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During the lead up to health care reform efforts by President Obama and Congress, there were plenty of heart-wrenching stories in the traditional media about the human toll of our broken system. Once the work started being done on reform, that all changed, and what we heard was all about the political fight, framed with help of plenty of press releases and talking points from Right-wing think tanks.

Now that the law is in jeopardy from the Supreme Court, the horror stories are coming back, this time focusing on what could be lost.

BATAVIA, Ohio — The tumor grew like a thick vine up the back of Eric Richter’s leg, reminding him every time he sat down that he was a man without insurance. In April, when it was close to bursting through his skin, he went to the emergency room. Doctors told him it was malignant and urged surgery.

His wife called every major insurance company she found on the Internet, but none would cover him: His cancer was a pre-existing condition. In desperation, the Richters agreed to pay half their hospital bill, knowing they could never afford it on their combined salaries of $36,000 a year. [...]

It is people like Eric Richter and his wife, Dani — uninsured and living in the unstable space between poverty and the middle class — that the law was intended to help. They earned too much to qualify for government-sponsored health care, but worked in jobs that did not come with health benefits. [...]

“It’s hard to pay for the unknown, when you’re struggling to cover the known,” said Mr. Richter, who is 39. “I know it sounds irresponsible, but that’s just the way it was. It’s a game of roulette you hope you’re going to win.”

We've all heard this story countless times. Too many of us have lived it, or are in the middle of it right now. Some have already found relief under the law, in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan which was set up as the stop-gap before the non-discrimination provisions of the law take effect in 2014. One of them is Maryann Kaine, 52, highlighted in this story. She had to have back surgery, and was dumped off of her family's insurance plan. What happens to her if the law is struck down?
“I can’t imagine that they’ll just dump all of us back out into the world of no coverage,” she said.
It's hard to imagine, but that could very well be exactly what happens. That's the Republican plan: to do nothing about the millions of uninsured and uninsurable, because of pre-existing conditions. Mitt Romney certainly doesn't intend to fix the problem. He's more than happy with the status quo. Actually, he wants to make the status quo worse, allowing for insurance companies to sell across state lines. That move would effectively gut whatever state insurance regulations currently exist.

Yes, Ms. Kaine, Republicans and their five allies on the Supreme Court will dump you right back into the world of no coverage. And they'll do it happily.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  He can't pay for his cancer surgery? (16+ / 0-)

    Let him die! Right?

    That still makes me sick.

    Whose interest does ignorance serve? - Carl Sagan

    by spgilbert on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:37:18 AM PDT

    •  If it makes you sick, (6+ / 0-)

      I hope you already have health insurance, because that would be a pre-existing condition.

      Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

      by shoeless on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:08:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The sad part of this story (5+ / 0-)

      I live near Batavia, Ohio. It's the reddest of the red. These people would elect Chairman Mao if he had an (R) behind his name on the ballot.
      The way people sabotage their own lives is fascinating.

      Just another day in Oceania.

      by drshatterhand on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:12:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree. I have arguments with staunch... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rezkalla

        union supporters that are vehemently anti Democrat.  One guy even said he was pro Republican because Democrats "didn't support unions enough."  

        So switch to the side that actively, publicly wants to get rid of unions???

        The denial, twists and contradictions are fascinating, in a self destructive way.

        "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

        by Candide08 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:03:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And Democrats can't control their spending! (0+ / 0-)

          We need some Republicans who know how to handle money in office.  You gotta admit, the Repubs know how to control the narrative.

          My brother thought Obama was going to raise his taxes.  A lot of people probably think he did.

          Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

          by Rezkalla on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:25:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. Control the media... (0+ / 0-)

            yet say it has a "liberal bias" or is "liberal owned."  (Like a liberal is bad in the first place.

            For some facts on the economy:

            On the day that President Obama was sworn into office, the S&P 500 index closed at 805. Today, it's at 1,321. Under President Obama, the stock market is up 64%, in less than four years.

                That brings the Democratic average annual stock market performance up to 10%. The Republican figure is 0.4%. No wonder Republicans hate government – they're so bad at it. Particularly when it comes preserving national wealth.

                And despite the incessant whining of the corporate rich, by no stretch of the imagination are they suffering under the Obama Administration. Just today, it was reported that pay for CEOs has reached an all-time high, just short of $10 million a year. Or roughly $5,000 an hour. Good work, if you can get it.

                http://www.nytimes.com/...

