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Health Law a Loser Despite Court Victory
Townhall.com ^ | July 2, 2012 | michael F. Cannon

Posted on 07/02/2012 7:02:30 AM PDT by Kaslin

Unfortunately for supporters of President Obama’s health law, the Supreme Court ruling does nothing to validate or lend the law legitimacy. Half of the ruling was a clear defeat for “Obamacare.” And the portion that supporters are hailing as a victory will prove hollow.

The court invalidated a key part of the Obama health law designed to expand health insurance coverage. Each state has a Medicaid program that provides health insurance to the poor (among others). Federal grants to states cover 56 percent of overall Medicaid spending. That comes to an average 12 percent of a state’s entire budget.

The Obama health law threatened to withhold the federal share of Medicaid funding — which amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars over a 10-year period — unless states dramatically expanded their programs. A Cato Institute colleague estimates that, for example, this mandate would cost New Jersey taxpayers $35 billion and New Yorkers $52 billion over the next 10 years. This mandate was so expensive that 26 states sued to block it.

The Supreme Court agreed. Though the particulars of the ruling will take some time to sort out, the court told states they can refuse to expand their Medicaid programs without sacrificing their existing Medicaid funding. It is difficult to interpret that holding as anything but a defeat for the Obama health law.

And while supporters hail the court’s refusal to strike down the law’s “individual mandate” requiring Americans to purchase a private health insurance plan, it is not the case that the court affirmed that mandate as constitutional.

During congressional debate, supporters of this law claimed that the individual mandate was an exercise of Congress’ power to regulate commerce. Congress and the president swore up and down that the mandate was not a tax, because calling it a tax would have doomed the entire law. The statute frames the mandate as grounded in the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, and refers to the penalty for non-compliance as a “penalty” — not a tax. States and a handful of citizens filed suit against the mandate because forcing people to purchase a private product is not regulating commerce but compelling commerce.

Again, the court agreed. The justices ruled 5-4 that requiring citizens to purchase health insurance is not a valid use of the Commerce Power. But in a truly bizarre twist, they held that the mandate could be justified as a use of Congress’ taxing power. The split decision came about because Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court’s conservatives on the commerce power question, but flipped his vote on the taxing power question. As a result, the court upheld the individual mandate as a valid use of the very taxing power that Congress swore it was not using.

What Congress said the individual mandate is — an exercise of the Commerce Power — the court said is not constitutional. But what Congress said the mandate is not — an exercise of the Taxing Power — the court ruled is constitutional. Everybody got that?

This ruling has created two enormous problems for American democracy and the rule of law.

First, Roberts’ flip-flop means the Supreme Court just upheld a law that Congress did not pass and never would have passed. If Congress had called the mandate a tax, the law never would have reached the president’s desk.

Second, the Supreme Court just told Congress it is okay to lie to the people in order to get a bill passed. As a result of this ruling, a future Congress could enact a broccoli mandate by saying, “Don’t worry, this isn’t a tax. We’re using our power to regulate commerce. And we’re sure the Supreme Court will agree with us this time.”

The Obama health law can’t take many more victories like this.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 07/02/2012 7:02:32 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I’m sticking to the same theory I had BEFORE the decision came down: Justice Roberts has been CHICAGO-ed.


2 posted on 07/02/2012 7:07:28 AM PDT by July4 (Remember the price paid for your freedom.)
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To: July4

The bottom line is this: Republicans must win the White House, take the senate, and increase their numbers in the house, and they must do it THIS NOVEMBER if we have any hope of repealing Obamacare. Because once it goes into effect, it will probably become popular, just as Medicare did in the 60s. By the time Nixon took the white house in ‘69, the GOP did not have the strength to repeal it, and we have been stuck with it for over 40 years. Let’s learn a lesson from Medicare, and get GOP candidates elected NOW!!


3 posted on 07/02/2012 7:16:49 AM PDT by JCS658
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To: Kaslin
As a result of this ruling, a future Congress could enact a broccoli mandate by saying, “Don’t worry, this isn’t a tax. We’re using our power to regulate commerce. And we’re sure the Supreme Court will agree with us this time.”

Broccoli, schmoccoli. What if they enact a home ownership mandate? No one would of course be required to purchase a home. But those who don't will be subject to a penal... um tax in, oh let's say, an amount substantially similar to the average property tax bill homeowners receive. Everyone pays their “fair share”. Jump starts the housing market. And a revenue enhancer. For the the municipal governments at least – until the fed figures out to tax, appropriate (or penalize) that.

