The Supreme Court Opinion
Roberts Part of Majority Affirming Mandate.
If anyone is interested, here is a link to the White House site that lists the many benefits of healthcare reform.
Finally some good news for people. Something for us for a change! After we have funded wars and bank bailouts, its about time we get something to make our lives easier and safer.
And republicans are very angry about this. They are angry about investments in our healthcare, angry about investments in education, angry about strengthening our social security.
They are more than happy though to protect tax cuts for the wealthy.
I never understood the argument about the Individual Mandate and never got a sensible answer when I asked my lawye friends. The Interstate Commerce Clause is the basis for all regulation of commerce, either direct or indirect, that occurs between State’s of the union. So all Federal banking and securities regulation, antitrust regulation, environmental laws, occupational safety laws, really all of the federal regulation of the economy is based on the ICC. Since the health insurance industry interste commerce, this is an interstate industry under the ICC. There is no restriction in the ICC relative to its impact on “individuals” versus say, companies, so that part seems irrelevant to me.And Federal regulations are stock full of “mandates”, so that part seems irrelevant to me as well.
That leaves the requirement for an individual to purchase a commercial product. But this is not “mandated” at all, it is a choice to either purchase a policy or to pay a penalty as part of your taxes. While Obama sold this penalty politically as not being a “tax”, the tax code contains thousands of ages of requirements for taxes and penalties of all sorts. all kinds of crZy stuff – my father used to get a little tax benefit because my grandfather was a railroad man for example.
So I never got the argument. And lo and behold, the Court found that the ICC, the basis for the Individual Mandate complaint, did not apply to the Health Care Act. The government’s power to impose the penalty fell under the government’s power to tax.
I find it comforting that John Roberts, an ideological conservative, had the judgement to support the law on its merits and not interfere with what the Congress has chosen to legislate.
Listening to NPR yesterday, it was noted that when John Roberts became Chief Justice he voiced concerned about the SCOTUS being divided along ideological lines. He believed that this was not healthy for the court. I was very pleased as well that he followed through with his concerns and argued on the side of precedent rather than ideology.
Yes, although reading more today, he also sided with the conservatives relative to the ICC. The argument is that the ACA does not REGULATE commerce, it COMPELS commerce, which it then regulates. But Federal law separately requires hospitals to treat sick/injured patients regardless of ability pay. And, if you think about it, all insurance, not just health insurance, requires it be purchased in advance of an incident, not after.
Anyway, I’ll take the winning fallback position for now. Of course we will have to win a third time this fall by re-electing the president and a Democratic Senate.
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