The Obamacare Ruling: Winners, Losers and Consequences

Along with a number of other media folk, I’m at an event hosted by the Alliance Defense Fund to learn their perspective on current religious liberty issues.  I’m surrounded by the conservative legal brain trust.  The Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare hit this place like shock and awe.  No one saw this precise scenario — with Kennedy among the dissenters who would have overturned the entire act, and Roberts casting the decisive vote in favor of the ACA and justifying that vote with reference to Congress’ taxation power — coming.  The Obama administration sought to justify the individual mandate first on the basis of the Commerce Clause, second on the basis of the Necessary and third on the basis of the federal government’s power to tax.  Few people gave the third argument credence — partly because it was explicitly framed by Obama and the crafters of the ACA as “not a tax,” and partly because it does not seem to fit into any of the categories of taxes that are permitted.

Here are my quick thoughts on the judgment and its consequences:

1.  Roberts certainly believes that this is an originalist decision.  He issues a devastating series of arguments against the notion that the federal government can use the Commerce Clause to control behavior in this manner.  But in the same way that Congress can pass a law that adds $2 to the cost of a pack of cigarettes (Roberts explicitly uses this analogy), so it can pass a law that taxes an individual who fails to purchase health insurance.  It must be viewed as a tax and not a penalty, and that tax must not be unduly coercive.  So just as you can simply choose to pay the extra $2 and purchase the pack of cigarettes and thus comply with the law, so you can pay the “tax” for not purchasing health insurance and thereby comply with the law.  You will not be considered a lawbreaker if you simply pay the tax and do not comply with the intention of the law to drive you toward the purchase of health insurance.

Roberts expresses himself with some regret on this manner.  He says it is not their job to pass judgment on the wisdom or such a tax, but neither is it their role as interpreters of the Constitution to stand in the way of the tax.  In other words, the greater controls on Congress’ power to tax are political and not judicial.  If we elect representatives who pass a law imposing a tax we do not like, the remedy is a political one: elect different representatives who will write a different law.  As Roberts writes, “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”

2.  In a sense, then, the mandate is not a mandate. It’s questionable to me, formally, whether the mandate survived as a mandate.  It’s not exactly a mandate, any more than a tax on cigarettes is a mandate to cease purchasing cigarettes.  Effectively, however, the function the mandate was meant to serve did survive.  The “mandate” was intended to fund coverage for those who would be a net loss on the health care system.  If you are a young and healthy individual who does not particularly need health insurance, you can fund the system either by signing up for health insurance or by paying the tax that helps to fund the system.

I have to say, I find the cigarette tax parallel fairly reasonable.  I’m not sure Roberts is in the wrong here.  It basically means that if the American electorate puts in place representatives who want to tax the country into oblivion, as long as those taxes are within some very loose limits then there is nothing the courts can do to stop it.  So, Roberts is saying, don’t look to the judiciary to solve a political problem.

But I’m not a legal expert – I’m looking forward to hearing more.

3.  The problem here is that there are no judicial limits, and it’s not clear what kind of tax this is.   I haven’t finished reading the ruling, but thus far Roberts does not say what kind of a tax this is, although he clarifies a couple kinds of tax it is not.  It will be interesting to see the legal scholars argue over this one.  But the larger problem is that this opens the door in massive ways for further government interference in our lives.  Whereas the Commerce Clause had been the way for Congress to control behavior it did not like, now the power of taxation will become the backdoor means for any and every kind of social welfare program.  The controls on this will be political and not judicial; there will be very limited means of appeal for those who are in the minority in Congress.

In other words, this opens the door to all kinds of interventions, and to a host of lawsuits, so the clear winners here are those who want to use the government to control our lives, and the trial lawyers.  The losers, it seems to me, are the American people — at least if they cannot elect the right people.

4.  This is both good and bad for Obama. He will be able to go into every state in the union and tell compelling stories of the individuals who will have coverage under Obamacare, and he will be able to say that one of George W. Bush’s appointees confirmed the Constitutionality of his signature law.  It will be very difficult to overturn Obamacare and it looks as though Obama has a good chance of seeing his legacy-defining law endure.

