Health Care Jenga: The Future Of The ACA May Rest With Its Past

Below is my column in USA Today on the recent decision effectively striking down the Affordable Care Act.  While Judge O’Connor technically ruled only on the individual mandate, he found that the unconstitutional provision could not be severed from the rest of the Act.  Nevertheless, he will have to address the remaining issue and the question of the injunctive relief.  There is a good chance that the severability ruling will be reversed but that could still leave the ruling on the individual mandate.

Here is the column:

When federal Judge Reed O’Connor effectively struck down the Affordable Care Act on Friday, there was a chorus of shock and dismay across the country from politicians and pundits alike. However, the decision is in many ways a bill come due for a number of key players in the ACA’s history. Not the least of them is Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts saved the ACA in 2012 by defining a key provision as a tax. That tax is now gone and, with it, Roberts’ very narrow rationale for preserving the original health care scheme.

The seeds for this decision were planted long before the challenge was filed by Texas and 19 other states. From the outset, the constitutionality of the ACA was questioned by some of us due to the inclusion of the “individual mandate” which required all Americans to purchase health insurance. That provision immediately raised objections under federalism principles. Congress was penalizing individuals and states for the failure to buy a product and then regulating that failure under the claim of Interstate Commerce.

A majority of justices viewed that scheme as a violation of states rights. However, the Obama administration and the Democrats argued that the individual mandate was the thumping heart of the ACA and it could not live without it. This argument was repeated before the Supreme Court, which voted 5-4 to preserve the individual mandate as both constitutional and essential to the ACA.

The individual mandate, and the ACA as a whole, were only saved by Roberts effectively switching sides mid-opinion. After agreeing with the majority on violation of federalism guarantees, Roberts declared the individual mandate was still constitutional as an exercise of Congress’ taxing authority. The reason is that the penalty could be viewed as a type of tax.

Roberts’ tax rationale came as a surprise to many of us, since none of the original parties were arguing that the mandate was a tax. Indeed, one of the drafters, Jonathan Gruber, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist, admitted later that “this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO did not score the mandate as taxes.” Roberts’ rationale would prove too clever by half when the penalty was eliminated in 2017 in a tax cut bill.

That left the mandate not only without a penalty but without a constitutional rationale. O’Connor not only struck down the mandate but, without the mandate, he struck down the entire ACA. He found that the mandate was “nonseverable” from the law — again using the prior statements of the drafters and the Supreme Court (both in majority and dissenting opinions).

For critics, another bait-and-switch

The law remains in effect for now and O’Connor’s ruling on the non-severability of the remaining provision of the ACA could well be reversed on appeal. There is a strong judicial policy against striking down the entirety of a law. However, O’Connor’s striking down of the individual mandate could prove more difficult to reverse because his strongest support is found in the ACA’s strongest supporters.

For supporters, the future of the ACA will depend on convincing a court to ignore its past. Specifically, they will have to show that the years of arguing that ACA cannot function without the individual mandate are now mere hyperbole or irrelevant.

For critics, the latest arguments are just another ACA bait-and-switch. First there was Obama’s promise that everyone would be allowed to keep their current doctors. Then there was assurance that costs would fall and that this would not be a tax. Then, after passage, Gruber said that (in direct contradiction of arguments before the court) there was a knowing effort to punish states which did not yield to the ACA and that they passed the ACA only by engineering a “lack of transparency” on the details and relying on “the stupidity of the American voter.”

Gruber is now back assuring those same American voters that the individual mandate really is not that important after all. In an interview on CNN, Gruber insisted “Well look, I think when the law passed we all thought the mandate was a very important part of the law. We have now basically been proven that it’s important but not as important as we thought.” The question is whether John Roberts will show the same flexibility.

Obamacare will survive, but in what form?

Roberts was excoriated for his decision at the time and will now face calls for him to be faithful to his own analysis. He saved the ACA by saying that the mandate was essential to the survival of the ACA but that the penalty was the key to the constitutionality as a tax measure. Now there is no penalty and no tax. As O’Connor suggested, this is a game of Jenga and Roberts already said that this is one stick that cannot be removed.

There is no immediate risk to health insurance. This challenge will work its way to the Fifth Circuit on appeal and there is no injunction against the continued use of the ACA. The question, however, should not be whether the ACA will survive but in what form. Congress in 2017 canceled the penalty, which made the individual mandate purely aspirational. That may produce a steady drop in the most critical group to the viability of the Act: young healthy people. Without them, the law may prove difficult to sustain economically or politically.

What is clear is that, without the penalty, the individual mandate would be difficult to sustain under the original Roberts’ rationale. Even if some of the ACA can be maintained on appeal, it is not clear how much will remain if Roberts himself has to pull that last Jenga stick.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY’s board of contributors. He was lead counsel representing the House in its successful challenge to the funding of Obamacare by executive order. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

110 thoughts on “Health Care Jenga: The Future Of The ACA May Rest With Its Past”

  1. One understanding I got from the 2012 Supreme Court decisions on this case was that Chief Justice John Roberts was opposed to the actions of judges reversing laws, since he was supposedly of the belief that Congress was where lawmaking resided at the federal level.

    By logical extension, if this case reaches the Supreme Court, he should support the current decision, since this “tax” was voted/repealed by Congress. In other words, it went through the normal procedure of legislation.

    1. I Bob, some might not want to remember who Gruber is or what he said so I took the following comments from Snopes that is far left and frequently reponds to place the left in a good light. The Obama administration probably did try to hide that comment. Video at site.

      “Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Hails American ‘Stupidity’

      Claim: Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said Obamacare only passed due to the “stupidity” of the American voter and a lack of “transparency,” and video footage of his remarks was deleted from the Internet in an attempt to hide it.

      TRUE: Jonathan Gruber said Obamacare only passed due to the “stupidity” of the American voter and a lack of “transparency.

      UNDETERMINED: Video footage of his remarks was deleted from the Internet in an attempt to hide it.”

      It appears that Gruber called those on this blog that lean left stupid. I think he is right.

