Will John Roberts Vote to Uphold ObamaCare?

Writing at Forbes, Daniel Fisher rejects the “informed speculation” that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is in trouble this Thursday at the Supreme Court and argues instead that the law will be upheld thanks to the support of Chief Justice John Roberts. Fisher writes:

My theory remains that Roberts and Kennedy will balk at overturning the healthcare act, especially just four months from a national referendum on the same question. Roberts is a true conservative who believes in the separate roles of the three branches of government. Legislating is the legislature’s job, subject to the corrective action of the voters. Obamacare is legislation, however flawed it may be, and it’s up to the voters to express their opinion of the 2,000-page law if they don’t like it in the next presidential election.

Fisher also argues that if Roberts does decide to uphold the mandate, “he has a road map for that decision in U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Sutton’s concurrence to the Sixth Circuit’s decision upholding Obamacare almost precisely a year ago.” Sutton, a former clerk to Justice Antonin Scalia, not only rejected the legal challengers’ main Commerce Clause arguments against the mandate, he also held that the principle of judicial restraint required the federal courts to defer to lawmakers on this contentious matter. “Time assuredly will bring to light the policy strengths and weaknesses of using the individual mandate as part of this national legislation,” Sutton wrote, “allowing the peoples’ political representatives, rather than their judges, to have the primary say over its utility.”

Like Fisher, I was also struck by Sutton’s ode to judicial restraint and the possible influence it might have on the Court’s conservatives. And as I argued in an August 2011 column, the vote of Chief Justice Roberts “is the most likely to echo Sutton’s.”

But there have also been some very interesting developments since I wrote those words, developments that Fisher’s Forbes piece does not grapple with. During the ObamaCare oral argument in March, Chief Justice Roberts actually tackled the issue of judicial restraint head on. And his words that day did not bode well for the survival of the individual mandate.

As I explain in my July cover story on the ObamaCare legal challenge, when Solicitor General Donald Verrilli suggested that the Supreme Court would be guilty of conservative judicial activism if it nullified the individual mandate, Roberts immediately swatted away the idea. Then a few minutes later he brought the issue up again, this time accusing the federal government of being the ones seeking an activist ruling. “It would be going back to Lochner if we were put in the position of saying, no, you can use your commerce power to regulate insurance, but you can’t use your commerce power to regulate this market in other ways,” Roberts said. “I think that would be a very significant intrusion by the Court into Congress’ power.”

Lochner refers of course to the 1905 decision where the Supreme Court struck down a state working hours regulation for violating the unenumerated right to liberty of contract. It’s a case that continues to stand as a symbol of judicial activism for many legal thinkers on both the left and right, including Roberts. So by throwing that controversial ruling back in the government’s face, Roberts offered what could turn out to be a preemptive counter-attack to the inevitable charge of judicial activism that will follow in the wake of a decision invalidating the individual mandate. If Roberts does vote against ObamaCare, I wouldn't be surprised if he employed this very argument.

We’ll find out for sure on Thursday.

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  • John||

    Roberts is a true conservative who believes in the separate roles of the three branches of government. Legislating is the legislature’s job, subject to the corrective action of the voters.

    That is just absolute nonsense. That is saying the Roberts doesn't believe in Marbury v. Madison. If Roberts believed that he would never vote to strike down any law and instead just interpret whatever the other two branches produce. I don't know who Daniel Fisher is, but he is a complete fool.

  • DJK||

    "Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."

    Professor Obama doesn't believe in Marbury v. Madison. Why should a pleb like Daniel Fisher believe in it?

  • robc||

    strong majority

    ???

    They had to make up bullshit rules to avoid a Senate filibuster.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    They even lost a Senate seat in Massachusetts (Mass-a-freaking-chusetts) over it.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I thought that had more to do with Coakley being a witch.

    Or as Chris Matthews put it, because MA voters already had a great universal health care system they didn't care whether the rest of the country could get it.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    She certainly didn't help the case.

    And I wouldn't call highest premiums in the nation a great system, but that mentality probably didn't help. However, if people were voting to say "screw the rest of the country, we already did ours, we aren't paying for you" then they are voting against Obamacare.

  • Tulpa the White||

    60-40 is a pretty strong majority.

    It was the reconciliation with the House version that required "maneuvering".

    It should still be struck down though.

  • ||

    It passed by a handful of votes in the house. 219-212

  • Tulpa the White||

    Only because Madame Speaker gave permission slips to Dems in red districts to vote against it to avoid being attacked in the general election.

  • Brutus||

    And they didn't get a single vote from across the aisle.

