ObamaCare: Spend Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace?


If the 2010 health care law is struck down by the Supreme Court later this week, the process of unwinding its provisions and reshuffling funds tied to the law is certain to be somewhat messy. As The Wall Street Journal reports, there's no precedent for a law of this size and expense being struck down, especially after multiple years of implementation. However, the Journal notes, if the law is tossed, "it is clear that funding would end eventually."

Which may tell us something about why the Department of Health and Human Services has ramped up spending in advance of the Supreme Court's expected ruling. According to a Politico review of HHS funding announcements, the administration has spent "at least $2.7 billion since oral arguments in the case ended on March 28," which equals "more than double the amount that was handed out in the three-month period leading up to the arguments."

NEXT: Jacob Sullum on the Federal Law That Can Be Used to Prosecute Almost Anyone Who Visits a Website

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  1. oneieth!

    1. There is an experimental TX for that.

    2. I can see sarcasmic's employer is not using sarcasmic's time wisely.

      1. I get dinged if I do unauthorized work.

        1. Please tell me you're joking.

          1. No, I'm afraid not. If I do unauthorized work, it's a bad thing. If I ask my manager for something to do he gets annoyed.
            So I'm looking for a different job (you'll know I got hired when my Daily Fails stop). But if I tell my prospective employer the true reason for my seeking employment I will not get hired. It's quite the conundrum.

            1. Wait, the true reason being your current job isn't challenging enough and you're forced to waste time checking out hot celebs and posting online about them?

              That sounds like ambition to me, and in general, ambition is a quality most employers desire.

              1. If I had ambition I would be using my slack time to run through tutorials (assuming the website gets through the filter) to enhance my job skills, although that might be viewed as unauthorized work.

            2. so, wait a minute: you are paid to not be motivated? And you work in the private sector?

              1. And you work in the private sector?

                Technically, yes. But a couple years ago a government committee was put in charge of the workload, because we were getting too much stuff done (I'm dead fucking serious). They had to put a stop to that. And they succeeded.

                1. because we were getting too much stuff done

                  wow..just wow. Sad thing is, you cannot make up shit like that.

            3. Do you sit in the cube next to me or sumpin? I learned long ago that if someone asks me to do something, the correct answer is always "no".

              1. Because I'm still technically in the private sector, "no" is not an acceptable response to a manager's request.
                Though I see the customer (government) do it all the time.

              2. I learned long ago that if someone asks me to do something, the correct answer is always "no".

                So much to work with here...

  2. Rational people, who had some goal other than stuffing as many pockets as possible, would have slowed down spending while the validity/existence of the program was in doubt.

    The fact that they did the opposite tells us many things, none of them good.

    1. Also, it is almost like they know something.

      1. It's easy, John. Either one ObamneyCare or 50 RomneyCares. It really is that binary. What they want is the State Exchanges, which is the backbone of this medical care scheme either way.

        1. But haven't the state exchanges been a complete failure? Aren't those the things that no one is joining?

          1. I vaguely remember reading a story about how they're more expensive to join. Go figure.

          2. There just hasn't been enough "stick" applied to those who refuse to bow to the Top Men.

          3. Ask Gov. Jon "Bipartisan n' 'Medical Care is a Right'" Huntsman that question, John. Oklahoma has been pushing for a state exchange, never mind that this site at healthcare.gov is supposed to do the same thing is already fully operational (no pun intended).

            1. Again, it doesn't seem like anyone is joining them.

            2. One of the questions on that website:

              "Do you find it difficult to afford health insurance?"

              Of fucking course I do. I find it "difficult" to spend money on everything. Fuck off, Lahey.

              1. The shit apple doesn't fall far from the shit tree, eh anon?

    2. If you will remember, RC, I did predict this. Get as much implemented now, so if the entire law is struck (not likely), it will be impossible to extricate.

      This really is the Grand Mother of Tar Babies.

      1. At this point, I would not be surprised if Obama just ignores the court. The money has already been authorized. He can spend it. What is the court going to do about it?

        1. Then it's pitchforks and torches time.

          1. Sorry, that frog's been cooked.

        2. And Congress will not be able to muster a 2/3 majority to override a veto in either The House or The Senate. That ship has sailed.

          And that money is nothing more than ledger trickery.

        3. Without the courts, he can't enforce the mandate against people, can't enforce the preexisting conditions thing and the ratio thing against insurers, and the states won't allow the exchanges to operate. Unless he wants to go full blown War of the Roses on this,

          1. I can see him use the regulatory powers of HHS department to enforce the mandate, the preexisting conditions, and anything else he wants to. It could take years to get to the court to unwind this.

            1. Or until January 20, 2013 if we band together under MR.

              1. Tulpa, I have NO faith that MR will undo anything concerning this.

                1. It's an odds game at this point. We *know* Obama's crappy, but we don't absolutely know 100% that Romneybot 2013 will be worse. I'd rather gamble on Romney, but I'm just playing the odds here.


                He would be the Prime Mover here, Tulpa, you imbecile, and he believes medical is a right, you dunce! That slippery shitweasel will do no such thing. Grand Coif Tarkin will never sign a repeal unless there a "replace" that is just as onerous if not more delineated.

                1. Mitt Romney will make a watered down version of Obama/RomneyCare permanent.

                  To avoid doing it, he'd have to show two qualities he utterly lacks:

                  1) a backbone to take a stance that will piss off significant numbers of people;

                  2) the ability to control and tame the civil service.

                  His track record at MA and his various stints in the public eye shows that he is thoroughly incapacitated in both areas.

