Skip to main content

That's right you read that correctly. The very first congress passed a mandate. According to America Blog
The Founding Fathers loved health care mandates according to The New England Journal of Medicine
it is pointed out that of Constitution's framers most of them voted in favor of several mandates including ones on health insurance. Ship owners were required to provide health care to sailors and pay 20 cents for every month a seamen had been employed. The money was to provide health care for seamen.
Because some people were complaining that it was too onerous to require the purchase of a firearm that was require on a mandate it was voted about again and came out in favor of not changing law the 6 to 50.
So much for the framers of the constitution not being for mandates. They passed several and some had to do with health insurance.
Basically sailors got health care over two hundred years before the rest of us!
I think it is about time for the rest of us to catch up.

While a lot of things have been written and opinions stated it is my opinion that the main reason that Republicans are against Obama's health plan is not so much about the health plan itself but because they know that if this goes into effect and does half of what it is designed to do then it will do what Social Security did. After Social Security was passed the Democrats stayed in power for a long time.

We can see that the plan has many things in it Republicans have proposed passed at state levels themselves at times including Romney. So why are the so against it.

It will make the Democrats look to darned good, DUH....
 

Poll

Will the Supreme Court rule for or against Obamacare as it is called.

11%5 votes
13%6 votes
25%11 votes
15%7 votes
0%0 votes
25%11 votes
9%4 votes

| 44 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  The first congress passed a mandate??? (12+ / 0-)

    yep!

    Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

    by arealniceguy on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 09:52:50 PM PDT

  •  the reason this mandate is so unpopular (10+ / 0-)

    is that much of the public is rightly concerned about a requirement to purchase insurance from the private sector when it seems there are no provisions in place to control rate increases.  It feels like being told you have to go to a loan shark for all of your credit needs.

    "By your late thirties the ground has begun to grow hard. It grows harder and harder until the day that it admits you.” Thomas McGuane, Nobody's Angel

    by Keith930 on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:06:13 PM PDT

    •  Exactly. (7+ / 0-)

      It also makes insurance companies a permanent feature of the health care industry landscape, which is basically like giving money to a corporation that doesn't do anything at all or add any value at all over single payer, but just skims money off the top.

      •  I kinda gotta agree with you but it is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rizzo, edrie

        probably right for now. I mean if they just up and removed the health insurance companies right from the start that could have a tremendous negative effect on our whole economy.

        I'm thinking about how many people that work in the health insurance business and that we would have just wiped out a big boat load of them and their way of earning a living, oh boy what a fine kettle of fish that would be. Lots more people unemployed and on welfare.

        By doing it this way when the insurance companies see that a new model is coming down the pike and they can be a part of it (with more regulation and new requirements ) or not, they will more likely get on the bandwagon. Of course they will use their economic muscle to get some changes in the law to help them but over all they will be in the system and be regulated better then in the old system.

        Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

        by arealniceguy on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:10:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can't put something in (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Lujane, Sparhawk, fuzzyguy

          "for now"

          That was the thinking with the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Dept, the war on drugs, and so on-- stuff done 'for now'.  But all of that stuff (and more) is still here, and may never be eradicated.  Once you pay an institution to do something, it will fight like hell- through lobbyists, etc, to keep it's piece of the pie--and in this case it will do that using a small portion of the money it skims from the very people who it is fighting against the interests of, but who will be forced to pay for these lobbyists anyway. Pretty ironic, no?

          •  The first rule of any organization... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rizzo, Aramis Wyler, arealniceguy

            ...is to justify its own existence.

            It's difficult to find examples of organizations that voluntarily decide that they should not exist anymore because they no longer serve a purpose.

            For example, anti-drunk-driving organizations like MADD may have already succeeded in their mission, maybe time to go home now. Drinking and driving is basically socially unacceptable now (to a large degree).

            Instead, they hound state legislators to lower the BAC level to 0.08 instead of 0.10, fundraise, etc. A typical conversation with these people is like "My relative was killed by a drunk driver! We need to lower BAC limits!" "Yeah, what was the BAC of the drunk driver?" "Oh, it was 0.26".

