Obamacare Lives

In a 5-4 decision, the Affordable Care Act has been upheld with the majority opinion being conveyed by Chief Justice John Roberts.

The court ruled that Medicaid matching funds cannot be denied to states which refuse to expand Medicaid coverage, but expanded Medicaid coverage itself is constitutional.

The court also ruled that the individual mandate functions as a tax, and that congress has the authority to impose taxes.

You can read the entire ruling here.

More on this later.

  • Dan Rawsthorne

    Certainly the key to this is the acknowledgement that nomatter what you call it, a tax is a tax. And at the core of ObamaCare sits a big, fat, “Freeloader’s Tax” that makes sure that healthy people must pay a price for not getting health insurance if they can afford it. Hooray! A conservative view we can all live with!

    Now, what does calling a tax a tax do for Romney’s “I didn’t raise taxes” schtick about his time as governor? I can’t see how any argument Romney tries to make works for him here… Just sayin’…

  • scifritz

    Just read in CSMonitor that the mandate does not apply to those who have to pay more than 8% of income for premiums. Subsidies stop at around $93K/family income. Also it looks like the estimate of premiums, in the article, for a family of 4 is around $14k. So, correct me if I am wrong, how many people are actually mandated, since only families above $180K, give or take, are mandated…and even of those people they (and those less than 180K) will probably be buying it regardless, because they are responsible. So, I am not sure what the mandate fuss is about?

    • stacib23

      Lawrence O’Donnell had great explanations the last couple nights. I don’t know how to embed video, or I would grab it for you. Track him down on MSNBC’s site and the mandate may become a little clearer to you.

      • scifritz

        Yeah, but it looks like, given the “out” for the mandate, the 8% of costs makes it non-mandatory for a large portion of the population…but I will track down the video.

        Assuming I just watched the same thing (talking about the “watering down” of the mandate), he focused on those who are under the mandate…My question is about how many people are not mandated. It almost looks like many (upper?) middle-class people may not be mandated, but probably will have ins via jobs or because they are responsible. “Poor” may be subsidized into being mandated…So, I have to agree with him, it is a mirage, so why all the fuss? or why are so many upper middle-class people who have insurance anyway upset?

        • bphoon

          So, I have to agree with him, it is a mirage, so why all the fuss?

          Why all the fuss? Because they can. The Right will do anything they think is necessary to bring President Obama down. They lie, cheat, make shit up. It doesn’t matter to them if something’s real or true–as long as they can use it to scare enough rubes into voting Republican in November, it’s just fine with them.

        • D_C_Wilson

          Why the fuss?

          Because it’s a win for Obama. The GOP’s number priority for the last three years has been to defeat Obama at all costs, regardless of how it affects America.

          Or as Romney calls it, “Amercia”.

    • i_a_c

      The 8% of premiums also takes into account the subsidy available through the ACA.

      So if your family makes $50,000 and, you would owe the mandate tax if you would pay less than $4000/year in premiums after employer portion and subsidies.

  • Ellen Kuhlmann

    Wow, conventional wisdom was wrong, all the tea leaf readers had been saying the individual mandate would be struck down. I think its a flawed bill, but the best we could do at the time. Now we need to double down and make sure Obama is reelected and get more Dems in the house. Otherwise the Repubs will be weakening, if not repealing this law at every turn. If they were honest, conservatives should have been for the personal responsibility this bill esposes, as opposed to a single payer plan. But they are not honest, and seeminly oppose anything these days that benefits someone who’s not part of the fabled 1%.

    • bphoon

      Goes to show you how much all the tea leaf readers know. Same applies to the election since all those tea leaf readers are the same ones who were predicting a slam dunk for the wingnuts on this one.

  • trgahan

    return of “Activists Judges are Destroying America!” news cycle in 3..2..1..

    • JMAshby

      Already done. Limbaugh called Roberts an activist judge.


    • D_C_Wilson

      Roberts is now going to replace John Jones as the judge most hated by republicans.

  • Username1016

    I was hopeful but not optimistic. What a relief!!! Now I gotta cross fingers we don’t get President Romney in 2013, cuz he’ll just repeal it before people learn to love it.

  • scifritz

    One thing that gets me, while reading my friends’ Facebook posts on what a horrible day today is…The people I know who are against it are people who never have or never will go a day without help insurance in their lives. They are also would be the first to buy insurance out of pocket because it is the responsible thing to do…so why the outrage? It is almost like saying I am mad because I can not exercise my freedom to be irresponsible. Is that their take?

    • i_a_c

      Is that their take?

      Yes, it is.

      • scifritz

        Yet, no one I know with that take ever exercises it. So they are mad and threatening to “move to Canada” (funny in so many ways) for nothing.

        • villemar

          They can always move to such Perfect Edens as Somalia, Waziristan or Northern Mali to finally be free of the horrible yoke of Healthcare once and for all.

    • D_C_Wilson

      No, their take is two fold:

      1) They can’t abide by the fact that the scary black man was successful.

      2) Most conservatives have a deep-seated fear that somewhere, a person will get a benefit at their cost. It comes from viewing all of life as a zero-sum game. If things get better for people who can’t afford health insurance, then they must be taking something from the people who can.

      That fear is doubled if the person receiving benefits is non-white.

  • agrazingmoose

    The Kochs don’t own everything yet!

  • stacib23

    I hope wherever Graf is, he is feeling better today.

    • mrbrink

      I was thinking the same thing.

      Oh yes we can, Graffy!

      Yes we can!

      Whooooooo, baby!

