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Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Supreme Court’s long-awaited decision on the Affordable Care Act arrived yesterday — and sent media and political analysts into a  frenzy.  Now that the decision is done, the political question is whether and how the court’s action will affect partisan fortunes next November.

Not surprisingly, Republican analysts look back to 2010, when initial passage of the law enraged conservatives but also united them with sufficient force to retake the House majority. Just before the decision was delivered, Rick Wilson, a Florida-based GOP consultant, enthused: “If it’s upheld, strap in, because the passion, intensity and direction on the right that destroyed the Democrats in the 2010 elections will be back with a vengeance. I’d invest in any mutual fund based on tar, feathers, pitchforks and torches. You will instantly see the right and center-right voter intensity spike. You will see the Tea Party voters take to the streets.  This would be grim news for the President, and worse news for Congressional Democrats. If it gets even close to the 2010 effects, Nancy Pelosi will be holding her 2013 caucus meetings in a booth at Denny’s and Barack Obama can hit the speaking circuit.”

Accordingly, the Republicans are promoting their “repeal and replace Obamacare” theme with a symbolic vote on July 11 in the House. But Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, sees the decision as favorable to Democrats.  Ornstein explains, “It  takes some of the wind out of the sails of the Republican argument that it was a constitutional overreach…I think that’s where the notion of ‘repeal and replace’ becomes an issue in the campaign—what have you got to replace it if it’s been constitutionally passed?”

Conservatives have already begun to fire away with claims that the Obama administration was trying to manipulate the public by hiding the fact that the mandate was a tax, and in effect, Obama is now breaking a promise by raising taxes on the middle class. As Sarah Palin tweeted: “Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn’t a tax. Obama lies; freedom dies.” Yet while Republicans seek  new and different way to denounce the healthcare law, Democrats retort that a win is still a win. “No matter how many different ways you try to spin this issue,” says pollster and consultant Stan Greenberg, “this decision is very good for the President, Democrats, and the country.”

  • I certainly hope so. We will certainly soon find out if the country is finally ready to listen to reason and reality. Death panels and the rest of the crap should (pardon the pun) die off quickly.

    • Tom_D44

      Linda, forget the dramatics of death panels. It’s called rationing care and it is a direct result of not enough money to fund all the promises. It is a reality in all the contries who have that wonderful single payer system. And when it happens it will be too late and there will be no choice but to ration the money, they do have, to distribute. Your only hope is that the insurance companies survive this bill because if they can’t find a way to make the numbers work, and they go out of business, one by one, then you are looking at the government picking up the tab. You are not looking far enough down the road, or past the immediate juicy political promises, to see where this is really going – or you are naive in thinking that the Government can handle it or solve it. How comfortable are you, really, that the government has their cost projections right? Comfortable enough to bet your health and the health of other americans on it? How well has that worked out in progressive, states like California. Do you think those government workers getting IOU’s from California’s Government are happy? How are those union pensions working out. Politicians are good at, fudging numbers, lying, and kicking the can down the road for another election cycle in order to keep power. They are as corrupt and dishonest as all the “rich” that people hate around here. The system is broken but Government is not the answer. Please tell me, if this is such a good program, why Congress is exempt? Or has Congress determined that it is just good enough for us little people.

      • AdamMos

        I would, prefer the govt to determine the care I get since they are accountable to me the voter. Rather than having my care determined by a health insurnace executive who’s responsibility is for profit and accountable to stockholders. If you do not think your care is be rationed now then guess again. Try googling utilization reveiw. Did you think that when your physician recommends a course of action to your health condition that his staff does not check with health insurance provider to see if it is covered? How many have died because their health insurance copmpany did not cover the procedure? Millions!

        My physician recommended that I get a colonoscopy at age 44 because of a history of colon cancer in my family. The health insurance company refused to cover it- keep in mind I pay over $15,000 a year for premiums, co pays, and deductibles for my family and forked over another $700 to have the colonoscopy. Thank God I did because they found two polyps. Had I not had the procudure I would have eventually developed colon cancer and the health insurance company would have been on the hook for those treatments. Not very smart. YOUR CURRENT SYSTEM SUCKS.

        Obamacare is a good start and keeps the privte health insurance industry in tact but regulates them and does limit their profits. It seems to be the best of both worlds. It is also a movement away form relying on private indusrty to provide health care. Small and large business have the option of providing group health insurance for their employees or paying a much smaller amount and opting to have themselves and their employees covered through a state run private health insurance company exchange.

