Please turn on javascript in your browser to play chess.
Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard member wittywonka
    Chocolate Expert
    10 Jun '12 23:50
    (For your enjoyment: http://tinyurl.com/y958z2n)

    The United States is eagerly anticipating the Supreme Court's ruling on whether President Obama's signature health care law is constitutional.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPACA for more information.

    Most observers think the decision date will come closer to the end of the month, but I've also read that it could come as early as this week.

    So, in the mean time, feel free to post final thoughts, predictions, or senselessly partisan propaganda soundbites below.
  2. 11 Jun '12 00:11
    The individual mandate IS unconstitutional . SCOTUS will shoot it down if they are worth their salt and I think they are.
    If you want Europe than I suggest you move there.
  3. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    11 Jun '12 11:52
    Originally posted by wittywonka
    (For your enjoyment: http://tinyurl.com/y958z2n)

    The United States is eagerly anticipating the Supreme Court's ruling on whether President Obama's signature health care law is constitutional.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PPACA for more information.

    Most observers think the decision date will come closer to the end of the month, but I've also ...[text shortened]... ree to post final thoughts, predictions, or senselessly partisan propaganda soundbites below.
    That mandate falls 5-4 but severability is upheld, saving the rest of the bill, also 5-4.

    I also predict that it will be Roberts (not Kennedy) who crosses the picket line to preserve the rest of the bill.

    I also predict that at least one line in the opinion praises Clements' performance during oral argument and that at least one line takes an implicit potshot at Verrilli's.
  4. Subscriber no1marauderonline
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    11 Jun '12 14:53
    Originally posted by sh76
    That mandate falls 5-4 but severability is upheld, saving the rest of the bill, also 5-4.

    I also predict that it will be Roberts (not Kennedy) who crosses the picket line to preserve the rest of the bill.

    I also predict that at least one line in the opinion praises Clements' performance during oral argument and that at least one line takes an implicit potshot at Verrilli's.
    Before the argument, I would have agreed with a 5-4 vote tossing the mandate and would have guessed 6-3 upholding severability. But after it, the odds are that the conservatives are ready to walk off that cliff and strike down an entire major policy on dubious grounds - something I would argue has never been done before. If they do not, it will be because Kennedy, not Roberts, had second thoughts.
  5. 11 Jun '12 15:06
    It was my understanding that they could not strike down the mandate and still keep the legislation as is. So I guess if they can, then that is what they will do.

    It is perfect really. Then we will have a massive entitlement that is not properly funded, just like everything else they do. It's just perfect for these clowns.
  6. Subscriber no1marauderonline
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    11 Jun '12 15:11 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by whodey
    It was my understanding that they could not strike down the mandate and still keep the legislation as is. So I guess if they can, then that is what they will do.

    It is perfect really. Then we will have a massive entitlement that is not properly funded, just like everything else they do. It's just perfect for these clowns.
    All the justices, including the right wing ones, seemed to cavalierly dismiss the idea that the mandate was a "tax" for Anti-Injunction Act purposes. But several of the right wingers than insisted that the loss of revenue that a striking down of the mandate would entail was a strong factor against severability. These positions are inconsistent to say the least.

    My own opinion is that the mandate penalty would bring in little, if any, revenue.
  7. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    11 Jun '12 18:44
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    All the justices, including the right wing ones, seemed to cavalierly dismiss the idea that the mandate was a "tax" for Anti-Injunction Act purposes. But several of the right wingers than insisted that the loss of revenue that a striking down of the mandate would entail was a strong factor against severability. These positions are inconsistent to say the ...[text shortened]...
    My own opinion is that the mandate penalty would bring in little, if any, revenue.
    A mandate could and probably should be a necessary component of the sort of program the PPACA is.

    The problem with this mandate is that it's weak and toothless.
  8. Subscriber no1marauderonline
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    11 Jun '12 19:03
    Originally posted by sh76
    A mandate could and probably should be a necessary component of the sort of program the PPACA is.

