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Judge Declares Federal Healthcare Plan (Partly) Unconstitutional 1505

Posted by timothy
from the urge-us-to-go-and-buy dept.
healeyb writes "In a surprise move, US District Judge Henry E. Hudson issued a ruling today that the universal healthcare law that was pushed through by the Obama administration is unconstitutional. Specifically, he invalidated the section of the law that requires all citizens to purchase healthcare insurance, arguing that it does not fall under the purview of Commerce Clause of the Constitution, as has been asserted by the government. The ruling represents the first major setback for President Barack Obama on an issue that will likely end up at the Supreme Court. Two other courts have shot down challenges to the law."
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Judge Declares Federal Healthcare Plan (Partly) Unconstitutional

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  • Unconstitutional (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mark72005 (1233572) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:03PM (#34536820)
    Too bad "unconstitutional" is only defined by which party has the bench packed at the Supreme Court, currently
  • Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sunking2 (521698) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:04PM (#34536838)
    Oh really? Anyone who at least didn't question the constitutionality of this really (regardless of where you end up standing) needs to get a clue.
  • by Agent__Smith (168715) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:06PM (#34536848) Homepage

    How can it possibly be constitutional to force someone sitting at home who has no insurance to leave that home, to forcibly purchase anything? It is like forcing a license to live.

    While I think it foolish not to purchase said insurance if possible, I cannot see anyway to legally compel this action by force.

  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:06PM (#34536856) Journal

    Yes but we need those guys. We need the flaming crazies that will go to court and FORCE the judges to look at every little issue and say, "No, stfu," or "Holy hell how did this get to be law?!" We NEED someone to challenge every little thing the government does and make the one balance we have-- the courts-- stand up and tell the executive and legislative branch where to shove it when they overstep their bounds.

    What we don't need is these people becoming judges or congressmen.

  • by Tetsujin (103070) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:07PM (#34536872) Homepage Journal

    The same guy that went after Michael Mann [slashdot.org] and others [slashdot.org] after it was thrown out [slashdot.org]. He's a young Republican with an agenda [wikipedia.org] that he's forcing down everyone's throat since day one. From trying to change the state seal (it has a mammary in it!) to just stating that "Homosexuality is wrong."

    Damn those activist judges!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:08PM (#34536884)

    The odd aspect of the current plan is that you can be compelled by law, just by dint of being a citizen, to purchase a product from a private company.

    If it was an across-the-board tax for across-the-board health coverage it'd clearly be constitutional. But for some reason we have to keep cutting in a for-profit industry that adds no real value to the process and pretend that's better than having the government pool the cash and disburse it as necessary to doctors.

    They actually found a worse solution than socialism to the problem.

  • Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 0racle (667029) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:08PM (#34536886)
    Only in the US is healthcare a privilege instead of a human right. That so many in a 'civilized' country are opposed to universal healthcare should make people wonder if the term 'civilized' is appropriate at all.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:09PM (#34536898)
    Long story short: it starts in the corporate boardroom, and ends in a room full of senators on a pile of hookers and blow.
  • ...ask yourself who this is actually a victory for. After all, this was only a ruling against a part of the law, not the entire thing. And this was really the part that was the biggest corporate hand-out of the bill - had a real liberal written it we would have seen a single-payer option instead of forcing people to give more money to large corporations.

    So in other words, if this part goes, and the rest stays, what are we left with? A bunch of smaller corporate hand-outs that don't fix much of anything in a horrendously broken system. Most people will still have the shitty insurance they already have, and they will see their costs continue to rise the same way that they would have if nothing at all had happened.

    So whether it goes away - in part or in entirety - or not, we still have a crappy broken system. Maybe, just maybe - if we are really truly fortunate - this will motive our politicians to actually write a bill that addresses some of the existing problems and then hold an honest discussion on that.