  2. Someone give the Justices of the Supreme Court their reading glasses.

    Congress has merely the power to tax for “…general Welfare…,” deliberately omitting and, thereby, excluding the power to tax for “…individual Welfare….” The government exists not to provide subsistence but to merely facilitate maximal freedom and free enterprise. GENERAL means ALL people use the commodity or service in similar amounts such as roads, water, electricity, post office, telephone, sewer, etc. to achieve WELFARE or get along in good and proper manner.
    _________________________________________________________

    Article 1, Section 8

    “The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;…”
    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional including its “individual Welfare” as welfare, food stamps, Obamacare, utility subsidies, social services, public housing, WIC, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, TANF, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability, etc.,
    _____________________________________

    In the same vein, unconstitutional violations of the right to private property include affirmative action, quotas, rent control, “affordable housing,” forced busing, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, minimum wage laws, etc.

    Private property is

    “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

    – James Madison
    ______________

    Oh, and, lest we forget, Congress has merely the power to regulate the flow as interchange or trade “…among the several States,…” Congress has no power to regulate the design, engineering, production or marketing of the products and services of free enterprise.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Article 1, Section 8

    “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;…”
    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    The Supreme Court must void all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution.

    “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

    – Alexander Hamilton
    _________________

    The singular American failure is and has been the nullifying and, therefore, treasonous Supreme Court.

    1. FDR era SCOTUS disposed of these issues based on earlier precedents. the commerce clause is so broad they can drive an oil tanker through it anyhow.

    2. However, when the dreaded 16th Amendment was passed, it specifically eliminated the requirement for uniformity throughout the nation in how the Income Tax was assessed and collected. And even though I agree (in principle) with every point you made, the way all parties to Big Government have acted ever since has made the words of the Constitution almost meaningless.

      And that’s part of the problem with a written Constitution: Who will defend it? If the current government will not defend it as written, then how valid is it, since all remedies have to be pursued through agents of that same government?

      1. The primary thing the matter with the 16th Amendment is that it allowed Congress plenary discretion to define taxable income. A second problem was that it allowed Congress excess discretion in defining the rate structure. So, the effective tax rate differs according to the sector from which you draw your non-wage income, differs according to your consumption patters, and differs according to the balance you maintain between wage and non-wage income. This is neither prudent nor fair, and the amount of corruption and rent-seeking that surrounds this is wretched. The solution to these problems is to enact an appendix to the constitution which defines taxable income with the most parsimonious use of language you can imagine and to limit Congressional discretion over the rate structure. Such an amendment could apply to state governments as well.

  3. The tortured logic of Judge O’Connor’s decision ignores the paramount fact that the major grievance behind the original ACA case was rendered moot with Congress eliminating the penalty for non-subscription to health care insurance. If Obamacare can survive financially without the individual mandate, and the will of Congress is clear that it now try to do so, then who is the Judicial branch to try to muck things up further?

    Could Congress improve on the ACA? Possibly. If they can figure out who would be the national insurance regulator with requisite power, they could allow national competition for subscribers. (But watch out — there is a covert deregulation scheme in the minds of some Repubs who favor interstate sales of policies — and this a guarantee for financial abuse of consumers by an unregulated insurance industry).

    The major factors in reducing costs are:

    1) price resistance must be forced onto health providers, including required pre-disclosure of standard care procedure costs. Anti-competitive market behaviors such as concealing costs should be made illegal.

    2) strong incentives for healthy-living (diet, exercise, personal safety) must be
    allowed to be built into insurance coverage pricing. That said, a clear line must be drawn so that factors over which the client has no control (age, gender, pre-existing conditions, genetics) are NOT allowed to become rating factors. A regulatory board of medical and behavior experts will be needed to
    keep this red line well-defined as medical science advances.

    3) End-of-life decisions must be considered economic decisions best made by the cogent individual, couple or family. Any policy that puts government in the driver’s seat to order “all means necessary” care to extend life, or alternatively to ration life-prolonging interventions should be illegal. That said, incentives for cost savings through end-of-life planning and decisions should be allowed in designing health insurance.

    I think most Americans agree that medical R&D has proved its worth, and that it would be foolish to adopt policies that that treat R&D as an unnecessary expense. Also, most Americans agree that health care professionals must be paid well enough to continue to fill the ranks of needed professionals.

    The best national health care policy is the one that asks everyone to contribute toward holding cost-growth down as services improve. Exempting any one group (subscribers, providers, insurers, regulators, medical device and pharmas) from responsibility would be a prescription for failure. As this is a complex system, anti-gaming policing and adaptation is essential.

  4. Here’s the REAL story. I can’t link to it because of the title, but I bet you can find it!
    —–
    Welcome to Our Modern Hospital Where If You Want to Know a Price You Can Go [eff] Yourself
    by Alex Baia

    Welcome to America General Hospital! Seems you have an oozing head injury there. Let’s check your insurance. Okay, quick “heads up” — ha! — that your plan may not cover everything today. What’s that? You want a reasonable price quote, upfront, for our services? Sorry, let me explain a hospital to you: we give you medical care, then we charge whatever the [hecky darn] we want for it.

    If you don’t like that, go eff yourself and die.

    Honestly, there’s no telling what you’ll pay today. Maybe $700. Maybe $70,000. It’s a fun surprise! Maybe you’ll go to the ER for five minutes, get no treatment, then we’ll charge you $5,000 for an ice pack and a bandage. Then your insurance company will be like, “This is nuts. We’re not paying this.” Who knows how hard you’ll get screwed? You will, in three months.

    Fun story: This one time we charged two parents $18,000 for some baby formula. LOL! We pull that sh*t all the time. Don’t like it? Don’t bring a baby, [anus]

    Oh, I get it: you’re used to knowing a clear price for products and services. The difference is that medicine is complicated and scary — unlike, say, flying hundreds of people in a steel tube across an ocean, or selling them a six-ounce hand-held computer that plays movies and talks to satellites. Anyway, no need to think this through rationally while you’re vulnerable, right? Your head is really gushing, ma’am.

    Sure we could start posting prices and discussing our costs, but then it turns into a public debate about transparency, and people get all huffy and self-righteous about $15 pills of Tylenol, $93 to turn on a single [GD’ed] light, or $5,000 worth of sanitary gloves. We’d rather just mail you a bill later for $97,000, full of obscure medical codes you can’t understand. Oh, you like understanding things? Here, maybe this will help:

    Hit your head, and talk to a doctor for one minute? $2,500, you idiot.

    Want your pesky appendix out? That’ll probably be $33,611. Or it could be $180,000. Shrug. Don’t know. Don’t care.

    Need an hour in the ER? How does $15,000-$50,000, sound? Hint: we don’t give a [peepee] how it sounds you stupid effing helpless human wallet.

