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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform, a Major Victory for Obama and the Uninsured

| June 28, 2012

'This is a big fucking deal,' Joe Biden told President Obama the day he signed the health care law. It still is, the U.S. Supreme court ruled.

Last Updated: 1:53 p.m.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined the left of the U.S. Supreme Court in upholding the 2010 health care reform law, including the individual mandate. The Roberts ruling narrowed the allowance under tax rules, as opposed to the commerce clause. But virtually the entire law was upheld.

Click On:

The complete ruling is here, or below. (NPR has a particularly good, interactive reading of the opinion here.)

“Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it,” Roberts’s ruling reads.

The health care case before the court was framed as an answer to this question: Does it violate the Constitution for Congress to require virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty? That’s the individual mandate in question. If the answer is yes, the court had to decide whether the individual mandate alone is invalid, or whether the rest of the health care law must be ruled invalid as well. The most relevant parts of the health care law to most people affect insurance rules.

Unlikely liberal hero: Chief Justice John Roberts.

The answer was no: it does not violate the constitution. And it was Chief Justice Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, who made the difference in the law’s favor, in a 5-4 decision. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined the majority. Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were in the minority.

Roberts cited Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes at one point: “[T]he rule issettled that as between two possible interpretations of a statute, by one of which it would be unconstitutional and by the other valid, our plain duty is to adopt that whichwill save the Act.” But in subsequent days the analytical reasoning that gave Roberts’s opinion its legal grounding will most likely be compared to that of John Marshall who, in one of the most imaginative (and consequential) decisions in the court’s history, managed both to support a presidential prerogative while asserting the court’s supremacy (in Marbury vs. Madison).

The Affordable Health Act has nothing to do with the balance of powers. But as Roberts’s decision to join the majority is parsed for its motives, that element–the court’s transcendence of politics even as it asserts its power to define the politics of the moment–will be key in understanding the decision. There is an elegance to Roberts’s route: while most legal and political analysts obsessed over the constitutionality of the mandate under the commerce clause, he simply set it aside by declaring it unconstitutional within that scope, while doing what now appears obvious: no one ever said Congress doesn’t have the right to tax. It’s that clever, unforeseen crafting of the obvious that Roberts manages with the same astuteness Marshall did in Marbury. (Breyer, Kagan, Sotomayor and Ginsburg did not agree with Roberts’s reasoning, as they believe the act is constitutional under the commerce clause of the Constitution.)

Roberts went on: “The most straightforward reading of the mandate isthat it commands individuals to purchase insurance. After all, it states that individuals ‘shall’ maintain health insurance. 26 U. S. C. §5000A(a). Congress thought itcould enact such a command under the Commerce Clause, and the Government primarily defended the law on thatbasis. But, for the reasons explained above, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power. Under our precedent, it is therefore necessary to ask whether the Government’s alternative reading of the statute—that itonly imposes a tax on those without insurance—is a reasonable one.”

Roberts considers the mandate reasonable.

President Obama Speaks on the Court’s Decision

His explanation is lucid: “Under the mandate, if an individual does not maintain health insurance, the only consequence is that he must make an additional payment to the IRS when he pays his taxes. […] That, according to the Government,means the mandate can be regarded as establishing acondition—not owning health insurance—that triggers atax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance.Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, itmay be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.”

But the court does not leave the door open for people not to pay the tax under the mandate, and therefore not comply with it. Congress may still impose a tax, and no taxpayer is ever allowed to evade a tax. A footnote in Roberts’s opinion, on page 44, clarifies the point: “Of course, individuals do not have a lawful choice not to pay a taxdue, and may sometimes face prosecution for failing to do so (although not for declining to make the shared responsibility payment. […] But that does not show that the tax restricts the lawful choice whether to undertake or forgo the activity on which the taxis predicated. Those subject to the individual mandate may lawfully forgo health insurance and pay higher taxes, or buy health insurance and pay lower taxes. The only thing they may not lawfully do is notbuy health insurance and not pay the resulting tax.”

From Amy Howe at Scotus Blog: “The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn’t matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.”

From Justice Kennedy’s dissent: “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”

Legal Analyst Stuart Taylor on the Ruling

The moment the law passed, it became illegal for insurance companies to cap policies’ lifetime payouts (which were typically capped at $1 million). The law also enabled parents to keep their children on their insurance policy until the children are 26. Beginning in 2014, the law forbids insurance companies from taking pre-existing conditions into account when writing policies. That means no one may be kept from being covered based on pre-existing conditions, nor could conditions be excluded from coverage, as they typically are under most policies today.

