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Does the GOP's and Tea Party's reverence for the founding fathers extend to John Adams? If so, they've got some rethinking to do.

[A]s Forbes blogger Rick Ungar writes, mandating the ownership of health insurance isn't entirely unprecedented, much less unconstitutional. In 1798, President John Adams signed "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen," which required privately employed sailors to pay a tax to fund their medical care:

In July of 1798, Congress passed — and President John Adams signed — "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen." The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance. [...]

As for Congress' understanding of the limits of the Constitution at the time the Act was passed, it is worth noting that Thomas Jefferson was the President of the Senate during the 5th Congress while Jonathan Dayton, the youngest man to sign the United States Constitution, was the Speaker of the House.

As Paul J. O'Rourke suggested previously, perhaps conservatives should "name Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison et al. in the lawsuits," too.

I think they'll probably just ignore this inconvenient little bit of history. And work on scrubbing that bit of history out of the textbooks.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:20 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh please (13+ / 0-)

    John Adams is so last century (give or take).

  •  They paid a tax for medical care (26+ / 0-)

    I presume tax means tax, paid to the government and receiving a government service in return.  Not exactly the same as compulsory profit-maximization that fashionably neoliberal current policy makes mandatory.  John Adams went with some kind of "single-payer" instead.  Damn radical revolutionaries, they'll never change.

    Hegemony is always electable.

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:24:08 AM PST

    •  Compromises have to be made (6+ / 0-)

      Still, I'm quite willing to be forced to use single-payer.

      Time to strip citizenship from treacherous immigrants like Rupert Murdoch

      by freelunch on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:26:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. This is not the same as the mandate (7+ / 0-)

      arbitrarily taxing people who cannot afford to purchase a private product.  I see no correlation whatsoever.

      •  You are not talking about the current law (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        flying shams
        It does not require you to buy something that you cannot afford.

        Time to strip citizenship from treacherous immigrants like Rupert Murdoch

        by freelunch on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:39:17 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  How do you know that? (0+ / 0-)

          I've asked many times about actual costs but never get an answer.  Rates are continuing to rise.  The state high risk pools are unaffordable for many.  How do you know what is affordable to someone if you don't know how much they have to pay.

          •  There is a subsidy program in the law (0+ / 0-)

            It covers those with too much income for medicaid who cannot afford to pay for insurance.

            Time to strip citizenship from treacherous immigrants like Rupert Murdoch

            by freelunch on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 10:52:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

              I understand the subsidy but I still can't find out about the out of pocket costs, including premiums.  If the premium is $2000/month and the subsidy is $1000, that still leaves the individual paying $1000 himself.  That's what I'm trying to figure out.

    •  And you have a choice (7+ / 0-)

      whether to enter this employment, and whether to leave.

      This example is not the same at all.

    •  Yes, it was more like Medicare (6+ / 0-)

      where the government paid both private and public doctors to take care of the sailors.

      I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

      by anonevent on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:50:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Frankly, the Administration is responsible for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thegood thebad thedumb

      much of the incoherence of the debate.  (I get no pleasure from saying so.)  You read the popular press, and you see a good case made that the Constitutional basis for this policy is the Necessary and Proper Clause buttressing the Commerce Clause power.  OK, that makes some sense.  You read the legal filings, and they say that, no, this is an exercise of the power to levy taxes.  For various reasons, this is a more tenuous argument, as well as one that was explicitly denied and denounced during the debate itself.  These are two separate bases of constitutional power, with different justifications and implications.

      I have no sympathy for those who want to destroy the health reform bill, but I have a lot of sympathy for those who want to ensure that it has a constitutional basis but can't quite figure out exactly what it is.  Unfortunately, that description also seems to fit the people in the Obama Administration who are running the show.

      Soon on DK4: Chit Cheat and Undisputed Facts!
      Daily Kos has the same main ingredient as Soylent Green!

      by Seneca Doane on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:18:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  regulating the health care industry in general (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thegood thebad thedumb

        which much of the reform act does, mandating coverages in policies, is commerce clause.

        The mandate is basically show proof of coverage and avoid the tax or be taxed, and is in the way its written, based in the taxing power more than control of commerce.  Nevertheless the issue becomes was the purpose to raise revenue, if not, its nots proper taxing power, if its an attempt to regulate behavior by taxation that can not be directly regulated, then its improper, so it comes back to the Congress could directly regulate insurance purchases under the commerce clause, and use the general powers to implement them.  But it is rather circular.  

        •  Ding ding ding! (sort of) (0+ / 0-)

          Nevertheless the issue becomes was the purpose to raise revenue, if not, its nots proper taxing power,

          Exactly.  Forcing people to purchase a home and fining them if they don't is NOT the same thing as giving them a tax deduction for mortgage interest.  

          However, I disagree with the Commerce Clause being used as a source for Constitutional "power".

          Remember, in relation to the private health insurance mandate, what Congress is doing here is trying to force people INTO commerce.  People who are NOT engaged in a commercial activity by NOT purchasing health insurance are now required to engage in Commerce.

          I can't think of any precedent for that.  And the fact that some are trying to twist and contort this "Disabled Seaman's Act" into being that precedent indicates to me that there is none.

          •  one prior situtation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flying shams

            where an act created an obligation to enter into commerce was the Sherman Act (anti-trust), in the refusal to deal language.  Its not exactly the same, but the courts have not invalidated the provisions that force someone who refuses to deal with another for monopolistic purposes to deal on reasonable terms.  Monopolies damage trade.

            High health care costs, lack of insurance, etc., damage all Americans, its an acknowledged drag on GDP, etc., increases tax burdens, results in unequal outcomes for patients with and without insurance, including much higher morbidity rates, etc.   The linch pin always seems to come back to the idea that no person is outside of health care, if you exist, you represent a cost to the system, either in pricing based on numbers of uninsured, capacity for accidents in er's with the knowledge that a certain number of people cannot pay, etc.

