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Government Medicine The Courts United States

Healthcare Law Appealed To Supreme Court 1019

26 states and a small business group have filed separate appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to strike down Obama's 2010 healthcare law. In August, an appeals court in Atlanta ruled that the individual insurance requirement was unconstitutional, making it almost certain that the bill would go to the Supreme Court. From the article: "The Obama administration earlier this week said it decided against asking the full U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit to review the August ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that found the insurance requirement unconstitutional. That decision cleared the way for the administration to go to the Supreme Court. The administration has said it believes the law will be upheld in court while opponents say it represents an unconstitutional encroachment of federal power."
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Healthcare Law Appealed To Supreme Court

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  • by tripleevenfall ( 1990004 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:47PM (#37542412)

    What other products will they eventually mandate that we buy from corporations, purely by virtue of existing?

  • by FunkSoulBrother ( 140893 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:50PM (#37542464)

    Clothes. Try walking around town naked and homeless.

  • by Gr33nJ3ll0 ( 1367543 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:52PM (#37542492)
    Seatbelts, and motorcycle helmets are a couple of good examples.
  • by tysonedwards ( 969693 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:52PM (#37542494)
    The distinction here is that health care is pretty vital to "promote the general Welfare" (US Constition - Preamble)
    welfare |welfe()r| (noun)
    the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group

    To that end, it seems pretty obvious that the founders of the United States cared enough about the health of it's citizens.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:56PM (#37542568) Homepage

    Single-payer national health insurance, like Medicare, would have had no constitutional problems. If the "public option" had been retained in the bill, it might have ended up as the only option.

    That's not a bad thing; Medicare's overhead is about 3%, while private insurers run a lot higher.

  • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:57PM (#37542588) Homepage
    The health care law does NOT mandate that we buy. It taxes us if we don't buy insurances. More importantly, the tax it charges is about half the cost to buy insurance. It is not a ridiculously high tax. Just like the IRS taxes more us if we don't buy a home. You know that 50% of americans that don't pay taxes? Almost all of them that make more than 50k a year do it by having a home and taking the tax breaks related to owning a home. The US government charges us for not doing a lot of things. Claiming that it can't do it for health care is an obvious lie. Similarly, the US government charges us not to have children, not to give to charity and a lot of other things.
  • Libertarian drivel (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Brannon ( 221550 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @01:58PM (#37542622)

    Why don't you move to Somalia? Libertarian paradise.

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:00PM (#37542658) Journal

    The distinction here is that health care is pretty vital to "promote the general Welfare" (US Constition - Preamble)

    welfare |welfe()r| (noun)

    the health, happiness, and fortunes of a person or group

    To that end, it seems pretty obvious that the founders of the United States cared enough about the health of it's citizens.

    We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    LOL. The Preamble does not give any power to the government. It explains WHY the Constitution was written, nothing more. It is certainly not an enumerated power and does not give the federal government unlimited power to "promoting the general Welfare" or "insure domestic Tranquility".

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:09PM (#37542820)

    The problem isn't that we're mandated to buy it. The problem is that it's a mandatory service that *SHOULD BE PROVIDED BY THE GOVERNMENT*.

    I'm ok with being denied service based on my wages for a lot of things but when it comes to life saving medicine I don't see that as a "would be nice" feature.

    This goes back to the "Do you let them die?" question. Should a hospital let someone bleeding to death die in their Emergency Room if they have no insurance? I think except for at republican debates the answer is "no".

    So we've accepted that getting medical treatment is guaranteed.

    I'm going to probably shock people with this but you're already required to buy all manner of things. Do you want airbags? Too bad, buy a car and you get them. Do you want a life raft space for you on all cruise trips? Too bad, you have to buy one.

    Now yes you can choose to not drive a car or ride a boat but you can't choose to not be born. And once born our medical system is your life's liferaft.

  • by RingDev ( 879105 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:11PM (#37542860) Homepage Journal

    On the other hand, we are forced to pay for Healthcare of others. It's already a socialized system. No one will be turned away from an emergency room. And our payments are bloated to cover the loss from uninsured patients and set-cost payments (medicare).

