Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obamacare Mandate Survives As Tax in SCOTUS Ruling

The whole ruling on health care can be read HERE:

Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the politically left members of the Supreme Court of the U.S. Anthony Kennedy sided with the conservative leaning members of the Supreme Court. According to Chief Justice Roberts, the main focus of Obamacare is not the mandate but the tax it imposes. He called it not a mandate but a tax.

Here is President Obama proclaiming that Obamacare is not a tax:

Here's the irony - then Senator Barack Obama was a loyal member jumping on the bandwagon in the Senate to deny John Roberts a spot on the Supreme Court, much less as Chief Justice. The Democrats were so very fond of complaining that Roberts was too extreme, a right wing extremist, an ideologue. I imagine that the ideologue-in-chief feels differently about John Roberts today.

From SCOTUSblog:
In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

You can read the ruling on the Medicaid part of the funding for the bill here. The essence of the ruling is that the states can, in fact, opt out of lowering requirements for more people to be able to meet state requirements for Medicaid benefits. The states will not lose federal funding, as threatened in the Obamacare legislation. That is in contrast to a ruling made Monday in the immigration reform legislation before the court from the state of Arizona. After that ruling, which upheld the core component that law enforcement can ask for identification verification of residence, President Obama firmly launched his middle finger to Arizona and instructed his Homeland Security Department to end federal cooperation on database information with the state. That's right - the President of the United States who is charged with keeping our borders secure and its citizens safe, told a state that it is on its own.

According to a reporter inside the room, as the ruling was read by Chief Justice Roberts, he said that the judgement is not on the correctness of the legislation but that if citizens didn't agree with it, they should elect new legislators. I agree. The races for the seats in the U.S. Senate are even more important today than they were yesterday.

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