Constitutional Law

"I don't want the federal government dictating my personal financial decisions"

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USA Today shines the spotlight on 29-year-old Iraq War veteran Matt Sissel, who has filed suit against ObamaCare in a case represented by the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation. From the story:

Matt Sissel of Iowa City proudly served in Iraq as a combat medic. But he objects to being "conscripted" into an overhauled federal health care system.

The uninsured artist is riled about a provision in the new health law that would require him to purchase insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014. Last July, he filed a lawsuit to have the landmark act declared unconstitutional. "I don't want the federal government dictating my personal financial decisions," says Sissel, 29. "It can't even run its own budget."

In attacking the law in the courts, Sissel has plenty of company. A number of interest groups, state officials and ordinary citizens are seeking to have the health care law struck down in federal court, and action is heating up.

Read all about it here. Read a sampling of Reason's coverage of the legal case against ObamaCare here, here, and here.

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  1. The uninsured artist is riled about a provision in the new health law that would require him to purchase insurance or pay a penalty starting in 2014.

    Externalities!

    1. “I don’t want the federal government dictating my personal financial decisions,” says Sissel, 29. “It can’t even run its own budget.”

      Interstate commerce!

  2. Matt Sissel of Iowa City proudly served in Iraq as a combat medic. But he objects to being “conscripted” into an overhauled federal health care system.

    It’s your patriotic duty to be the slave of the Great Tlatoani, Mr. Sissel.

  3. I’m afraid that this is too little too late. Unless Republicans, with a libertarian bent, can get 60 votes in the Senate, and a Republican president in 2012, this thing will probably have to play itself out. And that scenario will bring other problems. I have little confidence in the federal courts striking down this law, or any part of it.

    1. Congress/The Senate can still not fund it.

      1. A slight modification to that: the government still cannot fund it.

        1. No, because that would imply an impediment, whereas saying “they can still NOT fund it” implies a conscious action (or INaction in this case.)

      2. Good luck with that. If you really think the Republitards have the balls to not fund Obamacare, I have some land in Florida to sell you.

        1. Re: Mad libertarian guy,

          I said they can still not fund it, as a way to stop it, not that they have the bravery to do it – that takes becoming thinking adults.

          1. We all know the republicans are going to want their turn playing with the new toy. Let’s just stop all this talk about the republicans striking down or not funding Obamacare. It’s not going to happen.

  4. “I don’t want the federal government dictating my personal financial decisions”

    Sorry, bud, it’s already doing that through taxation and regulation. Remember what the 2nd Amendment was for? Better prepare.

  5. Congress/The Senate can still not fund it.

    No they can’t not. They can’t even not fund ACORN.

    And they?with the exception of a few Cracker Peril candidates Reason types hate more than Hitler?don’t not want to not not, anyway, so it doesn’t matter if they can’t not not or not.
    All is fucked.

    1. Re: Cent,

      No they can’t not. They can’t even not fund ACORN.

      Yes, they can not fund it – the question becomes, are the willing?

      [D]on’t not want to not not, anyway, so it doesn’t matter if they can’t not not or not.

      not not

      Who’s there?

      not

      Not who?

      Not “not who.” Not!

  6. SCOTUS has already ruled that a citizen may be required to buy health services or face a fine/imprisonment.

      1. When have I ever bullshit?

        ‘Jacobson v Mass’

        All citizens were required to buy smallpox vaccinations. Those who could not afford such were subsidized.

        I accept your apology and future deference.

        1. Not sure if this is correct. All citizens (or was it all children?) were required to *receive* smallpox vaccines. Especially the Salk vaccine (oral) was administered via public health. My impression (I was 6< at the time, so memory of depictions as I was growing up) that it was a large scale version of flu vaccines or health screenings offered today.
          I think you might be comparing apples & oranges.

          1. woops, thinking of polio. checking…
            I still think it’s apples/ oranges because of the financial burden

        2. that case was cited in the court’s decision to uphold Virginia’s forced-sterilization law. blanking on the name of the case.

          1. Buck v. Bell, I think.

        3. When have I ever bullshit?

          Every single time you post?

        4. Re: Shrike,

          Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905), was a case in which the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the authority of states to pass compulsory vaccination laws.

          The decision had NOTHING to do with buying anything, dolt.

          1. No.

            There was a fine imposed for non-compliance.

            Same as with Obamacare.

            1. You’re going to have to prove it. There’s nothing (that I can find) that affirms this.

              Thanks, Old Mexican. Ya beat me.

              1. “Henning Jacobson refused vaccination, claiming that he and his son had had bad reactions to earlier vaccinations. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court found it unnecessary to worry about any possible harm from vaccination, because no one could actually be forced to be vaccinated: “If a person should deem it important that vaccination should not be performed in his case, and the authorities should think otherwise, it is not in their power to vaccinate him by force, and the worst that could happen to him under the statute would be the payment of $5.”18 Jacobson was fined, and he appealed to the US Supreme Court.”

                SCOTUS overturned MSJC.

                http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1449224/

            2. Re: Shrike,

              First of all, Jacobson v Massachusetts was a decision regarding a state‘s right to impose compulsory vaccination, not about the federal government – so you’re wrong on that count.

              Second, the decision was NOT about MAKING a person buy anything, but compelling a person to have him or herself vaccinated. The vaccine was supplied by the state. So you’re wrong on this SECOND count.

          2. Nor does it necessarily apply to the federal government. Those stupid Amendments.

            1. Check out the Supremacy Clause.

              It is in the US Constitution.

              1. Re: Shrike,

                Check out the Supremacy Clause.

