Obamacare at the Supreme Court: Day One


Reason's Damon Root got a coveted seat for the Supreme Court oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Day one of this epic judicial showdown focused primarily on whether or not the individual mandate constitutes a tax. If the justices rule that the penalties associated with the mandate should be considered a tax, the challengers to ACA would have to wait until 2015, when the law goes into effect to challenge it.

The main event of these proceedings, the arguments over whether or not the individual mandate is constitutional, will take place tomorrow.

For more of Root's coverage of the Obamacare-SCOTUS hearings, go to Hit & Run.

Produced by Anthony L. Fisher, shot by Josh Swain and Fisher.

About 1.40 minutes.

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  1. sure is fun to type a comment and have it disappear.

    1. Obama WANTS this overturned. It’s the best possible outcome for him. Ironically, also the best possible outcome for us.

      1. Are you sure he wants it overturned? It makes you look pretty ineffective as a president if your signature legislation gets overturned.

        1. “Ineffective” is better than “hated.”

  2. sure is fun to type a comment and have it disappear.

  3. sure is fun to type a comment and have it disappear.

    1. …for decades. At least since the 1930s.

      1. And if we get four more years, we’ll continue that trend!

        1. We took 8 years to get into this mess; we will need 8 millenia to get out.

      2. 1933…FDfuckingR

        1. 1913 Woodrow Wilson…
          1901 Teddy Roosevelt…

  4. Or have it repeated. What fun!

  5. So will I get all my teeth fixed with Obamacare or is it only one tooth a year? If that’s not considered “necessary” care then what about euthanasia?

    Seems cheaper to go the latter.

    1. That would be covered under the separate program, tentatively called “ObamaDent”.

      1. Once My Food Police are fully armed, you won’t have to worry about teeth… they’ll be knocked out, so you won’t be able to eat anything bad for you.

        1. Is it okay if I follow your lead and go grab a double with everything from Five Guys?

          1. It’s only okay if you don’t eat the food.

            I, however, can and will eat such food.

            1. I believe I understand–we are all equal, but you are more equal than I.

              1. You watch your ass, white boy.

                1. Missus Obama|3.26.12 @ 9:37PM|#
                  “You watch your ass, white boy.”

                  I’m fervently *hoping* AA is of aboriginal ancestry.

                  1. I’m afraid not, although some of my family by marriage is of North American aboriginal extraction. (I hate to say Native American or First Nations, since the U.S./Canada border is an extremely artificial border that divided the Crow peoples.)

                    1. So do you consider yourself to be a White Indian? Are you free to gambol?

    2. You can get a complimentary fist to your jaw, but a copay will apply if you don’t want to pick out the bone fragments yourself.

    3. You dont need teeth to eat soilent green. In fact soilent green comes with its own teeth.

    4. If that’s not considered “necessary” care then what about euthanasia?

      Our youth in Asia will be covered by the V.A., won’t they?

    5. Because this law forbids you from seeking medical care…

      1. …and I’m okay with that. Too many breeders out there, anyway.


    1. The above post has probably been made by rather, a person who impersonates others. Posting identities include Tony, shrike, o3, and Mary STACK.

      Do not reply to posts made by rather. If a regular thread participant appears to be engaging in out-of-character behaviour, such as incitement to commit illegal acts of harassment, the participant is most likely being impersonated by rather. Known victims of this defamation include John, sloopyinca, and Res Publica Americana.

      Other characteristics of postings by this person debating in bad faith, using inciteful language, and unusually frequent posting volume regardless of time of day.

      Thank you for your cooperation.


        1. It’s rather depressing to see exactly what kind of person Mary Stack is. Nearly 12 hours spent today obsessing with the H&R forums.


        2. I don’t think Tony is a Mrs. Rectal Stack. Although I agree about the others mentioned.

          1. Some Tony posts appear to have been spoofs in the rather style, however; Tony isn’t the kind of guy who flings homophobic words around as insults.

