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27 March 2012

Comments

Todd Juvinall

I was able to listen to the audio last night of yesterdays testimony. The Solicitor General is unfortunately doing his best to defend the law and the fact Obama said it was a tax before it wasn't a tax. The SCOTUS righties were almost exclusively asking him the questions.

Then the Florida AG and the NFIB guy were grilled by the SCOTUS lefties. They were hung up and convinced about the inter connectivity issue as you have stated. Using their arguments, Kagan, Breyer etal, would have us pay and regulate every human on the planet it appears.

Alito and Scalia were on target about the "enumerated" powers and discussed the issues of "Constitutionality" while the lefties discussed the use of people for injury and disease at the emergency room. It was a stark difference which I am sure the press will muddle to make the righties look like monsters of the uncaring conservative while the lefties will be the caring and compassionate wonders.

It is about the Constitution and the use of the Commerce Clause. Somehow the person using the ER in Poodunk Idaho is, according to the lefties, affecting the interstate commerce in NYC. It is a lame argument but they use the tried and true technique to tug at one's heartstrings.

I am not at all confident the law will be booted. I do not trust the powers that be to do the right thing which is to get rid of this socialist crap. The one thing that may happen though if it does pass is the 50% who pay zero taxes would be tossed into the meat grinder of regulation. Stay tuned today.

Ryan Mount

I was reviewing the transcript, and you can almost put your finger on the letter where the left leaning justices stepped in and started making Verrilli's arguments for him. Kagan, who recently held the Solicitor General's job and should have recused herself in this matter, seemed to be leading that charge.

It was a very bad day for the Obama administration. And not just because Verrilli wasn't "on his game." It was a bad day because the Administration's arguments and responses were weak and rambling.

This question from Justice Kennedy to the Solicitor General really nails the whole argument for me: "Can you create commerce to regulate it?"

You = Congress, for the record.

Can Congress create a unique category of Interstate Commerce, and thereby be able to regulate it. Just think about how frankly scary that prospect is. Stop. Think before you speak. Of course unless you feel the Government is all about providing peppermint trees and lemonade springs from the Big Rock Candy mountain.

Todd Juvinall

Excellent points.

Ryan Mount

For the record:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_transcripts/11-398-Tuesday.pdf

For those of you who care to read instead regurgitate what others have written. See pages 14, then 21, then 23/24 and then 35 to observe the Left Wing of the court step in and help Verrilli's (the government's) arguments.

To Sotomayor's credit, she does a good job of asking curious questions. Kagan, again I have no idea why she's even allowed to hear this case other than the obvious tyranny implications*, seems to be on the floor arguing the Government's defense.

*for those who are paying attention (most Americans are too busy watching the female Oprah, that is, Dr. Oz), Justice Kagan was instrumental in drafting the defense for the ACA (Obamacare) when she worked for Obama! Good times, indeed.

Michael Anderson

I agree that upon narrow review of the PPACA, it's a real stretch to invoke the Commerce Clause. If you are seeking what is lawful, PPACA was the wrong approach; if you are seeking justice, PPACA was the only way forward. Any thinking person who compares broccoli to healthcare is not someone who is interested in justice.

So, by just reviewing PPACA under the law, it is probably unconstitutional. But I support it nonetheless, because in this case I favor justice over the rule of law.

We should have a single payer law instead of PPACA: Medicare For All. The reason we don't is because the Right and the Republicans would have blocked it. So the Left and the Democrats lifted the conservative's approach, a mandate on health insurance to avoid the so-called socialism of single-payer, and now we are wrapped up in a totally unnecessary SCOTUS imbroglio. How cynical is that?

Meanwhile, those of us who are unlucky enough to not be slopping at the trough of gov't- subsidized healthcare (members of Congress and SCOTUS/military veterans/teachers and other gov't employees) are paying for the 30 million American citizens who use the ER as their primary care-giver.

