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Author Topic: Health Care Reform  (Read 33186 times)

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McDohl

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #400 on: December 15, 2010, 08:01:58 PM »

But the Supreme Court says that corporations ARE people!
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Brentai

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #401 on: December 15, 2010, 08:20:25 PM »

The free-market model for everything works on the assumption that the consumers will stop buying and/or find an alternative if one offers a product or service that is not worth the required compensation.  Democracy works the same way.  Both systems break down in the presence of

A. Commodities deemed essential for living and
B. The presence of a duopoly (or triopoly in some cases)

Whereas a monopoly can easily be taken down by a newer competitor or flat-out consumer revolt, a 2-3 party stasis can remain in mutually checked power for decades, very rarely encountering a force that can actually fight both fronts and overcome the consumers' natural satisfaction with false choice.

There has to be a sweet spot somewhere between here and communism where a large number of evenly matched competitors is naturally implied, but I think the only person who's ever seen it is Ayn Rand in one of her more feverish tobacco-induced nightmares.
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BŁge

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #402 on: December 15, 2010, 08:36:06 PM »

Those are triple Ds there. You can't tackle things like that lightly.

I volunteer to tackle any triple Ds.
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McDohl

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #403 on: January 03, 2011, 05:45:25 PM »

Republican-controlled House to vote on HCR repeal on Jan. 12.

Get to the phones, guys.
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Brentai

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #404 on: January 03, 2011, 06:16:30 PM »

"Happy birthday, we got you a justification for the 60% increase on your health insurance rate this year!"

"Gee thanks!"
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Royal☭

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #405 on: January 03, 2011, 08:18:02 PM »

Shit, what could the Democrats possibly do with the Senate and White House to stop a House repeal of Health Care Reform?

Mongrel

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #406 on: January 03, 2011, 08:20:24 PM »

Well, they ARE the Democrats. There's a non-negligible chance they won't know the answer to that question.
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Pacobird

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #407 on: January 04, 2011, 01:37:14 PM »

... Unfortunately they're working for a publicly-traded company, so acting in the best interest of the consumer or even the long-term health and sustainability of the company itself rather than the bottom line will get them fired, thanks to the broker handling your 401(k) selling off mutual-fund-held shares in his continued quest for hookers and blow.

f

t

f

y
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Thad

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #408 on: March 27, 2012, 01:30:24 PM »

SCOTUS arguments are looking about like I think most people expected: they're focusing on the mandate, and Kennedy looks like the likeliest swing vote but it also looks like he's leaning toward the anti-mandate side.

I've always been uncomfortable with the mandate, for much the same reason the conservative Justices are questioning it.  I understand why it's in there (because the only way to control costs is to require everybody to contribute), but I'm damned uncomfortable with the precedent of the government forcing me to support a private industry that I frankly don't like very much.  (The public option would have done a lot to offset my complaints on this; paying taxes and receiving government services is necessarily different from paying compulsory fees to private industry.)

The Administration appears to have taken a pretty good tack here, arguing that healthcare is by its nature unique because everyone is a consumer of these services whether they plan to be or not.  This answers the question of precedent and slippery slope: the Administration argues that there is no precedent here, and that the government does not have the right to make a similar mandate for anything else.  That's a pretty good response to my personal concerns, but I don't know that Kennedy will be mollified by it.

Best-case is probably a very narrow ruling explicitly stating that a government mandate for a private service is legal for healthcare AND ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE.

Tomorrow's arguments are apparently going to focus on whether the rest of the law can stand with the mandate struck down.  That would be chaos -- I think even the current Congressional Republicans would have a hard time trying to go back to denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, but without an individual mandate there's no way to PAY for insurance for high-risk patients.  (In other words, doing something expensive and refusing to pay for it -- sounds like a Republican plan to me.)

The ruling will be in June, giving both candidates time to spin it.
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Pacobird

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #409 on: March 27, 2012, 05:54:16 PM »

I would caution against reading too much in to the apparent leanings of the Justices at oral argument.
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Mongrel

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #410 on: March 27, 2012, 07:47:05 PM »

Regarding Health Care being a unique item: Scalia had a comment whereby he said something to the effect of "This is not about buying Health Care, this is about buying Insurance."

Don't know if that comment will amount to anything, but if it actually gets overturned I'd expect that to be part of a key counter-argument against the legislation.
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Brentai

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #411 on: March 28, 2012, 09:43:27 AM »

It sounds like the question at this point has moved from "Should we kill the mandate?" to "Should we kill just the mandate and keep the rest of the bill?"

Now, let's be honest here.  Partially killing the bill is a conservative position; Dems at this point should be pushing for all or nothing.  When you get right down to it, most of those 2700 pages is just a long series of bullshit concessions the GOP demanded in order to get the mandate passed.  Now they're arguing for killing the mandate and leaving all those concessions in place.  It's a naked political play, and all our power needs go into hanging it around their necks.

At the end of the day, the GOP doesn't really want the entire bill to go down: that'd be a minor victory for the zealous base that's already probably buying private insurance anyway, and a point of massive fury among the legions of people who just got their fucking health compromised over something that, for fuck's sakes, would be a conservative wet dream if they had done it themselves.  I imagine Dick Cheney would give himself a heart attack masturbating so hard if someone proposed a law making it outright illegal to not buy oil.