            This is just an example.

            (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
            Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

            by Sparhawk on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 09:48:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You can't put something into law (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, arealniceguy

          "for now" that is this sweeping.

          That was the thinking with the Patriot Act, the Homeland Security Dept, the war on drugs, and so on-- stuff done 'for now'.  But all of that stuff (and more) is still here, and may never be eradicated.  Once you pay an institution to do something, it will fight like hell- through lobbyists, etc, to keep it's piece of the pie--and in this case it will do that using a small portion of the money it skims from the very people who it is fighting against the interests of, but who will be forced to pay for these lobbyists anyway. Pretty ironic, no?

          •  so nice I said it twice... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            G2geek, Lujane, arealniceguy

            sorry for the double post...

            •  it deserves to be said a few hundred times. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              johnny wurster, Lujane, Rizzo, fuzzyguy

              Every time I hear someone say "for now," it conjures up the impression of Mickey Mouse solutions that are inherently broken but end up getting embedded and cemented in place by force of inertia*.  

              The IT world is full of "for now" solutions that utterly suck but remain because it's "inconvenient" or "expensive" to replace them with something that works and costs less and pays for itself quickly.  

              -----

              * "By force of inertia."  Yes I know, inertia is not a force in the same sense as gravity and electromagnetism, and the strong and weak forces, etc.  It just made a good figure of speech in a pinch.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:16:50 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Hadn't heard it exactly that way before (0+ / 0-)

      just all the general and anti or pro mandate, take it or leave it.

      My understanding and you or some one can correct me on this is that you can choose who you want to get coverage from and the plans that offer the best value will end up being preferred.

      If the pricing is done by the insurance companies again the free market will rule and best value should prevail. If the insurance companies try to rip us off there are rules in the law that lets them be punished and if a company provides a better value than others they will get selected more often and grow.

      If the costs are set by the government then voters will have the last say if the price is higher than most people want to pay for the product. So the same people that make sure our government is getting what they are paying for will keep everyone in line.

      To my thinking we are paying a very high price now because all the people using the emergency room as their doctor when they can't afford a doctor visit costs us all in higher hospital bills and higher local taxes to fund the public hospitals.

      It also costs more to treat a patient that is much more advanced in the course of their illness than they would be if they had been treated by a doctor in the doctors office before the illness was so bad it required a visit to the hospital.

      Didn't a Republican passed bill a while back require hospitals to give care even if the one getting the treatment could not pay of the treatment.  Weird that they would pass a bill like that and not include a way for the hospital to get paid. This law solves the problem.

      I have a friend who went to the emergency room and got care but then she was not even able to pay for the prescription they gave her to be filled. I paid for it as it was only a few dollars.

      Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

      by arealniceguy on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:46:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  nope, that's what they want you to believe. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kareylou, fuzzyguy

        It's like creating a "market" of loan sharks and mandating that everyone do business with them.  No, the prices will not materially come down.  Yes, they will continue to increase at a rate far above inflation.  And also, the sharks will get fattened up and more and more powerful, to be able to dictate policy indefinitely.  

        And No No No, "emergency room visits" are not the cost of escalating health care costs.  That's what the insurance corporations would like us to believe.  It takes the spotlight off the fact that they are the primary cause of astronomical health care costs, with their 30% administrative overhead, like blaming "welfare mothers" for government budget deficits.  

        Don't fall for that stuff.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:20:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not THE cost, (0+ / 0-)

          but certainly the people who use the emergency room as their primary care physician because they don't have insurance do increase medical costs substantially vs peple who actually have an actual primary care physician.  It's not like the insurance companies just made up the exorbitant price of, well, everything that gets used in the hospital emergency area, or the fact that a stich in time really does save 9, and we're paying for all 9 in the emergency room.

