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  1. #31
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinker683 View Post
    I wonder how much this will be.

    The reason I don't have health insurance is because I can't afford the premiums. I could make due with the monthly payments but the money they want upfront is more than I can do.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction as what options someone like me is going to have to procure insurance, or would it be cheaper for me to just pay whatever fine I get hit with?
    In MA (where health insurance is mandatory) they have discounted public insurance based on income. As I'm recently unemployed I am looking into those options right now.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  2. #32
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    From what I've gathered so far, the decision means that congress has the power to tax economic inactivity (and virtually anything else), but is limited (apparently by court descretion more than predictable standards) in its ability to use that tax power in a coercive manner towards the states in pursuit of policy goals. Basically, there are (undefined) limits on the extent of allowable taxation on inactivity, and the government is limited (again, without any clear standards) in its ability to punish noncompliant states (and therefore its ability to circumvent the practical protections of the Tenth Amendment through its taxation powers).

    Any lawyers wish to affirm or deny this interpretation? This seems like a highly technical decision that will take me awhile to understand....

  3. #33
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Regardless of the goodness of the intentions behind the ACA, it is still a cumbersome and inefficient beast, that hasn't been shown to increase bang per buck within health care spending.

    This must be addressed if we are to remain fiscally solvent over the course of the 21st century.
    Yes. I agree with the goal, but the method is certainly flawed. Unfortunately, more effective methods would have received even less acceptance than the individual mandate included in the ACA. One way or another, it is all about creating a broad risk pool in which everyone participates, with accommodation for those with limited income. I, too, hope that in future we can develop a less convoluted means of achieving this.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I guess the young now get to look forward to more directly footing the bill for the diabetics and the old.
    We do that anyway, either by supporting our own elderly relatives, through voluntary charitable donations, through tax-funded medicare/medicaid, or through higher insurance premiums and health care costs for those currently insured. It is more efficient, fair, and less risky to provide for the elderly and seriously ill in a systematic way where everyone contributes, much as we all support our local emergency services, or even the DoD.

    As for the political hay Romney is trying to make from this, it is ironic that he implemented the same thing while governor of Massachusetts. By promising a speedy repeal if elected, he leaves himself open to serious charges of flip-flopping.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  4. #34
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Republicans keep talking about repeal, but I have yet to hear any proposals on an alternative system. That annoys me because the system (both pre and post Obamacare) has been an inefficiency nightmare, and it's a nightmare that "competition" cannot fix (because consumer healthcare decisions are coerced, so the "free market" does not apply).
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  5. #35
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    You crazy Americans! What are you gonna do next? Abolish death penalty? Free university education?

    Seriously, welcome to the community of civilized nations!
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Seriously, welcome to the community of civilized nations!
    I know your joking here, but we were civilized before the court upheld the ACA.

  7. #37
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    From what I've gathered so far, the decision means that congress has the power to tax economic inactivity (and virtually anything else), but is limited (apparently by court descretion more than predictable standards) in its ability to use that tax power in a coercive manner towards the states in pursuit of policy goals. Basically, there are (undefined) limits on the extent of allowable taxation on inactivity, and the government is limited (again, without any clear standards) in its ability to punish noncompliant states (and therefore its ability to circumvent the practical protections of the Tenth Amendment through its taxation powers).

    Any lawyers wish to affirm or deny this interpretation? This seems like a highly technical decision that will take me awhile to understand....
    Not quite a lawyer yet, but here's what I can gather:

    1. Court jurisdiction is not barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, because mandate is a "penalty" in statutory text, and AIA applies to "taxes." Textual analysis based on AIA being a Congressional act.

    2. Congress does not have power to compel economic activity under the Commerce Clause, but only to regulate pre-existing economic activity. Power to regulate non-activity would be an overly broad expansion of Congressional powers. Same with the power to regulate present non-activity in anticipation of future activity. Still lies within state police powers.

    3. Congress does not have power under the Necessary and Proper Clause, because it is not acting in furtherance of an enumerated power. Necessary and Proper only refers to application, and does not justify the power per se.

    4. Congress does have power, under the plenary Taxing and Spending Clause, to impose a tax upon those who do not engage in some sort of economic activity. This is where it gets technical, because it requires an understanding of the canons of constitutional interpretation. While the Court ruled that the penalty was not a tax for purposes of interpreting the Anti-Injunction Act, this was solely within the realm of its relation to another statute. Interpreting the law in light of its constitutionality involves a different set of norms and assumptions than simply interpreting it in light of other statutes.
    One of the oldest and most primary constitutional canons is the Avoidance Canon (Roberts cited Justice Story in a decision from 1830). This specifies that if two interpretations of a statute are possible, and one either raises constitutional questions or is unconstitutional, the Court is to consider the statute in light of the interpretation that does not violate the Constitution. In this case, the Government presented two interpretations of the mandate - as a regulatory penalty, and as a tax on non-participation. While the first interpretation was held to be unconstitutional, this does not immediately invalidate the law. Instead, the Court, following precedent, looks to the other interpretation, as long as it is "reasonable" or "fairly possible."
    First, it looks like a tax, and functions like one, even if it is called a penalty. That's enough under the Constitution, even if it is not in relation to other statutes. Second, while it will serve to compel behavior, plenty of taxes do that already. Third, failing to acquire health insurance is not unlawful, and will not incur any criminal proceedings, but will be solely subject to this charge. Fourth, the law should not be struck down just because Congress failed to use the right "magic words," if it had the power to act. Fifth, it is not a direct tax or capitation, because it depends on whether you purchase insurance or not. Sixth, the Constitution does not promise that you will not be taxed for inactivity. Finally, the tax is not a punishment, because there is a choice to pay, even if choosing not to will incur penalties.

    5. The narrowing of the Commerce Clause is necessary because of how the statute reads, even if it is valid under the Taxing and Spending Clause.

    6. The Medicaid expansion is unconstitutional, because the threat of withholding funds is unduly burdensome on states to the point where it is coercive, and it is in response to a change in Medicaid not in scale, but in kind. Restrictions on state use of federal funds are akin to contracts between the states and the federal government, and it's not OK for the Feds to make offers that the states can't refuse. This is especially the case when it involves withholding existing funds.

    7. The Medicaid expansion is severable, and does not invalidate the rest of the statute, as Congress did not intend it to hinge upon that expansion.

    Hope that helps.

  8. #38
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I know your joking here, but we were civilized before the court upheld the ACA.
    Don't get me wrong, there are many, many things I love about America. And of course you are one of the, probably the most influencial civilization around at the moment.

    But I consider a system of solidarity where the strong take care of the weak and nobody gets left behind to the point of not being able to afford medical treatment a requirement of a fully fledged modern civilization. That's just me being a bleeding-heart tree-hugging European. The same thing goes for the state not killing its own citizens during peacetime.
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  9. #39
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    I'm happy for you.

  10. #40
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    You crazy Americans! What are you gonna do next? Abolish death penalty? Free university education?

    Seriously, welcome to the community of civilized nations!
    How about ratify the Kyoto protocols, or pass an Equal Rights Amendment?

    Much of the American "system", if one can dignify our array of hodgepodges with that term, is rooted in our early tradition of rugged individualism. What that gets us today is what I call divide-and-conquer economics. Give everyone his/her $300 tax rebate, which will buy a cheap dishwasher or a couple days at the beach. Throw away the economies of scale of pooling that money to get something no one person, family, or community group even, can afford alone.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I know your joking here, but we were civilized before the court upheld the ACA.
    You are too generous. I'm not sure we are that civilized even with the court's decision today.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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