            If the court accepts, active or passive, each person in the US impacts the health care system, through insurance pricing , federally or state subsidized programs to pay for the indigent/uninsured at hospitals, cost of providing facilities, service, etc. to the population regardless of ability to pay, taxpayer supported free clinics, then its going to be upheld.

            •  A brilliant suggestion (0+ / 0-)

              High health care costs, lack of insurance, etc., damage all Americans, its an acknowledged drag on GDP, etc., increases tax burdens, results in unequal outcomes for patients with and without insurance, including much higher morbidity rates, etc.   The linch pin always seems to come back to the idea that no person is outside of health care, if you exist, you represent a cost to the system, either in pricing based on numbers of uninsured, capacity for accidents in er's with the knowledge that a certain number of people cannot pay, etc.

              Let's file a claim against every other country that has "socialized care" for unfair trade practices.

              ... their workers are healther and happier, and subsidized by the gov't.

              Thump! Bang. Whack-boing. It's dub!

              by dadadata on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 10:42:30 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  In what respect is the Commerce Clause (0+ / 0-)

            not a source for Constitutional "power"?  That's what it's there in Article I to do!

            I disagree with the Commerce Clause being used as a source for Constitutional "power".

            I may disagree with the provision authorizing marque and reprisals -- yet there it is!

            Soon on DK4: Chit Cheat and Undisputed Facts!
            Daily Kos has the same main ingredient as Soylent Green!

            by Seneca Doane on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 05:19:58 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  It's all Commerce Clause (0+ / 0-)

          Wickard v. Filburn, necessary regulation of private action affecting interstate commerce.  Yet, a few months ago, they were defending this as use of the taxation power.

          Soon on DK4: Chit Cheat and Undisputed Facts!
          Daily Kos has the same main ingredient as Soylent Green!

          by Seneca Doane on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 05:16:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Time to 'dirty up' Adams. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Khun David, gabie, Jimdotz, Julie Waters
  •  Not the only GOP hypocrisy about the Founders: (8+ / 0-)

    These were the same Founding Fathers that, in the Senate of 1797, ratified the Treaty of Tripoli which declared in Article 11 that "...the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion...."

    That's part of one of America's first international treaties -- a document that according to Article VI of our Constitution is legally equivalent to the Constitution: "This Constitution... and all treaties made... shall be the supreme law of the land."

    It's amazing how badly the intentions of the Founders gets distorted for political purposes when their intentions are so often obvious from their own legislative decisions.

    Consider me a Tea Party Democrat, but it's not my "country" I want back:
    The Corporations stole the People's party -- I want my party back!

    by Jimdotz on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:29:01 AM PST

  •  Has PJ O Rourke veered back to the left? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, stolen water

    That means the RW has lost its only commentator with a sense of humor.
    Going back to your old acid dropping liberal days, eh, Peej? Youre better off.

    Happy just to be alive

    by exlrrp on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:29:19 AM PST

  •  Forcing People to Buy products from industry (7+ / 0-)
    still sucks. The mandate is a bad idea, as it is.
    •  We are forced to buy insurance for our vehicles (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      auron renouille, rainmanjr

      We're forced to do all sorts of things in this country for the greater good.  I don't see a problem with that.

      •  Not if you don't own a vehicle. (3+ / 0-)

        How about if we mandate that those without vehicles get taxed extra by the IRS for the greater good even though they are receiving nothing?  That wouldn't work out too well.

      •  IF we decide to own a vehicle... (5+ / 0-)

        The difference, of course, is that when a state government forces one to purchase auto insurance, it is using its police powers to regulate an ACT. Namely, the act of owning a car. State governments have the power to issue license plates, stickers, require emissions testing – a whole host of legal requirements which accompany the owning of a vehicle which fall under its general police powers. They are regulating an ACT.

        The federal government has no general police powers. Its powers are strictly defined in the Constitution; and per the Constitution, those which it are not expressly granted to it, is ceded to the people and the states. One of those powers is the broadly-interpreted Commerce Clause. If an act – buying, selling, producing, servicing, etc., etc. – involves "commerce" in even the most tangential of ways, then that act can be regulated by Congress. So tell me – what "act" am I engaging in by not purchasing a private product like health insurance? Is mere existence now deemed a commercial act?

        IF I don’t own any stocks or bonds, am I engaged in the "commerce" of stock trading? Of course not. There are quite literally an infinite number of products which in any given day, month year, or lifetime – a person will simply not purchase. They will not be engaging in "commerce" related to that product.

        Buy a car, on the other hand? Yup, that’s an act. Now we can force you do X, Y, and Z. Merely exist? Now the question becomes more hazy.

        I’ll argue that my mere existence is not a commercial act that Congress can regulate. It cannot force me to purchase a product as a result of my mere existence.

        •  Some would actually debate you on that! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thegood thebad thedumb

          I’ll argue that my mere existence is not a commercial act that Congress can regulate

          If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

          by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:45:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Here the problem as I see it with this argument (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flying shams

          from the very day you are born you enter the healthcare system. And as life goes on and your parents stop paying for your healthcare at some point you pick it up.

          Now you can choose to have or not have insurance this however does not preclude you from healthcare or from paying for it when you need it.

          So in the end from the very beginning you are engaged either through your agents, parents, or directly in the commerce of healthcare.

          Now if you decide to go live in a cave, never see a doctor or visit a hospital then fine you can honestly say you are not engaged in the system.

          In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

          by jsfox on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:58:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do pedestrians raise the cost of auto insurance? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            thegood thebad thedumb

            Just a curiosity.  

            forecasters of disasters show proofs that show they're right, but you can block out anything counting each fluorescent light...

            by otto on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:01:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Every accident (0+ / 0-)

              be with another vehicle or a pedestrian effects the cost of auto insurance.

