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Conservative Supreme Court Irony
Posted: 30 March 2012 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The Supreme Court is ideally above political considerations, but it apparently, in fact is not.  The health care bill which they may strike down, and more specifically the mandate that everyone pay premiums, is ironically the most conservative approach to addressing the problem.  That is unless the most severe and conservative option is put in place, i.e., that we simply do not provide even emergency healthcare to the uninsured.  (Justice Scolia, btw, seemed to suggest this as a realistic option.) 

The conservative Justices may strike down the individual mandate, leaving the only realistic option for paying for healthcare, to be to raise taxes to pay for the healthcare of the uninsured.  Being a non-conservative progressive, this is fine by me, except that it is not politically viable as long as the conservatives in Congress can block it, because they have pledged not to raise taxes for such things.

The market is betting that the mandate will be struck down.  I might take the opposing bet, depending on the odds.  The conservative Justices are in a position in which they want to strike down Obamacare, but if they do, they are, in effect, striking down the most realistic conservative option for dealing with the problem of paying for healthcare that is going to be provided anyway.  So a small bet, if given 2:1 odds, and I would take the position that Obamacare stands.  In fact, it could even be a 6-3 decision in support of the healthcare bill, as Justice Roberts could join Kennedy if the decision goes that way, just so he can write the opinion with a conservative slant.

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Posted: 30 March 2012 03:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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TimB - 30 March 2012 02:49 PM

The conservative Justices may strike down the individual mandate, leaving the only realistic option for paying for healthcare, to be to raise taxes to pay for the healthcare of the uninsured.

False Dilemma Logical Fallacy.

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Posted: 30 March 2012 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Rocinante - 30 March 2012 03:11 PM
TimB - 30 March 2012 02:49 PM

The conservative Justices may strike down the individual mandate, leaving the only realistic option for paying for healthcare, to be to raise taxes to pay for the healthcare of the uninsured.

False Dilemma Logical Fallacy.

Elaborate?

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Posted: 30 March 2012 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I assume Rocinante’s other approaches would include not providing even emergency health care for the uninsured, or transferring even more of the budget from other services like education, highways, police, fire protection, courts, etc. from them to cover the emergency health care costs. 

Rather than doing these, how about transferring ALL healthcare away from government and into private companies? That way, whenever they didn’t provide adequate service the damaged party or his/her heirs could collect damages from those companies.  smile

It wouldn’t take too long until the premiums for those who were paying them would be so high (including profits and CEO compensation) that amost all would A) Cancel their insurance, B) Insist on government regulation, C) Have government require that all health care companies be non-profit, or D) That government take over health care.  Maybe Rocinante has other solutions to the problems posed.

Occam

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Posted: 30 March 2012 03:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Occam. - 30 March 2012 03:28 PM

...how about transferring ALL healthcare away from government and into private companies? That way, whenever they didn’t provide adequate service the damaged party or his/her heirs could collect damages from those companies.  smile

It wouldn’t take too long until the premiums for those who were paying them would be so high (including profits and CEO compensation) that amost all would A) Cancel their insurance, B) Insist on government regulation, C) Have government require that all health care companies be non-profit, or D) That government take over health care…


Occam

Impressive.  Is there any box that you cannot think outside of?

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Posted: 30 March 2012 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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TimB - 30 March 2012 03:26 PM

Elaborate?

Seriously?  You can’t think of a single thing other than forcing people to do something you want them to do or confiscating more of their money from them?  Your lack of imagination is staggering. 

Just off the top of my head, we could try lowering taxes.  (Speaking of health care, please don’t have a heart attack!  grin  ) That way people could have more of their own money to voluntarily donate to help those truly in need of health care.  I know that the concept of donating your own money comes as a shock to a progressive like you, since liberals are among the least likely to help other people in this manner.  But there are those of us who truly do want to help our fellow human beings and realize that relegating such help to some power-hungry, vote-buying, empty-suited politician or some nameless bureaucrat never turns out the way ir was originally sold.   

Likewise, getting more of the government out of medicine would lower costs allowing more people access to it. 