  • califernian||

    That's not true. They got two or three in fact.

  • Bee Tagger||

    This one decision coming Thursday will apparently tell us whether John Roberts is the most radical, activist Supreme Court justice ever or the least.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    How is striking down legislation legislating? And isn't the Supreme Court's primary role is to determine if legislation is constitutional no matter what the public thinks about it?

  • DJK||

    No! No! No! You've got it all wrong. The Supreme Court's job is to validate absurd Acts of Congress on ridiculous readings of common-sense restrictions listed in the Constitution. At least, that's been the case since the New Deal era.

  • sarcasmic||

    Legislating is the legislature’s job, subject to the corrective action of the voters courts.

    ftfyyfi

  • mr simple||

    Funny how he doesn't even discuss the job of the judiciary.

    Not funny ha-ha, funny queer, mm-hmm.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I don't think it's Roberts' vote we have to worry about.

  • R C Dean||

    Roberts is a true conservative who believes in the separate roles of the three branches of government.

    I look forward to Roberts voting to eliminate regulations promulgated by the executive branch as an illegitimate exercise of powers reserved to Congress.

  • John||

    That is just it, Carter would have a stroke if Roberts did that. What is infuriating about this article is not that it is wrong. It is that it is so obvious that Carter doesn't believe a work of it. He doesn't believe in the sanctity of the legislative process. He is just a hack who wants a certain result. Why Reason can't call him that is beyond me.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There is no such sanctity, of course, for unconstitutional actions.

  • John||

    That is just it. At best all Carter is doing is begging the question.

  • ||

    When you say "Carter" do you mean "Fisher"?

  • benji||

    He means "I'm John and I didn't read the article but I am going to go on and on and psychoanalyze everyone involved because anyone who disagrees with me wants to put people in ovens!"

  • ||

    Of course he'll uphold Obamacare - he's high-fiving its creator

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Are you sure? I can't tell what's going on in the image without alt-text.

  • ||

    I hear that's a condition that's treatable now.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Regular injections of witty captions does the trick.

  • ||

    Since when is it judicial activism to determine a law's constitutionality?

  • T o n y||

    When they disagree with you.

  • sarcasmic||

    $

  • DJK||

    Interestingly, Tony is basically quoting conservative former Justice David Souter on this one.

  • sarcasmic||

    Nothing about Tony is interesting.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He'd be interesting if he committed suicide.

  • T||

    I'm sure he's an excellent case study in mental illness for someone.

  • crazyfingers||

    So if Romney wins Obamacare goes away?

    I don't think this Forbes guy knows how elections work.

  • ||

    You have to understand that he's under the illusion that the Executive has limitless powers to do as it chooses- because a court keeping those powers in check would be legislating from the bench.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    And don't forget racist.

  • ||

    Couldn't Romney just choose not to enforce the individual mandate by executive fiat?

    Seems to be precedent.

  • John||

    He certainly doesn't know how Congress works. Actually he does. He is just lying.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Yeah, that was a strange implication as well.

  • Adam330||

    Well congress is up for reelection in the fall too. Perhaps he was referring to that election, not the presidential one.

  • Adam330||

    nevermind, i re-read and he expressly refers to the presidential election. he's a dumbass.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    1) As several people have pointed out, saying "Legislating is the legislature’s job, subject to the corrective action of the voters. Obamacare is legislation, however flawed it may be, and it’s up to the voters to express their opinion of the 2,000-page law if they don’t like it in the next presidential election." is missing the point. The court is supposed to determine if legislation is constitutional, regardless of the what the voters think.

    2)

    "Time assuredly will bring to light the policy strengths and weaknesses of using the individual mandate as part of this national legislation,” Sutton wrote, “allowing the peoples’ political representatives, rather than their judges, to have the primary say over its utility.”

    This is again missing the point. It's not about policy implications.

  • BarryD||

    I suspect that the SCOTUS justices had the opinions written a month ago, and they keep holding back on this so they can watch all the journalistic wanking.

    I mean, really... Arguing about facts is stupid, unless the facts are actually in question. In this case, the facts will be known in a couple of days.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    I don't think they have crap written yet and they're letting the media do all the work for them. So they can just copy and paste from a bunch of articles into their opinion.

    Fiendishly clever if you ask me.

  • BarryD||

    I could certainly see Breyer doing that. But then, I can imagine Breyer writing just about anything. Do they drug test SCOTUS justices?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Yes, and then they bring them up to the proper amounts if they fail.

  • R C Dean||

    The security at SCOTUS is truly impressive. They voted on this a few days after oral arguments, and not a single leak (to the public, anyway), even though this has been the single hottest issue in DC for all that time.