The law also will potentially cover some 50 million people without insurance, to the extent that they would be enabled to buy insurance–with government subsidies when they cannot afford the premiums–or become eligible for an expanded Medicaid, the health care program for the poor. A key passage in Roberts’s opinion, ratifying the legality of that Medicaid expansion: “Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.”

That’s not what the Obama administration was asking for. In other words Medicaid itself would have had to be expanded under the law, and states would have had to comply with the expansion. The ruling gives states the option either to go along with the Medicaid expansion, or to opt out of it (as Florida will), without suffering financial penalties. That’s a blow to Medicaid patients, who have already seen their benefits erode significantly over the years, particularly in southern states (and even more particularly in Florida), where government budgets have been balanced in part on the back of the poor through big cuts to Medicaid.

Only two justices would have upheld the Medicaid provision of the law (Ginsburg and Sotomayor).

Florida Attorney general Pam, Bondi on the Decision

Until the law’s passage in 2010, the United States was the only western democracy without universal health insurance. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, has pledged to repeal the law if he’s elected. Republican groups intend to launch a major offensive against the law and use the court’s decision as a rallying cry in the campaign to unseat Obama. Republicans have not, however, presented an alternative. The thrust of the GOP claim against Obama and the law is that it imposes a new tax–and that Obama lied when he claimed, in defense of the law, that the health care mandate was not a tax.

Obama was not lying. He never said the mandate was “not a tax,” as Republicans (and some media) are portraying it.

the mandate results in an additional tax only for those who choose not to buy insurance. Most, especially the uninsured, for whom the law was designed, will never face a tax, but will benefit from subsidies in order to afford insurance. The number of people choosing not to be ensured, and not qualifying for subsidies, will presumably be relatively small–and wealthier than not.

More from Scotus Blog: “Justice Ginsburg makes clear that the vote is 5-4 on sustaining the mandate as a form of tax. Her opinion, for herself and Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan, joins the key section of Roberts opinion on that point. She would go further and uphold the mandate under the Commerce Clause, which Roberts wouldn’t. Her opinion on Commerce does not control.”

From the Kennedy dissent: “What is absolutely clear, affirmed by thetext of the 1789 Constitution, by the Tenth Amendmentratified in 1791, and by innumerable cases of ours in the 220 years since, is that there are structural limits upon federal power—upon what it can prescribe with respect to private conduct, and upon what it can impose upon thesovereign States. Whatever may be the conceptual limitsupon the Commerce Clause and upon the power to taxand spend, they cannot be such as will enable the Federal Government to regulate all private conduct and to compel the States to function as administrators of federal programs.”

And at the concludion of the dissent: “The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism, and the understanding thatthe Federal Government is one of limited powers. But the Court’s ruling undermines those values at every turn. In the name of restraint, it overreaches. In the name of constitutional avoidance, it creates new constitutional questions. In the name of cooperative federalism, it undermines state sovereignty.”

At 10 a.m. President Obama and Vice President Biden were at the White House, receiving the Presidential Daily Briefing. Obama’s only event today is a 2 p.m. visit to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It’s not open to the press. But the White House has announced that Obama will be delivering some remarks within a couple of hours.

Michelle Bachman to CNN: “It really is a turning point in American history. We will never be the same again.” She calls Roberts’s tax argument “bizarre,” and a “black cloud on economic recovery.” Mitt Romney spoke at 11:53: “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it’s bad policy today.” He claims, falsely, that up to 20 million Americans who now have insurance will lose the insurance they have. (See Politifacts’s analysis of that claim here.)

US Supreme Court Ruling on Health Care Reform

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55 Responses for “U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform, a Major Victory for Obama and the Uninsured”

  1. palmcoaster says:

    Congratulations to all our millions of country men women and children, without healthcare now, you won!
    Justice served! My deep appreciation to our Commander in Chief, our Vice, our approving Supreme Court Justices and all our compassionate elected officials that supported this bill! Is not fair that because most of us can afford our health care coverage, those that can’t afford it having a pre illness condition, being out of work or partially employed, don’t.
    This is America with liberty and justice for all!

  2. Lefty Loon says:

    OK, all you people who still have a job make sure you pay me so I can get my Viagra and give Mommie her morning after pill for free. We don’t work, we don’t pay taxes. We just spend your money. So go out there and make a bunch so the government can TAX you to death to pay for all the stuff I want. Change you can believe in. This just in;

    “After 33 years in business, Jersey Giant Subs owner Britton Slocum says he never imagined his future would rest with the Supreme Court.

