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Federal judge rules Obamacare provision unconstitutional

Mirror Founder

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POSTS: 327

Report this Dec. 13 2010, 2:48 pm

I personally don't think that this ruling means much by itself as two judges have already supported Obamacare. I think that the biggest impact of this ruling and future rulings from the other lawsuits is that it will keep the debate about repealing Obamacare alive.


 


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-13/u-s-health-care-law-requirement-thrown-out-by-judge.html


 



The Obama administration’s requirement that most citizens maintain minimum health coverage as part of a broad overhaul of the industry is unconstitutional, a federal judge ruled, striking down the linchpin of the plan.


U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Richmond, Virginia, today said that the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health-care legislation goes beyond Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce. While severing the coverage mandate, which is set to become effective in 2014, Hudson didn’t address other provisions such as expanding Medicaid.


“At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage -- it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate,” wrote Hudson, who was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002.


The ruling is the government’s first loss in a series of challenges to the law mounted in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Florida, where 20 states have joined an effort to have the statute thrown out. Constitutional scholars said unless Congress changes the law, its fate on appeal will probably be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.


 



Doc Boomstick

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POSTS: 178

Report this Dec. 13 2010, 3:31 pm

If the US judicial system does overturn mandatory health care than I believe the same argument will have to be made for auto insurance in many states that require it. If all drivers are not forced to carry insurance, that means most of us will see increased insurance rates. Of course if you take Hudson's words in the broader sense then you'd also have to let everyone opt out of social security, which certainly wouldn't be a feasible program if everyone wasn't paying into it.

UNTRugby

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Report this Dec. 13 2010, 3:44 pm

Quote: Doc Boomstick @ Dec. 13 2010, 3:31 pm

If the US judicial system does overturn mandatory health care than I believe the same argument will have to be made for auto insurance in many states that require it. If all drivers are not forced to carry insurance, that means most of us will see increased insurance rates. Of course if you take Hudson's words in the broader sense then you'd also have to let everyone opt out of social security, which certainly wouldn't be a feasible program if everyone wasn't paying into it.


auto insurance is entirely different. One its regulated at a state level. Two its not mandatory to own a car so every one does not have to own car insurance. Three its for other peoples protection not yours.

Doc Boomstick

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POSTS: 178

Report this Dec. 13 2010, 4:02 pm

Quote: UNTRugby @ Dec. 13 2010, 3:44 pm

auto insurance is entirely different. One its regulated at a state level. Two its not mandatory to own a car so every one does not have to own car insurance. Three its for other peoples protection not yours.


I don't see why it's any different if my state government requires me to carry auto insurance or if the federal government does. As for auto ownership being a choice, well that's just not true. Nobody would be able to drive to work without a car. Unless you lived in a large city with a sound public transportation system (another gov't program), then I don't see how it would be possible to work and feed your family. As for your last argument, I'm not sure if you meant that required auto insurance protects people from harm or cost. If you meant that it protects them in the event of an injury, than I don't know if I agree. Most auto insurance comes with a cap on medical payout. If you mean that it protects them against the cost of buying a new car if I damage it, than that isn't very different than universal health care. Requiring everyone to have insurance brings my rates down so that I have better odds at affording a needed procedure.

My argument was based on the judges comments. I don't see how that argument wouldn't apply to all government mandates.

UNTRugby

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Report this Dec. 13 2010, 4:17 pm

>>I don't see why it's any different if my state government requires me to carry auto insurance or if the federal government does.


its not really that different but its not uniform in every state and its not federal very different circumstances from omabacare


>>As for auto ownership being a choice, well that's just not true. Nobody would be able to drive to work without a car. Unless you lived in a large city with a sound public transportation system (another gov't program), then I don't see how it would be possible to work and feed your family.


nearly 80% of the US lives in an urban area.


>>As for your last argument, I'm not sure if you meant that required auto insurance protects people from harm or cost. If you meant that it protects them in the event of an injury, than I don't know if I agree. Most auto insurance comes with a cap on medical payout. If you mean that it protects them against the cost of buying a new car if I damage it, than that isn't very different than universal health care. Requiring everyone to have insurance brings my rates down so that I have better odds at affording a needed procedure.