Last time I was at SNMH to get a much-needed last-minute prescription for pneumonia, I was there for less than 2 hrs. and it cost me $2500. That paid for the other 10 people in the ER that evening, all indigents, who were charged $0. Does this help you understand why I could care less if PPACA is unconstitutional?

The Right and the Republicans had an opportunity to fix the American health care system at the beginning of the Clinton presidency, almost 2 decades ago. Cynicism from the Right again reigned during that fiasco, and I and other small business owners like me have been pouring money into a broken health care system ever since.

If you guys had any real answers regarding how to keep the healthcare thieves out of my wallet--other than saying that charities should cover the indigent, which is not a real answer--then I am all ears. But until then, you can count on me and the rest of the people whose lives are being destroyed by America's evil health care system to keep coming up with single-payer laws, and less-than-perfect legislation like PPACA, with wave after after wave until it is finally fixed.

Paul Emery

You might give some consideration also to the question of Clarence Thomas whose wife worked for Liberty Central, which fought President Obama's health care reform law. Financial disclosures indicates that his wife, Virginia, who served as Liberty Central's president and CEO, received $150,000 in salary from the group. This is direct family income shared by the entire family that comes from a source that has as it's vested interest the defeat of Obama's health care program. I think he should have recused himself from this hearing.

D

Some one educate me. Is this an all or nothing deal for SCOTUS?
When SCOTUS delivers their decision, must they throw out all provisions of Obamacare, accept all provisions of Obamacare or can they toss out or amend portions of the law?
Dave Cranfield

Michael Anderson

Good point, Paul.

And for that matter, since all 9 members of SCOTUS receive health care on my dime (http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/), shouldn't they all have recused themselves?

I find it highly ironic that the members of SCOTUS are debating whether to continue stealing money out of my right pocket to cover the indigent, while shamelessly stealing out of my left pocket to cover their own damn health care.

That's an epic, ginormous amount of stealing. Not sure how they sleep at night.

Michael Anderson

Dave, I think that's what they're going to be talking about today...Michael A.

Ryan Mount

OK. As a personal note, I don't think Justice Thomas should have ever made it to the bench. Not that he's ever said anything worth while other than "I agree with Justice Scalia." But this seems like a Partisan tit-for-tat. Fine, get rid of him. You'll get no tears from me.

Mr. Anderson (said in my Matrix Agent Smith voice) wrote: "the indigent, while shamelessly stealing out of my left pocket to cover their own damn health care."

Well, that was Kagan's and the Obama administration's argument, which she argued better than the current Solicitor General. It's not looking good for the personal mandate folks.

And what does all this mean? Well, here's what's going on here. "Obamacare" is not directly under fire here. It's the personal mandate requiring everyone to have insurance or pay a tax. No, I mean a penalty. No a tax. Not clear as the SG keeps changing the story. (I hope my government mandated doctor is better than my government lawyer.)


Anyhow, this mandate is clearly ridiculous and unprecedented in the history of our nation. Scalia [gasp, this is the first and last time I will ever concur with him] said it best: can the government make you buy broccoli then? *******BUY****** Get it? And why would anyone be comfortable with that, notwithstanding the obvious lack of Constitution Law to back this up? Who knows?

If the personal mandate goes away it means two things:

1) the whole ACA comes crashing down. (that's not an overstatement)
2) Obama's re-election prospects grew considerably dimmer.

If it passes:

1) Whenever Congress wants to impose it's will on people, like, I dunno, everyone has to buy a Prius or a cell phone or buy a TV to watch Dr. Oz twice a week...it can do so on it's whims.

What should have happened, but due to the Democrat's lack of courage or whatever (I think they were wimps, like always), is they should have passed an National Health Care/Single Payer law. But guess what? They didn't have the votes. So we ended up with this horrible (horrible is too kind) contraption that is the PPACA.

Todd Juvinall

We all made the argument that if the government wants to help the 15 million (the actual number), pay it out of the existing budget and don't force the 300 million into slavery. But noooo. It was not about money, it is about POWER.