On the other hand, get ready for the Tea Party to burst back to life.  Romney’s coffers are ringing right now, and conservatives are going to be energized in a way that they have not been for years.  If there was any question whether conservatives would unite behind Romney, there is no question any longer.

5.  What does this mean for the confirmation process? Conservatives are – let’s not fool ourselves – going to feel profoundly betrayed by Justice Roberts.  They’re having a David Souter moment all over again.  Roberts must be in agony right now, knowing full well how this will be received.  Perhaps he’s thinking in the long term, and expects to overturn ACA on other grounds, or is looking to improve his credibility with the left before he overturns the HHS mandate or etc. (Roberts has spoken repeatedly on the role of the Chief Justice superintending the long-term direction of the court), but this is going to be just devastating to the way in which Conservatives regard Justice Roberts.  Which means that conservatives are going to demand even greater scrutiny, even more conservative justices, and even stronger proof that the justice will rule in the way they want him or her to rule.  The confirmation process just got about ten times more difficult.

6.  Who will step down? The odds of one of the liberal justices stepping down in the next couple months are about 50-50.

My quick thoughts.  More tonight.

About Timothy Dalrymple

Timothy Dalrymple was raised in non-denominational evangelical congregations in California. The son and grandson of ministers, as a young boy he spent far too many hours each night staring at the ceiling and pondering the afterlife.
 
In all his work he seeks a better understanding of why people do, and do not, come to faith, and researches and teaches in religion and science, faith and reason, theology and philosophy, the origins of atheism, Christology, and the religious transformations of suffering

  • Larry

    Justice Roberts seems to have sought refuge in the Constitution’s murky Commerce Clause. Who knows his motivation … but it appears unlikely that he was willing to do more than punt the ball back to the Legislative branch.

    It seems to me that the moment demanded a more intellectually robust response … a more courageous response … especially since the Commerce Clause has historically relied on the Court’s rulings (whose rulings can themselves be remarkably capricious … just recall the phrase “interstate commerce” and the Pandora’s Box that opened).

    All in all a real disappointment … though conservative pundits will be searching desperately for a silver lining in this ruling (thankfully though, there is almost certainly one to be found) . This places the issue front and center in the approaching election though, and while that will almost certainly enure to the benefit of conservative candidates running for Congressional seats it becomes less helpful for Mitt Romney given the central role of mandates in RomneyCare.

    Simply arguing that the Massachusetts constitution permits mandates tends to undermine Conservative arguments against mandates as a threat to liberty. As I said, disappointing.

  • Mitch

    “2. In a sense, then, the mandate is not a mandate. It’s questionable to me, formally, whether the mandate survived as a mandate. It’s not exactly a mandate, any more than a tax on cigarettes is a mandate to cease purchasing cigarettes. Effectively, however, the function the mandate was meant to serve did survive. The “mandate” was intended to fund coverage for those who would be a net loss on the health care system. If you are a young and healthy individual who does not particularly need health insurance, you can fund the system either by signing up for health insurance or by paying the tax that helps to fund the system.”

    It didn’t “survive as a mandate” because it was never a mandate – mandate was always just a convenient shorthand. The decision didn’t change the nature of it at all. The ACA always provided for a penalty for those who did not buy health insurance, and it still does. The problem was the shorthand terminology, not the statute itself.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Yes and no. There are very real consequences for whether this is seen as a penalty under the commerce clause versus or tax under the taxation power.

      • Mitch

        There are consequences for whether the “individual mandate” is seen as constitutional under the Commerce Clause or under the taxing clause, but its status as a “tax” or a “penalty” isn’t a relevant issue under the Commerce Clause analysis. An apparent majority believes that it isn’t a regulation of Commerce and also that though it might be “necessary” (which is why the dissenters wanted to strike the entire ACA), it isn’t “proper” under the Necessary and Proper clause to the unquestionably proper exercise of the Commerce Clause power to regulate the entire health insurance industry. But that analysis doesn’t turn on whether it is a “penalty” or a “tax.”

