This is certainly true when you consider the fact that most people already have insurance so we aren’t going to be paying the tax although the precedent is awful.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 5:24 PM

we all know that the left has a certain, well, thuggish nature to it. And the thrills and chills, hugs and tears of the socialists and their press corpse shows that well.

as with any two bit regime what the boss wants gets done…and the apparatchik applauds.

this is a lot more that a tax. It is the nationalization of our heathcare. barry is perfect willing for our h/c to collapse so that his successor can put single payer in place.

or, in the words of all leftists from fdr to bho…make me do it

r keller on June 30, 2012 at 5:40 PM

In Obamastan you dont have to prove to the govt that you’re a citizen but you have to prove you have insurance.

Awesome.

HumpBot Salvation on June 30, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I’ve said this all week. The Medicare ruling is far more damaging to Obamacare than the mandate. Half of the alleged 30 million uninsured Obamacare covers were just poor people throw onto Medicaid. Obama needs to come up with the money for them now.

Adios, subsidies for the middle class!

Chuck Schick on June 30, 2012 at 5:43 PM

I don’t get much of this discussion. Four Justices found the mandate not unconstitutional under Commerce Clause reasoning; one Justice found the mandate not unconstitutional because although it was termed a “penalty,” it could have been enacted under the taxing power. Thus, five Justices voted that the mandate was not unconstitutional. I fail to see there where the mandate has become a tax. (And don’t paint me as some sort of liberal – I’ve voted for every Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon and sit on the board of my local pro life organization. I just think Obama is going to get away with arguing that “he thinks” Roberts was wrong, but nevertheless, he’s happy with the result: Law is upheld.)

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 5:44 PM

I’ve said this all week. The Medicare ruling is far more damaging to Obamacare than the mandate. Half of the alleged 30 million uninsured Obamacare covers were just poor people throw onto Medicaid. Obama needs to come up with the money for them

Obama needs no such thing because he will be long gone from the White House whenever that provision becomes apparent to 80% of the electorate. He’s gone from office no later than January 2017 and none of this is going to resonate with the public until long after that.

Conservatives are being way too optimistic about how this ruling is going “help us.” It’s terrible. It’s awful. We’ll likely never be rid of Obamacare; and Roberts is outed as just another squishy Republican nominee to the Court.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 5:48 PM

die größte Steuererhöhung in der Geschichte

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

When the rights of the individual trump the rights of society as a whole, then our nation is truly doomed. We are so concerned in this day and age about whether our individual rights are imposed upon that we forget that we are a nation. When those who govern can make laws that are not applicable to them, when our courts decide that individual rights are more important than the nation that created those rights, then our society will join others on the ash heap of history.
The Obamacare decision mandates free health care without a thought as to what harm it will inflict on our country. Of course we would like it if everyone had free health care, affordable housing and as much money as they desire. This, however, is not the world in which we live.
Freedom and laws come with a price. A society cannot survive unless everyone, regardless of their means, contributes. When you make everything in life free, it not only demeans it’s value but also places an unfair burden on those who will end up paying for the “free” services that are provided. No nation can survive where the contributing members are outnumbered by those who do not contribute.

bandutski on June 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

la plus forte augmentation d’impôt dans l’histoire

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

עלייה במס הגדולה ביותר בהיסטוריה

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:51 PM

The only takeaway from this for conservatives, IMhO, is: Don’t expect a Republican President to nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court and DO NOT expect the Supreme Court to ever bail us out of a tough situation. Why we haven’t learned those lessons yet is part of the reason we’re losing this battle for the American way of life.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 5:51 PM

il maggior incremento fiscale della storia

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:51 PM

史上最大の増税

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:52 PM

крупнейший повышение налогов в истории
krupnyeĭshiĭ povyshenie nalogov v istorii

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM

el mayor aumento de impuestos en la historia

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:53 PM

在歷史上規模最大的加稅

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:54 PM

أكبر زيادة ضريبية في التاريخ

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:54 PM

de grootste belastingverhoging in de geschiedenis

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:56 PM

maxima tributum augmentum in historia

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

That should cover it.