4 posted on 07/02/2012 7:25:22 AM PDT by jim macomber ("Bargained for Exchange" "Art & Part" "A Grave Breach" "Sovereign Order " - www.jamesmacomber.com)
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To: Kaslin

Impeach Roberts! He has proven been proven a Lilly-livered-leftist!


5 posted on 07/02/2012 7:26:40 AM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: vpintheak

Well, those are pretty strong words directed at Roberts.

Sadly, we see that conservative judges can go liberal on us.

Why do some conservative judges go liberal, but the liberal judges never go conservative????


6 posted on 07/02/2012 7:30:27 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: July4

It makes you wonder, what do they have on Roberts, was he threatened, exactly what took place.

The legal reasoning behind Roberts decision in Obamacare is so absurd, that it makes you wonder how such a person thinks.

So Roberts is willing to issue an an opinion which future legal minds will go through, and say that the reasoning reeks to high heaven. Roberts’ legacy may well be tarnished by this, not unlike how Justice Taney was tarnished by the Dred Scott decision.

An allegedly smart legal mind such as Roberts issues an opinion which is striking in how absurd it is. I’ve never been one for conspiracy theories, but, it makes you wonder, if something happened behind the scenes to make him change his vote, and come up with ridiculous legal reasoning as a justification.


7 posted on 07/02/2012 7:34:54 AM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: Dilbert San Diego
Why do some conservative judges go liberal, but the liberal judges never go conservative????

Because liberalism is a mental disorder, and the only time anyone seeks treatment is when reality comes crashing in on them and they reach rock bottom.

There are a lot of enablers out there, who are not liberal, who don't want to be seen as "mean spirited" or "uncaring"

8 posted on 07/02/2012 7:36:54 AM PDT by Turbo Pig (...to close with and destroy the enemy...)
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To: Kaslin

[ The Obama health law threatened to withhold the federal share of Medicaid funding — which amounts to hundreds of billions of dollars over a 10-year period — unless states dramatically expanded their programs. A Cato Institute colleague estimates that, for example, this mandate would cost New Jersey taxpayers $35 billion and New Yorkers $52 billion over the next 10 years. This mandate was so expensive that 26 states sued to block it. ]

This was meant to force tax increases at the state level mandated from the federal level while allowing the feds to keep their hands clean of the massive tax increase this would require.


9 posted on 07/02/2012 7:38:11 AM PDT by KansasGirl
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To: July4
The ACA must be totally repealed and not replaced.

Justice Roberts must resign. He is a disgrace to all sides. If he will not resign he should be impeached for misbehavior (writing law is the job of congress, not the USSC)

10 posted on 07/02/2012 7:41:06 AM PDT by Rapscallion (Defy by silence)
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To: July4

Roberts did not have to be Chicago-ed. The man is apparently extremely vain and addicted to reading his own press clippings. And more concerned about being invited to the right beltway cocktail parties than the rule of law. A few nasty op-eds in the Washington Post were all that were needed to flip him.

Believe me, I’d feel much better about the guy if I honestly did think that some Chicago thug had threatened to kidnap his child and kneecap him.


11 posted on 07/02/2012 7:43:27 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Mental illness. Once you lose it, you lose it.


12 posted on 07/02/2012 7:56:53 AM PDT by vpintheak (Occupy your Brain!)
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To: Kaslin

It’s over, Roberts and Co. gave it their official Okey-Dokey....they won, we lost.


13 posted on 07/02/2012 7:58:38 AM PDT by dfwgator (FUJR (not you, Jim))
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To: Buckeye McFrog

Here is the frightening money quote from the CBS article:

“But Roberts pays attention to media coverage. As chief justice, he is keenly aware of his leadership role on the court, and he also is sensitive to how the court is perceived by the public.”

We have a lightweight Chief Justice grappling with these rabid, America hating marxists. God help us.


14 posted on 07/02/2012 8:01:23 AM PDT by lodi90
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To: Turbo Pig

I don’t think Roberts is liberal. He is just a lightweight who was easily rolled. He said no mas when it became clear his kids would be Palin-ed and he would be given the daily MSM waterboarding.


15 posted on 07/02/2012 8:08:20 AM PDT by lodi90
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To: Kaslin

Part of the ongoing spin on the aca decision.

Thinking people will see it as confirmation of the game being rigged. That we’re being played for suckers in political three card monte. We won nothing here except tacit confirmation of what we already feared.