Using the education not legislation model, we could also start a nationwide education campaign demonstrating to those people who can purchase health insurance but choose not to why it would be in their best interest to take ownership of their life and their health care.  You see, many people without health insurance are young healthy people who simply choose to spend their money on other things instead of health insurance. 

Tax breaks for Medical Savings Accounts would be another route to take. 

Please note, I’m not a progressive.  So I don’t advocate one single magic bullet approach from one-all-powerful, “benevolent” god government.  All of the above (and many others) could and should be applied to health care.  This way, the problem is attacked from multiple standpoints and it would be voluntary, not forced at the point of a gun.  Such “education, not legislation” approach has a much better track record than the fascism you and other progressives advocate.

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Posted: 30 March 2012 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Rocinante - 30 March 2012 03:48 PM

...Just off the top of my head, we could try lowering taxes.  (Speaking of health care, please don’t have a heart attack!  grin  ) That way people could have more of their own money to voluntarily donate to help those truly in need of health care…

 

We have had historical tax decreases even across more than a decade of war.  Healthcare costs have gotten worse and more people have become uninsured.  So much for that idea.

...Likewise, getting more of the government out of medicine would lower costs allowing more people access to it…

Oh really, so more people could access medical care if there was no Medicaid or Medicare?  Dare I say “tripe”?

Using the education not legislation model, we could also start a nationwide education campaign demonstrating to those people who can purchase health insurance but choose not to why it would be in their best interest to take ownership of their life and their health care.

Okay, but who’s going to pay for this education if not the government?  Benevolent conservatives?  Tripe.

You see, many people without health insurance are young healthy people who simply choose to spend their money on other things instead of health insurance.

And they will continue to do so, given the option, because advertisements for IPADs will be more appealing than advertisements designed to “teach” them the benefits of purchasing health insurance.

Tax breaks for Medical Savings Accounts would be another route to take. 

Okay, but it is still using tax money to support medical care, and more importantly it does nothing to address the masses of uninsured, who don’t make enough money to pay taxes, thus they cannot get a tax cut.  So your “imaginative” solution is no solution.

Please note, I’m not a progressive.  So I don’t advocate one single magic bullet approach from one-all-powerful, “benevolent” god government.  All of the above (and many others) could and should be applied to health care.  This way, the problem is attacked from multiple standpoints and it would be voluntary, not forced at the point of a gun.  Such “education, not legislation” approach has a much better track record than the fascism you and other progressives advocate.

Your hyperbole and tone about fascism and people being forced at the point of a gun is irritating, but more to the point, it is misguided.  The mandate is essentially a direct (non-progressive) tax on everyone who may need healthcare, i.e., everyone.  That is why it should appeal to right wingers.  It doesn’t appeal to right wingers, mostly because it has Obama’s name on it.  BTW, the government does and has and will continue to “mandate” things of it’s citizens, for the common good.

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Posted: 30 March 2012 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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The Supreme Court is ideally above political considerations, but it apparently, in fact is not.

The historical reality is that they never really were in practice. The nominations come from the President and when you’re talking about a president, you’re talking about a person with some specific viewpoints who is not about to nominate somebody who is hostile to them.

“Control the coinage, control the courts, let the rabble have the rest” is an observation which Frank Herbert made in his Dune series. While he was talking about his fictitious universe, he could easily have said the same thing about a politician’s thinking in the real waking world.

And he would be right.

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Posted: 02 April 2012 01:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon - 30 March 2012 10:29 PM

The Supreme Court is ideally above political considerations, but it apparently, in fact is not.

The historical reality is that they never really were in practice. The nominations come from the President and when you’re talking about a president, you’re talking about a person with some specific viewpoints who is not about to nominate somebody who is hostile to them.

“Control the coinage, control the courts, let the rabble have the rest” is an observation which Frank Herbert made in his Dune series. While he was talking about his fictitious universe, he could easily have said the same thing about a politician’s thinking in the real waking world.

And he would be right.

