Obamacare Spared Through “Jiggery-Pokery”?

scaliaSupreme CourtI spent most of the day opining in front of the Supreme Court and in studies on the 6-3 ruling in favor of the Obama Administration in King v. Burwell. I will not subject you to more of that analysis. I have previously indicated that I found the opposing view of the Halbig decision against the Administration to be compelling, though I have always viewed this to be a difficult question upon which people of good-faith could disagree. Yet, in both my prior congressional testimony and my columns, I have never accused the Administration of “jiggery-pokery” — largely because I was not sure what jiggery-pokery is. However, Associate Justice Antonin Scalia has written a stinging dissent to King that contains the memorable accusation that the majority was engaging in “interpretive jiggery-pokery.”

Quite fittingly given his prior decision harkening back to the original intent of the Framers, the term originates in the eighteenth century and means a dishonest manipulation or twisting like what we would call a flim-flam today. It can be traced to the Scottish word jouk, meaning to skillfully twist one’s body to avoid a blow like a boxer or fencer. Joukery became a term for underhanded dealing or trickery which led to the association with the word Pawky (from the word pawk or trick) Thus, by the seventeenth century, the first combination of joukery-pawkery were heard and it came into vogue in the 18th Century . . . and now again in the 21st Century.

238 thoughts on “Obamacare Spared Through “Jiggery-Pokery”?”

  1. davidm2575 … the plan I’ve proposed several times is perfect for you. All choice and no demand. When I posted my costs, including the DOD/DA subsidy, no one answered with a better plan. That is because there isn’t one. And it can be used for ordinary services when necessary…you pick your own level, you are not told what it must be. Sadly our bloated bureaucracy will not consider it as a universal care plan, and optional to boot….because it is too open and fair.

  2. ninianpeckitt said …

    You effect change you need to think out of the box.

    Agreed. To a point, sometimes “out of the box” is a solution you already have laying at your feet….but ignore. Big Pharma and Big Med may not care for it because it involves true competition annually in the private sector…but IT WORKS. Time to cut the crony-ism and do what makes sense…especially when the tools are all there and have been for 50 years.

  3. ninianpeckitt asked….

    If the Affordable Care Act is challenged, what alternative is being proposed?

    I’ve posed the answer here and elsewhere multiple times. Crickets. Even John Kerry (of whom I am not a fan) did the same in 2004 and was told to shut up by his minions. Others have suggested it as well. The FEHBP can be modified, adding means testing, to cover anyone wishing to participate, at much lower cost and with a Db that has worked…and a system that has worked for over 50 years. I posted my costs (including my employer subsidy by DOD/DA to not to distort the true costs) for FEHBP recently…and asked if anyone could show me how the ACA was better in any way? Crickets.

    As I expected…because there is no way the ACA is better…by design it is a deep dig in to the pockets of those it purports to help. It tickled me when Congress persons discovered that the bill none read took away their FEHBP benefits and began howling to high heaven. Too bad. They lost and now must use ACA exchanges without subsidy.

  4. Squeeky Fromm Girl Reporter:

    What you say is correct.

    At the moment…..

    But in a democracy nothing stays the same forever. It depends what you vote for. And what is sustainable. Vested interests are transient – e.g. you will see this when the oil runs out. When Islets of Langerhans are tissue engineered in the next 50 yrs there will be a paradyme shift in diabetes management. And obesity will be managed either through immunisation or prohibiting targeting. These diseases like smallpox will cease to exist in the future. Organs will be regenerated within the host body. And these treatments will be possible at a fraction of the cost. If USA cannot compete patients will and do travel abroad and can get excellent care. You dont necessarily get 3rd World Medicine in a 3Rd World Country. The Apollo Hospitals in India have data for open cardiac surgery equivalent or better than leading US hospital Centres.

    So if health care becomes unaffordable in the US the people will demand and they will get change. Or they will use Medical and Dental Tourism.

    You effect change you need to think out of the box.

    It is only a matter of time.

  5. Affordable Care Act

    I came across this interesting story which illustrates the sort of problems patients without insurance can face in the United States.

    The country had to decide if there is some collective responsibility to facilitate health care for financially disadvantaged groups.

    If the Affordable Care Act is challenged, what alternative is being proposed? Or is it acceptable that healthcare is not available for certain groups of patients? Would such a scenario result in a civilised society that is acceptable ? In a country concerned with rights and freedom, is there really no place for human rights for access to health(care)? It seems to me that this is just as important as freedom of thought and speech and the pursuit of happiness etc

    In this case the patient paid higher fees than even I would have charged… so you can understand why I am so puzzled.


    1. ninianpeckitt wrote: “In a country concerned with rights and freedom, is there really no place for human rights for access to health(care)? It seems to me that this is just as important as freedom of thought and speech and the pursuit of happiness etc.”

      I am one of those uninsured people who does not share your view. I do not see FREE access to health care professionals as a human right. I see health care professionals the same as auto mechanics, computer software developers, and virtually any other profession. It is simply a service offered to people who want it.

