Pic of the day: Bennington Battle flag
Wherever the real power in a Government lies, there is the danger of oppression. In our Governments, the real power lies in the majority of the Community, and the invasion of private rights is chiefly to be apprehended, not from the acts of Government contrary to the sense of its constituents, but from acts in which the Government is the mere instrument of the major number of the constituents.
James Madison, in a letter to Thomas Jefferson, 1788
I am in the process of reading the supreme courts ruling in the case National Federation of Independent Business v Sibelius. I have to tell you it is an interesting read. And not without twists and turns. I can see why CNN and Fox were quick to say that the law was being overturned. Much of the beginning statement was reasoning for the individual mandate to be overturned. And the reasons were soundly thought out and reasonable.
Curious I should say that, seeing how I am very much for this law, personally. I was much in line with Chief Justice Roberts rationale against using the commerce clause and the necessary and proper clause to constitutionally validate the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, once I read it.
The rationale against the law when looked at from these arguments is entirely reasonable. I personally think he is right because in light of those arguments, it is a creation of power above and beyond the mandate of congress. These two instances (commerce, and necessary & proper) are both there to protect already enumerated powers, laws that already exist. The health care law overstepped those bounds and created powers that did not exist before, and because of that the Chief justice shot those arguments down.
But the taxation argument saved the Patient protection and Affordable care act. Despite the fact that the law calls the penalty for not getting health insurance a “penalty” and not a tax, the court said that they would simply look at the penalty as a tax, because the law is enacted in such a way that the penalty is actually paid like a tax, and is in fact collected by the IRS, and, according to the court, “the payment is not so high that there is really no choice but to buy health insurance.”
And payment is not intended to induce the purchase of health insurance, and there are no negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance.
Says so right in the writ of certiorari. It’s on page four. Click here to read the entire thing.
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The one thing I have not seen is the actual amount one would have to pay should one not have health insurance. I have heard from some fearful right wingers that there will be jail time for those who do not buy health insurance. Which is just plain silly. There will be no jail time for anyone not according to the law that I read, and that law is the same one that Justice Roberts signed off on.
He did say that stripping states that do not comply with the law of their medicare benefits was “Dragooning.”
Can’t say that I disagree as far as that goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. The states that simply turn their backs on the people who would be helped by this law won’t agree with Justice Roberts here. And neither do I. There are abuses that the state can heap upon the individual, just as the federal government can, and this was meant as a protection from the states “dragooning” the citizens of those states who turned their backs on this law, against the will of the electorate and would make them suffer with sub-standard medical coverage.
I would much rather see a state government made to suffer some harm than to see it’s citizens health unnecessarily compromised due to purposeful disregard of a federal law that does not impinge on my freedom, which this does not. Mind you complete loss of their medicare coverage was a bit much. Some other penalty could have been brought to bear that would have stood the constitutional test. The law would have survived untouched if not for that major misstep by congress.
Pic of the day: Mademoiselle Marcelle Lender by, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.
James Madison, in a letter to W.T. Barry, 1822
That’s about it from here, America. G’night.