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Appeals court rules against Obama healthcare law

<cite class="byline vcard">By Jeremy Pelofsky and James Vicini, editing by Will Dunham | Reuters – <abbr title="2011-08-12T17:24:25Z">17 minutes ago</abbr></cite>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An appeals court ruled on Friday that President Barack Obama's healthcare law requiring Americans to buy healthcare insurance or face a penalty was unconstitutional, a blow to the White House.

The Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit, based in Atlanta, found that Congress exceeded its authority by requiring Americans to buy coverage, but also ruled that the rest of the wide-ranging law could remain in effect.

The legality of the so-called individual mandate, a cornerstone of the healthcare law, is widely expected to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Obama administration has defended the provision as constitutional.

(Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky and James Vicini, editing by Will Dunham)

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This is yet another GLARING example of just how DYSFUNCTIONAL our (in)justice system is!! 

 

This thing has been "upheld" by one judge ... "struck down" by another .... "upheld" by yet another .... "struck down" yet again .... so many times it could make your head spin off if you were really trying to keep score and pay attention. 

 

And, I'm sure some other judge will have some other opinion before it's over.  And then ultimately ... it ends up being decided by a politically biased, majority one-sided group of so-called "justices" that will rule in the favor of who their friends are ... and not what is best for "the people's" best interest.

 

The court/judicial branch of our governance is just as much of a BIG JOKE as our current government/legislative system is.

 

Same shyt .... different day. 

"This is yet another GLARING example of just how DYSFUNCTIONAL our (in)justice system is!!  "






You are exactly right.  What is really happening is Judges are abusing their authority and playing partisan politics with rights of, health and well-being of American citizens.  Judges are supposed to be unbiased (you can laugh), but in America, judges are as biased as any Joe or Jane you may stumble upon on the street.  Since our courts are being presided over by bigots, racists, sexists and elitist, then we should save the tax payer some money and just have a lottery pool as to what average citizen will be chosen for judge duties, just like we choose people for jury duties (another damn near completely biased or racist or sexist institution that is required to be unbiased).

I hate to break it to you, but there is valid reason to doubt the constitutionality of the health care law.  AND, more importantly, the matter is going to have to be resolved by the supreme court.  And I don't know why Obama and the democrats believed that a law requiring people to buy health care would somehow survive the supreme court.  There is no way that five of those justices are going to uphold it.  Thus, Obama's one major policy success -- his healthcare law -- is going to be nullified eventually.  

@Vox

 

There where people who where concerned about that from the start.  People made a serious mistake classifying everyone who threatened to challenge the law as a "tea party" crazy person. 

 

Many of Pres Obama's "successes" are now crumbling just before the election.  They're failing in no small part because they where never capable of solving or handling the problem.   The WH is now looking for idea's on the housing problem. So far they're hoping individuals and equity groups will buy foreclosed homes and rent them out. 

Muhammad, I couldn't agree more with your assessment.  The only reason that the law is unconstitutional is because of the "individual mandate" that people be required to buy into a health plan.  Although the administration (and some courts) feel otherwise, that requirement seems not to match any enumerated power of congress.  Those who disagree say the Commerce Clause permits it.  In other words, a true universal health care, single payer plan would've been constitutional, but no one gave it any serious thought of being politically passable.  

 

I see no chance of getting 5 supreme court justices on board with this health plan.  And if that decision were to come down before the 2012 election, then Obama basically would have nothing to run on.  

 

Because Obama and the democrats just roll over every chance they get, we may as well start getting used to hearing the phrase "President Perry."  

If I remember correctly .... Hillary and the President's health care plans were very similar - in fact, almost identical - except that, instead of a "mandate" to carry the insurance, Hillary was going to have it paid into as more of an "income tax" ... just like people pay into Social Security ... which would cover most people ... an then have provisions for low-income and the poor to be provided for with something akin to Medicare/Medicaid.

 

Although there were complaints that that would put a strain on "workers" to cover the costs of "non-workers" ... I thought that would have been a much more fair way to distribute the financial burden of paying for it.  Plus, I don't think it would have been illegal. 

Originally Posted by Vox:

Muhammad, I couldn't agree more with your assessment.  The only reason that the law is unconstitutional is because of the "individual mandate" that people be required to buy into a health plan.  Although the administration (and some courts) feel otherwise, that requirement seems not to match any enumerated power of congress.  Those who disagree say the Commerce Clause permits it.  In other words, a true universal health care, single payer plan would've been constitutional, but no one gave it any serious thought of being politically passable.  

 

I see no chance of getting 5 supreme court justices on board with this health plan.  And if that decision were to come down before the 2012 election, then Obama basically would have nothing to run on.  

 

Because Obama and the democrats just roll over every chance they get, we may as well start getting used to hearing the phrase "President Perry."  


Vox, thank you for bringing up the single payer healthcare plan. There has been a SPHP advocacy for years. When the health care legislation issue came up before the Democratic majority congress, the group headed to Washington, D.C. to have their professional opinion heard. What happened? They were literally pushed out of the hearings.

And if you mean punking out when you say 'rolling over', I agree we will be hearing the words President Perry. Having lived under he and Bush's governorship America will not like what they see if they get him in that office. People think that they have it bad now. I can see minimum wages being the first thing on the chopping block under his presidency. Also even more control to the states.

You know .... for the sake of (political) clarity and a better and truer understanding of how the political process works, I just need to say this about what REALLY happened politically with the health care bill vote.

 

For the most part, "the Democrats" (as a whole body) and the President (as the president and also as "leader" of the Democratic Party) are generally given all the blame for NOT passing a better, more credible, more beneficial to patient-care health care bill (with a public option or even a single-payer program).

