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View Diary: Obama might have a Supreme Court majority on the health care law (238 comments)

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  •  If you want to say that you're taxing people (0+ / 0-)

    because of the prospect that they may use emergency medical services, that's fine.  But then you're employing the power of Taxation, not of the Commerce Clause.

    In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

    by Seneca Doane on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 02:00:49 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  The mandate isn't a tax (0+ / 0-)

      so that's not what i'm saying.  I'm saying a large number of uninsured peopel has a substantial effect on the price of a good that falls within congress's power to regulate, therefore congress can directly punish the act of not obtaining health insurance, Constitutionally.  

      There is no such thing as "mere existence," if there were, it wouldn't raise other people's health insurance premiums.  

      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

      by Loge on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 02:06:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And a large number of people who don't (0+ / 0-)

        own stock in trans-state corporations has a substantial effect on the price of a good that falls within Congress's power to regulate, so by your logic it follows the Congress can directly punish the act of not owning corporate stock, constitutionally.

        Let's set the standard of review here.  I'm arguing that the argument being made against PPACA isn't so unreasonable, based on constitutional ambiguities, that it was unreasonable to bring the case.  You're arguing that it's so unreasonable, based on the clarity of the Constitution, that there was no basis even to bring the case.  So you're going to have to defend against the "obviousness" of some pretty wild examples.  I, seeing ambiguity, want the Supreme Court to set a reasonable rule here.

        In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

        by Seneca Doane on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 02:16:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes and no, (0+ / 0-)

          Congress can only directly punish not owning stock in a particular company if it's necessary to bring about an otherwise-legitimate regulation of interstate commerce.  So, despite whatever it is you think you're saying about ambiguity and standard of review in your second paragraph, any of the slippery slope arguments can just as easily be turned on their heads.  If you can't think of a bill to which stock ownership is "necessary and appropriate," the issue doesn't arise.  If there is one, a fortiori, the application wouldn't be so absurd.  

          At that point, what we're left with is a debate about the basic fairness of the mandate, and while I'm sympathetic with the counter-arguments, and indeed think the benefits and drawbacks are overstated on both sides, that's not a question for the Courts.   Your argument is a due process one, however, that you're trying to shoehorn into a commerce clause objection.  The particulars of how human mortality dovetails with networks effects in insurance markets makes it a bad due process argument in this instance (the issue is who pays for treatment and when, not whether or not), less so with stock purchases, which might even raise 1st amendment concerns.

          But yes, single payer would be an easier question because the spending power is on its face plenary.  There, the Constitutional problems are posed by bicameralism and presentment requirements, like whether the bill gets passed at all.

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 02:33:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  PPACA Doesn't Require A Particular Brand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seneca Doane

            "Congress can only directly punish not owning stock in a particular company if it's necessary to bring about an otherwise-legitimate regulation of interstate commerce."

            The mandate doesn't specify that we have to buy WellPoint in particular, so that is not apples-to-apples. It would be like requiring people own X amount of stock that is traded on the NASDAQ/NYSE.

            "If you can't think of a bill to which stock ownership is "necessary and appropriate," the issue doesn't arise."

            Buying stock  to help the economy, just as the mandate is justified for the economy.

            •  Yeah, "so that people aren't as reliant (0+ / 0-)

              on Social Security."  "Those who own no stock are a drag on the economy!"

              (Egads, I'm afraid that this argument may convince the Court to go for it!)

              In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

              by Seneca Doane on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 04:20:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've responded separately, (0+ / 0-)

                not that you evidently care, but the analogy doesn't work for me.

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 09:05:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I honestly do not understand your argument (0+ / 0-)

                  and I suspect that we are arguing at cross purposes.

                  I doubt that the game is worth the candle, though.

                  In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

                  by Seneca Doane on Fri Sep 30, 2011 at 12:31:48 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  THEFT (0+ / 0-)

        also has an impact on the price of goods. Should Congress impose a tax on people who choose not to buy bananas because the people who steal bananas are driving up the price for those who choose to legitimately purchase bananas?

        •  yes, congress can prohibit theft (0+ / 0-)

          next question?

          To the extent you are conflating two-sided and one-sided markets, your argument is not good.  (In other words, in a one sided market, like bananas, the price increase happens without congress acting.)

          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

          by Loge on Thu Sep 29, 2011 at 08:42:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  not talking (0+ / 0-)

            about the price increase. I'm merely using humor to point out that in this instance Congress does not have the power to force everyone to purchase bananas to combat the price increase caused by banana theft.

            One of the reasons I have heard for supporting a mandate is that the uninsured are able to get free (stealing bananas) health care that the rest of us pay for via higher medical costs imposed on us as hospitals try to make up the cost associated with unpaid hospital visits.

            The Health Care bill deals with this problem by forcing everyone to buy health insurance when the Constitutional (and immoral) answer would be to allow medical practitioners to turn away patients that can't pay.

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