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Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the let-the-celebrations-and-recriminations-begin dept.

The Courts 2416

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. The health insurance mandate, also known as "Obamacare" was found to be "permissible under Congress's taxing authority." The full ruling (PDF) is now available, and the court's opinion begins on page 7. Amy Howe from SCOTUSblog summarized the ruling thus: "The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding." Further coverage is available from CNN, the NY Times, and Fox.

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First dissent (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479495)

First dissent

So from here on out ... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479507)

If you don't do what the government wants, you will find a new "tax" will appear to make you do it.

Re:So from here on out ... (5, Insightful)

ElmoGonzo (627753) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479543)

Which is counterpoint to granting tax breaks to get people to do something.

Re:So from here on out ... (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479743)

Which is counterpoint to granting tax breaks to get people to do something.

Carrot or Stick, you have your choice.

Don't like it? Blame those broad powers granted through phrases like "provide for the general welfare" in the Constitution.

Re:So from here on out ... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479551)

If you don't do what the government wants, you will find a new "tax" will appear to make you do it.

Yes, especially when the government (AKA "we the people") wants you to stop freeloading on the health insurance system we're paying for.

Re:So from here on out ... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479609)

Yeah, this is a loser for all Americans. The majority of the country didn't want this legislation. It was voted down in congress and they had to resort to some trick to pass it. The entire time the Obama Administration kept saying that this was NOT A TAX ... that it was a Mandate. Now the SCOTUS says that it is unconstitutional as a Mandate, but it's ok at a TAX. So the bill that was passed was not only against the wishes of the majority of the people, it doesn't even work the way the minority said it would when it was voted upon.

Re:So from here on out ... (5, Informative)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479765)

The majority of the country didn't want this legislation.

Yeah, funny thing about that.

When people were polled about specific parts OF the bill, with the exception of the mandate, everything had a solid majority of support.
Of course, the mandate is the keystone that pays for the rest of the parts people like.

So, all that really proves is people want the great taste WITH less filling, which isn't how economics works.
It's more of a pudding after meat situation.

Re:So from here on out ... (5, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479817)

typical americans. like everything about it except the bill. I'm in favor of everything about it except that "I have to pay for it" part....

Re:So from here on out ... (4, Informative)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479783)

The majority of the country, however, wanted every single major provision of the legislation. The hate is more of a result of a concerted PR campaign. Many Americans, like myself, wanted something better, more efficient, and more forward-thinking in scope, but that was "double socialism" or some such.

Re:So from here on out ... (5, Insightful)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479805)

Most people don't know what's in the ACA.

Most people like what's in the ACA.

Re:So from here on out ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479621)

It is important to note that once the Government has enough power to force you to buy a product or service, the Democrats as well as the Republicans will take full advantage of this. Democrats will force the Republicans to live their lives the way the Democrats want and the Republicans will do the same to the Democrats. Meanwhile, those who fund the campaign coffers of both parties will make out like bandits. The only way to break this cycle is to ensure that that the Federal Government focuses on a few key issues such as national defense and leave the rest to the states and local communities to figure out what is best for the people who live there.

Re:So from here on out ... (1)

CaseyRM13 (1944972) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479721)

What do you mean from here on out? The government has been doing this for years. Ever hear of a "vice" tax?

Re:So from here on out ... (3, Interesting)

icebrain (944107) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479735)

The best part is this... the majority opinion says

Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a "tax" for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a "penalty," not a "tax."

Therefore, it is not a tax for purposes of the Anti-Injuction Act (which says you can't challenge taxes beforehand; you have to pay first and then sue).

And then they go on to say Congress could have made it a tax, and that would have been ok, so we're calling it a tax and saying it's ok.

So, it's not a tax, but it is a tax. Which one is it?

This is the part I'm upset about. I don't really give two flying pieces of excrement about the law itself anymore; we're already doomed to Greece redux since our appetites are too big for our wallets. But the government blatantly saying "we'll just contort language however we need to so we can do anything we want" does not bode well at all.

