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U.S. District Judge Upholds Health Insurance Mandate

Objective Voice

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Foes of health-care reform law lose key court ruling
By ED WHITE
The Associated Press
updated 10/7/2010 8:00:33 PM ET 2010-10-08T00:00:33

A federal judge on Thursday rejected an attempt to stop some key provisions of the new national health-care law, saying Congress has the authority to require people to get insurance by 2014.

The ruling — the first in a challenge to the Obama administration's health care overhaul — came in a lawsuit filed in Michigan by a Christian legal group, the Thomas More Law Center, and four people who claimed lawmakers exceeded their power under the Constitution's commerce clause.

Insurance mandate and penalty is legal
But U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit said the insurance mandate, and the financial penalty if someone skips coverage, are not illegal. He said Congress was trying to lower the overall cost of insurance by requiring participation.

"Without the minimum coverage provision, there would be an incentive for some individuals to wait to purchase health insurance until they needed care, knowing that insurance would be available at all times," the judge said.

"As a result, the most costly individuals would be in the insurance system and the least costly would be outside it," Steeh said. "In turn, this would aggravate current problems with cost-shifting and lead to even higher premiums."

U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler noted the ruling "marks the first time a court has considered the merits of any challenge to this law."

"The court found that the minimum coverage provision of the statute was a reasonable means for Congress to take in reforming our health care system," Schmaler said. "The department will continue to vigorously defend this law in ongoing litigation."

Of course, this is only the first salvo in what I'm sure will be a long, drawn out political and legislative battle. So, expect to hear the political/legal ranglings go into overdrive after the midterms. Still, Republicans cannot be happy about this at all.
 

Gipper

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But U.S. District Judge George Caram Steeh in Detroit said the insurance mandate, and the financial penalty if someone skips coverage, are not illegal. He said Congress was trying to lower the overall cost of insurance by requiring participation.

"Without the minimum coverage provision, there would be an incentive for some individuals to wait to purchase health insurance until they needed care, knowing that insurance would be available at all times," the judge said.

This is what I don't like about it. Judicial activism aside, he's not even trying to interpret and enforce law. He's trying to be an economist - and a bad one at that. His job is not to personally deduce costs and reference it against other factors in a microcosm. His job is to enforce the legality of legislature on the subject. He's not doing this, and I would hope this faux pas does not create a permanent roadblock.
 

Deuce

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This is what I don't like about it. Judicial activism aside, he's not even trying to interpret and enforce law. He's trying to be an economist - and a bad one at that. His job is not to personally deduce costs and reference it against other factors in a microcosm. His job is to enforce the legality of legislature on the subject. He's not doing this, and I would hope this faux pas does not create a permanent roadblock.

Just because he mentioned it doesn't mean it was the basis on which he ruled.
 

The_Patriot

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The judge ruled that Congress has the authority to regulate intrastate commerce as part of the interstate commerce scheme and that the Constitution allows the government to levy taxes for the general welfare under Article I Section VIII Clause I. He cited several cases for the first as his basis for his ruling and another group of cases for the second part. He definitely lacks understanding that under current federal law that health insurance companies are prohibited from partaking in interstate commerce. Personally, I think the judge is a moron that can't read the plain text of what the Constitution actually says and expanded the Commerce Clause to encompass every activity that a person may engage in regardless of it being intrastate and interstate.

Link to the ruling.
 

Barbbtx

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I guess nothing is off limits for the government to do to us then.
Kagan was right when she said a law to make us eat so many fruits and vegetables a day would be a stupid law but not unconstitutional.
This HC mandate was what she was thinking of when she refused to say it would be unconstitutional.
 

The_Patriot

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I guess nothing is off limits for the government to do to us then.
Kagan was right when she said a law to make us eat so many fruits and vegetables a day would be a stupid law but not unconstitutional.
This HC mandate was what she was thinking of when she refused to say it would be unconstitutional.

To think that people actually believe that there is freedom and liberty to be had in the US.
 