            And why the recovery is so slow:
            The major reason this recovery has been so anemic is not Europe’s debt crisis. It’s not Japan’s tsumami. It’s not Wall Street’s continuing excesses. It’s not, as right-wing economists tell us, because taxes are too high on corporations and the rich, and safety nets are too generous to the needy. It’s not even, as some liberals contend, because the Obama administration hasn’t spent enough on a temporary Keynesian stimulus.

            The answer is in front of our faces. It’s because American consumers, whose spending is 70 percent of economic activity, don’t have the dough to buy enough to boost the economy – and they can no longer borrow like they could before the crash of 2008.

            http://truth-out.org/...

            "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

            by Candide08 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 03:38:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  People with Pre-existing condition (7+ / 0-)

      were never removed--as a group--from the purgatory of being an uninsured American with a pre-existing condition.

      A miniscule sub-set of people, those who qualified for, and could afford the PCIP, as I explain in my diary, are the ones who stand to lose this coverage. This is around 62,000-70,000 souls.

      The 50 million uninsured were waiting until the 2014 implementation of the law, and even then, the ACA would only cover around 32 million.

      What an unmitigated tragedy.

    •  My husband became eligible for Medicare (0+ / 0-)

      If he had not, we would not be able to afford his chemotherapy, which begins in August.

      I have lupus, which means I am royally screwed if the pre-existing clause goes away. I'll just have to pray I don't become seriously ill for the next decade, when I'm eligible for Medicare.

      Republicans don't want to admit that they are willing to sentence people to death for being poor and ill at the same time, but that's just what they are doing.

      They need to be called out for it.

      "I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role." - Eleanor Roosevelt. I would like to add that I am a happy atheist!

      by Rogneid on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:28:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Reach out to Aetna CEO @mtbert (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ParkRanger
  •  A sign of a truly sick society (23+ / 0-)

    Once we put making profits over the well being of fellow citizens, our culture is truly sick.  Why is the very notion of empathy and compassion considered to be a sign of weakness and acquisition of wealth at the expense of others some sort of virtue?  

    It amazes me that basic human decency is something we have to debate so often.

    •  And we're losing the debate way too often, because (7+ / 0-)

      the economic power of the 1% is lined up on the other side.

      --------------- --------------- --------------- "Every part of you belongs to you." -- from a story of Virginia under the Personhood law. Read it here.

      by Fiona West on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This Country has a SICK History For Social Laws (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      historys mysteries, Noor B, nyceve

      That is an inherent flaw in Democracy. Knowledge is like a bell curve. You can have an ignorant majority impose their lack of social values on everyone else.

      For History:

      Look at all the New Deal reforms struck down. Children have a "Right to work and have their thumbs chopped off".

      Good Example

      In the thirties Congress passed the AAA. It was an attempt to rescue farmers from the collapse of the farm economy that happened with the coming of the Depression.

      It was found unconstitutional. Prior to the switch in time that saved the nine

      . .a statutory plan to regulate and control agricultural production, [is] a matter beyond the powers delegated to the federal government. . ."
      Not to mention the Dredd Scott Decision. Or Buck v. Bell where the Chief Justice said that sterilization was a good thing because concluding (a decision never expressly overturned)
      Holmes concluded his argument by declaring that "Three generations of imbeciles are enough".
  •  What's the rush? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    james321, Cedwyn

    Just now I saw the invitation to get the announcement from Daily Kos about the Supreme Court's decision, the minute it's announced.  Yesterday evening NPR had a report on how lobbying organizations are charging their clients a pretty penny to the the news, and what it means, almost instantly.

    What's the rush?  Is something going to happen instantly to patients?  I doubt it.  Perhaps the stock price of health insurance companies will take a huge boost or hit, depending on the financial fallout, but any big price swing in those stocks should be tempered by the consideration that Congress might patch up any parts that are struck down.  Maybe Congress will just put everybody on Medicare, like they should have done in the first place.

    I almost hope the Supremes announce this decision about midnight on some Friday, so there's time for all the 'experts' to read and digest it before business resumes.

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:44:38 AM PDT

  •  Boner to GOP.....If it's struck down, don't spike (5+ / 0-)

    the ball.

