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Discussion Starter #1
BREAKING: Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional | Mark Hemingway | Beltway Confidential | San Francisco Examiner

BREAKING: Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional
The full text of the decision from Federal Judge Roger Vinson is not available yet, but according to reporters who've seen the decision, he's ruled the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. The ruling favors of the 26 state attorney generals challenging the law. The judge ruled the individual mandate that requires all Americans to purchase health insurance invalid and, according to the decision, "because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void."
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Discussion Starter #4
Re-posted in the other thread.

Guess this one could be closed.
 

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The more the merrier I suppose, but an appellate court decision would be a nice boost.
 

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This judge ruled on the side of common sense. He could not agree that an individual NOT doing something became a matter for the federal government to have authority over through the 10th amendment as a matter of interstate commerce.
 

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This judge ruled on the side of common sense. He could not agree that an individual NOT doing something became a matter for the federal government to have authority over through the 10th amendment as a matter of interstate commerce.
You might want to read the ruling first.

In addition to errors with regard to a ‘penalty’ as part of the Reform Act, the Judge is very careful to not spend time on the Lopez and Morrison Court’s theory of ‘police power’ and the Commerce Clause. And for good reason: there is no punitive component of the Reform Act:

"In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure."
http://docs.house.gov/rules/hr4872/111_hr3590_engrossed.pdf

The Judge is clearly in error, therefore, when he notes:

“[P]eople have no choice but to buy insurance or be penalized.”

And:

‘If Congress can penalize a passive individual for failing to engage in commerce…”

And:

“Preliminarily, based solely on a plain reading of the Act itself (and a common
sense interpretation of the word “activity” and its absence), I must agree with the
plaintiffs’ contention that the individual mandate regulates inactivity.”

Again, Congress isn’t ‘penalizing’ anyone – I’m not sure what part of the Act the Judge is reading.

The Judge focuses on whether ‘inactivity’ can be regulated by the Commerce Clause, which is strange since as we know that inactivity isn’t being regulated because there’s no penalty for failing to abide by the regulation. The individual mandate is therefore an economic mandate, not a regulatory one.

In order for the Reform to be successful, as many people as possible must participate, particularly those who are healthy. Those who don’t buy insurance will be offered a fee, those who elect to not pay the fee will be left alone. The theory of the Reform Act is that those who elect to not pay the fee will constitute such a small minority there’ll be no adverse effect on the success of the overall program.

Whatever outcome with regard to participation, or lack thereof, it doesn’t amount to regulation, and the issue of ‘inactivity’ is moot.




Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling, for those interested.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/national/20110131VINSON_HEALTH.pdf
 

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I like involuntary servitude.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Much like the Rahm escapades, its going to be fun to watch.

Unfortunately this one actually affects me.
 

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Yet another BS ruling by another partisan Republican hack appointed by Reagan. How does one clause in the entire health Reform Act render the entire Act unconstitutional and without merit? Only in the mind of a partisan judge who represents nothing else but selfish interests of health care insurance industry.
 

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Why Everyone Will Overreact to the Next Ruling on Health Care Reform

Both sides will thus likely overreact to Judge Vinson's ruling -- much as both sides overreacted to last month's similar ruling by U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia. This is inevitable, I suppose, with so many people watching these cases so closely as they make their way up to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, however, the laser focus upon lower-court vote-counting detracts from the only judicial vote-counting that ultimately counts here. Judge Vinson could issue a virtual Tea Party manifesto Monday -- and he might -- but it wouldn't ultimately make a bit of difference in your life or mine if it doesn't earn the support of at least five Supreme Court justices.

So the most important development on this front over the past few months isn't a stray decision here or there by a conservative trial judge. It is, instead, the pointed choice made in early January by two of the Supreme Court's most conservative justices, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, to signal to friend and foe alike where they stand on the Commerce Clause-- and almost certainly the Patient Protection Act itself. The justices chose to loudly dissent in a decision by the rest of their colleagues not to hear (and thus not to overturn) Alderman v. United States, a 9th U.S. Circuit Court ruling affirming the use of a federal statute that makes it a crime for a convicted felon to buy, own or possess body armor.

