Why Chief Justice Roberts Saved Obama’s Healthcare Law

By Joan Biskupic | June 29, 2012

  • June 29, 2012 at 7:35 am
    OldChurchGuy says:
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    Thank you for shedding some light on why Chief Justice Roberts voted as he did. For me, this is the first article which attempted to explain his rationale without falling into the trap of either a conspiracy theory or partisan politics.

    Well done.

    • June 29, 2012 at 1:44 pm
      Recruiter Guy says:
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      slippery slope no matter what. The fact that only one vote determined the decision, this enforces that the law is very overreaching

      • July 2, 2012 at 1:08 pm
        Producer #1 says:
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        Correction Recruiter Guy,,,,
        The fact that 1 vote made the difference does not mean that its overreaching. It just means its controversial.

  • June 29, 2012 at 9:11 am
    LiveFree says:
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    Good article. I am not going to overreact to this being upheld. I understand the good things the dems think it wil bring and understand the possible negative things the repubs think it will bring. Time will tell now. Still not sure if it is constitutional or not but glad it wasn’t my decision.

  • June 29, 2012 at 9:15 am
    Give me a break says:
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    Soooo … my requirement to buy auto liability insurance, is that a tax now too?

    • July 3, 2012 at 4:41 pm
      Dave says:
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      Driving is a privilege not a right. And you don’t have to carry liability insurance, you just need to show financial responsibility which in most states is extremely low.

    • July 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm
      mastuja says:
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      No, you don’t have to buy auto insurance if you don’t buy a car. Plus purchasing auto liability insurance (the compulsory part if you on a car) is for the protection of other; not yours…..

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:35 pm
    Sarah says:
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    The Justice and those liberal judges called the law a tax. Everyone knows the government can create a tax. The problem with the decision the law as enacted reads it is a penalty and adamantly not a tax. For this reason the law is incorrect in its presentation to the congress and the public, some of which never would have supported it knowing it is a tax that can be levied against whom ever they want.

    Its ok, We all just need to get to work and get rid of the Camander and Thief, Obama. NObama 2012!

    • June 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm
      Dave says:
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      I was watching CNBC this morning and the Democratic governor of Delaware (an Obamacare supporter) insisted it was not a tax. To which the moderator and others on the show stated that the Supreme Court stated it was. He shouted them down and changed the topic to Democratic talking points. Well the Governor should tell Roberts as he did to the rest of the nation that it was not a tax. Then perhaps Roberts might change his mind. Funny how the Democrats change their argument time and time again depending what is expediant at the time. I guess that’s what one does when one has no moral compass, as most of the Democrats do not.

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:43 pm
    FFA says:
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    FIRE HIM!

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm
    Adam says:
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    I love the liberal canard that this Court leans conservative. With Kennedy and now Roberts, you can just about bet that the President’s agenda will be given deference. I am totally sickened how much the system is a one-way ratchet toward implementation of a left-wing agenda, from ever-expanding employment liability to budget-busting health care legislation to Roe v. Wade. There appears no way to stop it.

    • July 2, 2012 at 1:10 pm
      Producer #1 says:
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      Just because Roberts has acted one time to uphold an Obama action, that does not mean Roberts is now a liberal.

    • July 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm
      Bartleby says:
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      No fan of this ruling, but the court is supposed to give deference if they can find a legal way to support the laws that are passed.

      -Bartleby

    • July 5, 2012 at 10:57 am
      Agent says:
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      Adam, the way to stop it lies in November when we can change the government out from top to bottom. It needs to be more than a shellacking since the stench is overwhelming in DC. The next President will probably appoint 3 justices since there are three in their late 70’s and one in the eighties. The only problem is to find replacements who will make correct rulings based on the Constitution and not on ideology or bias. Roberts was a major disappointment. It is too bad we don’t have term limits on Federal Judges. This should not be a position for life.

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    Shari says:
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    The tax isn’t levied against whom ever they want. It is levied against those who don’t purchase health insurance.

    • June 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm
      DCL says:
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      Shari – It is still a tax on inactivity. You will be taxed for standing still. All other taxes are levied based upon something an individual or corporation has done – sold something, purchased something, earned something, recieved something (gift or inheritance), used something (tolls, for example.) And it won’t be levied against ALL who don’t buy coverage, just those whom the govt. determines CAN buy a policy (based upon their income), but chose not to. Right or wrong, it is another tax, and another swipe at our rights as individuals.