16 posted on 07/02/2012 8:19:52 AM PDT by RKBA Democrat (Thank you Chief Justice Benedict Arnold!)
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To: Dilbert San Diego

Didn’t zero meet with Roberts? I can’t help but believe that zero told Roberts that he would push through zerocare as justification under the commerce clause, then he told Roberts to let it pass under the taxation rules. Perfect bait and switch. zero gets his socialized medicine, Robert’s court gets remembered for eternity.


17 posted on 07/02/2012 8:26:37 AM PDT by Reddy (B.O. stinks)
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To: Kaslin

bump


18 posted on 07/02/2012 8:32:45 AM PDT by Christian4Bush (PSA. As of 7/02/12, 127/202 days 'til we vote out/take out the trash. (11/6/12, 1/20/13))
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To: July4

Would the liberal justices ever vote to restrict the power of the federal government? They are a disgrace to the court and the Constitution they are suppose to uphold. Roberts should resign in disgrace for joining the opinion of the socialist hacks.


19 posted on 07/02/2012 8:33:51 AM PDT by peeps36 (America is being destroyed by filthy traitors in the political establishment)
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To: Kaslin

"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court even can do much to help it." - Judge Learned Hand

Now is the time for "the People" to stand for the foundational principles of liberty enshrined in the 1787 Constitution.

Despite last week's ruling, the "Trojan horse" called "health care reform" simply was a vehicle in the goal of "transforming America" from its foundations in individual liberty to one of coercive rule by political elites--imperfect persons in positions of power in government.

America's Founders understood the latter concept well, and they soundly rejected it in favor of a written "People's" Constitution to forever limit, separate, check and balance, and "bind down" their elected and appointed representatives in government. In Article V, they provided the only valid means of amending that written Constitution. The results were astounding!

Then, along came the so-called "progressives" who, in their arrogance and lust for power and control, several decades ago began to erode those "foundations" of individual liberty. Now, led by the current Administration, "health care reform" was to lay a different and opposite foundation.

By the Founders' formula, "the People's" written Constitution was the anchor of our liberties, binding government to the "People's" limitations on its power.

The "progressives" (who are, in fact, regressive in their counterfeit ideas), in effect, would undo all the monumental work accomplished by the Founders on behalf of liberty and leave the law afloat and without anchor, relying, as of old, on mere men and women.

From Page xv of "Our Ageless Constitution," allow me to include here excerpted words from President Andrew Jackson's Proclamation of December 10, 1832:

"We have received it [the Constitution] as the work of the assembled wisdom of the nation. We have trusted to it as to the sheet anchor of our safety in the stormy times of conflict with a foreign or domestic foe. We have looked to it with sacred awe as the palladium of our liberties, and with all the solemnities of religion have pledged to each other our lives and fortunes here and our hopes of happiness hereafter in its defense and support. Were we mistaken, my countrymen, in attaching this importance to the Constitution . . .? No. We were not mistaken. The letter of this great instrument is free from this radical fault. . . . No, we did not err! . . . The sages . . . have given us a practical and, as they hoped, a permanent* Constitutional compact. . . . The Constitution is still the object of our reverence, the bond of our Union, our defense in danger, the source of our prosperity in peace: it shall descend, as we have received it, uncorrupted by sophistical construction, to our posterity. . . ."

*Underlining added for emphasis

And, it was Thomas Jefferson who used another metaphor with reference to the Constitution when he indicated that "the People" must "bind them (government) by the chains of the Constitution." In another instance, he declared: "It was intended to lace them up straitly within the enumerated powers. . . ."

With that in mind, we also might remember these words from President Washington's "Farewell Address":

". . . Towards the preservation of your Government and the permanency of your present happy state, it is requisite, not only that you steadily discountenance irregular oppositions to its acknowledged authority, but also that you resist with care the spirit of innovation upon its principles, however specious the pretexts. --One method of assault may be to effect, in the forms of the Constitution, alterations which will impair the energy of the system, and thus to undermine what cannot be directly overthrown. . . ."

Rather than railing against the ruling, whatever energy lovers of liberty can muster should be directed toward enlightening the minds of fellow citizens in the urgent need to study and understand what Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and the other Founders understood--that imperfect people who assume power over the lives of their fellow citizens are to be "bound down by the chains of the Constitution," according to the Author of our Declaration of Independence.

20 posted on 07/02/2012 8:46:35 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: Kaslin

Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857).
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896).
Buck v. Bell (1927).
Korematsu v. United States (1944).
Roe v. Wade (1973).
National Federation of Independent Business v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services (2012).

We were about due for another catastrophically wrong supreme court decision.


21 posted on 07/02/2012 2:01:02 PM PDT by Jagermonster (TANSTAAFL)
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