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View Diary: The contorted contours of Congressional power according to the radical Roberts Court (197 comments)

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  •  Well, I'm being forced to pay a higher premium (9+ / 0-)

    because somebody who is able to pay for health insurance will not do it.

    That isn't right, either.

    Barack Obama for President '08

    by v2aggie2 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 10:25:28 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I could use that argument for many products (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, orestes1963

      ...but it wouldn't make it any more constitutional to force others to buy a product that they don't want.  Afterall, the only reason one person's cost is declining is because the total revenue for the vendors is greater than before.

      For instance, the cost of many niche products is higher because of the small volume resulting in high unit cost.  Increase the volume and my price will drop.  Now, do you want me legislating that everyone must buy a product so that my cost to purchase the same will go down?

      There isn't a Federal constitutional issue with doing this as a govt. pool.  There is one in forcing people into private pools without a Federal option.

      "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

      by Celtic Pugilist on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 10:54:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But everybody uses health care (5+ / 0-)

        that is the difference

        Barack Obama for President '08

        by v2aggie2 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 11:02:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not in a given year. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Celtic Pugilist, wsexson

          The ACA reboots every year; penalties are assessed based on the previous year's behavior and there is no carryover.

          Immigrants are not penalized for joining the system at age 50, e.g. - as they are for Social Security, please note.  There is no 'credit' for making your economically-unjustified sub-40 y.o. risk-avoidance contributions when you pass 40.

          ACA could have been made a 'lifetime' system. It wasn't. So your argument carries no weight.

          Am I right, or am I right? - The Singing Detective

          by Clem Yeobright on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 11:07:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Personally I use it very little. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, Odysseus, orestes1963

          Wife and kids?  Much more so.

          You could add up my past 20 years of personal health care and have trouble paying an annual premium.  I recognize at some point that I can't predict that can or will change.  

          The problem here is in requiring that I use local monopoly private insurers without a public option.  I have no problem with a cradle to grave shared health care pool with universal coverage that extends past one's ability to pay.

          "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

          by Celtic Pugilist on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 11:19:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then change the law (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Armando, cheerio2, Loge, andgarden

            but that doesn't the current law and mandate unconstitutional.

            And that is Armando's point in the first place, as he has eloquently stated on numerous occasions.

            Barack Obama for President '08

            by v2aggie2 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 11:32:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, it does make it unconstitutional to many (0+ / 0-)

              ...until some precedent declares otherwise.  That is why it is before the Court.  

              I didn't support this law because of the mandate with lack of public option (that and its failure to address cost control.)  There are many things worthy of support, but the mandate spoils the whole.  And from what I've read on the Front Page here in the past (as memory serves) those arguing for ACA before the Supremes have considered the mandate inseparable.

              If it is ruled unconstitutional, the burden will be on those who foisted this mandate albatross on us to revise the law to make it fit within precedents.  The path is obvious but the legislative majorities are gone, as is the momentum.  What constitutional law professor could have predicted this?

              "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

              by Celtic Pugilist on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 12:07:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's incorrect (4+ / 0-)

                Congressional acts are presumed to be constitutional.

                You have it precisely backwards.

                •  No, it is an unknown, awaiting ruling (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright

                  You can't anymore claim it is constitutional than it is not when the very issue is before the Court as we speak.  If it had been tested before I would argue the other way.  If it showed no signs of even approaching the higher courts I would agree with you, but there it is right at the top, hanging in the balance.

                  It does appear to be an extension of powers to the majority of the public--and not a popular one.  Whether or not the Supreme Court will consider it a new extension, and whether or not they will consider such constitutional is something none of us will know until the ruling is made.

                  "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                  by Celtic Pugilist on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 12:40:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Noooo (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    andgarden

                    They are presumed constitutional.

                    Look, you may not like existing constitutional law, but please stop pretending it is not what it is.

                    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

                      it is presumed to be constitutional going in, and I have seen published in a lot of places.

                      This isn't up for debate

                      Barack Obama for President '08

                      by v2aggie2 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 02:43:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  It's merely a semantic point (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Celtic Pugilist

                      The fact that it is before the court indictes that its
                      constitutionality is being considered.  So, yes, today it is constitutional.  However, that determination will be
                      moot when the court rules (regardless of how it rules).

                      •  No (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        v2aggie2

                        It is a point of law.

                        A basic point.

                        Am important point.

                        Of course, some people really do not care about the constitution, just the result.

                        •  Which people don't care? (0+ / 0-)

                          That's a double edged sword so you might want to be careful with it while we are still having a civil discussion.  

                          The new precedent required to survive this review seems straightforward enough to me.  (Which way the notoriously fickle court will go with it I have no idea.)  The private mandate raises disturbing constitutional questions as well as some basic moral ones.  The only way I don't see this as worthy of a Supreme Court ruling is if one assumes the Commerce Clause permits any new regs.  That is overly broad for most.