              In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

              by jsfox on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:03:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  So then based on your argument (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hmi, Uncle Milty, Blizzard

                Everybody can be required to purchase auto insurance (or "pedestrian insurance", as it were), since whether they own a vehicle or not, they are somehow engaged in the transportation system throughout their lives.  

                People who are born wherever there is a possibilty of rain should be required to own flood insurance, because anywhere it rains, people are at risk of having a flood.

                Everybody who is born should be required to purchase fire insurance, since we all will use ovens, stoves, hot plates, etc.

                Mere existence is not an "act" that can be regulated by the government.  If Congress were allowed to claim that my mere existence is an activity that can be regulated, then the "express powers" doctrine of the Constitution - which says that Congress only possesses those powers which are specifically granted to it - is rendered wholly meaningless.

                Your argument goes way, way too far.

                •  No that is not the basis of my argument (0+ / 0-)

                  but if the pedestrian who is hit is injured where does he or she end up? The hospital. Thus either through their own negligence or the driver's negligence is now in partaking of the healthcare system.

                  If the accident is the drivers fault the drivers auto insurance up to a set amount covers the medical expenses. If the pedestrian is at fault, stepped out from between two cars etc etc. The healthcare coverage falls to him or her.

                  In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

                  by jsfox on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:25:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  But that IS the basis of your argument (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Uncle Milty

                    Your argument is that based on the sole fact of mere existence, Congress can force you to do certain things which may "impact" the various economic systems in our nation, regardless of whether or not you are engaged in them.

                    How about this:  everybody is going to get old and retire, right?  The solvency of Social Security is a fierce debate, with many (especially GOP) claiming it is insolvent.  Can a GOP Congress and President therefore enact legislation that would require people to purchase private equities and invest them in 401(k)s? Would such an act be constitutional?  Can they claim that my NON-activity, my NON-participation in the private equities market is something they can regulate since, HEY, everybody is going to need something to fall back on, and if you don't do it yourself, then others will have to do it for you?

                    If you think this is valid, then you've just been provided with a glimpse of what the future will hold when and if Social Security is gutted.

        •  If hospitals are FORCED by law to save your life (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flying shams

          then your inaction by choosing not to buy health insurance puts a financial burden onto other people.

          If you show up at the ER without insurance to pay your bills, the hospital has to treat you anyway, and then has to recover the cost somehow when you can't pay...so they pass the costs to other people.  

          If you really want to be free to choose not to buy health insurance, you need to move to a country where hospitals are free to choose not to save your life when you don't have insurance coverage to pay for it.  

          •  I'm a bankruptcy attorney (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Blizzard

            I deal with people every day who can't pay medical bills.  (Incidentally, most of them DO have insurance, but that's not my point.)

            What happens when I show up to the hospital without insurance?  I get a bill in the mail.  If I fail to pay that bill?  I get a lawsuit filed against me?  Then a judgment gets issued against me.  Then the hospital can garnish my wages (in IL up to 15% of my gross wages) until the debt is paid.  The hospital can place a lien on my house and personal property.  The hospital can also freeze my bank accounts and withdraw any funds in there until the judgment is paid.

            Let's assume, then, that I DON'T work. I DON'T own a house, I DON'T have money saved in banking accounts.  Now what in the world gives you the idea that I can afford a health insurance premium?  

            •  It's a right wing talking point (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Odysseus, thegood thebad thedumb

              that all the uninsured show up at the ER and get all the care they need - and it's free! What a crock.  Not only do you get billed and risk all you've stated above, but the ER does not treat chronic health problems or do tests and procedures that most insured people get to detect illness or problems before they become serious.  

              These myths get spread around and many Dems happily adopt them as truth.  If everyone were getting this no strings attached free healthcare at the hospital, I wonder why so many of us are dying each year due to lack of healthcare.  Maybe they are just choosing to not receive care, just like they are choosing not to purchase insurance.

      •  The greater good (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rainmanjr, J M F, Julie Waters

        We definitely should be pooling our resources to provide everyone with health care--it's a public good and we absolutely need to treat it that way.  There are definite Constitutional mechanisms in place by which the federal government could collect tax money and use that money to provide everyone with insurance, or even, if we decided to go that route, with health care, the way they do in Britain.  That could be done through a payroll tax, as in the 1798 law, or through the allocation of income tax revenue, or by various other means.

        I don't think anyone here would argue that we shouldn't be required to give up a little money for the greater good of health care.  The issue of whether Congress has the Constitutional power to make people buy a product from a private corporation.  I suspect that the mandate will be upheld in court, but it's not a sure thing the way a tax-based system would have been.

        •  Don't we do that already? (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think anyone here would argue that we shouldn't be required to give up a little money for the greater good of health care.

          If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

          by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:46:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  would you be saying that if bush (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Dead Man

        mandated we buy insurance?

      •  vehicles are not a right (0+ / 0-)

        Zombie Reagan lives in the White House. Except he's not a zombie and thinks he's a Democrat.

        by The Dead Man on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:36:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Without the Mandate (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Khun David, rainmanjr

      Then you don't buy insurance until you are sick.  (Unless you are for allowing insurance companies to exclude based on pre existing conditions.)

      This doesn't make sense, how would you resolve this problem?

      You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

      by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:35:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Give me an option to direct my health care (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J M F, melpomene1, greenbastard, Blizzard

        moneys into a government program.

        If I don't want to to be a part of the for-profit health insurance industry, where shareholder profits trump actual health care delivery, why should I be forced to?

        •  How do you get healthy people into the program? (0+ / 0-)

          If the government program only covers the poor (tend to be less healthy) and the already sick, it will never pay for itself.