    Just imagine the goodies being dangled in front of their clerks and staff.

  • John||

    I know. I am thinking I would hold out for a long weekend with the newsbabe of my choice in return for leaking it. I wonder if maybe some people in the media don't know but haven't gone public with it.

    Suppose CNN gives me that weekend with Robin Meade and I spill the beans. If they printed it they and their reporters would be persona non grata at the court for all time. Given that, even if you knew, it would not be in your interest to print it. I suspect more people know than let on.

  • BarryD||

    Now I wonder whether certain reporters have just dumped their life savings into Intrade... And is that considered "insider trading"?

    http://www.intrade.com/v4/mark.....tId=745353

  • Whiterun Guard||

    A Sports Night boxed set.

    A e-subscription to Zero Tolerance's Black Metal MP3 of the week.

    A coupon for a free appetizer (with purchase of a regular entree, between 4pm-7pm) at Chili's.

    A free ride in a Prius.

    A handy from Helen Thomas.

  • tarran||

    A free ride in a Prius.

    Let me guess, you're one of those weirdo's who thinks crucifiction is worse than getting stabbed.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Why can't I have both?

  • R C Dean||

    Is that what they are threatening the clerks with if they don't spill the beans?

  • Cell||

    Isn't the devil in the detail, though? I would guess that votes are somewhat contingent upon negotiating the wording of the opinion.

  • ||

    Oh for Christ's sake, the left truly is in denial.
    Reality, what is it?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    "My theory remains that Roberts and Kennedy will balk at overturning the healthcare act, especially just four months from a national referendum on the same question."

    Well, based on this theory, shouldn't the election results in 2010 indicate to Roberts that a referendum has been had and he should vote to overturn?

  • Joe R.||

    Right, I noticed that. And again, it still assumes that a Romney win gets the legislation repealed, which is a massively unclear proposition.

  • T o n y||

    The conservative justices will need to invent a new restriction on the commerce clause to declare the mandate unconstitutional. If they strike the whole law, they will be essentially vetoing a bunch of legislation whose constitutionality is not in question.

    During the oral it was precious how Alito was so concerned about the plight of the insurance companies if the mandate is merely severed. Not a single word from the conservative justices, that I can recall, about the plight of the uninsured. Roberts court: principle before people, and tea party hackery before principle.

  • sarcasmic||

    $

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The conservative justices will need to invent a new restriction on the commerce clause to declare the mandate unconstitutional.

    If you could purchase insurance plans across state lines, the commerce clause would likely apply. You can't, so it doesn't. Regardless, forcing people to purchase a service simply for existing is the very definition of unconstitutional. By your logic, the government should force you to pay for an AIDS test every month, since you're in a higher-risk demographic than the rest of the population.

    Not a single word from the conservative justices, that I can recall, about the plight of the uninsured.

    Here's the plight of the uninsured--more money in their bank accounts for not shelling out exorbitant amounts of money for a service that's worked hand-in-hand with Medicare and Medicaid to jack up healthcare costs at twice the rate of inflation over the last 30+ years.

  • R C Dean||

    What plight? They still get health care, after all.

    Oh, you mean being saddled by the bills for services received? Well, if they can't afford to pay those bills, guess what? They don't.

    So, as near as I can tell, their plight consists of getting services they won't pay for.

  • ||

    What plight? They still get health medical care, after all.

    FTFY, RC. Their health is their responsibility.

  • R C Dean||

    Mea culpa. That's usually a distinction I get all pedantic-peevy over.

    I'm not sure what happened. I blame Bush. And bath salts.

  • wareagle||

    Not a single word from the conservative justices, that I can recall, about the plight of the uninsured.

    the plight of a nebulous entity, the uninsured, is not a matter for the courts. As it is, the breakdown of the 47-mil or so without coverage revealed the intellectual dishonesty behind claims that this figure is a national tragedy: 10-mil or so not even citizens, another 15-mil earning 50K per year but choosing to be uncovered, 10-mil more unemployed (though that number has risen).

    Yes Tony, principle matters. Unless you believe govt should have the ability to make you buy things whether you want them or not.

  • T o n y||

    You have no principles. You believe whatever Karl Rove's media footsoldiers tells you to believe. The mandate was a conservative, pro-business idea. That was when conservatives didn't think the solution to lack of access to healthcare is to just let the uninsured die, as they do now. Scalia said so explicitly, and everyone cheered when Ron Paul was asked the question.

    Wherever you people are going from here, it's gonna be scary.

