Comments for: Obama wins the battle, Roberts wins the war CONTRIBUTORS Obama wins the battle, Roberts wins the war He joined the Democratic appointees to uphold the law — while joining the Republican wing to gut the Commerce Clause. Read More Obama wins the battle, Roberts wins the war Back to story → Guidelines for posting on bangordailynews.com The Bangor Daily News and the Bangor Publishing Co. encourage comments about stories, but you must follow our terms of service. Keep it civil and stay on topic No vulgarity, racial slurs, name-calling or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. The primary rule here is pretty simple: Treat others with the same respect you'd want for yourself. Here are some guidelines (see more): It should be noted this is not a comprehensive list. Don't insult one another or the subjects of BDN stories. 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Quite often, we won't see a comment until it's reported. Questions about why a comment was — or wasn't — deleted? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know your username and where you posted or saw the comment. That's about it: Stick to writing about the stories; be civil; be kind; enlighten your neighbors. And we'll keep moderating posts to try to ensure everyone meets those standards. entitled4life Roberts did what needed to be done to prevent democrats from staging a national riot which is what they would have done if this dictation to buy insurance were overturned. This should have been a 9-0 decision. Dlbrt The left wanted a Universal Plan ( Tax and Spend ) –This is a Right Wing Plan ,—pure and simple, it was only adopted because of the “Compelling” pressure of the Insurance Industry, on a Democrat controlled Congress. There would not have been a riot, there would have been a sigh of relief and a call for what is truly needed and constitutional, a Universal Health Care such as Medicare. Anonymous Saint Snowe was against a public option. pbmann Your right, it should have been 9-0 to keep the law constitutional but we have 4-5 right wing ideologs on the Supreme Court. If you disagree just look at the last 5 years of rulings. Anonymous Did you read the decision? I am about as far left as you can get without being right and I thought it was excellently reasoned. I agreed with every point. But my favorite line was: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” Justice John Roberts Pat T. Riot The first part of the case when it entered the Supreme court was the Anti-Injunction decision. If the matter had been deemed to be a tax, it would have required enactment and a tax payment before the matter could have been adjudicated, and the case would have been dismissed at this time. The Supreme Court at this juncture ruled that the ACA was not a tax. Remember all this in this spring’s arguments? Yet somehow when the decision was reached, Justice Roberts sided with the majority on the basis that the ACA’s mandate was a tax. How come the about-face? Anonymous Because Roberts is unprincipled and intellectually dishonest. As a result of this decision, there are practically no limits on the power of Congress. They can sell something to the public under the guise of the Commerce Clause claiming that it’s not a tax and then, when it’s challenged on Constitutional grounds, rely on the Supreme Court to pull their irons out of the fire by saying it’s a tax. beangood http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf Anonymous You can’t blame Roberts for “selling it”: that was Congress. He’s simply ruling on what it is, not ho it was sold to the American people. Be mad at Congress for lying, if you must. Did you read the article: it actual concludes the opposite and “guts” the commerce clause. Interesting to see how this plays out in future commerce clause challenges. Anonymous Yes, I read the article. The point I’m making is that while Roberts went along with the Commerce Clause argument against the insurance mandate, by letting the tax power pick up the slack he was merely giving lip service to limitations on federal power, and I think that was intellectually dishonest and unprincipled. The net result of this exercise is an expansion of federal power in health care and insurance. Yes, Congress lied, but the Supreme Court went along with it. Anonymous Please. His job is to determine if there is a basis for the claim that it was unconstitutional. There is not. Anonymous You’re stating the obvious: the Act is constitutional. That’s because a majority of the Court says it is, and acts of Congress mean what a majority of justices say they mean. If the justices say that a federal law regulating the importation of bananas actually regulates the importation of oranges, then the law applies to oranges instead of bananas. So, in that sense Roberts and four other justices did their job when they said the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Whether they did it well is a matter of opinion. Anonymous Agreed. Anonymous KM is correct. The mandate is Constitutional according to Roberts and the four liberals because it is a tax. However it is not because it falls under the commerce clause. Anonymous Silver lining, This new limitation on the commerce clause could effect everything from national environmental laws to interstate trucking. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out. Anonymous I agree. Anonymous Definitely. I think many will not like the aftertaste, particularly as states opt out of expanded coverage, but those stuck in the middle who can’t afford health insurance (but don’t qualify for medicaid) are now taxed. Nice. Anonymous I don’t want Obama care,I want the same care that him,his family and the rest of the politicians get for life. If Obama care is so great why don’t the electing people have that. They are no better than the people who put them in office! Anonymous You are 100% correct. That’s why we need single payer universal healthcare for everyone, something that Republicans would NEVER support. Anonymous Don’t forget the democrats also voted on THEIR own benefits! Anonymous So did the Republicans, our Republican elected officials want great health care benefits and to he[[ with the citizens who elected them. Anonymous In my opinion we are rapidly moving towards two levels of healthcare. The first for the very wealthy and the second just basic care for everyone else. What used to be the middle class option just won’t be available at a reasonable cost. Anonymous I would wait to see before you make that ruling. The link I gave you earlier about one of the plans that will be offered in the exchange as a n0n-profit health insurer may just make it quite reasonable. Anonymous Those plans will be more expensive and put out of the reach of a larger segment of the population as they will be taxed as “cadillacs” starting in 2014. How that is defined I don’t know exactly but it is coming. Also in 2014 your employers contribution to your health plan will appear on your W-2 an employee receives from their employer. That is a precursor to taxing an individuals insurance as income. My guess is sometime early in the next decade for that. Anonymous Again predictions. How many doom and gloomers have predicted anything that played out in actuality? Democrats, Republicans, Greens, Independents they all are guilty of doom and gloom prognostications and I give them short shrift at this point in my life. I will wait and see if it comes to be. You are the one that always says there is no free ride. So the $5000 a year I get from my employer in the form of defraying my health insurance costs has been tax free income….. it is called a benefit and indeed it is. If our legislators, they are only ones that can tax us, deem it advisable we will have to take it up with them. Anonymous Perhaps your viewpoint is correct regarding predictions. However, these things tend to have an inertia all their own. Remember the law of unintended consequences? pbmann Because Right Wing ideologs would cry bloody murder about the communists giving people single payer health care. Anonymous The left wing voted for their benefits also. Like I said if Obama care is so great why don’t he and the rest of Washington have it too? If you can’t understand the comment don’t comment. This isn’t about the right or the left it is about all the politicians! pbmann I understood your comment and I still agree with what I wrote. Congress currently gets free (paid for by the taxpayer healthcare), if the People were to get Universal Healthcare (which is what it would be) the RW would be screaming about the socialization of America. Anonymous People are going to get a rude awakening when they realize that yes, they do have insurance and it will cover their 10 min annual doctor visit. However, sick visits and the 101 blood tests that the doctor will require will not be. The “Affordable Health Care Act”, will also screw the middle and lower middle class who already have insurance (with their $5000-$7000 deductibles) who now have to pay higher taxes for the 10% who think they are going to benefit from this BIG PHARM controlled health care plan. pbmann Wrong. The patient will have healthcare that will provide free annual check ups and provide insurance for any follow up work. Stop listening to the lies of teh conservatives in regard to the ACA. Anonymous That is only for the poor. The rest of us will still have deductibles to meet and eventually it will cost us more with the new taxes coming down the road. pbmann What taxes are you claiming will be coming down the road? Unless you are talking about the penalty (tax) on people who do not have health insurance. Only about 1-2% of Americans will pay that penalty (tax), the rest will either have health insurance or get help buying health insurance. Or are you talking taxes like the tax on tanning booths, which is a voluntary tax (ie. you voluntarily go to a tanning booth)? What really scares the Right Wing is that American’s will see that the “sky is falling” act will not happen because of the ACA. Anonymous No, the tax on premium plans starts in 2018. In other words if you have a good plan considered “cadillac” by the government, pay a tax as part of your premium. I found this on the subject. ” “Cadillac” health plan tax. This is a tax of 40 percent above threshold amounts on what are considered expensive policies. The tax, imposed on the insurer, is based on the value of plans with coverage costing more than $10,200 in benefits for individuals and $27,500 for families. Effective in 2018.” In addition the government is requiring that beginning in 2014 the insurance your employer pays on your behalf will henceforth appear on your year end tax report form W-2. They are