          Universal Medicare might be the solution, but short of that a government program will be brought down by the group that selects into it.

          You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

          by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:51:29 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  ??? I'm healthy and I would be the first one to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ScienceMom, melpomene1

            sign up for a program that lets me buy into Medicare!

            I don't understand your question.  Healthy people would buy into a public option because,  ostensibly, it would offer the most competitive premiums coupled with the best delivery of services?

            Again, my point is that a mandate would be A-OK if coupled with a system by which I or anybody else could opt-out of the for-profit, private health insurance system and opt-into something akin to Medicare.

            •  If (0+ / 0-)

              I knew an insurance company had to accept me, no matter if I had a previous condition AND I was healthy, I would not buy insurance.

              This situation has never existed before, which is why if you have to have both the mandate to buy insurance and force the insurance companies to accept everyone.

              If we could get Medicare for everyone that would be a viable option, but that is not going to happen, at least for the next two years.  Have to deal with realty.

              (Could we have gotten it, who knows, we didn't.)

              You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

              by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:27:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  See my response below (0+ / 0-)

                Better yet, I'll blockquote it for you here:

                I don't care how you structure it... (1+ / 0-)

                Recommended by:
                   ScienceMom

                is it a hang up that the Medicare opt-in would have to be purchased in a market exchange?  Fine.  Then use the current system of Medicare payroll deductions.  

                Require that everybody pay a progressive health tax out of their paycheck, (clearly Constitutional as a tax) then give people the option to either opt-out of the tax by purchasing their own private insurance on the open market or simply allow them to enroll in Medicare.

            •  What if they don't expect to need services? (0+ / 0-)

              Suppose there's a 25 year old who has been the doctor twice in the past five years for relatively minor ailments.  Comprehensive health insurance will cost $ 3000 a year, or a a catastrophic policy that kicks in at $ 5000 costs $ 600.  If this kid can go twenty-six months without getting hit by a bus, he comes out ahead.  If he has a health savings account it's more like 20, depending on his tax bracket.  If a health issue comes up, he signs up for insurance.  

              Does it really make sense for him to pay for comprehensive care?

        •  Not a for profit ins co but still a co. (0+ / 0-)

          You're still mandated to buying insurance which is the core question.  Can we be mandated into a product?  Isn't health care payed by taxes the same thing?  This is an awfully important product but, while I agree with also having a govt ins policy, thegood thebad the dumb made a good point about being charged for existing.  I favor the mandate because, if you live for awhile (and medicine is making that more likely every day) then you will reap many rewards--and probably break even or be a bit ahead.

          "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

          by rainmanjr on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:58:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't care how you structure it... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ScienceMom, rainmanjr

            is it a hang up that the Medicare opt-in would have to be purchased in a market exchange?  Fine.  Then use the current system of Medicare payroll deductions.  

            Require that everybody pay a progressive health tax out of their paycheck, (clearly Constitutional as a tax) then give people the option to either opt-out of the tax by purchasing their own private insurance on the open market or simply allow them to enroll in Medicare.

      •  mandate needs cost controls too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blizzard

        So if you are poor enough you can get govt welfare for your healthcare, well that's how the system was before with medicaid. So what is new with the HIR? You have to sign up for it. Penalties and fees, IRS holds back your refund if you don't. Why don't healthy people buy healthcare? Too expensive! Even if you are middle class making 50k+ a year you can't afford it. So now we have otherwise middle class people needing govt welfare to pay for a mandated by law insurance program. Isn't the point of being middle class supposed to mean you're not on govt welfare? Has the world gone insane? Am I missing something? How can this govt program work if there are no cost controls?

        •  The idea (0+ / 0-)

          and it needs to be tested, is that the plans drive down the costs of medical insurnace because they can't profit for selectively picking who they insure anymore.

          If that does work, government cost controls could be useful.

          You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

          by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:52:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  hate to say it (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zett, Edge PA

            But I think the plan was to just pass anything to get progressives to shut up. This bill has fundamental flaws in it which I touched on.

            •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

              It is not a great law ... but it is better than what was there ...

              You can tell by how the insurance companies are complaining.

              You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

              by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:28:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  haven't heard too many complaints (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thegood thebad thedumb, Blizzard

                I'm sure they don't like a lot of parts of it, means more red tape and such, but are they really against having more healthy customers who are mandated to give them money, a certain percentage of their income, that in most instances will not be the total cost of the healthcare, govt aka taxpayers stepping in for the rest? If insurance companies are complaining, why is it that their lobbiests are the ones who wrote the bill?

      •  If you cannot afford ins before you're sick (0+ / 0-)

        you still can't afford it after you become sick. Do you honestly think there are 50 million people who have all this cash lying around but just want to take a chance by not buying insurance?  That's ridiculous.  They don't have insurance because they don't get it through employment or are unemployed.  They cannot afford it!

        •  I am not saying people who can't afford it are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rainmanjr

          the problem ...

          Its the people who can, and don't.  Health people with reasonible incomes who would rather take a vacation than pay for their health care.

          If you don't have the mandate and insurance companies have to take everyone on the same cost basis, why would a health person buy insurnace?

          You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

          by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:54:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  What are the statistics on people who can afford (0+ / 0-)

            insurance but are choosing not to purchase it.  I've never seen any figures on that.  I do know that at least 45,000 people per year die in this country due to lack of health insurance/healthcare. I don't doubt that the actual number is higher.  Of all the people I've seen post here or talk to in real life, not a one of them has a reasonable income to afford a private policy but chooses to not get it.  Not a one.

            •  This situation has never existed before (0+ / 0-)

              Because insurance now has to accept preexisting conditions, and healthy person has no reason (other than the mandate) to buy insurance.

