Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Truth Has Been Spoken -- To Power: Reform Is The Law Of The Land

As I type this, the President is signing the Senate/House version of the Reform bill, proper. [The Senate is debating the "fixes" this afternoon, but they too will pass shortly, and the President will sign them.]

He's just said that he is doing so, to remember his mother (who fought insurance companies to try to get treatment for the cancer that finally took her life), for Ted Kennedy, for Ryan Smith (a small business owner), for 11-year old Marcellus Owens (who lost his mom to an illness -- because she couldn't keep her job, and thus lost her health care insurance -- all due to the illness), and hundreds and hundreds of others. . . .

By the way, any Republican claim that this package is unconstitutional is burdened, then, with proving that the federal income tax is. . . likewise unconstitutional.

That's right, the GOP has been reduced to agreeing with the "nut-job" tax protesters who have lost. . . and lost. . . and lost, in their claims that the federal government does not possess the power to tax the people. It is simply an untenable position. The provisions complained of are tax provisions, not takings provisions -- plain and simple.

This hopeless GOP obstruction (filing of dubious lawsuits) is also a[nother] waste of tax-payers' money -- to pursue that specious argument in the courts.

[LIVE VIDEO, now, here -- on C-SPAN.org.]

Now, we speak truth. And we speak power. We now open a new era -- an era of a fairer America.


Anonymous said...

Lots of ramblings about constitutionality of the new law. So, any guess before the 1st court case actually gets heard?

Condor said...

Honestly, this is terrible GOP smokescreen. It won't go anywhere.

The claim of "unfunded mandates" may have the most traction -- but the federal government may simply appropriate some ot the HHS controlled budget items to make the mandates funded. Game over.

The claim of the requirement to buy insurance being unconstitutional runs aground, when one considers that federal laws requiring seatbelts be worn (and installed in cars) have been the law of the land for nearly 45 years -- without a hiccup in the courts. Similarly, because the insurance requirement shows its face in the form of a tax, and the federal taxing authority is actually IN Article II of the constitution, proper, and clarified by way of the 16th amendment (see below), this challenge will fail:

. . .The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration. . . .

So, all of these fail, in my experienced opinion. Even if one succeeds, it will not invalidate the rest of the package -- only that small provision.

This choice -- to be the party of "NO!" -- will prove to be the GOP's Waterloo (Kristol -- the GOP strategist credited with defeating Clinton's Health Care inititiative in 1994 -- even said so today, in the Washington Post -- you could look it up).


Anonymous said...

oh, I agree. My question is more of sense of stalling the start of the law. I expect a court (or two) will order a delay until a decision is made or appeals settled.

Anonymous said...

As an ex-Schering Plough now Merck employee, I have to thank you for the insights that you post on your site. The postings are pretty informative and provide insight that we don't always see from within the company. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

As a rule, the law is presumed constitutional, so it WILL take effect. It would be a huge surprise if it were preemptively enjoined.


Condor said...

My pleasure, and honor, Anon. at Comment No. 4. . . .

Do stop back -- and stay tuned.



In addition, I wanted to add a bit to the hurried reply to Anon. at Comment No. 3:

It is only the most exrtaordinary of facts that permit a TRO or preliminary (or permanent) injunction against a law taking effect. The courts usually offer substantial deference to the legislative branch, here.

Given that the measures complained about are mostly cast as taxes -- and taxes have been almost uniformly found constitutional -- the chance that the lititgation, when or if brought, could stay the implementation of a federal law. . . is remote.

Some day, somewhere, some judge may find in favor of one or two of the Republican complaints -- but those will be stayed, pending appeals to higher courts. Only the Supreme Court (years from now) will have a final say. By then, this will be as commonplace as seatbelt laws, and the laws enabling Medicare/Medicaid.

That is, they will look to be presumptively constitutional.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the follow-up. I hope you're right. I want the reform to move forward quickly. The President has other issues to focus on now. He could use a 'good feather' in his cap to leverage more progress.

Anonymous said...

Just how smart is BO?

- He just added 1.5 million works to the unemployment line, increased taxes, etc...

Businesses React to Rising Cost of
ObamaCare: They're Cutting Benefits
Posted Mar 26, 2010 09:32am EDT by Henry Blodget in Healthcare Information, Recession
Remember the part in the ObamaCare pitch when they said if you like your current healthcare, it won't change?

Turns out it might.

Companies are already announcing that their healthcare premium costs are going through the roof. Some are responding by firing people. Some are cutting benefits. And some are presumably eating it.

But costs they are a-rising.

A few examples from the WSJ:
-- Caterpillar said it would cost the company at least $100 million more in the first year alone.
-- Medical device maker Medtronic warned that new taxes on its products could force it to lay off a thousand workers.
-- Verizon announced to employees that it will likely have to cut healthcare benefits to offset the new costs.

So, people who like your employer-provided health insurance, get ready to pay more or get less.

Have you asked what healthcare system your congress person or Senator uses?

Condor said...

Interesting viewpoint, Anon.

In what way, exactly, now -- does the fact that insurance premiums are (and more importantly, WERE) rising (as are the costs of prescription medicines, and hospital stay-charges) -- correlate to the PASSAGE of a health care reform bill?

ON both sides of the aisle, and in the CBO, and the GAO -- everyone agrees -- that health care insurance costs were RISING wildly, for years BEFORE Barack Obama entered the race for President, touting reform.

And so, I submit that you make the most transparent of flawed assumptions when you correlate the SYMPTOM of rising costs with the "medicine" of reform.

Had this bill NOT passed, Medicare would be broke by 2017. Completely busted. No serious policy wonk disputes that fact.

The reform package addresses this.

See you have to take your medicine -- if you want to get better.

Or, you can join the Republicans and Tea Partiers -- and just say "Nope".

But don't kid yourself -- "Nope" gets you to broke in 2017 -- if not before.


condor said...

Just an update, and as expected, the first challenge to the law has now failed. A federal District Court judge, sitting in Detroit, has held the reform package constitutional.

The challenges in Florida and Virgina are likely to go the same way.