    So if I'm already forced to subsidize everyone else, why shouldn't they be forced to either subsidize along with me (the socially responsible choice) or to pay a penalty, to atleast put some skin in the game.

    It is unfortunate that we don't have much for non-profit or a government option. Because I'm getting pretty sick of paying 20 cents on the dollar to pay Cigna's CEO's pay check while getting raked for $20k+ a year in health care expenses.


  • by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:11PM (#37542864)
    The only way this will ever get better in the U.S. is when we have a single payer system, that covers everyone. There is simply no excuse for us to not have it. This is what has been most disappointing about Obama. He's passing center-right and right wing policies (mandates were originally the Republican idea, folks, Clinton rejected it in the 90's), and The Left is taking the blame for it. If we had a real liberal in there, he would have fought for "Medicare For All", and not a 1990's Republican plan.
  • by TheFlamingoKing ( 603674 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:18PM (#37542994)

    Oh look, it's the new Godwin's Law - As an online discussion of libertarianism grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Somalia approaches 1.

    Will be waiting for your next response, maybe something regarding privatized roads or police departments.

  • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:22PM (#37543062)

    Simple economic theory dictates that one provider = higher costs. Many providers = competition = lower costs. But feel free to enjoy your liberal pipe dream.

    Speaking of pipe dreams, explain why no one in France loses their house due to medical bankruptcies. Explain why other countries spend 1/3 as much as the U.S. does while receiving better care. Explain why Cuba has comparable health stats to the U.S. while spending less than $300 per patient per year. Explain why men in their twenties die in the U.S. from an infection that spread from a goddamn toothache, because they couldn't afford to have it treated.

    Explain why a for-profit system that depends on increasing your premiums while denying your claims is magically "more efficient" than a system where you get what you pay for: health CARE.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:24PM (#37543110)
    If you go back to 1989, you'll see that The Heritage Foundation (a very conservative think-tank) floated the idea [] of the individual mandate for health insurance.

    Through the 1990's, various Republicans submitted health care bills [] specifying the individual mandate.

    The Republicans are, as usual, being quite hypocritical in their objections to the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. Perhaps it is time for the Republicans to back away from their objection to everything and roadblock generation, and get down to the business of governing.

  • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:37PM (#37543350) Homepage Journal

    "Government isn't mandating that you buy [a yacht] -- just that you have it."

    So now Obama is trying to make me buy a yacht? Bloody hell, how far will this guy go before people wake up. I'm going to write up an email and send it to all my friends. Our president is clearly in the pocket of "Big-Yacht".

    It was the result of compromise with the GOP, which calls it a suitable employment program - the only problem is the Yachts will be coming from China, not US factories, so it fails again.

    The people don't understand the ObamaCare plan - not entirely sure I do either, as it's a bit of a Frankenstein plan, rather than best plan which we couldn't get, not because of "Socialism", but because the major Healthcare companies have the GOP (and some Dems) so buttoned up in their pockets that the best plan of all could never get passed (the plan which cuts them largely out of the loop.)

    Imagine if you will, there was no Social Security in the United States and any administration trying to get that system through today, with the way big business interests have so many politicians on a gilt leash. It'd be horrible and the only people really benefiting (besides lawyers, who seem to find a way to prosper from anything) would be businesses, not the people it was meant to serve.

    A basic national healthcare system is in the interests of the people, but they've been so baffled with BS they don't know what they're getting they've completely confused in the debate, often siding against their own best interests and subscribing to slogans like 'It's socialism and it's bad' - right, sure you got there by a car, on a highway, built with federal legislation and funding, but who's speaking up for tearing them all up and turning all the major highways back over to private hands and turnpikes, eh?

    There's a good solution, but it takes a strong leader to make it happen.

    I'm afraid people will finally wake up when healthcare is only affordable to the 1% and some plague is sweeping the country.