Re:So from here on out ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479767)

Yea, I want to smoke pot, but I can't seem to locate the appropriate stamp I need to to purchase as a means of paying my taxes on the product.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marihuana_Tax_Act_of_1937 [wikipedia.org]

Re:So from here on out ... (3, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479803)

I'm rather disappointed in this turn of events as well. I was hoping for a do-over, because Obama-care is just another case of corporate welfare.
Of course you have a better idea, right? One that will reduce costs, dramatically eliminate overhead, provide availability to all, and improve patient outcomes? Nah, didn't think so. No..., the system controlled by the for-profit medical-insurance industry is most decidedly not it. Not by any of those metrics. I'll give you a hint, though. There are a lot of other countries that have figured it out. Turn off the Fox News and get some facts.

Re:So from here on out ... (5, Insightful)

junior.kun (987391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479823)

This is no different than a "tax break" for mortgage interest, or any other similar tax break, which is just a tax raise for the rest of us (i.e. people who rent their homes and therefore don't get the mortgage interest deduction) If the government can raise your taxes for not having a mortgage, it follows it can raise your taxes for not having health insurance. The Supreme Court decision is logical given prior precedent.

Excellent decision (0, Flamebait)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479519)

Now just wait for the Republicans to get in and start 'taxing' you for not going to church and not believing in Creationism and not owning a gun.

Re:Excellent decision (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479667)

I'm already taxed for not having a mortgage, not producing "clean" coal, not having children, and numerous other things that we as a culture have decided should be incentivized. The former two items in your list would be a clear violation of the first amendment, which this case did not rest on, whereas the third would be constitutional(but also kind of silly).

Odd reasoning (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479521)

I find it interesting that it was found Constitutional under taxing power. I don't recall anyone pushing that angle to support the Constitutionality.

Re:Odd reasoning (4, Informative)

onemorechip (816444) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479645)

I find it interesting that it was found Constitutional under taxing power. I don't recall anyone pushing that angle to support the law in the court of public opinion.

There, FTFY.

Re:Odd reasoning (5, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479669)

Nobody had to. According to Roberts, it is the court's duty to seek out and find any possible angle to keep a law constitutional. If it fails by one interpretation, use another. Only if everything fails is it struck down.

Re:Odd reasoning (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479681)

It was an "interesting" lawsuit to begin with. The entire basis of the lawsuit, that the mandate was unconstitutional, is a legal theory that was concocted and purchased in to public awareness via conservative media outlets. When the law was being written, this sort of challenge was not even on the radar and had no legal precedent whatsoever. Plenty of other insurance mandate style laws already exist. (We're compelled to buy all sorts of insurance for all sorts of reasons)

Now, though, that the mandate-is-tax ruling is a supreme court ruling it opens the doors to more legislation of that type in the future. The repubs own that one for putting up a flimsy case to begin with.

Re:Odd reasoning (4, Informative)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479725)

It was argued as a side argument at SCOTUS. basically the argument was that 'this is permissible under the Commerce Clause, but oh, even if it isn't then it is a tax and is permissible as that'. Always smart to give the court multiple possible reasons something can be constitutional as this case clearly shows.

Re:Odd reasoning (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479727)

Congress and Obama denied it was a tax at the time of passage but the first day of the supreme court arguments was whether it was a tax or not (and if you look back at the coverage, the unanimous opinion was: not a tax).

Now to understand what it means (4, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479527)

I already have health insurance. It's expensive and overly complicated, but I do have it. So, will this actually change anything for people like me? Hopefully I won't be picking up the tab for so many others who opted not to buy insurance before getting sick. But otherwise I don't see a huge impact.

Re:Now to understand what it means (-1, Troll)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479623)

Odds are your taxes will go up to support enforcing this program, as will your health insurance costs as they struggle to compete with it.