    “It’s going to cost me over a third of a million dollars a year to implement this program and I don’t know where I come up with $360,000 a year, I don’t have that many customers a year,” Slocum said.

    Slocum wants to open two new stores this year, but that would put Jersey Giant’s over the 50 employee mark. Under the Affordable Care Act, any new business with a crew of 50 or more must offer health insurance by 2014.”

    Oh yeah Jerry get with it now and get your wallet out.

    • Witchy Mamma says:

      My family DOES work! We DO pay taxes! Yet I can’t get health insurance because I have a pre-existing condition. My entire family has health insurance EXCEPT ME! Because I can not afford the $450 premium each MONTH for myself! I pay cash for my scripts, I pay cash to a physicians assistant to write those scripts. But I haven’t been able to see an actual doctor in years though I desperately need to. You may think all of the uninsured are living off of your taxes but you would be severely wrong!

    • Anita says:

      Sounds like we have a case of greed vs need, here.

      So Mr. Slocum won’t be able to open TWO new stores this year…boo friggin’ hoo! The open only one, and thank whatever you believe in that you have a steady income and that you’re able to afford your mortgage, and three meals a day, and transportation, and the dentist when your wife has a toothache, and the doctor when your kid has a cough. To some people out there those are ‘either/or’ choices.

      Do you really think YOUR taxes ought to go only to those things YOU approve of? I didn’t like any of the wars I helped pay for; nor is it necessarily fair that I have to pay to replenish the sand on someone’s oceanfront property. That’s the way it works in these United States and taxes are merely the price you pay to live in a civilized society.

    • PCguy1960 says:

      This sounds very interesting….. For a business known to hire only partime individuals and hiring people that will get paid only the minimum wage….. it certainly sounds like a mute point.

  3. question says:

    *** :) H A P P Y D A N C E :) ***

  4. Geezer says:

    Yes! I’m voting for the black guy for reelection.
    Thank you Mr. President. Thank you Justice Roberts – that took guts.

    *** :) H A P P Y D A N C E :) *** ME TOO!

  5. Flagler Native says:

    One more step in the socialist then communist direction. People are so nieve. If the government pays for your healthcare then obviously they can tell you what treatments your going to receive, it only makes sense. And if you think the government is going to give you the treatment that best suits your case think again…they’ll give you the cheapest run-of-the mill crap they can, that is once your even seen. Trust me you all WILL wait to see a dr. and you will ALL wait a very long time, so long in fact that a rapidly progressing disease will kill you before your treated. WOW gotta love uneducated America this law is a wolf in sheeps clothing!…..WOE to us all:(

    • Ogreagain says:

      socialist ?? really but i bet you don’t mind are socialist fire department, or are socialist sheriff’s, or the socialist water deparment. Keep screamming it buddy,

    • FB Local says:

      Wow “Flagler Native,” perhaps when speaking on the uneducated you should learn how to spell. You seem kind of ignorant about the Health Care Act, maybe you should read it. Not to mention, all the propaganda you are spewing is both fear based and simply false. I’m sure you have health insurance right now, so you don’t have to worry, your insurance will stay the same. God forbid you lose that insurance and have a life threatening, pre-existing condition before 2014, you will be even more upset. I hope this doesn’t happen to you but if it should, you will be thanking this administration for saving your sorry ass. By the way, are you currently fighting to stop the socialist/communist mandates of car insurance?

      • I'm Not Saying...I'm Just Saying says:

        Yes, ‘Flagler Native,’ because NO ONE waits hours upon hours at the emergency room now, right? Doctors don’t give you the treatment that best suits THEIR financial interests?

  6. anon says:

    Now the teabaggers are really pi***ed off, I feel sorry for Eric Holder.
    Their contempt vote is the only way they can get to the President.

    After the November election they will be really, really, really pi***ed off.

  7. palmcoaster says:

    @Flagler Native. What you describe is just what is happening right now and will no longer in the future or at least will be less. That BS about the Viagra and the morning after pill trying to brainwash us all above and the total control by the pharmaceutical corporations of our elected ones, for greedy profits gouging us all now….will be no more!
    The fraud against Medicare fight, is raging as we speak and will be done away as well. Some big crooks still have to land in jail in spite of inflamed advocates like yourself.

    • Magnolia says:

      @palmcoaster, I believe if you read the most recent GAO reports, you will see that healthcare costs are continuing to rise at a rapid rate since the law was enacted. The regulations have not reined in the insurance companies or the pill companies. We continue to have shortages of vaccines and 54% of the healthcare law has already been implemented.