 

But, the political reality is that ... it's not that a better bill didn't pass because "Democrats" (on the Senate side) didn't push hard enough or stand up to Republicans and MAKE it happen.  The fact is that "the Democrats" - as a whole (body) did not have 60 votes to override the necessary Republican opposition.  "The Democrats" only actually had 55 affirmative votes .... because 5 of those Democrats - who have a Conservative ideology - absolutely, positively, unequivocally REFUSED to vote "yes" on any health care bill with a public option in it .... because they felt that the program would cost more money than they were willing to agree to!!

 

Now, the reason why this is VERY IMPORTANT is because ... just because you have 60 seats DOES NOT mean you have 60 votes.  And a "seat" does not pass bills.  Only a "vote" does that.

 

Of the nine "Conservative Democrats" in the Senate - known to most as "Blue Dogs" - four of them were able to be swayed after some hellified arm-twisting.  But 5 of them (well, 4, and that slimy, shiftless, turncoat, snake-in-the-grass, can't-trust-him-as-far-as-you-can-throw-him Joe Lieberman  ... dirty dog!!) simply were not going to vote to approve a health care bill with a public option.  And there was NOTHING the President, the Senate leadership or any of the other 55 Senators ready to give their approval could do about it.  Period.  And that's just the way our government operates. Period.

 

So .... if there was going to be ANY health care bill at all .. it as going to be one WITHOUT a public option in it.  And the same with the single-payer proposal.  If 60 Senators were not going to VOTE for it ... it WASN'T going to become law.  It's as plain and simple as that.  And, of course, it didn't have to be 60 Dems ... if only 5 Repubs had "crossed party lines" and been willing to vote "yes" ... then it could have been an entirely different bill that got passed.  But we all know how much THAT wasn't going to happen!!

 

But ... I just feel it's important to put the BLAME where it is PROPERLY due on this issue.  And it was not the President's fault ... it wasn't even the Congress's fault (entirely).  The blame should rightly go to:

 

Senators. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn;  Evan Bayh, D-Ind.; Ben Nelson, D-Neb.; Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., and Kent Conrad, D-ND.

 

THEY are basically the sole reason why there's no "public option" ... and not the President and not the (overall) "weakness of the Democrats" on that particular vote.

 

Now ...whether or not it was good enough or should have been passed and signed at all in its "watered-down" version, IMO, is another story and debate altogether about what the President should or should not have done about health care!  And also, IMO, I believe that the Dems should have launched an all-out ASSAULT in each of those states to make sure those Senators NEVER received another taxpayer-funded paycheck AGAIN!! 

 

But ... bottom line is ... unlike the Republicans, the Democrats are NOT a unified, cohesive, live-by-the-sword-together, die-by-the-sword-together group ... and they do not ALWAYS "support" each other, based on Party affiliation or loyalty to the Party or a cause.  They have their own personal and individualized ideologies and agendas (and it's usually a conservative vs. liberal POV) that will make some break from the ranks when it comes to voting .... and, in the case of the health care bill, sabotage legislation and the President's political agenda from going through.

 

So just FYI that ... so you know what's REALLY going on in Washington!!! 

From NPR's timeline of using reconciliation in health care bills:

 

 

 

 

GOP Senators Who Used Budget Reconciliation To Pass Bush Agenda Items Now Calling It ‘Chicago Style Politics’

kitbond.jpgToday, Politico reported that Republican senators are prepared to go “nuclear” — essentially shutting down the Senate through the use of parliamentary maneuvers — if President Obama attempts to use budget reconciliation to pass key parts of his legislative agenda, such as health care reform and cap-and-trade. Reconciliation allows some legislation to be protected from filibusters and passed by a simple majority. On NPR this morning, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) repeated a now familiar attack on budget reconciliation:

BOND: “In this post-partisan time of Barack Obama, we’re seeing a little Chicago politics. They steamroller those who disagree with them, then, I guess in Chicago, they coat them in cement and drop them in the river.” [NPR, 3/24/09]

Bond appears to be parroting his colleague Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who said any use of budget reconciliation by President Obama would be “regarded as an act of violence” against Republicans, and likened it to “running over the minority, putting them in cement and throwing them in the Chicago River.” Other GOP senators have chimed in against reconciliation, with Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) calling it a “purely partisan exercise” and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) saying it “would be a mess.”

Despite their howls against Obama, Republicans employed the same procedure to pass major Bush agenda items (which were supported by all four aforementioned Senators):

– The 2001 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 1836, 3/26/01]
– The 2003 Bush Tax Cuts [HR 2, 3/23/03]
– Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 [HR 4297, 5/11/06]
– The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 [H. Con Res. 95, 12/21/05]

As ThinkProgress has noted, Gregg defended using the reconciliation procedure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for domestic drilling in 2005, arguing, “The president asked for it, and we’re trying to do what the president asked for.” Evidently, Gregg has lost the same sense of patriotic duty.

While Republicans seem to be experiencing a particular form of political amnesia from the Bush years, they ought to be reminded that budget reconciliation has been used by several other presidents, including Clinton and Reagan. In fact, Republicans — with Bond and Gregg among the leaders of the charge — were instrumental in pushing through key provisions of their signature legislative agenda, the Contract with America, using budget reconciliation.

A list of instances where reconciliation was implemented:

Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1980
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981
Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1982
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1983
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990
Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993
Balanced Budget Act of 1995 (vetoed)
Personal Responsibility and Budget Reconciliation Act of 1996
Balanced Budget Act of 1997
Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997
Taxpayer Refund and Relief Act of 1999 (vetoed)
Marriage Tax Relief Act of 2000 (vetoed)
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001
Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003
The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005

UPDATE

 

The AP reports that the House will not use the reconciliation process for cap and trade but will for health care. “Reconciliation is pretty well settled,” House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt (D-SC) said. “I think we’ll have reconciliation (for) health care.”

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