USian health care

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Caissa
USian health care
KenS

Sad that it was only a whisker away from being dumped into chaos

Caissa

Does the US Supreme Court ever issue 9-0 rulings anymore?

KenS

I dont think they were ever that lopsided. But like so many things in the US, polarization means you have 3 to 4 justices on each side who you can bet with almost 100% certainty where they will be on an issue.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

According to SCOTUSBlog: "The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read." Justice Roberts joined the majority.

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 Here's the link the PDF of the decision: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf

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Good news, but they still need a single payer system.

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  From SCOTUSBlog re ACA: "In Plain English: 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."

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Lachine Scot
Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

KenS wrote:

I dont think they were ever that lopsided. But like so many things in the US, polarization means you have 3 to 4 justices on each side who you can bet with almost 100% certainty where they will be on an issue.

 

Yes and the president who gets to appoint those judges as they retire can influence the country for years past his term(s) in office. Not to change subjects here, but this is a major reason why I will vote for Obama and not piss my vote away on some protest vote that in the end could help make the Supreme Court even more right winged than it is for the next decade or so.

Oh and I want everyone to have health care.

 

Ghislaine

Thank you for pointing that out, unionist. People here should not be getting excited, as this is not progressive legislation - not in the least.

The government is forcing people to buy insurance. What if you cannot afford it? You get fined. Well, for someone on a fixed income where the fine is lower than the cost of insurance - they may end up paying a pile of money and still have no insurance! How on Earth is this progressive or worthy of celebration?

The Supreme Court ruling stated that the individual mandate was unconstitutional as a mandate, but not as a tax. They have re-interpreted it as a tax - despite Obama's many public forceful declarations that it is not a tax. Who will be most hurt by this tax? Poor people of course.

Some sections are really good - no one denied due to a pre-existing condition, etc. But, this does not give Americans what we in Canada have. not even close.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

'Mandate struck down': 'Dewey Defeats Truman' moment for CNN, Fox News

 

Quote:

Moments after the 193-page ruling was released by the court, several media outlets--including CNN and Fox News--erroneously reported on-air that the mandate had been struck down.

"BREAKING NEWS: INDIVIDUAL MANDATE STRUCK DOWN," CNN's on-screen scroll blared. "Supreme Court finds measure unconstitutional."

It was a "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment for the 21st Century, New York Times reporter Charlie Savage tweeted, pointing to a screengrab of CNN's premature scroll.

Ha ha ha Fox News...Tongue out

 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Obama explained today that the mandate was for those who could well afford health care but did not pay into a plan until they got sick. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think Medicare is there for those who cannot afford a health plan.  Obama said that beginning in 2014 health plans will be available to everyone regardless of their ability to pay - so I'm taking from that that there will be low cost plans geared to income. Again, correct me if I am wrong - but he said that in his address today.

Nancy Pelosi just now on CNN:  "Being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition that can be grounds for denying health care".

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From a friend of a friend of a friend: "This site is pretty interesting. Answer a few questions and find out what your insurance options are in every state. A single person, 30-something years old, self employed, can buy a policy from Humana or Blue Cross with a $1500 deductible for about $130 a month. Cut out the daily trip to Starbucks and buy health insurance. What's the big deal? http://finder.healthcare.gov/"

Here in Quebec, my Blue Cross coverage - which I've used only for prescription medicine - costs me about $1200.00 per year - even though I live on a disability pension.

Reference: The Basic Prescription Drug Insurance Plan guarantees basic coverage for all Quebecers who must be covered either by a group insurance plan or the public plan, administered by the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec.

josh

The decision was a mixed bag. Technically, the mandate was struck down, 5-4, as not being authorized by the Constitution's commerce clause. But then the court, i.e., CJ Roberts, turned around and held that the fine imposed for not buying insurance was actually a tax, which was permissible under the federal government's taxing power. So, while the requirement to buy insurance is out, the fine for not buying insurance is in. May seem like a distinction without a difference. But there it is.