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          That’s not what I was saying. If it were under the Commerce Clause, the money paid for failure to procure health insurance would be a penalty; if it were (and apparently it is) under the Tax and Spend power, then it would be a tax.

          • Mitch

            I think you’re looking at it a bit backwardly. It isn’t a tax because it is under the Taxing clause and it isn’t a penalty because it’s under the Commerce clause. It is whatever it is, and the question is whether it is constitutional under either the Commerce or the Taxing clause. The label doesn’t matter. What it is, is a tax penalty that you pay if you don’t have insurance. Congress could have accomplished the same thing by giving everyone a tax credit if they have insurance – and nobody, but nobody, would have questioned Congress’s power to do that. The only reason it isn’t actually called a “tax” is purely political — nobody likes to impose a new “tax.” Whether Dem or Rep, they go through all sorts of contortions to avoid calling things taxes — Reps were very fond of imposing “fees” and things so they could stick with their no-taxes idealogy. What Roberts did is say, whatever it’s called, the important thing from a constitutional standpoint is what it actually is, constitutionally speaking. Functionally, it’s a tax, it’s paid to the IRS as part of the income tax filing, and it is dealt with by the IRS as a tax. For that reason, it is reasonable to consider it a tax for purposes of determining its constitutionality. Although I disagree wholeheartedly with Roberts and the dissenters on the Commerce Clause issue, I agree completely that it is also constitutional as a tax under the Taxing clause. It would be pretty strange if Congress could accomplish the exact same thing simply by providing a tax credit rather than a tax surcharge – functionally, they’d be identical, and it elevates form over substance to argue that they’re different from a constitutional perspective.

  • http://paulsoupiset.com pea soup

    To get to your headline’s point (and I know you may not have been the one who crafted it): the “winners” here are the marginalized — the ones who need healthcare; the ones who Christ would’ve stepped offroad to stoop to help. This is a proud day for America for this reason alone. Right-wing knee-jerk jack-boot kerfluffle aside, evanglicals should be proud of Roberts for acting in a Kingdom-centric sort of way, conciliatory, wise, and in step with the ethos, trajectory, and commandments of Jesus Christ.

    • Kristen inDallas

      Um no… trust me I’ve been poor. Having to pay an additional tax because one month I have to make the already tough choice between heathcare and rent… and I chose rent, is not cool.
      Taking away a poor person’s ability to make their own priorities and stand by them is not at all Christ-like. Christ would give a starving man a peice of bread, not dictate to the man whether he ought to spend the last of his own money on bread or cheese. And yes you totally CAN be living at 134% of the poverty level, have a part time-job without health insurance, not qualify for the free stuff, but still have exactly enough money to afford 3 out of 4 of: food, rent, insurance, transportation money… but not all 4.

      • Doug D

        KristeninDallas,

        You have to overlook certain provisions of the law to position it the way you do.

        In 2014, if you don’t qualify for Medicaid (and more poor people will qualify for Medicaid in 2014 as a result of the ACA), you may be required to purchased health insurance or face a tax penalty.

        If you don’t purchase health insurance in 2014 and don’t make enough money to need to file a federal tax return, well, you’re exempt from the penalty.

        If you do want to purchase health insurance in 2014 and don’t qualify for Medicaid, you may qualify for subsidy assistance from the government. The amount of the subsidy will vary depending on your income, but people making up to 400% of the federal poverty level may qualify. If your income is at the very lowest qualifying level, the government subsidy will come in to make sure that you don’t pay more than 2% of your annual income towards coverage. If your income is in the higher-qualifying range (up near 400% of federal poverty level), the subsidies will make sure you pay no more than 9.5% of your annual income towards coverage.