Re:Now to understand what it means (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479679)

Expect high-deductible policies to disappear.

Re:Now to understand what it means (5, Informative)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479779)

Odds are your taxes will go up to support enforcing this program, as will your health insurance costs as they struggle to compete with it.

Insurance rates will likely go up LESS fast since those WITH health insurance have ALWAYS been paying for those WITHOUT. Now we will no longer have to do that in many cases. Of course, healthcare and insurance being what they are, insurance will still go up, just not as fast.

At this point most of the law has already been priced in insurance anyway.

Good question (5, Informative)

Tancred (3904) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479661)

The individual mandate was designed (by Republican think tanks) to avoid freeloaders, who we've all been paying for when they show up in the emergency room.

I also have insurance and the 2 big things it does for me are that it'll be tougher for an insurance company to deny benefits based on a pre-existing condition (which has been interpreted ludicrously loosely at times) and that if I (or someone close to me) ever does have huge medical bills, it will be less likely to bankrupt me.

Re:Now to understand what it means (0)

SonofSmog (1961084) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479671)

Of course you will be picking up more of the tab. Anytime you expand something that costs money SOMEONE has to pay for it, and that someone is you. There isn't a single provision in Obamacare that will reduce costs.

Re:Now to understand what it means (2)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479801)

When someone uninsured goes to an ER, who pays for their care?

Re:Now to understand what it means (1)

rmstar (114746) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479827)

Of course you will be picking up more of the tab. Anytime you expand something that costs money SOMEONE has to pay for it, and that someone is you. There isn't a single provision in Obamacare that will reduce costs.

Not true. In the case of healthcare, having people getting adecuate medical attention sooner means less health issues spiralling out of control and less expensive emergencies. Costs will go down.

A good, state run single payer system (like many Europeans have) would have reduced the costs furthrer.

Re:Now to understand what it means (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479675)

You'll still be picking up the tab along with the rest of us. It's just that the feds will now make some money off the side, too.

Re:Now to understand what it means (5, Insightful)

letsief (1053922) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479683)

You were already doing that before, partly through your taxes, partly through effectively paying higher amounts to hospitals, in order to compensate hospitals for the all the ER visits they get from people without insurance (and thus likely never pay). You potentially could have ended up in the situation you were worried about if the Supreme Court struck down the individual mandate, but kept the rest of the law.

Re:Now to understand what it means (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479693)

You currently have insurance. The question is is your insurance good enough. The government can now decide what are the minimum requirements for an insurance plan to be acceptable and you not to have to pay the penalty. If the government decides that all acceptable plans have to cover gyms and your plan does not you either switch plans or pay the penalty.

Re:Now to understand what it means (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479709)

Yeah, just because it's been out there for two years, NOW we finally decide to start looking at what's in there? *sigh*

Anyway, your answer: no, as long as your plan covers everything the bill mandates.

Re:Now to understand what it means (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479719)

I already have health insurance. It's expensive and overly complicated, but I do have it. So, will this actually change anything for people like me? Hopefully I won't be picking up the tab for so many others who opted not to buy insurance before getting sick. But otherwise I don't see a huge impact.

Really? Forty percent of the people in the US pay ZERO federal taxes. It's a free ride for them on my back!

Re:Now to understand what it means (2)

GateGuy (973596) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479739)

I would think that your premiums should go down.

I believe that a portion of the premiums that I pay go to a state uninsured fund, that hospitals draw from to pay for uninsured people that visit the emergency room.

With everyone having insurance now, there would no longer be a need for the state to collect and disperse the funds.

Of course I am talking about the state of Maryland, so if the funds are no longer needed for uninsured, the state will flush the money down Baltimore.

Re:Now to understand what it means (4, Informative)

fermion (181285) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479753)

The theory is that health care will be cheaper overall because everyone will have to pay for thier healthcare. We will not have situations where a 30 year old chooses not to have health insurance because work does nor provide such a benifit, then has a major illness that the taxpayers fund the care of.

