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Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare’

OBAMACARE & THE SUPREME COURT, A PRIMER

Posted by Tim Bryce on January 31, 2012

(Click for AUDIO VERSION)

Mark the dates of March 26-28, 2012 on your calendars as we are about to witness one of the most titanic legal struggles in this century, the fight over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as “Obamacare,” which went into effect March 23rd, 2010. Actually, we won’t be able to see much of anything as cameras are not allowed in the Supreme Court proceedings. However, I can assure you it will be extensively covered by the media as this is a major constitutional issue. And you better pay attention as the decisions made here will have long term implications on our country.

In reality, there are three separate cases which will be heard individually, which is somewhat strange as they are all closely related. The stakes for this are high too as it will pit the President and the Democrats, the proponents of the bill, against the Republicans, the bill’s opponents. The outcome will undoubtedly play a role in the outcome of the November elections. Nonetheless, both sides will want to make sure “their people” are present on the bench, both liberal and conservative. Three justices may have to be recused though:

Justice Sonia Sotomayor worked for the president and helped write the legal strategy used for the court challenges. In other words, she is already intimate with how arguments will be refuted by the president’s people.

Justice Elena Kagan is a long-time cheerleader of the bill and served as Solicitor General during the Congressional health care debate.

Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife is an active opponent of the bill but he, himself, has no direct involvement.

Of the three, Sotomayor and Kagan are more intimate with the bill and played an active roll in its passage. Nonetheless, it is doubtful any of the judges will recuse themselves as the stakes are too high.

Representing the president’s side are the departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor, along with their Secretaries, collectively “the government.”

Their opponents are 26 states with Florida at the forefront, private individuals Mary Brown and Kaj Ahlburg, and the National Federation of Independent Business (“NFIB”). Both Ahlburg and Brown are fighting for the right to remain uninsured.

The three cases include:

To be argued March 26-27 –
Department of Health and Human Services, et al. vs. the State of Florida, et al. (11-398)

Basically, the government is trying to appeal a district court’s ruling that the individual mandate (to purchase insurance) is unconstitutional and that it cannot be singularly severed from the act.

To be argued on March 28th –
National Federation of Independent Business, et al. vs. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. (11-393)

Is intended to reverse the Eleventh Circuit’s judgment on the severability issue where they concluded the individual mandate can be severed from the remainder of the act.

The State of Florida, et al. vs. the Department of Health and Human Services, et al. (11-400)

First, questioning Congress’s authority to expand the eligibility for Medicaid of individuals up to 133% above the poverty level; Second, questioning the constitutionality of establishing penalties for large employers that do not offer adequate health insurance coverage to full-time employees, and; Third, whether other provisions of the Act could be severed from the Act’s minimum coverage provision if that provision were found to be unconstitutional.

In a nutshell, the case needs to answer the following questions:

1. Does the Commerce Clause (Article I Section 8 Clause 3 of the Constitution) grant Congress the power to require individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance or pay a tax penalty?

2. Did Congress exceed its enumerated powers and violate principles of federalism when it pressured States into accepting conditions that Congress could not impose directly by threatening to withhold all federal funding under Medicaid, the single largest grant-in-aid program?

3. Is the suit brought by respondents to challenge the minimum coverage provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act barred by the Anti-Injunction Act, 2 U.S.C. 7421(a)?

4. Is the individual mandate severable from the ACA?
(Source: Oyez)

My concern is how Obamacare, if sustained, will affect the sheer nature of capitalism by forcing people to purchase products they do not necessarily want. It is also an expression of more federal control over the states by withholding Medicaid. In other words, who should have more authority, the federal government or the states?

Regardless of the decision, it will be a “Win-Win” decision for the Republicans. If the Supreme Court overturns Obamacare, it will be a major defeat for the president and will mean we have to go back to the drawing board. However, if the Supreme Court sustains Obamacare, it will create a major uproar that will likely drive the Democrats out of office. Either way, the Republicans win.

Fasten your seat belts, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Copyright © 2012 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO OBAMACARE?

Posted by Tim Bryce on October 11, 2010

Shortly after the Obama Health Insurance Bill (aka “Obamacare”) passed the Congress last March 21st, Democratic spin doctors crowed over its passage and claimed it would be an asset to incumbent Democrats in their bid for reelection in November. This, of course, never happened. Here we are just three weeks away from the mid-term elections on November 2nd and I have yet to hear anyone triumphantly gloat over the passage of Obamacare. Maybe this is because nobody has ever taken the time to read the massive document cover-to-cover, prior to voting for its passage (or afterwards for that matter). All of the signers of the bill (see list below) have basically kept quiet and hoped nobody would notice them, thereby allowing them to quietly slip back into office. The bill is being treated like the plague, Democratic politicians running for re-election refuse to make the slightest mention of it on their web sites.