    • June 29, 2012 at 2:59 pm
      Sarah says:
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      Shari,
      Obama adamantly stated it was not a tax. The creation of a tax cannot be added to a reconciliation bill as this one was. That makes this law enacted incorrectly. I think we have a problem with this law and it needs to pass the house and senate again. But dont worry its coming up for vote again and again until we get rid of it.

    • June 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm
      Jack says:
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      I have now sent in my $100. donation to Mit Romneys campaign.

      • June 29, 2012 at 4:35 pm
        CalDude says:
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        Um….he enacted the same program?

        • July 1, 2012 at 6:01 am
          Bartleby says:
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          He enacted a similar program, but on a state level – not a federal one. Much of the objection held by people who actually oppose this on philosophical grounds (rather than “it’s a Democrat!” grounds) is that it is an overreach of federal authority and should be left to the statesm.

        • July 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm
          First Agent says:
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          Hey Cal, Look at the Massachusetts program which is running huge deficits for that state. They have already had some cutbacks with more to follow since the state budget is in the toilet. That is what Obamacare is sure to do on the national level. The Affordable Care Act has already doubled in estimated cost when re-scored by the CBO and it hasn’t been implemented yet. It is an economy killer unless the voters do the right thing in November.

      • July 2, 2012 at 5:29 pm
        First Agent says:
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        The Romney campaign raised $5.5 million within a few days of this ruling. We have quite a battle for the hearts and minds of the citizens this year. The ones with Common Sense and who know right from wrong will turn out in record numbers to make sure the Progressives are retired from power. All Romney needs to do is make sure he stays on message. Enough is enough.

    • July 2, 2012 at 8:32 am
      NOBAMA in 2012 says:
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      And, you still think that’s OK, Shari? You have no problem not wanting to purchase something, yet being penalized for not wanting it? What if I told you that you HAD to buy chocolate ice cream but you don’t like chocolate ice cream, you like vanilla. If you didn’t buy the chocolate, you would have no problem paying a penalty tax? Does that seem fair to you??

    • July 2, 2012 at 11:18 am
      Jack says:
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      Shari, Its a tax. It can change! The taxing powers of the Government are almost endless. Liberals would never know this because they make up 100% of the 49% who never pay any income tax. They just get food stamps and paid for cell phones! LOL…..

      “HOPE” WE “CHANGE” IN 2012!

    • July 3, 2012 at 9:45 am
      Del says:
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      EXCEPT UNION MEMBERS. Unions objected to the potential costs and Democrats wrote an exception for unions into the law.

      And as another person wrote, Except for people the gov’t decides are too poor to buy insurance. (Wonder where the money to pay for them will come from — increased middle income taxes, do you think?)

  • June 29, 2012 at 1:58 pm
    Russ Champiny says:
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    After getting over my absolute dislike of the decision, I realize that Chief Justice did us all favor by calling it a tax which allows the voter to change things in November 2012 and get the socialists out of our government
    Think about how we can correct what has been going on for the nearly past four years.
    Stand up and vote or sit down and shut up!
    Russ

    • July 2, 2012 at 11:59 am
      First Agent says:
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      This decision puts it all in the hands of the people now. We had a partial wake up in the mid terms when we voted out a number of minions who helped pass this monstrocity. Now, we have the opportunity to vote out the rest of them starting at the top. This is only going to galvanize the opposition to Progressive Socialism and take our country back.

  • June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm
    Charlie says:
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    I say tax every insurance professional who does not subscribe to, and read every article contained in, the Insurance Journal! ;-)

  • June 29, 2012 at 2:58 pm
    peter polstein says:
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    This decision was ridiculous. The case was brought into the Court early so as to have it heard from to the 2014 inception. The regimes case was that is fell under the Commerce Act, and was not a “tax” under any circumstances. This was the mantra from day one to the decision. The Court in verbal arguments heard from the Solicitor General of the United States on the first day when he clearly argued that the Obama Care was clearly covered under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, yet, on the second day, he reverses his arguments and contends that it is a tax under the 1867 Injunction Act. That Act by the way, which has never been amended, requires that tax must be collected prior to the Act being legal! The Court even brings in a Washington DC attorney to provide a practice argument relative to the Injunction Act of 1867. In the end, the Chief Justice decides to write new law, irrespective of Constitutional considerations, and then has the temerity to within his decision say that the Court really isn’t there to make law predicated upon the electoral voice of the people. Really, then what the hell is the Court there for ?
    The military has a phrase for this – but we’ll leave it that.