    Our medical system strikes you as “insane?” Well, you can’t do much about that now. Except of course to go effing yourself. Yes, ma’am, as a matter of fact, we do have a special room where you can go eff yourself. Yes, it does cost money to use the room, and no I cannot tell you how much. Want a hint? It’s between $1 and $35,000 per minute. Will you be reserving the go eff yourself room?

    Oh, you think you think we’re cruel and illogical? Well, no one forced you to come here. It’s your decision, you head-injured meatball. Feel free to go out into the parking lot and just die. I suggest you do that out in section F. Try to lean your corpse against a light pole. Our dead body disposal fee is $3.75 and is not covered by your [poopy], confusing, out-of-network medical plan.

    So, will you be dying in our parking lot today, you pathetic, impotent, walking insurance code? Okay, great! Your husband will get a bill for that soon, and if he doesn’t like it, he can eff himself too.
    —–

    All of this crap is a felony, and in violation of Sherman Anti-trust provisions. But who cares?

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    This is attempt number 5 to get this to post. All the “effs” were originally the whole F word.

    1. What constitutes a legal contract. A willing buyer who knows what he is paying for and a willing seller. If the seller doesn’t provide a price I don’t see any reason to enforce the contract as is.

      1. the law that usually supports this is “restitution” and it’s a necessary part of social life. people walk in sick and hurt and they need treatment. they know it’s not free and will be charged. the hospital can charge a reasonable price. works that way with tons of different things that never amount to contract.

        i have challenged hospital pricing of services and things in court and spanked them. it can happen but rarely does because people who cant pay usually cant hire lawyers either so the hospitals have it their way.

        1. Kurtz, when there is a dispute it is resolved by the courts and if there is no contract then the court can make a determination but the courts in most cases have not been taught how to do that fairly.

          I’ve helped a few people out including myself. Most of the times the bill was completely dropped. Patients have to learn not to sign on the line and refuse to pay unreasonable costs. Those without money go bankrupt so the hospital will try and get what they can. Cash prices can be 20 times what insurers pay so there is lot of leeway. Find out the Medicare fee and then add 20%+. That will be a close approximation of the actual bill paid by insurers depending on location. They have to be careful that the hospital isn’t billing for multiple services when Medicare would only bill for one.

          The hopsital charged my wife several thousand dollars for a test that shouldn’t have cost more than $200. I told them to sue me and they dropped the bill. Years ago the labs used to mark up testing and bill that amount. I was billed about $800 for tests where the reimbursement would have been less than $20. I sent them a check for $40 or $50 to manage the overhead of this type of billing. They continued to push for the $800. I told them to sue because there was a question over the bill. That stops them from ruining my credit.

          1. you understand how it works then. yes if its a bogus charge then refuse it, make a reasonable counter offer, and if they’re intransigent tell them to stuff it and sue you for it.

            1. see liability is not an issue in that kind of lawsuit. they don’t bill if somebody never showed up. somebody showed up and got care.

              the issue is the reasonableness of the pricing. and in that kind of lawsuit, the plaintiff has a huge disadvantage, because what is their proof a fee is reasonable?

              they don’t have any unless they haul in a competent witness who has some expert knowledge of pricing. well. there’s people like that at hospitals, but they make big money charging huge insurance company bills and they don’t like coming to court. So they dont.

              by contrast a defendant can get up there and swear it’s unreasonable and say their peace. any judge will let them and the judge thinks he’s an expert on this topic as much as you or I so he’s not going to shut anybody up from criticzing a fifty dollar band aid.

              in the absence of a preponderance of evidence establishing the plaintiffs case there is a verdict for the defense.

              if people understood how this works, they would tell them to shove a lot more often then they do.

              a huge amount of collection cases are simply defaulted, the defendants just never show up.

              1. The solutions to most of the problems being faced are relatively simple to manage. It requires politicians to want to solve the problem but they don’t. Same goes for the wall. $25 Billion and the wall is built. It makes things easier on our side of the border but to many politicians are being fed by those that don’t believe in borders.

            2. The problems in healthcare aren’t unique. They occur everywhere but government isn’t so involved elsewhere so they don’t screw it up as much.

  5. What gets me is that Obamacare serves just under 9 million people, but affects hundreds of millions of votes. The amount of time and energy expended on something that affects less than 3% of the population is several orders of magnitude greater than that which is spent on the provision of well paying jobs, a subject which affects 50% or more of the population.

    1. That’s less than half of the people who have insurance as a result of all of the ACA provisions. (Staying on parents’ coverage until 26, Medicaid expansion, pre-existing condition rules).

      20.1 million fewer people are uninsured than were in 2010 and the rate of uninsured people is at a historic low.

      1. What does that mean with regard to a person’s health? Insurance doesn’t equal healthcare. Many insured can’t afford the premiums and then can’t afford the deductible and then can’t afford the co-pay, and then can’t afford the balance bill, and then can’t afford those things that are not covered. Additionally for specialty illnesses there are centers that are the best for treatment and don’t just treat an occasional patient with a specific disease. They treat lots, but Obamacare has caused these places not to take the insurance because they lose money.

        Why are costs so high? Obamacare paid attention to other things than lowering cost. Lowering cost makes health insurance and healthcare more accessible.

        Permit me to help you out. There is a triad: access, quality, and cost. Unless one appropriately changes thedynamics of healthcare not done by Obama one change two of the triad impacting the third negatively. Thus Obama chose access (but in part phony access due to high costs) and it decreased quality and markedly increased cost. That is not a solution.

      2. The share ‘uninsured’ declined from 15% to 9%. Meanwhile, the market for household policies is in ruins in many states, hopelessly expensive if a policy is available at all. And we still have gross inefficiencies from the lack of real prices in the delivery of medical care, gross inefficiencies from the allocation of physician’s labor to tangling with insurers, and injuries to the quality of care derived from the loss of clerical assistance to physicians. You go see one and he hardly looks at you because he’s doing data entry the whole bloody time.

    2. So goes the socialist logic.
      This is standard in socialism, the whole of society will be conscripted so that an ideology will force funded upon the few that is applies to.

      1. A more sensible approach would be to subsidize those that need Obamacare but don’t let them completely off the hook. Change Medicaid so it stops being all or none. Eventually integrate both of these systems into the general system. Utilize high deductibles and let patients choose their own plans that meet their needs. Provide one generic plan so everyone knows what the plan covers. Let the insurer offer riders to the generic plan that patients can purchase if desired. If there is a tax deduction let it stay with the patient unless the patient chooses differently and make sure al have the same deduction.

