Supreme Court Upholds Main Part Of Obamacare

UpstateNYer (CC)

The U.S. Supreme Court has finally decided to uphold the critical part of President Obama’s controversial health care law. Expect some Tea Party fireworks just in time for Independence Day next week… Robert Barnes and N.C. Aizenman report for the Washington Post:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual health-insurance mandate that is at the heart of President Obama’s landmark health-care law, saying the mandate is permissible under Congress’s taxing authority.

The potentially game-changing, election-year decision — a major victory for the White House less than five months before the November elections –will help redefine the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans.

Passage of the legislation by the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2010 capped decades of efforts to implement a national program of health care. The legislation is expected to eventually extend health-care coverage to more than 30 million Americans who currently lack it…

[continues at the Washington Post]


Majestic is gadfly emeritus.

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35 Comments on "Supreme Court Upholds Main Part Of Obamacare"

  1. This isn’t going to end well.

    I wonder if Obamacare covers bullet wounds.

  2. Iconography | Jun 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |

    The critical component of the decision was that the Court ruled the individual mandate was a “tax.” 

    Meaning, we have now entered an era where private corporations – multi-national health insurance conglomerates like UnitedHealth and Aetna – can collect taxes. 

    • A good video of the brilliant attorney Oliver Hall outside the Supreme Court on Tuesday –  

      Hall is leader of Single Payer – the Ralph Nader backed group that urged the Supreme Court to declare Obamacare unconstitutional. 
      Mainstream media’s agenda-setting was to portray this as a battle between Left-and-Right. It was part of one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in this nation’s history. 

      • Iconography | Jun 28, 2012 at 11:40 am |

        The court also struck down the Medicaid expansion. So anyone who can’t afford to pay whatever Aetna, Inc.’s Board of Directors decides to charge for healthcare will still be without healthcare. They’ll just be fined on top of it. LOL. 

        • Liam_McGonagle | Jun 28, 2012 at 12:59 pm |

          I think you may be drawing a rather quick conclusion as to what that means.  I think it has more to do with the range of Medicaid services and rates of reimbursement being decided at the state level, rather than premium structure for private insurance contracts.It’s definitely a negative development, I’m just not sure HOW negative yet.  Likely not in relation to the pricing parameters you’re implying.

          It just seems conceptually incoherent to me that the court could uphold the federal government’s power to tax and deny them the right to regulate in the same breath.  I’m aware that it can be a fine line, but I think this case sets an unsustainable imbalance.  Something’s coming down the pipe.

      • 9/11 was the most successful disinformation campaign in this nations history.

    • Oh. Thats what this is?

    • namvetted68 | Jun 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

      That ship has already sailed. Corporations have been allowed to keep their employees’ state income taxes as part of secret deals between themselves and state legislatures for some time now.

      • Iconography | Jun 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm |

        Let’s keep the conspiracy theories to the Luke Rudkowski threads. Majestic is one of the few decent posters here; would prefer not to scare him away. Thanks. 

        • He takes a lot of flak here, if he was going to get scared away, i think it would have happened by now.

        • Marklar_Prime | Jun 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm |

           If it’s not a conspiracy it probably didn’t happen at all, and that would include your birth unless you are a product of rape.

        • namvetted68 | Jun 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

          Illinois was the latest to allow corporations to keep state income taxes. Where’s the conspiracy theory in that?

          • First – I’m pretty sure you don’t know what you’re talking about. Or, possibly, you heard a soundbyte, a scrap of info, a pointed piece of satire, and your mind ran with it as fact without fully investigating the context or background. 

            Second – Doing something bad doesn’t excuse future bad action. We kill prisoners in this country already. So where’s the harm in just killing every prisoner in any prison everywhere? 

          •  First, the google is your friend, and second you should use it.

          • David Cay Johnston has an interesting rebuttal to your doubts, if you care to bother looking it up, mr smarty pants.


          • Iconography | Jun 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |

            What an astute argument “teh corpartushuns are already taxing us so we should go crack a keg in the street cuz now that Obamer feller – boy, do I sure like him! – passed a law to let ’em tax us more!” 

            Americans already kill prisoners, so let’s just kill all the prisoners! Stupid jaywalkers. 

        • Mangalamurati | Jul 1, 2012 at 2:39 am |

          majestic is a disinfo spewing shill.

