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Obamacare upheld by US Supreme Court
June 28, 2012
7:03 pm
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greeney2
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Supreme Court upholds Obamacare individual mandate as a tax
By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News

National Affairs Reporter

PostsEmailRSSBy Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News | The Ticket – 3 hrs agoEmailShare197PrintIn a victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court upheld his signature health care law's individual insurance mandate in a 5-4 decision, upending speculation after hostile-seeming oral arguments in March that the justices would overturn the law. The mandate has been upheld as a tax, with Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush appointee, joining the liberal wing of the court to save the law.

[Have questions about today's Supreme Court ruling upholding the health care individual mandate? Join us for a live Facebook chat at 4 p.m. ET ]

In brief comments Thursday afternoon, Obama called the decision a win for Americans. "With today's announcement it is time for us to move forward to implement and, where necessary, to improve this law," he said. Mitt Romney told reporters shortly before noon that he would repeal the law his first day in office if elected. "ObamaCare was bad policy yesterday, it's bad policy today," he said.

The court's four liberal justices agreed that the individual mandate should be upheld as part of Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce, but Roberts disagreed, and wrote that the mandate is actually a tax, despite the Obama administration's reluctance to describe it that way during the bill's passage. In its argument to the court, the government left open the possibility that the mandate is a tax, but did not rely much on that argument. Under the law, people who do not have health insurance will have to pay 1 percent of their income to the IRS starting in 2014. (There are exceptions for some religious beliefs and financial hardship.)

"If an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes," Roberts writes. He adds that this means "the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning an income."

A footnote flagged by SCOTUSblog's Amy Howe explains the reasoning further. "Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes. The only thing that they may not lawfully do is not buy health insurance and not pay the resulting tax."

Justice Anthony Kennedy, usually the court's swing vote, dissented, reading from the bench that he and three conservative justices believe "the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety." In a 65-page dissent, he and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dismissed Roberts' arguments, writing that there is a "mountain of evidence" that the mandate is not a tax. "To say that the individual mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it," they wrote.

Twenty six states sued over the law, arguing that the individual mandate, which requires people to buy health insurance or face a fine starting in 2014, was unconstitutional. Opponents cast the individual mandate as the government forcing Americans to enter a market and buy a product against their will, while the government countered that the law was only regulating a market that everyone is already in, since almost everyone will seek health care at some point in his or her life.

Before oral arguments in March, most Supreme Court experts and scholars believed the mandate would be upheld as an exercise of Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce. But after justices seemed deeply skeptical of the mandate in oral arguments in March, the consensus flipped, with most experts guessing the court would strike down the law.

House Republicans have vowed to repeal the entire law, though it's unlikely the Democratic-controlled Senate would let that happen, and this decision may slow momentum for that move. "Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety," House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement.

Seven of the nine justices agreed that the law's expansion of Medicaid to an estimated 16 million low-income people by 2014 is unconstitutional as it was written. The court decided that the federal government cannot threaten to withdraw existing Medicaid funds from states if they don't expand Medicaid. Instead, the government can only withhold future funds. It's unclear if that will mean fewer than the 16 million projected will gain coverage.

Though the sweeping, 1,000-page plus law passed more than two years ago, much of it will not go into effect until 2014. That's when states will have to set up their own health insurance exchanges, payroll taxes will go up on higher-income workers, and Americans will have to buy health insurance (for many, with a government subsidy) or pay a penalty of 1 percent of their income to the IRS. Employers who have more than 50 employees and don't offer insurance will also begin to face a penalty. Insurers will no longer be able to turn away people with preexisting conditions, or charge people higher premiums based on their gender or health. In August, health care plans will have to offer preventative services--including birth control--at no extra cost to customers.

June 28, 2012
9:31 pm
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at1with0
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Hmm....

"it is easy to grow crazy"

June 28, 2012
11:30 pm
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capricorn
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Haha! this is a complete joke. John Roberts, one of the most conservative track records... and does a complete 180 on one of the most controversial and unconstitutional laws to hit the supreme court. HA!

"a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people."

June 29, 2012
7:44 am
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Wing-Zero
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War is an extension of economics and diplomacy through other means.

Economics and diplomacy are methods of securing resources used by humans.

Securing resources is the one necessary behavior for all living things.

War = Life

June 29, 2012
4:27 pm
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at1with0
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On the subject of preexisting conditions and mental health:

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/depressio ... tally-ill/

"it is easy to grow crazy"

June 30, 2012
8:40 pm
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greeney2
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Which one is the Democrat and which is the Republican? Laugh

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/pe ... 19810.html

July 1, 2012
4:03 am
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frrostedman
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"capricorn" wrote: Haha! this is a complete joke. John Roberts, one of the most conservative track records... and does a complete 180 on one of the most controversial and unconstitutional laws to hit the supreme court. HA!

Well yes, but, actually he rightfully labeled the whole thing a TAX, and then realized the Supreme Court cannot limit the Federal Government from taxing people in this way.

Problem is, the Obama Administration has argued from day one that this is not a tax. Now--if the cards play out right--this new TAX can be used against Obama in the elections.

