The big day – Tea Party Nation

The big day – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Judson Phillips

Today is the big day.  In a couple of hours, the Supreme Court will announce the long awaited Obamacare decision. 

 The Court will take the bench at 10 AM Eastern Time and will have a few matters before it gets to Obamacare.  Since it seems likely that the decision is being written by Chief Justice John Roberts, it looks like it will be the last decision announced.

What will happen?

 No one knows for certain, other than the Justices and a few of their staff, what the decision will be.  I’m going to go out on a limb and make a couple of predictions.

 The most important part of the law is what we call the Individual Mandate.   That is the order that we must all buy Obamacare Insurance.  Kiss it good-bye.  It is gone.

 The five conservative Justices greeted that law with skepticism when it was argued and it seems to have gone down hill from there.   Some of the liberals were not too thrilled with the Individual Mandate either.  Both Breyer and Sotomayor seemed skeptical as well.

 The Individual Mandate will go down.  It will be either 6-3 or 7-2 to strike down the individual mandate.

 With the Individual Mandate gone, what happens to the rest of the bill?  In legal terms that is called severability.  Law makers try to put provisions in bills like this that say if one portion of the law is struck down the rest of the law survives.

  That is true to a point. 

 The Justices have to decide among other things, if the portion of the law that was struck down, in this case, the Individual Mandate, is so crucial to the law itself, the rest of the law cannot survive.

 Obamacare is going to be totally struck down.  The decision will probably be 5-4 though it could be 6-3 with Breyer going with the conservative majority.

 Why would it be struck down?

 It is the law of the Path of Least Resistance.

 If the Supreme Court strikes down the Individual Mandate but leaves the rest of the law intact, they would then have to go through that massive bill, all 2700 pages of it and specify which parts of the bill survive and which parts are struck down as a part of the Individual Mandate.  There are also other parts of the law, such as the Medicaid expansion that could also be struck down.  The more parts of the law that are struck down, the harder it is to justify the remainder of the bill surviving.

 During oral arguments, Justice Breyer hinted at this, indicating he had not read the entire 2700 page bill. 

 If the entire 2700 page bill is struck down, the Justices do not have to go through the bill, line by line, deciding what remains.  Such a decision also wipes out the entire second round of Obamacare litigation that is coming, including the Catholic Church’s lawsuits on religious freedom grounds. 

 Justices and Judges are like anyone else.  Offer them the easy way or offer them the hard way, they will choose the easy way.

 Lawyers say, “Bad cases make bad law.”  Sometimes bad laws make good cases.  This could happen though it is unlikely.

 In a perfect world, the Court would use this as an occasion to overrule Wickard v. Filburn, the 1942 case that stretched the Commerce Clause of the Constitution beyond all recognition and gave the Federal Government the power to do many of the things it is now doing.

 By overruling Wickard, it would set the stage for a massive roll back of the power of the Federal Government.  Regrettably, I don’t think there are five Justices on the Supreme Court who would agree to do that.

 The most pleasant surprise from today would be overruling Wickard.  However, I expect it to be a good day and I will be on the steps of the Supreme Court at 10 ready to spike the football to celebrate the triumph of freedom and liberty over the tyranny of Obama and his Party of Treason.

Americans Reject Obamacare, Mandate-Centered Approach | The Weekly Standard

Americans Reject Obamacare, Mandate-Centered Approach | The Weekly Standard.

By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON

As is becoming increasingly clear, the legislation that was the principal cause of the Democrats’ historic defeat in 2010 isn’t getting any more popular as President Obama heads toward his day of accountability to the American citizenry. Four days before the 2-year anniversary of when Obama signed Obamacare into law, an ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that Americans oppose the president’s signature legislation by a much larger margin than in the immediate aftermath of its passage.   

US Supreme Court

ABC News/Washington Post polling nearly always skews Democratic, but even it showed Obamacare to be unpopular in March 2010 — by a 4-point margin (50 percent opposed, 46 percent in favor). That margin of opposition is now 11 points (52 percent opposed, 41 percent in favor). Back then, the margin among those who felt “strongly” (either way) was 8 points (40 percent opposed, 32 percent in favor). It’s now 17 points (41 percent opposed, 24 percent in favor). Perhaps most worrisome of all for the president, members of presumably the most important subset of voters — independents who feel strongly — now oppose Obamacare by a margin of 2 to 1 (44 to 22 percent).