    GOP to Boner.....Piss off creep.

    •  i so hope they do (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nyceve, u028021, lp3161

      I REALLY want the GOP to spike the ball. I want them to be all over the TV, bragging about killing the ACA.

      Just so everyone will see what kind of monsters they are.

    •  What does that mean? (0+ / 0-)

      I know it sounds air-headed but I haven't played volleyball since the 80's - what does he mean by that in context of the decision?  

      Thanks

      "Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure." Emma 1816 Check out my blog http://uninsuredinca.blogspot.com

      by ArtemisBSG on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:29:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think this reference comes from football (0+ / 0-)

        ...and for the guy with the ball spiking it in the end zone after a touchdown.  Used to be, spike the ball, get a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.  But of course the pros do it all the time.

        I haven't watched a football game in ten years, so I'm kinda out of the loop as well.

        Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

        by rbird on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:45:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I see- (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rbird

          If I recall correctly, they would spike the ball and then do a silly dance of some sort.  

          Thanks.

          "Selfishness must always be forgiven, you know, because there is no hope of a cure." Emma 1816 Check out my blog http://uninsuredinca.blogspot.com

          by ArtemisBSG on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:38:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  God forbid we treat those who are already sick! (9+ / 0-)

    These are the people that should be at the front of the health care line.

    THIS COUNTRY AND MANY OF ITS CITIZENS ARE FUCKED UP!

  •  Can we not pretend that two people making 18k (6+ / 0-)

    a year are somehow anywhere near middle-class? The marriage penalty across taxation, support qualification, etc is bullshit.

  •  Wait - I'm not clear as to what Mr. Richter (5+ / 0-)

    is referring to when says something sounded irresponsible. The man had a cancerous tumor growing in his leg.  What was he supposed to do - wish it away?  I mean, is he sort of trying to apologize for not being able to pre-emptively cope with something his body is doing?

    I guess what I'm trying to suss out is what he thinks he could have done that he didn't do. Getting sick is not anyone's fault. It sounds as though he and his wife are doing the very best they can. Their jobs don't provide health insurance and they aren't eligible for govt. health insurance.
    What else can he do - well, other than just die....

    •  The responsible thing (0+ / 0-)

      ...would be to buy and maintain personal health insurance his entire life. Before he got sick.


      "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

      by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:02:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ?????? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson, indie17

        Do you have any idea how much health insurance costs?  Even if he had gotten it as a young relatively healthy adult, it could cost half of his salary.

        Sunlight is the best disinfectant

        by historys mysteries on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:10:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, certainly. (0+ / 0-)

          I was explaining why he is feeling apologetic and defensive, which is the question the commenter asked.

          I have never had insurance provided by an employer. The only world I have ever known is the one where you go to an agent and get medical insurance. So, I know how much it costs.


          "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

          by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:18:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  You're assuming he could afford to do so. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, wsexson, indie17

        For many people it's a choice between medical insurance or rent/food.  My 29 year old daughter has been uninsured for 2 years and she is currently waiting for the insurance offered by her new job to kick in.  It was never a choice for her.  There was simply no money for the insurance. She made less than $20K a year.

        “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

        by musiclady on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:14:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How much is private insurance (0+ / 0-)

          ...for a 29 year old?

          Getting it through the employer will cut those costs... what? In half?

          Just curious. I hope it kicks in for her soon.


          "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

          by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:23:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  For my 28 year old niece (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lp3161, Radiogabs, Pluto, wsexson

            $700 per month, $8,400 a year.  That would be 42% of a $20,000 salary.  The 20K is a gross number.

            This doesn't count copays, decuctibles, etc.

            This is not "affordable" by the common definition of the word.

            •  Wow! (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't know it had started to reach "half-of-take-home-pay" status already. That's not scheduled to happen to all average Americans until 2016.


