Health Reform to the Supremes?

A federal ruling puts Obama’s signature legislation on a path to the high court. Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Florida stopped short of blocking implementation of President Obama’s health overhaul, but he sure put a damper on things. And that now makes two federal judges who’ve ruled against it.

With so many lawsuits going in all directions, at some point the Supreme Court will have to deal with it. The argument (which Vinson bought) that Congress has no power to require all Americans to buy health insurance appears to be the strongest. The next step for the Florida decision will be the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, considered one of the most conservative in the country.

Although Obama had the chance to add justices, the Supreme Court is still packed with enough conservatives to make this a close case. And unless it moves faster than most, this blockbuster could unfold deep into his reelection bid.

Losing the individual mandate could be a body blow to Obama’s biggest achievement. Insurance companies mostly held their fire against the legislation, which increased regulation of the industry, in exchange for making it a federal requirement for everyone to buy their products. What industry wouldn’t put up with a few headaches for such a boost to their business?

But if that provision goes away you can bet the insurance lobby would rev up friendly lawmakers to repeal provisions that cut into their profits – and unravel the whole program.


73 thoughts on “Health Reform to the Supremes?”

  1. It seems that when I make a comment it almost always ends up at the bottom of a thread as a new post gets made.
    Therefore I am re posting my comment from the last thread.
    I feel bad for VAD but that is one reason I’m not a Republican or subscribe to their policies.
    They are not for working middle class or poor people. They are only for the rich and their corporate masters.
    Maybe VAD will become a Democrat or Independent now.
    Also I too was told that I would be receiving a letter in April telling me that I will be going on the unassigned list at the end of the year, which by the way is June 30th.
    I am also in the process of buying a house so I really do know how he’s feeling. If I scrimp I might be able to hold off taking Social Security until next year April when I turn 66 and can get the full retirement benefit.
    With what I will make for the first six months of this year plus my accumulated sick time and vacation time my wages will only be 8g short of my normal yearly wages. So I won’t lose to much in benefits when I do start receiving them.
    It will be very tight though as I had not figured my cost for Medicaid part B or my cost for the individual coverage from my job which I can still take.
    Between the two it will cost me around $450 dollars a month. Part B will be the primary coverage and my insurance would become the secondary coverage.
    Right now I’m just applying for Part A and declining Part B since I am working. My job will give me a letter so when I do take Part B once I am let go I will not have to pay the penalty for not signing up now when I turn 65.
    It’s going to be a very tough year financially trying to make ends meet, however if I don’t buy this house it will be much worse since rents are more than my mortgage payment will be. About $250 dollars more so what will be will be.
    Later gang.

  2. And here’s my other comment on health care reform.
    So I guess pogo it would be fine if a tax was passed to pay for health care since all the people would then be covered.
    Almost sounds like Medicaid or Single Payer for all. That wouldn’t be so bad now would it?

  3. I never liked Obama’s plan to FORCE people to buy crappy insurance with NO price controls.
    Once more, he tries to make “clever deals” with the right wing and they stab him in the back.
    When will he ever learn?

  4. Egypt is one more sign that the American Empire is collapsing.
    We can’t even keep one of our puppet dictators in power.

  5. Nash, I haven’t heard anyone say they like the OC option – seems most people either like single payer or no mandate. I imagine there is a middle ground out there, but I don’t know of anything that’s been proposed in the course of the last couple of years that sounded like a good middle ground that would provide funding for care that would extend to enough people to make it worrthwhile and have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting through Congress.

  6. If Mubarak falls I’ll bet the Saudi royal family will have their private jets fueled, with pilots on 30-minute standby. (Load up all the wives and visit the country estate in Britain.)
    The Israelis have a fallback plan also: if things go badly they’ll all move to Brooklyn.

  7. btw, I guess they’ve never heard of the concept of federalism – they are doing exactly what the plaintiffs in the challenge to Obamacare in the FL – Vinson case have said the constitution requires – state control as opposed to federal. And tell it to Willard – he might have a different view of what states can and can’t require since he did exactly with healthcare in MA what the SD lawmakers are trying to do although they say they can’t. See, the problem with the right is inconsistencies in their arguments (same can be said for the left, btw) depending on which right they say they are trying to protect and who is doing the protecting.