      Inflammed advocates aside, care will be affected if these costs cannot be contained.

      @Anita, ah, but therein lies the rub. Less than half are paying taxes. Less than half are paying for it all. Do you think this is working?

      You must be retired, Anita, because it does not matter to you that Mr. Slocum won’t be able to hire any new employees.

      lefty loon, I believe the high Court says it is. Now we have to figure out how we are going to pay for this..

      Rome burning

      @Tony, sorry to hear this. Happened to my husband a year ago. The people commenting here don’t have any idea about the consequences of this decision.

      Yes, we need healthcare. But not this way. And let us not forget the thousands of companies and unions who received waivers from the law, whatever that means.

      @I’m just saying, you didn’t sleep through amnesty this week, did you?

      Palmcoaster, is that why the road is filled with so many Canadians coming here to get that operation they can’t wait for in Canada?

      Where will we go?

      songbird, I am glad you will be receiving coverage. I just hope you can afford the premiums. And all the insurance in the world won’t help if the services aren’t there.

      It isn’t that people don’t like it, they are afraid. We are losing our jobs and without jobs, how do we pay for insurance?

      Sly fox, if there is a lag time before coverage for your daughter takes effect, look for a “Gap Policy”. That should hold you over until her coverage kicks in. They didn’t use to cost a whole lot.

  8. palmcoaster says:

    @Leftyloon and co. One of millions of examples of the abuses of the current health care insurance system until today 6/28/2012 @ 9.59 am. Sure she was not asking for Viagra or morning after pill:

  9. tony1420 says:

    i live in palm coast but drive for a trucking co in ga as i am writing this 250 of us are being told right now not to come to work until a final decision on health care is made because they cannot afford the millions it will cost to insure us all, and yes we will get unemployment less than a third of what i make weekly.unemployment will be at an all time high in a year

  10. I'm Not Saying...I'm Just Saying says:

    It’s such a sad day in America when millions of people gain access to affordable health insurance. Obama the socialist just won’t ever let the free market dictate what people will pay for insurance when the inevitable price war hits as people are allowed to carry insurance across state lines.

    It’s going to be a tremendous job killer when companies can no longer turn a 100-300% profit and get kickbacks from insurance companies and have to charge employees the REAL amount for health coverage.

    Oh, those poor, poor insurance CEOs. How ever will they get their $30M salary packages now?

  11. Lefty Loon says:

    Thank you Obama for raising taxes!!!!! Thank you for the free health care. Thank you for the free food. Thank you for all the Mexicans that are now coming over the border in droves to take more jobs so they can pay more taxes. I can see it all clearly now Mexico is the answer. Thank you so much for taking over my life.

    Rather, the individual mandate was just a political deal between the Obama administration and insurance companies — the latter will get millions of new healthy policyholders and attendant profits—and it is much like other deals the president made to co-opt pharmaceutical manufacturers and health care providers and dragoon a bad law through Congress.

    Thank you for making the insurance companies richer while putting more of us out of work, we deserve it. Yea……..

    • I'm Not Saying...I'm Just Saying says:

      Actually, the insurance companies now have to pay between 80-85 cents per dollar in costs rather than the 74 they are currently paying.

      And if the POTUS is so Mexican-friendly, why has he deported more people in 3.5 years than W did in 8?

  12. JL says:

    Well, I will not pretend to have read what all the Supreme Court had to say on this issue. I really do wish all Americans had equal access to medical care. But my one question is this, how do we afford it? I disagree that mainly the wealthy will be the ones taxed for not having health insurance. There are many who are struggling to make ends meet. They only work part time, too few hours be considered full time so as not to get any benefits. You’re going to tax them because they choose to put food on the table over health insurance? If there is a way to afford this without companies having to raise their rates on service and products, and I’m not taxed any extra for it, then I am all for it. But I can’t see how it can be done.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Maybe if we just pulled our military out of Half of the countries we are fighting in we could swing it. 100 times over!

  13. Flagler Citizen says:

    “Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it,” Roberts’s ruling reads.

    How much spin is Obama and his people going to have to do to describe this as anything but another TAX! This after his countless occasions, during the 2008 campaign to assure everyone that “if you make less than $250,000 a year, I will not raise your taxes!” I agree that healthcare needs to be made available to everyone. The thing that frightens me is that we have now crossed the line where the goverment can require/penalize you to carry the cover. I know a lot of people who have made the conscience decision NOT to purchase healthcare for a variety of reasons. Now, no choice!