    But I suspect at this rate I (and anyone currently reading this) will be dead before that happens in the US.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:12PM (#34536926)

    Liberals: The government should force these people to buy our horrible idea of healthcare. Because we are so smart and know what is best for them knuckledraggers.

  • Re:Flamebait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Moridineas (213502) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:12PM (#34536928) Journal

    I think the only part of the story that is flamebait is the editorial statement "In a surprise move."

    This is NOT a surprise move. The individual mandate has been widely debated by academics and lawyers with many dissenting viewpoints. It was pretty much inevitable that at some point a portion of the bill (and most likely the individual mandate) would end up in front of a judge who didn't find it licit, and that it would end up in front of the supreme court.

    I would bet anything that President Obama and and most of the people behind the health care bill were certain that it would at some point be reviewed by SCOTUS.

  • by Hatta (162192) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:14PM (#34536960) Journal

    The same way it's possible to force him to pay for roads he doesn't use, police he doesn't need, or libraries he doesn't want. It's like people never heard of taxes before.

    As for the Commerce Clause, yes it's been mutilated in the past century. I'd be in favor of rolling back those abuses. But as long as the courts hold that Cannabis [wikipedia.org] grown for personal medical use in ones own home can be considered interstate commerce this challenge doesn't have a chance.

    Where the hell were all of you limited government people 5 years ago?

  • by Beelzebud (1361137) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:14PM (#34536982)
    Anyone with a memory better than a gold fish can laugh with me as I recall that insurance mandates were originally the Republican plan. Republicans loved the idea of a mandate, and Democrats hated it.

    Now? The Democrats folded like a cheap suit, gave the Republicans what they had been calling for for 15 years, and suddenly the Republicans hate the idea of a mandate.
  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:19PM (#34537052) Journal

    It's surprising when the constitutionality of *ANY* measure the federal government takes is called into question. If we really read the constitution, very, very little of what our government does is authorized. The real question is not whether this bill is unconstitutional, most laws are unconstitutional. The question is why does this law get questioned, when other laws that are just as clearly unconstitutional get a pass?

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gurps_npc (621217) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:19PM (#34537064) Homepage
    I don't question it. I have studied it thoroughly and am very well educated on the issue. You are entirely wrong, are acting emotional and objecting to soemthign becaue you dislike it and therefore are struggling to find SOME kind of insane argument about it being unconstitional. Nope. Sorry. Not everything you hate is unconstitional.

    The clause in question does NOT really criminalize failure to get insurance, it simply requires those that fail to buy a insurance to pay the government cash.

    Just as the government can put a tax on you doing something, they can put a tax on you not doing something. Just as the government can say "we give everyone that have children a tax reduction", that same government can say "We give everyone that buys health care, a tax reduction."

    The only problem here is a bunch of morons are too stupid to think their own argument through. They get caught up in words like 'require' but don't bother to look at what the law actually does.

    The fact that the government choose to use words that sound like they are criminalizing it does not affect the actual content of the law. The fact that you can't find anything at all actually wrong with the law forces you to concentrate on irrelavant crap.

  • by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:22PM (#34537130) Journal

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    Either we have a Constitution, and it applies, or it does not. Can you tell me, exactly where in the Constitution, Congress has the authority to require people to spend any money on anything, save for taxes?

    If you clamor about the Commerce Clause I'll scream that Health Insurance is NOT interstate commerce, it is specifically NOT interstate. I can't buy health insurance from Nevada.

    But that is besides the point, you want universally bad health care for everyone, so Constitution be damned.

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Courageous (228506) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:23PM (#34537144)

    California. A State, not the Federal Government.