    Be well all – don’t get sick – you’ll be sorry or dead or whatever.

    Pete

  • June 29, 2012 at 3:35 pm
    reader says:
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    Wow, so a mandates as construed by Justice Roberts is unconstuitutional. However, if you call it a tax- it’s ok. But where was the other interpreatation of mandate. Why not call it extortion- which is, of course, unconstitutional. After all, isn’t the mandate an oppressive use of official position to obtain a fee by intentionally putting a person in fear or threat of retribution? So, among all the other interpreatations-penalty, mandate, extortion, fee, threat of retribution- Justice Roberts chose to call it a tax. Flat out- it’s extortion.

  • June 29, 2012 at 3:55 pm
    Mr. Zen says:
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    if a mandate passes and nobody enforces it, is it still a mandate?

  • June 29, 2012 at 4:08 pm
    TAR says:
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    Did not expect Justice Roberts to be the deciding vote to uphold Obamacare. He would have been almost the last person I would have expected to engage in activism from the bench. To re-interpert what the Obama regime was arguing is just mind blowing. But hopefully Roberts did the country a favor by labeling Obamacare a “Tax”? It was Obama, in 2009, who vilified the GOP and stated emphatically this was NOT A TAX. So while Obama gloats today, hopefully Americans will awaken to the fact that Obama has never seen a tax he does not like, whether you’re rich, poor or middle class.

    • June 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm
      ExciteBiker says:
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      I totally agree! A 0.9% tax increase on people making over $200,000 is absurd!

      We should totally eliminate the capital gains and estate taxes so that the hedge funders can use their cash to make more cash (tax free) and pass it onto their heirs (tax free) who can use it to make even more cash (tax free).

      We should also make the very top end of the Bush tax cuts permanent even though they were ‘deficit financed’ tax cuts that were added right onto the national debt yet failed to provide any economic or jobs benefit.

      We should also hammer all of the low-income “freeloaders” — after all, as Fox News will gladly repeat 20 times an hour, 50% of the nation pays NO TAXES! Well, except for sales tax, state tax, social security tax, luxury tax, gas tax, fees for services, vehicle registration tax, utility tax, hotel tax. Yeah. Like I was saying. Poor people don’t pay any taxes, so we should add a new 15% minimum tax rate for all of the elderly and poor people in America who aren’t paying their fair share.

      We should also create a new National Sales Tax. That way we can pay for at least 10% of the tax breaks we must give the “job creators” who are currently sitting on many billions of non-working capital. Sitting on it. Not creating jobs. Not spending it. Keeping it.

      We also need more “fairness” in our tax code. Raise your hand if you get a tax benefit from having an employer-provided health plan or a mortgage interest deduction. You see, these are simply not fair. They must be eliminated, so we can pay for another 5% of the tax breaks that we must give to the job creators.

      Under ALL of the GOP platforms for taxes (state, national, you name it), Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate would be…. drum roll…… ZERO PERCENT. What about the hedge fund managers that are making multiple billions per year (really, they do, I know, it is crazy sounding)? Under the GOP plans…. they would pay ZERO TAXES! 0% Tax on a $2,000,000,000 income– errmmm I mean “carried interest” not income [wink wink].

      All of you folks make me sick to my stomach. You waive your flags and cheer on the people who would rob you blind, steal your clothes and sell your children.

      “Tax the poor, push divisive and hateful policies, work to make sure the future generation is full of idiots that won’t realize how bad we are, and give more special favors to more special people”- that is the current Republican party platform.

      • June 30, 2012 at 1:11 am
        Paul Najera says:
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        Your right. We need to raise taxes on all thoseh evil wall st type and although evil busines. That way they can leave this country, just like the way they are leaving California. And we should have more government because its so costed effective and efficient. Just like the public schools. And we need more Democrats to protect government entities like Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae. We also need the 37 out of 44 Senate Democrats and 155 out of 222 House, Democrats who voted to eliminated “the Glass-Steagall Act.”(the act created a barrier between investment and commercial banks)

      • July 1, 2012 at 6:24 am
        Bartleby says:
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        The bottom ~50% of the nation pays no INCOME taxes. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone speaking from a position of significance saying they pay no taxes at all, but that’s an awfully nice misrepresentation of the argument you gave there. Do you have any more straw men you’d like to present?