  • zirgar

    From the dissent, Kennedy writes, “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.” With such widely divergent opinions by the two camps, it tells me that the folks on the dissenting side really just had a hard-on for the ACA from the beginning and really had no intention of taking this debate seriously.

    • D_C_Wilson

      The “dissenting side” were the ones who invented the idea of the individual mandate in the first place. They only opposed it after Obama got his Kenyanatheistmuslimsocialist cooties on it.

  • Zen Diesel

    Spiking the Damn Football for the President, as right wingnuts heads across the country are exploding.

    • villemar

      Firebaggers too! But but but public option sellout big pharma herp derp

      • Zen Diesel

        I bet you didn’t know that this is the beginning of the zombie apocalypse, and all the other things the nutbaggers are complaining about today…lol.

      • D_C_Wilson


  • i_a_c

    So I tried out an argument on Facebook with one of my far-right friends. He asserts that now the government can do “anything” with its “new” taxing power.

    Here’s my response. What do you guys think?

    But there’s a tax for not having children, right? People who don’t have children pay more taxes than people who do. There’s also a higher tax for people who don’t have mortgages, but nobody’s complaining about being forced to have children or take out a mortgage. What’s the difference between the mandate and the huge number of tax deductions that already exist? Isn’t a tax on people that choose not to purchase health insurance exactly the same as raising taxes by that amount, and then offering a deduction to those who do purchase insurance? If you can find a difference, you have to split a hair to do it, don’t you?

    Constitutionality of the Act based on taxing power was always my favorite pro-ACA argument. Super glad the Court upheld it on this basis.

    • Zen Diesel

      Excellent argument, I will use that same logic when I argue with the Faux News monkeys on this issue.

    • nicole

      Perfect response.

      “Constitutionality of the Act based on taxing power was always my favorite pro-ACA argument. Super glad the Court upheld it on this basis.”

      Yep. Same thing I used to argue on Huffpost during the health care debates.

      The counterarguments are ridiculous to me. Either Congress has the ability to tax or they don’t, period.

      That said, the comm clause was always a little iffy in my mind.

    • Zirgar

      Yeah, but taxes.

    • bphoon

      Anyone who remarks on the government’s “new” taxing power should be directed to the US Constitution, Article I, Section 8 and reminded, once again, that they don’t know what the fuck they’re talking about.

    • D_C_Wilson

      I never understood why the administration was so reluctant to argue the tax angle before the court. Yeah, I know that the word was verboten while the bill was being debated, but once it was passed, they should have pushed that argument in the courts full-force.

      • i_a_c

        That was one of the arguments the Solicitor General used in oral arguments before the SCOTUS, and also in the amicus briefs. So the argument was there but nobody in the media or anywhere really paid it any mind.

  • eljefejeff

    I am blown! Blown away! Blown George! Blow-wowowowo-wo-wo-wn!

  • KQµårk™

    I’m ecstatic. Hope lives!

    The ACA is not perfect but it’s a big move forward. When millions see their premiums go down with the subsidies they will finally understand that the RW feared the ACA because people like it like every Dem program while Repugs have nothing.

    • stacib23

      I think when those premium rebate checks from the insurance companies start showing up in mailboxes this summer there will be even more turning of the tide on how people feel about “Obamacare”.

  • mrbrink

    CNN should be laughed off the air. They pretty much called the results of the healthcare bill for George W. Bush.

    “Supreme Ct. Kills Individual Mandate” was their breaking report.

    “Supreme Court Finds Measure Unconstitutional.”

    John King: “A direct blow to the president. A direct blow to the Democratic party…”

    And after they blew the decision of the century, John King came back on to remind people that president Obama promised not to raise taxes on middle class Americans,and all those middle class Americans who can afford health insurance but choose not to have it, are going to see their taxes go up.

    Still a blow to the President and Democrats, CNN?

    I’m only half-surprised it was Roberts who crossed over, but someone had to pretend to be the grown up. Article 1 Section 8. Case closed. The dissent is the radical departure from the constitution.

    • eljefejeff

      CNN…such a joke….I hope this is the final nail in their coffin

    • jjasonham

      Ugh, I saw that too. Bless their hearts.

    • i_a_c
      • mrbrink

        Ha! That’s hilarious.

    • laddieluv

      CNN….off their meds…yet again…HA!

      I’m doin’ a happy dance, though…our wonderful President is “validated”…’course that won’t stop the bigotry/hate on the right…sigh…

      …and will someone kick “Boner” in the “nutz?” blech.

    • nicole

      I always thought that if it were to be ruled upon in our favor, it would be Roberts who crossed (worried about his own historical reviews, imo).

    • D_C_Wilson

      Once again, CNN is caught getting their lead stories by watching Fox.

  • Glenn Csonka

    I’m very happy (and shocked) that the ACA was upheld.

    My concern with the law (and hopefully you can all answer this for me) is if everyone must have health insurance, what are the options for those who are really scraping to get by.

    I’m sure that there is something in place, but I’m not really sure what that is (expansion of Medicaid?).

    I know that this has probably been a concern of a lot of people in regards to the mandate.

    • chris castle

      I’m no expert on this, but I belive the states are supposed to set up health-care exchanges online where folks can shop around for the coverage they want…

    • bphoon

      There will be subsidies available for those who can’t get affordable coverage–or any coverage–through their employers and who fall below certain income levels. The individual mandate should, over time, bring premiums down by spreading risk across larger client pools–both healthy and not–and the health care exchanges, set up by the states–should induce a more price-competitive component to the market which should help keep premiums in line over time.

  • Zirgar