    • Liam_McGonagle | Jun 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm |

      Yes, that’s true.  But remember, the mandate doesn’t exist in isolation.  There is the possibility that interpretation/implementation of other provisions will effect its ultimate outcome.

      What about provisions capping insurer profits?  Granted, that is exactly the sort of thing most vulnerable to malicious, under-the-table regulatory gaming, but it’s not as if it’s invisible to the consumer.  Abuse WILL have unpleasant repercussions for insurers, be they market or political.

      Universal single-payer would have been the way to go, in an ideal America not filled with corporate disinformation agents and frightened sheep.  It could yet be the inevitable outcome of this whole affair, as even the most ra-ra champions of this law are not shy about the law’s lack of perfection.

      In the coming days I hope to hear more about the precise position of the court on interstate commerce.  It’s not clear to me whether they’ve made a forcefully binding statement precluding the invocation of the clause to support universal single payer–only that they feel that tax argument to be the stronger.  There is the possibility that this represents–THEORETICALLY–good news that the court hasn’t activized the Legislative branch out of the picture all together.

      I see this as possibly more like Sherman’s capture of Atlanta in September 1864 more than the Voting Rights Act of 1965.  There was still 6 months of vicious civil war and more than a century of bloody klan terrorism ahead before even the most nominal civil rights of Black Americans would be respected, but it was a clear diminishment of the legitimacy of the slave state.

      I am aware that you are likely to see this much more like the Dredd Scott case than either of the events I cited above.  Maybe you are right, but I think there are some important considerations that ought to be addressed before that conclusion is reached.

      Please don’t lazily tar me with the brush of ‘statist dupe’ to Barack Obama.  I think the guy’s a worthless turd whom I certainly will never vote for again.  I’m just saying that this Health Insurance thing isn’t done yet, and it could ultimately work out in a way almost nobody expects.

      • Translation: “My master won’t give me what I need but he’s a good master for giving me anything at all — even if he only does it to enrich his own campaign pocket book with more million-dollar donations from UnitedHealth, Aetna and Blue Shield.” 

        Anyway, I read Obamacare will extend even to prisoners in Obama’s torture prisons at Guantanamo Bay. Which is good. After a few rounds of power drills to your body you need a good orthopedic specialist, plus a surgeon to handle the skin grafts.

        • Liam_McGonagle | Jun 28, 2012 at 6:16 pm |

          Nice segue to a topic almost completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.  And kudos on ignoring my comment on Obama and going straight for the ad hominem.

          So, a Ron Paul voter, are you?

      • mysophobe | Jun 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |

        That’s one critical part of ACA that’s already taken effect that no one seems to be talking about. Insurance companies are required to spend at least 85% of premiums collected on, you know, providing health care. If not they are required to refund a portion of premiums to customers.

        • Liam_McGonagle | Jun 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm |

          Yes, that is often overlooked.
          But you know the way accounting works.  The guys setting the standards aren’t required to have degrees in the philosophy of ethics or morality–only long resume’s and experience on corporate boards.  It’s not unreasonable to assume that some regulatory interpretation will be quietly issued three years from now calling the CEO’s annual bonus a valid charge against the cost of providing medical care.
          But lots can happen between now and then.  Not all of it might be bad.

  3. Occupy Wall Street’s opinion on Obamacare: 
    “we demand real healthcare, not something written 4 and by the insurance companies” 

  4. Good. Maybe we can afford to just abort Libertarians now.

  5. Marklar_Prime | Jun 28, 2012 at 11:56 am |

    Pay more for less peasants.

  6. needs to be heavily regulated

  7. Iconography | Jun 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |


  8. HopeyChangey | Jun 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |

    Fuck Obama for wiping single payer off the table without so much as a backwards glance. At least Bernie Sanders got it passed in Vermont…hopefully other states will be able to view their system as a working model and then follow their progressive lead.  

  9. I think this is a fine day for a tiny movement back towards The Rule of Law in this country.

  10. Hadrian999 | Jun 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |

    this has the potential to be good but also has the potential to be pretty fucking bad based on which direction the government is leaning at the time, how many lifestyle choices from being homosexual down to not being married can be termed health risks could be heavily “taxed”

  11. mysophobe | Jun 28, 2012 at 3:20 pm |

    The corporate friendly court decided in favor of health insurance corporations? I’m shocked. Joke’s on them though, the outcry for a public option will be deafening now. Suckers.

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