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

July 1, 2012
4:56 am
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SmokinJoe
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"frrostedman" wrote: [quote="capricorn"]Haha! this is a complete joke. John Roberts, one of the most conservative track records... and does a complete 180 on one of the most controversial and unconstitutional laws to hit the supreme court. HA!

Well yes, but, actually he rightfully labeled the whole thing a TAX, and then realized the Supreme Court cannot limit the Federal Government from taxing people in this way.

Problem is, the Obama Administration has argued from day one that this is not a tax. Now--if the cards play out right--this new TAX can be used against Obama in the elections.

Roberts was wrong. It IS a healthcare reform enforcing all americans to do things a certain way. The "tax" part comes from the "how it is to be paid for" arena. If Roberts would have done this right, he would have said reform like this forcing Americans do to something against their will is unconstitutional. Then voted to keep the reform from doing just that.

The excuse he came up with is absurd. NO ONE was asking that guy to focus on taxes or taxation. The issue was and ONLY CONCERNS whether forcing this reform on all Americans is constitutional or not. Roberts played sleight of hand with this situation and turned it into something that was not before the Supreme Joke to rule on.

I tell ya, our Supreme Court made the leaders of Russia and China proud on this one. Just another step closer to their way of doing things. I guess since China holds the rights to a huge percentage of American businesses and land, one should expect the courts to rule like they would in China.

Dawkins thinks belief in God is an excuse to evade thinking in the scientific world. Sadly, he is ignorant to the list of christian scientists who have contributed & founded many of the sciences he himself believes in. How ironic.

July 1, 2012
5:11 am
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frrostedman
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"SmokinJoe" wrote: [quote="frrostedman"][quote="capricorn"]Haha! this is a complete joke. John Roberts, one of the most conservative track records... and does a complete 180 on one of the most controversial and unconstitutional laws to hit the supreme court. HA!

Well yes, but, actually he rightfully labeled the whole thing a TAX, and then realized the Supreme Court cannot limit the Federal Government from taxing people in this way.

Problem is, the Obama Administration has argued from day one that this is not a tax. Now--if the cards play out right--this new TAX can be used against Obama in the elections.

Roberts was wrong. It IS a healthcare reform enforcing all americans to do things a certain way. The "tax" part comes from the "how it is to be paid for" arena.

Well that is what I was talking about. The individual mandate. It was declared a tax by Chief Justice Roberts, which I hate to say is correct (meaning Obama lied which is also correct). I hate that because it then caused him to swing in favor of it because the Supreme Court cannot overrule the Congress in matters of Federal Tax.

If Roberts would have done this right, he would have said reform like this forcing Americans do to something against their will is unconstitutional. Then voted to keep the reform from doing just that.

Because Obama et al said publicly, under no uncertain terms, that this is NOT a tax, he really overstepped his boundaries and shouldn't have rewritten the legislation the way he did.

The excuse he came up with is absurd. NO ONE was asking that guy to focus on taxes or taxation. The issue was and ONLY CONCERNS whether forcing this reform on all Americans is constitutional or not. Roberts played sleight of hand with this situation and turned it into something that was not before the Supreme Joke to rule on.

Indeed. And now people are asking themselves... "Did Obama's harsh treatment and bullying of the Supreme Court actually work? Did they vote in favor of his legislation just to prevent further attacks and 'make good' with him?" I expected Roberts to deal with Obama harshly, especially in light of the fact that Obama has been an outspoken critic of the Supreme Court.

I tell ya, our Supreme Court made the leaders of Russia and China proud on this one. Just another step closer to their way of doing things. I guess since China holds the rights to a huge percentage of American businesses and land, one should expect the courts to rule like they would in China.

You would THINK that this country would never, ever be in favor of a socialist republic. But if you starve the citizens long enough and keep them on the government dole (by force) long enough, it swings things in your favor. The folks don't want what they are used to getting, being taken away from them.

Every one who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that a spirit is manifest in the laws of the Universe-a spirit vastly superior to that of man. - Albert Einstein

July 14, 2012
3:20 am
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SmokinJoe
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"frostedman" wrote: Well that is what I was talking about. The individual mandate. It was declared a tax by Chief Justice Roberts, which I hate to say is correct (meaning Obama lied which is also correct). I hate that because it then caused him to swing in favor of it because the Supreme Court cannot overrule the Congress in matters of Federal Tax.

Yes, by focusing on the individual mandate, Roberts made this about taxing citizens, and not about the actual healthcare enforcement itself. In doing so, this allowed him wiggle room to back his position. Basically, he was splitting hairs in order to find a way to allow this enforced healthcare to pass.

What was before the Supreme court was whether or not enforcing national healthcare was constitutional or not. He avoided that completely. He never said if it was constitutional or not. He just said, "hey, taxing is for Congress to figure out. So, I'm voting yes, because taxing is a matter for Congress not the Supreme Court." In essence, he actually played politics with this whole thing and then said playing politics is for Congress. Nice bait and switch. He missed his calling as an illusionist.

Dawkins thinks belief in God is an excuse to evade thinking in the scientific world. Sadly, he is ignorant to the list of christian scientists who have contributed & founded many of the sciences he himself believes in. How ironic.

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