  8. I expect healthcare reform (or insurance reform) to take years of fighting before it’s either settled, scuttled, or changed.
    BW… congrats on getting insurance. 5 degrees is cold… but I never would have expected to see that kind of temperature in southern NM…. hope you have a coat.
    Pogo…. my brother, the lobsterman, never had health insurance until Romney got that bill passed. He grumbled about having to buy insurance at first…. but with an aging body and a labor intensive job… he’s most grateful now.

  9. If you have access to link tv -they have live coverage of what is going in Egypt.
    CNN you suck. No live coverage of anything just endless reruns of various correspondents who have no idea of what is going on and almost always get it wrong.
    Last night we thought there would be live coverage but nooooooooooo. Today we thought there would be live coverage but CNN is focused on topless political activists from Europe.
    Egypt one of the oldest countries is having its revolution to democracy and instead of having a front seat for history -cable 24 hours news is nothing but trivial even silly news story with nothing on Egypt.
    It looks like the King of Jordan is getting religion and guess in his own weird way we have Shrub to thank. The global financial crisis seems to be at the heart of people finally saying –no more– and I blame Shrub for that…

  10. Mr. Cracker is enjoying watching the revolution but after awhile he said — where are the portapotties?

  11. Renee, funny how aging bodies tend to make folks appreciative of payment for care they never needed until age ravaged their bodies.
    Yeah, BW, you up above 7000 feet or sumpin? All the good ski resorts are north of Albuquerque aren’t they?

  12. WE got 24 hour coverage of war — why aren’t there embedded journalists for this…

  13. The longer it takes for Mubarak to go the angrier people will become.

  14. No pogo, 4000 feet…Rio Grande basin. I live in southern New Mexico and I have never seen it this cold here. Albuquerque is at 14 degrees and snowing. I wish it were snowing…still above freezing here. Windy.

  15. Just saw a few snowflakes….37 degrees here. Wind chill is below freezing.

  16. Let me correct that…’will never have seen it this cold before if it goes down to 5 degrees on Wednesday night.’

  17. Pogo,
    Yesterday you wrote what was I reading about the Health Care bill, well I went to a person who sells medical insurance and got my latest information about different policies right from him, not a rightie or leftie hack. He get’s calls all the time about pre conditions. I was not alone in my thinking that they already went into affect. He said not until 2014. He said the rates he is quoating to people have gone up and yes Cobra is out of site but in my wifes case he can’t beat Cobra’s price for her with the pre conditions. My wife and daughter can get a nice plan and it’s much cheaper. So that is our plan put my wife on cobra and I will buy a personal plan for my daughter and I to carry us over. But either way it’s not cheap. Also it takes three weeks to even get the paper work to even sign up for Cobra. I think you where right with the 60 days. I called Cobra and asked what do I do while I wait for the paper work to even sign up and she said pay out of pocket and then when I sign up they you pay me back. With the prices of health care is she insane, I can’t pay the entire bill if we need something in three or so weeks. I got no money coming in and it takes time to get unemployment, it’s a new month so the rent was due, food, gas (that’s out of site too), you name it.

  18. Looking for a job around the DC area, they require clearances, and guess what little item they will be requesting to see. Also I see the following questioned asked all the time Are you a US Citizen? With being layed off has put that issue on the back burner for me but I see it on all these ads for jobs. I have answered it a bunch of times now that I am filling out applications.

  19. Obama is probably wishing that he didn’t trade away the “public option.”
    He can thank his “blue dog” buddies for setting him up for this humiliation.
    The GOP has tied a tin can to his tail and he’s just running down the street.