George Rebane

"...in this case I favor justice over the rule of law.", "...I could care less if PPACA is unconstitutional?", "...you can count on me and the rest of the people whose lives are being destroyed by America's evil health care system to keep coming up with single-payer laws, and less-than-perfect legislation like PPACA, with wave after after wave until it is finally fixed." - MichaelA 1030am.

In civilized society we are taught that codified law is the only reasonable alternative to subjective justice (only the ignorant and charlatans argue that there is a universal code of justice known to all, but most certainly known to them). Applications of 'justice' outside the law or in its absence litter the pages of horrific history.

Now our nation is rapidly sinking to new depths where (formerly?) reasonable men would forsake law for their own interpretations of justice. Since justice is culture specific, and we have long given up operating under a common culture, where then does accepting justice over law lead us?

Michael Anderson

George, there are plenty of examples where the application of justice did not lead down the bloody road ("horrific history"). There are also plenty of examples of where the blind application of law did lead down a bloody road.

Here are some interesting links in that regard:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_v._Brailsford_%281794%29

http://blog.bennettandbennett.com/2009/06/justice-vs-the-law.html

Barry Pruett

Michael said, "So, by just reviewing PPACA under the law, it is probably unconstitutional. But I support it nonetheless, because in this case I favor justice over the rule of law."

If PPACA is unconstitutional, then the analysis ends. Justice and constitutionality must be tied together for we cannot have unconstitutional justice.

Unconstitutional justice would mean that the police could search you on the street without probable cause. If you are in possession of contraband, you go to jail. Justice was done, but it is unconstitutional. I would prefer not to tread on such a slippery slope.

If Congress wants health insurance for all, then Congress needs to enact Medicare for all (single payer) and tax the population. It is constitutional, but thankfully, there is no general political will to do it.

George Rebane

MichaelA 310pm - A well formed response indeed. Our takeaway is that if you can find anecdotal evidence that is prejudicial to the application of law, then we should be indifferent to choosing between codified law or subjective justice to inform and structure our lives.

One of the prime corollaries to living under well-understood laws is that it reduces enterprise risk for all, since it allows the near-reliable prediction of how your fellow man will (not) behave. Haphazard application of a law here and some extra-legal 'justice' there leads to a different world that is fundamentally transformed from the one we live in. Every day it is more clear to me why our leader promised us such a world.

billy T

I am heartened to read that suddenly The Constitution of the United States of America is being discussed by others besides some the Tea Party Patriots and independents. The Constitution IS our form of government, not some willy nilly piece of parchment we pay polite homage to while not taken seriously like a senile Grandfather at Thanksgiving Dinner. Seems the newest members of The Supreme Court of the United States of America are expressing emotion and idealism instead of legality and appeared surprised that they must rule on the constitutionality of the matter. This is not about Obamacare per se, but rather the question is "is this statue lawful?" In a nation founded on limited government, did Congress grant the Federal Government powers it is forbidden by the Constitution to grant? Did Congress grant itself unconstitutional power? This is not even about our current President. Can any US citizen be forced into entering into a contract with a private entity by the Federal Government under threat of penalty and under duress? I say the contract is invalid under those circumstances.

Michael Anderson

"The day will come when--after harnessing the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity--we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Re. - Ryan M., 3/28/12 12:23 PM: "can the government make you buy broccoli then? *******BUY****** Get it?" Ryan, comparing broccoli and health care is like comparing fires and fire engines. Not the same. At all. All human beings must consume health care at some time in their lives. Is that true of broccoli? Of course not. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. couldn't have done a worse job.

Re. - Barry P., 3/28/12 3:15 PM: "If PPACA is unconstitutional, then the analysis ends." Seriously? I believe Dred Scott would beg to differ with you. It took the Civil War to get the 14th, 14th, and 15th Amendments added to the Constitution. Think of PPACA as another form of war, this time being conducted in the US Congress.

