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Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments for the formal legal challenge to Barack Obama’s health reform law Monday, the administration’s lawyers joining the Republicans attacking the law in arguing that the high court should decide now on the constitutionality of the most ambitious piece of social reform legislation since the 1960s.

The two sides both rejected the argument — made by a private Washington, D.C. lawyer as a sort of Devil’s Advocate for an earlier Appeals Court ruling — that the Anti-Injunction Act of 1867 (which bars lawsuits by citizens against government taxes until the tax has been imposed) stood in the way of the case from going forward since many of the law’s most significant changes do not go into effect until 2014. The penalty, or tax (the Obama administration lawyer eventually starting saying “tax penalty”) for not purchasing health insurance, central enforcement mechanism for the individual mandate to buy health insurance that conservatives hope to show is unconstitutional, will not show up on tax returns until 2015. But the justices showed little desire to put things off that long.

“This case presents issues of great moment and the Anti-Injunction Act does not bar the Court’s consideration of those issues,” Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said on behalf of the Obama administration.

“The purpose of this lawsuit is to challenge a federal requirement to buy health insurance,” agreed Gregory G. Katsas, representing the coalition of private parties opposing the law. “That requirement itself is not a tax. And for that reason alone, we think the Anti-Injunction Act doesn’t apply.”

  • montanabill

    This decision should be automatic.
    1. Healthcare is not interstate commerce. Healthcare shouldn’t even be construed to be commerce of any kind.
    2. Only a weird sense of humor would lead one to think of penalties and/or taxation as a means to ‘promote the general welfare’. Big difference between the words ‘promote’ and ‘regulate’.

    • Revcarrie

      If the healthcare mandate before the supreme court is voted down, wouldn’t that mean the Bush medicare mandate for the people on Medicare also would be declared unconstitional as well? The seniors are mandated to purchase the “Plan D” or ” Advantage Plan” or face a penality for the rest of our lives. My husband has been on Medicare for ten years and I am looking at it in 9 months, therefore I’m being forced to look at this additional Advantage Plan as well or be penalized for the rest of my life. I haven’t seen ANYONE go back and question this law that was passed under the Bush administration. This matter effects 50-60 million of us out here now. Since the Bush “Plan D” requirement is in effect, shouldn’t the Obamacare requirement be constituional also?

      • montanabill

        What penalty do we incur if we don’t elect Plan D or Advantage? I made plans long before Bush to insure that my health care was in my hands, not governments. Every time government has gotten involved in health care, the result is a disaster. HMO’s anyone?

        • Drew_a

          It’s not quite as cut and dry as you don’t get it off to jail you go. I think this plan is to corrupt in benefitting the insurance companies. Typically any american who doesn’t have healthcare is that way because they can’t afford it. The mandate really isn’t too legally persecute people who don’t have healthcare but to give the government an excuse to give healthcare to all those who can’t afford it. This is definitely a hidden entitlement to benefit the lower class exclusively. But this mandate was to help grease the wheels of helping the underpriveldged because I mean really who is going to fine people money because they don’t have enough money to pay for insurance? The decision to make it a mandate does in a sense make it unconstitional but there is no denying that the supreme court is completely and utterrly FULL of partisan corruptive bull, and will do whatever they want. Corporations are people, people can be shareholders, shareholders own corporations. Oops people can own people that’s unconstitutional.

    • Revcarrie

      If the healthcare mandate before the supreme court is voted down, wouldn’t that mean the Bush medicare mandate for the people on Medicare also would be declared unconstitional as well? The seniors are mandated to purchase the “Plan D” or ” Advantage Plan” or face a penality for the rest of our lives. My husband has been on Medicare for ten years and I am looking at it in 9 months, therefore I’m being forced to look at this additional Advantage Plan as well or be penalized for the rest of my life. I haven’t seen ANYONE go back and question this law that was passed under the Bush administration. This matter effects 50-60 million of us out here now. Since the Bush “Plan D” requirement is in effect, shouldn’t the Obamacare requirement be constituional also?

  • montanabill

    This decision should be automatic.
    1. Healthcare is not interstate commerce. Healthcare shouldn’t even be construed to be commerce of any kind.
    2. Only a weird sense of humor would lead one to think of penalties and/or taxation as a means to ‘promote the general welfare’. Big difference between the words ‘promote’ and ‘regulate’.

  • JohnRNC

    This is the second recent attempt at meaningful healthcare reform (the other being during Clinton’s first term). Each time, the executive branch has tried to respect the interests of the health insurance industry and each attempt has been greeted with contempt by both the insurance industry and the political opposition. Maybe it’s time to scrap this idea of healthcare via a profit-driven middleman and move toward a single-payer system. This avoids any breach of the constitution or religious freedom. And the rest of us get to go to the doctor when we get sick.

    • montanabill

      Perhaps you should talk to veterans who are on a single payer government run system and see if it still looks good to you. It may be better than nothing for those who can’t afford anything else, but those who can, do.

      • JohnRNC

        Yes, I think it it shameful that “the best healthcare in the world” is not offered to those who sacrifice so much. Unfortunately, it will continue to be so as long healthcare remains a profit-driven commodity available only to those with the money to pay for it.