          "Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right." - Isaac Asimov

          by Aramis Wyler on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 11:42:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  and pay money to corporations famous for cruelty (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rizzo

      These heath insurance corporations are paradigm examples of the culture of cruelty.  This is an industry in which high-paid bureaucrats get big bonuses for denying health care to people who are desperately ill.  Including stringing some of them along until they're terminal and the only option left is hospice.

      How many denials of chemotherapy to women with breast cancer, are equal to the downpayment on an expensive sports car?  

      It's disgusting beyond the scope of words to express.  It's immoral and it's evil and there is no more excuse for that than there is for armed robbery of old ladies in wheelchairs.  

      How many ways do we have to spell this out?  One of the supreme evils in this world is when the strong prey upon the weak.  That is their entire business model: the strongest of the strong preying upon the weakest of the weak, making them suffer and making them die, all for the sake of obscene profits.

      And now we are expected, each and every one of us, to write checks to them and sign them with our own hands.   That is as morally offensive as being obligated by Roman law to offer a pinch of incense to the Roman gods was to the early Christians (radical commies all of 'em).  

      It's the assent of the deed, like being forced to swear allegiance to a brutal despot in one's own voice.  It is not a mere pragmatic act, it is a vote for the perpetrators of calculated cruelty, and it is feeding them money to make them even stronger.  

      And worse yet is when so-called progressives support this degree of abject evil as if it was actually something good.  I've read all the excuses and rationalizations, the clever repetitions of insurance industry memes, and the rest of it, and they all turn a blind eye to the moral gravity of calculated cruelty for profit.    

      Progressives should be thinking of this as George Zimmerman in slow motion, multiplied by hundreds of thousands of victims and rationalized by market platitudes.  We should be setting ourselves against it with ferocious intensity, protests and civil disobedience, Occupations of the halls of Congress, flat refusals to get cozy with monsters, and putting more better Democrats in office rather than more corporate Democrats.  

      If the mandate is overturned, the Public Option is right around the corner, with no constitutional contradictions.  If the mandate is sustained, the monsters will fatten up even more, and the Public Option will be forever foreclosed.  But worse yet, if the mandate is sustained, every other special interest under the sun, from the merely annoying to the most vile and disgusting, will be lined up at the doors of Congress with its own "unique" situation that "demands" a personal mandate of compulsory consumption.  

      Mark my words.  

      See also Bob Swern's diary about the culture of cruelty, here:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:16:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you have enough money (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hooper
        If the mandate is overturned, the Public Option is right around the corner,
        to buy enough of the congress for that to happen

        delusional:   a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence,

        •  spinelessness in the face of evil is detestable. (0+ / 0-)

          Money money money.

          Bah humbug to that: we have the numbers.  

          We have sufficient numbers to elect more better Democrats.

          We have sufficient numbers to clog up the halls of Congress until the place groans to a standstill and stops functioning and they come to their senses.

          We have sufficient numbers to clog up the lobbies of the health insurance monsters until the protests are on every television screen in America minus the ones tuned to Faux Noize.  

          We have sufficient numbers to WIN on this one, in no uncertain terms, if we're willing to TRY.

          Pre-emptive defeatism has no place in the progressive dialogue, whether disguised as pragmatism or offered up as pure unadulterated misery in search of company, and whether about this issue or any other.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:52:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not a progressive (0+ / 0-)

            But I do belong to the Democratic Party

             I will decide what dialogue I use on any issue I choose

            •  be my guest. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rizzo

              Go right ahead and "decide what dialog you use on any issue you choose."

              Go right ahead and rationalize it on the grounds of pragmatism, the last resort of appeasement since time immemorial.  

              Go right ahead and get on the wrong side of history.

              Sooner or later, every defender of calculated cruelty finds out what it's like to be sick and weak, and some day, grows old and frail, and depends upon others treating them with compassion.  Try as you might to ignore those inconvenient facts of life, they will remain, a constant reminder in the background.

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 12:55:56 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  G2geek, please look at the following: (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                G2geek, xanthippe2

                redstates

                Each of those red states has 2 senators. The ACA was barely passed this go around. By far the best hope of getting anything better in the near future is for the ACA to become popular and for people to then realize that there's no need for the middle-men. But that ain't now, and it sure as heck wasn't 2 years ago.  (See map above).