Re. - George R., 3/28/12 3:54 PM: "...then we should be indifferent to choosing between codified law or subjective justice..." No George, we're taking every case as it comes. Sometimes justice overrules the law, such as when the 18th Amendment was repealed by the 21st. I get frustrated with you when you go into your ideologue mode and ignore nuance, especially since I know that you understand nuance better than most. What gives?

"We are one, after all, you and I, together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other." (Ibid)

Account Deleted

re: Michael A and your tale of the poor in the emergency room. What you don't understand is that with Obama care there will be even more folks in the emergency room complaining of every ache and pain. The poor don't pay now and they still won't under Obama-care. The Dems made it very clear when they passed this that they were "giving Americans a new right". They said that. You don't have to pay a dime for a "right" if you are poor. You and I will be paying even more to subsidize them and their new "right". And when it isn't the weekend, they will be crowded into what doctors' offices that are left for more freebies. We all have to eat and have a place to live. Should those be free as a "right"? If you say you don't care about the law, then why should any one else care
about it? Oh - we will have "justice". Defined by Michael A, apparently.

Barry Pruett

Hey Michael. When you compare Dred Scott to PPACA you are comparing apples and oranges. Dred Scott was a horrible Fifth Amendment case, and PPACA is a commerce clause case.

Dred Scott was a terrible decision which could be termed as a "constitutiuonal injustice". You are advocating an "unconstitutional justice." Either way it is wrong.

Further, "justice" presupposes a natural right. Dred Scott was owed a right and was wrongfully denied. Healthcare is a privilege...not a right.

Apples and oranges.

George Rebane

MichaelA 745am - Not to pile on Michael, but your shoulders are broad enough to bear the added burden of my returned compliment on your own ability to appreciate and use nuance. Justice did not overrule law in the repeal of the 18th by the 21st amendment, you should know not to argue that in this thread. The passage of the 21st amendment was an entirely legal act, contemplated by the Constitution, and executed to the letter.

The missed nuance in your argument of justice vs law is that notions of justice precede and impel the drafting of laws, as they also invoke the subsequent application of such laws. Prohibiting the application of extra-legal ‘justice’ is the entire point of humans organizing in societies governed under law and not ad hoc justice.

Who here has ignored nuance?

(BTW, as I have defined before in these pages, ideology is naught but a well-structured and compactly communicated belief system. My ideology is firm, constant, but not graven in stone in the sense that its tenets can and have been breached by superior reason. I pity the minds in Brownian motion that randomly take, apply, and discard belief tenets as if they were Kleenex tissues in a public restroom. In these pages I am always in “ideologue mode”, and I continually invite my readers to critically examine my ideology and its application to the issues on which I post and comment – that, after all, is the sum and stuff of RR.)

George Rebane

Re healthcare as privilege or right; my long held sentiments are with BarryP's 810am - "Healthcare is a privilege ... not a right." And as always, I explain each notion in http://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2010/03/rights-and-privileges.html .

The discussion of the state's role in providing (for) healthcare can proceed neither reasonably nor profitably without the resolution of healthcare being a right or a privilege in organized society.

Todd Juvinall

I guess the bogus finding of a right to privacy by the SCOTUS in Roe v Wade no longer exists? Since the government now want everyone to send them all aspects of data on their physical conditions, doctors diagnosis, etc., to qualify for health insurance, I deduce the right to privacy is kaput.

George Rebane

Spot on Todd. By its very nature, privacy involves the denial of information about and by one party to an audience selected by that party. We must be careful though in the use of such notions as 'the right to privacy'. Such a right is not explicit in the US Constitution, although it may be so in various state constitutions. Here is an academic discussion on privacy that muddles its arguments since it does not present a consistent operational definition of 'right' or 'privilege'. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/rightofprivacy.html

But it should be clear that without some ability to exercise privacy, the Bastiat Triangle (q.v.) of rights would crumble, and society as we know it, especially in its commercial aspects, would cease to exist. Such a world was dramatized by Orwell and implemented by Stalin (among others).

Ryan Mount

I, for one, am waiting for cries of "judicial activism" for the losing party. It seems that everyone that loses an argument/ruling based in the Constitution cries that foul.

