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Author Topic: Health care law trial begins today  (Read 6863 times)

MadZealot

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #15 on: March 28, 2012, 08:12:27 am »
Quote from: cigfran;47777
I call that a distinction without a difference.


It is ALL the difference.  Your automobile is your tangible property.  Your licence is your permit from the State to drive on public roads.  Your automoblie requires insurance.  Your licence does not.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

cigfran

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2012, 08:18:32 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;47773
This argument is a red herring.  Stinky.  

Auto insurance becomes mandatory only when certain criteria are met.  Having a driver's license is not one of them.  Having a car, that you plan to drive on the streets, is.   Hence the term automobile insurance.  If you had bothered to put any time into it you wouldn't be trying to make this argument.  

The whole "but you have to buy auto insurance" comparison does not hold because you can, in effect, opt out.  People who don't drive, don't own vehicles-- or who bike, walk, bum rides, or use public transporation as an alternative to such-- don't have to buy it.  

Now, please provide an instance where the Federal government requires a private citizen to purchase a commodity, a good or service, from another citizen or private entity.  Second, show me where in its enumerated powers it has the authority to do so.

 
The distinction between state and federal law is one of order, not of kind. Laws exist to "compel" certain actions that qualify as commerce.

The opt-out question is both valid and debatable.

I consider the whole thing a red herring, however, because apart from a very few honest libertarians, the weight of rhetoric mounted against the Affordable Care Act suggests very different, and far less rational concerns.

Finally, "if you had bothered to put any time into it..." is just infantile, and doesn't really motivate anyone to do so.


As an aside, my girlfriend raises the question of what one is to do if one simply can't afford the mandated insurance. It's a good point, and I am insufficiently familiar with the details of the Act to supply any answer. I'll google it myself later, but if anyone has any reliable info I'd be grateful.

cigfran

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2012, 08:23:01 am »
Quote from: Asch;47780
if there were precedent we would all (likely) know about it because it would have been cited and debated endlessly during the countless discussions and court cases leading up to the case now.


A fair point, thank you.

MadZealot

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2012, 08:28:39 am »
Quote from: cigfran;47783
Laws exist to "compel" certain actions that qualify as commerce.

Such as?

Quote
Finally, "if you had bothered to put any time into it..." is just infantile, and doesn't really motivate anyone to do so.

Was it also infantile when you said it?  All I did was borrow your words.
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cigfran

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #19 on: March 28, 2012, 09:53:15 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;47788
Was it also infantile when you said it?  All I did was borrow your words.


Ah, I see. So we're not actually discussing anything anymore, we're just exchanging sneers.

You're so much fun. :)

Anyway, I did some quick googling once I got into work... and while I found quite a lot of debate around the issue, I found no clear and direct precedent for federal law requiring that you buy a particular product or service. Having put a little time into it, I report a result that corrects my own belief... I rather doubt you have ever done anything similar.

On the other hand, one thing that kept coming up in both pro and con arguments was a reference to the Wickard decision, which some interpret as supplying a precedent. I also found an interesting opinion on the auto insurance analogy, in favor of my own position. And I read several variants of the "you can opt out of health care altogether if you don't like it" argument, which I don't find particularly compelling but nevertheless offer interesting grist for the mill. Finally, this site on debate education presents a nice little summary of how the actual substantive arguments on both sides play out.

All of which is very useful and interesting to me, as I have an active curiosity and not simply an ideological axe to grind.

SatSekhem

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #20 on: March 28, 2012, 11:15:05 am »
Quote from: Skyth;47481
http://finance.yahoo.com/news/court-opens-health-care-debate-040001332.html?l=1

 
Okay, so I went through the thread and read what others have to say. Let me put it to you guys this way.

The health law is based, at least in large part, on the Massachusetts MassHealth Law that went into effect in 2006, signed in by Mitt Romney. (You know, one of those guys who is currently opposing the federal version? Just an FYI.) I live in Massachusetts.

1. The law went into effect and it actually upped the amount of people who signed up for work-carried insurance. Yes, there are a lot of people on MassHealth, but there were a lot more people willing to pay the premiums from their paychecks.

2. Every year, around tax time, the state or insurance company sends a letter informing the MA government whether or not you had insurance (they send it to you to be filled in your taxes). If you were too poor to pay for insurance, but for whatever reason the MassHealth didn't agree and so gave you the most basic of coverage, there is a large penalty that may be applied to your case. In my instance, since I was too poor to be banged for not having health insurance but made too much money for MassHealth's rigid standards, I have never been dinged. They do take circumstances into account, at least.

