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  1. #41
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    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).
    Agreed. I'm torn on this. The alternative would be to destroy the system and rebuild it from scratch. That's not realistic. As a nation we are already paying for others healthcare. I'm not so up in arms over that fact. My worry is what type of doctors/choices are we going to get for the money we put in? How is the ratio of quality to service going to be vs privatized purchase of health insurance now.
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  2. #42
    On a mission Usehername'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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    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.
    I predict that it will be like coming out of a dysfunctional relationship and realizing how effed up that was, even though it seemed normal and fine at the time. There is no perfect nation, and every country is strong in some ways and weak in others. But health care isn't optional.
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  3. #43
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    America isn't suddenly great again just b/c the court upheld the ACA.

    We're the same, most powerful, globally dominant, misguided mess we have been.

  4. #44
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    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.
    This is my stance exactly.

  5. #45
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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.
    It's an old German tradition Disco.

    "The American press takes particular pleasure in criticizing Germany on grounds of humanitarianism, civilization, human rights, and culture. It has every right to do so. Its humanity is shown in most vivid form by lynchings. Its civilization is shown in economic and political scandals that stink to high heaven. Its human rights are displayed by eleven or twelve million unemployed, who apparently chose to be so. And its culture exists only because it is always borrowing from the older European nations. Such a nation is certainly justified in sneering at ancient Europe, whose nations and peoples looked back on centuries, even millennia, of cultural achievements long before America was even discovered."
    --Joseph Goebbels, What Does America Really Want?, January 21 1939

  6. #46
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    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.
    Yeah, that's pretty technical. I think Roberts interpretation of taxation power (is there even a precedent for taxing inactivity, separate from a regulatory context?) is more than a little broad, and his interpretation of punishment more than a little restricted, to the point that both are unreasonable.

    Edit: At first glance, there seems to be little difference in the extent of the federal governments power under unlimited taxation powers or unlimited regulatory powers. In the long-term, however, its probably much more difficult to solidify government authority through taxation than it is with regulatory power (i.e. taxes are a means of accumulating resources to carry out goals that may or may not be Constitutional, while regulatory powers are a means of justifying the policy goals themselves as Constitutional, and such policies may in turn become entrenched to the point where government institutions cannot function without them).

    So far, it seems like the decision is a revocable setback for federalism and limited government, rather than a potential deathblow that cannot be undone without massive damage to entrenched institutions. If that's the case, my despair level is much less than it was this morning.

  7. #47
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    Seriously, welcome to the community of civilized nations!
    If 'civilization' means allowing virtually unlimited government power, then I want no part of it.

  8. #48
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    It's an old German tradition Disco.

    "The American press takes particular pleasure in criticizing Germany on grounds of humanitarianism, civilization, human rights, and culture. It has every right to do so. Its humanity is shown in most vivid form by lynchings. Its civilization is shown in economic and political scandals that stink to high heaven. Its human rights are displayed by eleven or twelve million unemployed, who apparently chose to be so. And its culture exists only because it is always borrowing from the older European nations. Such a nation is certainly justified in sneering at ancient Europe, whose nations and peoples looked back on centuries, even millennia, of cultural achievements long before America was even discovered."
    --Joseph Goebbels, What Does America Really Want?, January 21 1939
    LOL. That's the thrid nazi reference I'm seeing today. Must be the weather or something.
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  9. #49
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    The stock market (unsurprisingly) tanked today.

  10. #50
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    It's an old German tradition Disco.

    "The American press takes particular pleasure in criticizing Germany on grounds of humanitarianism, civilization, human rights, and culture. It has every right to do so. Its humanity is shown in most vivid form by lynchings. Its civilization is shown in economic and political scandals that stink to high heaven. Its human rights are displayed by eleven or twelve million unemployed, who apparently chose to be so. And its culture exists only because it is always borrowing from the older European nations. Such a nation is certainly justified in sneering at ancient Europe, whose nations and peoples looked back on centuries, even millennia, of cultural achievements long before America was even discovered."
    --Joseph Goebbels, What Does America Really Want?, January 21 1939
    It always cracks me up that while the US was blasting the Germans for their treatment of the Jews, the Nazis were slamming us for the extermination of the Indians (while they were studying the techniques and procedures), along with Jim Crow (even though they did not disagree with the laws in principle, more the vigilante enforcement).

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Yeah, that's pretty technical. I think Roberts interpretation of taxation power (is there even a precedent for taxing inactivity, separate from a regulatory context?) is more than a little broad, and his interpretation of punishment more than a little restricted, to the point that both are unreasonable.
    Well, the taxation interpretation also rests on the technical aspects of the mandate penalty. Basically, it amounts to an across-the-board income tax increase that can be deducted in full, provided that one purchased health insurance. The IRS assesses and collects the tax, and those who do not pay income tax as a result of insufficient income also do not pay the mandate penalty. It's this institutional view that informs Roberts' interpretation of this not involving penalty or punishment. Since it's the IRS who administers the mandate charge, the statute makes no mention of a person's mindset (lack of scienter), the charge does not exceed the cost of purchasing health care, and the criminal justice system does not get involved regarding these matters, it is not punitive.

    Roberts also relies on Congress having already encouraged economic activity through other tax code provisions, such as credits and deductions. Congress clearly has the power to create incentives for economic activity through taxation, since the plenary Taxing and Spending power is broad to begin with. While that power is limited, these limits come in the form of specific application, which is fairly narrow in this circumstance.

    But importantly, as he mentioned in the section on statutory interpretation, the issue is not whether or not he personally agrees with this, but whether it is a "reasonable" or "fairly possible" interpretation of the law.

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