        As far as ‘paying one’s fair share’; well, at some point there IS a fair share to be paid for services received. The top ~3% pays close to 50% of all income taxes, and yet many who speak as you do think they do not yet pay their fair share. That’s funny, but how much _is_ their fair share? Is it 90%? Where do you draw the line? At what point would _you_ call this sort of rhetoric class envy and class warfare? I mean, the minimum tax rate you sarcastically mention for the poor already exists for many middle-class families, since the AMT is not indexed for inflation.

        How many hedge fund managers do you think have incomes of multiple billions per year? Sorry to burst your bubble, but in 2011, the top 25 hedge fund managers had a combined income of $14B. The combined median income of the top 25 managers is $235M (of course, that’s still plenty, but is still misrepresentation on your part). How many of them paid zero income tax on over $1B in income that has ACTUALLY BEEN REALIZED?

        None.

        None. Nada. Zero. Zilch.

        The time that they pay zero income tax is either when they have a loss carryover or they have only had profits that are unrealized (and therefore don’t count as income) or if they have tax sheltered investments (which are available to all of us).

        …or do you have evidence of something in the tax code working magically differently for them?

        We make you sick to YOUR stomach? You want to have the Constitution as a ‘living’ document where it changes according to the whim of current popular vote. I want it to change according to the process built into it to AMEND IT. If the voters so approve of something you want so much, it should be easy to pass an amendment for it. If you can’t get that amendment, maybe it’s not such a grand idea.

        I laugh that you complain about divisive and hateful policies when you support this health care law. This law is STRONGLY divisive. Your own WORDS are divisive and hateful. People who complain that the rich aren’t paying enough (when ~3% of the country is paying half or more of all income taxes) and when much if not all of what determines where one goes in life is the decisions one makes and then complain about “divisive policies” when they are fomenting and expanding class warfare make me shake my head in despair.

        The wealthy aren’t sitting around trying to figure out ways to make the poor poorer. The poor aren’t on the agenda of the wealthy…their own needs are the sole items on their agenda.

        It’s rather said, but it seems very much like people like you actually DO have the wealthy on your agenda. More specifically, you have the idea of making them NOT wealthy on your agenda. I don’t know why you do (other than envy), but that’s not really relevant, is it? It doesn’t matter why you seemingly want this – what matters is that the class warfare your words foment and expand are tearing this country apart, and you don’t seem to care.

        So…we make YOU sick? I suggest you don’t spread germs to others without innoculating yourself first then. You’re the one creating the disease. If we make you sick from it, it’s only because you’re spreading the illness.

        -Bartleby

      • July 2, 2012 at 11:30 am
        Jack says:
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        Your problem Exitebiker is that you obviously do not believe in freedom from government! Per your statement you are entitled to healthcare and food stamps and paid for cell phones by the .09% of people making over 200K, (I thought it was supposed to be 250K per Obama before, when does it go to 150K?)

        I am impressed though, Rare does a liberal ever make mention in numbers, We all know why. Here are some for you.

        5.7 Trillion by election in increased debt by Obama
        Government paying 3 million for Food Stamp Ads to promote the program? Giving away Cell phones? REALLY?
        8.2% Unemployeement
        49% of all tax payers and almost 80% of liberals pay no income tax at all!Conservative donate to charity at a 3 to 1 rate over liberals.The top 5% of tax payers pay over 50% of the taxes collected. You could take all of the assets of the richest 1% of americans and it would not be more than 1.4 Trillion. (ALL ASSETS) Not significant enough to slow down Obama’s reckless spending spree.

        Forget about Hedge fund managers and the likes etc. Go after the real problem (OBAMA’S SPENDING)

      • July 6, 2012 at 7:53 am
        JB says:
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        No it isn’t.

  • June 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm
    CalDude says:
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    I am completely impressed with the sheer number of constitutional scholars on this blog…

    • June 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm
      Agent says:
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      Do you live in Stockton Caldude? How do you like their fiscal responsibility out there? I understand several more cities in California are about to go belly up due to government largesse.

  • June 29, 2012 at 6:15 pm
    DCL says:
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    ExciteBiker, why raise taxes on anybody, rich or poor? Can we really not operate a goverment and have the basic services we all desire with two TRILLION dollars a year? Do Obama and his Dem friends really need to spend THREE TRILLION??!! And now, of course, with the “affordable” health care act being upheld, three trillion dollars in coming years may just fund the federal govt. for the first few months of the year…….

