"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Rules 5-4 in Favor of Affordable Healthcare Bill

UPDATE 6/28/4:16 pm.:  This week I heard on MSNBC because of a series of negotiations that the fine was down to $100.  It seems that CNN not only blew the original ruling along with Fox but CNN had the wrong info about the fines and so have a lot of the punditry today.  Found this comment closer to the truth:
Shame on right leaning news outlets, for a complete cluster____ in reporting the fines! Since the mandate was conceived of by REPUBLICANS in the 90s, it has gradually come down in expense to now roughly $100! So why did CNN flash a chart showing outdated fines? It is technically a tax! This whole thing was an Obama compromise to the repugs, like it or not!
Why did I pick the Howard Fineman article to showcase on the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Healthcare Bill?  Because as I have learned over the years going back to Clinton and Monicagate, he tells it like it is and usually with a bit of humor which fits my taste in journalism.  The first paragraph is one I have come to expect out of Fineman:
It is a great country because the workings of our carefully wrought system of government are not predicated on punditry, predictions or polls. 
That is a mouthful and so true.  Not one pundit I heard thought Chief Justice Roberts would be the deciding vote.  There was a reason that President Bush chose the Chief Justice as he is calm, rules on the law, and doesn't give a lot of rhetoric.  He is the perfect man for the job no matter which side you choose in this case. His well written opinion shows how careful everything was considered and he didn't allow ideology to get in the way.

This is a win for people with pre-existing conditions and those whose insurance is cancelled if they get ill while still working.  It is also a win for the children of America whose parents cannot afford medical care.

As someone who is part of the Federal Employees Healthcare Benefits Program, I most likely don't feel the passion of some others as no matter what our Healthcare Benefits did not change and my understanding is that TriCare for the military is also not affected.  All of us would look at this differently IMHO!

Is the bill perfect?  No way!  It needs tweaked but polling has discovered if you call it the Affordable Healthcare Bill that people like it a lot better then if you say Obamacare.  It also fines the people who can afford to buy health care but don't who make over $100,000.  Romneycare in MA also required people to purchase insurance or pay a fine but now because Romney is pandering he doesn't like the bill even though he planned to do state mandates on his own if elected according to the FL Attorney General Pam Bondi.

It never should have been considered commerce but called a tax all along on people who refuse to buy health insurance including a lot of wealthy individuals.  We are hearing that the Koch Brothers and Americans for Prosperity who never speak for me and others are pledging to overturn this bill.  Why not let the rich not pay health insurance and take months to pay their medical bills and cut others who cannot afford healthcare out of the picture?  That's the Koch Brothers way!   Trying to buy an election so they can get regulations and and investigations against them  stopped and now overturning healthcare which has been called Constitutional by a majority of the Supreme Court.  All they are doing is showing the American people that the Rule of Law does not apply to Rich Republicans like them.

Before people get all up in arms, mandates were brought up for individuals by Republicans in the early 90's but that doesn't count as it is all Obama's fault according to pundits on the right.   This could have all been avoided if the bill had been posted on the net before voting as promised by the Democrats and now by the Republicans when they took over which seems to be missing.

We need new leadership in both Houses in both parties who actually believe in transparency and working together for the American people not their parties or special interest groups who fund their campaigns.  If Senators Boxer and Inhofe can work together on the Transportation Bill there is no reason for others not work across the aisle for all of us who send them to D.C.
Health Care Law: All Hail The Failure Of Conventional Wisdom 
Editorial Director, AOL Huffington Post Media Group
 Posted: 06/28/2012 10:42 am

WASHINGTON -- Is this a great country or what? Not because the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the overall scheme of the president's health care law. That is an ordinary question, no matter how much money was at stake. It is a great country because the workings of our carefully wrought system of government are not predicated on punditry, predictions or polls. 
Defying the expectations, Justice John Roberts -- said to be a relentless conservative activist -- joined the court's "liberal wing" in saving the law by grounding the "individual mandate" not in the power of Congress to regulate commerce, but in its taxing power. As I suggested yesterday, the court essentially said that Congress could not require people to buy something in the private economy, but they could fine them if they didn't. The court found that power to fine, in the taxing power of Article I. Now the president will have to figure out a way to make the fines in the law -- which are weak and toothless -- real. 
The idea to require all Americans to buy private health insurance was hatched in a conservative think tank, first deployed by a Republican governor (Mitt Romney) and at first opposed in the Democratic 2008 presidential primaries by candidate Barack Obama. But as soon as he had he vanquished Hillary Clinton - a proponent of the mandate -- he privately decided to support it. "I kind of think Hillary was right," he told an aide in the summer of 2008, according to Princeton professor Paul Starr. There were those -- including Starr -- who had publicly and privately warned that the mandate was a risk, but once in the White House Obama and his aides (many, ironically, Clinton veterans) ignored the warnings. 
The obvious big political winner, at least initially, is President Obama. Had the court thrown out the core mechanics of the law, his signature accomplishment would have been in shambles. He can take to the campaign trail with the backing of none other than George W. Bush appointee Roberts. His polls were on the upswing and may get a boost. There are troubles down the road. He has to make the fines real. Most people don't like the mandate, no matter what it is grounded on. Republicans and Romney, their presumptive nominee, will make overturning the law their crusade for the campaign, and they will have the polls on their side. 
Beyond the political back-and-forth, the 5-4 ruling is an example of the durability of our system, and of Roberts' desires to protect the reputation of the institution as the one place in the country that is above politics. The court is the most essential part of our system of government by the rule of law. It takes the place in our system of faith or royalty as the ultimate arbiter of Truth in the public realm. Roberts understood that, and protected it. 
Now it is clear why Justice Scalia went on his rampage yesterday. He doesn't like Roberts' institutional vision of the court.   
Source:  Huffington Post
Very well written article whether you agree with the decision or not.

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