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Old November 8th, 2011, 11:24 AM   #1
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Another appeals court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. Looks promising, this court was thought to be too conservative to uphold "Obamacare".





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Obama Health Care Reform Ruling: Appeals Court Upholds Law



by Nedra Pickler





WASHINGTON — A conservative-leaning appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health care law, as the Supreme Court prepares to consider this week whether to resolve conflicting rulings over the law's requirement that all Americans buy health care insurance.

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia issued a split opinion upholding the lower court's ruling that found Congress did not overstep its authority in requiring people to have insurance or pay a penalty on their taxes, beginning in 2014. The requirement is the most controversial requirement of Obama's signature domestic legislative achievement and the focus of conflicting opinions from judges across the country. The Supreme Court could decide as early as Thursday during a closed meeting of the justices whether to accept appeals from some of those earlier rulings.

The suit in Washington was brought by the American Center for Law and Justice, a legal group founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. It claimed that the insurance mandate is unconstitutional because it forces Americans to buy a product for the rest of their lives and that it violates the religious freedom of those who choose not to have insurance because they rely on God to protect them from harm. But the court ruled that Congress had the power to pass the requirement to ensure that all Americans can have health care coverage, even if it infringes on individual liberty.

"That a direct requirement for most Americans to purchase any product or service seems an intrusive exercise of legislative power surely explains why Congress has not used this authority before – but that seems to us a political judgment rather than a recognition of constitutional limitations," Judge Laurence Silberman, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan wrote in the court's opinion. Silberman was joined by Judge Harry Edwards, a Carter appointee. But, they added, "The right to be free from federal regulation is not absolute and yields to the imperative that Congress be free to forge national solutions to national problems."

Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a former aide to President George W. Bush who appointed him to the bench, disagreed with the conclusion without taking a position on the merits of the law. He wrote a lengthy opinion arguing the court doesn't have jurisdiction to review the health care mandate until after it takes effect in 2014.

The federal appeals court in Cincinnati also upheld the law. The federal appeals court in Atlanta struck down the core requirement that Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty, while upholding the rest of the law.

And like Kavanaugh's dissenting opinion, an appeals court in Richmond, Va., ruled it was premature to decide the law's constitutionality. This aspect of the court challenges issue involves a federal law aimed at preventing lawsuits from tying up tax collection. Kavanaugh and the Richmond court held that taxpayers must begin paying the penalty for not purchasing insurance before they can challenge it in court.

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, which filed the suit in Washington, said the group is considering whether to ask the full appeals court to hear the case or make a request directly to the Supreme Court. "We still remain confident that Obamacare and the individual mandate, which forces Americans to purchase health insurance, is the wrong prescription for America and ultimately will be struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court," Sekulow said.

The White House said Tuesday it is confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the law, as the DC circuit did. Obama adviser Stephanie Cutter said in a White House blog post that opponents who say the individual mandate provision exceeded Congress' power to regulate commerce "are simply wrong."

"People who make a decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market," she wrote. "Their action is not felt by themselves alone. Instead, when they become ill or injured and cannot pay their bills, their costs are shifted to others. Those costs – $43 billion in 2008 alone – are borne by doctors, hospitals, insured individuals, taxpayers and small businesses throughout the nation."

The liberal interest group Constitutional Accountability Center said the ruling from a solid conservative like Silberman, as the Supreme Court prepares to take up the issue, is a "devastating blow" to opponents of the law.

"With two prominent conservatives, this panel was thought to be a dream come true for conservative challengers of the act," said the center's president, Doug Kendall. "Today that dream became a nightmare, as the panel unanimously rejected the challenges to the act, disagreeing only about why those challenges failed."


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Old November 8th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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The insurance companies must be rubbing their hands with glee
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Old November 8th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #3
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What's interesting to me is that most of the courts which have recently looked at this issue have in fact analyzed the individual mandate as a burden to the individual, rather than the tax credit it really is. It's exactly the same as the mortgage interest deduction - if you don't own a house you can't claim the mortgage interest credit, just as if you don't carry insurance meeting a certain minimum level you can't claim the health care credit.



Also, you're not being forced to buy insurance from a private for-profit company, even if that is the current model for most non-military, non-Medicare health care. For example, the mortgage interest deduction doesn't require you to have your mortgage with a for-profit bank rather than a non-profit credit union. Nor are you forced to even have health insurance, just as the presence of the mortgage interest deduction doesn't obligate you to buy a house.



In general I think this is a poor and inept step towards a nationalized health care model which would eliminate the unnecessary insurance middle-man, which currently wastes 30% of our health care money in a completely non-productive enterprise. But it's probably a necessary step given the economic and political realities.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #4
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We must get corporate money out of politics, it's said over and over. And yet, when an example, a big example, of the influence of corporate money is right before the faces of those rightly demanding for getting corporate money out of politics, it's cheered.



Obamacare is constitutional. We can count on that, along with Big Pharma and Big Insurance.



Obamacare, brought to you by Big Pharma and Big Insurance.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 12:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrekk View Post
What's interesting to me is that most of the courts which have recently looked at this issue have in fact analyzed the individual mandate as a burden to the individual, rather than the tax credit it really is. It's exactly the same as the mortgage interest deduction - if you don't own a house you can't claim the mortgage interest credit, just as if you don't carry insurance meeting a certain minimum level you can't claim the health care credit.



Also, you're not being forced to buy insurance from a private for-profit company, even if that is the current model for most non-military, non-Medicare health care. For example, the mortgage interest deduction doesn't require you to have your mortgage with a for-profit bank rather than a non-profit credit union. Nor are you forced to even have health insurance, just as the presence of the mortgage interest deduction doesn't obligate you to buy a house.