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

The only takeaway from this for conservatives, IMhO, is: Don’t expect a Republican President to nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court and DO NOT expect the Supreme Court to ever bail us out of a tough situation. Why we haven’t learned those lessons yet is part of the reason we’re losing this battle for the American way of life.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 5:51 PM

“Former President” Algore would disagree. In his case, 2 Activist Democrat SCOTUS Justices sided with the 5 Activist Republican Justices to deny him the White House. So it does work both ways on occasion.

I still get nightmares imagining Gore as President on the morning of 9/11.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I see your point, but the waivers and exemptions that have been issued were done under a law that has been held constitutional, ergo, aren’t the waivers constitutional.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 4:46 PM

Not necessarily. The issue of the legality of the waivers and exemptions was not before the Supreme Court, so that issue was neither briefed nor decided. The Court only decides those issues that are before it.

If companies and states that were not granted waivers want to challenge the constitutionality of the waivers (on Equal Protection or other grounds), they can file more lawsuits and make those arguments in federal court.

AZCoyote on June 30, 2012 at 6:00 PM

That should cover it.

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:57 PM

How about a sentence in Hawaiian, in honor of our Ono President?

BTW, the ancient Hawaiians also ate dogs.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Yep, which is why I alluded to the fact that the tax code is 70,000 pages long. The issue, however, was whether Sebellius could do it.

:-)

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 4:42 PM

Field Marshal Sebelius has enough power under Obamacare to make a dictator of any African country envious.

slickwillie2001 on June 30, 2012 at 6:01 PM

…one of the best threads I’ve gone through…in a long time!

KOOLAID2 on June 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

“Former President” Algore would disagree. In his case, 2 Activist Democrat SCOTUS Justices sided with the 5 Activist Republican Justices to deny him the White House. So it does work both ways on occasion.

I still get nightmares imagining Gore as President on the morning of 9/11.

Yeah, well, be careful what we wish for. George W. gave us the invasion of Iraq, which ultimately led to the Dems taking over both houses of Congress and White House with a filibuster-proof edge in the Senate, which gave us Obamacare, and Roberts the “conservative Justice.”

Six of the nine Justices on the SC were appointed by Republican presidents: Do you think we’d have five votes to overturn Roe v. Wade if it came up again today? I don’t. I think we’d have 6 or 7 votes to reaffirm it. And that’s a much more tenuous ruling on Constitutional grounds than is Obamacare.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 6:09 PM

I still get nightmares imagining Gore as President on the morning of 9/11.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 5:59 PM

Or Kerry, 4 years later…there are some blessings, in spite of all the idiocies from the right.

…one of the best threads I’ve gone through…in a long time!

KOOLAID2 on June 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Thank you to all the legal and other good minds. Learned much and enjoyed too.

Still, no joining of groups will do.

This beast must be defeated.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 6:10 PM

die größte Steuererhöhung in der Geschichte

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 5:50 PM

“Aber, es ist fuer die Kinder!”

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 5:24 PM
AZCoyote on June 30, 2012 at 6:00 PM

Thanks, both of you. Let’s just make this all moot in November.

de rigueur on June 30, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Does this bill make HHS a permanent entity now?

Mr. Arrogant on June 30, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on June 30, 2012 at 6:16 PM

True. Lol!

Bmore on June 30, 2012 at 6:24 PM

…one of the best threads I’ve gone through…in a long time!
KOOLAID2 on June 30, 2012 at 6:02 PM

Yes!

HellCat on June 30, 2012 at 6:24 PM

George W. gave us the invasion of Iraq

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 6:09 PM

No, Congress did that.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Congress authorized it, by do you honestly believe that voters lay the decision to make that move on Congress? You are reporting a conservative talking point that 80% of the voters in this country don’t even understand. I’m tiring of “whistling past graveyards.” In the voting booth reality is what voters believe reality is; not what reality truly is. When conservatives finally understand that maybe we’ll persuade more voters that they are voting themselves doom. I doubt either one ever happens, though.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

An example: I live in a moderately republican section of Ohio. My wife and I are strong Republicans (gave money to Rick Santorum and will start giving to Mitt Romney now) and leaders of our pro life group at our parish. My wife talked with two friends (who both, we believe, are conservative voters) late in the day the Obamacare decision came down and neither of them even knew anything about it. They didn’t know there was a decision coming from the SC; they hadn’t heard or read anything about what that decision was; and they didn’t know anything about what the Obamacare law meant for them, their children, or their future. We cannot continue to live in a cocoon!