doing this in preparation for possibly taxing some or all of it as income, why otherwise? pbmann Could be to be able to determine whether you have health insurance or not. How else are they going to determine who has healthcare coverage? Anonymous It is falling on me all I get from having insurance is a “free” 10 minute annual examine. Everything else I have to pay for. Not only am I paying high insurance premiums but new taxes so everyone else can have their “free” 10 min annual visit. pbmann You had to pay for services before ACA now you get an annual physical that you do not have to pay for. Anonymous No my insurance has always paid for an annual physical, however it use to be much longer. Now I’m lucky if I get 10 minutes. Anonymous sounds like your doctor, no insurance fault Anonymous Many current plans already do that. One company in Maine pays 100% of health insurance costs with a $5000 deductible. Unless you have a major health issue you will never meet that deductible. So you are paying for all of your annual health care costs out of pocket. Anonymous I’m talking reality. How come every visit to the doctor costs me at least $150? And the only health issue I have is low thyroid. pbmann I would say that you either don’t have insurance or you have really bad insurance. I am currently uninsured and it costs me $180 every 3 to 4 months for my Diabetes checkups. On edit… That does not include the costs of the tests and any Meds I may need. Anonymous WSJ CHIEF ECONOMIST: 75% OF OBAMACARE COSTS WILL FALL ON BACKS OF THOSE MAKING LESS THAN $120K A YEAR pbmann Eighty percent of Americans currently get their healthcare coverage from their employers, so they will not have be subject to the individual mandate. 44 million Americans are currently below the poverty level (approx. 14% of the population) and will either be covered by Medicaid, State insurance programs or recieve financial help to buy an insurance policy. Ninety-five percent of Americans earn less than $120,000 so the WSJ economist is just playing with numbers. Go to an unbiased website and get the real facts about the ACA. It just may surprise you. Anonymous You need to get a reality check here. I’m not talking about the mandate I’m talking about the multiple taxes that will be thrust upon us. Anonymous like? Anonymous and incresed medicare premiums in 2014 (doubling) is false? pbmann Yes, it is false. Another lie put out by the Right Wing about the ACA. http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/medicare.asp Anonymous Your link was for medicare premiums. The new tax applies to what employers must pay as their portion of medicare taxes. In addition there is what amounts to a capital gains tax on investments “Unearned income tax. This is a new tax on investment income such as capital gains and dividends of 3.8 percent, on top of the current 15 percent tax.” pbmann “and incresed medicare premiums in 2014 (doubling) is false?… brucefl56 I was replying to brucefl56 stating that Medicare premiums would double by 2014 which is a lie as stated by my link. Anonymous You are correct. I apologize. I thought you were referring to the doubling of medicare taxes. pbmann Medicare Taxes are only going up for individuals making over $200,000, $250,000 for couples. “…Roughly 4 million households — or 2.4% — will be affected by the increase initially, according to new estimates from the Tax Policy Center. By 2022 that number will grow to 8.3 million, or 4.6%… http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/30/pf/taxes/health_reform_tax/index.htm You make it sound like Medicare Taxes are going up for all Americans. Anonymous WSJ CHIEF ECONOMIST: 75% OF OBAMACARE COSTS WILL FALL ON BACKS OF THOSE MAKING LESS THAN $120K A YEAR Anonymous Do you understand insurance enables us to see a doctor however with high deductibles all we get is a “free” annual 10 minute checkup. Everything else we need to pay for. Anonymous Don’t know where you are getting your facts…. but my premium has gone down AND I just got a note from my physician saying I now qualify for a preventative health care visit that will bring down the cost to me of my physical. Sorry, let’s be real. Tell me how your health care has changed for the negative as a result of ACA and maybe there will some merit to your argument. I have a cousin who is Chief of Pediatrics in her hospital and she says ACA is very, very good thing on multiple levels. Anonymous Your premium went down because of the changes LePage made last legislative session. That will change if/when Maine fully complies with Obamacare. Anonymous No that happened before the last legislative session, but after ACA was passed. I do expect my premium to go up, but do not think it will be because of ACA. Premiums have been increasing at what, 30% a year with less coverage. That is what ACA attempts to address. We will see what plays out. Anonymous My last few annual increases have been 4-7%. The big damage was done by Augusta a few years back. I can’t recall a double digit increase since. Perhaps, eventually, it will be as you say, but if experience is a teacher it won’t be. Anonymous So it is less expensive to do business in Maine. It seems in Ohio it has been 30% according one one small business owner there. Anonymous No Maine is has been consistently in the top 5 (currently #2) highest rates for most of the last