        Many of the uninsured have very low costs and many of the unknown sick that are insured already have insurance so payment of their bills was already calculated into the premium. If someone refuses to carry any insurance then when they want it their premiums should be based on risk. We can also use pools for the very ill where limited resources presently exist.

    3. Anyone who has healthcare insurance in any form is touched by this law. There are many mandatory provisions that effect everyone such as removing pre-existing condtion limitations, eliminating caps on insurance benefits, free preventive care features and allowing children to stay on parent’s plan and more. Unfortunately all those things also raise the ultimate cost to consumers.

  6. “When federal Judge Reed O’Connor effectively struck down the Affordable Care Act on Friday, there was a chorus of shock and dismay across the country from politicians and pundits alike.”

    And a larger round of applause since it appears it did not strike down ACA but a portion that made some of it’s funding a felonious criminal act. ACA was, unfortunately not touched. Nor was it made any more acceptable.

    Illegal fines, suspicious taxes, et. al. ACA failed to deliver on key ‘promises’ and ‘guarantees.’ The moochers still mooched and the torters still torted and cost inflaters still operated their money pump.

    I only know of one business that survived and that’s Mayo Clinic who refused to accept the government’s definition of the final bill to the consumer and by doing so avoided government control. Their prices remained stable.

    1. For those that think Medicare For All is a good thing remember Obama praised the Mayo Clinic that loses money on Medicare.

      From WSJ: “In other words, the real Mayo story is that sclerotic Medicare is preventing more Mayos, and ObamaCare is paving the way for all of health care to operate like Medicare.”

      1. Allan, when there was no Medicare (and when there was no insurance at all), there was still only one Mayo. What we need to understand about Mayo is why Mayo hasn’t been replicated across the landscape of service delivery.

        Before there was Head Start, there were pilot programs which inspired Head Start. What Charles Murray had to say was thus: the pilot programs were effective because they had unique ingredients. When public agencies tried to scale up, they got Head Start, which is ultimately ineffective. Suggest something may be at work re Mayo.

        1. DSS, that is very true, but policy today inhibits innovation. Do you think you would be on such a good computer today if it were regulated by a government agency like Medicare? There are a good number of places that have demonstrated excellent ways of managing healthcare. I think Geisinger might be one of those and is in Pennsylvania. We need to permit independent cultures to survive. Remember how the US government closed that school in Washington D.C.? Do you think it may have had some answers to our problems educating our students?

          1. Allan, computer technologies were largely developed by government agencies like NASA and The Pentagon. Your suggestion that government played no role is ridiculous. But if one is a Libertarian fundamentalist they have to say such things.

            1. No, large scale mainframes were initially developed by public agencies. The agencies which did so had their own objects and agendas in developing them (which did not include commercial application). Public agencies will always have their objects and agendas. That’s not an argument for public agencies getting into the venture capital business.

            2. Government plays apart, Universities play a part and private industry plays a part in R&D but taking the product to market is not something the government is very good at. Take a look at healthcare costs and education. In NY the private schools are doing some wonderful things. They are owned by private entities.

              1. Allan, show me a comprehensive, peer-approved study saying that charter schools achieve superior results to public schools. I don’t believe any such study exists. And it’s not because Democrats won’t let charter schools work. Obama’s Education Secretary, Arnie Duncan, was a big proponent of charter schools.

                What’s more, your argument above notes that universities played a part in the development of computer technologies which is true. But those universities were largely funded by government money.

                1. City Journal has had multiple articles on Charter Schools and I forget the writer but she uses data. You can also refer to any of Thomas Sowells books that talk about education to get more data. What you consider a study generally is not or relies on telephone discussions rather than the hard data available. Why don’t you show us good studies on the left that prove your case. Skip going to the news media that provides names and only use primary data and studies.

                  Tell me the consumer items where the government is responsible for the final product.

  7. Another example of our dysfunctional political order. Federal legislators and judges at all levels have for 80 years ignored clear constitutional provisions on jurisdiction. So, the conscientious judge has to sort bad legislation into three piles: that which is unconstitutional and properly annulled, that which is unconstitutional but cannot be annulled due to legitimate considerations of stare decesis, and that which passes constitutional muster. Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare would be in category two. What extensions of the federal government’s writ in the financing of medical care and long term care is a matter of debate, so you have these problems. On top of that, federal legislation has for 76 years been predicated on definitions of ‘interstate commerce’ which are frankly absurd. We also cannot seem to craft enabling legislation for the judiciary which doesn’t have power-drunk lawyers in robes imposing injunctions which they fancy should apply in the 92 federal districts where their writ doesn’t run.

    As for Obamacare specifically, the people who drafted the legislation manufactured an actuarially unsound program. Since this was understood ex ante by the likes of Megan McArdle (who isn’t extensively educated in economics or actuarial science and has never worked in the insurance industry), the Obama Administration’s expert staff hasn’t many excuses. Obama himself is an older versions of Ben Rhodes’ 27-year-olds-who-know-nothing. He’d have an excuse in the ordinary course of things, except that he elected to run for an office he had no business occupying.

    Peter Hill, your people own this mess.

    1. Tabby, it sounds like you’re making that Glenn Beck argument that everything wrong with America began with Theodore Roosevelt and the progressive movement. The idea seems to be that we need to go back 120 years (to the ‘first’ Gilded Age) to right all the wrongs. Social Security, Medicare, The Federal Reserve, Clean Water, Clean Air, Fire & Safety Codes.. all have to go in order to save capitalism.

      When people make these types of arguments, they imagine the spirit of J.D. Rockefeller patting them approvingly on the shoulder. And that seems to warm their soul.

      1. I think if you wish to argue with Glenn Beck, post on his blogs. If you’re arguing with me, you might at least respond to my actual post. No clue what any of this has to do with John D Rockefeller.

        1. Tabby this is ‘you’: “Federal legislators and judges at all levels have for 80 years ignored clear constitutional provisions on jurisdiction”.

          One could easily change that ’80 years’ to ‘120 years’ and presto: you have a Glenn Beck argument. And that’s the level you’re coming from.

          The idea seems that everything wrong with the country can be traced to the two Roosevelt’s. Like our government achieved an ideal harmony under Calvin Coolidge that we need to recreate. And though Coolidge actually came after the first Roosevelt, that shouldn’t muddy the narrative. Coolidge sounds good because he kept his mouth shut and never annoyed big business.