  14. Flagler Native says:

    @FB Local…Maybe you should be the one to talk to Webster. Also, all of my information IS fear it should be. If you really understood the nooks and crannies of this health care bill you would have fear to. Fear of the unknown, fear of what this is going to do to small business, fear of what this is going to America itself and the values that it once stood for. Yes I have fear, I DON’T want to be told what doctor I should go to, or what meds that I HAVE to take, if you cared about your freedoms you would be in fear as well.
    @I’m not saying…Emergency room, this goes a little bit farther than an emergency room visit. You missed my point by a HUGE margin. Let me break it down for you. You feel sick. You try to treat it at home but you get worse, you finally decide it’s time to go to a dr. you are put on a waiting list (just like in Canada) finally the dr. has an opening and they schedule you in. Your’e checked out. Unfortuantely, they find somethings pretty wrong with you and you need a biopsy, you are then again put on a waiting list meanwhile “if” that mass is cancerous, it’s spreading and your getting sicker, and sicker by the time it’s biopsied it’s stage 3 or 4 and your doctor says: “if only we could’ve caught this sooner”. Your then put on whatever meds the government approves and your sent on your way. Please, if this isn’t controlling American’s one person at a time I don’t know what is.
    The changes that I speak of aren’t going to happen as soon as the bill goes into affect in 2014, give it a few years the changes will be subtle and gradual I can assure you of that.
    @palmcoaster…You say that the greed won’t be anymore. Are you kidding? Greed is everywhere it’s what drives the world. Greed is what got us into this in the first place, now since America’s government is so great at coverups they’ll be able to coverup exactly what they’ll be making off the healthcare bill. If you think this isn’t prosperous for the government then your blindfolded. Governments see a crack and glimmer of hopeful profit and they begin working to open up that crack so that more funds to be channelled to them. Do you all think the government has our best interests at heart??? OMG when was the last time you heard of a government really taking care of everyone in it’s country and not profiting??

    This is a sad day for us all..times are ‘a changing’…this isn’t MY America anymore.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      I never knew it was YOUR America Flagler Native, I was always taught it was OUR America. So sorry. What do I owe you for 58 years back rent?

      • Flagler Native says:

        @NortonSmitty…your gonna owe alot more once this “tax” takes affect….I was thinkin’ somewhere in the ballpark of..let’ say 1 trillion.

  15. palmcoaster says:

    @Tony in Palm Coast. Your employer is plain greedy and sooner or later all will adjust, as he will not be able to function without all of your labor. In my small business my employees were provided health insurance and cost me $200 and them $250 a month. That was the deal I could afford to offer and they were satisfied with it.
    The larger the employer the greedier they become. They can rack in millions in profits and pay their VIP’s millions in bonuses but God forbide to spend meager 200/month on each employee 60-50 health insurance.

  16. NortonSmitty says:

    So the great right-wing corporate lawyer John Roberts says yes to making every American who can afford it send trillions of dollars to the crooked international insurance companies, but finds a way to insure that the states can weasel out of the provisions that require them to provide Medicare to the poor. No profit to be made there after all. I’m just amazed!

    And this will be terrible for business, the Market is dropping fast! Well, except for these guys. As of 3:30 PM: Wellcare Health Plans (WCG, Fortune 500) rose 8% and Amerigroup (AGP, Fortune 500) jumped 5%. Centene Corp. (CNC, Fortune 500) rose 3% and Molina Healthcare (MOH, Fortune 500) rose 4%. Giant hospital conglomerates also are up 5 to 10% in hours.

    And wattya’ know? Chief Justice John Roberts wife Jane is a lawyer for the lobbing firm that represents many of those corporations!

    People are saying more and more that the American people are getting to be too damn cynical. I believe we are light years away from being as fucking cynical as we deserve to be.

  17. palmcoaster says:

    @Flagler Native: Please do not even get to Canada. I have Canadian friends and they love their Universal Health Care System and feel sorry for us all in the USA and can’t understand how come we police the world but can’t take care of our own! One of those friends is not only Canadian but of British ancestors and is the one most vocal about our lack of Health Care for millions of Americans that till his government stopped it , use to go and illegally use Canada’s public medical services that could not afford here. . Who told you that lie about Canada? If I find the time I will document my words …

  18. songbird says:

    I’m proud of Catholic conservative Justice Roberts for standing up for the constitutionality of this bill. He really put his entire reputation on the line. This is going to be GREAT for the majority of Americans. People will still keep the insurance they have now, it will just cost them less. They will choose doctors within their plan, just like now. If you choose not to get insurance, so be it. Then you get an additional tax. It won’t be a lot but will be what you owe for not taking personal responsibility and covering yourself. This bill will cover my brother with juvenile diabetes who has been without insurance because it was too expensive. It will allow my son with autism to be able to receive behavioral therapy covered by insurance instead of me having to pay for all of it out of pocket. It’s good for America and for Americans. Feel free to leave if you don’t like it or just make your voice heard at the polls, but I’ll tell you right now, you’re going to be outnumbered!