              "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

              by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:08:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The last time we got private insurance for her (0+ / 0-)

            it was about $300 a month but that was in 2007.  That was when she came off of my employer provided insurance at age 24.  She was fortunate enough to work for a chain restaurant for a while that had good insurance.  When the economy went sour, the company hired more people but reduced everyone's hours.  In order to get the insurance they were required to work 25 hours a week.  They were reduced to 20 - 22 hours a week thus disqualifying most of the employees for benefits.  She's held a number of jobs at small bars and restaurants that don't provide insurance and she's barely able to make ends meet as my husband and I have had to chip in to pay car insurance and the like.  She just started working at Whole Foods who provides good benefits after one has worked 400 hours.  They are somewhat expensive, but once one has worked 800 hours the company pays a larger share of the premium.  As a parent, it's really nerve wracking to continually worry about your gown child's health but we cannot afford to pay for a private policy.  

            “It is the job of the artist to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare say things that no one else will say."—Howard Zinn

            by musiclady on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:33:06 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  In NY State where insurance is less than (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rbird, indie17, lp3161, Pluto, swampwiz

        Connecticut - it costs $1270 a month for a single person to join a health plan today if they pass the physical, and if they earn more than the HealthyNY plan allows.  That's half a months income fror two people earning $36K a year.  The max income to be on HealthNY (for two people) is $26K per year. So while your advice is sound, the premise on which you rely is flawed.  They wouldn't be able to eat or live anyplace. This is what the Affordable Healthcare Act waas supposed to remedy.  Thanks to Boner and his uncaring GOP friends, we may never be able to give folks a break.  Thanks to SCOTUS and the GOP swine.

        •  Thanks so much for the info. (0+ / 0-)

          That's wasn't my "advice." I was expressing the programming that might be going through the gentleman's mind that is making him feel "irresponsible."

          Again, I am stunned at how fast we are reaching the 50 percent of take-home pay costs for health insurance. That was supposed to be four years off for the majority of Americans.

          And, according to the American Association of Family Physicians -- health insurance costs will reach 100 percent of take home pay by 2030 -- for the entire middle class.


          "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

          by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 11:15:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The PCIP program (6+ / 0-)

    is helping a close relative of mine.  She has  a pre-existing condition and can only get coverage through the PCIP program that is funded by the ACA.

    If the ACA goes down, the PCIP program will as well.  

    •  Many of my relatives have PKD, a genetic (7+ / 0-)

      kidney disease.  When I have explained that to my conservative "friends" what I get is a shrug.  A shrug is all they can muster in the way of sympathy for the millions who cannot get insurance due to pre-existing conditions.  There is a sickness in their hearts.  It's called hate.  It's so powerful that even their own friends and relatives do not deserve a second thought...only a shrug.  BTW, these people are no longer friends.

      Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

      by Fury on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:02:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We are becoming a nation of sociopaths (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fury

        It's long been in fill bloom in our foreign policy.

        Finally, something has trickled down to the people from the top.


        "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

        by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:13:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  maybe not hate... (0+ / 0-)

        ... probably just indifference.  Not that it changes much... it's equally loathsome but considerably more amoral and right in line with the sociopath/psychopath tendency of the right wing.

  •  How the Catholics on the court would (13+ / 0-)

    justify this is beyond understanding.  If they overturn, they are choosing political ideology over saving lives.  Plain and simple.  Republicans live, eat, and breathe something that democrats are missing:
     

    It's the Supreme Court Stupid!

    They will crawl over hot coals and vote for a man they don't even like (Romney) so they can continue to stack the Supreme Court with corporate tools.  And the rest of us wail, gnash our teeth and rend our garments over the unfairness of it all.  It's the Supreme Court Stupid should be our battle cry if this is overturned. They're already unpopular, it wouldn't take much to make this a central issue in the election.  Republicans have no plan at all...while people are dying.

    Got Social Security? Thank a Democrat!

    by Fury on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:50:16 AM PDT

  •  This same court has already made it almost (8+ / 0-)

    impossible for candidates with too few billionaire backers to win an election (though perhaps an incumbent President can still win).

    Now they will add to that legacy the destruction of the most hard won (at least partial) legislative victory of the waning days of democracy in America.

    I am not usually so bleak, but as I see it the last best hope is an Obama victory and enough divine intervention to allow for a shift of a vote or two on the court and an overturning of Citizens United.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:51:02 AM PDT

  •  sure waiting for the last minute (4+ / 0-)

    It is beyond comprehension that they strike down the whole law. Most of the law is totally within the powers of the legislature to pass, the only questionable part is the mandate.