          1. Peter, you’re not responding to me, you’re responding to your own internal dialogue (which has something to do with Glenn Beck).

            But I’ll explain it real slowly. Whether you think x, y, or z is good policy or not, the delegated powers listed in Article I are what they are. They delineate federal jurisdiction. Bad jurists have spent about 80 years now manufacturing specious arguments which allow any exercise of discretion by federal authorities to be legitimated under the rubrics of ‘interstate commerce’, ‘general welfare’, or implied powers. The net effect has been to render the precise delegations in Article I so much decorative verbiage inasmuch as case law has granted Congress plenary discretion. (The appellate courts will invoke federalist principles when some government wishes to do something of which the Anointed disapprove). We don’t have any legal security if the language of the law is ignored. All of this has gone on while jurists have simultaneously argued that constitutional provisions strip federal and state legislatures of discretion when they might exercise it in ways of which the Anointed disapprove (see Roe, Romer v. Evans, Obergefell). In short, we no longer have a constitution, just a compendium of exercises in judicial wilfullness.

            Setting up income transfer programs or collective consumption schemes may be defensible policies as policies. No amount of utility is going to make the enabling legislation necessary to do so something exercised under the rubrics of a delegated power. The dilemmas the Roosevelt Administration faced at the time (most acutely in 1933) are not a justification for making laws and institutions ever more noncompliant with constitutional principles.

            Now look at your list:

            ” Social Security, Medicare, The Federal Reserve, Clean Water, Clean Air, Fire & Safety Codes.. all have to go in order to save capitalism. ”

            ‘Capitalism’ refers to the articulation of functions in business and industry once collected in one set of actors. It doesn’t need ‘saving’ in any venue. There is no natural (or, really, artificial) process that’s going to induce the efflorescence of a society where all businesses are small proprietorships and partnerships who finance their activities out of re-invested earnings. The most recent attempt at a ‘non-capitalist’ political economy involved constructing enormous bureaucracies to allocate capital and set prices. That’s not on anyone’s drawing board anymore.

            Fire Codes and health-and-safety codes are commonly the work of state and local governments and are not implicated in the jurisdictional complaint noted above except insofar as health-and-safety codes are relying on distended definitions of ‘interstate commerce’. There are a couple of complaints about the Federal Reserve, neither of them the mode in starboard discourse. There are jurisdictional complaints and complaints from the perspective of pareto efficiency in re environmental regulations. None of that has to do with ‘saving capitalism’. There is a historic complaint about Social Security, not one commonly offered in this country in 50+ years; the contemporary complaint concerns the actuarial soundness of the program given latter-day demographics. Health care financing is simply a mess; Medicare is part of the mess and will remain so, no matter how may poses you strike.

            1. Tabby, then your argument seems to be that the constitutions is carved in granite and can never be altered in any way. So we as a nation must live forever in the 1780’s.. because our founding fathers intended that.

              1. Tabby, then your argument seems to be that the constitutions is carved in granite and can never be altered in any way. So we as a nation must live forever in the 1780’s.. because our founding fathers intended that.

                The law is not a law if it’s meaning is protean.

                There’s actually an amendment process, Peter. If you fancy specific provisions are ill-adapted to contemporary conditions, you have two options:

                1. A substantive Amendment

                2. A procedural Amendment which allows more ready adjustment of what count for delegated powers.

                There were actually nine amendments to the constitution during the period running from 1865 to 1933.

              2. Peter, you demonstrate first class ignorance. The Constitution has an Amendment Process. You don’t like that because you want to change the Constitution with a simple majority vote and if not through a vote you want changes made by the courts.

                My favorite example of dumb Constitutional Amendments was an Amendment to Florida’s Constitution where it became illegal to treat pregnant pigs poorly. Forget about pregnant mothers. That is the type of Constitution you desire.

                1. The problem with that Amendment is that they incorporated a substantive policy into the Constitution. That should be done very sparingly if ever. A constitution should delineate the distribution of decision-making authority between various agencies and the process by which decisions are made. It should also delineate the privileges and immunities of private parties (implicitly, policies which may not be adopted). One other thing you might have is appendices which incorporate entrenched statutes in realms where legislative discretion is untrustworthy. That’s mostly in relation to public finance and elections administration.

          2. ” Coolidge sounds good because he kept his mouth shut and never annoyed big business.”

            I can’t think of anyone offhand who sounds so uniformed as Peter. I suggest you read the book on Coolidge by Amity Shlaes. It’s a great read.

              1. Did you read the book? It was excellent. You can post the important items that you think she doesn’t understand. I am sure you can find a few disagreements but it is an excellent book. Do you think an economist would have written a better biography? Remember that is what this book is, a biography not an economic treatise.

                1. We had this discussion with the intolerable Dhili. Look at the bibliography of her book on the Depression and look at the data tables therein. She doesn’t know how to read professional literature in economics and she’s bored by descriptive statistics. She’s a storyteller. Trouble is, the story’s in the numbers, and she’s not a numbers person.

                  1. Yes, we had this discussion with dhili but I don’t find him intolerant like you do.

                    I didn’t comment about her book on the depression and I didn’t read it. I commented about her biography of Coolidge which was excellent.

          3. Peter, Coolidge is admired because during his time in office the President and Congress co-operated to see to it that the books were balanced and federal authority respected the limits delineated in the Constitution. They also respect him because it wasn’t his default response to social problems to launch crusades, rhetorical or bureaucratically administered. What ‘big business’ had to say about it at the time motivates very few people.

            1. Allan, what was America’s population during the Coolidge era? What was the size of America’s armed forces? Where was the rest of the world in terms of social safety nets? Where was Wall Street heading as the 1920’s closed? And why did Calvin Coolidge choose not to run for a second full term?

              1. Allan, what was America’s population during the Coolidge era?

                About 125 million people.

                What was the size of America’s armed forces?

                About 300,000 men on active duty in the Army, the Navy, and the Marines.

                Where was the rest of the world in terms of social safety nets?

                Germany had had some income transfer programs for 40-odd years at that point. In the U.S. the federal government had benefit programs for veterans and state and local government a miscellany of programs commonly delivered by public agency. Indoor relief was the order of the day.

                Where was Wall Street heading as the 1920’s closed?

                There was an asset bubble. Those come and go.

                And why did Calvin Coolidge choose not to run for a second full term?

                He had other things to do with his life.