  19. John Boy says:

    Even the Supreme Court is tired and fed up with the Terrorist Tea Baggers, The Donald is chocking on his after birther, Alan West is no longer going to try and continue to bleach his skin white, the Weeper of the House was given a full case of tissues. The Koch brothers have been admitted to the hospital after heart attacks and Sheldon has flown to Israel, Romney soils his magical underwear.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      And the Sacred Invisible Hand of the Free Market figures out a way to keep stroking the Corporatist perverts while only giving the working class only one finger. And using that middle one for a daily and unnecessary Prostate exam.

      Tony, Your employer is a right-wing fear mongering Republican ball-kissing toady who is trying to scare you into voting his way thinking it will save your job. It won’t affect your job, or even his profits. It will probably lower the costs of honest employers who care enough to already provide health insurance to their drivers. And force greedy bastards like your boss to pony up and do the right thing by leveling the playing field and letting the Sacred and Invisible Free Hand of the M-rket (May He not spank the Lowly Workers) do it’s thing.

  20. sly fox says:

    Like “SONGBIRD” I have a daughter with multiple medical needs, she turns 25 this year & we will no longer be able to carry her on our health insurance. We where racking our brains on how she will afford her medications etc., On the other hand this will be a win-win situation for health insurance industry. Their going to make HUGE profits. I personally believe that medical & pharmaceutical costs are EXTREMELY high. We went through a recession, but the medical community thrived. Cha ching cha ching, Even with our insurance we can’t get test’s done because of the out of pocket expense is something we can not afford. So, we have insurance, but can’t afford to use it!!!!!! My mom was sharing with me that her doctor was crying because if this Health Care did get passed she was afraid she couldn’t afford her mansion. boo-hoo

    • Anita says:

      @sly fox: you bring up a great point – the obscenely high cost of pharmaceuticals and medical procedures. This is the next battle we voters will have to fight.

      Ask yourself, Why do other countries pay far less for medication and state-of-the-art treatment than we do? We’re told the cost of the research needed to bring a drug to market is exorbitant. We’re told the cost of state-of-the-art equipment is prohibitive and that the provider must make back the cost. Fair enough. I don’t begrudge a manufacturer his profit for developing and patenting a new drug, but how often are we faced with frightening ads on TV for class action suits involving dire side-effects evil enough to finish you off even if your disease doesn’t. How long does it take the provider/operator of the equipment to break even an lower his price, even fractionally?

      We know these pharma corporations have deep enough pockets to settle all claims without breaking a sweat, but their victims lives will be forever altered.

      Think about who will be more receptive to these problems when you go to the polls in November: Our current president, or a candidate campaigning on his business “first, last and foremost” background?

  21. question says:

    And a special ‘bite me’ to—

    CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: “Train wreck for the Obama administration” today on individual mandate
    posted at 12:45 pm on March 27, 2012

    • Think first, act second says:

      What Toobin was referring to is that the Republican and Tea Party are reinvigorating for the upcoming election after this decision. Remember 2010 and the drubbing given the Democrat party, hell they cant even find candidates to run in local elections anymore. This year will be a carbon copy!

  22. Clint says:

    Like RATS that are lead by the Piper. Over the cliff with you fools. 16,000 doctors will retire next year rather then continue their practices. Drones in the air watching you walk, food police watching what you eat, parent police telling you how to raise your child……Had enough America ?

  23. David says:

    What’s going to happen when those that are now forced to have Health Insurance get taxed by the IRS, and can not afford to pay their taxes and then the IRS files a lien on your assets and your will being ? I see tens of millions of Americans filing for bankruptcy protection against the IRS.. Big mistake America, most of you will owe your soul to the government.