If some one in making 30k a year crashes into and totals a Porsche theres no way that person could pay to get the Porsche car fixed. Thats where the insurance comes in. Legally it would be a nightmare trying to recoup the value of the Porsche form the other driver and you would probably never get it.

Lieutenant_Jedi

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POSTS: 1728

Report this Dec. 13 2010, 8:00 pm

The point is that Health Insurance companies WANT the mandate. If there is no mandate then there will not be a larger pool of insurers to help offset the costs of the increased coverages required by the bill.

If the mandated insurance measure is stricken from the law, then insurance costs will go way, way up as the larger insurance companies try to keep their insane profit margins and satisfy their stockholders.
That is a nightmare policy for the companies and the public.
The insurance companies will cut coverage, more people will be put into debt by health care costs, and on and on.

That would have been solved by creating a government insurer of last resort, partially funded by the Health Insurance industry. But no we don't want "government control" we would rather all go broke at the whims of a publicly held company.

"Can you detect midi - chlorians with a tricorder?"

Roboto

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Report this Dec. 13 2010, 9:11 pm

All I can say is that it is about time that the Constitution is upheld! 


___Lucifer___

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Report this Dec. 13 2010, 9:32 pm

Are democrats allowed to cry and whine about "judicial activism" or is that exclusively a right-wing buzzword?

Doc Boomstick

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Report this Dec. 13 2010, 10:03 pm

Quote: UNTRugby @ Dec. 13 2010, 4:17 pm

nearly 80% of the US lives in an urban area.


That statistic includes urban areas (50k and up) and urban clusters (2500 to 50k). Are you telling me that everyone who lives in a city of 2500 people has access to public transportation? I can only think of about six cities in the US with well developed public transportation. In all other cities and areas of the US it is completely necessary to have a car. Besides, even if everyone did have access to public transportation you would be arguing that one government program (auto insurance) is unnecessary because of another (public transportation). That hardly makes any sense. Bottom line: only 5% of Americans use public transportation to get to work. If you eliminate NYC, LA, and Chicago (all with large purblic transit systems) then the number drops to about zero. Good luck keeping the US economy going without the rest of the nation. Saying a vehicle isn't a necessity is crazy.

Doc Boomstick

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POSTS: 178

Report this Dec. 13 2010, 10:09 pm

Quote: Lieutenant_Jedi @ Dec. 13 2010, 8:00 pm

That would have been solved by creating a government insurer of last resort, partially funded by the Health Insurance industry. But no we don't want "government control" we would rather all go broke at the whims of a publicly held company.


Without a government "backup" program or a law forbiding the rejection of individuals with pre-existing conditions, there will always be people who lose. You have to have one or the other. My uncle was diagnosed with cancer of the small intestine about two months before he was laid off of his job (after 20 years). So he had access to Cobra (a gov't requirement) for six months but his treatments took longer than that. The only reason he did not have to declare bankruptcy is because he qualified for medicare about a month later. Otherwise, there is no way he could have gotten insurance. Now if you aren't a fan of reforming health care, then I ask you to think about this problem. Anybody can lose their job. Can you imagine a world in which Captain Picard couldn't get his artificial heart because he couldn't afford it?

covertness

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Report this Dec. 14 2010, 4:14 am

There is no mandate that people own cars and drive and thus the insurance analogy between health care and auto insurance is false. I don't have to own a car but I do have to live. If the government is allowed to force you to buy a insurance even if you don't want it what's next? Why not make me buy GM vehicles if I want to buy a car since it's for the good of society (being largely government owned and all). I have to wash my clothes so why not mandate that I buy a GE washer and dryer? If I want to buy anything and that good or service is provided by a company that received public bailout money will I have to do my business with them? Where would such a power end?

Sorry, there is nothing in the Constitution that says the government can force me to buy anything.

UNTRugby

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Report this Dec. 14 2010, 7:22 am

>>Are you telling me that everyone who lives in a city of 2500 people has access to public transportation?

public transportation is not the only alternative means to go places.