  • June 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm
    DS says:
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    ExciteBiker, I like your tongue-in-cheek sarcasm :)

    • July 2, 2012 at 11:38 am
      Jack says:
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      DS, I think is tounge is between your cheeks! Exitebiker not too bright is he.

  • June 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm
    scottsdaleslim says:
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    Way to go Excitebiker. When I first started reading your comments, I thought just another conservative blathering on about freedom and how socialist we are becoming, then the satire pushed through to the truth.
    The Bush tax cuts have been in effect long enough for the wealthy to prosper and still give back some to the bottom end. Unfortunately what we learned was give them some and they will want to take more. Now they want to take it all and to hell with their fellow American.
    I did not hear these people complaining when the Supreme Court decided the Citizens United case. If the money spent on political advertising by the PAC’s in this race were spent helping out local communities instead, we might be thinking there were brighter days ahead.

    • July 1, 2012 at 6:32 am
      Bartleby says:
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      One might say the same thing about leftist advertising Scottsdaleslim. For that matter, one might also say it about leftist attitudes. You can only shear the sheep so closely before it runs away and stops giving you ANY wool. Keep placing the burden on the wealthy and soon you’ll find that there are no wealthy left.

      First they came for the communists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
      Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
      Then they came for the and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
      Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me.

      Keep blaming the rich and insisting they don’t pay enough. Funny thing is that you complaing that “they” want to “take it all” is actually what YOU are doing. When “they” want to KEEP their money, they are “taking” NOTHING from you or others. It is YOU who want to TAKE from them! That’s right – it is TAXES that are TAKING from others – it is not TAKING to want a reduction in taxes!

      That choice of words indicates how you think of personal property though. It is not theirs until the government says it is; before that, it’s the government’s.

      -Bartleby

  • June 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm
    Watcher says:
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    Go Excitebiker! As you say, the “job creators” are sitting on billions. How is “trickle down” working for us all now?

    funny how the Constitution can’t support a healthcare act that is meant to give more access to more people and attempt to control costs and institute some fairness. Funny how the right wingers wrap themselves in it on the one hand, but can’t see how pushing a religious agenda (like the right to lifers or the gay marriage bashers) is anti Consititutional. Funny how ONLY THEY, the CHOSEN FEW can interpret both the Bible AND the Constitution righteously.
    And so funny that they also therefore think that the government should be by (SOME) of the people, for (SOME) of the people and of (SOME) of the people.. They don’t want anyone in their wallets, but have no qualms about waltzing into others bedrooms.

    And for those of them that vilify the 50% that paid no income taxes, note that the Republican Senator from IL, Mark Kirk, recovering from a stroke at the best healthcare the tax payer can buy him, paid no personal or business income taxrs in the year he was elected…and he is a millionaire. AS GE, etc., etc., etc.

    bunch of hypocrits.

    • July 1, 2012 at 7:38 am
      Dave says:
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      “funny how the Constitution can’t support a healthcare act that is meant to give more access to more people and attempt to control costs and institute some fairness.”

      Control costs? Where do you come up with that fact? Being an insurance publication you should be aware of one of the largest costs in providing medical care. It is the costs associated huge malpractice and overly defensive medicine caused by frivolous lawsuits. A huge cost which Obama and the Democrats let walk due t taking care of their buddies and largest political contributors the plaintiff’s bar. Listen to what Howard Dean has to say about them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdpVY-cONnM

      You can come down off your horse now hypocrite.

    • July 2, 2012 at 11:35 am
      Jack says:
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      Watcher you make no sense! bible? religious agenda? Mark Kirk? What are you rambling about? He doesnt even have our health care plan. He is a senator!

      Stay on the issue – OBAMACARE TAX! and how it is going to break the debt bubble of the United States.

  • June 30, 2012 at 12:41 am
    Paul Najera says:
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    Some conservative pundits are trying to protect Roberts by claiming that Roberts voted with the liberal so that the decision would not be on a partisan. The idea are a croc. And if they are true then Roberts sold America down the river for his vanity.For when has a Left wing judge on US Supreme Court ever voted with the Right. It always the judges on the right that have voted with the left.(Kennedy, OConner, now roberts)

    But lets face it Roberts voted for Obamacare because he wants national healthcare and was looking for a reason to vote for it, and the Tax issue was it.

