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Florida federal judge rules ObamaCare unconstitutional

Health Care ObamaCare 2011

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#21 obsidianstorm13

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 08:58 AM

This means that Congress can fix the bill and get a proper functioning public option that doesn't make people have insurance... which was never the issue... the issue was that people CANNOT AFFORD IT!!!  

I keep saying it over and over again... the UK has it right... the NHS is covered because everyone who works pays into it.  It's like Social Security in that sense minus all the misuse of money(last time I checked the government over does not dip into it to pay for extravagant parties like has happened with social security).  That's how it gets paid for and YES I darn well would pay out of my check so someone else doesn't have to pay an arm and leg and give up their apartment and live on the streets because they got cancer.  Isn't that what looking after your neighbor is all about?

#22 Dev F

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:47 AM

View PostOmega, on 01 February 2011 - 07:59 AM, said:

I've said that since the subject first came up.  You pay less taxes if you do what the government likes, and more if you don't.  Exactly like hybrids, or higher education, or any number of other things.  The actual phrasing is meaningless, the effect is identical.  Which raises the question: are all tax credits for purchases of any kind now unconstitutional?  Because to be consistent, they'd have to be.
Well, one could make a complex argument to explain why those constitute legitimate regulation of interstate commerce and the health care mandate doesn't, but that's not the same thing as arguing that of course the government can't use tax penalties to get you to buy things.

Because despite the claim that Obama was foolish not to realize that the mandate was obviously unconstitutional, until it became a way to deprive the president of an accomplishment, no one in Washington thought it was obviously unconstitutional. It was a feature of Republican health care reform plans going back nearly twenty years, and while there was plenty of argument about whether it was a good idea or not, no one outside the fringes was arguing that it was constitutionally prohibited.

#23 Spectacles

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:08 AM

This is probably going to be a tempest in a teapot. Most legal scholars seem to disagree with this judge's interpretation and think it will be shot down.

More here, from a legal blog:

http://www.talkleft....2/1/95527/56726



I am not pleased with the bill, but it does do some good: insurers can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (Lil, insurers who deny you coverage are breaking the law; report them), adult children can remain on their parents' plans until 26, and there is some assistance based on income for those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to be able to afford basic insurance.

As Dev notes, in exchange for these regulations, the carrot to insurers was the mandate, which increased their risk pools.

I don't think the bill does enough to lower health care costs. I think the health of the populace is more important than the health of the insurance industry and therefore I am for much more firm regulations to expand coverage and lower costs--even if it means that insurers can't compete.

But I don't this judge's decision will hold. It seems to an outlier.
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#24 Palisades

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:11 AM

From a statistical perspective, the main reason health insurance isn't like car insurance:

If someone gets in a car 'accident,' he's a higher risk driver, but the insurance company compensates by charging a higher premium, which it's allowed to do. Plus, many people who are at-fault for one or two car collisions learn their lesson and never get into another collision. People who repeatedly cause car insurance payouts either get dropped by the insurance company or see their insurance premiums rocket to stratospheric prices.

With the health insurance law, the insurance companies are not allowed to adjust their premiums based on the risk posed by the individual, although they are IIRC allowed to somewhat compensate for the additional risk posed by older age groups.
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#25 Bad Wolf

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:55 PM

View PostOmega, on 01 February 2011 - 07:59 AM, said:



I would argue that choosing to not own a car isn't that different from choosing not to have health care, for most people.  Don't have a car in most places in this country and your quality of life goes down dramatically, potentially to the point that you can't survive at all.

Again, not the issue.  The issue is whether Congress has the power to mandate that you get a car.  The answer is not and you'd scream bloody murder if they tried to do so.  

Specs, I have an appointment in less than an hour so I won't get to read that stuff in detail until tonight.  I'd caution however, against saying "most" legal scholars based on some blogs.  You'll find a bevy of legal scholars who disagree with the ruling in Roe v. Wade.
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#26 Bad Wolf

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 12:57 PM

Also, most laws have a catchall provision that says that if one part of the law is held to be illegal or enforceable it doesn't affect the validity of the rest of the law.

It's like the Patriot Act.  Judge's have struck down PARTS of it but it's still there.   I don't remember (too little sleep and way too little caffeine), did this judge strike down the whole thing or just the part about requiring people to buy insurance?
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#27 Omega

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:36 PM

View PostBad Wolf, on 01 February 2011 - 12:57 PM, said:

I don't remember (too little sleep and way too little caffeine), did this judge strike down the whole thing or just the part about requiring people to buy insurance?

Whole thing, found the mandate clause to be unseverable, I think the term was.

#28 Bad Wolf

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:19 PM

^  Interesting....I'll need to read the decision.
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#29 Cardie

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 08:08 PM

While the monetary shortfall between not doing something that earns you a tax credit and not doing something that earns you a tax penalty might be identical, I do see the difference in principle. Just like looking at sale ads, I might decide what I want to buy in order to save money and which purchases might not make sense for me, even if the government dangles a carrot. (For instance, I have a job in which I know I rarely spend more than six months in any one city. It makes no sense for me to buy a house, no matter what the mortgage deduction is.) But here the government is increasing my "neutral" tax burden unless I make a specific sort of purchase.

I think it would have been much smarter to offer the benefits of the new health bill only to those who do purchase insurance within a specified time frame--assuming that the exchanges work and there can be, with subsidies, an affordable policy that guarantees acceptance to all. (If not, then the public option has to come into play.) You could have other opportunities to enroll down the line but people would be gambling that they didn't develop some serious illness in the interim.