THEMIKEYMCD

Health care is not a right. The left argues in favor of using FORCE/AGGRESSION to play Robin Hood, I call BS.

MichaelA's comment is emotional and threatening to a liberty loving individual like myself. "All human beings must consume health care at some time in their lives." Seeking medical attention is a choice, living a healthy lifestyle is a choice, lets keep life full of choices.

If your life/health is not worth it to you to eat right, exercise, pay insurance premiums, etc then why should it be worth it to me?

Obamacare is not about helping the destitute, it is about the 52% of folks who don't pay income taxes looking for some fries with that!

THEMIKEYMCD

I have no doubts that a free market system (with a sprinkle of welfare programs) would improve US health care. Allowing insurance companies to have a la carte plans (like buying cable television or cell phone plans), allowing insurance companies to pool high risk users (especially across state lines), allowing Dr.s to control cash discounts, tort reform, hell even allowing non M.D.'s to practice some level of care (or RN's)[disclosed of course], allow insurance companies to give healthy discounts, etc etc.

We have chosen the highly regulated, highly lobbied, no-choice route for decades... it's time to choose choice and freedom.

billy T

I can relate to Michael Anderson. Part of me has the old idealism of the 60's still alive. This land is your land; this land is my land, smile on your brother, and power to the people. Don't trust anyone over 30 and flower power. When the revolution comes there will be no more bull shat. It is in my fiber, and I do not deny it. I appreciate Mr. Anderson's honesty. Even a child in the sandbox knows when something is "not fair". We are wired with a sense of justice. With all that said, we are a nation of very limited government that stays out of the individual's life as much as humanly possible. The government is the servant of the individual, a slave to the people. These tenants ensure freedom and freedom from tyranny. We all become enraged when an immigrant farmer has his land seized and fined into bankruptcy because there was an endangered rat or bug on the land he farrowed. Its not fair. A travesty of justice. The Constitution is the road map to best serve the people. The pursuit of happiness is the "live and let live" philosohy in practice. If the people do not like the blueprint, they are free to overthrow the tyrants and create a new Constitution, as per the current Constitution. I have the right to be left alone if I chose. I have the right to associate with people I choose to. I have the right to engage in commence or not engage in commence. Mr. Anderson has the right to rally people to his view of social and economic justice and lobby for a new government ruled by a new Constitution. I for one would not tell him how to live his life.

George Rebane

billyT 526pm - an eloquent ramble indeed. I fully agree with "Mr Anderson has the right to rally people ...", but your "We are all wired with a sense of justice." seems to imply that such a "sense" is uniform across all peoples, which it clearly is not. I am not the only one to call MichaelA's sense of justice to question, even though I would not proscribe him for such a sense. It is for that reason why we have a land of laws.

But in restating this we are now beginning to wear a deep furrow around the barn. To repeat my 943am, "The discussion of the state's role in providing (for) healthcare can proceed neither reasonably nor profitably without the resolution of healthcare being a right or a privilege in organized society."

Todd Juvinall

They even have us saying. It is about health insurance but they have morphed it into healthcare. Those libs are gooooood.

Account Deleted

re: Todd's post at 10:16 - there was an interesting interview with a fairly high functionary under Sebelius that was in the Natl Review or some such (I'm trying to find it) wherein he tortured himself and the English language in explaining that all results of medical tests would be part of a natl. database as part of Obama care. When asked if that would include a positive result for AIDS, he began a ridiculous obfuscation that defied logic, reason and common sense. It seems that a positive result for AIDS might not be included, although it wasn't clear what the gentleman really meant. Some how, he seemed to imply that a positive result for AIDS wasn't a result of a medical test. It wasn't clear what the hell he meant. As with all things Obama, we will follow the rules unless we don't.

