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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default SCOTUS: Health Care Decision

    Overview:

    - The individual mandate survives as a tax. (Chief Justice Roberts joins the left of the Court.)

    - The Medicaid provision is limited but not invalidated.

    Bottom Line: The entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read.

    That's off the Live Blog for SCOTUS at:
    http://www.scotusblog.com/cover-it-live/

    Actual link to opinion not yet released.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Beat me to it.

    The plot has certainly thickened.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I have to admit, I was surprised Roberts shifted. I want to see the actual lines of reasoning now... kind of curious.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    I'm interested what kind of Albatross the ACA will turn into now that it's been upheld by SCOTUS.

    This election is shaping up to be a blockbuster.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    More from the unfolding "live blog:

    Chief Justice Roberts' vote saved the ACA.

    The money quote from the section on the mandate: Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.

    The court reinforces that individuals can simply refuse to pay the tax and not comply with the mandate.

    On the Medicaid issue, a majority of the Court holds that the Medicaid expansion is constitutional but that it w/b unconstitutional for the federal government to withhold Medicaid funds for non-compliance with the expansion provisions.

    The key comment on salvaging the Medicaid expansion is this (from Roberts): "Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding." (p. 55)

    (To be clear, what we are typing here are excerpts from the opinion or paraphrasing thereof. Not predictions anymore.)

    The critical detail is that you cannot take away the existing Medicaid funds.

    The Court does not reach severability issues, having upheld the mandate 5-4.

    To readers of the Roberts opinion, a caution: It is the opinion of the Court through the top of p. 44; the balance is labeled as, and is, Roberts speaking for himself.

    Another way to think about Medicaid: the Constitution requires that states have a choice about whether to participate in the expansion of eligibility; if they decide not to, they can continue to receive funds for the rest of the program.

    Apologies - you can't refuse to pay the tax; typo. The only effect of not complying with the mandate is that you pay the tax.
    The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn't matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.

    The Court holds that the Anti-Injunction Act doesn't apply because the label "tax" is not controlling.

    Justice Ginsburg would uphold Medicaid just as Congress wrote it. That, too, is not controlling.

    In opening his statement in dissent, Kennedy says: "In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety."
    Pretty strong words from Kennedy....

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I'm interested what kind of Albatross the ACA will turn into now that it's been upheld by SCOTUS.

    This election is shaping up to be a blockbuster.
    ha ha... never a dull moment...

    I'm surprised, I really thought they'd throw it out based on the tone of public commentators...
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    ha ha... never a dull moment...

    I'm surprised, I really thought they'd throw it out based on the tone of public commentators...
    The court has far more integrity, that is to say it is less influenced by the clamors or the populace, than the chattering classes would give them credit for.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Final bit I'll probably post (unless there's something juicy):

    In Plain English:

    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters.

    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

    To answer a common question, the whole ACA is constitutional, so the provision requiring insurers to cover young adults until they are 26 survives as well.
    The opinion still is not available on the site, according to the blog.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    The court has far more integrity, that is to say it is less influenced by the clamors or the populace, than the chattering classes would give them credit for.
    Yes, I think SCOTUS has more credibility from this, based on the diversity in the decision rather than just falling along simple party lines, and also the way it got to the decision.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    Senior Member tinker683's Avatar
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    Apologies - you can't refuse to pay the tax; typo. The only effect of not complying with the mandate is that you pay the tax.
    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?
    "The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it."
    ― Woodrow Wilson

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    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.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    And... here, finally, the full decision:
    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions...11-393c3a2.pdf

    @tinker683: I don't know the answer. Maybe someone does, here. I'd probably just start Googling things, if it were me, to see if that had been specified yet by the health care plan details as released prior.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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