                1. Tabby, I see you dismissed the Crash of ’29 as a mere “asset bubble”. Libertarian fundamentalists tend to minimize the Great Depression. And Libertarians typically claim that
                  ‘government interference prolonged the depression’. The idea seems to be that if Americans had just been patient enough, we might have had only had a few bad years. That’s what’s known as Revisionist Libertarian history.

                  Coolidge knew that Wall Street was under the influence of buccaneers. And he didn’t want to stick around for the crash.

              2. Read the book. Obviously you are reading things into decisions he made along with the times to promote your looney ideas. The book will answer these questions as will other biographies. Right now you are try8ing to make up more meaningless BS.

                1. There isn’t anything ‘looney’ about what PH said. The problem is that it’s a frame. It’s a blandly familiar one if you were a high school student at a particular time (and without a doubt worse frames are used today). The problem with many frames is that they’re much more useful for advancing partisan polemics than for understanding an era.

                  1. “There isn’t anything ‘looney’ about what PH said.”

                    I didn’t say there was anything looney about what Peter most recently said. I actually said ” Obviously you are reading things into decisions he made along with the times to promote your looney ideas.” and yes Peter has a lot of looney ideas.

                    1. No, Peter’s ideas are perfectly conventional liberal opinionjournalese vintage 1983.

                      Bill McWilliams actually is a looney.

                    2. DSS, we have a different understanding of the word loony. The ideas might be presented by others but I find Peter to be foolish, crazy and silly. Aren’t those three words part of the various definitions of the word loony?

                    3. “Foolish” yes. “Looney” is an appellation you might apply to people who cannot process ordinary data properly. Among their quirks is an allergy to inductive reasoning. Bill McWilliams’ 9/11 truther nonsense is ‘looney’. Peter Hill thinking employers are a piggy bank for Democratic pols to shake down is merely foolish.

                    4. DSS if you agree with the definition of foolish then loony meets a standard definition. You appraently think more highly of Peter than I do. He contorts himself to meet the desired talking point and traps himself over and over again into positions that he cannot defend. Doing the same thing over and over again is a bit crazy.

  8. The article references the notion by Justice Roberts that there are “States Rights”. Himm. Let us be precise. The States and the National or Federal Government are given “Powers”. The word, in the Constitution, about “Rights” is addressed to people, or individual humans, or groups of individuals. The bandering about of the words States Rights is more precisely spoken and spelled: STATES’ RIGHTS!. It is uttered by the Klan when they lynch someone.

    SO: Justice Roberts and others. The states and federal government have “Powers” but sometimes the Powers cannot intrude upon the Rights of persons. Get it?
    We have a phrase down South here relevant to the STATES RIGHTS! mantra: “Went in dumb, come out dumb too. Hustlin round Altanta in his alligator shoes. He’s keepin the nigras down! We’re Rednecks, Rednecks. We don’t know our arse from a hole in the wall” etc. I think the song is by Jerry Jeff Walker.

    America needs a health care set of laws to provide health care and to regulate the Monopoly Medical Capitalists.

    The Redneck from Texas who wrote this opinion does not know his arse from a hole in the ground.

        1. Jenga is like Obamacare. AS you pull out the blocks of Jenga or Obamacare the structures fail more quickly. Both Jenga and Obama care are unstable entities.

    1. Absolutely a correct decision. Now we need this to end the so called “essential” services clause. Return freedom to purchase health insurance that is appropriate for ones needs, not insurance that is most beneficial to the insurance companies that bought and paid for this law.

  9. If everyone engaged in good habits – good hygiene, good diet, no alcohol or drugs, no stupid risk taking, regular exercise, very few people would need health care. In fact, today, many people do all of the above and don’t need health care, but get it anyway because of all the hype about “preventative care”. If you are over 70, many are saying that health “care” often does more damage than good.

      1. Knucklehead makes Ivan Ilich sound reasonable. (Another piece of evidence, in case you needed one, that ‘Sam’ / ‘Chris P. Bacon’ is about 17 years old).

    1. Actually if you die sooner you will likely spend less on healthcare in your lifetime. Smoke, drink and eat to excess and you will need more healthcare earlier in life but for a much shorter period.

  10. Äţ łϵäƨţ ḯﬡ ţħϵ ƨţäţϵ ѡħϵᴦϵ Ḯ äӎ ӎѳᴦϵ ƒäӎḯłḯäᴦ, ţħϵᴦϵ ѡäƨ ѳﬡḉϵ ä ƨţᴦѳﬡǥłƴ äđħϵᴦϵđ ᴘᴦäḉţḯḉϵ ţѳ ᴘłäḉϵ ѡḯţħḯﬡ ƨţäţǔţϵƨ ƨϵⱴϵᴦäɃḯłḯţƴ ḉłäǔƨϵƨ–ţƴᴘḯḉäłłƴ ᴦϵäđḯﬡǥ “ḯƒ äﬡƴţħḯﬡ ḯﬡ ţħḯƨ äḉţ ḯƨ ħϵłđ ţѳ Ƀϵ ḯﬡⱴäłḯđ, ţħϵ ᴦϵӎäḯﬡđϵᴦ ѳƒ ţħϵ äḉţ ѡḯłł ᴦϵӎäḯﬡ ḯﬡ ƒѳᴦḉϵ.” Ḯ ħäⱴϵ ﬡѳţ ƨϵϵﬡ ţħḯƨ ǔƨϵđ äƨ ӎǔḉħ ᴦϵḉϵﬡţłƴ äﬡđ Ḯ äӎ ǔﬡƒäӎḯłḯäᴦ ѡḯţħ ţħϵ ᴦϵäƨѳﬡƨ ѡħƴ ḯƒ ţħϵᴦϵ äᴦϵ äﬡƴ. βǔţ ƴѳǔ ħäⱴϵ ţѳ ѡѳﬡđϵᴦ ḯƒ ḯﬡţᴦѳđǔḉḯﬡǥ ƨţᴦѳﬡǥłƴ ѡѳᴦđϵđ ƨϵⱴϵᴦäɃḯłḯţƴ ḉłäǔƨϵƨ ӎḯǥħţ Ƀϵ ѳƒ Ƀϵﬡϵƒḯţ ḯﬡ äﬡƴ łäᴦǥϵ ᴘḯϵḉϵ ѳƒ łϵǥḯƨłäţḯѳﬡ.