  • There's a lot of FUD out there about health insurance. So here's the facts:

    Country A: Health insurance is optional. So only the sick get health insurance. Their premiums are high, because they use their health insurance a lot. The young and uninsured meanwhile, a few of them need to go to the hospital too (broken arms, etc.: anyone can have a health emergency, even the very healthy). However, since the young and uninsured are usually poor, they can't afford the bills. They avoid them. Or declare bankruptcy. The hospital passes the unpaid bills onto the state and feds, and your tax dollars pay to keep the hospital from going bankrupt. Since no self-respecting society can turn away the sick, this already is universal healthcare, just paid for in the stupidest most expensive way possible. As well as destroying young people's credit and encouraging them to freeload and act irresponsibly.

    Country B: Health insurance is mandatory. So everyone pays premiums. The premiums are low, because only a small percentage of the insured population actually use the insurance. The young need insurance because they can get sick too, and no, it is not wrong to be using some of the money of the young to treat the older and sick. This is called morality in most societies: you care for the elderly and sick in your society. Only in an immoral society are you encouraged to not care for your elders and your weak.

    So why is the USA stuck in Country A status? Because insurance companies are making money hand over fist in the broken system, and don't want to lose their profits. They pay for FUD propaganda about government death panels, massive expense increases, etc., the naive and foolish believe the FUD, and the naive and foolish wind up supporting a system that hurts their health.

    And then there is the criticism of quality of healthcare between country A and country B. And it is true: crisis care in country A is superior to crisis care in country B. Why? Because crisis care, like heart attacks, is expensive, therefore generating revenues. See, country A is all about making money, not taking care of your health. Meanwhile, country B actually delivers a genuine higher quality healthcare, at a lower cost, because the emphasis is on preventative care: making sure you get screened, diagnosed, and put on a diet/ pills so you don't even get that heart attack in the first place... but that approach doesn't make as much money, see? It has to be about making money, not taking care of you?

    Look: car insurance is mandatory in the USA. If you understand the logic behind that, you understand why health insurance should be mandatory, and not some evil socialist plot to destroy America, blah blah blah, FUD and propaganda paid for by health corporations.

  • by jfruhlinger (470035) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:24PM (#34537176) Homepage

    Call it a "corporate handout" if you want, but the logic behind it is this: you can't require private insurers to accept new customers with pre-existing conditions (which the health reform does -- and this is probably its most popular provision) without requiring everyone to buy health insurance. Otherwise, people would just stay uninsured until they got sick, and the whole health insurance industry would collapse. Essentially, this is the only way that you can get a system with universal coverage that is entirely based on private insurance.

    If this provision doesn't hold, you may get your single payer coverage sooner than you think.

  • by shmlco (594907) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:31PM (#34537306) Homepage

    From a Tea Party Republican's perspective, "meaningful" health care reform would entail eliminating Medicare and Medicaid, freeing all employers from having to pay health care benefits, and all insurance companies from having to pay claims.

    The "free market" will provide all that is needed.

  • by mark72005 (1233572) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:31PM (#34537316)
    "Meaningful" means, representing a substantial change for the affected people.

    This bill is by that definition, about as far from meaningful as it gets.

    If anything we are worse off than before. No more people are covered, some people have less coverage, and for all it is more expensive.
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:32PM (#34537334)

    ...you want universally bad health care for everyone

    No. The OP said nothing like that. Democrats said nothing like that. Nobody but you said anything like that. Claiming people who disagree with you are burning kittens and hate freedom is not an argument.

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love (1445365) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:33PM (#34537360) Journal

    >>>The clause in question does NOT really criminalize failure to get insurance, it simply requires those that fail to buy a insurance to pay the government cash.

    Sounds like a fine to me. Where in the Constitution was Congress given power to interfere with INTRAstate commerce between Me and my Doctor or hospital? Answer: No where. Such interference is specifically limited to the STATE Legislature per amendment 10.

    If you still think your stance is reasonable, consider if the Congress started charging people $1000 extra per year if they failed to buy a solar roof. Or a Microsoft Operating System. Or a General Motors car. Or ..... Still think your stance is reasonable? Once the precedent is set (fines for failure to buy a product) then there's no limit to what the Congress can "nudge" us to buy.