            I’m open to the idea there’s some shrike cross-pollination going on, but I’m still not convinced shrike/rather aren’t the same identity.

            1. She must be totally embarrassed right now; not one post as Rather since “the revelation”. It’s like dude, you’ve been outed so get over it and move on.

              1. Mrs. Stack wants to make sure her daughters can choose the “career” of being Catholic priests, and apparently indulged in this when in her native Canada, where she claims her Catholic priest was more enlightened and allowed women clergy.

                This person just gets stranger and stranger.

                For amusement, inspect Michael Kennedy’s responses to an exasperating exchange with Mrs. Stack.

                  1. xoxoxo

                1. OTOH, this is the car crash that you just can’t turn away from. Jesus Christ.

            2. Tony is one of the regulars having fun with us. His posts are way too infantile to be serious. Someone is playing devil’s advocate using the moniker of “Tony” to see how we’ll respond to disingenuous debate.


    1. You douche. Why did you have to ruin this site for me? I am so done with this stupid commenting system.


        1. The problem is: I never spoofed anyone.

          And I may have been annoying once in a while talking about Banjos and the wedding coming up this weekend, but I’ve never once spoofed another person’s handle on here. So the personal attack on me is unfounded.

          What a shame you’re so jealous of the relationships some of us have forged on here that you feel the need to lash out in your lonely closeted existence in an effort to bring us down to the depths of your hellish life.

          Good luck with the mental hospital.

          1. This whole interchange is further evidence that Mary Stack = rather:

            Comment 24:

            Shit disturber? I use my pen name for that endeavor.;-)

            And Comment 15 is filled exactly with the kind of words rather used to write:

            It reminds me of that noscible childhood taunt “I know you are, but what Am I?”, and co-indecently just as amusing. I do think lack of creativity is the mark of a foppotee.

            1. I’m just curious if they gave me access to my own e-mail address/handle combo again.

              1. So now what happened to the reason wiki?

                1. Aw, WTF? No idea, man.

                  This is certainly getting old.

                  1. I downloaded the WinRaR files, but you should probably do so too. We’ll Galt’s Gulch this shit and go somewhere else.

                  2. I downloaded the WinRaR files, but you should probably do so too. We’ll Galt’s Gulch this shit and go somewhere else.

                    1. I could open up a new site and moderate it.

                    2. “Rimfax” was the owner of the reason wikia, I believe, so he would have received the message that Wikia was taking it down. I imagine the obsessive stalker Mary Stack screamed “libel” about HeroicMulatto’s entry about her on the page.

                    3. Linky? I’d love to read that.

                    4. you’ll have to look through the xml files for the entry, though.

                    5. “We’ll Galt’s Gulch this shit and go somewhere else.”

                      And you wouldn’t be missed.

                    6. “We’ll Galt’s Gulch this shit and go somewhere else.”

                      and no one would notice your absence

            2. “noscible”? WTF?

  8. I’m not enough of a constitutional lawyer to understand the vagaries of the Anti-Injunction Act, but don’t the several States have some kind of standing to challenge federal laws in general even if private citizens lacked that right?

    1. kisses and hugs!

      1. You mean “state’s rights”? WHY DO YOU HATE CHILDREN????

        1. “states’ powers”

          Governments have powers, not rights. Only individuals and the groups they voluntarily choose to create have rights.

          1. “Only individuals and the groups they voluntarily choose to create have rights.”

            Like a state, so your correction is wrong and stupid.

            1. For that to be true, you must have the power to revoke that delegation.

              You do not.

              Therefore states do not, and cannot, have rights.

              Still, so far as states have powers, I’m in favor of them over more centralized powers.

      1. Stands for Anything But Umno or in Malay Asalkan Bukan Umno is a rallying cry of the opposition in Malaysia against the political party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which controls the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional, which has been in control of Malaysia since independence in 1957.