decade. Our state started to explode in premium costs when Maine went to the “community rating system”. In the last 5 years or so Mainers have been paying about twice what the residents of New Hampshire Connecticut and Pennsylvania have for the same coverage. Everyone else is catching up. Anonymous Kaiser Foundation report has it at 9% and qualified the rise with this: benefit analysts say the federal health law’s requirements played only a small part in the rise, and it’s in line with historical increases that have averaged just over 10 percent per year since 2001. So the catch up seems to be here in Maine. Lucky it has not yet reached 9%. There is no doubt health care costs are rising. That was the whole point of the work that went into ACA. We all heard about the task force that was called representing all sectors of the health care system. Costs were exceeding our ability to pay. We have yet to see whether this law will help. But I for one would like to give it a chance. As I said before I am not one to shoot the horse at the starting gate. john because obama or no other president has the right to force the american people to do anything. he is imposing on our rights as americans. if he is reelected he will force us to do more things this is just more of the same growing government and shrinking the private sector. people really need to see him for who he is Anonymous I am sorry but those who do not carry insurance are infringing on my rights. I should not have to carry them on my policy, but I do. Anonymous How?? If a U.S. citizen taxpayer decides to go self-insured and pay their own medical expeses out of their own pocket, how is that infringing on your “rights”? Your right to have someone else pay for your insurance? FYI, some of the biggest users of “free” emergency room medical care that you may be alluding to are illegal immigrants. And they are expressly exempted from the health insurance purcahse requirement and the penalty under Obamacare. The statute expressly excludes “persons not lawfully present in the United States”. In other words, illegal aliens. So how does Obamacare address the “free” ER health care problem, when it leaves 20 or 30 million illegal immigrants to still obtain those services without buying their own insurance? Anonymous Military draftees will feel pretty foolish when they find out they went into the army thinking they were being forced when actually they can’t be forced to do anything. Anonymous My facts are my reality. How come I bring someone to the doctor I owe them at least $150? We are learning quickly unless someone is near death we are avoiding the doctor, matter of fact maybe we”ll just stay home and die. At least then the family won’t be bankrupted. Anonymous That is not the result of ACA. It is the result of what ACA attempts to rectify. The way in which insurance premiums have been going up, up, up and covering less, less, less. Anonymous WSJ CHIEF ECONOMIST: 75% OF OBAMACARE COSTS WILL FALL ON BACKS OF THOSE MAKING LESS THAN $120K A YEAR pbmann RW “economist” playing with numbers. Ninety-five percent of Americans earn less than $120,000 a year. Anonymous Obama told us the middle and lower class wouldn’t see their taxes raised. Anonymous They won’t. You only pay if you can afford health insurance but don’t buy it or get it and you want to receive the benefits of the ACA. The penalty is those that want to freeload. Anonymous from my understanding medicare premiums will double in 2014 as a result, and they are taking what, 500 million or billion out of social security to make an even bigger mess? Anonymous From the search I made…… you are right….. for the wealthier Americans. And only part B. Seems reasonable to me. Anonymous yea right more taxes, then tend to work there way down Anonymous And then there is this: Tax credits to help the middle class afford insurance will become available for those with income between 100% and 400% of the poverty line who are not eligible for other affordable coverage. (In 2010, 400% of the poverty line comes out to about $43,000 for an individual or $88,000 for a family of four.) http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/index.html . Seems like that will help some folks. Anonymous sounds like at the expense of S.S. and Medicare. Anonymous Okay, show me the info on that. I went looking and could not find anything except what I posted below. Anonymous Well another poster found this…. http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/medicare.asp . Seems no provisions in the ACA set medicare rates. Anonymous Lets say you are an individual making about $25,000 a year. You make too much to get on Medicare. Federal and state taxes will take about 25% of your income to start with leaving you about $19,000 to live on. The tax credit I have heard about is a maximum of $4000. I cannot seem to find any chart showing exactly what the tax credits will be at any particular income. (funny how actual numbers are so hard to find) So insurance will cost you about $1000 a month or $12,000 a year. After the $4,000 tax credit you will still have to pay $8,000. Explain to me how someone with $19,000 of after tax income can afford an $8000 expense. Actually, how can they even afford the “penalty tax”? Anonymous Actually I read either in the CBO report or Kaiser Foundation report that on the exchange a bronze policy