3. Since MassHealth is so cheap, there's been comments about premiums from private health insurance companies going up. (I saw this in my local paper a few weeks back, but I can't remember when or why.) This has pissed off our governor who is ordering the insurance companies to cap, or else. I don't know what the "or else" stands for, but he used his gubernatorial powers to tell them to eff off or shape up. Am I sure this would be similar for the federal government version? No. I don't know. But I'm just saying that yes, premiums have gone up and our governor isn't happy.

4. My son and I have health insurance. I don't have to fear that he'll break his leg and be stuck with a years' long payment plan for taking him to the ER. That is a huge relief. I can't even convey how relieved I feel.

5. Once a year, I have to jump through a thousand hoops to show the state that I am too poor to get my own health insurance. This is irritating, but it's only a yearly issue, so there is that.

All in all, the whole MassHealth program isn't perfect. It can be frustrating and irritating, but I think that can be the case with any government program. (I find myself just as irritated and frustrated when I go to my local SNAPS program office or if I have to call them.) However, I think it's a good idea to be given more access to health insurance in a world where things can happen and if you don't have that insurance... well, ouch to the payment plan.
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MadZealot

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2012, 12:29:25 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;47798
Ah, I see. So we're not actually discussing anything anymore, we're just exchanging sneers.

You're so much fun. :)


Look, if you object to having your own rhetoric bent back at you, I really don't know what to say.
Tell ya what: I'll play nice if you will.  Then we can go on arguing civilly without any red mod hats popping up in the thread.  Deal?

Quote
Anyway, I did some quick googling once I got into work... and while I found quite a lot of debate around the issue, I found no clear and direct precedent for federal law requiring that you buy a particular product or service.

That's because there is none, and why the Supremes were fated to rule on it.  There is no clear Constitutional basis allowing the Fed to have such reach into the private lives of its citizens.  That is why the 'honest libertarians' are sharpening their ideological axes.  

Quote
Having put a little time into it, I report a result that corrects my own belief... I rather doubt you have ever done anything similar.

You'd be surprised.  I used to be an evangelical Republican.

Quote
On the other hand, one thing that kept coming up in both pro and con arguments was a reference to the Wickard decision, which some interpret as supplying a precedent.

Wickard was a wrong decision.  The Government telling a farmer he's growing too much of a crop on his own land (for his own consumption, no less)... all to control market prices of wheat and feed.  By this same logic (if it can be called that) I'd have to stop growing tomatoes & potatoes (for my own consumption) because I might be hurting farmers' markets across a state line somewhere.  Then the Govt steps in, I take them to court, and I lose the right to grow my own food on my own land.  Bad precedent.
The Supremes don't always get it right.  They upheld the Draft, for instance.  


Quote
I also found an interesting opinion on the auto insurance analogy, in favor of my own position.

I read it, but I'm not convinced.  The author does some serious logical stretching to make his points.  
And when he got to point 3, ".... the implication that a mandate to purchase a commodity would violate the federal government’s Constitutionally limited rights.  This has not been proven, and thus, this argument is inherently flawed."  By the time I got to this point I was howling.  If a power is not specifically enumerated to the Government then it does not have that power because, per the Tenth Amendment, that power is automatically relegated to the States.  The idea here is to NOT have the Govt grow beyond its due bounds, which seems to be losing battle.  
Still, the 'auto insurance' thing is a flawed analogy.  The requirement is situational, bikers and Amish need not apply, whereas you can't get away from Obamacare.  Either you get insured or you pay a fine ($695 per year, I believe) and if you're too poor to pay the fine, you get Medicaid anyway.  You don't buy car insurance, you get to ride the bus.
This bill was supposed to lower costs, but since its passing my own premiums have gone up 60%.  
 
Quote
Finally, this site on debate education presents a nice little summary of how the actual substantive arguments on both sides play out.

Good link.

Quote
All of which is very useful and interesting to me, as I have an active curiosity and not simply an ideological axe to grind.

Is it an ideological axe to expect that a law be legal?  To expect our (elected, representative) government to stay within its due bounds?
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

cigfran

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #22 on: March 28, 2012, 12:43:03 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;47824

The Supremes don't always get it right.


