SCOTUS Upholds ObamaCare; Individual Mandate a Tax

And I dared to be optimistic about the ruling this week!

In one of the most historic cases of modern times thus far, the Supreme Court of the United States largely upheld the law known as Obamacare, yet tweaked the individual mandate from an exercise of the commerce clause – one, if unchanged, would have essentially established the precedent for government to regulate almost any behavior – to a tax.

J. Christian Adams breaks it down quickly far better then I could.

So, what does this mean?

This is obviously an outcome I wasn’t hoping for – I feel -strongly- that the commerce clause is a deeply abused power of congress, and that obamacare is at worst designed to eventually force everyone in America into public health insurance with the goal of control, and at best is a deeply misguided solution to the very real problems we have today with healthcare. I would have much rather preferred to see SCOTUS overturn and punt the law back to congress.

You have to remember this law was rushed through congress as swiftly as possible without review, passed by -one vote- in the senate, is hopelessly vague about the limits of regulation it establishes, and in a nutshell constitutes of an obscene power grab by the Executive branch. There are those out there defending Obamacare saying it’s ‘necessary’ and the ‘right thing’ to do, but I’m not an ends justifying the means guy. This law is poison in terms of giving government power it does not deserve.

On one hand, it’s weirdly intriguing that the individual mandate is now a tax. Combined with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in January, Obama will have one of the largest tax increases in US history under his belt – an albatross from the neck he’ll have to defend in the coming months.

On the other – it’s not all doom and gloom today – rarely, it ever is, with politics. It’s not up to SCOTUS to rule on the validity, ethics, or soundness of law, they rule on constitutionality and precedent. Congress is allowed to be incredibly stupid as much as we may dislike it – and this in no way means that congress can’t later on change things as they see fit. This means that conservatives have a lot of heavy lifting to do this summer in terms of not only pushing for repeal of Obamacare, but most importantly coming up with a solution of our own.

We need to get worked up. If Romney leaves a sour taste in your mouth – push for a congressional candidate. Holding and expanding upon seats in congress is our best bet to turn this around.

This isn’t fueled by racism, shallow bitterness, or anything of the like – there is a very serious deficit problem in this country and the collapse of the economy at any point to any number of factors is a real threat. If there’s a huge rush to put folks on entitlements and welfare, just for the rug to get swept out from under them by economic disaster, where does that leave those people compared to today? Is a sweeping entitlement that comprises quality of care worth destroying one of if not the best health care systems in the world? I am not comfortable with government administrators  making decisions that trump doctor’s authority. I resent the fact that government leaning heavily on the healthcare system at large the past several decades has pushed us to this point. And I think it’s just plain reckless to erect yet another towering bureaucracy when we all know how corrupt and two faced our system is today.

As I’ve said many times, this is going to be a bitter, divisive, and highly interesting summer. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.

I’ll share some more specific thoughts regarding the Supreme Court, whether it overreaches or not, and the positives and negatives of judicial review later this week. And I’m going to publish this with crossed fingers hoping that a rushed post immediately after an opening shift at my job isn’t too addled and rambling!


Update: More analysis on the impacts of Obamacare and why this is important

About TheDougem

A budding writer and amateur podcaster, TheDougem has been an active presence on the internet for roughly four years in various mediums including livestreaming, youtube, blogtalkradio, and others. An avid fan of strategy games, discussing current events and conservative philosophy, as well as a bit of storytelling on the side.

14 Responses to “SCOTUS Upholds ObamaCare; Individual Mandate a Tax”

  1. Obamacare is a step in the right direction but not what I want to see.

    • What part of it is a step in the right direction?

      I won’t pounce on you for this but I’m curious as to your reasoning – especially since I’ve been pointing out over and over again why I think government seizing control of things at this time is a really bad idea.

      • Making people get health insurance. What I would like to see is the govment offer an alternative to private health insurance. Give them a choice do you want the private healthcare plan or do you want the govment plan. I also love how a lot of Conservatives are tweeting they want to move to Canada because Obamacare and socialized medicine are taking over. Which is ridiculous for two reasons. One Obamacare isn’t even close to socialized medicine and two we have socialized medicine but they don’t seem to know that.

      • “Making” I would change to forcing with financial penalty. Here’s the rub – it sounds good, but Obamacare is purposefully designed by its writers to eventually destroy private insurance, leaving only the rigid government option. People throw out the ‘socialized medicine’ label because you have the entire pool of people paying for everyone else’s care, with portions of the populace getting what amounts to entirely free care. Maybe the semantics are silly, but that’s the sentiment people are feeling and it’s not inaccurate.

        This will lead to reduced quality of care, much higher costs, rationing, etc. at a time when the economy is under severe strain. Doctors are continuing to go into early retirement as a result of this bill and decision, we already have a doctor shortage in this country, and there’s very little optimism that the government is going to be able to make things better.

        Sure, you get “everyone” on health insurance, but you wreck the entire system to accomplish it. I’m all for trying to fix our system to protect those who need it, but people have to be realistic about what heavy handed entitlement states – during a debt crisis no less! – leads to.