is projected to cost somewhere between $4000 and $5000 annually so I just did the math before seeing your comment because another poster who is an employer said he may just stop the insurance and give his workers a raise. So it looks like $96 per week would be required to afford that basic level of health care which equates into a $2.50/hour raise if I did the math right (and I am prone to doing it wrong). A family plan would be in the $12,000 range, but not if you qualify for the credits based on income. It is projected that we will save $1000 over current costs according to the CBO. pbmann Another lie put out by the Right Wing about the ACA. Medicare premiums will NOT be doubling in 2014. http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/medicare.asp Anonymous You are right they are going up 2.5 times…wow great health care. Thanks Dems for sticking it to us. pbmann I’ll try to help you with the math. 2012 Medicare Premiums… $ 99.90 2014 Medicare Premiums… $ 115.80 Total increase… $ 15.90 Percntage increase 16%… not 250% like you implied. Anonymous hopefully he will be gone before then. I guess we will find out. That site says Medicare was less in 2010 and 11, not sure where they pulled that from. Anonymous Have you followed history? If you have then you would know that Premiums are going up anyways, with or without the law because the USA is becoming fat and unhealthy. Not because of ACA. Anonymous So you are justifying a new Democratic Tax. Anonymous Not what I said was it, I just stated that Premiums are going up no matter what. Lets face it, out country is getting bigger and more unhealthy, thus higher Premiums Anonymous This is not a premium, it is a new tax. Anonymous The avg. Maine premium is $282 vs. $215 for the rest of the U.S. Maine is one of the highest spending states for health care; yet the health indicators are roughly equivalent to the rest of the U.S. despite having only 10% of the population covered by insurance. Pouring more money into the health care system by expanding coverage is not the answer based on the experience in Maine w/ MaineCare. Anonymous Coverage is not really being expanded. No one is denied health care on ability to pay. I know this from my ER daughter. So we already pay for the uninsured. It is my understanding that ACA over time will bring down the costs not pump more into it. Talking heads laugh at those who say they will repeal ACA. It would cost to much to do that. It won’t happen. Anonymous A typical result of the ACA: In 2014, someone making 30,000 a year will have a monthly payment of about $150, with a 15% cap on co-pay and deductibles. Currently a plan like that costs over $1000 a month. Huge savings. Anonymous WSJ CHIEF ECONOMIST: 75% OF OBAMACARE COSTS WILL FALL ON BACKS OF THOSE MAKING LESS THAN $120K A YEAR Anonymous Most people make less than 120k per year, therefore they are paying for their own healthcare. What’s wrong with that? Anonymous What’s wrong is they need to be forced to buy a govt. health insurance policy to pay for the ills of the ‘spruce dwellers’ of the world; instead of saving up money in a Health Savings Account to be used on their own health care, esp. care which government regulators won’t approve for reimbursement. The Healthy are taxed to treat the wasted; and both will suffer in the long run. Dlbrt Saving for a rainy day in a thunderstorm has a lot of drawbacks! You gotta have the sunny days first and the weather can be very “uncooperative” ! Anonymous Where do you come up with this monthly payment of only about $150 for health insurance ? Anonymous “Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who has vowed not to implement provisions of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, dissed the law on Monday as “devastating for patients.” “Government health care programs, everywhere in the world, do three things: They promise you the world, they say, ‘Oh, we’re going to cover everything.’ Then what they do is they run out of money and they underpay hospitals, doctors and guess what happens? They don’t want to take care of you,” the Republican governor said on Fox News. “If you care about patients, this is devastating for you.”Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0712/78069.html#ixzz1zTUMnsnl In reviewing the cost of common procedures at all Maine Hospitals; the range for most double or triple depending on the hospital involvement. ACA is going to level these how? or will the hospitals turn in to WALMART’s and offer bargain basement care for ACA patients, and top quality care, if they can, to those who self-pay or have premium care insurance? Socialized, single payer programs ignore the vast differences at the hospital and clinic level to price out the services at the same cost……You’d think socialists would look at the costs of various schools and realize every organization is different, and cost of personnel varies widely as does the quality of service. The best physicians won’t and aren’t working for less; which is why rural Maine has lost so many solo doc’s. ACA will hasten the flight of these people to urban centers and other states further weakening our health care system. Dlbrt Rick Scott belongs in jail! Anonymous Roberts was somehow compromised Dlbrt Yeah! He was! He had to do his JOB! pbmann How could you compromise a life-time member of the Supreme Court? It is almost