    Anyway I hold to Jefferson and Madison's opinion that the US was meant to have a FEW enumerated powers, while most of the powers remained with the Member States. Just like the modern EU.

  • by Moridineas (213502) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:34PM (#34537378) Journal

    Either we have a Constitution, and it applies, or it does not. Can you tell me, exactly where in the Constitution, Congress has the authority to require people to spend any money on anything, save for taxes?

    That would be (amongst others), Article I, Section:

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States;

    But that is besides the point, you want universally bad health care for everyone, so Constitution be damned.

    My problem with this -- what in the health care bill actually improve things? At the small business where I work, our health insurance costs look to be increasing by 20-30% for our next contract. That's even worse than the increases a few years ago! With regards to affordability, doctor supply, availability, quality -- I don't see how anything is improved. I tend towards the libertarian in general, but I would have rather had a full on single payer plan over what we got...seems to be the absolute worst of both worlds.

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:36PM (#34537430)
    When Congress was debating this bill, its proponents were very emphatic that this provision was not a tax. Now, you want to argue that it is a tax?
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:36PM (#34537440) Journal

    I'm getting a lot of mod points these days, but regrettably I have none at the moment.

    Your point about the commerce clause is correct. If it meant that the federal government has the power to intervene in anything that is bought or sold, or not bought or sold, across state lines or even entirely on one's own property, than the rest of the constitution would be moot.

    I'd say it's about time we struck the commerce clause altogether, and replaced it with a simple prohibition of interstate tariffs or trade barriers.

    -jcr

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thynk (653762) <slashdot&thynk,us> on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:38PM (#34537472) Homepage Journal

    Because, if every bit of legislation passed in the last hundred years was put to a strict constitutional test and found to not be within the powers of congress to legislate the libertarians would win. Then again, maybe that's not a bad thing.

  • by sstamps (39313) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:38PM (#34537474) Homepage

    ..or Attorney General. Oh, wait..

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:39PM (#34537498)

    The clause in question does NOT really criminalize failure to get insurance, it simply requires those that fail to buy a insurance to pay the government cash.

    I think the distinction between unbounded taxation and compulsion can be a false one.

    For example, if the government taxes me at 100% because I don't (for example) want to wear pink pajamas, then I'll be unable to provide adequate care for my children, and they can be taken away. Or it could make me homeless, which coupled with anti-loitering laws could essentially banish me from a city for now wearing pink pajamas, and it could all be done using the tax code.

    So really, in the end, when the government can punish me with a ruinuos tax rate for doing something for which they can't throw me in prison, the distinction seems fairly moot.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:39PM (#34537500)

    So what about roads?
    Police service? Fire Dept?

    All of those are someones goods and services.

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:39PM (#34537502)

    Essentially, this is the only way that you can get a system with universal coverage that is entirely based on private insurance.

    Which is precisely the problem here: we do not have a public option. The public option would have represented actual progress on getting universal coverage, and we did not pass it. Instead, we decided to pass yet another bill that enriches large corporations, rather than a bill that would have actually benefited America. This provision should never have even been discussed because it only makes sense if the interests of private insurance companies are a priority.

  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Astro Dr Dave (787433) <dwhysong AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:40PM (#34537522)
    Health care cannot be a right, and I honestly cannot conceive of the twisted thinking that gives rise to such an idea. If health care is a guaranteed right, then you are essentially advocating slavery for health care providers.

    And, for all those democrats who think this is a bad decision, let's turn this around: do you think it would be reasonable for the government to force you to buy a gun every year? It's the exact same thing.
  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:41PM (#34537526) Journal

    The clause in question does NOT really criminalize failure to get insurance, it simply requires those that fail to buy a insurance to pay the government cash.

    Congratulations, citizen! You have achieved a masters degree in doubletalk.