Moreover, one week before the Supreme Court will begin to hear challenges to Obamacare’s constitutionality from 26 states, two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) think the Court should void the individual mandate that would require essentially every American to buy government-approved health insurance under penalty of law. Sixty-three percent of those 67 percent (42 percent overall), think the Court should void the rest of Obamcare as well, as U.S. District Court judge Roger Vinson did. (Vinson essentially argued that Obamacare cannot realistically function (a point the White House has effectively granted) — and would not realistically have been passed — without the individual mandate; therefore, the mandate should not be surgically extracted from the center of the act, leaving the surrounding parts intact. Rather, the mandate’s invalidation must invalidate the entire act.) In sharp contrast, only about a quarter of Americans (26 percent) think the Court should uphold the act in its entirety.

Clearly, most Americans don’t “like mandates” nearly as much as Obama or the current Republican frontrunner do. During the Obamacare debate, Mitt Romney wrote a USA Today op-ed in which he seemingly encouraged Obama (who had claimed to oppose an individual mandate when running for president) to include an individual mandate in Obamacare. After Obamacare’s passage, when much of the GOP had already indicated its clear determination to settle for nothing less than full repeal, Romney described the mandate as one of “the similarities” between Romneycare and Obamacare that he “like[d],” suggesting that the mandate was one the “good” parts of Obamacare that he’d like to “keep.” 

Romney now says he opposes the individual mandate in Obamacare and thinks it’s unconstitutional. However, he continues to describe his own mandate in Massachusetts as the right policy, rather than as an affront to liberty he now wishes he could undo.

Family Research Council: Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Thus Whole Law – thenewamerican.com

Family Research Council: Individual Mandate Unconstitutional, Thus Whole Law – thenewamerican.com.

Written by Bob Adelmann  

On Monday the Family Research Council (FRC) filed a “friend of the court” (amicus curiae) brief with the Supreme Court that makes its case that if the mandate forcing citizens to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty is ruled unconstitutional, then the entire 2,700-page Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care law should be thrown out as well.

The brief, co-authored by two attorneys, Ken Klukowski and Nelson Lund, called the hotly contested mandate the “linchpin” for the entire law and if it fails, the whole massive superstructure fails with it. Klukowski stated:

After almost two years of impassioned debate, Obamacare will finally have its day before the Supreme Court. The “individual mandate” in Obamacare that requires all Americans to have health insurance is unconstitutional. And for the reasons we explain in this brief, 135 years of Supreme Court precedent show that this is one of those rare instances where striking down the individual-mandate provision requires the Court to strike down this entire 2,700-page law.

We have high hopes that the Supreme Court will recognize that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, and will act to safeguard the freedoms of all Americans by holding the individual mandate “nonseverable,” and strike down every part of Obamacare.

There is no “severability” clause in ObamaCare — it was deliberately left out during negotiations between the House and the Senate — which means that if part of the law is deemed unconstitutional, the balance cannot be enforced. The foundation of ObamaCare consists of forcing insurance companies to insure everyone regardless of their health status. This would bankrupt the insurance companies, as most individuals would put off purchasing coverage until they got sick.

The solution of Congress was to force everyone to purchase coverage immediately, including those who are healthy. This would, according to ObamaCare’s supporters, expand the coverage to 32 million people who have decided, for whatever reason, not to carry health insurance, which would expand the pool of coverage and allegedly reduce premiums for everyone.

The arguments propounded by Klukowski and Nelson were so persuasive that 27 members of the House have joined FRC in its filing. Those arguments figured importantly in Justice Roger Vinson’s ruling by the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, last January that the individual mandate was indeed unconstitutional. Vinson wrote: “Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void.”

Vinson eviscerated the Obama administration’s defense of the act, which claimed that not buying insurance is in itself an “economic activity” because the cost of healthcare then falls on those who own insurance. Vinson lost no opportunity to mock this tenuous argument:

Everyone must participate in the food market…. Under [the government’s] logic, Congress could [mandate] that every adult purchase and consume wheat bread daily. If they didn’t buy wheat bread they might have a bad diet which would put a strain on the health care system….

Congress could require that everyone … buy a General Motors automobile because those who do not buy GM cars are adversely impacting commerce [as well as] a taxpayer subsidized business.

Vinson ruled against the individual mandate, saying that it “exceeds Congress’ commerce power, as it is understood, defined and applied in existing Supreme Court case law.”