        And Yes I understand I will pay more taxes for it. The only tax in the plan other than the individual mandate which are voluntary taxes is the medicare sur tax. That tax applies to families that make over $250,000 and applies to their unearned income over that amount. The amount of the tax is 3.8%. I am willing pay it because I understand that this plan is good for the many as opposed to me personally. It was just the way I was raised. Country First! If you make more than $250,000 than I somewhat understand your selfishness and do not think it is you responsibility to pay for others who are less fortunate. but you already are paying that price. Explain why you insurance is billed $250 for a box a tissue in your hospital room? You dont think those costs are not being passed onto you?

        If you make less than 250k then you are going agauinst you own self interests. It is only matter of time until you will not be able to afford health care seeing as health care inflation is over 10%. Not sustainable for most Americans.

        Maybe you are just one of those free loaders who does not have insurance but shows up at the emergency room and has everyone else paying for you? Sorry Tom you will have to pay a tax now for that.

      • Rationing care? What you say may well be true, there may not be enough money for everyone to get world class health care, so they will have to “ration” it out so that EVERYONE gets something. Which in my opinion is better than the way it is NOW, where the few with a lot of money get the best of care, those with less money get mediocre care, and those with little or no money get no care.

  • middleclasstaxpayer

    All the mandate means is every 18-19-20 year old kid will be penalized & fined for their good health and refusal to pay for expensive insurance policies they don’t need and won’t need for many years. The government cannot force people to buy any product, hence they now call it a “tax” , exactly what Obama always said it wasn’t??? Why are we allowing them to continually lie to us, and change the “facts” to suit their lies???

    • labrown69

      “Don’t need”? That is an incredibly ignorant position both from the point of view of the tax payer and the patient. The premise that a 19 or 20 year old is impervious to serious medical conditions is just plain stupid. Young Jack Osborn was just diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and there are myriad youth that age that are diagnosed with cancers and congenital heart conditions etc every year. That notwithstanding that lesser medical conditions such as broken arms and legs can still run over a $hundred thousand bucks with a day or two in the hospital and they are common. When this happens to poor youth now, we the tax payers already foot the bill and in California alone, we have lost over 100 ERs and many more trauma centers due to corporate hospitals who care about profit rather than serving the community.

      • middleclasstaxpayer

        You are correct in your assertions, but the fact is many young folks are currently unemployed, and therefore cannot & will not pay for insurance that “they” believe they don’t need. In Fact, the unemployment rate among the 18-25 year olds is the highest in the nation, much more than the average unemployment rate. So in the end, we the taxpayers STILL end op paying for these “uninsured” just as before. But now we are also saddled with a MASSIVE new federal bureaucracy, much of which will hurdle out of control cost wise. So instead of being better off in long run, we will still be paying for the millions of unisnured, and our national debt will be like Europe’s. It could be the end of the U S as we know it.

        • dtgraham

          It really has to be the massive private insurance bureaucracies that are driving the costs up. There’s a private insurance bureaucrat between a patient and their doctor every step of the way advising the doctor what they’ll pay for and what they won’t, regardless of what the doctor feels is needed for the patient. There’s also an incredible amount of paperwork that has to be filled out for each insurance company. American physicians have whole clerical departments that don’t exist in other countries.

          The United States spends around $7300.00 per American per year on health care. Other socialized and single payer wealthy countries spend around $2800.00 to $3800.00 per citizen per year and cover everyone. If what you’re saying is true, it would be the opposite wouldn’t it?

        • labrown69

          Aint no perfect way right now. I am supporting Obama because the SEC is getting teeth again, Dodd-Frank althoug poorly named is a lot better than nothing and no economy can recover as fast as the banks can steal. Right wing liars blame the CRA for this economy and that is the Republican party line. That is code for “minority lending”. We had just over a trillion bucks in sub prime loans and not all of them went bad. As we speak we have a derivatives and swaps market based on worthless paper artificially valued at 720 TRILLION dollars when the GDP of the entire world combined is around 60 trillion. When we rein in our domestic terrorists, the banks and Wall St brokerages the rest of this crap will evolve in the proper way.

          This should be so simple that it is hard to imagine why our national leaders and even the top 1% don’t get it. They continue to bully and intimidate the populations into near poverty and then expect the same people to support an economy that is 70% driven by consumer spending. This proves the assertion that you don’t have to be smart to have money and the corollary that even if you have money, it doesn’t make you smart.