                "I'm Mitt Romney, and I'm the real Mitt Romney. All the other Mitt Romneys are just mass-debating." -- Mittbot ver.12.0

                by Tortmaster on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:34:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  there's a legitimate debate to be had about... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Rizzo

                  ... whether leaving the ACA untouched is the most effective route to the PO, or whether striking down the mandate is the most effective route to the PO.

                  I'm up for that discussion any day of the week, and in pleasant conversational tones too, rather than my usual tone of moral outrage against the murder-by-spreadsheet industry.  

                  But when I see Democrats strapping on the Executive Climbers (knee pads) and kissing insurance industry butt, I want to projectile-vomit.  

                  And the fact that all those red states have two Republican senators should be enough to get every person on this site off their ass and into doing whatever is necessary to replace as many of those as possible, even in states other than their own.

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:11:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like a mandate to me?? But I could be wrong (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xanthippe2, markthshark

      First (mandate) was the 1790 law, passed by that first Congress, which applied to any U.S. ship that was at least 150 tons or with a crew of at least 10. It required the master or commander to either have a supply of on-board medicines (with instructions) or provide "all such advice, medicine, or attendance of physicians, as any of the crew shall stand in need of in case of sickness" and do it "without any deduction from the wages of such sick seaman or mariner."

      Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

      by arealniceguy on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:52:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it would be a mandate if it required (5+ / 0-)

        people that weren't in the business of.operating ships to buy a ship.  Distinctive of the current mandate discussion is whether congress can compel people into a market.  As g2geek notes, the law you're citing is just regular old regulation of commerce.

        •  The first mandate required them to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          xanthippe2

          provide health care.

          politifact said

          First was the 1790 law, passed by that first Congress, which applied to any U.S. ship that was at least 150 tons or with a crew of at least 10. It required the master or commander to either have a supply of on-board medicines (with instructions) or provide "all such advice, medicine, or attendance of physicians, as any of the crew shall stand in need of in case of sickness" and do it "without any deduction from the wages of such sick seaman or mariner."

           Sounds like mandatory health care to us.

          That was their opinion.

          Just A Real Nice Guy, thinking out loud.

          by arealniceguy on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:34:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Significant difference (0+ / 0-)

            The entity (the ship owner) being regulated had already entered commerce -- operating a ship.  Once the entered that commerce, Congress could regulate the details of that commerce -- the ship operation -- including the ship's crew.  That's plain vanilla commerce clause stuff -- if you enter interstate commerce, THEN you become subject to regulation of that commerce.  

            That is not precedent for Congress to regulate the whole country on the premise that, sooner or later, everybody WILL enter an area of commerce.  That's how the SG framed it -- timing -- whether Congress can regulate you BEFORE you actually engage in the commerce. That's a significant difference even under the administration's view of things.  There's no precedent for that, as the SG recognized. That's not to say that it's unconstitutional or not, just that it's a new question, that depends a lot on how broad you want to read Congress' power under the Commerce Clause.  That's why the SG got a lot of questions that said, essentially, well, if you want us do adopt a rule that says Congress can regulate you now if it believes you will, someday, engage in a particular kind of commercial activity, what can't it regulate under the Commerce Clause?  What's the rule -- the principle -- that we can articulate that limits Congress' Commerce Clause power.

      •  Yes, and this one soon followed... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xanthippe2, arealniceguy

        Good article on the Founding Fathers and mandates here:

        If the Supreme Court Goes Rogue

        George Washington and James Madison, two key Framers of the Constitution, saw nothing wrong with issuing mandates to citizens (to buy muskets for a militia), but today’s Republican majority on the Supreme Court seems set on going rogue and rewriting the founding document to say otherwise, Sam Parry writes.

        That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~ Aldous Huxley

        by markthshark on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:26:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  again, it was repealed over a century ago... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk

          .... and its constitutionality was never even tested.