    -jcr

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:44PM (#34537604)

    If you like living in a third world nation maybe. We would have no interstate highway, the Internet would never have been invented, and many places might still not even have electricity. Truly a wonderland, like Somalia.

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:45PM (#34537618) Journal

    Please define what a "human right" is, in terms that can be applied to anyone that is stranded on an island all by themselves.

    My point, a RIGHT cannot be SECURED by the TAKING from one, and GIVING to another. Rights are SELF evident, meaning they don't require anything from anyone else.

    If, however, you believe that a RIGHT can be secured by the TAKING from another, then I suggest that you lock your kidneys up, because someone's right to LIFE might require them to TAKE your kidney, regardless of how you feel about it. If you can demand of me to give to another to secure a "right", then society has the same ability to do the same thing to you in ways that is most unpleasant.

    Somehow, I doubt you'll understand the basic concept here because you want something (thing) you don't have, and are willing to use government to give it to you. Health care is a THING, not a right. It cost money to produce, people to work for it, technology and skills to enhance it.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness

  • by DrLang21 (900992) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:46PM (#34537622)
    From a Libertarian's perspective, "meaningful" means all of those in addition to axing the health insurance industry. That system is the biggest part of the cancer that is killing us. Once healthcare providers have no choice but to make services affordable or run out of customers, they will find a way. As long as health insurance exists, they will have no need to make services affordable.
  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HungryHobo (1314109) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:50PM (#34537714)

    What's depressing is that you guys seem to have ended up with the worst of all possible health systems.
    the expense, the inefficiency and the overall terribleness of a private system combined with the expense, the inefficiency and the overall terribleness of a public system.

    Avoiding the advantages of either and getting the disadvantages of both.

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by danbert8 (1024253) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:51PM (#34537752)

    Umm actually, the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways disagrees with you, as it was built for military purposes and thus is well within the constitutional bounds of government. Also, it does facilitate and aid interstate commerce, while still being managed by the states.

    The internet? Again, developed for the military, and then expanded to allow for private use. And electricity was completely private and had no issues until the government forced a monopoly, and I think it should go back to being deregulated.

  • by Pojut (1027544) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:52PM (#34537758) Homepage

    Damn those activist judges!

    Definition of activist judge: any judge who makes a decision you disagree with for partisan or moral reasons.

    They don't call it "practicing law" for nothing!

  • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:54PM (#34537814)

    That's a nice thought, but they aren't challenging "every little thing" the government does, they only challenge things they don't like, and there aren't a similar number of "flaming crazies" challenging other laws that other americans view as blatantly unconstitutional or imposing on freedom.

    Take "obscenity" laws for instance, blatantly unconstitutional and yet those who oppose such laws aren't running around the streets casually with semi-automatic weapons or making references to "2nd amendment remedies" when things don't go their way.

    If this were a case about a law requiring everyone to purchase a Bible, these same people would be actively supporting the law or at least remaining silent, because that's what they do, they only run their mouths and cry about freedom when it suits their personal causes.

  • by NoSig (1919688) on Monday December 13, 2010 @03:56PM (#34537878)

    Claiming people who disagree with you are burning kittens and hate freedom is not an argument.

    On the contrary, in politics it seems to be the only argument.

  • by cgenman (325138) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:01PM (#34537956) Homepage

    When they quite literally have you by your life, they can charge whatever they want. It's the definition of unbalanced contracts and negotiating from a position of weakness.

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by skids (119237) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:02PM (#34537972) Homepage

    Please. An argument could be made that it is absolutely essential to be able to drive in some areas to do important things things like, for example, eating.

    The whole reason it was passed in its current form was as a compromise to keep it a private system -- a compromise demanded by the very same people who now are
    trying to finagle this as a constitutional issue. Congress could have just increased taxes and had the government buy policies for everyone, or even supplied the health care directly rather than go trough a third party bean counting organization.