      I see any system that forces me to pay for services that I do not want as a violation of my right to pursue happiness. If I am forced to participate, then medical professionals will very likely be making decisions that I do not consent to. The truth is that I don’t trust medical professionals for a variety of reasons. Foremost is that medical care is a business for them, and often decisions are not made with my best interest in mind, but with the doctor’s interest in mind. One evidence of this is that more than 30% of births are done by C-section. Obviously this is too often done with the convenience of the doctor in mind, along with the higher fees he receives for doing it. I watched my daughter give birth in a hospital where she instructed them that she wanted a natural birth with no drugs, but there was the pitocin drip to induce labor. I’m sure it made it more convenient for the health professionals because they would not have to wait so long. Furthermore, I will be forced to participate in financing procedures that I do not agree with, such as abortion, birth control, etc. I also am being forced to pay for people who engage in immoral and destructive lifestyles, such as drug abuse, alcoholism, and sexual promiscuity.

      I realize this might be hard for you to understand as a medical professional, but I truly lack trust in the medical professional regarding my health. I educate myself, eat right, go to the gym, etc. This is my health care. I do not take medicines. I deliver my own babies at home without any medical professionals. For the most part, I do not seek medical help if one of us gets sick. Twice I had children who broke an arm, and I did seek medical help to x-ray the arm and set the bone in a cast. I paid for those services because I wanted them. If it is something that I believe the medical professionals would be helpful about, then I am not against going to them. I have never visited an emergency room for myself or anybody else in my family. I do not want to pay for insurance or just pay government so it is always there when I want it. I want to pay as I go and as I need it, same as I would an auto mechanic to fix my automobile should it break down.

      So whatever system is come up with, I think it should allow people like me to choose NOT to engage with the medical establishment. My greatest fear of government is that I will be forced to undergo some kind of medical procedure against my will simply because government or a medical doctor believes it is in my best interest. I think I should be allowed to make my own choices about my life. I don’t want doctors committing me to an institution, such as a nursing home in my old age. I don’t want doctors involved in my life. If it is discovered I have cancer, I don’t want to be a guinea pig. Let me pursue my own remedies through changing diet, fasting, whatever. Doctors might think I am stupid, but I should have the right to make my own choices, even if I were to die prematurely as a result. The truth is that I have observed far more people live longer lives by avoiding the medical community than those who run to it. My study of history shows also that while the average life expectancy has increased in modern times, there were still plenty of people who lived very long lives in virtually every historical period.

      1. To Davidm

        There is nothing wrong in expressing your views. My point is about access to equitable healthcare and maybe I didn’t make that clear.

        In a democracy the State has to consider the views of the majority when decisions of policy implementation are to be made. And this can counter individual freedoms. This is the root of problems in American politics and it is irreconcilable.

        A democracy functions on the will of the people rather than the will of the person. It is about collective freedom and responsibility.

        A lack of trust of doctors is a big problem and I have explained why. It is the road to failure of whatever health care system is proposed and implimented. It is not possible to be happy with health care if you are not happy with your doctor.

        Thete is no point in taking medicine if ir has been shown not to work.

        In order to succeed it is necessary to think “out of the box”.

        And this hasn’t happened yet.

  6. So you’re really here to promote your racist attitude with the offensive wording “jiggery-pokery”.

    Apparently they didn’t confscate your white hood when they took away your flag.

    1. “So you’re really here to promote your racist attitude with the offensive wording “jiggery-pokery”….
      Apparently they didn’t confscate your white hood when they took away your flag.”

      Maybe they exchanged the white hood for a black robe?

      At the very beginning of this thread didn’t several readers discuss the historical origin of ‘jiggery-pokery’ a direct quote form Scalia’s dissenting opinion?

      Does “jiggery-pokery” have any racist connotation at all – aside form the similar sound to a different racist term?

      From Oxford dictionaries web side ‘jiggery pockery’ is mentioned: “Origin… Late 19th century: probably a variant of Scots joukery-pawkery, from jouk ‘dodge, skulk’, of unknown origin.” and in regard to definition “informal , chiefly British
      Deceitful or dishonest behavior.”

      Perhaps there is some confusion of ‘jiggery pokery’ with:

      “Jigaboo, jiggabo, jigarooni, jijjiboo, zigabo, jig, jigg, jigga, jigger” from Wiki: “… (US and UK)[138] term for a black person with stereotypical black features (e.g. dark skin, wide nose, and big lips).[139] Jiggaboo or jigabo is from a Bantu verb tshikabo, meaning “they bow the head docilely”, indicating meek or servile individuals.[140]”

      Uh oh…. I hope Paul does not notice that I used Wiki – he is probably going to take off points.

      Ok, guys. Whether you want to earn your white robes or if you just want to label someone racist, you’re are going to have to figure out something different because this this ain’t workin’

      1. bfm – okay you lose a point for using Wikipedia, but he loses all his points for not reading the header.

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