impossible to remove a sitting Supreme Court Justiced. Anonymous You are saying his interpretation of the Constitution was compromised? The opinion he wrote I think will dispel that idea. Take the time to read it. It is not all that long. And, it is not written in a bunch of legalize. In fact it is a fascinating romp through Constitutional history. Anonymous Maybe the Koch brothers paid him off. Dlbrt Right Wing Radicals Are Right! We Need Individual Responsibility ! The USA should be ( Self Insured) ! Universal Health Care! The Individuals –Pay the Tax / The Individuals –Get insured! Anonymous Obama is DOGBERT, the evil H.R. director. pbmann But isn’t the Supreme Court and the justices supposed to be above politics? Why would a Supreme Court create a ruling with the political aim of changing laws for the minority conservatives? Why does it seem that teh 5 Republican nominated justices always agree with either business or the right wing? Anonymous There is a bit of a misnomer here. The Commerce Clause was not gutted. Congress’ use of the Commerce Clause was gutted. And, I am far from a conservative, but I agree. Congress does need some reins on it regulatory power. This was an all around excellent decision that will serve the American people well in the years ahead. Anonymous You seem to buying into the “you could be forced to buy broccoli” argument which is just ridiculous. The four truly reasoned justices ruled that the commerce clause certainly applied here. Everyone will need healthcare, it is a huge interstate market, and there is little discretion allowed in what will be needed to properly treat most injuries and illnesses. There is tremendous discretion in other markets, such as the food market, and failure to buy these other products does not create a cost to everyone else as failure to purchase health insurance does. Romney, in strenuously defending his ROMNEYCARE Massachusetts healthcare law, which is the model for the ObamaCare law, said over and again that Mass. was very significantly “reforming the healthcare market” in Mass. in order to use private market instruments to get everyone covered. Given the very unique nature of the healthcare market including its use of private insurance to finance care and healthcare products, it is absolutely within the Congress’s power to apply the commerce regulation clause here, and to assert that doing so would open the door to the micromanagement of all possible purchase decisions is absurd. Anonymous I cannot debate your point as I am not educated about what the commerce clause allows. So maybe I should go back and read the dissenting opinions more carefully. But the Court has spoken and so it will be for forever and a day. Well, until they can revisit the decision through another case and a new appointee interprets that clause differently. I found the decision fascinating in the way it was written. Justice Roberts writes as though The Court throughout its history is the same court. Yesterday’s court and today’s court are the same entity. He used ‘we’ when talking about Marbury vs Madison. Anonymous They can certainly regulate insurance companies, but they should not–and thankfully can not–force me to participate. I for one am happy they have called it a tax, which is what it is…and Congress’s power here is clear. Aren’t you happy the government won’t be forcing you to buy a gun? Dlbrt The Very First Mandate! George Washington Mandated that every citizen would buy a gun , powder, and shot! Dlbrt To Regulate is to Control . Commerce is the “exchange” of commodities. It is not the commodity itself.So Congress has the power to “control the exchange” .Food is a Commodity, ( That which can be bought or sold ) So what gives Congress the right to control food?They have none, only the sale of it. Anonymous I’ve not seen any list of current or proposed laws that would be unconstitutional under a reinterpreted commerce clause. School vouchers schemes seem to me to be examples of government monkeying with commerce. A currency is created (vouchers) that must be spent, and must be spent before an imposed time limit on one thing, education. Others? Anonymous One article suggested that Republican plans to voucher-ize Medicare and privatize SS would be deemed unconstitutional if the decision found the individual mandate unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause but it did not. So now that cannot be used as authority to mandate much of anything? I don’t know enough to look much beyond the reasoning in this ruling. But it does make for interesting conversation. And, many of us know more than we did before as a result of this ruling and that is a good thing. Who was it that said “a well-informed citizenry…..”