The court also held that it was unconstitutional to withhold existing Medicaid (coverage for the poor, disabled and elderly) funds to states that refuse to participate in the Medicaid expansion of the law. So a lot of the near poor who live in states that refuse to participate in the Medicaid expansion (probably Republican states in the south) will not get coverage.

Unionist

Well, one tweeter got it right:

Quote:
Maybe that's why they're leaving? 'Cause Obamacare ain't universal health care, it's just universal protection money for the insurance industry.

 

Bärlüer

Ghislaine wrote:

Thank you for pointing that out, unionist. People here should not be getting excited, as this is not progressive legislation - not in the least.

People should probably not be getting excited about the legislative response to the US health care crisis that the PPACA is. I think that it is extremely flawed and insufficient legislation. It will, however, significantly improve the lives of a lot of people. I'm (obviously) all for single-payer, and I dearly hoped back then that there'd at least be a public option. On top of that, there can be endless debates about what is/was politically feasible given the composition of Congress at the time and given the structural impediments inherent to the legislative process in the US, etc. etc.

But then again, that's not what the decision of the Supreme Court is about. It's not about the system that should be put in place to respond to the health care crisis. It's not about the validity, the usefulness, the efficiency, the advisability, etc. of the PPACA.

It is about what government is constitutionnally able to do to address social welfare issues of paramount importance. There are aspects of the decision that progressives should be upset about/wary of (restrictions relating to the expansion of Medicaid; the fact that the legislation was not upheld under the commerce clause—the tax power can only go so far as a government tool to enact social welfare legislation...).

But still, even with those caveats, progressives should rejoice—perhaps not "get excited", but rejoice, yes, without a doubt—about the SCOTUS decision, as it embraces the side of the argument in which government is constitutionnally able to enact broad legislation addressing social welfare of paramount importance.

What "USians" then do with that constitutional power is up to whom they elect, the state/evolution of their political institutions and mores, etc.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

According to the CNN medical specialist Sanjay Gupta,  beginning in 2014 and for the first three years of ACA, if you earn $29,700.00 or less, you automatically qualify for Medicaid.

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Republicans: ObamaCare is the biggest tax increase in American history.

Democrats:

Doug

Ghislaine wrote:

Thank you for pointing that out, unionist. People here should not be getting excited, as this is not progressive legislation - not in the least.

The government is forcing people to buy insurance. What if you cannot afford it? You get fined. Well, for someone on a fixed income where the fine is lower than the cost of insurance - they may end up paying a pile of money and still have no insurance! How on Earth is this progressive or worthy of celebration?

 

It's by no means ideal but it helps. It's also by no means clear that having the ACA struck down would have resulted in a single-payer system anytime soon. Indeed, some ways it could have been struck down might have made that even more difficult than it already was.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

When the SCOTUS decision was announced:

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Lachine Scot

To be fair, I've heard on reddit that some (if not all) of those twitter posts were put out as ironic jokes.

Still funny, though.

janfromthebruce

yes, it was funny - I thought, "omg, the Americans are "collectively" idiots!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Boehner's suit (post 21) looks like a hand-me-down from the 1950s! Laughing

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Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

All my Republican co-workers are acting like it's the end of the world...LOL

KenS

This has already been said, but context people.

If this decision had gone the other way it would have been an absolute fucking disaster: open season on every social program around because it forces individuals to contribute and/or participate.

DaveW

very good news indeed:

a crucial principle, universality, has been established for the first time in the U.S.:

http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/28/bending-historys-arc-t...

Posters above moaning it's imperfect and incomplete: no kidding!

when Social Security was first introduced in the 1930s, 70 per cent of the population was excluded: the entry age was 65, and most people died before then. (Median age of death, 61). SS has steadily increased its reach to cover more people and more completely. The principle of universality asserted itself over time.

go Obama Laughing

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/29/us/health-care-ruling-may-secure-obama...