        As for conservatives fussing about moving to Canada – it’s just like liberals moving to Canada when Bush won re-election. It’s such a tiny minority of people that they’re not worth paying attention to.

  2. How does forcing people to buy private health insurance destroy private insurance? Don’t insurance companies have other kinds of insurance not just health insurance. So what they lose part of their business they still have everything else.

    • It’s much, much more complicated then your synopsis.

      1) Government has now deemed that any citizen must either buy approved health insurance plans or pay a tax

      2) These plans MUST be purchasable by anyone, subject to regulation, which means they will trend towards one-size-fits-all plans. Young healthy people have to pay more, including for coverage they will never use (males having to pay for pregnancy coverage)

      3) Since pre-existing conditions are required to be covered, all plans will now go up in price to compensate

      4) The law tips the scale of the new ‘insurance exchange’ established by the law sharply in favor of government plans, over time leading to private health insurance essentially disappearing because there’s no money in it anymore, leaving only plans subject to political whims.

      Nutshell: Government has written the law to stack the deck in favor of whatever they think is correct, effectively eliminating competition.

      I meant private HEALTH insurance, but it’s important to note- businesses can’t just eat losing an entire part of their company without big consequences.

      and I can’t help but chuckle seeing your overt hostility to business at play xD

      Another take:

  3. Our companies survive just fine on only dental coverage really sure they’ll lose a lot of money if you get rid of heath insurance but they will adjust.

    • C’mon man, that’s a simplistic argument. Our countries are two different worlds and private business usually operates on very tight margins. The company that can adjust that easily to such heavy, sharp changes and come through unscathed are extremely rare and/or lucky. Either that or they’re being subsidized and thus ‘allowed’ to break the rules of the game.

      What of the increased cost to consumers? Is that irrelevant?

  4. One separate topic but this reminded me about is: on an Invisible Voice episode you talked about a women’s right to birth control and abortion. You said we should not. I agree/disagree with you if birth control is not covered by insurance or someone other means the women should have to pay. I agree but I am also an advocate for pharmacare and believe it should be covered under that and therefore payed by the government. Abortion is already completely or mostly covered by our standard healthcare (varies by province) as it should be like any other procedure. What are your thoughts on this?

    • “Pharmacare”

      Could you define what that is more specifically?

      As for abortion – you already know my stance, but for the benefit of others –

      I believe in people having choice in plans, so someone who considers something amoral should not directly or indirectly be required to pay for it – that includes any sort of penalty for non-compliance. Religious institutions especially should be free to operate as they please in this regard – as people have the choice as to whether or not they get their care from these places.

      Also bear in mind that in general – I am very much against any kind of subsidies over time because I believe they lead to increased costs as opposed to a more competitive system – which, by the way, is not a complete defense of what the US has now. I believe in different solutions to the current problem which I can get into later 😀

      • Pharmacare is the idea that like healthcare here all prescription medication should be paid for by the government. This to make sure that all people that need prescription medication can get it.

    • So with your clarification – I am going to chalk up the pursuit of Pharmacare as something – at least in the -United States- as something that while with noble intentions will serve in the long run to increase costs and lower quality with few gains.

      Drugs in the United States currently are almost -forced- to be obscenely expensive because regulation has made it near impossible for those companies to draw a profit. Since it takes eons for new drugs to be approved, and approval is rather rare at that, millions of research dollars have to be recouped somehow.

      While obviously there has to be SOME regulation to keep drugs from being poison, I contend that in this arena – as in many others – the scale is tipped absurdly towards over-regulation as opposed to a lack of regulation.

      I will still argue that a Capitalist – or to use a better term, a ‘Free Enterprise’ system will provide the best, most affordable results.

      And I must remind that in the US there exist many private and religious charities oriented around providing drugs to the poor and sick, and that is something I heartily endorse and encourage.

  5. I must also add abortion is far more accepted here in Canada than it is in the United States. We have never passed a law regarding abortion so abortion is completely unrestricted here, and if you try to change it say goodbye to your political career.

    • Good for you guys. It makes me very happy to live in the country that I do.

      I used to be more on the fence about abortion, but I’ve taken a very strong about face in the light of recent events, readings, and thinking.

      The founding documents and ideals of my country strongly emphasize the concept of natural rights, and I feel that it compels the government AND citizens to strive to protect the rights of everyone, and that absolutely includes the unborn.

      I have great concerns that if a society treats the elimination of the unborn as a ‘ho hum’ sort of occurrence that it fundamentally cheapens the concept of human life and encourages people to be irresponsible. I feel there is more to be gained by attempting to save that child and support the mother then there is to just destroy it, move on, and likely repeat the process.

      In the end, it’s still a sideline issue in my book since the economy and governmental power are vastly more pressing – but it’s something that I will remain deeply uncomfortable with condoning and I will support pro-life activists that remain civil and peaceful in their advocacy.

      You Canadians are of course free to do as you choose – as I said, I will happily remain in my country and leave your government to you. I reserve the right to disagree though 🙂

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