Obamacare is so politically charged right now that even the state sponsored litigation against it attracts little press as it awaits the outcome of the November elections. Nonetheless, the American public remains overwhelmingly against the bill.

I for one have not forgotten about it. So much so, I wish to remind voters of the people who supported it. Below is the list of the 219 Congressmen who voted for its passage. Is your Congressman represented?

CONGRESSMEN WHO VOTED “YES” TO H.R. BILL 3590
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) Bill
(passed 219 to 212)

Names Alphabetically (State District)

Gary L. Ackerman (NY 5)

Rick Larsen (WA 2)

Robert E. Andrews (NJ 1)

John B. Larson (CT 1)

Joe Baca (CA 43)

Barbara Lee (CA 9)

Brian Baird (WA 3)

Sander M. Levin (MI 12)

Tammy Baldwin (WI 2)

John Lewis (GA 5)

Melissa Bean (IL 8)

Dave Loebsack (IA 2)

Xavier Becerra (CA 31)

Zoe Lofgren (CA 16)

Shelley Berkley (NV 1)

Nita M. Lowey (NY 18)

Howard L. Berman (CA 28)

Ben Ray Lujan (NM 3)

Timothy H. Bishop (NY 1)

Dan Maffei (NY 25)

Sanford D. Bishop Jr. (GA 2)

Carolyn B. Maloney (NY 14)

Earl Blumenauer (OR 3)

Betsy Markey (CO 4)

John Boccieri (OH 16)

Edward J. Markey (MA 7)

Leonard L. Boswell (IA 3)

Doris Matsui (CA 5)

Allen Boyd (FL 2)

Carolyn McCarthy (NY 4)

Robert A. Brady (PA 1)

Betty McCollum (MN 4)

Bruce Braley (IA 1)

Jim McDermott (WA 7)

Corrine Brown (FL 3)

Jim McGovern (MA 3)

G. K. Butterfield (NC 1)

Jerry McNerney (CA 11)

Lois Capps (CA 23)

Kendrick B. Meek (FL 17)

Michael E. Capuano (MA 8)

Gregory W. Meeks (NY 6)

Dennis Cardoza (CA 18)

Michael H. Michaud (ME 2)

Russ Carnahan (MO 3)

George Miller (CA 7)

Christopher Carney (PA 10)

Brad Miller (NC 13)

André Carson (IN 7)

Harry E. Mitchell (AZ 5)

Kathy Castor (FL 11)

Alan B. Mollohan (WV 1)

Judy Chu (CA 32)

Dennis Moore (KS 3)

Yvette Clarke (NY 11)

Gwen Moore (WI 4)

William Lacy Clay (MO 1)

James P. Moran (VA 8)

Emanuel Cleaver II (MO 5)

Scott Murphy (NY 20)

James E. Clyburn (SC 6)

Christopher S. Murphy (CT 5)

Steve Cohen (TN 9)

Patrick J. Murphy (PA 8)

Gerald E. Connolly (VA 11)

Jerrold Nadler (NY 8)

John Conyers Jr. (MI 14)

Grace F. Napolitano (CA 38)

Jim Cooper (TN 5)

Richard E. Neal (MA 2)

Jim Costa (CA 20)

James L. Oberstar (MN 8)

Jerry F. Costello (IL 12)

David R. Obey (WI 7)

Joe Courtney (CT 2)

John W. Olver (MA 1)

Joseph Crowley (NY 7)

Solomon P. Ortiz (TX 27)

Henry Cuellar (TX 28)

Bill Owens (NY 23)

Elijah E. Cummings (MD 7)

Frank Pallone (NJ 6)

Kathy Dahlkemper (PA 3)

Bill Pascrell Jr. (NJ 8)

Susan A. Davis (CA 53)

Ed Pastor (AZ 4)

Danny K. Davis (IL 7)

Donald M. Payne (NJ 10)

Peter A. DeFazio (OR 4)

Nancy Pelosi (CA 8)

Diana DeGette (CO 1)

Ed Perlmutter (CO 7)

Bill Delahunt (MA 10)

Tom Perriello (VA 5)

Rosa DeLauro (CT 3)

Gary Peters (MI 9)

Norman D. Dicks (WA 6)

Chellie Pingree (ME 1)

John D. Dingell (MI 15)

Jared Polis (CO 2)

Lloyd Doggett (TX 25)

Earl Pomeroy (ND At Large)