    1. Please ignore this troll thread by Mary STACK, including any attempts at defamation via impersonation.

  9. Anyone seen rectal lately?

  10. How about requiring an account to comment? In other words, you choose a user ID that’s unique to you, create a password, and provide basic information. If anything, it would eliminate the spoofing of other commentors’ IDs, wouldn’t it?

    1. This Internet chat room is more of a social-laboratory experiment to see what kind of self-regulation can come out of a completely unregulated comment attribution system.

      Think of it as the Bear Flag Republic territory in a vast federation of comment systems, ranging from Meatball Wiki’s requirement of real names, but no verification thereof, to the ordered anarchy of 4chan /b/.

      1. You’re right, and it is fascinating. The fact that it’s attracted an unhinged, sexually frustrated individual is just an unfortunate fact of the internet. Typically, while this particular type of derangement can enable an individual to focus a large amount of emotional investment in her trolling, there is coming a point where she will find herself entirely psychologically expended and begin to comprehend the extent of waste her meaningless life represents, and the fact that it’s too late to change that now. It’s an easily identifiable pattern and the progression is mostly predictable, to a degree.

      2. Mary will realize that there truly is no one who values her, or even so much as cares in the long run. Those she thinks she is close to really do not care about her beyond what they feel obligated to, out of pity at the shell of a person she has become. In her case, it does not help that she is a very unattractive woman, so society being what it is, this fact has shaped the way people – even her family – have interacted with her. It is a sort of “elephant in the room” whenever a person speaks with her face to face. She will start to notice how people rarely can make eye contact with her, and even when they do it is strained and unnatural. She always suspected she was somehow different, and has had to suppress the realization that her appearance is the primary reason for this. She will no longer be able to utilize that mechanism with any real success.

      3. It usually takes months, but as they say, it happens gradually then suddenly. I think we’re beginning to see that transition now. This level of targeted emotional intensity is not indicative of a normal mentally healthy individual, and cannot be sustained.

        I just hope for her family’s sake that she doesn’t become violent as this progresses.

        1. I just hope for her family’s sake that she doesn’t become violent as this progresses.

          It’s getting pretty damn close to another Deb Frisch type of lunacy.

    2. As annoying as the WI and Tectal spoofs are, somr of the spoofs are, dare I say, legit. Not sure I’d like to throw the baby out w/ the bathwater.

      1. Yeah, I guess the spoof handles that we all like to use from time to time would disappear, which would suck.

        Or, we could create accounts but retain the flexibility to change our handles . . . true, there might still be abuse, but if it could be reported then traced back to an account, it could be dealt with.

        I gotta believe there’s a workable solution to all this!

        1. Karl Hungus|3.26.12 @ 9:44PM|#
          “Yeah, I guess the spoof handles that we all like to use from time to time would disappear, which would suck.”

          Prolly not a good idea to use ‘spoof-handles’, unless they are identified with something like ‘Spoof MNG’ or some such.
          Regulars here can spot differences in style and other tells, but that isn’t much help when a newby wanders in and spots some outrageous comment attributed to X.
          If you’re spoofing, why not make it clear? Do you hope to fool others?

          1. If you’re spoofing, why not make it clear? Do you hope to fool others?

            To fool anyone? No. I’m referring to the one-off spoof handles many of us use to make a joke. Take for instance a couple weeks ago: someone here suggested the The Utne Reader is a shitty publication. I responded as “Horace T. Utne” or something like that as my handle, pretending to take offense.

            If we could change handles like that, yet still have our posts linked to our individual account (and perhaps to a “profile” we create when signing up) wouldn’t that at least lessen the problem?

            1. “I responded as “Horace T. Utne””
              Got no problem with that at all. You didn’t spoof any poster, you made up a handle to make a point.

          2. It only works if you spoof celebrities or politicians. Spoofing other commenters is bad news.

            1. It only works if you spoof celebrities or politicians. Spoofing other commenters is bad news.

              Absolutely. And as long as there’s a way to track it back to a registered user, that shit could be nipped in bud.

              1. I hate to be serious, but… if Reason went to a system requiring accounts and whatnot, it – and we – would be giving in to the twits like WI and rectal.

                “The terrorists win!” and so forth.

    3. We must regulate this social environment now, as I am inconvenienced in almost the most trivial way imaginable!

        1. Liberals don’t believe in private anything. Deep down, they want *everything* communitized.

          1. Well I doubt that. It’s not like Castro wanted to do away with his property rights.

      1. It’s not an inconvenience when you come and post little one offs. It’s when you shit all over a thread so much that a passerby can’t find the actual conversation that’s trying to take place.

        1. I can see the virtue in regulation, but only when my worthless little life is affected in an exceedingly trivial way.

          Society as a whole, though, near-anarchy definitely works best for that.

  11. Didn’t the photographer have something in his bag of tricks to keep Ruth Bader Ginsburg from looking like the shunned runt of the SCOTUS litter? Or is she so slight and fragile that this was the best that those tricks could accomplish?

    1. Hey, the after-image guys could also make Thomas look white!

      1. Normally, I’d say “Raaaaaaciiiist!”, but since it’s about Clarence Uncle Tom Pigfucker Traitor to His Race and Fuck That White Bitch He Married Thomas, I’m cool with whatever treatment he gets.

        1. Maybe we should put a bounty on that nigga’s bitch-ass head, too.

          1. We’d look the other way on that, Panthers.

            1. We pretend you’re a terrorist group, NBPP, but we’d also look the other way.

        2. Liberal Griefer|3.26.12 @ 9:53PM|#
          Normally, I’d say “Raaaaaaciiiist!”

          I don’t doubt.

          1. You’re a racist for saying that! Why do you hate children????

            1. Damn, that griefer’s got the patois down, yo.

    2. Thanks for that bust out laugh you just gave me!!

      That’s funny!!

  12. Damn spoof handles.

    1. Agreed. No gain there.

      1. Totally agreed.

  13. Enforce a registration system and I’ll go back to being Johnny Longtorso (or just ‘Longtorso’ if we go to Disqus).

    You’ve been warned.

  14. some things have been shipped into the memory hole

  15. your real feeling of it?

  16. what’s ironic is a full europe style socialized medicine system would have none of the constitutional issues that this system has

    so, i could see somebody in a 3 dimensional chess type argument, claim that obama wants it overturned, so then they can begin a push for actual socialized govt. run medicine . i STRONGLY DOUBT this is the intention though

    1. I doubt he could get it rammed through so soon after losing PelosiCare in court (assuming the Supremes chuck it)!

    2. Seems about as likely as Counselor Troi beating Data at 3D chess.

      Oh wait …

      1. I get leaving out the emotion chip. If you’re going to build a sentient person you might as well improve upon natural selection and extract its annoying holdovers. But nobody mentions why he lacks an intuition chip. Even if Troi is as smart as the scripts occasionally insist, I can’t buy this outcome no matter how much disbelief I can suspend for Trek.

        Then they “improve” him by giving him emotions, which Picard promptly orders him to deactivate when useful for the circumstances. Did he ever actually experience a good emotion in way that would be considered stable and healthy for a human, in order to attempt to justify their being a net positive for a sentient being, before they euthanized his character?

        1. The reason / emotion model that Trek used for Data was all bogus anyway, so you can’t really usefully parse it.

          If Data was able to perceive benefit or harm to himself and act on it, he was experiencing “emotion”.

          Data may have been built without the sensations we use as cues to make us aware of our emotional responses, but that’s different.

          If Data could walk into a room, see 100 Borg, and think, “I better get out of here now or they will disintegrate me,” he just experienced “fear”. He may not have had the same sensation we would have, but we only have that sensation as a reinforcement to our conscious evaluation, and/or an evolutionary relic of the time when we didn’t perform conscious evaluations.

    3. Nah, both sides will rationalize a loss but nobody prefers a loss to a win.

      Obama used to oppose Romney’s individual mandate idea. But it’s what could pass Congress and what we’re stuck with. You’re right to note the irony. Also, Medicare for all would probably be an easier sell in addition to better policy. We can’t have that though because the corporate status quo gets such a large share of the vote. (What libertarians call freedom of speech.)

      I’m curious how it would be demonized though. “European-style socialism” and “the death of freedom as we know it” are spent.

      1. So, you’re okay with socialism, and you hate freedom.

        Sun must’ve risen in the east today.

        1. I have issues with free-market capitalism, I don’t hate freedom. I think some socialism in the mix promotes freedom, actually.

          That is, if you define freedom in a way that’s remotely meaningful.

          1. Sure, if your only freedoms left are being allowed to be gay and… well, that’s about the only thing Team Blue *wouldn’t* regulate in our lives.

            Oh, and getting abortions.

            That’s pretty much it. Doesn’t sound like much freedom to me, just having those two allowances.

            Oh, sure, there might be a small bundle of freedoms NOT regulated by the state… I can’t think of any at the moment, though.

            1. BTW… next time you take a vacation from here, why not make it permanent?

            2. It’s a perfectly consistent position, one that places individual freedom above all other concerns. Sometimes that requires a prohibition on government, often it requires a prohibition or mandate on citizens.

              You just equate freedom with the absence of government. And you can’t think of examples because you are not mentally equipped to handle any topic in a deep or nuanced way.

      2. “Demonized”? Maybe it deserves to be.

        1. I had to laugh when I re-read the line “some socialism”.

          Shit, we have more than “some” right this minute. Team Blue wants *more*. I never could figure out why, as no rational being would want more nightshade in their evening tea.

          1. My eye caught the phrase “I have issues”.

          2. Yes, and it’s that lack of perspective that annoys me so much about the whole argument: So many seem to think we have a “free market” in healthcare! Hahaha… no, it’s one of the most (if not the most) regulated and socialized industry in the country.

            1. But, according to Team Blue cheerleaders… we don’t have *enough* regulation and socialized industry.

              Catch-22. Or sumpin’.

              1. Correct. They are like medieval doctors: “These leeches are not helping the patient! We must have more leeches!”

            2. I live in N.O. and have a friend who said the other day to me: doesn’t it make you want to have the government just take it over and regulate it?

              He was talking about insurance which is already over-regulated in most states, esp. LA and is the cause of most of the problems. But progressives always see the govt. as the answer.

      3. It is the end of freedom as we know it, as many have opined. The individual mandate renders the Constitution moot, which I’m sure is fine by you, but of import to us.

        As you correctly note, full socialized health care would not have had this direct effect, although the eventual effect would be the same. At least on paper, the Constitution would not yet have been completely vitiated, even though the demographic forces leading to that would be nigh irreversible.

        What is interesting is that here you are exposed as not caring about the voiding the Constitution so long as you get the result you think you want.

      4. However, that will likely not have the results you wish. Now that there is no policy “shock absorber” to baffle radical swings, the government’s power is even more attractive to capital. As the ‘right’ is deluded into thinking their corporofascist masters are on their side there will be even more drastic changes, nationalistic and xenophobic, and there will be no Constitutional restriction.

        It’s already happening.

        If SCOTUS rules that the commerce clause literally is general authority to do anything, which it already nearly was, control of the government is essentially a magic ring of infinite wishes.

        You think the ‘people’ will be allowed to control this? This hasn’t occurred in decades. And when it has the results have been even worse.

    4. what’s ironic is a full europe style socialized medicine system would have none of the constitutional issues that this system has

      Yeah, all it would lack is an enumerated power to justify it.

  17. Three branches for corporate kings under the sky,
    Seven Federal Reserve banks for the Banker-lords in their halls of stone.
    Nine judges for mortal men doomed to die,
    One unitary executive on his dark throne,
    In Land of DC where the Shadows lie.

  18. 1.40 minutes = ~85 seconds
    1 minute 40 seconds = 100 seconds

    1. Good catch.

  19. lol, the Supreme Kangaroo COurt lol. Too funny.

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