Assented in general on all other points and in particular on this.

I'm no scholar of governmental systems, but it has increasingly seemed very strange to me that our most important social decisions wind up in the hands of eleven unelected, tenured ideologues.

MadZealot

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2012, 12:52:17 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;47827
I'm no scholar of governmental systems, but it has increasingly seemed very strange to me that our most important social decisions wind up in the hands of eleven unelected, tenured ideologues.

Sometimes they get it right.

Roe v. Wade is a great example.  Yes, Roe protects women's rights specifically.  But in a broader sense it also strengthens the philosophical point that Government has no right, or place, nosing into the private lives of the citizenry.  

In a very real sense the Supremes are, currently, arguing again over that same philosophical point.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

cigfran

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2012, 02:20:37 pm »
Quote from: MadZealot;47829
In a very real sense the Supremes are, currently, arguing again over that same philosophical point.


Indeed.

The next question has to be whether other aspects of ACA can remain in effect if this particular provision is struck down, or whether the whole thing has to be re-engineered.

Skyth

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2012, 03:20:40 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;47837
.

 
Of course, the biggest thing missing in the debates about the law is the issue that access to affordable health care is a basic human right.

cigfran

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2012, 03:24:09 pm »
Quote from: Skyth;47851
Of course, the biggest thing missing in the debates about the law is the issue that access to affordable health care is a basic human right.

I happen to agree. Unfortunately it's not written into the Constitution. But then neither is privacy, and plenty of people on both sides of the aisle seem to think it's pretty fundamental, Roe v Wade aside.


As an afterthought: it has occurred to me that, in the face of constant attacks on Roe, and given the emphasis so many put on property rights, a possible defense might be advanced on the principle of the basic sovereignty of the body. If one's body isn't fundamentally one's own "property", what is?
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 03:27:11 pm by cigfran »

Skyth

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2012, 05:07:32 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;47854
I happen to agree. Unfortunately it's not written into the Constitution.


Yeah, that's the problem.  The US is behind the rest of the civilized world at recognizing basic human rights.  A large number of vocal conservatives continuously vote against the rights of people that are different from them.

MadZealot

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2012, 08:43:36 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;47854
As an afterthought: it has occurred to me that, in the face of constant attacks on Roe, and given the emphasis so many put on property rights, a possible defense might be advanced on the principle of the basic sovereignty of the body. If one's body isn't fundamentally one's own "property", what is?


Yes.  Well said.  And I believe our system, and the Bill of Rights in particular, are designed with the goal of protecting your personal 'property' (life and liberty included) from the predations of tyranny.

Quote from: cigfran;47837
The next question has to be whether other aspects of ACA can remain in effect if this particular provision is struck down, or whether the whole thing has to be re-engineered.

It would be best if Congress went back to the drawing board and re-thought the whole mess.  For instance, there's the provision requiring insurers to insure people with pre-existing conditions; sounds good, but the unintended consequence is that insurers are going to have to absorb a lot of extra cost... which they will do by raising the premiums of all policyholders.  Without the 'mandate' forcing people to buy in and subsidize insurers with more guaranteed income, then the premiums go higher still.  
 
Either take longer to draft a bill (avoiding the "let's pass the bill so you can find out what's in it" approach) while taking time to debate and review each provision-- while providing the level of transparency in govt that this administration has promised-- or pass each individually.  That won't happen, however, because small bills don't Make History or Create a Legacy.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

MadZealot

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Re: Health care law trial begins today
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2012, 09:02:59 pm »
Quote from: Skyth;47851
Of course, the biggest thing missing in the debates about the law is the issue that access to affordable health care is a basic human right.

But does 'basic human right' = 'entitlement'?  Is it such a basic right that someone else-- government, perhaps-- is obligated to provide you with it?
What is your role, as an individual, in exercising and securing your rights?  Or must you wait for someone else to do the securing and providing?  

I think my basic human rights include the right to live in a secure and comfortable home, but I don't think I have the right to expect that government will provide one for me.  It may be my right, it's also my responsibility.  

 
Quote
The US is behind the rest of the civilized world at recognizing basic human rights.

Do you really believe this?  How so?  Whom are we behind?  

Quote
A large number of vocal conservatives continuously vote against the rights of people that are different from them.

That's a bit one-sided.  There's guilt enough for both sides of the aisle.
Spider Man 3 never happened. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

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