>>one government program (auto insurance)

auto insurance is not a govt program

>>Saying a vehicle isn't a necessity is crazy.

i never said it wasn't necessary i said it wasnt mandatory

Lieutenant_Jedi

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Report this Dec. 14 2010, 9:13 am

Here is the deal. Now the Health Care Reform Act could be split up, with parts of it ruled unconstitutional, and others allowed to pass.

Health insurance is a risk based industry, with the profits of the industry based on avoiding risk. So people with pre - existing conditions or who fall into a "high - risk" category often find themselves with out any insurance at all. Now the majority of health insurance companies have found their "sweet - spot" by insuring healthy individuals, making them pay insane premiums, and rejecting the rest. Those rejected end up often on Medicare - so now the healthy middle class people end up paying for them as well when they pay taxes.

THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. In its current form, it does not help the majority of Americans. The Health Care Reform Act was supposed to make those fundamental changes, but when the "public option" was left off, it failed. Now it will simply be a band aid on a gushing wound.

"Can you detect midi - chlorians with a tricorder?"

Doc Boomstick

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POSTS: 178

Report this Dec. 14 2010, 10:15 am

Quote: UNTRugby @ Dec. 14 2010, 7:22 am

Quote: Doc Boomstick @ Dec. 13 2010, 10:03 pm

Quote: UNTRugby @ Dec. 13 2010, 4:17 pm

> public transportation is not the only alternative means to go places.

How else could somebody get to work? Horse? What would they travel on? The freeway? If owning a car is a necessity and the gov't requires auto insurance than by default you are required to have insurance to live. Sure, you could just not work and live off the land, but you'd have no way of paying your property taxes.

auto insurance is not a govt program

It's as much a gov't program as health care. State governments require you to carry (private) insurance the same way the fed gov't requires you to have (private) health insurance.

i never said it wasn't necessary i said it wasnt mandatory


By the same token, if you opt to not carry auto insurance (and therefore not work) you also have no income and you also don't have to pay for health insurance, since under the new program you would qualify to have it completely subsidized.


 


edit: Oy. Really need to learn to multiquote.

Doc Boomstick

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 178

Report this Dec. 14 2010, 10:29 am

Quote: Lieutenant_Jedi @ Dec. 14 2010, 9:13 am

Quote: /view_profile/ @

Health insurance is a risk based industry, with the profits of the industry based on avoiding risk. So people with pre - existing conditions or who fall into a "high - risk" category often find themselves with out any insurance at all. Now the majority of health insurance companies have found their "sweet - spot" by insuring healthy individuals, making them pay insane premiums, and rejecting the rest. Those rejected end up often on Medicare - so now the healthy middle class people end up paying for them as well when they pay taxes.
The problem that Americans are running into is that young, healthy people opt not to carry insurance until they get sick. So they don't pay into the system and then suddenly try buying in when they need a kidney transplant, for example. There is no way the system could work that way. If only old or sick people had to by health insurance than nobody could afford it. So when people cry foul when they are denied coverage the gov't steps in and tells isurance companies that they can't reject pre-existing conditions. This is impossible unless you also require healthy people to carry insurance. THE SYSTEM NEEDS TO BE CHANGED. In its current form, it does not help the majority of Americans. The Health Care Reform Act was supposed to make those fundamental changes, but when the "public option" was left off, it failed. Now it will simply be a band aid on a gushing wound.


I was in favor of a public option too. However, I do need to point out that this bill was never meant to help the majority. It was crafted to cover the 46 million uninsured Americans. These people can't afford insurance and therefore only go to the doctor when they are near death, at which point they charge up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and declare bankruptcy (assuming they can get access to credit - some just die). On top of that, another large problem is the under-insured not just the uninsured. These are the people who barely get by and can't afford the $2000 co-pay required for their procedure.

So as of now the majority of Americans are happy with the system but nearly 1 in 10 will be unable to go to the doctor or have to declare bankruptcy because of health problems. I use the analogy of a house with a kitchen fire. Democrats wanted to tear down the house and rebuild while Republicans wanted to just ignore the fire and let it burn. What we needed was a fire extinguisher and some new cabinets and what we got was a new kitchen and garage.

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