I do believe that a developed nation should guarantee health care for all, but we don't guarantee food or shelter, so I'm not sure that is a strong argument, that everyone will need health care at some time.

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insurers can no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions (Lil, insurers who deny you coverage are breaking the law; report them),

Alas, that part of the law doesn't go into effect until 2014. Right now they are only prevented from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.

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#30 QuiGon John

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 10:03 PM

View PostCardie, on 01 February 2011 - 08:08 PM, said:


I do believe that a developed nation should guarantee health care for all, but we don't guarantee food or shelter, so I'm not sure that is a strong argument, that everyone will need health care at some time.

I think it is, to this extent: I think the fundamental problem with for-profit health insurance is that the free market doesn't work if you can't shop around. Almost anything else you might want to buy-- up to and including food, in most cases-- you'll have multiple opportunities to buy it in multiple different places.  You may have no money and thus no food, just like you might have to visit the emergency room, but if you have a LITTLE money, you can always buy food with it, because you can always find someplace that is selling SOME kind of food cheap.  To a lesser extent, this applies to board as well.

But a "little" money won't help you with health care-- sometimes you need really tremendously expensive things, things that even people with a moderate amount of money can't afford, and when you need them, you need them RIGHT NOW, right this second, from whoever is best qualified to provide them.

You can tell someone who needs food, "Go get a job, or if you can't get a job, go to a charity."  It's cruel and I'd like to think we would guarantee the means to live on, but you can say that without necessarily condemning someone.

You can't tell them "Go find cheap health care."  There is none.  And the local homeless shelter probably doesn't have a world-class heart surgeon on staff.

That, to me, is the difference, and the reason why the whole system is so fundamentally out of whack that most of the things we're talking about here don't amount to much more than a band-aid.  Whether that cuts for or against the Constitutionality of the present health-care bill, I don't know.  But it seems like it proceeds from the same flawed premise as the more conservative alternatives, and that's part of why I'm not sure I mind if it's overturned.

#31 Cardie

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 11:49 PM

I think we're to some extent caught in a vicious circle because one of the reasons that health care is so overpriced is that enough people are subsidized by insurance that this limits market effects on keeping the bills down. If doctors, hospitals and labs were idle because they cost so much that only the very wealthiest, unsubsidized, could pay for them, we might see costs brought down so that volume would make up for the lowered fees. As I've said before, when I was growing up, there was "major medical" insurance if you needed surgery or treatment for a life-threatening condition but check-ups and standard care for infectious diseases, broken bones, and other complaints didn't cost much more, adjusted for inflation, than health insurance premiums do now. So people paid out of pocket for what the GP could do and could usually afford it. Not that there's any way to put that genie back in the bottle now, of course.

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#32 Bad Wolf

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 01:11 AM

As Cardie pointed out (and as I have in many of these discussions when people bring up the preexisting condition issue) that does not go into effect for years.  And the law is so confusingly written that I'm sure that all sorts of ways around it will be found.
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#33 Spectacles

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:25 PM

Lil, check this out. It may be helpful.

http://www.pcip.ca.g...me/default.aspx

Quote

Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan: California

Eligible residents of California can apply for coverage through the state’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program run by the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board.

To qualify for coverage:

    * You must be a citizen or national of the United States or lawfully present in the United States.
    * You must have been uninsured for at least the last six months before you apply.
    * You must have a pre-existing condition, have been denied individual health insurance coverage within the past 12 months, or have been offered individual health insurance coverage at a premium rates higher than the California Major Risk Medical Insurance Program (MRMIP) preferred provider organization (PPO) within the last 12 months.

The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan will cover a broad range of health benefits, including primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs.  All covered benefits are available for you, even if it’s to treat a pre-existing condition. Premiums are based on subscriber age and region of residence in California.
Monthly Premium: $499 for a 50 year old subscriber in San Francisco
Annual Deductible:
     • Medical • $1,500 in-network / $3,000 out-of-network
     • Brand Name Prescription Drugs • $500 in-network / $500 out-of network
Annual Out of Pocket Maximum: $2,500 in-network / no maximum out-of-network

For more information please call 1-877-428-5060 Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or, on Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or go to www.pcip.ca.gov.

The state exchanges won't be operational until 2014, but right now each state has the option of participating in a federal insurance plan or developing its own for people with pre-existing conditions. California has its own.  

A state-by-state breakdown is here:

https://www.pcip.gov/StatePlans.html

You can have insurance through these plans even if you have a pre-existing condition. Of course, $500 a month premiums with high deductibles doesn't sound like a deal to me--which is why I gag whenever some "progressive" hails this as the most progressive achievement since the New Deal. It isn't. It totally changes the meaning of the word "progressive" to proclaim it thus. Looking beyond the titles and at the details, one finds that private insurance may be available but not particularly affordable.
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#34 Bad Wolf

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Posted 02 February 2011 - 07:40 PM

Oh right.  I WAS discussing affordable insurance.  

No government is going to tell me I have to pay 500 a month to line somebody's pocket to get health insurance that won't even benefit me until after I've spent a ton of money.

And, of course, I made too much money in 2010 to qualify for "Healthy SF" which at least provides SOMETHING to people who can't get anything else.  But, as is the case with so many people unhappy with the "overhaul", I remain in limbo.  

That's about all I have left to say on this thread.
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