What the Supreme Court's decision does do is preserve Mr. Obama's status as the president who did more to expand the nation's safety net than any since Johnson. It preserves a bill intended to push back against rapidly rising income inequality. And for a self-consciously historic figure, it allows Mr. Obama to argue that he has delivered on the most cherished goal of his 2008 campaign: "Change we can believe in."

"Historians will compare this to F.D.R.'s Social Security and Lyndon Johnson's Medicare," said the historian Robert Dallek, who has written about both presidents. "This is another step in humanizing the American industrial system."

In political terms, said Douglas G. Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University, "It's the cornerstone of what could turn out to be one of the most extraordinary two-term presidencies in American history."

Beyond his legislative agenda - not just on health care, but on education and Wall Street regulation - Mr. Obama has sketched out a view of government as a force for good, a great leveler and a protector of the middle class. That view stands in stark contrast to the Republican mantra, articulated by Reagan, who headed in the opposite direction in his first inaugural address, saying that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

ElizaQ2

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

All my Republican co-workers are acting like it's the end of the world...LOL

I know one person who I play an online game with (yep geek alert) who was so depressed at the decision that he drank some scotch (which he apparently never does) to drown his sorrow, talked about moving and then couldn't play because he couldn't stand that the other American gamers either didn't care about the country destroying disaster or were happy about it.  It was pretty funny.  Probably didn't help that the conversation went into a discussion about where he could move and all of the countries he could remotely see himself in all have some form of socialism!!! in their HC  systems.  

Poor guy. 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I listened to Romney's speech right after the decision came down, and it's clear the GOP are making this SCOTUS decision the centre plank of their platform for November. It's going to get very, very nasty from here on in - this is an extremely divisive subject in America. The GOP/Tea Party/Sarah Palin are all fucking nuts so this is going to get very very bad.

DaveW
ElizaQ2

Boom Boom wrote:

I listened to Romney's speech right after the decision came down, and it's clear the GOP are making this SCOTUS decision the centre plank of their platform for November. It's going to get very, very nasty from here on in - this is an extremely divisive subject in America. The GOP/Tea Party/Sarah Palin are all fucking nuts so this is going to get very very bad.

 

 Yep already some pretty crazy reactions.  I stopped paying close attention or even caring much about US politics over a year ago in order to lower my blood pressure.  Now I play cursory attention to whats going on with the occasional dip into 'what are people saying and doing' when something major happens. Looking at it more like watching some weird pseudo reality show up there with the likes of Jersey Shore.  If I don't treat it as entertainment and laugh at it's sheer absurdity I'll just cry.  I have no problem admiting that this is a defensive mechinism but you do what yah gotta do.  

I have spent a lot of time talking about this with some American friends though most are of the mind expressed by some in this thread that context is key.  They understand and think that politics is their country is a mess and polarized to the extreme and at this point will take what they can get. They think a Canadian type system would be a utopia.  At least three who don't have health insurance because they fall into the 'pre-existing condition' category and either can't get insurance or would have to spend the majority of their work pay to get it.  One guy says that he would be better off being unemployed because at least he might qualify for medicare.   It's absolutely a ridiculous and in my mind abhorrant situation that is being addressed.  You want health insurance in case you get sick? Well sure, just make sure you're not actually sick.....   It's just pathetic that a gov't has to pass a law saying it's not right. 

Anyways regardless of my opinion on the stinkiness of the act in general I'm happy that these few people I actually know are going to benefit.  It's really not fun having real time (voice chat) discussions  with people who are sick with things like strep or bad stomach pains about whether or not they are sick enough (like potentially on their way to being hospitalized sick) to go get looked at because it's going to cost money and they're not sure how they're going to pay for it.   I've had more discussions about 'home remedies' and self diagnosis with American friends then I have with Canadian ones.  

ElizaQ2

ha ha  So much truth... Gotta love FB politics. 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

From the Keith Olbermann Fan Page on Facebook: This is why republicans are against Obamacare, come 2014.........Congress and Congressional staff will only be offered the same insurance offered to people in the insurance exchanges, rather than Federal Insurance. Basically, we won't be footing their health care bills any more than any other American citizen.
Let's call out the republicans on this matter. They hate the idea that they will be in the same pool w/everyone else. Of course they'll never say that. So it's up to us to do it for them.