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 6:53 PM

This is certainly true when you consider the fact that most people already have insurance so we aren’t going to be paying the tax although the precedent is awful.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 5:24 PM

It’s a big deal because the tax is intended to cause the insurance death spiral. Employers have tons of motivation to drop employee healthcare programs now. At least 30% are expected to do so when Obamacare kicks in.

Obamacare doesn’t allow anyone to buy inexpensive catastrophic care or high deductible policies– we all have to have the same expensive policies that cover everything Obama says they have to cover. So, substantial portions of those employees are going to pay the tax instead of buying insurance cause if they get really sick they have guaranteed issue.

That’s going to drive up premiums for those of us who keep coverage, forcing more people to go without insurance because they can’t afford the expensive form that Obama is forcing everyone to purchase.

Lower income people will pay the tax. Companies that require highly skilled workers will do their best to keep their employee plans; they will be attacked as greedy and corrupt because it won’t be “fair” that some companies have employee plans and other people have to pay for their own. It will then be necessary to destroy the remaining employee plans in the name of fairness– Obama already did some of this by labeling some healthcare plans as “cadillac plans” and impose a 26% excise tax on them. (Providing those plans used to be called “being a responsible employer”.)

By itself, it’s not the mandate, not the Obamacare tax. The problem is that Obamacare is deliberately designed to force premiums up and force the insurance death spiral. Then they intend to force us into single payer government plans.

obladioblada on June 30, 2012 at 6:56 PM

In other words, Roberts said to America,

My name’s Bennett and I ain’t in it. Here’s the book. Here’s the phone. See ya later. You’re on your own.

That’s fine, Mr. Chief Justice. As I wrote yesterday, our weapons will be our ballots. November 6th will be OUR time. See ya at the polls.

kingsjester on June 30, 2012 at 7:05 PM

Indiana has also refused to go along.

Terrye on June 30, 2012 at 7:07 PM

George W. gave us the invasion of Iraq

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 6:09 PM

Oh come on. For eight years we were flying no fly zones over Iraq…. we bombed the place in 1998 when Clinton was president. Saddam violated a dozen UN force resolutions and he broke the cease fire. Congress signed the resolution giving Bush the authority to go in there. It seems to me that there were a lot more people than Bush involved in all that. Saddam himself could have stopped the invasion as far as that is concerned.

Terrye on June 30, 2012 at 7:10 PM

I don’t get much of this discussion. Four Justices found the mandate not unconstitutional under Commerce Clause reasoning; one Justice found the mandate not unconstitutional because although it was termed a “penalty,” it could have been enacted under the taxing power. Thus, five Justices voted that the mandate was not unconstitutional. I fail to see there where the mandate has become a tax. (And don’t paint me as some sort of liberal – I’ve voted for every Republican presidential candidate since Richard Nixon and sit on the board of my local pro life organization. I just think Obama is going to get away with arguing that “he thinks” Roberts was wrong, but nevertheless, he’s happy with the result: Law is upheld.)

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 5:44 PM

The mandate is a tax, by the effect of the ruling, and 0bamessiah doesn’t really like it, because He wanted 0bamacare upheld on CC grounds – sorry, loser! (that was a reference to 0bamessiah, not you! :) )

I pointed out the following in another thread: 0bamaCare won 5-4 as a tax, or lost 4-5 as a CC exercise. I then asked, “Which route does the Left prefer, in your opinion, and do you believe the route they prefer will make them happy in the end?”

:)

Bizarro No. 1 on June 30, 2012 at 7:10 PM

By itself, it’s not the mandate, not the Obamacare tax. The problem is that Obamacare is deliberately designed to force premiums up and force the insurance death spiral. Then they intend to force us into single payer government plans.