                  He'll get that frowny face that Presidents get while mind-melding with the populace, and then he'll cave to his flunkies.

                  One way or another, the rest of you are going to get what we Massholes get to experience thanks to Mitt Romney's stupidity and incompetence, a fine if you don't buy health insurance with sufficient bells and whistles.

                  And people who want to roll back Obama's policies with a new president better start campaigning for Gary Johnson, because of the presidential candidates who are not going to support a greater government take-over of the economy he has the greatest chance of wining.

                  1. re: #2 - perhaps this one will not be nearly as problematic when facing a legislative body where allies outnumber foes. I could be wrong, of course, but if a hostile legislative body can guide an executive, why can't a friendly one do likewise? (and "friendly" is meant in the loosest sense)

                    1. Do you see the repubs taking both the house and the senate? That is the only way I can see anything like this happening. Otherwise, it will be a 'compromise' bill where both side get something they want; and the american people get screwed. Sorry, but I just don't have a good feeling about this no matter what the SC says.

        4. "John Marshall The Supreme Court has made his its decision, now let him it enforce it."

          1. "The pope Supreme Court? How many divisions does he they have?"

            1. Ah, you see my Andrew Jackson and raise me a Joseph Stalin. I fold.

              1. No string betting allowed.

          2. Sure, try that. We could use a nice, stark power grab to get people to respect limited government again.

      2. This really is the Grand Mother of Tar Babies. Racist.

        Either that or they drag their feet while trying to extricate it, all the while throwing money at it and passing laws hoping one of them sticks. I can see them playing all sorts of games to make sure it doesn't get unwound.

        1. Precisely, and TEAM RED will help with this under the rubric that "MEDICAL CARE IS A RIGHT!!!" Not one, one, of the those jokers, even libertarian minded (including Gary Johnson), have suggested otherwise. The conclusion has already been assumed this is the case and will make it happen one way or another. November can not get here soon enough for me.

          TEAM RED will potentiate this and not in a remotely free market manner, including Shit Flopney.

            1. I should have been an atty.

              1. You'll never see the law socialized, as it would detrimentally affect our income. Medicine, on the other hand, well, we've always been trying to destroy you. Litigation, regulation, so bad it makes you cry.

          1. Precisely, and TEAM RED will help with this under the rubric that "MEDICAL CARE IS A RIGHT!!!"

            So long as we are ruled by people who believe in positive rights, we will not avoid disaster.

    3. I hope it hurts and hurts badly for just this reason. People need to feel the pain so they don't do this shit in the future.

      1. I'm almost with you. I hope the individual mandate is upheld and the fed. government requires you to purchase something completely arbitrary so that people can realize how dumb they were to let something like this happen.

        1. you have a lot of faith in people's cognitive abilities. Same thing that happened with teh stimulus will happen here: supporters of the measure will greet its failure by saying it did not go far enough, it was not full-blown single payer; opponents will state the obvious and (again) be asked 'what would you do?'

  3. money that is spent most likely won't have to be repaid.

    So, am I to understand that money can be spent with impunity basically in violation of the Constitution? Oh, "innocent until proven guilty", I suppose. Rephrasing, am I to understand that there are no "clawbacks" in this realm of economics?

  4. Herman Van Rumpuy in a pantsuit.

    1. I'd rather fuck Van Rumpuy. At least he's a kinky Euro.

      1. Science, Doc, smile when you say that!

    2. "Simply stated, we will not stand idly by as Hit and Run commenters call us Herman Van Rumpuy in a pantsuit."

  5. I love the representation Obama hired to represent ObamaCare in front of the Supreme Court...the Solicitor General.

    I wouldn't let that guy represent me in a parking ticket case. He was lousy.

    1. Oh if only we could have seen Obama himself defend his signature law in front of the SC... *That* would be justice.

    2. It wasn't him. It was the stupid arguments he had to work with.

      1. John, did you see the proceedings?

        I've seen attorneys defend child molesters in a better manner.

        1. Child molesters are less dangerous than Obamacare.

  6. just about anyone would have been better


    1st) SB1070 flamed PLUS DoJ revokes Az'z 287G status (they can ck the papers call ICE but nada gonna happen)

    2d) EPA can now regulate greenhouse gasses to wit: "The court backed the EPA's finding that greenhouse gases are a danger to the public health and welfare and its subsequent regulations of auto emissions."

    3d) and, starting thursday, uncle sam can tell you to eat ur brocolli 1!!11!11!

    1. Go eat a sack of shit, retard

      1. i like me sum brocollis

        1. orrin enjoys being a slave.

    2. 1) So the next step is for Arizona to file a lawsuit in federal court, seeking an injunction requiring DOJ/ICE to do it's job. SCOTUS just told the world that enforcement is a strictly federal sandbox. Therefore, the states should be able to compel the federal government to fulfill it's duty. I'll admit that this would be strictly symbolic (see the administration non-reaction to the drilling moratorium after the BP spill), but it should be on record that the feds are not doing their job.

      2) Fine. CO2 (a greenhouse gas) is a pollutant. Would all the people who believe this please stop polluting?

      3) Time for another episode of As the Pendulum Swings. In this episode a Team Red Congress and executive pass laws undoing all the freedom in sexual liberty achieved over the last 40 years -- calling it a public health crisis. You think they won't?

    3. The court didn't "back" the EPA's finding, they just didn't strike it down and said the plaintiffs had no standing to sue.

  8. Let me be clear. I am a crook. I should be in prison.

    1. That's the best thing you've ever said. It should be your campaign slogan. Rope and Hang.

      1. that's kinda funny...if by funny u mean lynching

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