                The supremacy clause indicates that only laws made IN PURSUANCE of the Constitution (meaning, that they do not VIOLATE it) are to supercede state laws. UNconstitutional laws are therefore null; in fact, not even if the SCOTUS decides that these laws are constitutional, the states (which ratified the constitution) can determine that was well, the constitution allows this (through the 10th Amendment)

                1. Guess shrike thinks as little of the 10th Amendment as he does of the concept of enumerated powers… his loss.

    1. Shrike,

      Are you the same Shirke that posts or has posted on the UK’s Guardian newspaper Talk webpages?

      1. I am not for certain.

        The word “shrike” has a literary and biological meaning and its proper spelling is vital.

        1. Ok, I guess there are two assholes that post under the name Shrike.

    2. SCOTUS also dropped the ball on McCain-Feingold and the Kelo decision, shrike, so perhaps you should find another talking-point.

      Or not.

      1. We NEVER make mistakes! We are infallible!

  7. No mention of the lawsuit brought by the Iowa Citian in the Iowa City papers (Daily Iowan, Gazette, Iowa City Press Citizen). Not surprised, this town bleeds illiberalism.

  8. I don’t want the federal government dictating my personal financial decisions

    Racist!!

  9. No.

    There was a fine imposed for non-compliance.

    Same as with Obamacare.

    What’s not the same as ObamaCare is that ObamaCare requires you to buy a financial product. Not really the same as getting a shot.

    Oh, and the SCOTUS said states could require vaccinations. Meaning SCOTUS didn’t rule on whether the feds could do anything.

    So, other than a completely different factual basis, and completely different legal issues, its totally the same.

    1. Yeah, I just looked at the ruling and it looks to me like the high court deferred to the states to regulate health standards and requirements. The way I read it, the court actually conflicts with the federal mandate in Obamacare when they say the small-s state may regulate these things.

  10. This is the first time I’ve seen this particular rebuttal put forward in defense of Obamacare.

    Given that Shrike immediately spouted the case and its details like some kind of meme he’s studied up on, and given that I can’t bring myself to expose my eyes to the drivel of leftwing websites, is this something that’s being disseminated via Kos or DU or whatever is hot these days?

    And this is the best case law defense they can come up with after 6 months? A state mandate for a vaccine? And then the Supremacy Clause in support?

    Two non-sequiturs added together don’t make your argument better, they just make it dumber.

    Jesus Christ Almighty, they really do have no clue about the how the Constitution works, else they’d be able to defend it better. Wow.

    1. No, I am a complete free agent, pal.

      I read and love the liberal US Constitution written by John Locke loving founders.

      1. Bullshit. You shit on the 10th Amendment, then claim to “love” the Constitution? And you expect us to believe you?

  11. If we’re going to have a principled elimination of the individual mandate, then hospitals need to be freed of the requirement to treat emergent cases regardless of ability to pay. When that happens, be prepared to tatoo your insurance number on your ass, as that will be the only way to guarantee treatment in case you come in unconscious.

  12. Wake me up when Mr. Sissel grows up and realizes his health care choices affect other people, and therefore are not completely “personal”.

    All Mr. Sissel wants is to go uninsured, and if the crap hits the fan, to show up at the ER and get care paid for by the taxpayer. In other words, he wants to leech.

      1. ALL choices affect EVERYONE. We live in a holistic world, and no man is an island. So suck it up, and pay your fair share, or the men will come and point guns at your family and your dog.

        1. Where “your fair share” includes a subsidy for worthless freeloading assholes like Chad.

    1. So if he goes to the ER and pays the bill himself, you’re OK with that, right?

      Just checking.

      1. No, that is NOT okay.

        1. ‘Cause, see, if we let people who commit to self-insuring off the hook, then there won’t be enough rubes to loot in order to subsidize worthless assholes like Chad.

        2. …and why not? He wouldn’t be leeching, per your complaint above. He’d be paying his own way.

      2. Yeah, I was wondering that myself. If someone wants to go to the emergency room and knows that he’ll get a bill for 3-4x what it would have cost him at the physicians office, shouldn’t that be his choice?

        And if you argue that many people who use emergency rooms are too poor to expect them to pay a bill… well, don’t we already have a plan for them that’s called… MEDICARE???

    2. Of all the stupid shit taxpayer money is wasted on, wouldn’t providing emergency medical care be just about the last thing on the list to get worked up about?

    3. All Mr. Sissel wants is to go uninsured, and if the crap hits the fan, to show up at the ER and get care paid for by the taxpayer.

      Mr. Sissel in all likelyhood IS a taxpayer; he’d only be availing himself of that which he has already been taxed for.

    4. Care paid for by the taxpayer? Hospitals are generally not government entities. The taxpayer doesn’t fund them. They get taxpayer dollars because they accept governmental based ‘insurance’ programs, but they do not exist to that end.

      When an unisured person comes to the ED, they are, if possible, and warranted, given materials to help them offset the costs through public or private means. They are not immediately put on the rolls and sucking up taxpayer money.

      They are also billed regardless of the materials given to them–and the bill refers them to a financial aid office.

      Hospitals get large charitable donations that are used to offset costs. They get money from companies doing studies and research that offset costs.

      Uninsured patients are not automatically ‘leeches’.

  13. There is no such thing as “personal financial decisions”. ALL financial transactions are interrelated and, therefore, subject to whatever the fuck Congress wants to do.

    1. That’s what WE were going to say!

      1. No… US!!!

  14. Oh, I’m just getting started. You have no idea what My Plans are in the end.

    1. May I continue to live, My Lord?

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