The beauty of this for the dems is that it doesn’t matter whether we all get on single payer sooner or later – the government already controls every single aspect of your health care insurance. What pills you can take (and not take); what doctors you can see (and not see); what surgeries you can get (and not get); what illnesses are “treatable” and “not treatable.” It’s all up to the HHS secretary now. Death panels? That’s the least of it.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Has it occured to anyone else that the same people who brought us the death tax have now brought us the life tax?

Sheesh!

Doug Piranha on June 30, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Anybody else seen the t-shirts saying Healthcare is a BFT? Pretty funny.

txmomof6 on June 30, 2012 at 7:42 PM

The weather this weekend feels like the wrath of God.

MAC1000 on June 30, 2012 at 7:43 PM

This is not going to go the way the liberals think it is.

Wolfmoon on June 30, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Andrew McCarthy has an excellent piece on the concept of “the general welfare” and how it has been perverted over time to the point where it will bankrupt us. He also has some sound advice for our legislators and Mitt Romney should he take the reins as president. This is worth a read.
http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/304451/limiting-general-welfare-clause-andrew-c-mccarthy

onlineanalyst on June 30, 2012 at 8:03 PM

o/t

Wow!

FactCheck.Org: No Evidence Romney Shipped Jobs Overseas

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/06/30/FactCheck-no-evidence-Romney-shipped-jobs-overseas

Slapped down by FACTCHECK.ORG?!?!?

LMAO

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 8:10 PM

o/t

Wow!

FactCheck.Org: No Evidence Romney Shipped Jobs Overseas

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/06/30/FactCheck-no-evidence-Romney-shipped-jobs-overseas

Slapped down by FACTCHECK.ORG?!?!?

LMAO

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 8:10 PM

Someone alert resident ignoramus uppereastside.

tom daschle concerned on June 30, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Is Ed slowly moving toward nullification?

‘Bout time.

Dante on June 30, 2012 at 8:45 PM

Here’s what Roberts did for all intents and purposes in his rulings. He said the letter of the law is upheld but the reality is that many states will opt out of unfunded mandates now that they have carte blanch NOT to “enlist”.

I have maintained that if a favorable conservative Congress is elected that Obama has almost NO chance of getting it funded. There will be many, many more lawsuits over this with Obama trying to get various branches of government to demand implementation by fiat or EO.

They of course, should and will be ignored.This is BIG win for conservatives.

DevilsPrinciple on June 30, 2012 at 8:48 PM

“No branch of Government may compel any Citizen to participate in Commerce, nor may any Citizen be penalized or taxed for choosing not to participate in Commerce.”

That’s my humble submission for a new Constitutional Amendment.

http://teresainfortworth.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/proposed-a-new-amendment-to-the-constitution/

If you like it, pass it along….

TeresainFortWorth on June 30, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Bizarro No. 1 on June 30, 2012 at 7:10 PM

If the voting public at large understands your point that it’s a tax on the middle/lower class then I will relent. But I don’t think they will. All they will understand is that it’s legal and whatever it does, or doesn’t do, for them. If you think the general voting public is paying attention to what Justice Roberts says in some SC opinion, you are dead wrong, IMhO. The general voting public doesn’t even know that there is a Justice Roberts on the SC, and many of them couldn’t even name a single SC Justice. But time will tell, I suppose.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 10:25 PM

This is BIG win for conservatives

With all due respect, I’m tired of hearing this crap. Every conservative defeat is hailed as a “victory” of some sort or another. I heard it when we defeated Hillary-care and when the SC ruled on PP v. Casey in 1992. Bullcrap. The dems are playing hardball and longball and we’re playing patty-cake. There is no other way to put this. And John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy are on the wrong side. And I’m not even sure about Alito yet.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

With all due respect, I’m tired of hearing this crap.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

Then you would be able to explain why three states are already not going to implement PPACA until after the election. I’m sure others will follow suit. PPACA may be legal but that doesn’t mean it will be honored nor is it a requirement to honor it. The SCOTUS said as much. Thanks for your opinion.

DevilsPrinciple on June 30, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Thanks for your opinion

And thanks for yours. We’ll see who’s right. I hope it’s you. But I think it’s me.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 11:31 PM

jdp: I’m in complete agreement. Big loss for conservatives.

