Tuesday, September 11, 2012

"Intellectually shabby" Supreme Court Opinion

Have finally had some time to dig into the Supreme Court's Obamacare (NFIB v. Sebelius) decision.  Robert's argues that the penalty for not signing up for health care is really a "tax."  I've seem a lot of really weak and ridiculous things in Supreme Court opinions, but his is one of the recent worst.  As this article notes: " Here the key statement that he makes is this:  “it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income.” With all respect, the point is little short of absurd. The earlier portion of the Chief Justice’s opinion noted the huge expansion in federal power that could arise if the government were permitted to regulate various forms of inactivity.  What possible argument then could be put forward to say that the same risks do not apply to the expansion of the taxing authority to those same forms of inactivity, in ways that it has never been exercised before. The two examples that the Chief Justice gives are the tax on buying gasoline or earning income. Both of those are obvious activities that have long been regarded as acceptable bases for taxation. But not buying health insurance is not an activity.  I am not aware of any tax imposed on individuals for not buying gasoline and not earning income, or not taking a bath or not working in a home office. To allow this to stand as a tax is to accept the same kind of absurdity that was rejected in connection with the commerce power.  Intellectually shabby, to say the least."


  1. Excellent points made. Allow me to go a step further and ask why the federal government has become involved with people's personal healthcare in the first place? For close to a century now, socialist wannabe "progressive" elitists have successfully forced domestic policy onto the national stage. Just look at the insidious way both presidential candidates lean heavily on the topics of education and healthcare, displacing national security and foreign policy. It's so bad that the central government's poisonous overreach into states' domestic affairs has forced the governors of Alabama and Arizona to enact their own immigration rules. I personally want my state's representation to hammer out any domestic policy concerns, like education and healthcare. If this involves forming state compacts, so be it. That's entirely up to those particular states. But the federal government has absolutely no business directly inserting itself into, nor duplicating states' domestic concerns and efforts.

  2. I think the Federal government has a not only a right, but a responsibility to insert itself into both the areas of health care and education. These are areas that have expanded across state lines and affect the very security of the nation. Lack of quality health care to all Americans goes against everything that we as a nation have stood for in the last 200+ years. It is disgusting that we are on the same level as Rwanda when it comes to the health care we afford our citizens. Because of the lack of insurance, the poor cannot address health conditions until they become so serious that they end up in the emergency room. When they do, everyone pays for it. Simple preventive care afforded by a national health insurance would reduce costs and save lives. Insurance companies continue to screw over the consumer, because there are no rules. Tort reform was supposed to lower costs in Texas, but it never happened. Instead, insurance companies and doctors made more money, and bad doctors found protection. In the end Texas did not get any more practicing physicians in the state then they would have without Tort Reform. Insurance companies charge huge administrative costs and doctors have to hire a dozen clerks just to handle billing and contact with insurance companies. The Affordable Health Care Act will limit insurance company charges for administration to 15% of their profit. Still three times as much as France allows. Pretty bad when both Germany and France provide better health coverage to their people than America does.

    As to Alabama and Arizona, that is once again politicians pandering to a constituency that tries to blame all their problems on immigrants. It is funny how people brag about where their parents immigrated from, but when they hear of other people wanting to move here, they shut the door. I have worked concrete work with illegal immigrants and found them to be the hardest working and least complaining group of people you will find anywhere. They do jobs that many Americans refuse to do. The business people on this side of the border screw them over every chance they get. Reasonable immigration work laws would benefit both sides of the border. Allow them to pay taxes and better themselves. Instead, NAFTA destroyed many of the farms on the Mexican side of the border, while putting money in the pockets of the rich over here. Immigrants have fought and died for this country, and still do. The only good decision in recent years on immigration reform has been the Dream Act. Hopefully, the parties will quit spending time trying to get power for their party, and instead begin to compromise in order to make things better for their country.

  3. The Supreme Court has the right to give all the opinion about any law. So the court has given the proper opinion on this type of law.
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    1. Yes, the Supreme Court has that power. However, the First Amendment gives people the right to criticize the Supreme Court. No opinion is written in stone. The Supreme Court has overruled itself hundreds of times and a number of constitutional amendments (11th Amend., 14th Amend) were ratified to overturn Supreme Court decisions Further, the Court has blown it in the past, e.g. Dred Scott, Plessy v. Ferguson, etc. They are not gods, they are humans.

  4. Mark B. wrote " ... we are on the same level as Rwanda when it comes to the health care we afford our citizens.". That has not been my experience. I've personally witnessed the difference in healthcare access and quality having worked in the field here in the states and overseas. I'm willing to look at your data if you cite your source(s). That said, you missed my point. I'm not talking healthcare policy but rather our founders design of limited and separate governmental powers. Focusing on domestic issues is a self-serving political tactic central government uses to muddy the waters. And the American electorate surprisingly buys into this socialist wannabe con-job. Chief Justice Roberts also played into it with his "disgustingly" misguided tax decision.