    •  The only reason the mandate is in there (3+ / 0-)

      is due to the insurance company lobbyists complaining about having to cover pre-existing conditions, no-lifetime limits on coverage, etc.  Their argument was that they needed a broader funding base in order to cover those things. Hence, the mandate for everyone to pay.  Even if the mandate is the only part struck down, you can bet that those same lobbyists will be fighting tooth and nail to remove everything back to before the ACA so they can go back and run their corporate owned death panels.

      Then again, the repubs would be happy to go back to that and let poor and sick people die off.  Lower income groups tend to vote for Democrats, so fewer living poor=fewer Democrats=repub win.

      The Golden Rule isn't so golden if you don't bother polishing it with every soul you meet. (-6.5,-4.1)

      by minidriver on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:06:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's how they could strike the whole thing down (0+ / 0-)

      --no severability clause in the ACA.

      --Kennedy's argument for "judicial restraint" (I know, O.o), that if you remove the mandate, the law no longer materially resembles the one that Congress passed.

      --hence, SCOTUS strikes down the law entirely so that Congress has to go back and redo it without a mandate.

      This scenario strikes me as unlikely, but it is possible.  I would put nothing past this Court.

      Barack Obama is not a secret Marxist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

      by looty on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 01:52:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  that's the truth of Republican thinking (4+ / 0-)

    in a nutshell, they will do anything to foster corporate parasitism even if real people will die in large numbers.

  •  Joan - Could be? (9+ / 0-)

    It is a certainty.

    Diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 12. It is a certainty that NO Insurance company will be offerring me any coverage without a government MANDATE. I have been uninsurable for forty-six years, and without the ACA there was no prospect for insurance in my lifetime.

    I know. I have tried...

    Today's GOP is living proof that evolution does not uniformly occur across species.

    by Glass Navel on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:56:16 AM PDT

    •  Have you had to manage your diabetes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glass Navel

      ...your whole life -- paying for everything out of your pocket?


      "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

      by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:26:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As Long As I Had An Employer, No, But... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto, lp3161

        Paying full-price for insulin and glucose test strips kicked-in four years ago now. Can I say I am now living in my sister's basement after a walking-while-diabetic accident shattered my femur. Having a pre-existing  medical condition makes every day a new adventure in living in America - one I would not recomend for anyone.

        Today's GOP is living proof that evolution does not uniformly occur across species.

        by Glass Navel on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:47:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Omigod. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glass Navel

          I was worried about that. Do you have to wait until 2014 to get help?


          "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

          by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:51:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank the Gods Sis Lives In Minnesota... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Pluto

            Minnesota recently passed a state law easing qualification for state health insurance assistance. It really matters. Minnesota has already issued me an insurance card that gets insulin and glucose test strips AT NO CO-PAY! After my fall and injury, to return to a state that provides that kind of coverage is the only thing keeping me alive, aside from my sister buying groceries while my leg mends around the new steel rod holding the bone fragments together. My former home state of Oregon had no such coverage available...

            It really depends on where you live, as nyceve points out in her diary on getting coverage.

            It should not be this way. National health coverage needs to be cradle to grave, single payer, and available to all...

            Today's GOP is living proof that evolution does not uniformly occur across species.

            by Glass Navel on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:17:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  so it is now expected to be overturned? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nyceve

    by the change in tone of comments, posts, and news stories, it looks like the ACA will be ruled unconstitutional.

    Sad, really.

    "The only person sure of himself is the man who wishes to leave things as they are, and he dreams of an impossibility" -George M. Wrong.

    by statsone on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:56:20 AM PDT

    •  I would say yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, lp3161

      Primarily based on the line of questioning focusing on severing the Individual Mandate.

      Prior though, based on the case law, it was a certainty that Congress was able to do this. Most all Con Law scholars said it would be an easy decision.

      That totally changed at Oral Argument as people think that the right showed their Cards.

      I don't think anyone knows. The only certain is you will not have a unanimous decision. I Could very easily see it just the same being a Plurality decision like in an EPA case called Sackett from 2007. The hardline conservatives want it all gone. So what those in the middle join with and say otherwise in a concurrence/dissent is the real law. But no one knows. Probably only Kennedy knows (if the opinions are not already written and not going to be changed).