Roberts gutted the AZ immigration law.
Then he went on to stick it to hard working American citizens who will feel the brunt of Obamacare & all the taxes that come with it. Roberts basically rewrote Obamacare from mandate/penalty to mandate/tax. Talk about judicial activism. Now we’re stuck with a liberal court for the rest of our lifetimes.

Americans will, for the 1st time, pay a tax for not purchasing a service offered by a private company with 4,000 government goons (IRS) making sure that we comply.

I thought it humorous that some people on the net were asking about Roberts impeachment for rewriting legislation. Even if that could occur (which it won’t) Obama would simply put in another liberal, & republicans would go along with it, as they did with Kagan & Sotomayor.

At least us conservatives had a mostly solid uplift with the Wisconsin recall results (slightly dimmed with the state senate going liberal). That may be the last good thing for a long, long while. Orrin Hatch winning his primary challenge is further proof what a rocky road there is ahead.

Does anyone else think Romney is being quiet on this? Isn’t this his time to shine? Or is he giving up already like his predecessor, McCain.

Belle on June 30, 2012 at 11:45 PM

No, Congress did that.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Congress authorized it, by do you honestly believe that voters lay the decision to make that move on Congress? You are reporting a conservative talking point that 80% of the voters in this country don’t even understand.

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

Breathtakingly Ignorant.

Since when is my citing the 2002 Iraq Resolution “a conservative talking point”?

Especially since WMDs were only one of a dozen of reasons Congress cited before they signed off on it.

Our current (Democrat) “Secretary of State” signerd off on that bill as the Junior Senator from NY, and so did the now Senior Senator from MA, who you idiots ran for President in 2004 solely based on his nonexistent “war record” in a war that he and your Party then proceeded to condemn for decades.

Z-

Sorry, but the jdp628 model was much better.

Del Dolemonte on June 30, 2012 at 11:56 PM

jdp629 on June 30, 2012 at 10:32 PM

You’re right, except that Kennedy was on the right side, in more ways than one, on this case.

He is the unsung hero on ObamaTax.

Schadenfreude on June 30, 2012 at 11:57 PM

If the Affordable Health Care act is repealed then what would Republicans put in its place? Are conservatives comfortable with people being denied coverage for preexisting conditions or poor people being denied health care because of poverty?

Ric on July 1, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Ric on July 1, 2012 at 12:08 AM
The free market. Or do you have a problem with capitalism?

txmomof6 on July 1, 2012 at 12:34 AM

If the Affordable Health Care act is repealed then what would Republicans put in its place? Are conservatives comfortable with people being denied coverage for preexisting conditions or poor people being denied health care because of poverty?

Ric on July 1, 2012 at 12:08 AM

Nobody is denied health care because of poverty. Nobody. The only reason this damnable bill passed is that people equate health insurance, health care, and health, but these are three completely different things.

I have practiced medicine for 8 years, many of them in urban hospitals. I have never myself, nor have I ever seen anyone, ever denied any care due to inability to pay. NEVER.

Want to know why? Listen very closely: It is because we are a good people. Americans are good people, and we do not need to be forced into being good by some sanctimonious jerks who hate us and think they are better than us. Hospitals and health care workers have an altruistic profession that has voluntarily cared for people regardless of payment for quite sometime. I don’t even know a patient’s insurance and don’t even ask unless we have to call the company up for some reason. If an uninsured patient asks to have a bill forgiven, I always do and the hospital I work with does too, so long as they are truly in poverty.

Even if a patient completely ignores the bill and has plenty of money to pay it, they still don’t have to pay it. They can just ignore it and it effects their credit score. Well, if you can’t pay your bills, reducing for ability to take out even more loans is probably doing you a favor anyways.

Uninsured patients do, in fact, have a higher mortality rate, but it isn’t because they don’t have insurance. It’s because the the same habits that cause them to not have or buy insurance are the same ones that lead them to have an unhealthy lifestyle and to not seek medical care, even though it is pretty much free as I’ve mentioned above. As evidence, please note that health care disparities still exist in the systems where everyone is insured (i.e. VA, Medicare, the military). Given that, the claim that poor people will get better with insurance. Add this to the fact that we already have a massive program to insure people in poverty. It’s called Medicaid.