? Anonymous Your ignorance about school vouchers is astounding. The voucher is not specie; but a promissory note to pay a bill from an approved private school. The services are approved, delivered and the Town pays the bill. Maine pioneered school vouchers in 1849 and they were widely used for over 100 years. The conservative and libertarian victories were multifold: >>Obama was exposed as either a manipulative liar or a dunce who hid his grades in Const. law for good reason; >>Obamacare is now the ‘mother of all tax programs’ and the victim are middle class youth who are healthy and don’t ‘need’ health insurance but will be forced to buy the policy to collect enough premiums to pay for the health care costs of all the covered under the expanded Medicaid eligibility; >>Maine’s own experience with MAINCARE is ample evidence that Obamacare will only make health care more expensive, nor will expanded coverage reduce ER visits and ‘bad debt’ ‘BAD DEBT’ at the State’s hospitals nearly doubled between 2005 and 2009, from $ 6,741,564 to $12,318,875. Even worse ‘CHARITY CARE’ nearly tripled from $3,911,129 to $ 11,164,718. >>24% of Maine people 65 or over have had all their teeth removed. Obamacare won’t pay for implants or dentures, which is another reason to remove it and replace it with a program that meets these critical health needs Anonymous ·1) If anyone, I think it was 26 Republican attorneys general and four conservative justices who were shown to be dunces, wouldn’t you say? 2) The US Supreme Court has ruled Obamacare (Because President Obama Cares) doesn’t force anyone to do anything. It just taxes those who don’t choose to have health insurance. It’s a very modest tax too. If I don’t contribute to charity, I’m taxed. If I don’t save through a 401k, I’m taxed. If I don’t get health insurance, I’ll be taxed. 3) Obamacare is not MAINECARE. In fact it solves states funding problems if they choose to accept Obamacares medicaid funding scheme. 4) You might want to actually read the law, which has now been ruled constitutional even by one of our own Maine natives, Chief Justice Roberts who is now, as I write this, at home on the Maine coast. 5) In the early 1800s the Congregational Church was the official state church of Massachusetts and received state funding. (For instance Bowdoin College was a Congregationalist College in the day.) But that statute is now determined to be unconstitutional. So if you have to go back that far to find a law supporting your voucher argument, I’m thinking you may be wrong. Here’s the link to the law that passed congress, was signed by the president and has been ruled constitutional by the supreme court: http://housedocs.house.gov/ene… Uecker is God So if my wife and I don’t have health insurance we will be docked two- thousand dollars each for a total of four-thousand dollars at tax time. Which takes us from a normal refund at tax time, that pays things from heating oil in the winter and other needed items, to a bill from the government which we don’t have the money to pay. How does this help poor people? ‘Cause it sure ain’t gonna help my wife and I. Anonymous That is wrong, Uecker. If you don’t have insurance, you’ll be billed $285 starting out, and in a few years, you’ll be charged $2085. Both are priced PER FAMILY. With the increased risk pool and mandate that insurance companies have to give money back to their customers when they don’t spend it on actual services, rates will go down. You may be looking at very cheap healthcare in the range of $50-100 a month a family. That is 1/4-1/2 the cost of the ‘tax’ and you have all your healthcare costs covered. All of them. If you fall into the poverty level income, you’ll get your healthcare for free from Medicaid/care. If you fall into the range of 400% of the poverty level (meaning you make up to something like $88k a year per family), you’ll get vouchers from the government to help you pay for the care. People that don’t want any part of this will be ‘taxed’ that fee per family to help pay for those that are in the poverty/400% poverty range and keeping costs low for those of us who want to stay healthy without having to break the bank. Anonymous Oh, I should also mention: Those tax rates ($285/2085) are flat line rates. Starting out, it will be that rate, or 1% of your yearly income, or whichever is higher. That percentage changes in time as well to incentivize people to actually buy the cheaper alternative. Anonymous Where do you get the idea that there will be any family health insurance available for only $50-100 a month? Anonymous And God forbid you or your wife get hurt or sick and you don’t have insurance — how does that help you? Anonymous You make that much money that your penalty will the $2000 each? Sorry you cannot count yourself among the poor. Anonymous Democrats tax again beangood The penalty tax for not complying. If the hook was a running time penalty for not going out tomorrow and buying health care insurance. Then, why not return the penalty payment? Why do they think like that? Anonymous say that when the medicare premium jumps and ss is bigger mess Anonymous Check the snopes link. The ACA does not include any language that controls cost for Medicare. That is determined by another law that has been in place for a while. And, there are already projections of cost increases that look reasonable given that the cost of living will continue to rise. Anonymous you mean taking all that money out of the SS system will not have an effect? That is like the Dems saying this is not a tax. Which it is. Thanks Dems for adding another tax. Anonymous There is no plan to take money out of SS. ACA is not even mentioned in this report http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/TRSUM/index.html and Medicare will see savings as a result of ACA. Have you a source to back up your claim? beangood (a) The Affordable Care Act describes the “[s]hared responsibilitypayment” as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. It