    But the Sad thing is, that now another Amendment of the Constitution is gone. The tenth Amendment (commerce clause) is dead, just call anything a tax and go around tenth Amendment.

    Plus now Government has the right to force us to buy anything, as long as there is a tax if we don’t. So be prepared buy health food or be taxed

  • July 2, 2012 at 9:37 am
    googlegal says:
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    It’s interesting to me that the clearest communicators seem to be the so-called liberal left-wingers. Most of the comments spouting right-wing propaganda are full of illiterate grammer, incorrect spelling, and make you sound like uneducated buffoons. And that doesn’t even address the content.

    • July 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm
      First Agent says:
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      It is also interesting that Progressive Socialists always think they are the smartest people in the room. If they are so smart, how come this country is on the brink of bankruptcy because of their policies followed for several years? I include RINO’s in this as well. The liberal left wingers are the ones who have been brainwashed by the public schools and liberal professors into thinking they are “entitled” and they should be handed a job they aren’t qualified to do and at a salary that can’t be justified.

    • July 3, 2012 at 10:19 am
      Del says:
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      Hello?? grammAr

      Perhaps the arguments you find clearest are for the positions you believe in and are most familiar with??

      Understanding something you already know quite a bit about, are interested in, or believe in, is quite a normal occurrence.

      If you want to stretch your mind, check your own reality, or look for common ground, you have to fight against this bias — even if this means overcoming differences in spelling, dialect, educational levels, point of reference, point of view, etc.

      (Your second sentence, “Most of the comments…” is malformed. I think it could be corrected by an ‘and’ between grammAr and ‘incorrect spelling’. But it’s been a long time since I was in school and honestly, today, I write just like that myself. Language is constantly evolving. Perhaps in another 50 years, the sentence as written will be deemed perfectly correct even by the grammar sticklers of that time.)

      • July 3, 2012 at 11:03 am
        First Agent says:
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        Del, I am inclined to believe that our SEIU union teachers are not teaching proper grammar and how to express ideas. Add that to the craze of tweeting and texting and you end up with some version of shorthand which is unintelligible to regular folks who were brought up differently and can put a sentence together.

  • July 2, 2012 at 10:41 am
    celtica says:
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    At the end of the day and at the end of everyone’s days, we will all have used healthcare in our lives. Making everyone accountable for the cost is fair and just.

    • July 3, 2012 at 10:58 am
      Del says:
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      By all accounts, this law does NOT make everyone accountable for the costs. Unions are exempt as are people who are deemed by the government to not be able to afford insurance.

      I don’t see this as an improvement over individuals deciding whether or not they can afford insurance.

      Currently, those who do not have insurance — but who actually pay their medical bills– subsidize the ‘breaks’ that those of us who have insurance get.

      E.g. Person with insurance pays discounted $.10/pill. Person without insurance pays $1.00 for the pill – including a price hike for the money lost by giving a discount to those who had enough clout as a group to demand a below market rate.

      If there was no price break for the people with insurance, perhaps we would ALL just pay $.60/pill.

      Same thing with hospital bills. Those without insurance are charged astronomically higher amounts than those with. Why? Someone has to make up the difference between actual costs plus some profit and what the insured actually pay.

      If we are ALL insured, there won’t be anyone to ‘stick’ the difference to. As one of the presently insured, I’m not going to be surprised if my costs go up — not to mention the increase in my taxes as I pay to insure those ‘unable to pay’ and I subsidize the health costs of all those Union members who objecting to the cost are “exempted from the law by Democrats”. (Union members already have their great health benefits, so like Congressmen, they don’t want to lessen what they have or share the burden. Typical Democrats: people should have this — make someone else pay for it, and, for heavens sake, don’t let it cost me, personally, in any way.

      • July 6, 2012 at 12:54 pm
        Like2win says:
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        When my wife was pregnant and had our daughter we paid more in our out of pocket than my in laws did who did not have insurance. The doctor collected from my insurance company and from me and my out of pocket was more than my in laws paid for their whole child being born. Who is subsidizing whom for the health care? It is those with insurance that are subsidizing everyone else and now we are going to get to subsidize even more!