  •  Apparently Boehner's big plan is to caution people (3+ / 0-)

    not to celebrate if the law is struck down.  This, of course, is completely untenable given the hate boner that the collective right pops every time it even perceives a loss for Obama.  Furthermore, it's sort of insulting that they think Americans won't immediately associate Republicans with being happy that the thing they have fought against and denigrated for years now has been struck down.

    Democracy is often an indictment of the voting populace.

    by electricgrendel on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 08:58:25 AM PDT

    •  No celebration? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, lp3161

      We're talking about people who  boo gay soldiers and encourage people without insurance to go die. Good luck with the no celebration meme.

      Just another day in Oceania.

      by drshatterhand on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:14:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There is no denying that Republican constituents (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lp3161

        ...all see this as a great victory.

        The thing that horrifies American Republicans -- more than any other issue -- is that they may be paying for someone else's health care through their taxes (or through a for-profit premium pool, in this case).

        According to a Pew poll, half of all Americans do not believe that health care (or food for that matter) is a human right.

        Honestly, nothing else matters. Not even the deaths of their own children, if it came to that. That is the essential core philosophy of the opposition.  And, that is a post-Civil-War American reality.


        "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

        by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:36:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  very easy to imagine (4+ / 0-)

    It's very very easy to imagine.
    My bet is they dump the whole thing. This court has a pattern of over-reaching, not to mention laziness (Scaliia hasn't even read the whole bill, lazy corrupt piece of shit).

  •  Imagine that (3+ / 0-)
    “I can’t imagine that they’ll just dump all of us back out into the world of no coverage,” she said.
    When Republicans say that they are going to fuck you over, I imagine they are serious.

    Ann Richards on how to be a good Republican: You have to be against all government programs, but expect Social Security checks on time.

    by shoeless on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:06:16 AM PDT

  •  what if? could it? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, donnamarie

    will it?  won't it?

    i'm sorry, but there are few things more useless than these handwringing for the sake of handwringing diaries, all of which are 100% irrelevant if APA is upheld. but hey...let's generate angst and scare people...it's fun!

    Die with your boots on. If you're gonna try, well stick around. Gonna cry? Just move along. The truth of all predictions is always in your hands. - Iron Maiden

    by Cedwyn on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:07:19 AM PDT

  •  When are they expected to issue a ruling? (0+ / 0-)

    I hate to say it, but I fully expect it to be overturned.

    Click here for all your political gear, including new laser etching technology! Don't like mine? Make your own!

    by sgilman on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:07:31 AM PDT

    •  They said Monday. Then they said possibly (0+ / 0-)

      yesterday.

      I don't know now what the SCOTUS schedule is for releasing opinions.

      But it was expected as possibly this past Monday or Thurs.

      •  timing of opinion (0+ / 0-)

        Sup Ct releases opinions on Mon and Thurs, at 10 am, eastern in reverse seniority order. Typically, during the last week of the term, also on Wed. They announce, on the penultimate day, that the next one will be the last one. They didn't do that on Thurs so Mon won't be the last one.

        They usually issue 4-5 opinions per day. Depending on how you count, they have 4 or 5 decisions left to render, plus health reform, plus the Citizens United follow on from the Montana Sup Ct.

        So, Mon is possible but Wed or Thurs is more likely.

        Last Fri (June 15th) was the deadline for justices to submit their dissenting opinions. Whoever is writing the majority opinion (Roberts or possibly Kennedy) then had to consider the criticisms in the dissent(s).

  •  36,000 f-ing dollars (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson, Pluto

    and they make TOO MUCH??? to get help?? What kind of world do we live in?

    •  "What kind of world do we live in?" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Melanie in IA, pundit

      We live in a world where citizens of all Developed and Emerging  Nations are provided with health care as a human right. Whether it's Mexico, China, Chile, Iceland, Qatar, or France.

      The question is "What kind of NATION do we live in?"


      "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

      by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:43:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, if the SCOTUS rules against it, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    I'd better prepare to never get in a car again.  Another significant collision could demolish my spine again, and with two spine surgeries in my medical history, the phrase "die quickly" will sound merciful.  There are some forms of pain that are truly ghastly and can only be remedied with surgery.  Major impingement on nerve roots at the spine is one of them.  I never want to endure that again.