          As Barney Frank said: “The persistence of opposition by Congressional Republicans to the sensible regulation of derivatives is a modern example of what was known in earlier times as “invincible ignorance,” a theological concept describing people who are impervious to any argument. This mindset is the only possible explanation for the Republicans’ continued insistence on reducing funding for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission below even this year’s inadequate level; their insistence on pushing to exempt from any American regulation risky, highly-leveraged derivative transactions conducted by American banks – insured by America’s depositor insurance – through their foreign branches; and their support for industry efforts to drag out the rulemaking process and to bring lawsuits when it is completed”.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            Anyone who has to quote Barney Frank to make a point is on shaky ground. Wasn’t Barney Frank the wizard who had a homosexual brothel being operated in his living quarters by his “boyfriend” and he insisted he knew “nothing about it”???

          • labrown69

            Nothing “shaky” about it. When you’re right you’re right no matter who you are. Screw the messenger. Talking about the messenger is how the right wing manages to obfuscate the obvious. I will grant you that calling the legislation “Dodd Frank” and naming it after it’s authors, two of the most hated men in America, rather than prudently calling it “The Greater Transparency and Accountability Act” was really stupid. Nonetheless, these reforms are good ones that go the first steps toward replacing some of the safeguards we lost when Glass Steagall was repealed and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act opened the flood gates for the greatest rip off in the history of the world.

            Remember the words of Malcolm X: “I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against”.

        • karinursula

          I belief that Germany is doing just fine, and they have universal health care. And Canada is also doing better than we are.

    • howa4x

      Then you must be for the public option since it’s one way or the other to pay for health care.
      I can see by what you wrote you know very little about how health care really works. I really think you watch too much Fox !!

    • SaneJane

      Most 18-19-20 year olds will still be under their parents coverage. Although the young are generally healthy they are also accident prone. A serious auto crash could result in hospitalization, surgery and prolonged therapy sometimes reaching $1 million. Your opinion appears to be based on misinformation.

      • middleclasstaxpayer

        You are correct, and they will be covered. But with the many millions of unemployed parents, there kids are NOT covered. But since many of them (the kids) are ALSO unemployed (the unemployment rate among 18-25 year olds is MANY times greater than in the general population), they of course will not be paying for insurance. In the end, we the taxpayers STILL will have to pay the healtcare costs of the same millions of unemployed kids. But we also now have the added responsibility of shouldering a MASSIVE new federal system that will, as always, balloon so far out of control, that our national deficits will also, putting us in the same position of European nations that believe they can care for everyones ills & problems, which current events tell us they cannot afford to do.

        • dtgraham

          Ok. Can you then explain to me why Canada’s national debt, per capita, is a fraction of the United State’s national debt? They also believe that they can care for everyone. They do. Come to think of it, there are northern European countries that one can say exactly the same thing about.

          You got some ‘splainin to do.

          • middleclasstaxpayer

            It is a well-known fact that, when Canadians have a serious illness, they actually COME TO THE US to be treated, and AT THEIR OWN EXPENSE! This is especially true when time is of the essence, as the nationalized care system in Canada apparently does not recognize “emergencies” the way our CURRENT hospital system does…..I say “current” because soon (2014) and IF Obamacare begins, we will be in the same boat as the Canadians, BUT with NOWHERE ELSE TO TURN, thus the “death panels” will decide WHO is “eligible” to be treated, and WHEN. If you are an old-timer, they may put you on a “waiting list” or worse still, decide your are “too old” to spend good (and scarce) dollars to save. Get ready, it may come to this.

          • dtgraham

            You’re not being told the truth. I am a Canadian who happens to be interested in U.S. politics. I’ve never known anyone who went south for treatment and I’ve met a number of Canadians who’ve had some pretty serious illnesses. Every imaginable medical procedure is done here and there are no wait times for emergencies. It’s hardly perfect but no system is. We get a chuckle up here about the death panels though.

            You already have our system for your seniors, only with co-pays and out of pocket added, and they seem to do alright. I wouldn’t get too worked up about it. You’ll be fine taxpayer.

        • It seems to me that essentially what you’re doing all this crying about is money. Some people think life and good health is more important at whatever cost.

    • bigspender7

      The stupidity of your comments just continues to amaze. Try paying attention once in awhile.

      Kids under age 26 remain on their parents’ insurance. Those teens not in school will mostly be employed and get their health insurance thru work. If their employer doesn’t provide it, the state exchanges must offer them affordable insurance. And don’t kid yourself that young people never need health care. And if they can’t afford it, it will be provided to them until they can.

      My real fear is that many Americans will continue to remain ignorant of the law’s provisions as you evidently are. The republicans feed off this ignorance to promote their conservative agenda by lying about the ACA.