And really, that's the other thing: the bill IS unconstitutional.  And it hinges en-fucking-tirely on the point that is blatantly unconstitutional.  It needs to be scrubbed and rewritten; that's the right thing to do.  And I imagine that this time, it won't be a sideshow topic; a lot of people who just got the rugs yanked out from under them are going to be VERY INTERESTED in seeing the provisions of the bill reinstated immediately, and reinstated the right way, i.e. not by kneeling down and sucking the cock of the fucking private insurance industry.

That's a GOP nightmare scenario, right there.  To have their bluff called so completely and be forced to clean up the mess in a way that compromises everything that they are.  They can pat themselves on the back for embarrassing the Democrats in some minor (and completely deserved) way in an otherwise hopeless election year, but unless the SCOTUS ignores all precedent and really does let them all get off scot free for their nasty little trick, it's gonna fuck 'em, long and hard and for years to come.  Our job right now is to get that petard as barbed and rusty as fucking possible.
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Mongrel

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #412 on: March 28, 2012, 12:06:06 PM »

You presume the Democrats actually know how to do any of that stuff, as opposed to more hopeless waffling and grovelling.
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Brentai

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #413 on: March 28, 2012, 12:20:20 PM »

I'm not saying they actually will.

There's also the semi-valid concern that we're intentionally fucking sick people over just to make our enemies squirm, which is only semi-valid because like FUCK anybody's going to get any care under a gutted bill.  "Not allowed to deny people based on coverage" isn't the same as "Not allowed to raise premiums to hundreds of dollars per month based on (completely accurate and justifiable) economic models."  Just shift the problem from "only the healthy can be insured" to "only the wealthy can be insured" and OH LOOK welcome to yet another fucking culture war front.
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Thad

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #414 on: March 29, 2012, 07:06:19 AM »

I would caution against reading too much in to the apparent leanings of the Justices at oral argument.

Well sure, but I think there are more reasons than oral arguments to make certain assumptions about how Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts will vote.

Now, let's be honest here.  Partially killing the bill is a conservative position; Dems at this point should be pushing for all or nothing.  When you get right down to it, most of those 2700 pages is just a long series of bullshit concessions the GOP demanded in order to get the mandate passed.

Well, the blue dogs.  Did any actual Republicans vote for it in the House?  I know none did in the Senate.

Now they're arguing for killing the mandate and leaving all those concessions in place.  It's a naked political play, and all our power needs go into hanging it around their necks.

I'm with IM: the Dems don't have the spines or the acumen to do that.

The whole law gets scrapped and the Republicans -- yes, even Romney -- run on "The Democrats don't respect the Constitution."

The Democrats could run on "Republicans want sick people to die," but if they were going to do that they would have done it in the first damn place.

I think seeing the mandate killed and having to go back to the table to figure out a new way to keep costs down is better than scrapping the whole thing -- not in principle (in principle I'm with you; tear the whole thing down and start over) but in practice.  Though I still think our best option at this point is a narrow ruling saying "Okay, an individual mandate is acceptable JUST THIS ONCE and this ruling is not intended as precedent for anything else."
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Pacobird

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #415 on: March 29, 2012, 07:14:39 AM »

Funniest moment of oral argument and maybe this Supreme Court term: Antonin Motherfucking Scalia of all people arguing against severability by saying that Congress can't be trusted to modify the rest of the ACA to function without the mandate.

If you'd blinked, you might have missed the wonderful view of the emperor's bare ass.
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Thad

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #416 on: March 29, 2012, 07:38:21 AM »

Shouldn't really surprise anybody, of course -- pretending the SCOTUS is anything but partisan is frankly insulting.

Scalia is a "strict constructionist" who decided the well-regulated militia clause was totally irrelevant to the meaning of the Second Amendment.
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Pacobird

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #417 on: March 29, 2012, 01:01:47 PM »

That's not really it; Scalia rode in on a tide of assholes blathering about strict construction and originalism and he certainly talks in that code, sure, but Thomas is the one who really sticks with it in his opinions. 

Scalia's jam has always, to his credit, been slicker and more practical: he's not so much interested in limiting the power of the federal government as he is in limiting the power of the Supreme Court specifically.  The main thrust of his rhetoric's that if Congress or state legislatures pass a law that doesn't run afoul of a specific, explicit part of the Constitution, that law shouldn't be tampered with, even if the law as written has kind of shitty results, because as it turns out legislatures can quite easily pass, change, or repeal laws about anything they want without any of the additional concerns of the Court, like precedent or unintended consequences.  He's more interested in empowering the legislature than "defending the Constitution".

Leaving aside how much he practices what he preaches (which is questionable), it's a workable logic and I at least can appreciate him not treating the Constitution as holy writ like every other asshole under the sun, but it's sort of reliant on the belief that Congress is indeed capable of legislating effectively.  For him to say otherwise pretty much undermines his entire intellectual contribution to American jurisprudence.

But mostly I am happy to see his pants slip because I think he takes a little bit too much pleasure in being a boorish jerk during oral argument to attorneys who are under a staggering amount of pressure, even if that ideally shouldn't compromise their performance.
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Rico

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #418 on: March 29, 2012, 01:06:49 PM »

Scalia also writes the best dissenting opinions in the whole world.
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Thad

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Re: Health Care Reform
« Reply #419 on: April 02, 2012, 08:30:51 AM »

Klein has a good rundown of the individual mandate.

Unsurprisingly, the Republican alternative to the individual mandate is...pretty much the exact same thing except they're calling it a tax cut.
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