  20. If he doesn’t get a job on Fox, Mubarak will probably end up in NYC, driving a cab.

  21. VAD, I feel for you. Unemployment is an utter bitch – been there and don’t want to go there again. I could start in on the cost of healthcare and healthcare insurance but I won’t except to say that healthcare cost has impoverished many Americans, and I consider that a fucking sin. The prexisting conditions thing is a phased in component of the bill – starting with kids last year and with full phase-in in 2014 – and it’s just convoluted enough to make a simple explanation impossible. Here’s what I know about preconditions and adults – if you have one you can’t afford to have a gap in coverage, at least not until 2014. There are options, but considering the blood sucking nature of insho companies, those options probably come very dearly. Just curious – what part of VA are you in?

  22. Learning a lot about Egypt
    the most unemployed college graduates
    the largest importer of wheat —

  23. One thing you can be sure of…
    The Supreme Court won’t do anything that will cancel THEIR health insurance.
    Given their ages, health coverage for the nine of them, and their dependents, probably costs the US taxpayer several MILLION dollars a year.
    I’d like to see Scalia have to use as emergency room as his source of primary care and pay for everything out of his own pocket.

  24. I’ve heard several progressives say that if obamacare gets eradicated then there will be the opportunity to go for Single Payer simply because it will dawn on people that a lot of stuff they like just got wiped out.

  25. I really don’t get it. Everyone is blaming the President for the cost of health care instead of the people really responsible.
    The health care industry, you know the insurance companies.
    Oh lets not forget the Republican Party either.
    Outta here and headed home.

  26. AP, anyone who blames Obama for the cost of healthcare is IMHO an idiot. Healthcare spending as a proportion of GDP increased by almost 3% from 2000-2007 to just over 16%. It doubled between 1975 and 2007. The biggest jumps were from ’84-93 and ’00-’04. Hard to pin that on Obama. It’s projected by HHS to be 19.5% by 2017. OK, some of that falls to Obama, but the same fault for most of the the prior doubling can be attributed to Reagan and the Bushes. I’m with you – that’s not where the blame falls – it falls on the healthcare industry (including big pharma) and insurers.
    For an eye opener, check out the third chart down the page.

  27. anon-p: I’m blaming Obama for the health care mess because the FIRST thing he did was to have a secret meeting with insurance companies and drug companies to ask what sort provisions they wanted before they would support a “health care reform” bill.
    That’s why we got this stinking piece of crap of a bill: one with NO cost controls that forces people to pay high premiums for lousy coverage.
    If Obama had any guts (or brains) he should have demanded “Medicare for everyone.” Yeah, in the short-term the GOP would have shot it down, but over time people would eventually realize that’s the way to go.
    The Canadians have 100% govt paid insurance for everyone and they have better care which costs less, because they aren’t shelling out hundreds of billions in profits to private insurance companies that have NO VALUE ADDED.
    About 15% of the students in my college are Canadians (we’re 10 miles from the border) and, when I explain how our health system works, they think it’s crazy.
    Because it is.

  28. CNN is reporting that Mubarak has announced he will not seek re-election and he will not put his son up for election.

  29. “Judge Vinson’s ruling states that because one portion of the law is unconstitutional, the entire law should be struck down because there is no clause in the health care law that provides severability, or that allows the rest of the law to stand if part of it is ruled unconstitutional.”
    what! no severability clause! where in the hell was staff? you always sprinkle the monkey dust (a severability clause) over a bill. sometimes it doesn’t work but most times it does. aaaarrgghhh.

  30. well, my suggestion for a tweek would be to remove the mandate. expand coverage of medicare to all and let the inshopigs live on supplemental premiums.
    but in no way should the reforms (like the new percentage limitation on admin costs) be gutted.

  31. JTWC have increased the forecast wind speeds by 10 kts, and dropped it’s weakening before land fall.
    Peak winds are now forecast at 149 mph, gusts to 184 mph at landfall.
    The JTWC has been spot one in these forecasts.
    Lots of people praying with the mantis .

  32. Yasi will flood even more of the coal pits in Queensland. The drag line repair business is going to be busy if it ever stops raining there.

  33. Craig,
    I can’t pretend to know everything in the Healthcare Reform Bill, but what I have seen makes me think there’s little there that would cut into insurance company profits. Additional regulation seems to make them more accountable to their customers, so there’s that, but the insurance industry is allowed to charge for every added benefit (including their markup) so as much as they fight MANDATES, they really don’t mind them.
    What they really don’t like is any unlevel playing field that doesn’t tip in their direction.