In Texas the state created a socialist program in which everyone who drives a car has to have insurance. The argument that having a car is a choice was hogwash, you have to have a car in texas. The government basically decided the insurance companies were to profit, but did crate a pool that one could use for insurance of last resort. The result is a new $400 expense to owning a car. The other result is that uninsured motorist insurance is very cheap, and I am not paying for others people accidents. If it is good in TX, it is good everywhere.

Well hell! (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479531)

What did you expect? These people know not to bite the hands that feed them.

Public option (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479533)

What ever happened to the public option? You know, cutting the profit motive out of funding health care, so that people do not have to fight with their insurance companies or with hospitals just to get the treatment they need?

+1 (4, Insightful)

Tancred (3904) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479567)

Medical insurance is not only incredibly frustrating to deal with, but a huge unnecessary expense in the system.

Re:+1 (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479733)

Medical insurance is straightforward to deal with, and a necessary expense. High-deductible plans are great. You are thinking of managed health plans/HMOs.

Re:Public option (5, Informative)

SpaceWiz (54904) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479581)

It took a lot of political capital to even get this passed. The public option was removed to make it passable.

Re:Public option (4, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479747)

And by that you mean "acceptable to the health insurance lobby". Partly I blame this as a failure of marketing. Had they simply touted the public option as "Medicare for everybody" we'd have that instead of this hlaf-assed compromise.

Re:Public option (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479591)

What ever happened to the public option? You know, cutting the profit motive out of funding health care, so that people do not have to fight with their insurance companies or with hospitals just to get the treatment they need?

Because half the country is convinced that allowing giant corporations to profit off the sick is the only non-"socialist" option.

Re:Public option (0)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479813)

Because half the country is convinced that allowing giant corporations to profit off the sick is the only non-"socialist" option.

Yes, the half that are fecking morons. Aka the GOP half. And most of them are over 65 and on MEDICARE!!!! Talk about absolute hypocrisy.

Dreaming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479619)

If you don't think government is driven by profit, you're dreaming.

Re:Dreaming (1)

aardwolf64 (160070) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479745)

I don't think the government knows what profit is.

"Leftover money? What's that????"

Re:Dreaming (1)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479789)

Profit comes in many guises

Re:Public option (1)

StormReaver (59959) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479655)

What ever happened to the public option?

The Republicans killed it.

Re:Public option (0)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479663)

What ever happened to the public option? You know, cutting the profit motive out of funding health care, so that people do not have to fight with their insurance companies or with hospitals just to get the treatment they need?

Yes, instead they have to fight with the government which puts them in a queue longer than their likely survival time and hopes they'll die and save them some money. Which is much easier and more civilized.

Seriously, if the US government pushed Britain's NHS on Americans there'd be another revolution within a week.

Re:Public option (5, Interesting)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479691)

What, you mean the OTHER Republican-originated plan that the Republicans blocked so that Obama couldn't look good by doing his job? What the hell do you think happened to it? It went the way of other Republican-originated ideas that are now demonized by the Republicans once a Democrat signs onto it, like cap and trade, etc.

Re:Public option (2, Insightful)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479701)

What ever happened to the public option? You know, cutting the profit motive out of funding health care, so that people do not have to fight with their insurance companies or with hospitals just to get the treatment they need?

What we need is a public option for food. You know, cutting the profit motive out of fending off starvation, so that people do not have to fight with their grocery stores just to get the sustenance we need. Also a public option for housing, so that people don't have to fight with their landlords or builders just to keep from dying from exposure. And a public option for transportation, just so I don't have to fight with the auto retailer just so I can perform useful work for this great civilization. And a public option for clothing, but I already mentioned exposure. And a public option for entertainment, because life will be awfully dreary with no entertainment.

~Loyal

Re:Public option (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479731)

Well, fundamentally, you'd have to blame American fear of socialism. In a more "what really could go wrong" sense, politicians(and to be fair, economists too) were scared of what would happen if they unmade an entire industry in a matter of a few years.