  • by ravenspear ( 756059 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:38PM (#37543374)

    People do not have to wait for life threatening care with single payer, just non-immediately needed procedures sometimes. Stop your ignorant talking points.

    What we have now is wealthcare. The wealthy like the fact that they get quicker service for non life threatening care by removing millions of people from being able to access care at all. That's not equal opportunity for all.

  • by im_thatoneguy ( 819432 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:38PM (#37543380)

    Yes it is. Move to Canada or Europe if you're so in love with socialism programs.

    Move to Somalia if you want to live in a libertarian fantasy land.

    Or we could both acknowledge that a country's healthcare system is just one small aspect of where you want to live.

  • by Uberbah ( 647458 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:39PM (#37543390)

    Oh look, it's another Libertarian whining when someone points out what actual Libertarianism would actually look like.

  • Holy Shit (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:41PM (#37543430)

    Not the auto insurance thing again.

    If you don't have a car, you don't have to buy auto insurance.

    I guess if your dead, then you don't have to buy Health Insurance under Obamacare...but don't quote me on that. Odds are that some idiot bureaucrat will insist some recently deceased person is required to show proof of health insurance.

  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:43PM (#37543476) Homepage Journal

    No one will be turned away from an emergency room.

    ER's don't provide reasonable care for anything that can't be fixed immediately. They'll put your arm in a cast or stitch up a cut, but you're not going to get anything even CLOSE to adequate cancer treatment, diabetes amelioration, allergies, and so on.

    It is simply disingenuous to hold up the ER as evidence that anyone can get reasonable medical care.

  • by theangrypeon ( 1306525 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:50PM (#37543612)

    Auto Insurance is mandated by state governments, not the federal government, and is irrelevant to the health care issue.

    It is further made irrelevant by the fact that, as stated millions of times when this fallacious analogy is brought up, there's a difference in being mandated to purchase insurance in conjunction with another product (you don't buy a car, you do not need car insurance), vs. being mandated to purchase something for simply being alive.

  • by Rockoon ( 1252108 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:56PM (#37543726)
    With regards to your question... the federal government does not mandate automobile insurance for drivers on the interstates. The federal government mandates compliance with state laws on the interstates, and not all states require automobile insurance (just proof of assets equal to state liability minimums, such as Wisconsin.)

    Are you often caught arguing without the facts?
  • by gearsmithy ( 1869466 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @02:56PM (#37543746)
    The "auto insurance" canard. There is a big difference between compelling someone (with force) to purchase a product as a condition of exercising a privilege (driving) and compelling someone to purchase a product as a condition of being alive.
  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @03:00PM (#37543798)

    Libertarianism requires a framework of laws to protect the rights of all parties, and provide for legal recourse should the rights of one party be infringed by another.

    Even at its worst, Somalia operated under a combination of religious law (Sharia), feudalism and anarchy.

  • by LateArthurDent ( 1403947 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @03:05PM (#37543868)

    Or the general hospitals, who treat people who are uninsured.

    Hospitals are required to help anyone at the ER. They stabilize you and kick you out. If it's a condition for which you don't need immediate attention NOW, you're screwed.

    Have you been shot, and don't have insurance? You'll be ok. Do you have cancer and don't have insurance? You're screwed.

    I can make an appointment and be seen TODAY. You can't do that in socialized medicine.

    First, where do you live? Because I have insurance, live in columbia, SC and had a bad cough that lasted a month. When I decided it was time to see a doctor (obviously not an emergency room), I was told the soonest they could see me was in a week.

    Second, have you ever lived somewhere with socialized medicine? I used to live in Brazil, where they have a mix of private and public care. You can say a lot of unflattering things about the public care there, but not that they can't schedule you for an appointment on the same day. I used to call right before leaving the house and make an appointment for however long it would take me to get there. The waiting lists you hear about are for things with limited supplies, such as organ transplants.

    Never lived in either of those places, but I hear places like Canada and the UK don't have the same issues Brazil has with public health care.