              Before the Health Care law, you risked not having insurance because if you got sick you would never be able to get it.

              You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

              by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:32:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'd like to see some numbers. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                thegood thebad thedumb

                How many of the uninsured have enough extra money to pay for a private policy, not a policy through employment that costs less.  Even the current state high risk pools opened up from the HIR have outrageous premiums and deductibles in many states.  So people can't afford the high risk pool. It's already a failure. And many states are cutting Medicaid rolls currently.  

                I just don't see anything changing as far as affordability.  Premiums and co-pays are still going up and we have damn near four more years for rates to rise before this supposed reform even begins.

                •  The currently uninsured aren't the only problem (0+ / 0-)

                  There are two risks for the healthy uninsured person:
                  (1) Getting into an accident or becoming seriously ill;
                  (2) Developing a chronic health condition which will prevent them from getting insurance in the future.

                  The first can be insured against pretty cheaply (a catastrophic policy typically costs between $50 and $100 a month).  Without the second, what's to stop healthy people from opting out?  

      •  germany uses private insurance (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Blizzard

        but their regulations mandate the insurance companies be non for profit.

        •  Most of Blue Cross / Blue Shields (0+ / 0-)

          are set up as non-profits.

          That means the "profits" just get paid to the executives instead of the share holders ...

          One of my favorite parts of the law is that 85% of revenue needs to be spent on health care.  That to me will drive the most value of anything else.

          You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

          by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:34:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But it will also lead to increased provider costs (0+ / 0-)

            I am an insurance company.  I must dedicate 85% of the premiums I receive to health care.  So let's look at a $1000 premium.

            $1000.00 - I get to keep $150.00 and must pay out services totaling $850.00

            Now, I want to keep more.  Why? I'm a for-profit corporation.  My shareholders are demanding higher profits.  What can I do?  Well, I could raise premiums to $2000.00.  After all, I'd rather have 15% of $2000.00 than 15% of $1000.00

            $2000.00 - I get to keep $300.00 but now must pay out services totaling $1700.00.  

            Now who in the world is going to help me pay out this extra $850.00 that I have to pay out?  Think you can help me on this Dr. X?  Would you like to raise your prices, Hospital Y?  How about I pay you extra for that wheelchair, Company Z.

            •  There are still state insurance commissions (0+ / 0-)

              That are limiting price increases, at least in blue states.

              Again, its not a prefect bill, but better than nothing.

              And with this congress, its not going to get better.

              You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

              by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 11:20:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  non profits for an insurance corp (0+ / 0-)

            has lost its meaning here. not so in germany.

            •  Sorry can't rec this ... (0+ / 0-)

              Didn't come to Kos over the weekend.

              I agree with you 100% about US, I believe you on Germany, but have no knowledge of it.

              You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

              by Edge PA on Mon Jan 24, 2011 at 09:04:01 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  even with the subsidy, a mandate still sucks. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thegood thebad thedumb, Blizzard

      it amounts to nothing but corporate welfare.

      insurance lobby is bleeding us dry. what is needed is price controls.

    •  The real problem was making the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thegood thebad thedumb

      promise not to raise taxes on those making less than $250,000.

      So the mandate was written into law as a penalty and not a tax.  

      Here is what should have been done.  Assume the penalty for not having health insurance is $X.  Have the regular income tax due be increased by $X.  Then if you have insurance you get a tax credit of $X.  Few people will argue with getting a tax credit.

      The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

      by nextstep on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:21:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "public health" dates to the Black Death in (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zett, ScienceMom, ER Doc

    Europe - when government assumed the power to quarantine, restrict travel, remove the sick to "hospitals" (i.e. to die) and dispose of bodies.

    Governments didn't have a choice - they HAD to do this, or risk the annihilation of society.

    Since then many other concepts of governmental provision of health care have come into place:  mandatory vaccination, regulation of the food supply (cows with TB used to regularly infect and kill children), regulation of drugs and medical care.

    The radical ideologues want to sweep most or all of this away.  

    Most Americans, even t-baggers, don't quite get it that it's their own medicare benefits that are being denounced as "nazism".

    Its up to all of us to try to keep the debate rational and reality-oriented.  That's the basis on which we win, and deserve to win.

  •  Ignore the parts of history you dislike (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, D in Northern Virginia

    And glorify and magnify those you do like....

    Kinda like the Antebellum South.

    Hey you, dont tell me theres no hope at all Together we stand, divided we fall.

    by marcvstraianvs on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:30:48 AM PST

  •  I disabled my seamen years ago (8+ / 0-)

    I've never looked back.  

    forecasters of disasters show proofs that show they're right, but you can block out anything counting each fluorescent light...

    by otto on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:31:23 AM PST

  •  John Adams (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Khun David, Treg, IndyRobin, Julie Waters

    Changed after the Revolution was over ... all he wanted was for Keith and Maddow to fawn over him on MSNBC.

    You can ask the questions or provide the answers. If you are going to do both, I don't need to be in the conversation.

    by Edge PA on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:31:37 AM PST

  •  This law is not a precedent (12+ / 0-)

    for the mandate to buy private health insurance.

    Unless the article is leaving something out, Congress required sailors to pay a tax to the federal government, which then used that revenue to provide them with health care--in government-operated hospitals, no less!  The 1798 law is a beautiful precedent for single-payer health insurance and even socialized medicine.  Republicans will and do claim that those things are unconstitutional, and here we have historical proof that they are wrong about that, but this law has nothing to do with the mandate to buy a product from a company.

    •  The article also says that the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ScienceMom

      money was used to pay private doctors as well.  This was very much like Medicare today.

      But health exchanges did not exist like they do now.  I suspect that if they did, this law would have allowed purchasing those as an option.  As the article writer said, they were trying to solve a problem to make sure trade could happen.