The_Patriot

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I've learned its better to ask and know for sure than assume or try to figure out your opinion by myself. Asking is more accurate.

When the US has more people in prison then communist China something is wrong. When you have the US government passing laws that make most things illegal or restricted liberty and freedom are removed. When you have to get a license from the government to start a business, drive, marry, and other activities liberty and freedom are removed. When you have to get permission from the government to do the most basic things in life liberty and freedom are removed. When you have taxes nearly four times the amount that the founding fathers paid that started a revolution that tells me that freedom and liberty are removed. When you have to submit to a search just to enter private property by government thugs freedom and liberty is removed. When the government has better weaponry, especially police, then the citizens freedom and liberty are removed. All of the things, except paying a small amount of taxes in the form of duties, imposts, and excises, I've mentioned none of the founding fathers had to do. Are we really free or do we have the illusion of freedom?
 

Wiseone

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When the US has more people in prison then communist China something is wrong. When you have the US government passing laws that make most things illegal or restricted liberty and freedom are removed. When you have to get a license from the government to start a business, drive, marry, and other activities liberty and freedom are removed. When you have to get permission from the government to do the most basic things in life liberty and freedom are removed. When you have taxes nearly four times the amount that the founding fathers paid that started a revolution that tells me that freedom and liberty are removed. When you have to submit to a search just to enter private property by government thugs freedom and liberty is removed. When the government has better weaponry, especially police, then the citizens freedom and liberty are removed. All of the things, except paying a small amount of taxes in the form of duties, imposts, and excises, I've mentioned none of the founding fathers had to do. Are we really free or do we have the illusion of freedom?

The fact that you can ask those questions, means you are free. There's nothing wrong with some regulation as you've acknowledged, how much regulation however is up for debate obviously. However when you imply there's no freedom to be had in the US, then you've crossed over into rediculous.
 

The_Patriot

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The fact that you can ask those questions, means you are free. There's nothing wrong with some regulation as you've acknowledged, how much regulation however is up for debate obviously. However when you imply there's no freedom to be had in the US, then you've crossed over into rediculous.

I'm on a private forum, so no I'm not free to ask them if the owner wishes me not to. Freedom is the ability to do things without restraint and regulations are a restraint.
 

Wiseone

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I'm on a private forum, so no I'm not free to ask them if the owner wishes me not to. Freedom is the ability to do things without restraint and regulations are a restraint.

I think you caught yourself in a catch 22. You complain you have no freedoms, yet you're complaints are against an individual who has the power to stop you from saying those things on his own website. So how do both of you have rights and freedoms at the same time? Either you are not completly free to say what you want or the owner is not free to exercise control over his own property. I would assume you support both of those concepts, freedom of property and freedom of speech.

So the way you look at there is no freedom, and it cannot be achieved unless another party gives their freedom up since in this class the owner has the freedom to regulate his property in this regard?

Well at the very least you have the freedom to speak however you like in public lands, for the most part, something which billions of other people don't enjoy. So I think you'll have a pretty tough time proving we have no freedom.
 

The_Patriot

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I think you caught yourself in a catch 22. You complain you have no freedoms, yet you're complaints are against an individual who has the power to stop you from saying those things on his own website. So how do both of you have rights and freedoms at the same time? Either you are not completly free to say what you want or the owner is not free to exercise control over his own property. I would assume you support both of those concepts, freedom of property and freedom of speech.

So the way you look at there is no freedom, and it cannot be achieved unless another party gives their freedom up since in this class the owner has the freedom to regulate his property in this regard?

Well at the very least you have the freedom to speak however you like in public lands, for the most part, something which billions of other people don't enjoy. So I think you'll have a pretty tough time proving we have no freedom.

I believe that you're missing a key difference in my statements. That difference is that it is the government that is doing it and a private person doing it. The government is held to the Constitution of the United States while a private person adheres to property law. Hence you've introduced an invalid logical fallacy into the argument by equating a government as being the same as a private person.

Not really can you speak your mind on public lands. Doing so will result you being put on a government watch list.
 

