ACA Upheld, Rule of Law Wins
by Kevin_Foley
 Politics Progressive
June 28, 2012 05:45 PM | 1893 views | 19 19 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Conservatives are always whining about "activist judges legislating from the bench" except when its their conservative judges attempting to legislate from the bench.



Thus, right wingers were rubbing their hands together as they counted on the five conservative Supreme Court justices act on their partisan convictions and strike down the Affordable Care Act. A Washington Times columnist even predicted the Court's ruling on immigration earlier in the week was designed to set up the president for a stinging rebuke.



So it was with great trepidation progressives watched the Supreme Court hustle to rule on Obama's signature achievement, duly enacted by Congress and signed into law by the president. I and many others were 99 percent certain the conservatives on the court would deal the president an embarrassing and costly political defeat just in time for the 2012 election.



Well hush my mouth.



Chief Justice John Roberts refused to be part of a plan to undermine the American democratic process. He voted with the four liberal-leaning justices to uphold most of ACA. Not only that, Roberts made a correction to the original legislation. He rejected the commerce clause argument offered by Obama, but called the penalty of those who failed to comply a "tax" that falls well within Congress' bailiwick.



The timing is splendid. Here we go into July 4 holiday with a rousing affirmation that, indeed, our democracy and the separation of powers created by the founders works.

Comments
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Timus
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July 05, 2012
If indeed it is a tax then it is only a tax on the small portion of people who decide to forego any type of health insurance. To frame it as a tax on the middle class is a bit of a stretch. Most people WANT health insurance. This reminds me of the commercial where 4 out of 5 dentist chew trident gum and the 5th guy only yells out "NO!!!" because a squirrel crawled up his legs chomped his junk. This sounds a lot like faux outrage for a "tax" "penalty" (whatever you want to call it) that very few people are going to wind up having to pay!!
CobbCoGuy
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July 04, 2012
Mr. Foley

I could be wrong but I believe the $2T spending cuts you cite are spread over the next 10 years. You and I both know that politicians - Republicans and Democrats - who brag about FUTURE spending cuts are just blowing smoke.

I agree; the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) is law and addresses debt ceiling limits and spending cuts - mostly discretionary spending, but some minor entitlement spending. It is a framework of sorts that does not address the whole ball of wax.

BCA also allows the Senate to punt for FY2012 and FY2013 in that they will be DEEMED to have passed a resolution, and that's the rub. Note however, BCA does not PROHIBIT the Senate from taking up a budget resolution. They could if they wanted to.

A resolution forces the hard, and possibly unpopular, political decisions in that a resolution addresses the whole ball of wax - discretionary spending, entitlements and taxes.

Again, the Senate just does not want their plans on paper.
Kevin Foley
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July 04, 2012
Cobb Co Guy - From the Senate Budget Office detaling the "whole story" about not passing a budget:

The Budget Control Act brings more than $2 trillion of total spending cuts. It’s the biggest package of cuts in the history of the United States. And it’s already the law of the land.

A law is much stronger than any budget resolution. A budget resolution is purely an internal Congressional document. It never goes to the President for his signature. A law, on the other hand as you know, is passed by both houses of Congress and signed by the President. That’s what the Budget Control Act is – it’s a law.

When someone says the Senate hasn’t passed a budget in more than a thousand days, what they’re not telling you is that something else was done. An actual law was passed that is much stronger than any budget resolution.
Lib in Cobb
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July 04, 2012
CobbCo: You are absolutely correct, both sides are guilty of bad political gamesmanship. This is the very reason why the current Congress has the lowest approval rating of all time. However, the leadership of the GOP, McConnell and Boehner, along with many GOP governors and GOP state legislators have promised the nation that they will do everything in their power to see that President Obama is not re-elected. This stance has taken center stage in our nation's body politic. We have never seen the wild bills being produced by the US Congress or state legislatures, bills which defund organizations such as such as Planned Parenthood, bills which have state legislators wishing to bestow complete rights on a one day old fetus, bills with the intention of removing the federal government from enforcing federal laws, bills which turn back the hands of time regarding voting rights and women's rights. The just resolved "witch hunt" by Darrell Issa involving Attorney General Holder. The GOP has for months and months attempted to prove the lack of citizenship of President Obama, no matter the presence of a long form birth certificate.

The GOP is playing to the emotional hot buttons of their constituents by making wild and inaccurate statements on the floor of their respective chambers. Senator, Jon Kyle, AZ stated that Planned Parenthood's business is 93% abortion, that number is very close to 3%.

The GOP has and is being driven by their rage, that a liberal Democrat is in office and they continue in their attempt to make up for the beat down which took place in 2008. The history of the hate dates back to the 2008 campaign and it hurts the nation. Gone are the days when bi-partisan cooperation can be achieved all based in the rage of the GOP.
CobbCoGuy
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July 03, 2012
Tantrums, the politics of "NO" and representing constituents.

:)

What about the fact that the Senate, controlled by Harry Reid and the Democrats, in violation of the 1974 Budget Act, has not passed a budget in over 3 years.

What about Obama's FY2012 budget that was voted down in the Senate 97-0. Ninety seven to...ZERO! Not even 1 Democrat voted for it.

What about Obama's FY2013 budget that was voted down in the House 414-0. Four hundred fourteen to...ZERO! Not even 1 Democrat voted for it.

The obvious answer is that Senate Democrats don't dare put down on paper what they plan to do.

In the Spring of 2011, the new House majority produced a budget, brought it forward in committee and passed it on the floor. The next action SHOULD be the Senate offering their budget. Then, they bargain, compromise and horse trade for a final budget to present to the President.