Re:Public option (1)

letsief (1053922) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479763)

Wouldn't the hospitals and doctors still have a profit motive? And, with health insurance policies typically set up so the individual see's little cost to themselves for procedures and tests, who would be providing a counterbalance to the doctors' profit motives to keep costs moderately sane?

I actually think the public option was a good idea, although mostly for folks that don't/can't get insurance through their employer. But I don't think it was actually going to help noticeably with costs.

Re:Public option (4, Interesting)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479777)

Big mistake to have that removed. Your health care system now looks a little like ours in the Netherlands, and we are seeing what one would expect to see with mandatory health care insurance: premiums go up every year, and not just because of a greater overall demand. The cold truth is that insurers, collectively, have zero interest in keeping healthcare cost down. On the contrary, they'd rather charge you $600/month rather than $300 to cover the same package, unless there is some real competition amongst insurers. Over here, there really isn't.

I'm no fan of our social-democrat party, but I do agree with an idea they floated the other day: as insurance is mandatory, the insurers add no value whatsoever. They do add a considerable amount of overhead and a staggering amount of red tape and bureaucracy in health care. Cut them out of the deal, let the government handle health care payments and collect premiums (as they already do for part of the basic package).

Re:Public option (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479819)

The public option IS putting the profit motive right in front of the health care issue. 20% of medicare and medicaid claims are _fraud_. The politicians will ensure that their "pals" will get to drink from the government trough with little to no accountability. When was the last time the government created a large government program and then cancelled it because it was ineffective? Their only response is to guarantee if we fund it MORE, it will do what we want. Then when we fund these programs more, they still do not do what we want.

Fundamentally, if we were not willing to implement the changes we needed under a free-market system to reform medical coverage (such as tort reform), there is no way that we will be willing to fix what is broken in a large socialized medicine behemoth.

SCREW EVERYONE ELSE (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479547)

I got MY healthcare.

You and your family can take a FLYING LEAP.

The most selfish American generation says SCREW YOU!!

Re:SCREW EVERYONE ELSE (5, Informative)

cc_pirate (82470) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479839)

I got MY healthcare.

You and your family can take a FLYING LEAP.

The most selfish American generation says SCREW YOU!!

Thanks for sharing the GOP platform on this.

Political news polluting this site (0, Troll)

colin_faber (1083673) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479553)

Can we please stop with all the fucking political news stories now polluting slashdot? This use to be a great site that delt with technical stories, now it's just legal bullshit between samsung and apple and political garbage such as this and non-stop global warming nonsense.

Re:Political news polluting this site (3, Insightful)

evil_aaronm (671521) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479585)

Maybe you could, I don't know, skip the article?

Re:Political news polluting this site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479641)

that's not disingenuous at all ...........

Re:Political news polluting this site (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479613)

Can we please stop with all the fucking political news stories now polluting slashdot? This use to be a great site that delt with technical stories, now it's just legal bullshit between samsung and apple and political garbage such as this and non-stop global warming nonsense.

You're Right!! Let's go back to the good old days of SCO vs IBM.

Re:Political news polluting this site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479633)

This is news that directly affects everyone living in America and how they'll get their health coverage and healthcare from now on.

I know that to you it's less important than the latest flash storage specs or the Mass Effect DLC, but trust me, Important News is important.

Re:Political news polluting this site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479643)

Crawl into a hole and shoot yourself? Then you won't have to deal with any of this "news" bullshit.

Re:Political news polluting this site (2)

PHCOSci (1771552) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479697)

While I understand your sentiment I think legal proceedings have been a focus on /. for quite some time. This is also highly relevant to all freelancers, contract workers, and those that are self-employed. Which I'd imagine is a good chunk of the reader base.