    • FlaglerLive says:

      David, you’re misunderstanding the law. All opinions about the court’s opinion aside, there will be no individuals who cannot afford to pay their taxes but yet must buy insurance entirely on their own dime. Those individuals, who likely pay little or no feral taxes as it is, would be subsidized in order to afford health insurance. So it’s demonstrably impossible for people to be hard up to pay their premiums yet to also have to pay the tax or penalty: only those who don’t want to buy insurance pay the penalty, and even then, the penalty doesn’t kick in below a certain income threshold (no penalty due if the cost would be moRe than 8 percent of your income, for example), making it far more cost effective (and smart) to buy insurance, if you’re poor, than to go without. As it is, the congressional budget office (non-partisan) estimates that at most 3 to 4 million Americans will choose to go without health insurance, most of whom will either have no problem paying a tax or won’t have to for being below the threshold. It’s always a lot more fun to criticize something in the dark, but the criticism rarely survives a flash of light.

      • Magnolia says:

        Palmcoaster, subsidized with what and by whom? Those with no insurance or not being able to afford it (don’t seem to have made the situation much better, have we?) will fall into the Medicaid category. They are covered under Medicaid now.

        That bill is to be paid by the states, not the federal government. You cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip. If we don’t have the money to meet the federal standards, we don’t have the money.

        This is the area of the law that was not clearly thought out and in a bust ecomony it’s going to be difficult to improve this situation.

        Then we have those who have received waivers under the law. Lord, I am confused.

      • David says:

        The Supreme Court ruled today that this Health Care will be considered a tax, and those that do not elect to have health insurance or a government assigned Heath Care Insurance will be “taxed” by our government. As a hardworking citizen I do pay my fair share of taxes, as I expect everyone else to do. But I do not expect the government to force me to “bend down” to their way of my life. Yes, I do have Health Insurance, under MY TERMS and MY CONDITION, but don’t tell me how to live my life on what I worked hard for all my life.

  24. Lefty Loon says:

    “there will be no individuals who cannot afford to pay their taxes but yet must buy insurance entirely on their own dime.”

    More borrowing and more debt will pay the bill. That’s what I like to see. Makes no difference to me cause I want everyone else to pay my taxes if I can get away with it. Keeps me from having to go out and get a job and keeps me from having the head ache of running a business. That’s good also cause I don’t want to appear greedy when I try to open more sub shops and put more people to work in low paying service jobs. That’s just like slavery. Of course if I didn’t have all the government costs that I have to pay, I might be able to pay my employees enough so they can live on their own money. I am sure they will feel much better mooching off the other Americans who the government decides can afford to may my bills. Thank you Obama for all this great free stuff that won’t cost me a dime. I hope the meds don’t run dry from all the free giveaways.

    It’s a tax increase but it won’t be enough;

    Finally, Obama addressed the 30 million uninsured people that utilize emergency services and how we’ll pay for them with higher premiums in our own insurance. That’s partially true, but he failed to mention how all hospitals across the country take a major financial blow on bad debt that the federal government does not reimburse to hospitals or physicians for charity care. This leads to hospitals declaring bankruptcy, health care professionals being laid off, and even the decimation of community hospitals in the U.S.

    Pretty hard to get treatment if the hospitals close up and prescription medications run short all the time. More and more doctors refuse to treat medicaid patients because it pays too little while more and more people reach that age where they require more health care services. Young people get the shaft again..

    Oh thank you John Roberts for showing us this really is a trillion dollar [and counting] tax increase just like the OMB said it was.

  25. Biker says:

    Wait a second this isnt a tax!! Obama told you that himself. Numerous times!! So which is it Mr President?? Did you just raise taxes on americans an estimated 500 billion?? And to all of you, about to be laid off by small buisnesses who cannot afford this. Just remember. Its for the good of the masses!!

  26. Dorothea says:

    @David: note that in and around the middle of the list below it states that you can have the option of keeping your present health insurance.

    From the White House:

    Questions about what the decision means for you? Check out an infographic showing how the Affordable Care Act benefits Americans

    Today, the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act ensures hard-working, middle class families will get the security they deserve and protects every American from the worst insurance company abuses. The Court has issued a clear and final ruling on this law.

    For a comprehensive overview of the Affordable Care Act, visit and

    Let’s take a look at what today’s ruling means for the middle class:

    •Insurance companies no longer have unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny you coverage, or charge women more than men.
    •Soon, no American will ever again be denied care or charged more due to a pre-existing condition, like cancer or even asthma.
    •Preventive care will still be covered free of charge by insurance companies–including mammograms for women and wellness visits for seniors.
    •By August, millions of Americans will receive a rebate because their insurance company spent too much of their premium on administrative costs or CEO bonuses.
    •5.3 million seniors will continue to save $600 a year on their prescription drugs.
    •Efforts to strengthen and protect Medicare by cracking down on waste, fraud, and abuse will remain in place.
    •6.6 million young adults will still be able to stay on their family’s plan until they’re 26.
    A major impact of the Court’s decision is the 129 million people with pre-existing conditions and millions of middle class families who will have the security of affordable health coverage.