    The problem with this mandate is that it's weak and toothless.
    I don't think it is necessary at all. How many people are really going to refuse to buy health insurance IF they are provided generous subsidies which will reduce its cost to them to somewhere around 5% of their disposal income? Not enough to be a problem; for those making over $90,000 the rate of non-insurance is about 3%. People are far more risk aversive than the "economic Man" models would suppose; few people will want to risk incurring thousands perhaps tens of thousands dollars of costs from a sudden medical emergency that they refused to insure themselves against when the alternative is reasonably priced. People WANT health insurance; the vast majority of those who don't have it in the US just can't afford it.
  9. 11 Jun '12 23:52
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    Before the argument, I would have agreed with a 5-4 vote tossing the mandate and would have guessed 6-3 upholding severability. But after it, the odds are that the conservatives are ready to walk off that cliff and strike down an entire major policy on dubious grounds - something I would argue has never been done before. If they do not, it will be because Kennedy, not Roberts, had second thoughts.
    Without the individual mandate, the already dubious financing end of the bill comes apart. Also the goals of increased coverage fail, if people opt to pay the fines instead of buying insurance, whether by choice or by necessity.

    Of course these failures, in my opinion, are by design. They lead to the next step which is single payor socialized health care, unless SCOTUS repeals the whole twisted thing.
  10. Subscriber no1marauderonline
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    12 Jun '12 01:32
    Originally posted by normbenign
    Without the individual mandate, the already dubious financing end of the bill comes apart. Also the goals of increased coverage fail, if people opt to pay the fines instead of buying insurance, whether by choice or by necessity.

    Of course these failures, in my opinion, are by design. They lead to the next step which is single payor socialized health care, unless SCOTUS repeals the whole twisted thing.
    The only relevant question as regards severability is would the Congress have preferred the whole bill to fail IF the individual mandate was declared unconstitutional? To me that idea is so far-fetched given the scope and reach of the reform as to not be even a serious one.
  11. 12 Jun '12 01:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    The only relevant question as regards severability is would the Congress have preferred the whole bill to fail IF the individual mandate was declared unconstitutional? To me that idea is so far-fetched given the scope and reach of the reform as to not be even a serious one.
    The problem of scope and reach is the problem. Nobody in Congress read or understood what they voted on. If a part critical to the financing is shot down, how does the rest continue as if nothing happened?

    I don't know how anyone determines what Congress would have preferred, when most didn't have time to read the bill before voting.
  12. Subscriber no1marauderonline
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    12 Jun '12 01:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by normbenign
    The problem of scope and reach is the problem. Nobody in Congress read or understood what they voted on. If a part critical to the financing is shot down, how does the rest continue as if nothing happened?

    I don't know how anyone determines what Congress would have preferred, when most didn't have time to read the bill before voting.
    That's really none of the Court's business. It's not there to judge whether it's a good law with or without the mandate only to judge A) The mandate's constitutionality and B) If they find the mandate unconstitutional whether Congress would have preferred the whole bill to fall.

    The general rule is that severability is assumed. This just makes sense esp. with a bill of the scope of a reform of our broken health system.
  13. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    12 Jun '12 13:04 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    That's really none of the Court's business. It's not there to judge whether it's a good law with or without the mandate only to judge A) The mandate's constitutionality and B) If they find the mandate unconstitutional whether Congress would have preferred the whole bill to fall.

    The general rule is that severability is assumed. This just makes sense esp. with a bill of the scope of a reform of our broken health system.
    Given the closeness of the vote, especially in the House, it wouldn't have taken many changes in votes to defeat the bill (in fact, it only would have taken 4).

    It's quite possible that a handful of Congressmen of the 219 who voted for it believed that the mandate was necessary to pay for the rest of the bill. As you have argued many times, that may not have been true, but is it that unlikely that 4 more Congressmen would have voted against the bill without the mandate? I don't think so.
  14. Subscriber no1marauderonline
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    12 Jun '12 14:11 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by sh76
    Given the closeness of the vote, especially in the House, it wouldn't have taken many changes in votes to defeat the bill (in fact, it only would have taken 4).

    It's quite possible that a handful of Congressmen of the 219 who voted for it believed that the mandate was necessary to pay for the rest of the bill. As you have argued many times, that may not have ...[text shortened]... 4 more Congressmen would have voted against the bill without the mandate? I don't think so.
    That type of speculation is simply inappropriate guesswork for judges. I find it next to impossible to believe that any member who voted for the bill would have preferred the entire bill to fail if the individual mandate was to fall. In fact, the House version included a general severability clause!

    EDIT: Had to find it:

    SEC. 155. SEVERABILITY.

    If any provision of this Act, or any application of such provision to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of the provisions of this Act and the application of the provision to any other person or circumstance shall not be affected.

    http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text


    So the majority of the members of the House had already voted for a bill that included an A) individual mandate AND B) a severability clause. I think that ends any real argument that they would not have voted for A unless there was severability.
  15. 12 Jun '12 14:17
    The SCOTUS does not have judges, it has politicians.