    • nomaster

      You are right middleclasstaxpayer. If someone doesn’t carry insurance and they have an accident or acquire a severe illness, you will pay the bill through some indigent care program. Just like car insurance, you will pay the bill if the other guy doesn’t have car insurance or in that case your auto insurance will pay the bill if you have coverage for it, or you will again pay the bill out of pocket. Catch 22.

    • “All the mandate means is every 18-19-20 year old kid will be penalized & fined for their good health and refusal to pay for expensive insurance policies they don’t need and won’t need for many years. ” Lie number 1, People will NOT be forced to buy health care they don’t need, even 18-19-20 year old kids need some health care and this law will ensure that they buy it, but it does not dictate what or from whom.

      As for whether this is a tax or not, what difference does it make what they call it? You still have to PAY it, what they call it, is irrelevant.

  • labrown69

    Hopefully this will be a first step in morphing into what we really need which is what every other civilized country in the world already have, a single payer socialized health care system. I might add that most of them have triple A credit ratings as well and their taxes are not THAT MUCH higher than ours. The difference is they get health care and we get dead Iraqis.

    • Don’t say socialized health care system, you’ll scare the children. Wow the big bad monster will get you, wow wow. The stupidity amazes me to no end!

  • howa4x

    The problem for republicans is that in the repeal and replace argument, what are they going to replace it with. Here is what we know: the mandate is a republican idea thought up by the heritage foundation and relies on individual responsibility, and put into effect by a republican governor. So there is no where for the republicans to go on this because of their social darwinistic philosophy and rejection of the nanny state principles. Once everyone realizes that it is not a government take over and that the system still relies on private insurance, the rest of their arguments loose credability.
    Couple all this with the fact that when they controlled both houses of congress and the presidency, there were 32 million uninsured and they proposed absolutely nothing. They allowed 50k per year die on their watch. In the 6 yrs that they held complete power 300,000 died because of the inability to get treatment. That is more Americans that were killed by inaction than the action of our wars, and yes my conservative friends I use the word killed because their deaths were completely preventable. Republicans spent all their time making sure people like Mitt Romney made a fortune, and that we could conduct 2 wars at once in the name of protecting Americans, while turning a blind eye to the suffering of middle class Americans. Now there is the party of God for you. This is what religion in politics has given us.
    Let’s not be fooled again

    • God has nothing to do with either party. In spite of misinformation that only conservatives can be Christian, I am one Christian (also Baptist) who is a yellow dog Democrat and I do not believe that I am the only democrat who is a Christian.

      • howa4x

        I know that but the republicans refer to themselves as that even though they don’t act like it

      • I agree with you! I too am Christian and also a Interdependent who votes Democrat!

    • I agree with you but Obama and the Democrats have to change their style to address to Americans. They have to be more forceful with their reasons and stop looking like damp dogs.

  • Americans should tell politicians and judges to follow John Robert’s heroic example of rising above politics. John Robert has opened a new door of hope for America. People have been looking for a person of this character and genuineness. Romney and Cantor going against John Robert is abominable. People must stop Romney’s ranting against Justice Robert and common sense democracy. Romney denied himself honor and praises attached to Massachussetts Romneycare like a vagabond would choose a prodigal journey. Obama and John Robert understand what ordinary people go through without healthcare. Yes, Americans will reconsider mandate because they now know that Republicans distort to benefit them and the rich only. The Supreme Court verdict is also a Honaray PHD in FLIPFLOPPING for Romney who got it right in Romneycare but abandoned it because he wants presidency by hook and crook means.

  • Its kind of funny, I’ve always supported the Affordable Care Act and argued with many people about it. After yesterdays Supreme Court ruling I find many of those who 2 or 3 weeks ago argued with me and opposed the Act, are now suddenly open to looking at it, and possibly supporting it. Its like a lot of people were opposed to it, simply because the Republican rhetoric had convinced them that the Court would overturn the Act, and they didn’t want to be on the loosing side when it was overturned.
    What we have to remember, is that in 1965 when Medicare was introduced, it also faced strong opposition, but today Medicare is opposed only by the most heartless and draconian.
    I am sure that like Medicare, the Affordable Care Act coverage will be altered, and evolve as needed, but all in all, I believe that within 5 years, all states will utilize the Act, regardless of what the shortsighted, small-minded politicians say today.

    • My first full time job was billing Medicare in a hospital in 1965. The controversy then was fierce. People refused to sign on until they needed to because of a hospitalization. Today is no different. I’m now on Medicare myself. I remember one main argument then was that Medicare was unconstitutional if it only protected a portion of US citizens and not all of them. It was considered pure discrimination against families. Well–those were the days. 🙂

    • labrown69

      I can’t wait to see which of these stupid lying Republicans wants to be the first to tell the American people, “sorry, we understand that your six year old who was in remission has been diagnosed with Leukemia but we can’t insure him because it’s a pre-existing condition. THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS A DEATH PANEL!