    This would be the equivalent of taxing you and then spending the money on making sure your food is safe to eat. Nobody seems to be challenging that on constitutional grounds.

    Most Americans (not just lefties) are sick and tired of these obstructionist tactics where Republicans try to poison everything that comes out of congress so they can take it to court later. But mostly they are sick and tired from heart disease, cancer, neurological disease, and diabetes. Taking this to the Supremes isn't going to help fix that at all.

  • by svendsen (1029716) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:03PM (#34538000)
    >> i won't insult you and assume you are an idiot, like you are doing with me,

    >> you are really only insulting your own intelligence

    Sounds like you are trying the famous backhanded insults. The last resort of someone who lost an argument is to insult the other person. Perhaps when you can have a conversation without insults we can talk another day!
  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:05PM (#34538030)
    That's a nice thought, but they aren't challenging "every little thing" the government does, they only challenge things they don't like, and there aren't a similar number of "flaming crazies" challenging other laws that other americans view as blatantly unconstitutional or imposing on freedom.

    I see. So because the crazies you don't like don't challenge the laws you don't like, they are bad, but when the crazies you do like challenge laws I do like, they are good?

    Your answer to the problem of not enough people challenging enough things is to insult and denigrate those who are standing up for the Constitution? That's a really good way to get more people doing it, you know. While your personal condemnation and vitriolic insults are probably irrelevant to them, it does show a bit of a bias on your part.

    If this were a case about a law requiring everyone to purchase a Bible, these same people would be actively supporting the law or at least remaining silent,

    I call "bullshit". Deal with what the people you don't like are actually doing instead of making it up so you can spew more hate at them. If you don't like them opposing a patently unconstitutional law, write your congressman to get him to pass constitutional ones. Insulting them for having principles you don't agree with is just stupid and ignorant, and basically intolerant.

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:29PM (#34538476)

    Yes, but, well... homosexuality *is* wrong. Homosexual homosapiens are physically unable to reproduce. That is the most damning evidence to support this position.

    Perhaps you're familiar with worker bees. God must hate them, too.

  • by dbIII (701233) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:36PM (#34538598)
    Meanwhile people die because some bastards have been paid off to stop a health care plan that is far less ambitious than the Republicans were pushing under Nixon. You can bet he's not doing it because he's a "flaming crazy" but the only way to show that is to follow the money.
  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:41PM (#34538654) Homepage Journal
    "When they quite literally have you by your life, they can charge whatever they want. It's the definition of unbalanced contracts and negotiating from a position of weakness."

    Well, a lot of the problem comes from the bastardization of the concept of INSURANCE when it comes to health care. Insurance should be there ONLY for catastrophic health events(ie heart attack, accident). Routine health expenditures, should be saved and budgeted for like any other necessity of life (food, shelter, beer...).

    If this were the case, then insurance wouldn't be so damned expensive. Also, if we went back more the "in my day" days...you'd have the independent Dr. out there again hanging his shingle out, and could charge reasonable rates, often based on what the person could pay. My uncle was an MD, I saw how this worked in practice. Medical costs weren't outrageous like they are now...IMHO, this is largely due to bean counters and other non-health leeches on the system ratcheting things up to the mess we have today.

    Why not go to insurance for more emergency usage, and expand the program for HSA's (Health Savings Accounts) for everyone, to save for their own routine medical/drug needs PRE-Tax, and unlike the FSA's, let everyone have a HSA that is not use it or lose it.

    Why should routine health care not be a personal responsibility like anything else in life?

    This also might break the strange connection between health insurance and work...which often today, ties one to a job for people that are worried about changing jobs and jeopardizing benefits.

  • by rhakka (224319) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:41PM (#34538658)

    every single fucking dime they had before they died. that's how much.

  • by Dog-Cow (21281) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:44PM (#34538710)

    You are stupid. I hope you die because no one wants to pay for your health care.

    Ruling that a law is unconstitutional is not "activism". It is, in fact, the only tool that the Supreme Court has to check Congress and the Presidency.