  • sarcasmic||

    Straw men are made of straw.

  • ||

    Flamable straw is flamable.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    And you believe whatever the Ed Schultzes of America tell you.

    As for the mandate being a conservative creation... well, that shows how fucked-up conservatives are.

  • sarcasmic||

    And you believe whatever the Ed Schultzes of America tell you.

    You're so right. I catch that guy on the car radio from time to time and it's nothing but bullshit appeals to emotion based upon false premises.

    Reading Tony's posts are like reading transcripts from that show.

    The cognitive dissonance is impenetrable.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I forced myself to listen to an entire hour of Schultz once... that was a couple of years ago. It damn near made me want to pull my own head off.

  • sarcasmic||

    I couldn't do that. One segment was all I could take.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oh, not all at one go... the equivalent of one hour, spread out over multiple listenings.

    Which is more than I've heard of Limbaugh's show over the past few years, for the record. But don't tell Tony that; it would break his little heart.

  • sarcasmic||

    $

  • wareagle||

    the mandate is a bad idea; that some conservative embraced it does not change that. Around here, tony, people often judge ideas on their merits, not on which side dreams them up.

    As usual, you have nothing more than the nonsensical "Rove footsoldier" argument to buttress the even more nonsensical "let them die" canard.

  • T o n y||

    So what is your principled solution to the problem of a lack of universal access to healthcare? Let's pretend we don't already have Medicare and Medicaid. Would you endorse those single-payer systems in order to cover the uninsurable? Or would you just let them die? How am I positing a strawman, unless you endorse these systems?

  • wareagle||

    my principled position is that there is no lack of access; it is creation of the left designed to scare people. And you can't pretend MM don't exist; they do and they are a huge driver in cost increases, exposing the flaws behind single payer.

    Prior to those programs, people managed to get care whether from hospitals or private doctors. They paid their bills over time. They were treated for what ailed them without being subject to a dozen doc-covers-ass preventive tests.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Luckily for you, your fellow Team members have engineered things so that we'll have no option but to put everyone on the medical dole.

    You should be proud. You're eventually going to have that Utopia.

  • ||

    My principles solution is "If there's something you perceive as a problem, and it's within your means to solve it withouth the use or threat of force, SOLVE IT."

  • PapayaSF||

    I would endorse undoing all the things "progressives" and other meddlers have done for generations that have made health care more expensive. The free market plus charity can provide health care for everyone.

  • T o n y||

    Utopian bullshit you can't remotely begin to prove. No service (healthcare, education, etc.) meant to be provided universally has ever done so without government subsidy.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    So what is your principled solution to the problem of a lack of universal access to healthcare?

    What is your principled solution to communist fucksticks trying to unconstitutionally nationalize 1/6 of the economy?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    The conservative justices will need to invent a new restriction on the commerce clause to declare the mandate unconstitutional.

    Nope, it could just apply the two that already exist. The regulated activity must be both:

    1) "among the states"

    2) "commerce"

  • Brian D||

    Not engaging in commerce is still engaging in commerce!

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah, but to go back to the words on the page, they will have to do something about all those Wickard cases.

  • ||

    $

  • Joe R.||

    Not a single word from the conservative justices, that I can recall, about the plight of the uninsured.

    Nor should there have been; their only concern should be the constitutionality of the legislation.

    I guess the liberal wing is too giddy about its victory in Kelo v. New London to be concerned about constitutionality and the law anymore.

  • califernian||

    " principle before people"

    If only.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    The Supreme Court of the United States of America has no business meddling in the sovereign affairs of the other branches.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    They're like the Scooby gang to congress' Old Man Withers, the carnival owner.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Jinkies.

  • Ska||

    I love your sweater kittens, even if you have a bad haircut and are probably a lesbian.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Even if or because of?

  • ||

    And I'd have gotten away with it too...if it wasn't for you meddling kids!

    /OMW

  • tarran||

    Reading Jeffrey Sutton's dissent, I am pretty impressed.

    He just argued that the Federal Courts had no business overturning the democratically enacted Jim Crow laws.

    And why am I not suprised that the thoroughly racist Progressives love the argument?

  • Randian||

    Sutton's opinion rankles me badly. For one, the way that he elided the "activity/inactivity" distinction was to say that everyone "participates participates in the market for health care delivery, and they finance these
    services by either purchasing an insurance policy or by self-insuring."

    Yes, you read that right: paying for your own health care straight cash is "self insuring"

  • John||

    That is true actually. Think of it this way. If you don't get full coverage on your car, you are self insuring against an accident. If you don't have insurance you are risking having to pay a huge bill if you get sick in the same way that you are risking having to pay the auto body shop if you don't insure your car and have an accident.