  • jebediah123

    I apologize for this after the fact statement (since ACA was just passed) but I believed whole heartedly in a statement made by a government official a couple of months ago on T.V.(sorry, I can’t remember his name). The statement—–WHY NOT JUST MEDICARE FOR EVERYONE?? To those worried about a huge bureaucracy being installed to govern the ACA let me point out that there hasn’t been major complaints about how Medicare is being run (other that the huge fraud cases by doctors and other “medical providers”) which I will add are now being vigorously pursued.

  • By the time the election get here no one will care about this. It is hardly a tax raise for the entire middle class, because most of us get our insurance though our employers and will not be affected by the mandate/tax. Most people who do not have insurance honestly want it and will gladly purchase though the exchange. The few people who will dig their feet in and say I won’t purchase because I don’t need it right now are exactly the ones who need the mandate and should be fined because they do not pay into the insurance and will drain the insurance resources when they get sick and run to the emergency rooms for care. The only way insurance companies profit is if they have large numbers of people paying monthly premiums to cover the people who get sick. That is why we have employer based insurance in the private sector and why individuals and small businesses have such a hard time getting affordable coverage. It is also why the health insurance industry loves the mandate – it will be a cash cow for them.

  • middleclasstaxpayer

    If your level of comprehension were higher than a 4th grader, you would have understood my comments: The UNEMPLOYMENT rate among 18-25 year olds runs double the rate for others. When their PARENTS are also unemployed, they (the 18-25 year olds) have NO COVERAGE, which means we the taxpayers will be expected to take up the slack thru HIGHER TAXES. This is a vicious upward spiral, which will spin ever more costly out of control. But then, you probably think like Warren Buffet…”we should ALL pay more taxes”, right?

    • Life and good health, to me and many others, is more important than money. So the answer to your question is YES, if that what it takes.

      I am my brothers keeper.

  • Mr_Bill_of_Rights

    I do not agree with the mandate. I don’t care if Supreme approves. It is not Constitutinal. Change this by Constitutional Ammendmet. Also repeal the portion tat says Congress is exempted from this law and add public option. The law passed creates a socialized mononpoly. Competition creates companies to compete with each other to reduce cost and quality improvement for their earnings. This law creates a monopoly and consumer can’t shop for better coverage and with this Insurance Companies have no incentive to improve.

    • dtgraham

      Yes, in most areas of the free market competition reduces cost and improves quality—agreed. There are a few areas though where it doesn’t and health care is one of those. It drives costs up and reduces access in health care. It’s works the opposite and it’s inappropriate for health care. It’s also absurd to think that a person who has been stricken with appendicitis, or needs chemotherapy, will shop around for bargains.

    • I seem to remember that the States were supposed to set up markets where you could “shop” for health care insurance. I think that would create competition among the various health care providers.

  • ralphkr

    To all those who are constantly complaining about Congress being exempt from Obamacare and should be forced to have Obamacare I would like to point out the major error in your reasoning. You should be screaming that EVERYONE in the US should have the same health care plan as Congress.

  • nomaster

    The mandate never should have been a part of the affordable healthcare Act. Obama should have pushed for and accomplished the public single payer option. In the beginning he had the political capital and a chance to accomplish it and should not have played the Republican game of deception. They were not going to go along with anything he tried to pass from the beginning, whatever the reason. The mandate was a Republican conservative concept in the beginning and he let himself take the bait by offering it to them to which they turned it down and we successful in turning it against him.
    It is time for a reality check, you can’t negotiate, nor expect to compromise with someone, that never intended to compromise with you on anything; when from the very start they swore to defeat you and make you a one term president. I’am an outsider (Liberterian) looking in.
    As a liberterian I don’t like mandates on anything, not even auto insurance, but I do believe that health insurance should be available to all sovereign citizens in this nation at a reasonable cost. If we are professing to be a human country, then we should act like one. For too long, health care has been a for profit, money grabbing industry with no one’s health in concern except that of its investors and CEO. I don’t believe at all in intrusive-coersive government (mandates) nor the mass political deceiption that seems to be ongoing in today’s politics. We stand alone or fall alone in a free society.

  • MJRinPA

    “Accordingly, the Republicans are promoting their “repeal and replace Obamacare” theme”

    But, they have never said what they would replace it with…you can’t simply repeal and hang people out to dry.