Obamacare is an entitlement program for the lower middle class who are too rich for Medicaid but can nevertheless afford health insurance if they really wanted to prioritize it. It’s a huge transfer of wealth to people who believe that they are entitled to the fruits of someone else’s labor even though they don’t really need it. But ObamaTheft sounds too obvious so it’s done under the rubric of healthcare.

xuyee on July 1, 2012 at 12:45 AM

That should read : Given that, the claim that poor people will get better with insurance, doesn’t make much sense

xuyee on July 1, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Hey, Ric, do you think health care is a right? I don’t think it is.
The republicans can, but won’t (I’ve lost faith) put in tort reform (would greatly reduce costs) & permit citizens to purchase insurance across state lines.
To do that they’d have to give up perks from lobbyists. Money talks.

Belle on July 1, 2012 at 12:47 AM

The free market wasn’t providing affordable healthcare to those with preexisting conditions. Hence the need for the AHCA. The free market also condoned child labor back in the 1800′s. So yes I do have a problem with unfettered and unregulated capitalism. Free market healthcare has resulted in the US having the highest cost per capita in the civilized world for healthcare. But despite our massive spending the US only ranks 37th in the world when it comes to healthcare quality and efficiency. The old healthcare model was a failure. And the AHCA while not perfect, is an improvement. It would be a bad idea to repeal unless something better would be put in its place.

Ric on July 1, 2012 at 1:03 AM

Yes Belle I do believe that health care is a right. In the Declaration of Independence Jefferson proclaim that humans have an inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. All of which are retarded by our current health care system. Also tort reform has done nothing in Texas, in fact healthcare costs have actually gone up.

xuyee I agree that poor people do have access to healthcare, my previous post should of said access to affordable healthcare insurance.

Ric on July 1, 2012 at 2:01 AM

This is certainly true when you consider the fact that most people already have insurance so we aren’t going to be paying the tax although the precedent is awful.

Resist We Much on June 30, 2012 at 5:24 PM

Yes. For now most Americans have insurance.

And many companies are already saying that it will be cheaper for them to drop any health benefits than carry them on. TGIF already said that implementation of the law will cost them at least 8% more per year and probably closer to 50% more than what the costs are today. By dropping health benefits they will pay penalties and still save against their current costs. I can’t imagine how investors in TGIF will refuse savings in hundreds of millions.

And prices for coverage will escalate rapidly as employees loose health benefits and insurance companies realize they can charge more to accept new policies. So that 8-50% spread that TGIF cited will move way higher than current numbers.

Now, let’s multiply this over thousands of companies.

Snowball effect, in rapid succession.

riddick on July 1, 2012 at 2:13 AM

Hey, Ric, do you think health care is a right?

Belle on July 1, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Of course it is! Any liberal also has a right to your money, your time and anything else of YOURS.

Why work when everything is a right and is served to you at any time you want?

riddick on July 1, 2012 at 2:18 AM

Ric you are a moron.

First the Declaration of Independence isn’t the constitution. And the word isn’t inalienable, it’s unalienable.

Second Jefferson made very clear throughout his life that our rights do not come from government but are endowed by our creator.

Third government can take away any right it gives you. Therefore rights that come from government are not unalienable, and an example would be health insurance.

Fourth healthcare when it involves medical assistance is a contractual arrangment not a right, and yes sometimes perhaps many times some people can afford better care. It’s not up to government to remedy this because when government attempts to provide a remedy they infringe on the rights of others.

What people choose to do with their rights as they live their lives is up to them. It isn’t the responsibility of government to provide rights to anyone as you yourself attempted to say they are unalienable.

I could go on but I doubt you have the brain power to understand.

bgibbs1000 on July 1, 2012 at 2:34 AM

Another possibility to consider that was written last April:

Repeal Oba­maCare? Not a Chance.

Rom­ney (D-​​Mass.) keeps say­ing he will repeal Oba­maCare, but I hope no one is naïve enough to believe him. His donors stand to make BILLIONS because of the bill. They wrote Oba­maCare, and now they’re fund­ing his cam­paign! Do you think health insur­ance com­pa­nies are going to allow him to repeal a bill that man­dates that all Amer­i­cans carry gold-​​plated insurance?