    The problem with Sutton's argument is so what? There are some people who will refuse medical care altogether out of religious conviction. Some people are so wealthy they will never need the help of others to pay. Other people will never get sick and die a sudden death. Just because you are "self insuring" or whatever you want to call it doesn't mean you are necessarily participating in the market.

  • T o n y||

    There are already exemptions for religious reasons, and the other circumstances are too exceptional to dictate a whole policy. It is exactly like car insurance, except you don't have the option not to own a body. You're participating in the market by breathing, and that's just the way it is. You can theorize about not participating in the healthcare market, but it is the 21st century and modern medicine has been around a long time, and when you're sick or injured you expect to be taken care of in a modern society. It would be nice to have a system that doesn't bankrupt nearly anyone who would ever have a major illness or injury.

  • John||

    It is exactly like car insurance

    Which also can't be mandated at the federal level. The fact is most young and healthy people who are poor don't buy insurance because it is a bad bet. They need the money elsewhere. And if they get sick, medicare or the hospital pays for it anyway. All mandating poor people buy insurance does is make the young healthy and lower middle class pay more for their medical care by purchasing insurance. That is it. This whole thing is just people like you wanting to take money from the lower middle class, period. You don't care about those people's well being. You just want their money.

  • #||

    This is the part that isnt said enough. The mandate has nothing to do with stopping uncompensated care. Most of those people currently are just thrown onto medicaid now via this bill. This was about forcing young and healthy people to buy insurance that costs much more than their associated risk sot hat they could subsidize other people. The mandate is here because the dems didn't have the balls to just come out and raise taxes on the young lower and middle classes.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It is exactly like car insurance, except you don't have the option not to own a body.

    It couldn't be more different than car insurance requirements since the states are the ones doing that, and they don't have to meet the requirements of the commerce clause.

  • ||

    You can theorize about not participating in the healthcare market, but it is the 21st century and modern medicine has been around a long time, and when you're sick or injured you expect to be taken care of in a modern society.

    He sounds like a characterture of Rand. That sentence could have been uttered by Philip Rearden.

    Life imitates art.

  • T o n y||

    Read another book.

  • ||

    Can we lose the analogy to car insurance, please? The only part of car insurance that you are mandated (at the state level) to buy is the liability coverage. That is, insurance against the chance that you cause damage to other individuals while operating your 3000+ lb. machine.

    Point #2, car insurance DOES NOT cover maintenance. If health insurance had been designed to cover only unpredictable catastrophic events, we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place. Health insurance would be very cheap, and doctors would have an incentive NOT to charge $200+ for an office visit.

  • califernian||

    Plus the car insurance mandate is a joke, a giant payoff to insurance companies. Making people buy liability coverage is a convoluted, expensive, and stupid law.

  • Joe R.||

    I'm frightened to think it's exactly like auto insurance, since those requirements are mandated by the owner of the roads. The implications are astounding.

  • Randian||

    Well, John, when Sutton uses the term "self insuring" he elides the activity/inactivity distinction. Watch:

    By regulating the practice of self-insuring for the cost of health care delivery, the
    minimum coverage provision is facially constitutional under the Commerce Clause for
    two independent reasons. First, the provision regulates economic activity that Congress
    had a rational basis to believe has substantial effects on interstate commerce. In addition, Congress had a rational basis to believe that the provision was essential to its larger economic scheme reforming the interstate markets in health care and health insurance.

    See, by failing to participate in a market that you are "virtually guaranteed" to someday participate in, you are therefore "self insuring". Because you are actively self-insuring, Congress can regulate your participation in the insurance market.

  • John||

    He has twisted the term "self insuring" beyond description. I am virtually guaranteed to some day participate in the funeral market. By Sutton's logic, the government can rightfully force me to buy a burial plot because even though I don't participate in the market chances are I some day will.

  • Adam330||

    By this argument, I also "self-insure" my grocery purchases. So the broccoli mandate is indeed constitutional!

    Seriously, if the mandate were limited to purchase of insurance that covered only catastrophic emergency events, maybe just maybe they would have a point. But it isn't so limited. It forces purchase of insurance the covers very cheap and routine things, like regular check-ups and birth control.

  • Randian||

    The whole opinion is an exercise in false equivalence:

    The activity of foregoing
    health insurance and attempting to cover the cost of health care needs by self-insuring
    is no less economic than the activity of purchasing an insurance plan. Thus, the financing of health care services, and specifically the practice of self-insuring, is
    economic activity
  • ||

    I'm sure this has been covered ad nauseum, but why do all people have to be given the most advanced medical treatment equally? Top hat and monocle aside, I just don't understand the mentality of "some people live til their 90, therefore all people should live til their 90, and affordably too!"