    "Fighting Fascism is Always Cool." -- Amsterdam Weekly, v3, n18 (-8.50, -7.23)

    by Noor B on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:18:20 AM PDT

  •  That Stories Like This Exist (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    in the world's richest nation are evidence of stone age barbarism.

    It may be that we will have to rename the US Constitution as a harsh, severe document setting the ground rules for Social Darwinism in the US.  In other words, get a new one.

  •  The Republican Plan (0+ / 0-)

    Die quickly it will reduce the pain and suffering.  An added bonus is, bankruptcies will be reduced.

  •  Unconscinable (5+ / 0-)

    to deny needed healthcare to citizens in a modern western developed nation.  The United States is a brutal and strange outlier in this regard.  Look to the French, the Canadians and the English and the Swedes whose healthcare has been exemplary for many decades.  What the hell is the matter with Americans?  I think the decades and decades of brainwashing, deceiving and obfuscating by private providers who own legislators at all levels and whose deceptions aimed at the electorate are monumentally insane -  all of this has infected the discussion in the US in a skewed and irrational way favoring the private health insurance industry.

    I say - implement universal, single payer healthcare immediately.  Incrementally will not work.  We need to go cold turkey.  The US needs major change.  Elect Democrats in the House and Senate.  GOTV for every Democrat possible.  Re-elect the president.  He is a gem.  We will be able to do far many more progressive things in his second term.  I truly believe we as a nation will progress by overriding the Republican roadblocks and detours and getting on with a program that I sincerely believe (As an American who once lived Europe and who saw the benefits of a strong social safety net and universal health care that allows citizens to be free from the fear of financial ruin if one gets sick or disabled).  It is unconscionable that the SCOTUS would take away healthcare that is already in place for those with pre-existing conditions.  It is unconscionable that Americans do not have universal health care.  I am for single-payer.  I am a veteran.  The VA is single payer, universal health care for veterans.  It has its faults but it works.

  •  Horror stories about diabetes (4+ / 0-)

    I hear horror stories every day from my sister the nurse about people with diabetes and their insurance struggles. It's an expensive disease to have -- but with care, you can live a long, healthy life. She has an underground supply network she set up that she will be fired over if anyone finds out. She allows people to donate their unused supplies to her and she distributes them back out to other patients who need them like this young woman:

    Recent college graduate now making $10.50 per hour. She can obtain insurance through work (though they deduct it from her earnings) and there's a $4000 deductible. So, somehow on gross earnings of $400 a week, she's supposed to pay rent, buy food, pay $500 a month for insurance AND cover the first $4000 of her deductible. This is not to mention her school loans. Really? And this is a civilized society we live in? I think not.

    •  Sticky situation (0+ / 0-)

      You can empathize with people's struggles and attempt to help them obtain proper supplies. But, running an underground network of donated diabetes supplies is a poor decision. She is operating outside her license and stands to lose not only her job but her nursing license and her career. There are absolutely no institutional quality controls in place. Imagine she give away unsterile needles and a patient develops a serious infection (this is especially dangerous for diabetics). Imagine she  accidentally gives away the wrong type of insulin and the patient has a serious adverse reaction or even dies. This is not hyperbole, this is partly why quality healthcare is expensive.  

      As for the college graduate, what did she study and get a degree in? Apparently, nothing too marketable seeing as she is making only $10 an hour. It was her choice to go to college, take out loans and get the degree she got. Was she not aware of her earning potential? I imagine that she pays little to no federal taxes, is probably eligible for food stamps, section 8 housing and a whole host of other services. Now, in a civilized society, it is the expectation that society picks up her tab for health insurance too? Where does it end?

  •  At least the Supreme Court has done this: (0+ / 0-)

    If you're interviewed on TV about their decision, you can at least say it's the dumbest fucking thing you've ever heard. And you might not get bleeped.

  •  Thus the lie... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, pundit

    ...that private enterprise can perform any activity a government can, better and cheaper.  I went around and around with a guy about this when I was in grad school.  Historically we know that unfettered capitalism not only can't do the job of governments, but fails utterly at regulating itself.  It can't even attempt to handle certain fundamental societal needs.  The privatization of health care is a prime example.

    Or should I say the "monetization" of health care?  From what I've read lately, that's the new cool word among the rich.

    Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

    by rbird on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:34:11 AM PDT

    •  This is not the ideology: (0+ / 0-)
      ...private enterprise can perform any activity a government can, better and cheaper...
      The criteria is that it is both for profit and unregulated.