      I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

      by anonevent on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:54:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I love it when the Pea Tardy is hoisted (0+ / 0-)

    by its own petard.

    What say you, Pea Tardy?

    People don't listen to propaganda because they think it's true. They listen because they wish it was true.

    by thenekkidtruth on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:32:27 AM PST

  •  John Adams opines (4+ / 0-)

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:33:23 AM PST

  •  John Adams was a communist sympathizer: (0+ / 0-)

    This is pretty bad for the due process and commerce clause arguments, but not fatal.  It can be distinguished on the basis that it applied to sailors and was thus an exercise of Congress's maritime powers.  Ungar's description is also "if the sailor wanted work, he had to pay up."  That means, if he didn't want to pay, he had the option of not being a sailor.  It puts the situation on par with the car insurance mandate:  just don't drive.  

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

    by Loge on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:34:02 AM PST

  •  It required the shipowners, not the sailors, to (6+ / 0-)

    fund medical care for the sailors, i.e. a type of early Workers Compensation.  

    It was a tax.  Not an apt comparison to forcing someone to buy their own coverage or face a penalty.

    If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:35:35 AM PST

  •  Original Intent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Khun David, Ezekial 23 20

    You don't really want to follow this line of thinking, as revealing as it might be of the other side's hypocrisy.

    Madison and Jefferson were all in favor of KY's and TN's nullification of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

    We really need to get out of the habit of seeing the Founders as the fount of all wisdom.  The Constitution is a fundamentally flawed plan of governance, and not most basically because of slavery.  The big, fundamental, problem they left unresolved, was divided sovereignty.  They put both the Supremacy Clause, and the 10th Amendment, in the same document.

    Government in this country has been a success only to the extent that we have just ignored original intention in respect to state sovereignty, gone with the Supremcay Clause, and ignored the 10th.

    We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

    by gtomkins on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:35:52 AM PST

    •  As the writer of the Forbes' article points out (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gtomkins

      the real point of this piece of history is to show those who oppose the ACA that they did not have the founder's blessing like they think they do.

      I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

      by anonevent on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:56:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bust down a door that is already shattered (0+ / 0-)

        Fair enough, and certainly this information about the Act for the Relief of Disabled Seamen helps point out to you and me the hypocrisy of these people.  But did we need further proof?  And is this new slant likely to bring over people who needed further proof?

        I don't find it gives a particularly new slant that we were unaware of before this was brought up.  You're not going to score any points with people who aren't already assured by the examples of state-mandated auto insurance, or the federal govt-mandated social insurance program that is Social Security, that the baggers have no credibility in claiming that the mandate is any sort of innovation.  You're not breaking any new ground in the hypocrisy department when we already knew that these people have long let mandated auto insurance, and SocSec, slide under their radar of outraged objection to socialist tyranny.

        To make people ashamed of inconsistency in their views, they first have to have a sense of shame, and a sense of consistency in forming views of the world.  If they had no trouble forming rationalizations for why the individual mandate in the ACA is somehow different, in earth-shakingly, grab-your-guns-important ways, from auto insurance mandates, or payroll deductions funding SocSec, then it goes without saying that of course they will be able to find differences at least as plausible between the mandate and this 18th Century proposal.  If your standards are low enough, you can find just about anything plausible as a difference worth gathering your armies over.

        We should have destroyed the presidency before Obama took office. Too late now.

        by gtomkins on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 10:44:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Original intent is always the starting the (0+ / 0-)

      starting point of any constitutional or statutory analysis.

  •  I think Chris Rodda diaried this on DK (0+ / 0-)

    back during the HCR debates as well.  Dunno if she pulled her diaries when she quit the site, though.

  •  doesn't John Adams & Thomas Jefferson (0+ / 0-)

    understand the constitution?  Oh, wait a minute, they actualy wrote it,

    and as Rosaana Rosanna Danna sez  NEVERMIND


    80% of SUCCESS is JUST showing up

    Christina Taylor Green,RIP - Gun Control NOW

    by Churchill on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:37:38 AM PST

  •  Did this HC tax go completely toward HC... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Angry White Democrat

    or did a large chunk of it go toward enriching shareholders and CEOs?  That matters a little bit in my opinion.

    In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve.

    by daveusf on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:37:53 AM PST

  •  That's 5 years before Marbury v. Madison (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J M F, Loge

    At this point, practically, Congress was the first and last word on whether a law complied with the Constitution.

    Apparently this diary is really OFN.

    •  Marbury v. Madison (0+ / 0-)

      Is not a good precedent for the view that the first few Congresses had particular insight into the Constitution.  In Marbury, the Court interpreted an ambiguously phrased sentence of the Article III so that it conflicted with the Judiciary Act of 1801, when there was a perfectly reasonable interpretation of Article III that was consistent with the Judiciary Act.

  •  I wrote a diary on this a while back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J M F, hmi

    Ugh.  I was hoping I wouldn't see this article cited here.

    Using this arcane law to justify a private health insurance mandate is way off base.  You can read my analysis of the law here.  I wrote the diary back in the halcyon days of the HIR debate as a response to those who sought to justify private health insurance mandates without a public option.

    Like those who have used this "Disabled Seaman's Act" before him to prove a point about mandates, Mr. Unger's premise is highly, highly flawed.  He is misrepresenting what the act does.  My response to him in the comments section of the Forbe's article:

    I oppose the health insurance mandate, but for the reason that it doesn’t go far enough in reforming health care delivery models in this country. I’m an advocate of something more resembling a single payer system, and feel that all the health insurance mandate does is cement the currently existing system of private, for-profit health insurance into place for generations to come.