    Must be the jaded 25-year old cynic in me, but medical advancements didn't just conjure themselves out of thin air. Why is it so difficult to imagine people paying for it, with their OWN money?

    I would like an honest answer from Tony, or anyone else for that matter.

  • T o n y||

    You've touched on a couple of the major dilemmas in delivering healthcare in the 21st century: people live long, and medical technology is increasingly advanced and expensive, so costs are high.

    But in our system the incentives are fucked up. Doctors are incentivized to do unnecessary treatments and insurance companies are incentivized to cover only the young and healthy.

    You have to remove profits from the equation completely and have the focus be on delivering care as a public service. It's the only known way to drive down costs and provide access. Sorry if that doesn't square with laissez-faire capitalism, but it's healthcare, it's a specific and special market.

    How much taxpayers pay for access to advanced medical tech is a legitimate debate, but a system in which lifesaving care is only available to the wealthy is morally abhorrent. It should go without saying, but you have to start from a moral position that we don't willingly let people die for the crime of being poor. That's what makes healthcare different from other markets.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    It should go without saying, but you have to start from a moral position that we don't willingly let people die for the crime of being poor. That's what makes healthcare different from other markets.

    So you support a food insurance mandate?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Hell, food ought to be free. Michael Moore said so.

  • T o n y||

    I support subsidized food assistance, which we have.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Why stop there?

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Because healthcare is more important and fundamental than food, obviously.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Then everything should be subsidized, using his logic.

  • ||

    Now you're catching on, FIFY.

  • T o n y||

    Only basic necessities that modern standards of civilization require universal access to. And we do that almost completely, except for healthcare.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    And we do that almost completely, except for healthcare.

    Yup there is no system in the US or any state that subsidizes access to healthcare.

    Be glad we can't do more than 2 links at once or I'd have posted more proof of you being horribly wrong.

  • T o n y||

    Yeah we subsidize healthcare for the poor and elderly, not universally, though Obamacare got us closer.

  • LibertyMark||

    So, Tony says we can't let people die for being poor, and that's why we need a huge federal bureaucracy to "gurantee" "universal" access, and then later he admits that, yes, we already subsidize health care for the poor.

    As if our current systems of subsidizing the poor are working so flawlessly. "It will work this time!", says Tony. "Bigger, better, what could go wrong?"

    And the fact that Tony himself is not lost on his own irony is all you need to know about Tony.

  • Adam330||

    So your position is that failing to pay for a treatment, no matter how expensive, is "willingly letting people die" and it "morally abhorent," but it's not "willingly letting people die" or "morally abhorent" if the government makes certain that no one can get access to that treatment? Gotcha.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Government is amoral. It is not a living thing; therefore, it cannot have any level of morality.

  • ||

    I guess I'm still confused on why this has to become a public service. wareagle made some good points below that healthcare is thought of as more of an entitlement now (such as food and shelter) in the sense that to deprive one of such a good or service is inhumane.

    I disagree; the human body is capable of incredible things on its own. A broken bone can mend; an open wound can heal. Yes, medical advancements have made recovery faster, but humans for millenia have been able to come back from such injuries. Why--now that healthcare allows us the ability to live longer--should everyone be entitled to live longer?

    The crux of the issue I'm more interested in is the philosophical or logical reasoning of why everyone is entitled to the most advanced medical treatment always, and less about who pays for it and how. Is it simply because it is available, everyone should receive it?

  • Adam330||

    I'm confused about how a practice that is "morally abhorent" and equates to "willingly letting people die" suddenly becomes a-ok once government inflicts the same paint on everyone equally.

  • ||

    Same. It also speaks volumes that children incapable of caring for themselves are placed on Medicaid rosters because they have the right to life, but abortion should still be legal because it's a woman's right to choose. Isn't it a person's right to choose whether he does or does not want to purchase health insurance?

    As someone pointed out further up, some 10 million people of the 47 million uninsured consider themselves healthy enough to elect out of health insurance (I am in that group). We know the risks, and I am willing to take the chance with my own life. The government would just like to take that chance with everyone's life.

  • sarcasmic||

    Isn't it a person's right to choose whether he does or does not want to purchase health insurance?

    Nope. The word "choice" now means abortion.

    So your sentence reads: Isn't it a person's right to choose abortion whether he does or does not want to purchase health insurance?

    That doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense.