I'm actually shocked that the legality of the House to levee the tax passed. If anything I thought they'd walk it back and require that provision removed. It seems ill advised to apply more blanket tax burdens to support individuals without the means or forethought to prepare for the future. Given how these sorts of Government run systems balloon out of control.. I suspect this one might implode faster than Social Security.

Health care and technology (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479703)

You want a technical aspect? Computerized medical records are one of the most complex software systems being worked on right now. There is an entire programming language that was developed for that purpose:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MUMPS [wikipedia.org]

Re:Political news polluting this site (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479713)

Man, this site was political way back into the mid 90s. I dont know what site you've been reading....

Freedom dies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479573)

Freedom, toilet, flush...

Re:Freedom dies (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479611)

Flush twice.. It's a long way to the cafeteria...

The restriction was reasonable (1)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479575)

Threatening to deny states funding unequally is almost certainly a violation of article 1, section 9, and I wish the supreme court would go further with prohibiting that kind of language.

the only parts in context (1)

KingAlanI (1270538) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479791)

seems like the same set of rules that each state can choose to abide or not abide by.

The only parts of Article 1 Section 9 that seem remotely in context, I don't see how they directly apply here. Were you thinking of something else?

"No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State. No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another."

Brilliant! (3, Funny)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479593)

Brilliant brainstorm, save the most important piece of democratic legislation written in decades by calling it a tax. The fact that a conservative Republican is the one that came up with this is true irony.

Re:Brilliant! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479761)

You can't call something that the majority were against when it was passed a piece of "democratic legislation" ... it's a travesty. Now as a Libertarian I am going to have to vote for Romney to be rid of this anti-democratic, anti-liberty bill.

Virtually all Ameriserfs (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479599)

Am I the only person living the USA that sees this as a huge step toward the complete subjugation of the "99%" non-wealthy-elites?

Am I the only person living on Earth that sees President Barack Hussein Obama is a tyrannical figurehead of a dragon poised to flex it's Lordship over it's Serfdom?

Global Serfdom at that... *wink*wink*nudge*nudge*New Zealand*United Kingdom*Sweden*

Re:Virtually all Ameriserfs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479715)

Yes. Yes you are.

It's not a tax (4, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479603)

It's not a tax. Obama even said so [go.com] . We have a honest man in the house. Why are you all doubting him?

Re:It's not a tax (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479651)

It's not a tax. Obama even said so [go.com] . We have a honest man in the house. Why are you all doubting him?

It's not a tax... it's a penalty for not paying into the health insurance system you will inevitably use. We all end up paying for health care, one way or another.

so now all the 39.5 part timers / subs can get rea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479607)

so now all the 39.5 part timers / subs can get real care right?

What is the mitt Romney plan? Be like stapes with low pay high presser sales where if you don't see your hours get cut so they don't have to give you a plan. How many people at stapes work a full 40 hour week?

Two ways to look at this (3, Insightful)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479615)

One, Justice Roberts took something that was not written as a tax, only defended as one, and changed the legislation.

Two, Justice Roberts confirmed that every time Pelosi, Reid, and Obama claim something isn't a tax, they are liars. Which most of us already knew.

Re:Two ways to look at this (2)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479793)

Roberts did not change the legislation, he just called a spade a spade.

And declared it constitutional for Congress to make up any ridiculous tax that they want. Expect to see more.

I thought the SCOTUS had become a political body. (5, Insightful)

Apharmd (2640859) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479629)

Quite surprising to see Roberts cross the aisle on this decision. For all of its flaws (and there are many), the Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction. Health care is one of the major issues of our time, and it's not realistic to suppose that a single piece of legislation can resolve it.

Economics (1)

darjen (879890) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479637)

It seems like increasing the demand for health insurance will make the price of go up. Could someone please explain why that is wrong?

Re:Economics (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479751)

It seems like increasing the demand for health insurance will make the price of go up. Could someone please explain why that is wrong?