    Setting aside the political realities involved in passing single payer legislation (I freely acknowledge that a law implementing a single payer system could simply not have come out of the most recent Congress), I find your premise misleading. As a defense of socialized medicine, your article is spot on. As a defense of forcing individuals to purchase private health insurance from private, for-profit corporations – your use of this arcane law is apropos of nothing. One simply doesn’t speak for the other.

    Let’s summarize what this "Disabled Seaman’s Act" does:

    1. Requires ship owners to remit a fixed payment to a collector;
    1. Allows owners to deduct this payment from seaman’s wages;
    1. Requires the collector to remit those funds to the U.S. Tresury;
    1. Allows the President discretion to direct those funds for the health benefits of sailors.

    Replace the words "ship owner" with "employer"; the words "seaman" with "worker" and "sailors" with "senior citizens" this system almost perfectly describes the current Medicare system – NOT at all a private health insurance mandate.

    I would simply love a system whereby my employer deducts funds out of my wages, remits them to the US Treasury, and then allows me to obtain my health services through the federal government. Alas, the most recent health insurance reform effort produced nothing of the sort – falling short of even offering a "public option" whereby a person could outright purchase insurance from the federal government in a market exchange.

    What I don’t like is being forced to contribute my money to a system of health care delivery where the profits of private stakeholders is the penultimate goal – above actual health care delivery itself.

    •  It also appears to be (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thegood thebad thedumb, J M F

      an exercise in Congress's power to regulate commerce with foreign nations, not just interstate, and only applies to sailors, not regular people.  It's interesting, it's not a good fact for the Cuccinellis of the world, but it doesn't settle the issue.  

      I tend to think the mandate is Constitutional, but I'm not in love with it as a matter of policy.  I mean, it's fine in theory, but not if the subsidies aren't enough or the cost control measures aren't as effective, or the insurance to be provided isn't adequate.

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

      by Loge on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:45:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Under what express power is it constitutional? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J M F, hmi, Blizzard

        Certainly not under the Commerce clause - unless we want to claim that the Commerce Clause now allows Congress to regulate NON-commerce, or economic non-activities.  Does my non-involvement in the stock market allow Congress to force me to buy private equities?

        The power to tax?  Perhaps.  But Congress didn't quite structure it that way.  Rather than raise everybody's taxes, and then grant those with insurance a "health insurance deduction" (which they probably didn't want to do for the political problems which come along with raising taxes), they chose to make it a legal requirement subject to monetary penalty.  Though one can say that they are "kinda sorta" "pretty much" the same thing - they are simply not the same thing - from a legal standpoint.  One is a tax incentive, the other is a monetary penalty.

        I don't own a house.  Therefore, I don't reap the advantages of a mortgage interest deduction.  OK.  But what if Congress passed a law requiring home ownership and then penalizing those who don't own a home with a monetary penalty?  Quite a different animal, isn't it?

        •  Actually, we are claiming that Congress (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JR, Loge

          has the power to regulate even non-Commerce things as long as they relate to commerce.  How else do you argue the right of Congress to pass the Civil Rights Act?

          As you probably know, the founding fathers also mandated purchases of guns and ammo in order to make sure the second amendment militia requirement was upheld.

          I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

          by anonevent on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:25:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read the Supreme Court's decision in (0+ / 0-)

            Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States

            In fact, Congress DID use the Commerce Clause to regulate economic activity when it passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

            Congress was regulating the ownership and operation of restaurants, motels, nightclubs, etc.  Undoubtedly a commerical activity.

            Having observed that 75% of the Heart of Atlanta Motel's clientele came from out-of-state, and that it was strategically located near Interstates 75 and 85 as well as two major U.S. Highways, the Court found that the business clearly affected interstate commerce. As such, it therefore upheld the permanent injunction issued by the District Court, and required the Heart of Atlanta Motel to receive business from clientele of all races.

            As for your "mandatory gun purchase" claim.  Could you please provide me some source material for that?  Thanks.

          •  To which the apposite question is (0+ / 0-)

            always: what limits, if any, does the power have. Could Congress simply have enacted and/or repealed Prohibition by legislation? Flu causes all sorts of widespread economic losses. Can Congress order you to be annually vaccinated? Maybe motorcycle riders, often going state to state, have accidents that place an undue burden on the medical system. Could Congress simply outlaw motorcycles?

            Before we get all excited to declare that the commerce power potentially regulates everything and anything, how about we ask ourselves if we still want that outcome when, just as an outlandish possibility, the Republicans some day control both Congress and the presidency. When that troika outlaws abortion on commerce power grounds, will we still nod sagely and agree that that's well within constitutional bounds?

            •  The answers to these questions are: (0+ / 0-)
              1.  Prohibition.  Yes.  How do you think federal drug laws work?
              1.  Flu vaccines?  Maybe.  There isn't as strong a commerce clause argument, but there is a due process argument that getting a specific type of medical treatment (as distinct from any medical treatment, or, rather, insurance) violates liberty interests.  The same goes for abortion, which is protected by the 14th amendment.  Justice Thomas suggested that the "partial birth abortion" ban exceeded commerce clause power, but it wasn't even raised by the opponents of the bill.  If Congress put in a judicial limitation that said no traveling across state lines for an abortion, no use of the U.S. mails in furtherance of providing abortion services, no prescribing FDA-controlled drugs to procure abortion, or made receipt of medicare funds contingent on states' outlawing abortion, each would be fine on commerce clause grounds, if Roe were overruled.
              1. Motorcycles?  Yes, Congress could outlaw their manufacture and sale.  I am not sure they could outlaw their operation within a single state but could outlaw their operation on roads that have received federal funds.  They could do what they did with the drinking age and make federal highway funds contingent on banning motorcycles.

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

              by Loge on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:58:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  It is structured as a tax, for one (0+ / 0-)

          from what i've read, it's basically, you buy insurance, or you pay a tax.  That's the economic equivalent of taxing everyone for the value of a health insurance plan, and then deducting premiums.  