  • Re:Queues? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Fallingcow ( 213461 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @03:23PM (#37544184) Homepage

    Seriously, considering how big a boost single payer or similar would be to economic mobility and entrepreneurship Free Market(tm) loving Republicans should be clambering for it. Trading a shitty "freedom" like picking which insurance company rapes you for a better one like dramatically improved job mobility is a no-brainer, and pretty much the exact kind of thing we have government in the first place.

    Any Free Market worshipper who wouldn't support something like single payer is almost certainly a hopeless ideologue ("who cares that the end is closer to my proclaimed goal, the means to get there are technically counter to my idea of how things should work so screw the whole thing!"), a lying douchebag shill, or a complete dumbass. Maybe all three.

    Want to help the "job creators" hire people? Enact a "socialist" health care law modeled on any of a couple dozen successful systems tomorrow and watch as 50,000 new businesses show up seemingly out of no-where, wages rise, health care costs drop, and offshoring slows.

  • by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @03:24PM (#37544212)

    Paul said no, but the screaming nuts in the audience certainly said yes.

  • by SlippyToad ( 240532 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @04:57PM (#37545848)

    Canada did this, in a sense.

    Buy a blank CDR? Pay the record company for the songs you might put on it!

    I think this is hilarious. Not only is this one of the more retarded analogies I have ever read, but you are also failing completely to compare Canada's much-loved HEALTHCARE system to ours. Instead you draw a really really stupid, I mean seriously unintelligent, dumb, retarded, brain-dead analogy about CD-R's.

    The republican Kool-aid must be very strong.

  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2011 @05:17PM (#37546188) Homepage Journal

    Neither is healthcare. It's a human right.

    - you cannot have a right that imposes an obligation on somebody, anybody.

    There is no such thing as a right to a Ferrari, correct? So there is no such thing as a right to food or clothing or shelter or health insurance or health care or education, it's because this imposes an obligation for somebody to supply you with this stuff, so it cannot be a right.

    Get your definitions straight. You may want to have those entitlements, but as long as somebody must pay for these with their time/money/work those are not rights.

  • by lsatenstein ( 949458 ) <> on Thursday September 29, 2011 @08:39AM (#37552388) Journal

    I am 71. I cannot buy health insurance that leaves me with money for food or housing or clothes. I have no disabilities, mental or other and I am writing this note to you Americans on Slashdot. My BP is 120/70, I have only the degradation in functions (ears, eyes, speed) that comes with ageing.

    I live in Canada in Quebec. If I need immediate attention, as happened two years ago when the flesh eating bacteria caught hold, starting at my toes, if it were not for universal healthcare, I would not be typing this note and my family would be with memories of me.

    I went to the emergency at the hospital, they immediately did a triage, and within 30 minutes I was admitted and within an hour I was on intravenous antibiotics. I was in the hospital for 6 days before being given antibiotics that I would inject at home for another ten days.

    Given my financial situation, what would be my situation in the majority of the 50 states? Would I come out with zero debts? My total expenses were around $400.00 due to having antibiotics to inject while not in the hospital. The $400 is tax deductable.

    We in Quebec have a prescription plan with the government that is a fallback one. It is obligatory if one does not have group insurance. In my case, there is a max filling fee of $20/mo, plus the benefit of a percentage discount that the government assumes. There is also a ceiling per year for any citizen for his medication costs. (I am fortunate, no medication).

    I have free examinations, xrays, mri's etc. I do not abuse the system. What is my cost? About $1,000 per year on my income tax. If I earned ten times more, it would be about $3,500 . Yes, I have a wife, and she is included in that annual medical portion of income tax that I pay.

    Ask yourself this, does your private plan have a ceiling on expenses? We in Canada have Cancer patients and they are not subject to "your allotment of money ran out, sorry".

    Hurrah for universal health care. Europe, Canada, Latin America, Australia, Israel, Russia (I think China as well) has Universal health care. The people in all countries are the resources, not corporate profits.

I've finally learned what "upward compatible" means. It means we get to keep all our old mistakes. -- Dennie van Tassel