Because insurance is more like a zero-sum game. Premiums from "healthy" people are used to pay for "sick" people. Without a mandate the "healthy" skip out on paying until they get sick, which drives up the costs for those who are actually need it.

Re:Economics (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479821)

It seems like increasing the demand for health insurance will make the price of go up. Could someone please explain why that is wrong?

That is why, originally, there was the public option. That never did make it through, so now we are stuck with the same profit-from-denying-treatment system we were trying to get rid of.

Tax?? I Call Bullshit (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479639)

From Dictionary.com:

tax:
noun
1. a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales, etc.
2. a burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand.

As the mandate is to give money to private insurers, and not the government itself, it does not fall under the Constitutional definition of a legal tax. I'm a bit shocked to see the SCOTUS uphold the law under an obvious and blatantly false definition of taxation, although after Citizen's United, nothing those berobed assholes do is really all that surprising.

So, the real question is: Our government is imposing an illegal tax on the people in direct violation of the Constitution; what do we do now?

Re:Tax?? I Call Bullshit (4, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479829)

Wrong. The tax is the PENALTY if you do not get insurance, not the insurance payment.

Directed Taxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479837)

Such directed taxes already exist. FICA, or Social Security, taxes go to fund checks to individuals. The money is directed to that purpose before it is collected.

I'm not sure why it is worse to know where the tax is going ahead of time. My 30%+ income taxes go into a general fund, and Congress gets to decide after the fact who they want to give it to.

If it's a tax then everyone should pay it (-1)

Karmashock (2415832) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479647)

I don't see why people that get government approved insurance don't pay it. If it's a tax and not a shitty way to coerce people into the program then it should apply to everyone.

To only apply it to people that don't get the policies is a bill of attainder.

Re:If it's a tax then everyone should pay it (4, Insightful)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479785)

Nonsense.

There are all sorts of contingent taxes.

Health Care NOT Health Insurance (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479653)

The whole problem with this is the insurance angle. This becomes a guaranteed income stream for private insurance companies. They have so many ways to hide their finances, people will pay ever higher costs for reduced care. There are a thousand studies saying health care costs will increase in the future, not including inflation. There are many ways the government could improve health care and reduce the cost of it, but this is not it. If the government was the insurance company that would be different, all they would have to do is add .5 % to the current medicare deduction. Simple. Let anyone that wants join a government health plan (with no existing condition clause). Simple.

So what's the penalty? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479673)

I need to know how much the penalty is so I can factor that into the cost/benefit analysis I use that consistently says "don't buy health insurance until you're 40."

Douche bag and turd sandwich (2, Insightful)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479699)

Yet another reason to stop voting for any of these candidates in this 2-party system. Yea, if we vote Romney in, I'm sure he'll overturn this debacle. But at the same time he'll figure out other ways to funnel our tax dollars in to industries that him and his party supports. Burn it all down.

How long? (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479711)

“The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money.” Alexis de Tocqueville

Totally for this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40479737)

I was supportive of the Bill originally and I'm happy it got upheld (but I'm little surprised).

It's not a mandate (5, Informative)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479755)

It's a new tax to cover the healthcare costs of those who end up in the hospital without insurance.

You can get a tax break for having your own insurance, as proof that you won't be costing taxpayers anything when you end up defaulting on $200k of hospital bills after an accident.

I don't know why the democrats couldn't shape the message that way. That's really what it is, and sounds better than "pay up or pay up".

Thank you Justice Roberts (2)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479799)

It is clear you have a human conscience.

We'll talk about that whole Citizens United thing later.

Destructive loop (1)

landofcleve (1959610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479811)

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing, always to be followed by a dictatorship, then a monarchy.
unreliable attributions

Roberts said... (3, Insightful)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40479833)

Chief Justice Roberts: “It Is Not Our Job to Protect the People From the Consequences of Their Political Choices”

There you go... bring on the consequences!

So who's job is it to look out for the best interests of the country? Is that one of those mystery jobs that Americans just don't want to do?

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