  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Monday December 13, 2010 @04:55PM (#34538834) Homepage

    Except that by default, when a law is unconstitutional it is struck down in its entirety, to prevent such unintended consequences.

    If Congress doesn't want this to happen, they can include a severability clause that says 'hey, we don't mind if this part stands on its own.' But Congress didn't do that. If mandatory insurance falls, so does the entire bill.

  • by Chyeld (713439) <chyeld@gmai l . c om> on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:03PM (#34538962)

    Unfortunately the two groups of crazies don't cover the full Venn diagram, it's more like they both challenge 25% of the same stuff, and an additional 25% of the stuff that just gores their own ox, and leave the remainder out there for folk to get screwed over because they both either believe that it's 'good' or that it's too 'dangerous' to attack.

    See: TSA, Patriot Act, anything that has to do with State Rights, 'protecting the children', or responsible sex education.

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Danse (1026) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:09PM (#34539030)

    No because I'm a Pro-Choice person and this is anti-choice. It's forcing me to buy a product I don't want. It's no choice.

    I can avoid the car insurance requirement by simply not driving, but there's no way for me to stop existing. I object to being forced to fall on my knees and suck Nationwide or Allstate or any other Corporation's phallus ("oh please sell my insurance & rape my wallet of $5000 Mr. CEO, else government will fine me"), especially in a country that is supposedly "free" and "celebrates liberty". That is not liberty. That is being demoted to a Serf (someone else runs your life and you are just a puppet).

    Okay maybe I went a little overboard there. But hopefully it made you think. This requirement is nothing more than Corporate Welfare giving them guaranteed sales to 110 million homes. (I thought Democrats were against that?)

    No, it's forcing you to pay a tax, something the government does for all sorts of reasons. In this case it's to ensure that everyone has health care coverage. You can avoid paying this tax by purchasing health care coverage for yourself. Object to the tax if you like, but someone has to pay for covering health care costs, and unless we're going to start turning people away from emergency care (the most expensive kind of care there is), that someone is government, via taxes. Personally, I think a single-payer system would be more efficient and serve us better, but the Republicans managed to shoot that down before we even got started, so now we end up with a system that benefits the insurance companies more than anyone else really. Sadly it's still better than what we have now, and I haven't heard of a better solution from the Republicans yet.

  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv...vadiv@@@neverbox...com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:10PM (#34539044) Homepage

    The whole reason it was passed in its current form was as a compromise to keep it a private system -- a compromise demanded by the very same people who now are trying to finagle this as a constitutional issue. Congress could have just increased taxes and had the government buy policies for everyone, or even supplied the health care directly rather than go trough a third party bean counting organization.

    This.

    As I said elsewhere, there are only three ways to make everyone have health insurance(1):

    a) Remove all insurance companies, have only a government run plan, aka, single payer. Republicans killed it.
    b) Have a public option that covers people who insurance companies won't insure (Like, oh, me.) Republicans killed it.
    c) Require insurance companies to insure everyone, even people with pre-existing conditions. Which, as would rightly pointed out, destroy insurance companies as people would wait until they were sick to get insurance...so we required everyone to have insurance.

    There were no other solution to 'insure people insurance companies will not insure'. None. No one has any other solutions, and Republicans killed two of the three. They don't get to bitch about the third.

    Well, okay, they're allowed to bitch if their bitching removes the one thing keeping insurance companies from being destroyed...then I'll be right alongside them, pretending to be a tea party member, complaining about how we have to buy insurance and that part of the law needs repealing. And I'll stand there and watch their judges strike down that part of the law, and cheer that on also.

    And then I will watch insurance companies burn.

    Mwuhahahaha.

    1) Which we've decided to do for some reason, when the actual problem is people need health care. But our national debate has gotten so fucked up we can't even talk about that.