The Oba­maCare “repeal” will go down like this: House Repub­li­cans will pass a repeal bill. Sen­ate Democ­rats will block it. There will be lots of tense moments and spar­ring through the media as the White House and House straw men and –women wage a wink-​​and-​​a-​​nudge “bat­tle” with the Democ­rats. Rom­ney (D-​​Mass.) will con­cede defeat and blame the Democ­rats, who will claim vic­tory. The Repub­li­cans will save face with their base by fight­ing the “good fight,” as will the Democrats.

Next, Rom­ney (D-​​Mass.) will take charge of “fix­ing” it. Democ­rats will con­cede that it needs improve­ment. Cam­paign donors will draft “revi­sions” that will ben­e­fit the donors, and both par­ties will agree to those amend­ments. There will be some token resis­tance on cer­tain pro­vi­sions to keep Amer­ica fleeced into think­ing that we have a func­tion­ing Two-​​Party system.

DannoJyd on July 1, 2012 at 4:36 AM

Conservative anger growing over Obamacare decision, Byron York,
June 30, 2012

My sense is that conservatives are getting angrier, not calmer, about Roberts opinion. Shocked/confused on Thursday. Angry of Friday. Really angry on Saturday. Unhappiness trending up, not down.

petefrt on July 1, 2012 at 6:29 AM

Nice to see some right wing ideologues starting to read what’s in the bill.

Uppereastside on June 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM

HA! 2 days ago you didn’t even realize that the bill had already been passed.

Flora Duh on July 1, 2012 at 8:09 AM

Wow, Danno, interesting link.
I’ve often questioned what Romney might really do or not do.
Look at whom he hired to lead his transition team: Mike Leavitt, rino (like Romney): his firm, Leavitt Partners made lots of money after they won contracts, helping states to set up the insurance exchanges.
Back to saying anything on the trail to get elected.
At the very least, not by words, but by actions Romney is being transparent in hiring Leavitt.
Is there a difference between Romney & Obama?
Only 1 I can think of: Obama’s open disdain for the American people & the constitution is apparent.
Romney? I don’t know anymore.
But he’s not the only 1 at fault.
When Obama bypassed Congress, again, & passed Amnesty for 800,000 illegals on his own, did you feel the silence from the republicrats?

Belle on July 1, 2012 at 8:34 AM

Another possibility to consider that was written last April:

Repeal Oba­maCare? Not a Chance.

Rom­ney (D-​​Mass.) keeps say­ing he will repeal Oba­maCare, but I hope no one is naïve enough to believe him. His donors stand to make BILLIONS because of the bill. They wrote Oba­maCare, and now they’re fund­ing his cam­paign! Do you think health insur­ance com­pa­nies are going to allow him to repeal a bill that man­dates that all Amer­i­cans carry gold-​​plated insurance?

The Oba­maCare “repeal” will go down like this: House Repub­li­cans will pass a repeal bill. Sen­ate Democ­rats will block it. There will be lots of tense moments and spar­ring through the media as the White House and House straw men and –women wage a wink-​​and-​​a-​​nudge “bat­tle” with the Democ­rats. Rom­ney (D-​​Mass.) will con­cede defeat and blame the Democ­rats, who will claim vic­tory. The Repub­li­cans will save face with their base by fight­ing the “good fight,” as will the Democrats.

Next, Rom­ney (D-​​Mass.) will take charge of “fix­ing” it. Democ­rats will con­cede that it needs improve­ment. Cam­paign donors will draft “revi­sions” that will ben­e­fit the donors, and both par­ties will agree to those amend­ments. There will be some token resis­tance on cer­tain pro­vi­sions to keep Amer­ica fleeced into think­ing that we have a func­tion­ing Two-​​Party system.
DannoJyd on July 1, 2012 at 4:36 AM | Delete | Delete and Ban

The article is absolutely right about how the repeal attempt will go down. But saying the White House commie is better than the GOP socialist, not gonna buy that one. While I don’t trust the GOP socialist and know he will stab us in the back, the White House commie will kill us. It unfortunately really is the lessor of two evils.

bgibbs1000 on July 1, 2012 at 8:37 AM

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