      1. Đѳﬡ’ţ ᴦϵäđ ḯţ ţħϵﬡ. ₩ħäţ đḯƒƒϵᴦϵﬡḉϵ đѳϵƨ ḯţ ӎäҟϵ ţѳ ӎϵ ḯƒ ƴѳǔ đѳﬡ’ţ łḯҟϵ ħѳѡ ѳᴦ ѡħäţ Ḯ ѡᴦḯţϵ?

        1. Darren Smith – I find what you write important. I do not want to have to kill myself to have to read you. 😉

  11. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS?

    DON’T WORRY. TRUMP HAS ‘FANTASTIC’ IDEAS ON HEALTHCARE

    For 9 years Republicans have been promising to “Repeal & Replace” Obamacare. But we know by now they have no ideas whatsoever regarding a healthcare system. You see, ideology gets in the way. When your routine stump speech concerns the ‘evils of big government’, you can’t possibly let government take the lead in healthcare.

    This leaves Republicans in a lurch. They have to pretend the free market can accommodate the healthcare needs of average Americans. Which is a fantasy, of course. There’s no profit in offering healthcare to everyone. The only way a profit can be made is to eliminate older and less healthy consumers. That was the status quo before Obamacare.

    In last month’s midterm election, the American people clearly wanted the provisions of Obamacare preserved. In fact, Obamacare is very popular in Red States when known only as Medicaid. Yet Professor Turley seems to be telling us that the constitution prohibits healthcare for the masses. The founding fathers, according to Turley, considered healthcare a privilege only for the privileged.

    1. Obamacare failed. It failed before Trump even came to office. The death spiral began almost immediately not based on any Republican action rather based on economics. It simply didn’t work. That is one reason for all the lies about Obamacare and how one could keep their doctors along with a lot of other lives and bribes necessary to pass the act and pretend it was a rational act.

      People that support Obamacare never deal with the intrinsic problems it faces rather they deal, like you do, with rhetoric having nothing to do with the law itself and its multiplicity of problems. You say the free market doesn’t work. It does but the results for some good people that simply don’t have the financial means that they might need some financial support which can be provided if one does so with the least effect on the marketplace. What we are seeing with Obamacare is such a provision to those that do not have the financial means, but the way the subsidies are given destroys the marketplace and thus Obamacare. If we are willing to give subsidies under Obamacare then we should be willing to give subsidies if there is a free marketplace.

      The problems with Obamacare abound. It drastically raised costs. Raising costs makes health insurance less available or less beneficial than it otherwise would be. What should be done is to get insurance costs down so that more people can afford insurance and mechanisms to do so abound. Lower premiums mean more people are insured without need for subsidies. The free marketplace also works to lower overall costs. Right now Federal leglislation has a lot of intermediaries that cause costs to substantially rise. We see that easily in our pharmaceuticals costs where the insured price can be $250 while the cash price is $25. Most of that insured price is paid by the insurer which means they have raised the premiums where premiums need not have been raised. That type of cost is economically devastating for working families whose incomes are borderline.

      There are loads of other errors that would eventually cause the failure of Obamacare but the cost factor alone leads to its demise. The free marketplace would lower those prices drastically just like it has with our computers, TV’s and most of the things we purchase.

      1. You’re talking to Peter Shill, who knows flat nothing of the trade-offs incorporated into various production and allocation schemes. He can’t plead for the dispensation you might grant the 27 year olds scammed by Ben Rhodes ‘cuz he’s pushing 60.

        1. DSS, you could have taken your sentence: “You’re talking to Peter Shill, who knows flat nothing of the trade-offs incorporated into various production and allocation schemes.” and made it shorter: “You’re talking to Peter Shill, who knows flat nothing” and it still would have been true.

          1. I assume he knows something about his hobbies (hiking) and something about his workaday job (I’m guessing schoolteacher or social worker or benefits reviewer).

            1. You might be assuming too much. 🙂

              If a school teacher that would explain why our students graduating from high school don’t know very much.

              1. Much about what?

                We have five fanatics on our Facebook feed. One’s someone on the Paulbot – NeverTrump axis. Another’s a BernieBro. Two others are standard-issue Democratic Party voters. The last is somewhere between a standard issue Democrat and a Bernie bro. The last is a collateral relation of ours and I cannot recall what he did for a living (he is 68 and, I assume, retired). Of the remainder, two are retired librarians and two are teachers. One is at some sort of tertiary institution abroad the nature of which I’ve not figured out; the other is an ordinary high school teacher in Florida. Both teachers are in the humanities. One of the librarians studied drama and one economics [!}. Peter Shill is rather more deft in his advocacy than four of these individuals. (The English teacher from Florida is the one with the forensic skills).

                1. “(The English teacher from Florida is the one with the forensic skills).”

                  Which one is that? Can you name them all? One studied economics?

                  1. No, our friends relatives will not be under discussion here. None of them post here. The schoolteacher from Florida is the NeverTrumper / Paulbot. He’s generally a tough nut to crack. He’s taken some uncharacteristically stupid stances of late. I think it tells you something about the NeverTrump mentality that Christine Blasey was a salable commodity in that set (though not everyone was buying). As for the lapsed student of economics, if you ever had a conversation with her in meatspace, you’d be floored she ever got a degree in a subject with operational measures of competence. She’s very pleasant; she’s also a dingbat.

                    1. Tabby, no one cares about Christine Blasey Ford anymore. She’s now very old news. The truth is that Kavenough seems respectable compared to Donald Trump.

                    2. “Tabby, no one cares about Christine Blasey Ford anymore. She’s now very old news.”

                      That is right. Every week or so there is new news that after it is debunked is forgotten by people like you. One doesn’t forget about important issues unless their importance is trasient and a political hit job. I have listened to so many of your posts where you provide negative news of Trump but forget to report when you are proven wrong. You are a meaningless hypocrite whose only value is playtime beteen a cat and a mouse, but even those make more sense then you do..

                    3. Tabby, no one cares about Christine Blasey Ford anymore.

                      Each day begins anew for you, which relieves you of the task of reflecting on how you get things wrong. How very conveeenient.

                      The mentality which induces people to endorse Christine Blasey’s fictions doesn’t go away once she’s taken her GoFundMe winnings and gone back to Palo Alto. My shirttail relation is the same guy he was when he was mouthing off on this subject some weeks back.