  • by Amouth (879122) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:14PM (#34539118)

    i have issues with the "pre existing conditions" mainly the fact that some times you just can't afford health insurance.. aka where i work now i have coverage - and i have a condition.. if i was to be laid off then my only option would be cobra which is exceptionally expensive (prohibitively so) and hope that i can afford it (i can't) until i can find a job with insurance.. if there is even a day or less of lapse then they say "pre existing condition" and i can't get coverage for it.

    now in hind sight i didn't always need treatments - in fact for years i had coverage and never went to a doctor.. but now my meds cost more than my house (without insurance)..

    i know there is more than one problem here that needs to be solved.. and letting the industry "solve" it just won't happen. there is too much money in it for them to keep things broken.

  • by operagost (62405) on Monday December 13, 2010 @05:41PM (#34539542) Homepage Journal
    Stop the hyperbole. Even if someone is dying because they can't pay for treatment, trying to spread the cost among less than 50% of the population (you know, the only people who actually pay taxes) is still not guaranteed to provide good care for everyone.
    An unconstitutional law is an unconstitutional law, regardless of the intent.
  • by mrsteveman1 (1010381) on Monday December 13, 2010 @06:05PM (#34539898)

    This country (USA) needs to learn how to accept points of view that are different and find a common ground. This is why nothing gets done in Congress. No one can stop bickering and being intolernat long enough to do some damn work. That's not what we sent them there to do.

    Another nice thought, but one that doesn't work in practice when one side is accusing the other of being agents of the chinese government, or admirers of Stalin and Hitler.

  • by babblefrog (1013127) on Monday December 13, 2010 @07:13PM (#34540654)
    That's the way it reads to me too, but that's not the way the courts have read it for longer than you and I have been alive. I don't see how they can strike down the health care bill without also striking down Social Security and Medicare and most of the rest of what the Federal government does, and that ain't gonna happen.
  • Re:Surprise move? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv...vadiv@@@neverbox...com> on Monday December 13, 2010 @08:05PM (#34541234) Homepage

    There are two kinds of people in this country: Those who are happy with their insurance, and those who have had a major sickness.

    As you are in the former, I suggest you locate someone in the latter and actually talk to them.

    And while you probably missed it, there's actually a third group who can't get insurance at all, of which I'm a member of.

    And before you start with some slander about how I didn't try to buy insurance until I was sick, or don't 'exercise', which you apparently think is all you need to make you healthy, I will point I was born with my condition, and the second my mother's insurance company was able to drop me, they did, and I have been unable to buy insurance since.

    And, while I'm at it, I will point out that I have no medical debts at all, and am freeloading in no way...in fact, you guys with insurance are freeloading off me, because I'm paying three times as much for medical services as your insurance companies have 'negotiated' with health care providers.

    That is the system you don't want to change. The one in which you're fine...if you're healthy.

  • by SeattleGameboy (641456) on Monday December 13, 2010 @08:12PM (#34541318) Journal
    I love your idea - we should just follow the previous examples! We already have a nationwide network of hospitals for military - VA! All we have to do is to widen and let any citizen access them. Just like we did with highways and the Internet. A great suggestion!
  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday December 13, 2010 @08:18PM (#34541378)

    If it is true that 50% of the population pay taxes, that's because most of them are children, or retired, or disabled. So what?

    You dont know if its true or not, but somehow know the demographics "if" it is true? Speak out your ass much?

    The people who should pay taxes are the top 40% who make 75% of the income.

    60% of the people should be able to soak 40% of the people? Really?

    60% should get a FREE RIDE? really?

  • by Risen888 (306092) on Monday December 13, 2010 @10:05PM (#34542266)

    1. Raise some money
    2. Get in the goddamn street

    The teabaggers did it. It worked. You might not like them (I generally don't), but I'd say it would behoove us all to take a serious look at what they're doing that we're not doing.

He keeps differentiating, flying off on a tangent.

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