The Democratic Senate has abandoned one of its most fundamental legal duties - production of a budget - which clearly demonstrates that they don't deserve to govern.
CobbCoGuy
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July 03, 2012
Au contraire - tort reform, portability, tax treatment of health expenditures, health savings accounts, expand state high-risk pools.
Lib in Cobb
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July 03, 2012
The Republicans have practiced "politics by tantrum" long enough. The latest Supreme Court decision on the ACA shows just how the politics of NO can turn on the Republicans in a minute or two. The Republicans in Congress have not been representing their constituents, they have been behaving like spoiled children who can't get their way.

"The congressional Republicans have said no to everything the president has proposed, a primal instinct driven by rage, which gets them nothing".

Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast

If President Obama was in favor of oxygen, the Republicans would suffocate.
Lib in Cobb
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July 03, 2012
CobbGuy: I will remind you and the other followers of the GOP, it was a Republican who started two wars both unfunded. It was a Republican who changed Medicare, also unfunded. With no cost analysis.
Lib in Cobb
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July 02, 2012
CobbGuy: Since the GOP has no plan to speak of they don't have to discuss associated financing. No cost analysis needed.
CobbCoGuy
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July 02, 2012
Lib in Cobb: I saw Sen. McConnell and agree; he did tap dance about the uninsured suggesting that "the GOP and the associated mouth breathers" (yeah, classy) don't care. More about this follows. However, Jack Lew was also tap dancing about the mandate/tax/whatever thingy as fast and furiously (oops!) as McConnell.

The GOP cares as much as the Dems. The difference is that the GOP also cares about how to pay for this. From where I'm sitting, the Dems never appear to do a cost/benefit analysis. They only do benefit analyses with little to no regard for the funding of the benefits.
Dog is Duck is Dog?
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July 02, 2012
On that same show, Lib, Jack Lew seemed to lie outright when discussing middle class tax hikes in the ACA. Democrats seem to want it both ways. No, it's not a tax unless that makes it constitutional, and then it's still not a tax. Except it's a tax. Forget what you think about the legislation itself. How can you trust that guy? If you've read the ruling, he clearly misrepresented the ruling. I wonder how stupid the Obama administration thinks people are. Cobb guy is right. Since the mandate is a tax, it's subject to reconciliation.
Lib in Cobb
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July 02, 2012
Yesterday while being interviewed by Chris Wallace on FOX regarding The Affordable Care Act, Mitch McConnell twice danced around Wallace's question, "What is the Republican plan so that 30 million currently uninsured Americans will be insured"? When finally cornered the third time, McConnell said, "That is not the issue".

So McConnell doesn't have a plan and Romney doesn't have a plan involving the single most important piece of legislation since The Civil Rights Act. They have no plan. Perfect, just perfect.
CobbCoGuy
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June 29, 2012
Now that SCOTUS has deemed the individual mandate a "tax", the senate can overturn ACA with a simple majority (51 votes) through the budget reconciliation process - the same process the Democrats used in 2010 to pass ACA.
A dog is a duck?
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June 29, 2012
It doesn't matter what Obama called his tax when forcing through his bill. He could call his dog a duck, and his dog would still be a dog.

Since a mandate to buy insurance was ruled unconstitutional, Democrats should concede President Obama's signature achievement involved passing a giant tax. His lawyers argued that it was a tax when they got so much flack on the mandate, so the government must have felt it was a tax. Now the president has to own that tax.

I wonder why you'd call a dog a duck in the first place? Do you or Kevin or anyone else really think people are going to care the president said that dog was a duck when the dog, which is clearly a dog, is biting them in the backside? If you like your dog, that's great! But be honest about it being a dog. Silly goose.

Lib in Cobb
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June 29, 2012
CobbCoGuy: President Obama never called the penalty a tax. The Supreme Court has decided it is a tax.
Kevin Foley
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June 29, 2012
Lib- the American people were the winners today. I heard a German newspaper reporter say yesterday people in his country were scratching their heads wondering why the U.S. didn't do this decades ago, when Harry Truman tried to pass universal healthcare.

No more lifetime limits on coverage, no more denials for pre-existing conditions, no more free riders who let the rest of us pay for their healthcare.
CobbCoGuy
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June 29, 2012
Couple things.

I seem to recall Obama promising not to raise taxes on the middle class. Yet, with yesterday’s ruling that now deems the individual mandate a “tax”, Obama has done just that. According to the non-partisan CBO, at least 75% of the penalties (“taxes”) imposed by the mandate will be borne by the folks who earn less than $250,000.

Some posit that Chief Justice Roberts has “split the baby” brilliantly by sending ACA back to congress. That is, the controversy around ACA is so great, that a legislative (not judicial) solution is required.

It's not over, folks. Gonna be interesting to watch.
Lib in Cobb
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June 29, 2012
I love the sound of frothing Republicans in the morning.

I have mentioned a few times on various threads, that the GOP and the associated mouth breathers really don't care about all those uninsured who worry each time their child goes out to play that he/she breaks an arm or a leg. They don't care that our elderly often times have to decided between food or medication. They don't care that some people have lost their homes due to illness. The Republicans don't care that thousands and thousands die each year because they don't have access to healthcare.

I will remind you that your standard bearer, Romney, championed a bill in MA which was/is very similar to the ACA. Now of course, he is opposed to that bill. How is it that a man who wishes to be president can be such an obvious hypocrite? BTW, Romney also claims to be a man of god. This is the type of person who validates my decision of many years ago to remain god and religion free.
Lib in Cobb
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June 28, 2012
Kevin: It is indeed a good day, in fact it has been a good week, considering the court's decision on AZ SB 1070, plus President Obama pulling the plug on federal support for The Grand Canyon State.

Are there any Republican heads out there not yet explded? A metaphor.

Politically this is the second best day of the last four years. The best day was when our president beat the snot out of McCain and his running dope. Today was a very close second.
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