Something that I have picked up on when discussing politics with persons who identify themselves as independents, is that they tend to have this idea that, in national politics, it is best to have the executive branch controlled by one party and the legislative controlled by the other party. (Of course with the current partisan politics, this just means that almost nothing gets done.) And I don’t think that such independents even consider the influence of the 3rd branch of our government.  With our current activist Supreme Court, it is critical that we consider its influence. If we have another Republican President anytime soon, who appoints other conservative justices, the prospects for reactionary changes in our government are appalling. e.g., 1 or 2 more conservative justices and the Court could overturn Roe vs. Wade.

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Posted: 02 April 2012 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Rocinante - 30 March 2012 03:48 PM
TimB - 30 March 2012 03:26 PM

Elaborate?

Seriously?  You can’t think of a single thing other than forcing people to do something you want them to do or confiscating more of their money from them?  Your lack of imagination is staggering. 

Just off the top of my head, we could try lowering taxes.  (Speaking of health care, please don’t have a heart attack!  grin  ) That way people could have more of their own money to voluntarily donate to help those truly in need of health care.  I know that the concept of donating your own money comes as a shock to a progressive like you, since liberals are among the least likely to help other people in this manner.  But there are those of us who truly do want to help our fellow human beings and realize that relegating such help to some power-hungry, vote-buying, empty-suited politician or some nameless bureaucrat never turns out the way ir was originally sold.   

Likewise, getting more of the government out of medicine would lower costs allowing more people access to it. 

Using the education not legislation model, we could also start a nationwide education campaign demonstrating to those people who can purchase health insurance but choose not to why it would be in their best interest to take ownership of their life and their health care.  You see, many people without health insurance are young healthy people who simply choose to spend their money on other things instead of health insurance. 

Tax breaks for Medical Savings Accounts would be another route to take. 

Please note, I’m not a progressive.  So I don’t advocate one single magic bullet approach from one-all-powerful, “benevolent” god government.  All of the above (and many others) could and should be applied to health care.  This way, the problem is attacked from multiple standpoints and it would be voluntary, not forced at the point of a gun.  Such “education, not legislation” approach has a much better track record than the fascism you and other progressives advocate.

None of these options will cover everyone. There will always be a significant number of people who will opt out and no nation with any compassion is going to leave them on the street when they need medical care. Ultimately we will all end up paying for it.

In every conceivable plan that is likely to be accepted, everyone gets healthcare and most of us end up paying for it. The question really is do you want to do it in some sort of organized sensible way where we can manage costs and provide quality care or are we going to have an expensive patchwork solution where wealthier people get overpriced but unexceptional care and the poor get truly suboptimal care.

If you look at how the rest of the world deals with healthcare there is no logical reason to oppose a national single payor system unless you have a special interest in maintaining the status quo.

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Posted: 02 April 2012 05:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Another weird decision by the Supreme Court today (4/2/12): 

The situation appeared to be:  A woman driving to have dinner with her husband, who was in the car (a BMW) with her.  She was stopped for speeding.  During the stop, the officer asked the husband for his identification.  The officer ran it and was told ther was an unpaid fine The man was arrested, taken to jail, booked, stip searched, and incarcerated in spite of his protestations of innocence.  Over the next ten days he was tranferred to another jail, again strip searched, then, after the ten days he was finally released when they found that the police had made a mistake and there was no unpaid fine on file.

The man sued the police for unconstitutional search, and it made its way all the way up to the Supreme court.  The vote was the five conservative judges against the man, stating that what the police did, from asking a person not involved in the infraction for his identification to all their subsequent actions (and inactions) was constitutional. 

Another very large nail in the coffin of our privacy.  Just make sure you are not within a few miles of any police action, or you can be arrested on any charge the officer happens to choose.  Don’t even look at all suspicious or you’re done for.

Occam

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Posted: 03 April 2012 11:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Occam. - 02 April 2012 05:47 PM

Another weird decision by the Supreme Court today (4/2/12): 

The situation appeared to be:  A woman driving to have dinner with her husband, who was in the car (a BMW) with her.  She was stopped for speeding.  During the stop, the officer asked the husband for his identification.  The officer ran it and was told ther was an unpaid fine The man was arrested, taken to jail, booked, stip searched, and incarcerated in spite of his protestations of innocence.  Over the next ten days he was tranferred to another jail, again strip searched, then, after the ten days he was finally released when they found that the police had made a mistake and there was no unpaid fine on file.