Klukowski’s optimism that the Supreme Court is likely to confirm Vinson’s ruling was also expressed by Joe Wolverton, II, writing in The New American: “The truth is that the Constitution empowers the national government with very specific, limited and enumerated powers, leaving all others to the ‘states, respectively, or to the people.’” Two recent cases, United States v. Alfonso Lopez, Jr. and United States v. Antonio Morrison reflect the court’s likely reluctance to expand further the powers of the Congress as required under ObamaCare. Wrote Wolverton:

While the Constitution explicitly authorizes Congress to regulate commerce and the Supreme Court has validated the exercise thereof in a string of decisions, there is no precedent in our over 200 years of constitutional jurisprudence for the ability of Congress to force citizens to buy something regardless of their own preference. [Emphasis added.]

In their brief, Klukowski and Lund explain that ObamaCare rises or falls, succeeds or fails, over the issue of the individual mandate:

The individual mandate and related new insurance regulations, which even the Government concedes must stand or fall together, constitute the linchpin of Congress’s effort to restructure the market for health insurance. This is not speculation. It is what the text of the statute says.

It is unnecessary to express the hope that the Supreme Court continues to exercise restraint (as in Lopez and Morrison) and pull the linchpin and let the entire attempt to give the government complete control over healthcare services collapse into a worthless pile of deservedly historic totalitarian rubble.

ObamaCare: More Government, Fewer Doctors

ObamaCare: More Government, Fewer Doctors.

Written by Bob Adelmann   

After asking 501 practicing physicians about the future of health care in the United States, The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions’ conclusions were hardly surprising: under ObamaCare:

• More people will demand medical care.

• There will be fewer doctors to handle them.

• Those who do will get paid less.

• Those who do will be subject to increasingly onerous regulations.

In its heavy-handed attempt to provide medical coverage to some 34 million Americans, ObamaCare is going to provide it to them for free. But those “free” services are predictably going to increase the demand for medical care while simultaneously reducing the number of doctors available to supply it.

According to the Deloitte study, only one out of four doctors think ObamaCare will reduce healthcare costs, while half of them expect access to such care to be increasingly restricted. Those surveyed think there will be fewer hospitals and fewer physicians. And many of those remaining are likely to take administrative positions in the healthcare industry rather than continuing to provide hands-on primary care of patients.

Three-quarters think that as primary care doctors get busier, patients needing immediate attention will increasingly be sent to emergency rooms, which is likely to extend waiting times there as well. Four out of five are certain that it will be increasingly difficult for their patients to obtain appointments on a timely basis, and those patients will increasingly be forced to seek the services of “mid-level” health care from nurse practitioners and para-medical providers.

The doctors surveyed also are persuaded that because of ObamaCare the “best and brightest” coming into the workforce will likely avoid the healthcare industry. The survey also showed that the older doctors are increasingly looking forward to retiring rather than having to deal with the mass of new regulations and restrictions that are coming from ObamaCare.

This study reflects doctors’ attitudes shown in similar recent studies. For instance, the Fairfield County Medical Association in Connecticut looked at the pending cut in physicians’ reimbursements. In May of 2010 doctors were anticipating a pay cut of 21 percent. If they were implemented at the time, Fairfield estimated that 41 percent of county doctors would stop taking new Medicare patients, and one out of every four would drop Medicare altogether.

Those cuts weren’t implemented at the time, but delayed until January 1, 2012, and the reduction in Medicare reimbursement isn’t 21 percent but 29 percent. Physicians Practice estimated that a physician grossing $1 million from Medicare with 60 percent overhead would see his net income drop by almost 75 percent. As noted, “All medical practices are impacted by Medicare cuts, as most [doctors] tie their fee schedules to Medicare…Cuts to reimbursement will reduce your net income…and the quality of patient care your practice can provide.”

ObamaCare’s regulations are stifling those who are determined to stay in the health care industry. There’s the “Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute” which will examine the “clinical effectiveness of medical treatments, procedures, drugs, and medical devices [resulting in] incentives [or] penalties [or more] regulatory requirements.”

There’s the Independent Payment Advisory Board that’s tasked with reducing “the per capital growth rate in Medicare spending [which] would doubtless reduce Medicare physician payment[s]” even further.

And there’s the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative which will require that physicians be “burdened with [additional] time-consuming compliance and reporting requirements.”

Another study, this one done by Athena Health, showed that 79 percent of physicians are “less optimistic about the future of medicine [while] 66 percent indicated that they would consider dropping out of government health programs, and 53 percent would consider opting out of insurance altogether.”

As Robert E. Moffit, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Health Policy at The Heritage Foundation, put it: “ObamaCare…entrenches the worst parts of today’s third-party payment system.”