In general I think this is a poor and inept step towards a nationalized health care model which would eliminate the unnecessary insurance middle-man, which currently wastes 30% of our health care money in a completely non-productive enterprise. But it's probably a necessary step given the economic and political realities.


But the difference is there is no mandate to take out a mortgage or buy a home, but everyone has to buy health insurance from somewhere?



Maybe Obama is smarter than all of us. He realises he can never get to single-payer Universal Health Care in one step so is initiating a 20-year strategy to get there.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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Jedi chess master.
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Old November 8th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by skrekk' timestamp='1320787955' post='366830

What's interesting to me is that most of the courts which have recently looked at this issue have in fact analyzed the individual mandate as a burden to the individual, rather than the tax credit it really is. It's exactly the same as the mortgage interest deduction - if you don't own a house you can't claim the mortgage interest credit, just as if you don't carry insurance meeting a certain minimum level you can't claim the health care credit.



Also, you're not being forced to buy insurance from a private for-profit company, even if that is the current model for most non-military, non-Medicare health care. For example, the mortgage interest deduction doesn't require you to have your mortgage with a for-profit bank rather than a non-profit credit union. Nor are you forced to even have health insurance, just as the presence of the mortgage interest deduction doesn't obligate you to buy a house.



In general I think this is a poor and inept step towards a nationalized health care model which would eliminate the unnecessary insurance middle-man, which currently wastes 30% of our health care money in a completely non-productive enterprise. But it's probably a necessary step given the economic and political realities.


But the difference is there is no mandate to take out a mortgage or buy a home, but everyone has to buy health insurance from somewhere?



Maybe Obama is smarter than all of us. He realises he can never get to single-payer Universal Health Care in one step so is initiating a 20-year strategy to get there.


I wonder what the 20-year plan for the continuation of the United States might be....
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Old November 8th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gary View Post
But the difference is there is no mandate to take out a mortgage or buy a home, but everyone has to buy health insurance from somewhere?


Once again you prove just how poor your reading comprehension is. Read my comment again, where I noted: "Nor are you forced to even have health insurance, just as the presence of the mortgage interest deduction doesn't obligate you to buy a house."
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Old November 8th, 2011, 01:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skrekk View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gary' timestamp='1320788575' post='366835

But the difference is there is no mandate to take out a mortgage or buy a home, but everyone has to buy health insurance from somewhere?


Once again you prove just how poor your reading comprehension is. Read my comment again, where I noted: "Nor are you forced to even have health insurance, just as the presence of the mortgage interest deduction doesn't obligate you to buy a house."


Are you saying Obama care does NOT mandate everyone to have health insurance?
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Old November 8th, 2011, 01:56 PM   #10
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The numbers work out in this analysis:



Quote:
Last week, the House Oversight Committee released a report and held a hearing to unpack its subject matter: a hidden penalty on marriage created by the structure of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (PPACA) tax subsidies for low- and middle-income Americans to purchase health insurance.
Quote:



Obamacare’s new tax subsidies are linked to the federal poverty level, discriminating against married couples by failing to increase proportionally with household size. Heritage research has shown how two individuals could qualify for more financial assistance to purchase health insurance individually than as a couple, leading many to forego marriage altogether. The difference could amount to several thousand dollars.

The Oversight Committee report reveals just how big the problem may be:




Nearly half of the beneficiaries of the Obamacare tax credit will be single individuals without any dependent children and most of the other beneficiaries will be single parents.… Married couples will receive only 14 percent of PPACA’s tax credits. At most, only two million married couples (out of nearly 60 million married couples) are projected to benefit from the health insurance tax credit in any year through 2021.



Yet another glitch in the legislation exacerbates the marriage penalty. The subsidies to purchase insurance will be available only to individuals and families who do not have an offer of affordable, employer-sponsored coverage. But “affordability” is determined by the cost of a self-only policy, not family coverage.



So a worker may be ineligible to receive a subsidy if he could afford his employer’s self-only coverage, even though he could not afford coverage for his family. If he and his wife stay married, they will receive no assistance to purchase coverage for their whole family, but if they divorce, the worker could carry his employer’s coverage while his wife and children receive taxpayer-subsidized coverage in the exchange. Take the example given in the committee report:



Assume a 40-year old couple with two children: the husband makes $40,000 per year and the wife makes $30,000 per year. The wife’s employer does not offer coverage through work but the husband’s does. The husband’s company provides only self-only coverage and the employee only pays a small percentage of the total premium. This company would satisfy the criteria of the PPACA’s employer mandate provision even though they don’t offer family coverage. Since the husband has access to [employer sponsored insurance], the rest of the family is not eligible for the PPACA tax credits. The family would be faced with the decision of buying private coverage at an annual cost exceeding $10,000 for the mom and kids (unless the kids are covered by the state’s CHIP) or foregoing insurance and being forced to pay the tax penalty instituted by the health care law for individuals who lack health insurance. If the father and mother are unmarried, however, the woman and the two children would qualify for a tax credit of $10,895 to use to purchase a policy that would cost about $12,130.57. Because of the PPACA, marriage costs this family $10,895.



The flawed structure of the Obamacare subsidy program encourages employers and individuals to game the system in order to become eligible, which will drive the cost to taxpayers sky high.
http://blog.heritage...cept-obamacare/



On the one hand it's argued that corporate money must be gotten out of politics, and on the other hand Obamacare is a prime example of the effects of corporate money yet it's cheered by those insisting corporate money distorts the legislative process.



People are strange....
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