                    4. yep the Dems used this haughty lying withered old skank, but she got paid, and went away, so she’s old news. on with the next set of slanders

                      say, why can’t we have a wall to keep out illegal alien invaders huh? Is Chuck Shumer on the side of Mexican coyote human traffickers or what? Is a wall such a bad thing for a country that has taken in more migrants than any other one on Earth?

          2. Actually, no one really knows what Peter Shill knows since he works off a script provided by the DNC. Like an NPC he just vomits out whatever the Dem talking point of the day/week/year is, and as such, you can never really have an honest conversation with him.

            Joseph Goebbels was a very smart person, but if all you had to go by was his idiotic speeches in late 1944 that Germany was winning the war, then you would think he was a complete idiot, also. But Old Joe was just following the script.

            Same with Peter Shill. And Late4MentalHealthCheckup, and others here. Just following the script, and posting copy/paste crap from approved DNC sources.

            Squeeky Fromm
            Girl Reporter

            1. I appreciated a couple of occasions where he attempted to debate, but I didn’t see anything of value that demonstrated more than just the repetition of words.

              1. See, Allan, whenever you and Tabby comment, Squeaky feels emboldened to post her anti-intellectual views. That’s the company ‘you’ keep.

                1. The company the Democrats keep is intent on helping illegal aliens continue to invade our country and God Forbid that we have a damned wall. it might keep the future Democrat baby machines out!

                2. Squeaky feels emboldened to post her anti-intellectual views.

                  I.e. she’s been known to critique what the intelligentsia has wrought. Can’t have that.

                3. the Peter is the judge of who’s an intellectual and who isn’t. i tell you there’s nothing wrong with intellectuals but there’s something wrong with people who say others arent.

                  this trick’s like calling people crazy all the time, just a more “sophisticated” approach.

                  the Hillary shills have a fine talent for responding to leadership. She call the tune and out into cyberspace they go. They don’t overthink anything, just keep hammering away at today’s talking points and seeding them around the net. it’s called activism not debate. it is not debate. debate is wholly different. this is just another form of advertising.

                  conservatives are a little slow on the uptake and don’t do this quite so well as they

                  1. oooh, we’re now having a meta conversation! a conversation about a conversation.

                    can we be honored as intellectuals now please please huh peter sir? we’re not worthy!

    2. More people 5.5 million had their insurance cancelled by Obamcare than the approx. 200,000 reported to have signed up for Obamacare under the preconditions issue.

  12. Insurance premium rate hike patterns

    ACA-Individuals in perfect health & don’t know what an ER looks like. Raise the rates.
    Car Insurance-No accidents, traffic tickets or points. Raise the rates.
    Home owners Insurance-No fires, not in a flood zone, earthquake zone, no burglaries, no volcanoes. Raise the rates.

    Results: Health insurance CEOs earned $342.6M in 2017

    Nearly every health insurance CEO got a pay raise in 2017—in most cases, bringing home more than 300 times the amount their average employee earned.

    All together, CEOs at the nation’s largest insurance companies earned $342.6 million in 2017, with the highest-paid executive bringing home $83.2 million, more than 1,400 times what the average employee brought home.

    The top eight insurance companies paid out twice as much money to their top executives as they did the previous year thanks to notable churn in C-suites across the industry, according to an analysis of SEC filings by FierceHealthcare. The review included Aetna, Cigna, Molina, WellCare, Centene, UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Anthem.

    1. CEOs didn’t “earn” $342.6 million. They “took” $342.6 million from the desperately sick, elderly, and disabled who did earn it.

  13. I don’t know about Judge O’Connor. But Professor Turley is a graduate of Northwestern University, and you would think he would know. But for the benefit of Judge O’Connor, and the professor, and anyone else who is uninformed, let me quote from the opening paragraph of the Wikipedia article on Social Security. “Social Security is the commonly used term for the federal Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program…..signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935.”

    The point being: The federal government’s requiring one to buy insurance – or should I say “mandating” that one buy insurance – is nothing new. Ben Hyatt, N. U. ’53.

    1. Ben, for the purposes of this column Professor Turley is pretending that Judge O’Conner isn’t a right-wing stooge whose court this case just happened to land in.

      1. Peter Shill fancies creatures like Stephen Reinhardt are normal and reasonable occupants of judicial positions.

      2. Yet it is the left that is incensed about tax reductions and want’s to not only repeal them but raise them higher. So your little word game fails. Also that a good many of the phony word conservatives are in fact left wingers known as Republicans in Name Only or individual unaffiliated self governing citizens while his other choice is just one form or the other of another kind of Antifa a term that is used to describe straight up fascism.

      3. It didn’t “happen to land” with him. This was obvious forum shopping. The case was brought in the Fort Worth division of the Northern District of Texas. Guess how many non-senior status judges are in that division? Answer: Just one hack.

        1. In Dougworld, all the judges who act as extensions of the Democratic Party are paladins of justice. Everyone issuing rulings inconvenient to the Democratic Party is a ‘hack’.

    2. Having insurance available is one thing, pretending to have it available is another, and not having it available to the extent promised is a fraud. Never mind it was never insurance in the first place but a method of strong arming one group who it was thought would not complain. A similar felonious act happened and may still be happening in the military forcing donations and forcing purchasing of such things as US Savings Bonds which became a 90 day free loan to the government. This was done and perhaps still is being done by threatening to block assignments, schools, and promotions.

      Larceny is still larceny and ‘fines are taxes paid for being unsuccessful while Taxes are fines being successful.) Happily that trend under this administration was reversed but then the entire income tax scheme is a felony to begin with. ALL taxes are paid for by the end user consumer of of taxed to the hilt income they earned though their individual labor.

      The difference is income tax is a population control method user the ‘rule’ control by any and all means available’ the definition of fascism. While taxing the end product consumers final bill at the counter gives the end product consumer the right to refuse to buy or choose a lower priced good or service.

      Thus we find that there is NO such thing as a business tax it’s just a Cost of Government column overhead debit to the business. Passed on or whatever

    3. Social Security is an income transfer program, not an insurance program. That it passes muster due to stare decesis is no excuse for Congress to engage in even more activity outside its proper constitutional writ.

  14. What, other than a belief in a “mid east peace process,” could be more insane, more wrong, more stupid, and more self defeating than to force health insurance providers to sell coverage to persons after they have need for it?

    Why force this solely on medical insurance providers? Why not force this provision on all insurance providers, which is to simply eliminate all insurance? Why? Because the sole point of the ACA may be to force single payer health care. What other reason could there be?

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