  • ||

    Doctors are incentivized to do unnecessary treatments

    Define unncessary. And where did you go to medical school?

  • ||

    + e

  • R C Dean||

    The alternative being, apparently, to incentivize doctors to not do necessary treatments.

  • B.P.||

    "You have to remove profits from the equation completely and have the focus be on delivering care as a public service."

    Keep trying. You'll perfect humanity eventually.

  • PapayaSF||

    You have to remove profits from the equation completely and have the focus be on delivering care as a public service. It's the only known way to drive down costs and provide access.

    LOL. Because in history, the only way food or clothing or housing or books or radio or television or computers ever got cheaper and accessible to everyone was to have the government take over and "remove profits from the equation completely."

  • sarcasmic||

    I would like an honest answer from Tony

    Haaaaaaa ha ha ha haaaaaaaa ha!
    Wheeeeew!
    That's a good one!
    I'm out of breath!
    Holy shit!

    Will you be here all week?

  • ||

    I guess honest in the sense of what he believes, and not a cop-out answer. I think he delivered on that, although it was not enough to convince me he is correct.

  • Rich||

    why do all people have to be given the most advanced medical treatment equally?

    I'll surmise: For the same reason all people have to be given the most advanced housing or automotive treatment equally.

  • tarran||

    There are a combination of emotions at play here: compassion and envy being the big ones.

  • wareagle||

    Why is it so difficult to imagine people paying for it, with their OWN money?

    -because it long ago stopped being treated like a service and became an entitlement.
    -because doctors do 10 procedures you do not need to mitigate against lawsuits against things no one could have detected if not specifically looking for them.
    -because some think it is a great and noble thing to give grandpa this $500 pill to extend his life by three weeks. Multiply that pill or the five-figure surgery with the same outcome by a few million.
    -perhaps most important, because govt stuck its nose into things and created A) a sense of entitlement that health care is a 'right' to be paid for by others and B) an artificial market. In insurance, Medicare sets the tone for what private insurance will and will not pay for and how much. Medicaid is, in essence, free money for its participants so the individual never has to consider cost.

  • Randian||

    It should go without saying, but you have to start from a moral position that we don't willingly let people die for the crime of being poor.

    Sell all of your stuff and send the proceeds to starving African children, then. After all, they have committed no crime, and it is your responsibility to feed them.

  • sarcasmic||

    Progressives are only generous with other peoples' money, not their own.

  • T o n y||

    I think it is a responsibility of wealthy nations to provide aid to poor nations, and also in their self-interest.

    Are you saying it is your position that only the wealthy should be able to have access to lifesaving healthcare?

  • Randian||

    I think it is a responsibility of wealthy nations to provide aid to poor nations, and also in their self-interest.

    I'm sorry, but did you read what I wrote? If it is a moral imperative that no one ever ought die of the "crime" of "being poor", it is therefore required of you to sacrifice as much of your belongings as possible to ensure that never happens...right now.

    As you sit here and argue, African children are dying of hunger. Why do you hate the African children, Tony? What crime did they commit? When will you live your own moral code?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    He won't make that sacrifice, Randian... most people are filthy breeders, and we all know how he feels about *those people*.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    We're not talking wealthy nations, we're talking America.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's called "moving the goal posts".

  • sarcasmic||

    Are you saying it is the duty of the government to funnel tax dollars to rich healthcare providers?

    Why do you support welfare for the top one percent?

  • Matrix||

    I think it is the responsibility of successful businesses to provide aid to unsuccessful businesses, and also in their self-interest.

    Yeah, it's not in their self interest. Want to really help those people? Give them the ability to come here and earn a living instead of living in a wasteland that offers them no hope.

  • Adam330||

    I don't know how you can support the morally abhorent practice of spending tens of thousands on each medicare beneficiary, and now several thousand more on PPACA beneficiaries, while there are starving children in Africa with virtually no access to basic medical care. After all, it's morally abhorent that some have access to life saving medical care and food while others don't.

  • T o n y||

    But you're morally superior for not giving a shit about anyone?

  • Adam330||

    I don't hold a moral worldview that requires me to make everyone equal, while at the same time defending policies that do the opposite.

  • cryptarchy||

    Tony do you know what aid really is? We do give that shit for free, they're micro-loans with a way high interest rate. Basically by these loans we make the poor even poorer. Yay of neo-imperialism

  • R C Dean||

    you have to start from a moral position that we don't willingly let people die for the crime of being poor.

    I suppose this might be a point, if it weren't for the fact, which seems incapable of penetrating progressive skulls, that poor people aren't denied medical care in this country.