Brad Croul

I hope Cheney used his private insurance to get his new (first?) heart.

billy T

Dr. Rebane, actually it was your 9:01am post I found most enlightening, provocative and an excellent analysis. The justice Mr. Anderson espouses is what I would call entitlement today, not justice at all. Because I can relate to a thought process does not mean I condone. The real threat to liberty and justice is an overbearing, overreaching gov't, which has been growing and overreaching since FDR. Even the Supreme Court had to scale back FDR's grand plans of central control and declared some of his schemes unconstitutional, thank goodness. Always felt some of Churchill's best quotes were directed at FDR. Another old story: A French deserter was caught. His mother appeared before Napoleon to plead for his life. The Emperor was moved by the mother and guaranteed her son would have a fair trial. The mother cried "I am not looking for justice. I am seeking mercy." Napoleon answered "if it is mercy you seek, it is mercy you will receive." The left does not seek justice. They seek something else, and it is not justice. The Court they have relied on to alter law is now the The Court that may mock them out of the courtroom.

Todd Juvinall

Cheney was the VP for eight years and had many high level important positions within our government. I could car less if we paid for his transplant or Halliburton. Sheesh!

BTW, who paid for Clinton?

George Rebane

billyT 823pm - Well said. A long time ago a friend who was a high school coach advised his players, 'Never seek justice, only mercy.' Even as teenagers, his players understood, and went on to profit from that counsel.

Douglas Keachie

Haven't been posting much lately, ever since I saw this chart, which sums it all up beautifully:

WhoRulesAmerica_How copy

Account Deleted

Doug - where are you in this chart?

Douglas Keachie

Same place you are , Scott, screwed to the plaque in the center bottom.

Barry Pruett

Doug:

Have you ever contributed to a political campaign? Also, do you own any shares in any corporation? If so, this chart labels you as the "ruling class."

Douglas Keachie

Barry, were you born in the USA, or abroad of American parents? This chart brands you as citizen. Obviously one can be part of many parts of the chart, but where do your major identities lie?

Ryan Mount

Well, when I was younger, I actually wanted to be a part of the gin-drinking, cabbage-smelling proletariat mentioned in Orwell's 1984, probably due to the self-esteem issues most young male have/had. I'm still haunted by Winston's Smith's refrain, "The answer is with the prols."

Well I've managed to keep up with the gin part, but I founds the other proletariat practices to be rather distasteful. This insight was also shared with Prince Hal in Henry the IV, Part 2.

So I'm in the upper 20% (the 1% if you count the rest of the globe) of what Chomsky calls the "managerial class." Others might call this educated, privileged white collar. I make decisions for other people. And as Chomsky points out, if anyone cares which is doubtful, that it is imperative that this 20%er class be properly kept inline. And according to Chomsky, this happens in college and afterwards via the media. You'd think people on the Right and Left would agree on that; but they don't.

So there may be a secret "ruling class/cabal" pulling the strings (that kind of Lyndon Larouche flip-flap is beyond me), but it's this 20%er that are the real enablers. The struggles are about class and access to power.

Douglas Keachie

"but it's this 20%er that are the real enablers."

You've never experienced a garbage strike in a major metro, have you?

Barry Pruett

Doug: We are a part of the whole. Further, I can choose to not be "coerced" or influenced" by corporations. I have no free will in the matter of whether or not the government will "punish" or "control" me...unless we have a constiutionally limited government. Government is far more coercive and their control is far worse than corporate "attempts" at control.

If you really want to take power from the ruling class, take the money out of the federal budget. If Congress had three dollars to give out, nobody would seek to influence the representatives. Cause and effect my man - and it starts with the money.

Also, I take it from your non-response that you are also part of the "ruling class."

Ryan Mount

> You've never experienced a garbage strike in a major metro, have you?

Not really a problem up here in Western Nevada County. 1/2 the people I know don't even use Waste Management pickup services. However, my guess is in wealthier urban neighborhoods, they'd just hire people to carry the garbage to the transfer station or probably just dump it into the poorer areas.

And if you're sitting behind a computer arguing away about who's in the ruling classes or not, I guarantee you that you indeed are. From the perspective some someone living in the Mumbai slums, we are gods. Welcome to the real 1%.