  • July 2, 2012 at 10:50 am
    Bill says:
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    The Court did strain to find a basis to uphold the law and had it endorsed Obama’s view that it was not a tax, the law would have fallen. I cannot help but think that the [over]reaction to this law on the “conservative” (read radical reactionary Tea Party side) is really no different than the reaction to the income tax, social security and medicare when they were passed. The opponents seem to want to play on a how the “government is telling people what to do.” Well that’s what government does, it also re-distributes wealth. The fact is this law puts in check a few of the excessess of so-called “risk management techniques” that keep health insurers very profitable but which have negative consequences for a great number of insureds. My only complaint with the law is that it doesn’t do nearly enough to control costs and still rewards quantity delivery of services rather than quality outcomes. For this reason healthcare costs will continue to spiral upward seemingly unchecked.

    • July 2, 2012 at 5:33 pm
      First Agent says:
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      If they were really wanting to control costs, one of the lead items would have been Tort Reform which is one of the biggest drivers of cost in healthcare for doctors, hospitals, clinics etc. Why do doctors practice defensive medicine and order MRI’s like candy? They run so scared of being sued, so they run endless expensive tests so they can defend themselves when sued. The Progressives did not want Tort Reform since the Trial Lawyers grease their palms with millions in campaign donations.

  • July 2, 2012 at 11:40 am
    Jack says:
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    Repeal and Replace OBAMACARE TAX!

  • July 3, 2012 at 10:58 am
    googlegal says:
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    First Agent – I have never been “given” a job or anything else. I don’t feel entitled and have worked very hard for what I have. And I don’t begrudge anyone else doing well for themselves. There are, however, others that have not been afforded the same opportunities or abilities as others. They may need a hand up – NOT a hand out. Quit the sweeping generalizations about people you don’t know or understand.

    • July 3, 2012 at 11:28 am
      First Agent says:
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      Googlegal, The Progressive Left in this country has been working on making this country an entitlement society for several decades now. Instead of giving a hand up, they have been giving a hand out and the lazy and unambitious in our society are more than happy to get all those hand outs. Our country used to be known as the land of opportunity and a person could get educated, work hard and be a success in life. I did that and have a successful business. I have tried to employ young people and try to train them, but they just didn’t have the “want to” to work hard and pay the price for success. They were used to people giving things to them and didn’t have the ambition to go get it. It is a real tragedy that we have so many like them out there. The latest statistic that is alarming is that only three out of ten college graduates can find a job. Many have a couple hundred thousand of student loans to pay off. The jobs aren’t there because the economy is bad and employers won’t hire because of fear of what the government will do to them next. Obamacare is a big factor and a big job killer and the EPA is doing things every day to kill jobs. What a colossal mess!

  • July 3, 2012 at 11:36 am
    Underwriter says:
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    Reading through the debate, I’d like to redirect away from the socio-political debate and back to the problem. I don’t think anyone would disagree that people need access to affordable health care. The focus has been on health insurance, but it should be on health care itself.

    Forcing people to buy health insurance to “fix” the health care “crisis” is like legislating the end of homelessness by passing a law mandating the homeless to buy a home. If you want to fix the problem you have to solve the problem, not a symptom.

    Doctor visits in the 80s cost around $35; access to healthcare was available and most people could afford to see a doctor when warranted. Today it costs about $150 to see a doctor, which is beyond reach for families living on a tight budget. The law exempts people at low income levels, but people in the lower and mid middle class will be the ones feeling the pinch. Forcing those folks to spend cash on insurance (which will be a LOT more expensive than making a visit or three to a doctor), or taxing them if they don’t buy a policy, is outrageous.

    Here’s my proposed solution.
    1: One major issue is the cost of tort lawsuits (i.e. MedMal is unecessarily expensive). It drives up the cost of access to medical care and forces doctors to run unnecessary tests. I’d put limits on non-economic damages, which should help bring MedMal rates back down.
    2: The current plan will only insure an additional 10-30m folks, it’s exorbitantly expensive, and doesn’t address issues of supply vs. demand. If you buy in to economic theory, higher demand = increased costs at the doctor’s office. Instead we could drive costs down by spending that same cash to train new doctors and open community health centers. Let folks go to med school and pay off their loan working at a government health center. More supply = lower prices. Also, instead of adding jobs at the IRS, we’d add jobs in construction, office management and medical services.
    3: To address issues within insurance, let people form insurance collectives across state lines to build scale for better insurance pricing. For example, let all the bartenders group purchase health insurance – a class of several hundred thousand folks will have better prices.
    4: Stop forcing insurance companies to pay for things that aren’t meant to be covered by insurance. For example, many states now require the treatment of alcohol and substance abuse. Insurance is meant to protect against accidental harm or unanticipated sickness. Knowing that X% of your population base will need to spend $10k a month for treatment/recovery just raises prices. In other words, when everything HAS to be covered by law, the prices are going to go up. Let carriers offer coverage that may be appropriate for more consumers.