  34. All the water from the flooded mines will be directly pumped into the nearest drainage, and hence into the sea west of the Great Barrier Reef.
    A very toxic brew.

  35. “let the inshopigs live on supplemental premiums”
    on second tho’t that should read “let them eat brioche”

  36. by mandates, i mean the “everybody’s gotta buy insurance” mandate. not the ones mandating that inshopigs play nice… or even fair.

  37. Speaking of mines …….
    Copper hits record on Cyclone Yasi fears
    Concern about the impact of Cyclone Yasi on metals production in Queensland resulted in copper hitting $US9810 a tonne and tin $US30,400 a tonne on the London Metal Exchange….Two years ago, it was trading at below $US3000 per tonne ……. several of the world’s largest mines are ageing and ore grades are falling – and demand is expected to push prices above $US10,000 this year, analysts have predicted.

  38. ” A U.S. envoy in Cairo told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak that he needed to step aside and allow a new government to take shape without him but was rebuffed, according to Middle East experts who have discussed the matter with the Obama administration.
    Frank Wisner, a former ambassador to Egypt who has good relations with the Mubarak regime, traveled to Cairo at President Obama’s behest to talk to the Egyptian leader about the country’s future.
    Wisner delivered a direct message that Mubarak should not be part of the “transition” that the U.S. had called for, according to Middle East experts who spoke on condition of anonymity.
    One expert on the region said that in his regular conversations with the Obama administration about the unrest in Egypt, he learned that Wisner’s message to Mubarak was that “he was not going to be president in the future. And this message was plainly rebuffed.”
    It wasn’t clear whether Wisner specified a timetable for the 82-year-old leader’s departure.”,0,981825.story

  39. See, Nash knows the difference between blaming Obama for the HC mess (including the lack of cost controls) and blaming him for the cost of healthcare.
    pat, well said. BUT … courts routinely sever offending parts of legislation that don’t have severability clauses (you see severability clauses in bills, but they are essential in contracts) – but leave it to a Reagan appointee to find that the mandate is so central to the entire bill that it can’t be severed – and leave it to the justice dept. lawyers who briefed and argued the case for saying it was.

  40. PatD,
    You’re right. The insurance companies definitely loved the “everyone must buy” idea. My point is they don’t mind the “insurers must cover this procedure” mandates either because the cost is passed on to the customer at a profit.
    What New York insurers don’t want is companies from other states selling plans in NY without having to conform to NY’s regulations. Of course I’m using NY as my example because it’s where I live and work, but the same would be true of companies in any state that requires extensive services. Much of what was added in the federal reform legislation was already in place in New York State.

    This will be riding on the storm surge, the storm surge on the king tide.

  42. Speakin of insurance, the actuaries in the insurance business are busy rewriting their tables as result of the events in the last 90 days in Australia.

  43. Aljazeera has better reporting on Egypt than CNN and MSNBC.
    Naturally, most of us can’t get Aljazeera (English) on cable TV, even though it’s available to cable providers.
    And Americans wonder why the rest of the educated world (Europe, Canada, Japan, etc) thinks we’re uninformed, insular morons.

  44. Vad……you got your information from an insurance salesman……….you know, not a righty-hack or a lefty-hack but an insurancy-hack…….

  45. Wow Mubarak must have some big ones or be completely delusional
    and now he is firing on the demonstrators

  46. oops my bad …not official gun fire but fights between pro-Mubarak and ant-Mu’s

  47. Aljazeera has better reporting on Egypt than CNN and MSNBC.
    Naturally, most of us can’t get Aljazeera (English) on cable TV, even though it’s available to cable providers.
    It’s on link tv you may get that…