does not, however, control whether an exaction is within Congress’s power to tax. In answering that constitutional question, this Court follows a functional approach,”[d]isregarding the designation of the exaction, and viewing its substance and application.” United States v. Constantine, 296 U. S. 287, 294. Pp. 33–35. (b) Such an analysis suggests that the shared responsibilitypayment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax. The payment is not so high that there is really no (EXTORTION) choice but to buy healthinsurance; the payment is not limited to willful violations, as penalties for unlawful acts often are; and the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation. Cf. Bailey v. Drexel Furniture Co., 259 U. S. 20, 36–37. None of this is to say that payment is not intended to induce the purchase of health insurance. But the mandate need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Neither the Affordable Care Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS. And Congress’s choice of language—stating that individuals “shall” obtain insurance or pay a “penalty”—does not require reading §5000A as punishing unlawful conduct. It may also be read as imposing a tax on those who go without insurance. United States v. Constantine, 296 U. S. 287, 294. Pp. 33–35. http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf Anonymous Professor Eugene Mawhinney in his Constitutional Law classes was quick to explain that due to the nature of the justice’s appointments, that being a life time appointment, the standards of and the statistics show that no matter who appointed which justice, the tendency of them is to over the years of service, head towards the middle ground. There are exceptions obviously, such as Justice Douglas, but throughout history and all of the supreme court justices, their decisions evolve away from political partisanship and more toward securing the court’s authority. Anonymous I dont feel like i should be forced to have health insurance, I think everyone would like to have health insurance if they could afford it. If you need affordable health insurance search online “Penny Health” or you dont want to be with out insurance any time. Pat T. Riot Justice Roberts pulled a fast one. When the case came before the court last spring the first argument was over whether the mandate was a tax. If it was a tax, the case could not continue because the Anti-Injunction Act required imposition of the tax before it could be adjudicated. The court said the mandate was not a tax because Congress had categorized the mandate as a penalty and not a tax, and the case continued. Justice Roberts voted for the constitutionality of the ACA because he, in the summer, saw the mandate as a tax. Why did he do the about face? What had not been a tax in the spring became a tax in the summer. I think he did not want the Supreme Court to issue another 5-4 conservative decision further diminishing the reputation of the Supreme Court as just another political entity. I also think he wanted to make sure the ACA became a tax issue for this fall’s election campaign. Very shrewd, Mr. Roberts. Very shrewd! beangood According to the Government, even if Congress lacks the power to directindividuals to buy insurance, the only effect of the individual mandate is to raise taxes on those who do not do so, and thus the law may be upheld as a tax. Search term: Penalty http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf Pat T. Riot I’ll have to read this…tomorrow. It takes a lot of energy to read a Supreme Court decision. I guess you don’t become a Supreme Court justice unless you learn to write like Philboyd Studge (in the words of Kurt Vonnegut). If any BDN readers are in the mood for a little literary self-flagellation, just read a Supreme Court decision. I recommend Marbury v. Madison as a start. Then maybe the Dred Scott decision followed by Bush v. Gore. The only thing I have found worse is 19th century Russian literature. Crime and Punishment, good title but I think I would prefer being hit in the head repeatedly with the edge of a sandpaper ping-pong paddle. Anonymous I think the author here is spot on. He knows what he is talking about and makes a reasoned argument that is soundly backed up by the previous actions of Chief Justice Roberts. Like many justices before him, Roberts used the power of the bench to forward his own agenda. Whether it was solidifying the powers of SCOTUS in Marbury v. Madison or giving the Federal government supremacy over the States in Brown v. Board of Education, the court has considerable power to influence how the Constitution is interpreted as long as it can do so in a way that allows the Court to maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the people. In the great tradition of previous Chief Justices, John Roberts walked the line successfully. Anonymous Sad day for America we have more harden criminals in the white house than gitmo. Our founding fathers were just trampled by unconstitutional laws.With a president that disregards the laws he pledged to uphold,An attorney general that lies to cover up bad programs and allows voter intimidation go un prosecuted.Also the leader of homeland security outright tells states she will not follow the laws.I think i am going to fly my flag half mast this 4th of July to signify the attacks from within.