          Hey, I have an antigravity space drive to sell you, it's never been tested but I swear it works...

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:22:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course it was repealed. The law became... (0+ / 0-)

            outdated and unnecessary. But the fact that its constitutionality was never tested, to me, speaks volumes.

            I'm sure there were arguments both for it and against it at the time. But the mandate was considered constitutional in that era by at least some of the people who originally authored the Constitution.

            That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~ Aldous Huxley

            by markthshark on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:01:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no, it doesn't speak volumes. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              coffeetalk

              First of all, the consolidation of power into the hands of a small number of enormous corporations that can buy & sell candidates like sheep and hogs at a county fair, did not exist at the time it was passed.

              Second, find me any example of people being penalized for not buying the requisite hardware during the last fifty years the law was in effect.  

              Third and conclusively, that power was justified under the clause about raising militias for military defense, not under the commerce clause.  Apples and oranges.  

              Fourth, the system of ragtag militias who bought their own military hardware was replaced with the national defense equivalent of SINGLE PAYER: one uniform standing army, uniformly equipped with weapons and supplies purchased and provided by the federal government.  

              "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

              by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 03:45:32 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not arguing the Commerce Clause... (0+ / 0-)

                Simply the mandate. It's been used in varying capacities throughout our history.

                That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~ Aldous Huxley

                by markthshark on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 04:01:44 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  sorry but that doesn't work. (0+ / 0-)

                  The commerce clause is precisely the item that is being used to justify this.

                  You may as well be arguing that the existence of the military draft at various points in our history, gives government the power to draft individuals to work directly for private corporations.  

                  "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

                  by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:14:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't need to "justify" anything... (0+ / 0-)

                    Like I said, I'm not arguing the Commerce Clause.

                    I posted a link to an article about the concept of individual mandates utilized and deemed constitutional throughout history.

                    Nothing more.

                    That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history. ~ Aldous Huxley

                    by markthshark on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 05:39:21 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Then you are not making an argument (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      G2geek

                      that this legislation is constitutional. '

                      Congress' power to act needs to relate to one of the enumerated powers in Art. I, sect. 9.  The Administration says  that it is constitutional because it falls under Congress' power to regulate interstate commerce.  

                      If you can find examples of other mandates under other powers in art. I, sect. 9, all those are at this point are interesting historical facts, not in any way relevant to the health care debate.  

    •  What is mandated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kareylou, IreGyre

      is the payment of a tax in absence of insurance.

      Opponents say the provision is not a tax because the final version of the law used the descriptive term “penalty” rather than the term “tax.” Yet the Supreme Court has expressly held that a law amounts to a tax for constitutional purposes if it raises revenue. As the Court explained, the only concern is a law’s “practical application, not its definition or the precise form of descriptive words which may be applied to it.” Moreover, Congress imposed the minimum coverage requirement only upon taxpayers, made the tax payable through individual tax returns, and charged the Internal Revenue Service with collection of the tax.
      http://www.fcan.org/...

      Bottom line, what is mandated here is not that you buy insurance, but that you have to pay this tax if you don't have insurance.

      •  two things about that: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnny wurster, Rizzo

        One, if you want to call it a "tax," what the hell are Democrats doing supporting a regressive tax designed to protect evil corporations?  

        Two, in fact the legislative history of this is that it is clearly NOT intended as a "tax", it's a penalty, and the "tax" mechanism is just a convenience for the legislation.  

        Oh, three things: if you want to call it a "tax," it's clearly a capitation tax, unconstitutional on its face.  Key word search "capitation."  

        A penalty for failure to consume is detestable.  It's also blatantly unconstitutional, as it attempts to compel commerce in order to regulate commerce, a power that has never existed in the law before (and the 1792 Militia Act is irrelevant, it was not justified under commerce powers but under defense powers, in any case it was repealed over a century ago).  

        And a penalty for failure to give money to some of the most immoral corporations this side of the Mafia, is evil in action.

        And compulsory payment to evil corporations only strengthens them further and enables them to dictate policy indefinitely.