  48. So Mubarak has sent the undercover/plain cloth police out in the crowd to support his speech….can you say astroturf

  49. In re Canada’s health care system, here’s an incident
    which put the cap on my holiday.
    Before New Year’s every year, my niece and her quebecois husband and three boys , with dual citizenship, go to Canada to visit his mother at her
    “chalet” in the mountain area north of Montreal. One day Alex fell and hit his head hard on a hardwood floor.
    There is a small town nearby with a clinic so they went there immediately since Alex had a headache and was having projectile vomiting. I’m not sure why it is called a clinic since it did not have an xray and I don’t know what else it does have – but I would think an xray would be a good idea in an outdoor setting where perhaps bones might be broken. There was a hospital
    an hour’s drive away and since Alex “fell asleep”, he and his mother went by ambulance to that hospital.
    The cost of the ambulance was $400. When they arrived there, it was about 3:30 am and were told they
    would have to wait until 8am when there would be a change of shift, since they were kinda busy. ( Now we
    were following this and kind of sick at heart. In the last 6 months or so another local doc had lost his 7 year old granddaughter from a fall hitting her head from falling 3 feet – ironically on the west coast of Canada but she died in the US.) In the hospital my niece had to make a $700 deposit in case there was any treatment needed after the xray. By the time 8am came with a new shift, after waiting 4 and a half hours, Alex woke up and was alert, answering questions correctly. My niece got her deposit back and her husband picked them up.
    Alex is fine now, but given the example of Natasha
    Richardson where there was no necessary equipment at a world class ski resort, and the situation of Gabby Giffords and her brain injury, and my nephew who is recovering from a brain injury, the Canadian system seems to be unaware of the dangers of head injuries –
    or at least not as aware of them as we are. What else could that clinic be for? drugs and bandages?
    I’m not saying that there are no benefits from that system, but I do feel that there are weak spots in it and it would be a mistake to assume that all is perfect there. My niece’s mother couldn’t get a broken nose fixed at that clinic, and in the city she was told there
    was questionable about her chest xray and she could get another one done in 6 months. Tylenol told us about her emergency surgery she had and there are obvious many success storied. We just can’t assume
    it’s the best way.
    For me, I want public option and make it start now.

  50. Billions of dollars worth of agricultural produce and machinery could be affected by Tropical Cyclone Yasi.
    Cyclone Larry wiped out an estimated $300 million worth of bananas in 2006, but Yasi could do more damage, as it’s a bigger storm covering a much wider area.
    Sugarcane worth $1 billion is also likely to be severely affected, between Mossman to Townsville.
    One of the world’s last tropical dairy herds is in the path of Yasi, as is much of Australia’s northern fishing fleet. rural/ news/ content/ 201102/ s3127664.htm

  51. Farmer Steve Guzzo says the cyclone is another difficulty for Ingham growers to deal with.
    “We’re just wondering what we’ve done wrong,” he said.
    “It’s just been a continuous pounding since August last year virtually. There’s doesn’t seem to be any let up.
    “As soon as things seem to be looking okay, something else comes around the corner.”

  52. Anna Bligh press conference: “Grab each other and get to a place of safety”

  53. Obama calls Mubarak….
    Hosni Mubarak: This better not be another telemarketer. I could have you shot.
    Barak Obama: Hey, Hoser. It’s Barry. Did you get that pallet of cash?
    HM: Yeah. Thanks, bro. It’ll come in handy. Do you know what an apartment in Paris costs?
    BO: What’s that noise?
    HM: Brick through the window.
    BO: Have you tried German shepherds and firehoses?
    HM: Nah, you beat up one and all ten cousins come after you. Hey, can I come hang out in your crib?
    BO: No, man. The wife. AND the mother in law.
    HM: Tell me about it. I’ve got four.
    BO: Who are you lining up to take over when you split?
    HM: You’ll like him. He went to Harvard, too.
    BO: What was his major?
    HM: Picking up red-headed Irish girls in Boston.
    BO: Gotta go, Hoser. Me and Biden are gonna sneak over to Pelosi’s and slash her tires. She thinks it’s Eric Cantor doing it.
    HM: You guys. Grow up.
    BO: Later my man.
    HM: Allah be praised.
    BO: Yeah, right.

  54. Looks like the Gremlins are back. New thread shows 3 comments but nothing shows up when you go to the comments section.
    Hey Craig you need a Gremlin exorcism.

Comments are closed.