On behalf of Justice Scalia, Justice Thomas wrote:

"The Ninth Circuit's interpretation... seems to permit Congress to regulate or ban possession of any item that has ever been offered for sale or crossed state lines. Congress arguably could outlaw 'the theft of a Hershey kiss from a corner store in Youngstown, Ohio, by a neighborhood juvenile on the basis that the candy once traveled . . . to the store from Hershey, Pennsylvania.' The Government actually conceded at oral argument in the Ninth Circuit that Congress could ban possession of french fries that have been offered for sale in interstate commerce." (Citations omitted).

In the ongoing debate over the Commerce Clause and the health care law, these are akin to fighting words. This is the advocacy rhetoric of the Tea Party. It is the partisan language of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.). It is the hyperbolic theme of the fiercest opponents of the Patient Protection Act. And coming as it does from the two justices -- unsolicited, unnecessary to resolve Alderman, unrepentant about its link to current political discourse -- the paragraph confirms to the world that no more than seven votes on the Supreme Court are still in play over the constitutionality of the federal health care measure. That this is not a surprise coming from these two jurists makes the development no less extraordinary -- and far more important than anything Judge Vinson can or will say in his looming order.

Why Everyone Will Overreact to the Next Ruling on Health Care Reform - Andrew Cohen - Politics - The Atlantic
 

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In order for the Reform to be successful, as many people as possible must participate, particularly those who are healthy. Those who don’t buy insurance will be offered a fee, those who elect to not pay the fee will be left alone. The theory of the Reform Act is that those who elect to not pay the fee will constitute such a small minority there’ll be no adverse effect on the success of the overall program.
and what if nobody volunteers to pay this fee - are all of them going to be left alone as the whole health care system crushes and burns? and why would anyone volunteer to pay 1000s of dollars if there is no penalty of not doing so?

that's ridiculous on its face. what will actually happen is that IRS will find a way to collect this fee without "taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure", for example, by imposing lien on one's income, or withholding the fee from your tax returns, etc. etc. - which it will argue is formally neigher criminal prosecution nor penalty. and the judge chose to see through the smoke screen into the reality.
 

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and what if nobody volunteers to pay this fee - are all of them going to be left alone as the whole health care system crushes and burns? and why would anyone volunteer to pay 1000s of dollars if there is no penalty of not doing so?
Those who pay the fee – less than $60 per month – will be allowed to buy HC if they become ill – since pre-existing conditions aren’t an issue. It’s actually a very good deal.

that's ridiculous on its face. what will actually happen is that IRS will find a way to collect this fee without "taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure", for example, by imposing lien on one's income, or withholding the fee from your tax returns, etc. etc. - which it will argue is formally neigher criminal prosecution nor penalty. and the judge chose to see through the smoke screen into the reality.
Judges are only to rule on the law, not what they believe may happen; what the IRS may or may not do is speculation and therefore irrelevant.

Be opposed to HC reform all you like – simply predicate your opposition on facts of law, not political dogma – which is clearly the case here.
 

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Who need freedom and all of its icky downside when we can have the state take care of us?
 

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Those who pay the fee – less than $60 per month – will be allowed to buy HC if they become ill – since pre-existing conditions aren’t an issue. It’s actually a very good deal.
and those who do not pay the fee - which goes up to more than $1000 per month for higher income - will still be able to buy insurance when they become ill, which is much better deal.

so almost nobody will buy insurance until they become ill, and the whole system will go up the smoke.

Judges are only to rule on the law, not what they believe may happen; what the IRS may or may not do is speculation and therefore irrelevant.
not true - judges rule on the law and its implications.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm confused; is it a "Fee", a "Tax" or a "Fine"?
 

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I'm confused; is it a "Fee", a "Tax" or a "Fine"?
it's a fee that obama argued was not a tax when the law was voted in, and now his administration argues is a tax when defending it in court. go figure.
 
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