      Take the independent contractors waging war on our behalf in other sovereign nations:

      These privatized entities make a profit on murder -- and they can commit heinous war crimes for us because they are not US military.

      If they get hurt, it's no longer our problem.

      It's a sweeping government policy that is ideal for the United States of Orcs.


      "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for?" -- Robert Browning

      by Pluto on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 09:59:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, give the citizens a public option, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson

    for God's sake!
    It is nothing less than obscene that human beings are forced to suffer cruel and unusual punishment because they are not moneyed in the wealthiest nation on earth. The U.S. is still the globe's money bag, in spite of right wing bloviation to the contrary. Just look at the hundreds of billions glutted onto the scene during a presidential election cycle and the cash is too obvious to ignore.
    I won't mention how it would help to manage the deficit and inject health into small business; why bother?

  •  Insurance sold across state lines guts monopolies (0+ / 0-)

    In Michigan, Blue Cross has something like 80% market share, allowing them to dictate terms to the entire state.  What Blue Cross wants, Blue Cross gets.

    But if other companies want to compete against Blue Cross in Michigan on price, shouldn't they be allowed to do so?

    Car insurance doesn't work that way.  All of us can choose from a dozen nationwide companies, and that competition keeps prices in check.  Without that competition, prices would skyrocket.

    Each state only having a select few companies offering coverage has a natural monopoly, and that's only good for the CEO and shareholder profits.  We need more competition not less.

    •  Problem with that (0+ / 0-)

      is you will have insurance companies incorporating in whatever state has the least onerous regulations.  Sort of like why all credit card companies are incorporated in Delaware.

      And since these companies bring economic benefits to whatever state they are based in, there will be a race to the bottom to attract their business.

      A better approach--and in fact I think this is in the ACA--is to allow states to enter into pacts with each other to allow interstate competition, but maintain local regulatory standards.

      Barack Obama is not a secret Marxist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

      by looty on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 01:58:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  An Even Worse, But True Story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, 714day

    My daughter just got her doctorate in Physical Therapy on May 12.  She has to pass her boards in late July before she can work.  Fortunately, the HMO my wife works for has allowed us to keep her on our insurance because of Obamacare.  On June 16 she turned 25.  If the Supreme Court throws out the whole law, she will be uninsurable and unemployable for at least a month.  She is planning on working for one of the traveling Physical Therapist services.  They provide insurance, but what if the law is overturned???

    Oh, did I forget to say, she survived Hodgkins lymphoma, diagnosed at state 4 when she was 20?

    I'm scared to death.  I don't dare tell her or her mother, they would freak.  Those of you who pray, would you please pray for my daughter?

  •  For alot of us pre-existing folks... (0+ / 0-)

    ...it'd be Canada or die time.  Sounds facetious but I'm quite deadly serious.  Even if you want to keep fighting, it's hard to do that when you're dead or dying.  Saving your own life has to be paramount.

    For me, I'm lucky: I know someone in Canada (Saskatchewan Providence, specifically) who may be able to help with a job hunt up there, and I've a Ph.D. in molecular virology, which makes me (despite my illnesses) at least somewhat valuable an expat.

    I really, really hate to contemplate a move that drastic.  Lots of folks yell about leaving the country but becoming an expat is an enormous enterprise, and one not available to many folks.  But for those who can, it beats dying, and once we're treated we can continue the fight.

  •  I hope all Republican voters ... (0+ / 0-)

    get laid off, and then after the COBRA insurance wears off, get cancer, like I did.  (Actually, I got the diagnosis while I was on COBRA, but once that was finished, that was it for me.)

  •  Honestly I doubt SCOTUS will reverse the law (0+ / 0-)

    in its entirety.  I think the public reaction would be so virulent that even from their penthouse suite in the Ivory Tower they are worried about the pitchforks.

    Barack Obama is not a secret Marxist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

    by looty on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:00:43 PM PDT

  •  He should go to jail, then he'd have health care. (0+ / 0-)

    If everybody in his situation simply went to jail for treatment it would cost the government so much money they'd have no choice but to pass universal health care.

    Can't we just drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub?

    by Rezkalla on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 02:27:14 PM PDT

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