Account Deleted

No - I'm not "screwed to the plaque". I'm sure that the corporate media would like to influence me, but I'm just not that obliging. If Kelloggs tells you to buy Sugar Coated Chocolate Bombs, I guess that Dougie runs to the store to do just that. Sad. Also I note that there is no mention of the unions. Oops. The courts have not bothered to "punish" me ever in my life with a rare exception of a couple of parking tickets and a matter of velocity on the public roads. I have been happy to use the courts on two occasions when other parties tried (unsuccessfully) to evade their obligations to me. The courts are my friend, unless they fall under the sway of dictators. I note also that there is no mention of the public education system. It is largely from this (near) liberal monopoly that we arrive at a non-thinking public that willingly hands over power and decision making to others. There is nothing static or unchangeable about these arrangements, however and one can dream of better days.

billy T

This article has disturbed me to such a degree that I am no longer certain that the mandate is in trouble. Written by a conservative, a very intelligent conservative: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/294623/obamacare-mandates-justified-interstate-commerce-thomas-sowell

George Rebane

billyT 1051am - you have every reason to be disturbed. The only solace I can offer (and imbibe myself) is that in 1942, after ten years of depression and leftwing media hype, communism was seriously considered as the preferred way to govern society - Moscow-supplied newsreels of happy peasants dancing after an abundant harvest on their potemkin collective farm were firmly planted in every head.

Communism was comprehensive government control of a society which proscribed private ownership, and dictated that disbursement of every resource, and it seemed to work. In that context, and the command environment of WW2, such a SCOTUS ruling should be viewed. Hopefully, Obama's America, even though launched on years of Great Society programs, will call for a different verdict from today's SCOTUS.

Michael Anderson

Here's a great comment from a recent SF Chronicle article about PPACA. He nails it: we have two-tiers of health care. As a small business owner, I am on the short end of the stick, subsidizing anyone who has ever sucked the public teat, as well as those who we are unwilling to let die outside the ER if we were to bar their entry.

Mikey D., why do you believe that you have the right to deprive me of my liberty by forcing me at gunpoint to subsidize these two classes of people?? Ayn Rand would not approve.


"Never had one. Maybe in 2014 when Obamacare comes full online and we all have medical insurance coverage at reasonable and affordable prices (one can hope, anyway).
There are something like 50 million people in the USA w/o medical insurance. This approximately 1/6 of the total population of the USA does not have a doctor to go to or consult with.
So it is REALLY annoying when every drug ad on TV, every health article in the papers and so on tell you to "consult with your doctor" before undertaking whatever they are recommending. Sure, let me dial up the doc. Oops, but I don't have a doc!
Sure there are free clinics around (but you usually have to first qualify to get help). And you can go to the emergency room if something isn't working right now. But you are not going to be able to get preventive care like a colonoscopy or any type of operation, even something minor like hemorrhoid rubber banding w/o being homeless or truly destitute (less than $3,000 in liquid savings).
We have a two-tiered country when it comes to health care - those who get access to health care at group rates through the companies they work for who usually pay 50% to all of their health care premiums vs. those who have to pay out of their own pockets or go without if they can't afford to pay the costs of an individual policy.
Since you can't prevent a company from offering a benefit, any employee who takes health insurance paid for by their company should have the full premium amount added to their paycheck as income that they have to pay tax on."

George Rebane

MichaelA 144am - MikeyD is well able to answer for himself, but your question - "Mikey D., why do you believe that you have the right to deprive me of my liberty by forcing me at gunpoint to subsidize these two classes of people?? Ayn Rand would not approve." - illuminates a side of your ideology that I believe has been hidden from RR readers. Most certainly it was hidden from me.

Your use and implied understanding of "right", "deprive", "liberty", "forcing at gunpoint", "subsidize" reveals a deeply progressive, nay, hard left worldview. Perhaps there is no cure, but I would definitely recommend a re-reading of Ayn Rand to correct your assessment of what she would approve.

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