    We should also remember that under today’s ruling, having health insurance is and will continue to be a choice. If you can’t afford insurance or you’re a small business that wants to provide affordable insurance to your employees, you’ll get tax credits that make coverage affordable. But if you can afford insurance and you choose not to purchase it, the taxpayers will no longer subsidize your care for free.

    Given today’s ruling, it’s now time to focus on implementing this law in a smart and non-bureaucratic way that works for the middle class.

    As we’ve said, the Court has issued a clear and final ruling on this law. The last thing Congress should do is refight old political battles and start over on health care by repealing basic protections that provide security for the middle class. The President refuses to go back to the way things were.

    Right now, Congress needs to work together to focus on the economy and creating jobs. Right now in congress, what’s at stake is how–at this make or break moment for the middle class–we break through Washington gridlock to move our country forward. Right now in Congress, what’s at stake is our chance to seize this moment to build an economy not from the top-down, but one based on a strong and secure middle class. We need to create secure middle class jobs and an economy built to last where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, everybody gets a fair shot, pays their fair share, and plays by the same set of rules.

    Right now, Congress should act on the President’s concrete plans to create an economy built to last by reducing the deficit in a balanced way and investing in education, clean energy, innovation, and infrastructure. It’s time for folks in Washington to work together on behalf of the American people.

    Please check back periodically for additional information on today’s decision.

    Read the President’s full remarks here

  27. Dorothea says:


    The Federal government pays about 57% of state Medicaid. Here is more information about Medicaid from an “unbiased” source, Wikipedia.

  28. palmcoaster says:

    @ David and Magnolia and all that believe what you believe; there is no explanation or clarification of this Health Care passed law that you all, will be wiling to see or understand as you are too far gone into the labyrinths of lies and distortions invented by the extreme conservatives and in your way of no return. Is the typical squeeze of many have’s against the have’s NOT. As far is my concern is a waste of time to try and make you see the light when you refuse to put down your blind fold. Really sad, as this is not what America preaches while wasting trillions and trillions fighting for the supposedly rights of strangers on the middle and far east while ignoring our own…that is the real waste y’all should be standing and ranting against, as well as the BS billions wasted in “foreign aid” aren’t those our taxes as yours?. What about aiding our own first…like now with this law passed!

  29. Dorothea says:

    Hysterical tweets from Republican politicians, including Florida’s tea party poster boy, Senator Rubio:

    #Sen. #Marco #Rubio (R-Fla.) #loves #hashtags:

    Marco Rubio✔

    Now that we know #Obamacare is indeed a #jobkilling #Tax we should move to #RepealObamacare as soon as possible. #letsvote #tcot #sayfie

  30. Dorothea says:

    Republicans mantra for the day: “It’s a tax.” Like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Let’s hope that the majority of Americans aren’t dumb as bulls and believe all this empty rhetoric. For heaven’s sake read more about the benefits of the Affordable Care Act before you post a comment. Unless you are afraid that if you educate yourselves, you might actually approve of the ACA.

  31. Obama 2012 says:

    Dear Tea Party.. Please fight, march and go on Fox News and demand all the states pay back the millions of tax dollars that they have spent fighting Obamacare in local and federal courts. Those tax dollars that have been wasted have killed jobs and hurt our Economy. Talk about wasted Tax dollars.

  32. Biker says:

    Obama 2012- Obama Lied- “This is not a Tax” – He lied it is a tax.

  33. Umm says:

    I currently do not have health care because I cannot afford it. Come 2014, my income will not be changing so I will still not be able to afford it. Perhaps if they made health insurance premiums more affordable, I would be more inclined to purchase it. I think that if the government has this much control over us, it should work at controlling the cost of health care…that’s what they should have been doing in the first place. Make health care more affordable, not tax the person who can’t afford it!! Instead of “for the people, by the people” it should now read “for the government, mandated by the government”…

  34. Liana G. says:

    The supreme court just handed the 2012 election to the GOP! Yee Haw!!! Obama won’t be re-elected!!!!!!!!!!

    And now because my husband’s employer is based MD and we now live in NY, we are forced to pay the $600.00 monthly insurance premium for a family of 5. That’s freakin $7,200 a year that could have been put towards savings. Ron Paul 2012!!!!!!!! or Romney/Paul 2012!!!!!!

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