    Basically, I don’t think access to health insurance is a basic “human right” and forcing people to buy insurance won’t address what’s really wrong with our healthcare system.

    • July 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm
      Dave says:
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      Underwriter, excellent plan. But:

      1) Tort refrom, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9HcWd5ifBA&feature=relmfu With the trial lawyers you have the biggest political contributors on the face of the planet. And they will do anything to protect their turf and have the Democratic Party in their back pocket. A party full of lawyers itself (Obama, the Clintons, etc.).
      2) Makes sense and might be able to be done.
      3) I fear the same rules and regulations which hamper insurance companies would hamper these collectives. Face it, the left wants to CONTROL this and are not anxious to give this power to anybody, including collectives.
      4) Another great idea. Why insurance companies should be forced to pay for anybody’s birth control is ridiculous to me. But you question that aspect of health insurance and you are declared as having waged war on women. The left’s simpleton argument.

      Bottom line I totally agree with you. The problem is not health insurance as the left would have us all believe. The problem is the cost of health insurance which needs to be reduced.

      Tort reform is a big part of that. First it helps reduce the cost of healthcare provided and second it reduces the amount of healthcare provided in that defensive medicine is reduced. But the left wants to reduce the amount of healthcare provided through their use of death panels who will decide what kind of procedures are allowed for certain people.

      And getting back to reducing the consumption of healthcare, conumers in large part pay nothing. It’s covered by insurance so in the consumer’s minds it’s free. More co-pays encouraging the consumer to find less expensive providers and not to consume it when really not needed will help. And not covering things which are really not healthcare (recreational birth control) will reduce consumption.

      Nice post.

  • July 9, 2012 at 2:32 pm
    Captain Planet says:
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    He voted that way because it’s Constitutional. In more ways than one. Pretty simple, actually.

    • July 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm
      Dave says:
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      Simple? Is that why the vote was 5-4? Is that why the supporting opinion was dozens of pages? Is that why the dissenting opinion was dozens of pages? Simple? Takes more than one sentence for you to explain the simplicity. At least 4 justices and millions of Americans would disagree. Your simple answer does not make it simple. Just like the simplicity of Hope & Change.

      • July 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm
        Captain Planet says:
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        Yeah, I had hope for things to change and in a number of ways, they have. And, for the better. Simple. Like the shoes.

  • July 9, 2012 at 3:34 pm
    FFA says:
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    They should change the name of the law to Anti Small Business Act. It does encourage no more full time hiring.

    • July 9, 2012 at 5:14 pm
      Agent says:
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      You are right FFA. It is one of the biggest job killers ever passed. I am a small businessman and I have no plans to hire and insureds I have also will not hire. This administration could not be more anti business if they tried. Just look at what the EPA is doing on a daily basis. After Obamacare is repealed, the next item on the agenda is firing all current EPA from the top down and replacing them with common sense people.

      • July 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm
        Captain Planet says:
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        Agent and FFA, we won’t agree but from where I am, no one is slowing down their hiring. If anything, it’s picking up. I just had a phone call from a headhunter yesterday. The EPA isn’t killing anyone. Actually, making it more sustainable to breathe, swim in lakes, eat fish that swim in those lakes…Romney will take us back to the Bush days, probably even worse. Then, this country goes to hell in a handbasket. I am voting for someone I believe in. Not someone I have to settle for who is the guy who couldn’t previously beat the guy who didn’t beat who is President Obama. GoBama 2012!

        • July 10, 2012 at 6:00 pm
          First Agent says:
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          Planet, you are in a dream world. I hope you wake up some day and smell the coffee, because it is not a pretty sight out there. You are obviously not a small business owner or you would have a different take on what is going on. I am and my eyes are fully open. You should ask Joe Manchin D-WV what EPA is doing to his state. Perhaps you didn’t know about the prisoner who filed in the Democratic primary there got 41% of the vote against Obama.



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