ObamaCare, if it is enacted in all of its grotesque manifestations, will guarantee higher health care costs (direct and indirect), reduce incentives for physicians to practice medicine, reduce the supply of health care services, and increase the demand for that dwindling supply. None of it makes financial sense, either, as it is not driven by market incentives (profits) but by political expediency and social policy. The best thing that can be said about ObamaCare, if implemented, is that it won’t last long. Using the politically correct term, ObamaCare won’t be “sustainable.” In the meantime, don’t get sick.

Appeals Court Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional! – Tea Party Nation

Appeals Court Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional! – Tea Party Nation.

Appeals Court Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional!

Posted by Sherry Phillips on August 12, 2011 at 1:15pm in Tea Party Nation Forum

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An appeals court ruled Friday that President Barack Obama’s healthcare law requiring Americans to buy healthcare insurance or face a penalty was unconstitutional, a blow to the White House.

 “This economic mandate represents a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy, and to make them re-purchase that insurance product every month for their entire lives,” a divided three-judge panel said.

 Read the story here!

Ohioans to Vote on Nullifying ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate – New American

Ohioans to Vote on Nullifying ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate – New American.

Written by Michael Tennant

This November, Ohio residents will have a chance to amend their state constitution to protect them from the central feature of ObamaCare, the individual mandate, and to prevent their state and local governments from enacting similar laws in the future.

The Associated Press reports: “Secretary of State Jon Husted determined that supporters of the amendment … had gathered 427,000 valid signatures. They had submitted more than 546,000 and needed roughly 358,000 of them validated to make it on to the ballot.” Therefore, the proposed amendment will be placed on the ballot this fall.

The amendment was proposed by the Ohio Project, a conservative grassroots organization, and was drafted by the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law, which describes itself as “a non-profit, non-partisan legal center dedicated to protecting the constitutional rights of Ohioans from government abuse.” “A coalition of tea party organizations, small government advocates and religious groups gathered the signatures to get the health care measure on the ballot and now plan to mount a statewide campaign in support of it,” according to the AP.

The proposed amendment would prohibit federal, state, and local governments from “compel[ling], directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system.” In addition, it states that government at any level may not “prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance” or “impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance.”

“The groups backing the amendment,” says the AP, “are united by a common belief that government is overstepping its bounds by requiring individuals to purchase health insurance.” Jeff Longstreth, campaign manager for Ohioans for Healthcare Freedom, asked rhetorically: “If they can force you to buy a product, where does it end? Can it dictate what you eat? Where you live? Where you can drive?”

Although the primary aim of the amendment is to nullify ObamaCare’s individual mandate, state government is included so as to “prevent the state from enacting a Massachusetts-style health care program, where the state requires a minimum level of insurance coverage,” the AP observes.

The amendment specifically exempts laws passed prior to March 19, 2010 — just before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) became law — so that Ohioans can continue to participate in Medicare, Medicaid, workers’ compensation, and other government healthcare programs. Thus, any charges that the amendment’s supporters are anti-government extremists can easily be parried. (Unfortunately, while that language may be needed to obtain enough votes for passage, it does suggest that Buckeye State residents — and probably Americans in general — do not object in principle to socialized medicine, just this one provision of ObamaCare.)

The measure has the support of Ohio Governor John Kasich (R), whose spokesman told the AP that the Governor “remains opposed to ‘federal interference’ in Ohio health care,” though Kasich is nevertheless proceeding with establishing a statewide insurance exchange as required by the federal healthcare law.

Naturally enough, the initiative is opposed by left-wing groups, one of which is feverishly reviewing the signatures on the petitions in hopes of invalidating enough of them to prevent the proposed amendment from appearing on the ballot. However, with the large surplus of signatures collected, it seems unlikely that the group will find enough invalid ones to mount a challenge.

Of course, even if the amendment remains on the ballot and passes, it will surely be challenged in court and will probably end up before the Supreme Court. In fact, says the AP, the amendment’s proponents are hoping for precisely that outcome, saying its passage “would encourage the U.S. Supreme Court to come to a quick decision regarding the constitutionality of the federal law, since the U.S. Constitution bars state law from trumping federal statutes.”

That may be true, but a ruling on the Ohio amendment alone might only lead to the overturning of the individual mandate, leaving the rest of ObamaCare in force. The same goes for many of the state lawsuits currently making their way through the appeals courts. The only sure way to be rid of ObamaCare is for Congress to repeal it — if necessary, over the President’s veto — or for states to nullify it in full. Anything less still tightens Leviathan’s grip on Americans’ healthcare freedom.

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