Joe Donnelly (IN 2)

David E. Price (NC 4)

Mike Doyle (PA 14)

Mike Quigley (IL 5)

Steve Driehaus (OH 1)

Nick J. Rahall II (WV 3)

Donna Edwards (MD 4)

Charles B. Rangel (NY 15)

Keith Ellison (MN 5)

Silvestre Reyes (TX 16)

Brad Ellsworth (IN 8)

Laura Richardson (CA 37)

Eliot L. Engel (NY 17)

Ciro D. Rodriguez (TX 23)

Anna G. Eshoo (CA 14)

Steven R. Rothman (NJ 9)

Bob Etheridge (NC 2)

Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA 34)

Sam Farr (CA 17)

C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD 2)

Chaka Fattah (PA 2)

Bobby L. Rush (IL 1)

Bob Filner (CA 51)

Tim Ryan (OH 17)

Bill Foster (IL 14)

John Salazar (CO 3)

Barney Frank (MA 4)

Linda T. Sanchez (CA 39)

Marcia L. Fudge (OH 11)

Loretta Sanchez (CA 47)

John Garamendi (CA 10)

John Sarbanes (MD 3)

Gabrielle Giffords (AZ 8)

Jan Schakowsky (IL 9)

Charlie Gonzalez (TX 20)

Mark Schauer (MI 7)

Bart Gordon (TN 6)

Adam B. Schiff (CA 29)

Alan Grayson (FL 8)

Kurt Schrader (OR 5)

Al Green (TX 9)

Allyson Y. Schwartz (PA 13)

Gene Green (TX 29)

David Scott (GA 13)

Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ 7)

Robert C. Scott (VA 3)

Luis V. Gutierrez (IL 4)

José E. Serrano (NY 16)

John Hall (NY 19)

Joe Sestak (PA 7)

Debbie Halvorson (IL 11)

Carol Shea-Porter (NH 1)

Phil Hare (IL 17)

Brad Sherman (CA 27)

Jane Harman (CA 36)

Albio Sires (NJ 13)

Alcee L. Hastings (FL 23)

Louise M. Slaughter (NY 28)

Martin Heinrich (NM 1)

Adam Smith (WA 9)

Brian Higgins (NY 27)

Vic Snyder (AR 2)

Baron P. Hill (IN 9)

Jackie Speier (CA 12)

Jim Himes (CT 4)

John M. Spratt Jr. (SC 5)

Maurice D. Hinchey (NY 22)

Pete Stark (CA 13)

Rubén Hinojosa (TX 15)

Bart Stupak (MI 1)

Mazie K. Hirono (HI 2)

Betty Sutton (OH 13)

Paul W. Hodes (NH 2)

Mike Thompson (CA 1)

Rush Holt (NJ 12)

Bennie Thompson (MS 2)

Michael M. Honda (CA 15)

John F. Tierney (MA 6)

Steny H. Hoyer (MD 5)

Dina Titus (NV 3)

Jay Inslee (WA 1)

Paul Tonko (NY 21)

Steve Israel (NY 2)

Edolphus Towns (NY 10)

Jesse L. Jackson Jr. (IL 2)

Niki Tsongas (MA 5)

Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX 18)

Chris Van Hollen (MD 8)

Hank Johnson (GA 4)

Nydia M. Velázquez (NY 12)

Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX 30)

Peter J. Visclosky (IN 1)

Steve Kagen (WI 8)

Tim Walz (MN 1)

Paul E. Kanjorski (PA 11)

Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL 20)

Marcy Kaptur (OH 9)

Maxine Waters (CA 35)

Patrick J. Kennedy (RI 1)

Diane Watson (CA 33)

Dale E. Kildee (MI 5)

Melvin Watt (NC 12)

Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick (MI 13)

Henry A. Waxman (CA 30)

Mary Jo Kilroy (OH 15)

Anthony Weiner (NY 9)

Ron Kind (WI 3)

Peter Welch (VT)

Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ 1)

Charlie Wilson (OH 6)

Ron Klein (FL 22)

Lynn Woolsey (CA 6)

Suzanne Kosmas (FL 24)

David Wu (OR 1)

Dennis J. Kucinich (OH 10)

John Yarmuth (KY 3)

Jim Langevin (RI 2)

 

I haven’t forgotten. Will you?

Vote November 2nd.

Keep the Faith!

Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.

Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at timb001@phmainstreet.com

For Tim’s columns, see:
http://www.phmainstreet.com/timbryce.htm

Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.

Tune into Tim’s THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 11:30am (Eastern).

Copyright © 2010 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.

Posted in Healthcare, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »