Obamacare

ObamaCare Survival Guide: What You Need to Know in Preparation for the Supreme Court's Impending Health Care Decision

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Sometime in the next two weeks, perhaps even as early as today, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare. In preparation for this historic ruling, get yourself up-to-speed on the legal and political issues at stake with this selection from Reason's in-depth reporting and analysis.

ObamaCare on Trial. The libertarian legal movement threatens Barack Obama's signature law. By Damon Root.

The ObamaCare Tax? Regulation, taxation, and the insurance mandate. By Jacob Sullum.

Wonky Justice. The dubious policy assumptions behind ObamaCare's legal defense. By Peter Suderman.

What's Next if ObamaCare Is Struck Down? The political upside of ditching the health insurance mandate. By Peter Suderman.

Fair-Weather Federalists. Why conservatives and progressives should unite against an overweening national government. By Jacob Sullum.

Click below to watch "Wheat, Weed, and ObamaCare: How the Commerce Clause Became All Powerful," the Reason.tv documentary cited on page 47 of U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's decision striking down the individual mandate.

NEXT: North Carolina State Trooper Knees Motorist in Face During Traffic Stop, Gets Two-Day Suspension

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  1. My prediction for this is that ObamaCare will technically lose, but it won’t really halt the major effects of it.

    I’m just an “up” guy today, huh?

  2. I like the part where the Constitution empowers the Supreme Court to proclaim unconstitutional laws constitutional. It’s right there, the 144,449th Amendment.

    1. “I refuse to testify on the grounds that my organs will be chopped up into a patty.”

      “Ah, the 67th amendment”

  3. Just for the record, ObamaCare sucks even if it is constitutional.

    1. It clearly sucks and clearly isnt constitutional.
      Any 8 y/o reading the constitution can see that.
      Olympian levels of obfuscation, conflation, and cognitive dissonance are required to rule as wickard, kelo, and so many others have been ruled. I am not confident that this one will be ruled much different. I have a sinking feeling.

      Please God, let me be wrong.

  4. This looks like as good a place as any to put predictions on the record.

    Here’s mine:

    (1) Individual mandate struck down 5 – 4.

    (2) Hell, I’m in a good mood, so I’ll say no severance of the healthcare bits – its all struck down. They could save some of the other bits that aren’t healthcare related – student loan nationalization, that sort of stuff that was thrown in to game the CBO score.

    1. You’re a hell of a lot more optimistic than I am. Maybe working until 2am still has me cranky.

    2. If only.

    3. To support RC Dean’s prognosis:

      Ginsburg noted that one ACA-related question the court must decide is whether the whole law must fall if the individual mandate is unconstitutional–“or may the mandate be chopped, like a head of broccoli, from the rest of it?”

      But no, she didn’t drop any hints about what the answer will be.

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/s…..z1y9bYC9Zh

      Why the hell would she predict controversy over what to do after the individual mandate is struck down–if she wasn’t assuming that the individual mandate will be struck down?

      1. That was clearly a major point of debate but was based in the hypothetical scenario that something would need to be cut.

        Anyone else think she was mocking Scalia with the broccoli thing?

          1. She’s a bitch, and she can’t retire soon enough.

            1. Just for the record, that was unnecessary.

              1. Why? It’s the truth, not an insult.

        1. That was clearly a major point of debate but was based in the hypothetical scenario that something would need to be cut.

          You didn’t read the article, did you?

          She was predicting controversy based on x, y and z. “Z”, in this case was what to do with the rest of ObamaCare after the individual mandate is struck down.

          Politico itself was being sarcastic about her not letting any cats out of the bag.

    4. I’m predicting the mandate will be struck down 7-2. Severability will fail 5-4.

    5. IF only. And if it happens, I will CUM BUCKETS all over these here threads!!!!!!

      1. That’s the problem with you people, too much emotional investment in politics. Perhaps emotional isn’t the right word.

        1. When politics affects your way of making a living, you tend to get interested in it.

        2. Nobody likes you
          everybody hates you
          please go eat some worms

          Big ones small ones
          skinny ones fat ones
          please go eat some worms
          $

          1. I hate to break it to you, but nobody likes you either, because you make libertarians look even more stupid than they are.

            1. Chomp off their heads and squeeze out the juice
              And throw their tails away
              Nobody knows how you survive
              On worms three times a day.

              1. Team Blue shill is all Team Blue shill-y today.

                The sun must have risen in the east again.

                1. Really? Where have I mentioned either party? Or even expressed support for Obamacare?

                  1. You’re using all the Team Blue talking points, and you damn well aren’t Team Red, so what the fuck’s your deal? Just go with what you know, and stop trying to act insulted.

                    Your turn. Call me a Republican, though you know it’s a lie.

                    1. A Republican, to me, is one who disingenuously uses a fiscal crisis Republicans caused as an excuse for eliminating social programs one is against anyway based on free-market dogma. In other words, the argument you posed below.

                    2. No, that would mean I vote for Republicans.

                      Voting for Ron Paul doesn’t count, unless he’s on the general-election ballot.

                      Using your logic, if YOU, Tony, have EVER voted for even *one* Republican in your entire lifetime… that makes *you* a Republican.

                      Deny it now. Or shut the fuck up and go away.

        3. That’s the problem with you people.

          “You people”?!

          No reason to get all racist, Tony.

        4. Unlike the “Democracy is dead” guy in Wisconsin, right?

          When politics gets too much emotional involvement in to my bank account and/or my personal life, it tends to get personal.

  5. SOunds like a very good plan to me dude. Wow.

    http://www.Anon-Anon.tk

  6. If I were you guys I wouldn’t be too quick to let blind anti-Obama rage get in the way of considering the implications if the law is struck. High healthcare costs will still be a problem in this country, and the Court will have effectively said the only constitutional way to do anything about it is to go to a more government-centric model such as Medicare for all.

    Remember, this is the “pro-market” idea that came out of the 90s in response to more progressive attempts at reforming healthcare. There’s nothing more pro-market than Obamacare except just returning to the prior status quo, something all parties at one point agreed was unacceptable (until the time a Democratic president tried to do something about it).

      1. Come up with that all by yourself? Oh no, you stole it from some moron who named himself after an Ayn Rand character, as if he either has no sense of embarrassment or hasn’t graduated 8th grade. I must have dozed off during the part where Ms. Rand exhorted us all to act like brain-damaged parrots.

        I did grasp quite clearly her dependence on blind allegiance to principles and utter hatred and rejection of anyone with a slightly different viewpoint.

        1. Go fuck yourself you vile little shitbag.

          health care =/= medical care.

        2. False dichotomy, straw man, and ad hominem all in one post!

          Your talent for fellating fallacies is astounding!

          $

          1. I was insulting you, not constructing a formal argument. But thank you for the compliment. You have a positively unvarying talent for wordplay.

            1. I was insulting you, not constructing a formal argument.

              Really? I can’t tell the difference, since what you call an “argument” is an insult to the intelligence of any honest and rational person.

              1. Possibly, but as you’ve never attempted to construct an argument but instead just toss out childish insults, I can’t know for sure.

                1. There is no point in attempting an argument with you since you are dishonest and arguing in bad faith.
                  So I just point out the fallacies in the word salad you put forth as an argument.
                  Keep it up! I don’t care if you look like a fool!

                  $

                  1. Seems to me you just retch out a random selection of logic 101 vocabulary. You don’t even bother to tie them to a particular argument. You’re just doing the first-year community college version of calling me a doodie-head. One wonders why you feel it worth the effort.

                    1. You don’t even bother to tie them to a particular argument.

                      I don’t bother to point out the obvious.

                2. Does your pussy hurt more than usual today, Tony?

                  1. It’s Monday but I’m on my 3rd cup of coffee so it’s getting better. Thanks for your concern.

                    1. You just sound so bitter and hateful. I figured it was the manginal discomfort.

    1. There’s nothing more pro-market than Obamacare except just returning to the prior status quo, something all parties at one point agreed was unacceptable

      Unwinding federal intervention in healthcare and allowing a real market to form.

      Severing the connection between employment and health insurance is a good place to start.

      1. Assuming your goal is universally available healthcare, name a jurisdiction on earth where a laissez-faire healthcare market has delivered that.

          1. Never heard of it.

        1. The United States, Tony.

          Once again:

          How Government Solved the Health Care Crisis: Medical Insurance that Worked ? Until Government “Fixed” It by Roderick T. Long

          Today, we are constantly being told, the United States faces a health care crisis. Medical costs are too high, and health insurance is out of reach of the poor. The cause of this crisis is never made very clear, but the cure is obvious to nearly everybody: government must step in to solve the problem.

          Eighty years ago, Americans were also told that their nation was facing a health care crisis. Then, however, the complaint was that medical costs were too low, and that health insurance was too accessible. But in that era, too, government stepped forward to solve the problem. And boy, did it solve it!

          1. Prediction: Tony will respond by attacking a straw man, then moving the goal posts.

            1. Oh, that article is to Tony like garlic is to a vampire.

              I usually don’t even have to trot out Truman’s speeches on behalf of Medicare (where he claimed it would solve the ‘indignity’ of having some elderly depend on charity for medical care and the utter lack of any claim that the elderly were not getting treatment because he runs away so fast.

          2. The fraternal orders and the pre-WWII mutual aid concept were overtaken both by the emergence of the welfare state and the hegemony of business. Mutual aid was an interesting idea but it couldn’t compete with the other models, and it certainly is not an example of laissez-faire capitalism. They were basically ‘socialist’ outfits just on a parochial scale. They never figured out how to expand society-wide, or were overtaken by the other models before they were able to. All the left really advocates is a mutual-aid society writ large. And nobody disagrees that government can meddle in a negative way. But your guys’ zeal for holding up the business sector as the solution to everything leads you to ignore its role in undermining affordable universal access to healthcare. Let’s not forget the individual mandate was a request of the private insurance lobby.

            But a century after the fraternal order movement’s heyday, something about society has changed that has inescapably altered the picture: life expectancy is way up, and thus the overwhelming bulk of medical costs are for old people. I don’t think you can escape the fact that healthcare just costs more as a result, and we either pay for it or decide that old people shouldn’t have access to healthcare if they can’t afford it out of pocket. Thankfully we don’t have to see what would happen if old people had to leave their healthcare fate to for-profit concerns since we already have a functioning single-payer system for them.

            1. Sho ’nuff! Straw man has been clubbed, and goal posts have been moved!

              $

            2. Thankfully we don’t have to see what would happen if old people had to leave their healthcare fate to for-profit concerns since we already have a functioning single-payer system for them.

              Fortunately, the math says it’s not going to last much longer, and oldsters are going to have to face the fact that they are mortal sooner rather than later.

              http://www.oftwominds.com/blog…..e5-12.html

            3. All the left really advocates is a mutual-aid society writ large your “cooperation” at the point of a gun.

              FIFY

              1. Yes, MLG?

                Sorry, had to answer.

        2. Laissez-faire goods and services are always universally available to those who can pay the going rate.

          And here’s the punchline: that’s also true in socialized “markets”. Its just that socialized markets are ones where goods and services are delivered, for a time, to those who aren’t paying.

          Eventually, though, the supply will dry up. Either the producers decline to produce what is demanded because they aren’t getting paid, or the government’s ability to borrow runs out.

          1. Either the producers decline to produce what is demanded because they aren’t getting paid,

            or they head for East Europe.

          2. No question that it’s best if government can figure out how to afford to pay for the service. Unfortunately for your worldview, all evidence suggests that a universal system is cheaper than a more localized or market-based system. Do you really think, sans Medicare, old and disabled people could achieve the same access to healthcare more cheaply?

            Universal access to healthcare, like universal access to education or anything else, is simply not an end the free market is equipped to concern itself with. If you care about such a thing, then yes poor people will have to be subsidized by wealthier people. Antiredistributionist social/moral concerns, some feel, are trumped by other social/moral concerns.

            1. Antiredistributionist social/moral concerns, some feel, are trumped by other social/moral concerns.

              Rational people who have learned to use more than their lizard brain (amygdala) happen to think differently.

            2. Unfortunately for your worldview, all evidence suggests that a universal system is cheaper than a more localized or market-based system.

              Yet even these cheaper systems are still breaking the bank, and are therefor, by definition, not sustainable. Which was my point.

              Come on, T-bag, respond to the point I made: that no government which pays for the medical care on any kind of scale is actually solvent, and thus this system of paying for healthcare is unsustainable.

              1. I have never understood the argument that goes as follows:

                “Europeans spend X, and Americans spend X+10%, therefore Europe is getting the better deal on healthcare”

                The metrics (birth/death rate and average lifespan) are so varied and vague that they are meaningless on a 1:1 comparison. And if France spent, for example, 2% of its GDP on wine, where America only spent 1%, would we say France is getting ripped off, or would we say that the French have different priorities?

                1. Except it’s more like 2X per capita for America’s system, and the higher costs are not for those portions of the population on a single-payer model, but for those of us stuck in a for-profit system.

                  1. Ewwwwwwwwwwww! Profits! Icky! Ewwwwwwwww!

                  2. ” and the higher costs are not for those portions of the population on a single-payer model”

                    Actually no – Medicare and Medicaid alone use up a higher % of GDP per capita than the entire healthcare systems of most European countries.

                    If there’s something inherent about nationalized health insurance costing less, why is medicare so expensive?

                2. I have never understood the argument…

                  That’s because you’re thinking. You’re supposed to emote.

              2. So your argument is what? End the experiment of providing healthcare to the elderly because we just can’t afford it? Those costs don’t magically go away just because tax dollars aren’t paying them, you know.

                You’re using the current fiscal environment as an excuse to argue for elimination of government programs you dislike on principle (much like a good Republican!). Governments are in debt because of a huge recession and, in our case, un-paid-for tax cuts and wars. Yeah throwing old people on the streets might paper over a good chunk of the government fiscal problem but it won’t really solve anything.

                1. Comical!

                  $

                2. End the experiment of providing healthcare to the elderly because we just can’t afford it? Those costs don’t magically go away just because tax dollars aren’t paying them, you know.

                  Actually, without the gross cost-shifting that occurs as a result of government-subsidized healthcare, those costs will be forced to drop without the pool of “free” money to draw from.

                3. Governments are in debt because of a huge recession and, in our case, un-paid-for tax cuts and wars.

                  Governments are in debt because of spending beyond what they take in. Thanks for confirming that.

                  And considering that you’ve been consistently on record defending the government’s ability to accrue debt, you’re hardly in a position to be criticizing ANY buildups on that side of the ledger sheet.

            3. Do you really think, sans Medicare, old and disabled people could achieve the same access to healthcare more cheaply?

              They did before it was instituted–or does a 9% annual increase in the cost of federal healthcare spending over the last 30 years not apply here?

        3. T o n y|6.18.12 @ 10:28AM|#
          “Assuming your goal is universally available healthcare…”

          I used to think shithead was clever enough to come up with these sorts of weasel-worded ‘arguments’. It’s since become obvious that he’s simply stupid enough to think they mean something.
          Yes, shithead, ‘some’ medical care is ‘available’ to everyone in, oh, England.
          It’s pretty shitty, and you have to live long enough to get it, but it’s ‘available’.
          And you’re stupid enough to think that’s preferable, aren’t you?

          1. Take a look at public satisfaction polling for various countries’ healthcare systems, and see what you find.

            1. Magically moving goal posts!

              1. I reject your premise that Britain’s healthcare system is inferior to the US’s, mostly because you’re too lazy to do any research on the subject other than repeat tired rightwing bullshit. But I wonder how you would measure “preferable” other than by polling people’s satisfaction with their various programs.

                1. “Patient-stacking” is “tired rightwing bullshit”?

  7. If SC strikes down ObamaCare there’s one more reason not to vote for Romney.

    1. How do you figure? If your goal was to get rid of OCare, I don’t think Romney is the guy to do it.

      1. On what fucking planet will an ex-Massachusetts governor cede government control of anything?

      2. If the individual mandate is struck down, then I think think it adds credibility to the charge that Obama’s ideas are hostile to the Constitution and the American way.

        And I think that tilts the field in Romney’s favor if Obama finds it even harder to market himself as a centrist.

        1. Supreme Court favorability is way down and the individual mandate was Romney’s pet first. Santorum was not wrong when he said Romney is the worst possible Republican candidate to argue against Obamacare.

          I don’t know how the court preserves the rest of the law without the mandate, but if they strike the whole thing down then Obama has right-wing ideologues in two branches of government to run against.

          1. Oh Wow! Abandoning Obama already?

            When the verdict isn’t even off the printer yet?

            Romney may have done the same thing to the people of Massachusetts, but Obama did it to everybody. All the swing voters who were affected by Romney’s mistake are already voting for him anyway–swing voters in Massachusetts by definition are people who aren’t already programmed Democrat.

            Also, Romney can apologize for making a mistake. You Obama’s about to do that? You think he’s about to apologize for the individual mandate?

            No matter which way the verdict goes, it’s bad news for Obama’s reelection.

            1. Certainly a loss is a loss. But healthcare reform was Romney’s big achievement and he didn’t apologize for it in the primary so he’s not gonna start now.

              1. Romney was wrong to do that, just as Obama is wrong to try it on a nationwide scale.

                So… fuck ’em both.

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