Wiseone

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Not really can you speak your mind on public lands. Doing so will result you being put on a government watch list.

That is an assumption and a very broad statement. So unless you have evidence that for example Gleen Beck and those at his rally a few weeks ago were all placed on a government watch list, then you just have a conspiracy theory.
 

The_Patriot

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Whovian

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WOW...you guys have spun this thread topic completely out of control...

Let's try to bring it slowly back on track, shall we?

Federal Judge Allows Multi-State Suit Against Health Care Law to Proceed

A Florida federal judge rejected a request on Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice to dismiss in its entirety a lawsuit challenging the federal government's health care law, paving the way for a legal battle involving 20 states, Fox News Channel reported.

U.S. District Court Judge Roger Vinson declared that he would allow parts of the lawsuit to move forward, while others do not merit a day in court.

Opening arguments have been scheduled for mid-December, Fox News Channel reported.
 

cpwill

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this as one of my favorite parts.

Judge disses Dems' 'Alice in Wonderland' health defense

A federal judge in Florida on Thursday said he will allow some of the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care law to proceed — and criticized Democrats for making an “Alice in Wonderland” argument to defend the law... In his ruling, Vinson criticized Democrats for seeking to have it both ways when it comes to defending the mandate to buy insurance. During the legislative debate, Republicans chastised the proposal as a new tax on the middle class. Obama defended the payment as a penalty and not a tax, but the Justice Department has argued that legally, it’s a tax.

“Congress should not be permitted to secure and cast politically difficult votes on controversial legislation by deliberately calling something one thing, after which the defenders of that legislation take an “Alice-in-Wonderland” tack and argue in court that Congress really meant something else entirely, thereby circumventing the safeguard that exists to keep their broad power in check,” he wrote.

Vinson ruled that it’s a penalty, not a tax, and must be defended under the Commerce Clause and not Congress’s taxing authority...
 

washunut

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this as one of my favorite parts.

Judge disses Dems' 'Alice in Wonderland' health defense

A federal judge in Florida on Thursday said he will allow some of the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care law to proceed — and criticized Democrats for making an “Alice in Wonderland” argument to defend the law... In his ruling, Vinson criticized Democrats for seeking to have it both ways when it comes to defending the mandate to buy insurance. During the legislative debate, Republicans chastised the proposal as a new tax on the middle class. Obama defended the payment as a penalty and not a tax, but the Justice Department has argued that legally, it’s a tax.

“Congress should not be permitted to secure and cast politically difficult votes on controversial legislation by deliberately calling something one thing, after which the defenders of that legislation take an “Alice-in-Wonderland” tack and argue in court that Congress really meant something else entirely, thereby circumventing the safeguard that exists to keep their broad power in check,” he wrote.

Vinson ruled that it’s a penalty, not a tax, and must be defended under the Commerce Clause and not Congress’s taxing authority...

Good chance the government loses at this level on the mandate. Without a mandate it is unrealistic to say that insurance companies can not refuse to insure someone and Obama understood that.

The bill was a lousy compromise and seems to be poorly constructed. It appears that it is destined for the great wastebin in the sky.
 

Deuce

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Good chance the government loses at this level on the mandate. Without a mandate it is unrealistic to say that insurance companies can not refuse to insure someone and Obama understood that.

The bill was a lousy compromise and seems to be poorly constructed. It appears that it is destined for the great wastebin in the sky.

If it does go that route, I hope we can at least keep the exchanges. Some more competition and better-informed customers couldn't hurt.
 

washunut

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If it does go that route, I hope we can at least keep the exchanges. Some more competition and better-informed customers couldn't hurt.

I would agree. Even those who do not like the final product should admit that there are good aspects. I think it is important for people with preexisting conditions to be able to get insurance, lest they go bankrupt. This should have been a government insurance program sort of like flood insurance.
 

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If it does go that route, I hope we can at least keep the exchanges. Some more competition and better-informed customers couldn't hurt.

:confused: the exchanges serve to limit competition.
 
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