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Thursday, June 28, 2012


Kody K

This sets precedent that the Government can decide what is best for you. It is an assault on freedom and it takes away your rights. The tax adds to it. Why I try to understand the liberal view, this is ridiculous. Healthcare reform, O.K. Mandate and a tax? Blah.

Stan Gibilisco

In my opinion, Chief Justice Roberts made the right call. He interpreted the law according to the Constitution, and he avoided judicial activism.

In upholding the mandate, Chief Justice Roberts did expose a big flaw in our Constitution: It allows for such things as this.

Apparently, if any Constitutional grounds can be found for upholding a law, then that law passes muster. This is quite scary stuff. For example, we could declare torture no longer in violation of a prohibition on "cruel and unusual punishment" (8th Amendment) if we did it enough so that it, no matter how cruel, was no longer unusual ...

It is up to us, the people, to elect a Congress that will fix the potential for abuse of Congress' own authority to impose taxes. It's a bug in the Constitutional program that this decision has revealed in a rather benign way.

I find this whole process fascinating. I think it shows that our Democracy still works. It's clunky and it surely needs a tune-up, but the old buggy's still running.

For now.


KB: Did you not mean Pyrrhic "victory" in the sense ACA supporters won the Supreme Court battle but now must defend tax provisions of the law to voters and thus may lose the larger political battle? If so, I think you are correct in so far as there will be a political fight. However, that may not be a bad thing for Democrats in the 'what doesn't kill us makes us stronger' sense.

Democrats passed the ACA, but they have not done much to defend it or sell it to the public. Now they will be forced to do so and the law is certainly defensible--especially as compared to the system without it or any alternatives Republics are offering.

Most of the Republican arguments are hollow and/or disingenuous starting with "repeal and replace". When asked what they would replace the ACA with, they are short on specifics. What little they do offer are ideas that sound a whole lot like the ACA. Maybe that's because most of what the law contains were Republican/conservative suggestions in the first place.

You bring up one the worst arguments against the law in saying argue government is forcing us to use and pay for health care. It's our own accident-prone and disease-susceptible bodies that force us to use health care. Should we then not pay for it...at least to the extent we can? Sure, we could choose to leave particular malady untreated. We could also choose to put our tongue in a light socket.

I do agree that the ACA is a monstrosity in the sense it is incredibly complex. But then, so is the health care system is seeks to improve.

larry kurtz

Ken: how wonderful to see that you're not dead.

Donald Pay

"Repeal and replace" is just a focus-tested public relations slogan, as opposed to a real program. Actually, the rational Republicans and the yahoos are split the idea of "replace." If Republicans want to be taken seriously, they are going to have to fill in the details, and the convention would be a good place to do that. But they won't, because they can't.


"It is, moreover, a gargantuan tax increase"
"No one thinks that this bill will lower the federal deficits."

If this bill were not put into place, would the deficits be lower? I don't understand how "one of the largest tax increases in record" would not bring additional money?

You do state that "he didn't insist on any measures that would really reduce health care costs" - which would certainly be a good place to look to help balance our health care budget.

Eli Blake

I don't see how it is a tax except for people who decline to participate at all. If you already have health insurance then nothing is any different whether the mandate is a tax or not. Are your premiums a tax? No, and they still are not.

If you are uninsured but obey the mandate then again, you are paying premiums to a health insurance company. So again, not a tax.

That leaves only the penalty (which might be considered a tax,) but I imagine only ideologues will pay the penalty because if forced to pay, most people would rather get something than nothing for their money.

Ken Blanchard

Donald: fair enough. The Republicans should come up with their own plan, and so far they haven't. That doesn't mean the ACA will work well or at all.

Spectre: No. If the gargantuan tax increase is coupled with a gargantuan spending increase, it won't lower the deficit.

Ken Blanchard

A.I.: every Pyrrhic victory is also a Pyrrhic defeat, no? To say that the Democrats have not done much to sell the ACA is absurd. The President gave scores of speeches on its behalf. No one believed a word he was saying because he said not a word that was believable.


It is true Obama spoke often on behalf of the ACA. However, he was not arguing one-on-one against a political opponent who implemented virtually the same law as governor of a state and now is saying its bad policy. Nor was he arguing for a law that had survived a Supreme Court challenge.

It seems to me the latter may be an important factor in the continuing debate. Whether the victory/defeat was Pyrrhic or not, it does cast a new light on the discussion.

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