          For another, you articulated the commerce clause issue incorrectly.  The ACA regulates interstate commerce, and activities that have a substantial effect on interstate commerce.  The mandate is integral to an overall regulatory scheme, and is therefore justified under the "necessary and proper clause."

          Third, lack of health insurance, so the argument goes, has a "substantial effect" on interstate market by leading to free-riding and driving up costs in consequence.  Unless you can convince a court that you never get sick and will never use an emergency room, non-commerce in this case affects commerce.  That's not true of other areas of life, like buying a house or a telephone, etc.

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

          by Loge on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:45:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Also should be noted: (0+ / 0-)

      Exactly TWO DAYS before Congress approved the act that Ungar cites, they approved the Alien and Sedition Acts.

      Two days apart.

      I'm sure the 5th Congress and President Adams had a damn fine idea of what the Constitution means, but that doesn't mean they couldn't be wrong!  And, as John McCain proved, just because you wrote a law doesn't mean you always follow it.

      ‎"Our greatest asset as advocates is a deep cognizance of our own ignorance, plus a willingness to do something about it." -Joseph Mitchell Kaye, 1966.

      by JR on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:27:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did Adams' enemies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JR

    deride the Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen as AdamsCare?

  •  The question posed by the text is (0+ / 0-)

    whether the framers of the government under which we now live -- who, as we so readily admit, understood the question much better than we -- believed that any line properly dividing local from federal authority, or anything in the Constitution, properly forbade the federal government to control as to health insurance.

  •  Good catch. (0+ / 0-)

    Send this to CNN and MSNBC.  It's possible that they haven't caught it.

    "Put on your high-heeled sneakers/it's Party time" - Steely Dan.

    by rainmanjr on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:42:27 AM PST

  •  LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PBen

    LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU I CAN'T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

    MARY HAD A LITTLE LAMB LITTLE LAMB LITTLE LAMB LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  •  How can John Adams & Thomas Jefferson (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PBen, Progressive Chick

    compare in their knowledge of Original Intent to Antonin Scalia?  

    "I'm not a member of an organized political party - I'm a Democrat." Will Rogers

    by newjeffct on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:51:22 AM PST

    •  Scalia doesn't care about original intent. (0+ / 0-)

      Common misperception, but he expressly disavows original intent analysis, as well as strict constructionism.  He's actually credited among conservatives with killing original intent originalism.

      ‎"Our greatest asset as advocates is a deep cognizance of our own ignorance, plus a willingness to do something about it." -Joseph Mitchell Kaye, 1966.

      by JR on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:29:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    Not relevant. Taxes are set by Congress, not by corporations.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt -

    by enhydra lutris on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 07:55:20 AM PST

  •  Read the Forbes' article again folks (0+ / 0-)

    The real point of describing this piece of history is to show those who oppose the ACA that they did not have the founder's blessing like they think they do.

    That type of bill would not work today mostly because our economy and health care systems are different than what was back then.

    I do think that they would have taken the HMO's into account because what they were trying to solve was how to make sure sailors were healthy so that trade could happen effectively.

    I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

    by anonevent on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:00:37 AM PST

    •  They might well have (0+ / 0-)

      taken non-governmental alternatives into account had they existed back then.  Did health insurance companies exist in the United States at the time?  I honestly don't know.  Life insurance and insurance on ships go back to the 1600s at least, I think, so perhaps they did.

      Another relevant issue might be whether the law applied only to common sailors, or also to ships' captains, who could have been expected to be better able to provide for their own health care needs--we could think of them as equivalent to people today who have good, private health insurance coverage now.

  •  Need for a rebuttal of ATR Healthcare piece (0+ / 0-)

    I was forwarded this piece (from Norquist's group) listing all of the supposed "tax hikes" from Obamacare.

    I've spent a few a few minutes on the Google trying to find a good point by point rebuttal of this, without success so far, and I have to do at least some work today.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.

    The GOP: "You can always go to the Emergency Room."

    by Upper West on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:04:00 AM PST

  •  Why the dishonest representation of that act? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hmi, Blizzard

    It is not a requirement that individuals buy private insurance.

    It is, in fact, more like workers compensation than anything else, and applies only to sailers on foreign vessels coming to American ports.

    It's simlilarity to ACA requirements is pretty much zero.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:05:08 AM PST

    •  See my reply above (0+ / 0-)

      here

      According to the article, it applied to all sailors.  The fees were collected when the ships pulled into the US ports.

      I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

      by anonevent on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:16:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We're both actually wrong on one detail -- (0+ / 0-)

        The act applied to US flagged vessels coming to US ports from foreign ports.

        Doesn't look to apply to vessels going between US ports.

        However, it doesn't change much. There was no requirement for individuals to buy private insurance.  Far from it: a tax was levied from which the government would provide health care.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 09:27:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't ask me to defend the mandate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thegood thebad thedumb

    that's one piece that can go away with nary a tear from me.

    Zombie Reagan lives in the White House. Except he's not a zombie and thinks he's a Democrat.

    by The Dead Man on Fri Jan 21, 2011 at 08:35:27 AM PST

  •  The signers of the Declaration of Independence (0+ / 0-)

    ended it with this line:

    ... And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

    Boy, those were the days. Pledging lives, pledging fortunes, pledging honor for a single purpose - a nation.

    "Now, watch this drive..."

  •  Maybe John Adams read Karl Marx... (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe the Texas school system should write him out of the textbooks.  they could state that Richard Mellen Scaife or Ed Koch was the 2nd president of the United States.

    or maybe John McCain.  He was around back then, wasn't he?

  •  Obviously a plot to fill the pockets of (0+ / 0-)

    Leech breeders and Bonesaw makers.

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