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 02:27:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "unconstitutional" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kareylou
          One, if you want to call it a "tax," what the hell are Democrats doing supporting a regressive tax designed to protect evil corporations?
          Well, sure. What they're doing is supporting something that will 1) result in universal coverage, and 2) can actually pass in Congress.

          They decided that a single-payer system could not have passed the Congress. They also eventually decided that a public option could not pass either. And the only way to ensure coverage for people who can't get health insurance for pre-existing conditions and not bankrupt the insurance industry or create huge cost increases is the mandate. Unless you're going to replace the private insurance system with a public you have to ensure that those evil corporations can function, because that's they are the primary way everyone's health care is paid for in this country. The ACA is not a progressive bill except to the extent that it guarantees coverage and stops some of the worst practices of those companies in the previous status quo. It's a compromise bill. As so many have noted, the mandate was always a conservative idea.

          Two, in fact the legislative history of this is that it is clearly NOT intended as a "tax", it's a penalty, and the "tax" mechanism is just a convenience for the legislation.
           

          As noted in the quote above, this game with the semantics is not relevant: "a law amounts to a tax for constitutional purposes if it raises revenue."

          "A penalty for failure to consume is detestable.  It's also blatantly unconstitutional, as it attempts to compel commerce in order to regulate commerce, a power that has never existed in the law before"

          While Scalia and his friends might wind up agreeing with you, apparently the 100 law professors that signed the document i previously linked were somehow unable to see what is "blatantly unconstitutional" about the law. They must not know some special thing about the constitution that G2geek is aware of. They conclude that "there can be no serious doubt about the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision." Or, in other words, it is "blatantly constitutional". Even conservative judges like Silberman and Sutton have also ruled that it is constitutional. Your claim here is nonsense. As others have argued, the uninsured engage in commerce any time they wind up in an emergency room. When that happens they do "consume", and it is just a fact that the uninsured do consume health care services. They just don't pay for it. Those with insurance wind up paying for their consumption.

          Moreover, a "penalty for failure to consume" takes place all the time in our tax code. But the penalties for those who don't consume the right way are usually just presented under the rubric of "tax credits" for those who consumed the way the government wants. So if I don't purchase a 401k from a private company and put money into it, I have to pay more tax than someone who does. If I rent rather than buy I house I have to pay more tax than someone who buys a house. They could have done exactly the same thing with the insurance mandate, it would just be more wasteful and inefficient to do it that way. So they could have raised everyone's taxes by the penalty amount, then given everyone who has insurance a tax credit for that same penalty amount. You wind up in the exact same place. Those without insurance have to pay more tax than those who do.

          And no it is not a "capitation tax" anymore than the 401k tax credit or Social Security is a capitation tax. For one, it isn't levied on everybody and it is not without reference to income or property.

          And a penalty for failure to give money to some of the most immoral corporations this side of the Mafia, is evil in action.
          And what is allowing a system to continue where people die from treatable illness because they have a pre-existing condition and so can't get any health insurance? The bill is a compromise to stop that kind of evil in action.
          And compulsory payment to evil corporations only strengthens them further and enables them to dictate policy indefinitely.
          I agree. But they were already running the show before. The only way to change that would be single-payer. And the Democrats decided, with pretty good reason, that this would just be DOA in the Congress. So they can either be pure and accomplish nothing, or they can compromise and actually get something passed that is at least an improvement. They chose the latter.

          And again, just to be clear with what is really happening with the mandate, the only "compulsory payment" is to the government. The penalty is the only thing it ever forces anyone to pay. You can choose not to pay the evil corporations if you want, but if you do you have to pay something to the government. It's an incentive scheme (like many tax credits are) to try to make it not worth your while to choose to be uninsured.

          •  Um, no: (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy

            I'm so tired of hearing this.

            Well, sure. What they're doing is supporting something that will 1) result in universal coverage, and 2) can actually pass in Congress.
            The fact is that this is not universal coverage. How could it be when what we are talking about is a mandate to pay if you cannot afford to buy the insurance? C'mon now.  