Citation: Page 81, sec. 1312 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of the original documents

ETA: Oops! Keith may have his argument wrong. From a Facebook friend: This makes no sense. The standards of Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) is the basis on which ACA is built. I cannot imagine that FEHB is not an approved insurance under the ACA. Oh, and FEHB is what all non-military federal employees have available to them.

DaveW

good point...

extending existing federal standards to everyone -- universal coverage -- is the achievement here for Obama's policy

 

Bacchus

Caissa wrote:

Does the US Supreme Court ever issue 9-0 rulings anymore?

They dont do that. By convention at least one of them has to write a dissenting opinion

 

josh

DaveW wrote:

good point...

extending existing federal standards to everyone -- universal coverage -- is the achievement here for Obama's policy

 

Quote:

Millions of poor people could still be left without medical insurance under the national health care law if states take an option granted by the Supreme Court and decide not to expand their Medicaid programs, state officials and health policy experts said Friday.

Republican officials in more than a half-dozen states said they opposed expanding Medicaid or had serious doubts about it, even though the federal government would pick up all the costs in the first few years and at least 90 percent of the expenses after that.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/us/politics/some-states-reluctant-over...

Michelle

[threadhijack] ElizaQ, so great to see you! I'm dying to know how your outdoor kitchen is going from this thread... [/threadhijack]

josh

Actually it's a lot more common than you think. They issued 26 unanimous decision during the term that just ended.

http://www.oyez.org/cases/2011

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

In fact it is also way more common in Canada than I thought and I read a lot of decisions from the SCC.

 

 

http://www.scc-csc.gc.ca/stat/html/cat4-eng.asp

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bacchus wrote:

Caissa wrote:

Does the US Supreme Court ever issue 9-0 rulings anymore?

They dont do that. By convention at least one of them has to write a dissenting opinion

 

Issues that would be 9 to 0 would not be heard on an appeal to the Supreme Court.  If the US is anything like the SCC they just refuse those kinds of applications for leave to appeal with no reasons. If you have a dissent in the lower Appeal Court of you will get an appeal in Canada but not if the BC Court of Appeal for instance was unanimous.  The idea with the Supreme Court is it only hears the tough cases not easy ones that all judges can agree on.

ETA:  See #43 below for the real stats. My above statement is out to lunch.  Proof again that anecdotal evidence is not data.

6079_Smith_W

Ghislaine wrote:

Thank you for pointing that out, unionist. People here should not be getting excited, as this is not progressive legislation - not in the least.

Practically speaking, this was the best they were going to get at this point, and they barely got it as it is. Weighing points of principle in the balance with the status quo - people losing their houses and livelihood, living untreated and in misery, and dying, I would call this a progressive start. 

As for criticising the fact that this is still feeding private insurance and medicine, I'll reserve that for using against the Republicans who are still trying to kill it. 

And by chance, I was in the states the morning this was announced, and have been treated to all the minutae of the Republican arguments. I don't think actual health care was mentioned once. It was all about the personal liberty to not be forced to buy insurance by the federal government. And of course claims that Obama lied about it not being a tax.

 

6079_Smith_W

Check this out:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2011/12/02/the-bomb-buried-in-obam...

If this is truly the trojan horse this editorial writer believes it to be, why aren't right-wing commentators going after this? Given the degree to which they have stretched the truth, I don't think complaining about investor profits is that much of a leap.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

"... only outlaws will have pre-existing conditions" Laughing

DaveW

I will always remember the notice I saw posted to a community billboard in Long Island, basically begging for money to be able to care long-term for a family member with a chronic disease

NDPP

Obamacare Lies Exposed

http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/11/12/pers-n12.html

"...It is a health care counterrevolution posing as a progressive 'reform'. Its full enactment will have devastating consequences for the health and the very lives of a large majority of the US population.."

ygtbk

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