                          After the eminent domain ruling (again business friendly thing), there was a strong backlash and a rush by states to eliminate the new power.  This has a similar odor about it.  In both cases whether or not the new power is deemed constitutional, there could very well be a majority of us who see the issue that ended up in court itself as basically wrongheaded and rife for abuse.

                          "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                          by Celtic Pugilist on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 07:46:26 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  What new precedent? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            v2aggie2

                            The one where Congressional acts are presumed tobe constitutional?

                            Look, you were wrong in what you wrote.

                            Look it up if you want.

                            It's not disputed  by anyone. Not even Thomas.

                          •  Your evasiveness isn't working (0+ / 0-)

                            The precedent being discussed is the private mandate.

                            You can play silly semantic games forever, but it won't help your legal argument.  The claim that no precedent is necessary doesn't seem to have passed muster since the very issue is before the Court on an accelerated schedule.  Actually, even if they were to rule that existing precedent covers it, the fact that they took it up is proof that this was not settled as you are claiming.

                            And if the ruling comes out tomorrow that the mandate is unconstitutional you will be retroactively wrong as well.  That's the silliness of the semantic argument you are making.  For example, one can claim that since something was passed by congress it is constitutional even if it was a virtual certainty that it would be stricken down by the court.  

                            Now it is time to turn the sword on its former master.  Of course, some people really do not care about the constitution, just the result. <==  From here it looks like that charge could better be leveled at you since this seems to be about saving ACA by allowing a constitutionally undecided private mandate.  The private mandate is a tool that business conservatives can use against the interests of consumers.  By supporting it you are playing into the hands of conservatives who make the charge that the left plays fast and loose with the constitution by waving their hands and saying the Commerce clause will allow anything.  It never ceases to amaze me how frequently Democrats carry the water for business conservatives and don't even realize they are doing it.  

                            Obviously those keen legal minds and constitutional law professors leading the party did not factor in the relative plasticity of interpreting the Commerce clause...and that it would be done by a conservative Court that might take this as excuse to narrow the limits--something that is within their authority to do.  No, the "we-passed-a-law-therefore-it-is-constitutional, because-we-say-it-is" mindset seems to have prevailed.  From the snippets I saw posted at dKos of the questions and responses in court, that doesn't appear to be too far off.

                            The private mandate may very well open Pandora's box.  The Court is presently jiggling the key in the lock but we aren't yet sure if it will open the box or what awaits inside.

                            "Money is like manure. You have to spread it around or it smells." J. Paul Getty

                            by Celtic Pugilist on Mon Apr 16, 2012 at 02:36:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  Congressional acts "were presumed" to (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Celtic Pugilist

                  be constitutional.  Oral argument convinced me that will no longer be the case.  

        •  But the law compels health insurance (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Celtic Pugilist

          It is important to understand the difference in promoting one's argument.

          •  It compels health insurance (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            as a way to regulate the consumptoin of health care.

            If you are forced to take in patients in all circumstances, then a requirement to have health insurance if you can afford it can be used as an additional regulation.  It isn't the only option or even the best option, but it is a legally valid option in my view

            Barack Obama for President '08

            by v2aggie2 on Sun Apr 15, 2012 at 10:44:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Health care is different due to ER laws (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        v2aggie2

        Health care is different from a number of other products in that it's provision is mandated but the payment is not.

        If someone ends up in an ER, they must be treated even if they can't pay. If they can't the cost is eaten by the hospital. Part is covered by the government and part is passed through everyone else through higher prices.
        This is different from other products.
        If someone walks into a supermarket, they are not obligated to give him food if he can't pay for it and raise prices on everyone else to cover the free food they are mandated to give away to all comers.
        That is an issue unique to healthcare and it's that requirement to give care, that is part of the reason for an insurance mandate.

        For instance, the cost of many niche products is higher because of the small volume resulting in high unit cost.
        This is not an issue of low volume causing higher prices. The volume is there, in fact the goal is to decrease the volume in the ER.
        It's an issue of cost shifting (of where possible having people cover their own costs through insurance, rather then everyone else covering it through paying higher premiums to cover ER visits the person can't pay for) and dealing with those costs , that already exist, that will always exist, in a better manner.
        There is one in forcing people into private pools without a Federal option.
        What is the difference between a private pool and a government pool constitutionally ?
        •  You rely upon a false- and conservative- premise (0+ / 0-)

          The person who uses the emergency room without insurance is still liable for the expenses s/he incurs.  No one is given a free ride.  Of course, some do not pay and are judgment proof, but this is a risk that all businesses take.  Does this risk justify compelling us to buy other products as well?  I could argue that my phone bill is higher because others default on their payments.  So, I guess congress should be able to compel everyone to have a mobile phone.  It's a dangerous argument.

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