            People who are so poor that they have to prioritize rent and heat above guaranteed profits for insurance companies, but will have to pay for it nonetheless.

        •  Um four things (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy

          In addition, if it's a tax, you don't decide it now (See Monday's argument on the Anti-Injunction Act).  The Administration conceded that it WAS NOT a tax in Monday's argument.  

      •  Not a tax (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IreGyre

        The penalty is not a tax. It is collected like a tax, but is not a tax. People may try and cry foul because of semantics, but semantics are the foundation of law and logic. Had this law been written so that it was a tax and the tax was exempted if you acquired insurance then arguments about constitutionality would be much weaker.

        I think Wickard v. Filburn pretty clearly mandates that the Fed can force individuals to participate in commerce. I don't like that, but the case law is already established and the Commerce Clause has been used to regulate the existence and creation of commerce even within intrastate commerce today. Overturning the mandate on arguments of "broccoli" would mean overturning nearly a century of precedent.

        Honestly, I don't like the mandate. I think it is unduly regressive and completely out of touch with the actual income and expenses of the people of this country. Mandating the purchase of junk insurance with no cost controls and financially punishing people who either can't afford said junk insurance and still not covering them with some sort of insurance despite charging them for it anyways is deplorable.

        The mandate is bad law. The rest of ACA has some very good things, but that doesn't change the fact that the mandate is regressive.

    •  Wikipaedia,4 what it may B worth... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IreGyre

      refers to it as a mandated tax.

      •  Wikipedia is a poor Primary Source (0+ / 0-)

        The politics and policies of Wikipedia make it a pretty poor primary source for information. The administration and those who crafted the law have made it clear that it is a penalty and not a tax in arguments with the Supreme Court.

  •  ship owners are engaged in commerce... (5+ / 0-)

    .... and the 1792 Militia Act of which you hint, is also something much beloved by right wing nutjobs as a rationale for them to form militias.  In any case it was repealed over a century ago, and the constitutionality of requiring every able-bodied man to purchase a rifle was never even tested.

    In short, fail.

    "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 10:49:43 PM PDT

    •  And the Militia Clause is a pretty solid (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arealniceguy, johnny wurster

      foundation for the Militia Act.

      The Congress shall have Power . . . To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia.
      •  and for the draft. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arealniceguy

        Shall we go there?

        How'bout reviving the draft?

        Got any kids?

        "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:19:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          arealniceguy, coffeetalk

          I was agreeing with you and pointing out that that the mandate in the Militia Act isn't a good precedent for the one in the ACA, because that one was based on a different, and much more explicit, source of Congressional authority.

          •  Oh, OK, why didn't you say so?:-) (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            arealniceguy

            Thanks for the clarification.

            The comment I replied to was a classic case of "terse is worse."  

            I've run across corporate insurance apologists using the Militia Act of 1792 as a rationalization, so it looked as if that's what you were doing.  

            If you'd said "the mandate in the Militia Act isn't a good precedent for the one in the ACA, because that one was based on a different, and much more explicit, source of Congressional authority," in your first comment, it would have been clear from the get-go.

            "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

            by G2geek on Mon Apr 02, 2012 at 11:43:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite true. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk

        The literal meaning of the word "provide" is key, as any constitutional scholar will tell you. "Provide" and "regulate" don't mean the same thing. It is one thing to levy a tax to issue firearms, which is authorized by the Militia Clause and the Taxing and Spending Clause; it is another entirely to compel the private purchase of firearms, which can only be described as regulation. I think the ACA is actually on more solid constitutional ground than the Militia Act because of its much greater impact on interstate commerce.

        •  Just a further note: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          coffeetalk

          Something that Constitutional Law professors have to say repeatedly, year after year, is that to "provide for the common Defense and general Welfare" is not the same as to regulate for the general welfare. Funding is the key: the Interstate Commerce Clause allows Congress to compel private action, but acts of Congress that rely on any clause that uses the word "provide" must be accomplished by taxing and spending.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site