The man sued the police for unconstitutional search, and it made its way all the way up to the Supreme court.  The vote was the five conservative judges against the man, stating that what the police did, from asking a person not involved in the infraction for his identification to all their subsequent actions (and inactions) was constitutional. 

Another very large nail in the coffin of our privacy.  Just make sure you are not within a few miles of any police action, or you can be arrested on any charge the officer happens to choose.  Don’t even look at all suspicious or you’re done for.

Occam


And for sure, don’t be black (as was the African American man in this case).

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Posted: 03 April 2012 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Occam. - 02 April 2012 05:47 PM

Another weird decision by the Supreme Court today (4/2/12): 

The situation appeared to be:  A woman driving to have dinner with her husband, who was in the car (a BMW) with her.  She was stopped for speeding.  During the stop, the officer asked the husband for his identification.  The officer ran it and was told ther was an unpaid fine The man was arrested, taken to jail, booked, stip searched, and incarcerated in spite of his protestations of innocence.  Over the next ten days he was tranferred to another jail, again strip searched, then, after the ten days he was finally released when they found that the police had made a mistake and there was no unpaid fine on file.

The man sued the police for unconstitutional search, and it made its way all the way up to the Supreme court.  The vote was the five conservative judges against the man, stating that what the police did, from asking a person not involved in the infraction for his identification to all their subsequent actions (and inactions) was constitutional. 

Another very large nail in the coffin of our privacy.  Just make sure you are not within a few miles of any police action, or you can be arrested on any charge the officer happens to choose.  Don’t even look at all suspicious or you’re done for.

Occam

The door to civil action does not appear closed in this case.  Somebody’s liable for the computer error.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I agree with your statement, Bryan.  The problem I have is with the Supreme Court decision which appears to me to go against our tradition of privacy.  I realize this has to be balanced against the probability of the person being involved in a crime.  Sitting in the passenger’s seat when the driver is being cited for exceeding the speed limit doesn’t seem to demonstrate any probability that the passenger was involved in that crime.

Occam

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Posted: 03 April 2012 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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TimB - 30 March 2012 02:49 PM

The Supreme Court is ideally above political considerations, but it apparently, in fact is not.  The health care bill which they may strike down, and more specifically the mandate that everyone pay premiums, is ironically the most conservative approach to addressing the problem.

It would have been terrific if this thread had ended up discussing the specifics of the case, which (IMHO) would show TimB’s assessment somewhat blatantly partisan.

The key to whether the court’s action in striking down the individual mandate is found in the question to the defendant’s counsel:  What principle should limit the ability of the federal government to regulate commerce?

Defense counsel was stumped.

If the Court is likewise stumped then the individual mandate should be ruled unconstitutional as a fairly obvious matter, since it would represent the end of the Constitution as a document undergirding limited government (instead it is become a document justifying unlimited government).  The remaining question if the mandate goes is severability:  How much of the law remains after the individual mandate is removed?

Justice Scalia further highlighted the issue of judicial activism.  He suggested that striking down the entire law is less activist than for the Court to go through the law and decide what stays and what goes, reasoning that fashioning the law is the business of Congress, not the Court.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Unfortunately in an attempt to satisfy everyone and get something through the legislature they passed a health care bill that took an odd approach to solving the problem by trying to keep private health insurers in the loop and forcing everyone to buy it What they should have done was to create a single payor government system paid for through our taxes and there would have been no constitutional issues. Its odd really but it really doesn’t matter whether you force everyone to have insurance, its just the manner in which you do it that determines whether its constitutional or not.

All the arguments from people crying foul over the issue of being forced to buy something seems a bit disingenuous when you look at it that way. we are all forced to buy military and police protection. We are all forced to buy virtually every service the government offers except that we do so through a system of taxation instead of private enterprise.

Obviously the supreme court has to decide this on constitutional grounds but if we’re being honest here the opposition to the health care plan has absolutely nothing to due with the commerce clause and everything to do with conservative opposition to universal health care. They just see this as the best way to shoot down the latest attempt to enact such a program.

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