  • T o n y||

    And why is that?

  • sarcasmic||

    Because Reagan signed legislation requiring hospitals that accept federal dollars to give emergency care to anyone regardless of their ability to pay.

  • T o n y||

    So how is that non-free-market policy an excuse for anything?

  • sarcasmic||

    Try again, only in English.

  • #||

    Do you ever read tony? His claim was that poor people are not denied healthcare in this country, not that it's a free market.

  • Adam330||

    Because Obamacare and its hundreds of billions in expenditures was justified by the (false) claim that millions of Americans are being denied access to medical care. So Obamacare isn't giving anyone more access to medical care- it's just causing the government and individuals to pay hundreds of billions more for the same thing.

  • R C Dean||

    Why aren't poor people denied medical care in this country?

    Perhaps because around half of the hospitals are non-profit charities? And they employ/subsidize thousands of physicians?

    Perhaps because Medicaid?

    Not, believe it or not, because of EMTALA. Before EMTALA, those same poor people were not being turned away by the enormous medical-charity industrial complex.

    What EMTALA did was convert emergency rooms into very, very expensive urgent care clinics. Nothing more.

  • T o n y||

    So wouldn't it be cheaper if everyone were just in a universal pool?

  • ||

    No. Next?

  • sarcasmic||

    Nothing like the truth to make Tony go away.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    No one ever died of being poor.

    Except for Money-Man, because he was fueled by money.

  • GILMORE||

    Obamacare is legislation, however flawed it may be

    Is this the most nauseating sentence I'm going to read all day? And the day is young...

  • GILMORE||

    *note - I don't read Tony's comments, so my nauseator-scale is biased

  • NoVAHockey||

    Those 90-year-olds often are mostly dead, which to be fair also means slightly alive. And the technology that is keeping them mostly dead don't perform miracles and simply delay the process from mostly dead to all dead at great financial and emotional toll for little, if any, gain.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Roberts is the guy who so hated the idea of a black president that he purposely flubbed the presidential oath of office. He's going to overturn ObamaCare.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    There's no way that will happen.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Roberts is the guy who so loved the idea of a black president that he purposely flubbed the presidential oath of office so it could be taken a second time in secret using a Koran instead of the Bible. He's going to uphold ObamaCare.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    There's no way that will happen.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    My prediction is that he will cast a vote regrading Obamacare.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    There's no way that will happen.

  • ||

    Legislating is the legislature’s job, subject to the corrective action of the voters.

    Yeah, and determining if something is Constitutional is the judiciary's job. What a bunch of nonsense.

  • John||

    If the mandate is struck down, over under on how many minutes (seconds?) after 10 am EDT Thursday before a liberal points out that a white majority just eviscerated the major accomplishment of a black President? Oh the racism.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "I'm going to go to the store to buy some milk."

    "Why do you hate black people?"

  • cryptarchy||

    Black people don't drink milk? Kinda like how they can't swim

  • Tulpa the White||

    There's a significant chance that both the black and the Hispanic on the court go against the mandate.

  • Tulpa the White||

    I mean, the 3 slam dunks for Obamacare are all white.

  • Tulpa the White||

    Roberts is a true conservative who believes in the separate roles of the three branches of government.

    Yep. The legislative makes the law (though they actually delegate the rulemaking authority to the executive most of the time)

    The executive enforces the law (when it's not politically inconvenient for him or against one of his friends or officials).

    The judiciary interprets the law (but not in a way that could cause it to be struck down).

  • LibertyMark||

    This quote from Sutton’s opinion shows the fatal flaw in the judicial restraint/activism debate:

    “allowing the peoples’ political representatives, rather than their judges, to have the primary say over its utility.”

    Determining a law’s “utility” is not a question that should be reachable by judges. They are not competent to judge whether a law has utility or not. This is what judicial restraint means: judges are not to write new laws nor change laws for the purpose of making them work better, nor are they to strike down laws because they think the laws won’t work.

    However, this lack of ability to judge utility does not preclude judicial review to determine if a law is allowed within a Constitutional framework. This is the very purpose of judicial review. So, both of these cases apply are required to be adhered to by judges:

    1) A law may be judged by most people as being awesome, a good idea, likely to work, and supported by a large majority of people. However, if the law is not authorized by the empowering documents (the Constitution), then it must be struck down.

    2) A law may be universally hated, panned by experts as having no chance to work, or even acknowledged by its authors as having big flaws. However, if a judge decides that the law has been passed pursuant to a legitimate power delegated to the Federal government, then the law must stand.

    This is what the rule of law means.

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