        • Kristen inDallas

          The Medicaid cap is expanded to 135% of poverty levels which is still pretty strapped by most standards. The subsidy sounds nice, and for many people that’s an awesome opportunity for them to finally be able to afford insurance. Unfortunately partially subsidized is not the same as free. Whether my payment gets capped at 2% or 9%, if I am living paycheck to paycheck, forgoing insurance to pay bills, even an extra $200 can be crippling. (Aperson with an income of $40,000/yr – above Medicaid threshold, required to pay taxes, but if you’re single with kids still paycheck to paycheck, that person could owe, by your numbers, anywhere from $800 to $3,600 even assuming subsidies). Sure, for some it will be doable, but is it right to take away the choice? What if I’d rather “splurge” on slightly healthier food, what if I’d rather send my kid to a good school, or stick a few bucks a month into a retirement fund, why is it not ok for me to value those things above health insurance? Why can I not set my own priorities based on what I know about what things I struggle with, what things I don’t struggle with, and what’s best for my family? The whole thing is so overwhelmingly condescending.

          • Mitch

            Ok. So how do you address the free-rider problem? Why should I have to pay for you if you have to go to the hospital because you chose to save your money rather than buy health insurance? This is a serious question, and I never hear any solutions from those who oppose this law. Put aside the pre-existing condition prohibition and the other changes, those are just policy questions that most people think should be addressed in some way but reasonable people can debate policy. What I can’t figure out is that people are so concerned about the hypothetical liberty not to buy insurance (hypothetical because most if not all of those who object actually have insurance and will continue having insurance), are so unconcerned about the imposition on my liberty caused by my having to pay higher premiums to cover those who exercise their liberty not to buy insurance. Nobody is out there arguing that the requirement that hospitals treat regardless of ability to pay should be eliminated – that would be intellectually honest but I suspect morally horrendous to most people. So what is the solution? All I hear is “socialism!” “death panels!” “repeal!” “replace!” but nobody ever says what it should be replaced with, and most people seem to agree that the existing system is intolerable. What is the solution?

    • Larry

      Gee whiz, “Right-wing knee-jerk jack-boot kerfluffle aside” … you forgot sheet wearing, wife beating, money grubbing slavers. Nothing like hyperbolic insults to bring needed focus to an honest discussion.
      You’re well versed in liberal perspectives and hate speech, but your theological and economic perspectives are sure open to debate. But I don’t think debate was really your goal was it?

    • DougH

      So you believe that God accepts the premise that the ends justifies the means? Having the police beat the location of a kidnap victim out of the kidnapper leads to a happy result as well, but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable behavior.

  • Doug D

    To Mitch’s point, the ruling did not make any material changes to the law, which is what your statement can be read to suggest. Roberts is merely saying that while the Commerce Clause doesn’t get you there, the taxation power does. Roberts’s rationale may change the way some of us think and talk about the ACA, but it doesn’t change the law.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Again, I would say, as well as I can tell: yes and no — or it depends on what you mean by “material.” Roberts didn’t rewrite the law, but he reframed it in some ways that will have consequences for how the law is adjudicated and developed over time. Seeing that the most natural way to read the law was that it was justified as a penalty under the Commerce Clause, yet it fails to pass muster under those terms, he sought (as he is obligated to do) another way to construe the law that would pass the constitutional test, and he believed the taxation argument could be sustained.

      The Congress does state the authority under which it passes a law — it’s very brief, and in this case it was the Commerce Clause. So in that sense, there is certainly a reframing, and since the limitations on the tax power are different from the limitations on the commerce power, I’d say it’s pretty important.

      • Doug D

        Fair enough. It prompts the question: Should Roberts have decided the case based on Congress’s cited rationale within the legislation (the Commerce Clause)? If he’d wanted to take a purely partisan tack, maybe. But I think Roberts has shown fair-mindedness here (as he generally does). The question before the court was whether the ACA was constitutional, period, not whether it was constitutional under the Commerce Clause.

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          Yeah, Congress is required to give every benefit of the doubt to legislation and, rather than declaring something Constitutional, seek a Constitutional rationale. He spells this out in the decision. It’s quite interesting. The other conservative justices obviously thought he went too far in finding a way to make this work, but there’s a certain restraint to Roberts’ decision that is, I think, admirable.

      • Larry

        I would have preferred overturning rather than reframing. Rather than render a clear cut ruling on the Constitutionality of mandates (the rubric under which it was passed) Roberts elected to redefine it as a sort of tax. I would have preferred pure jurisprudence rather than dabbling in “legisprudence”.

        The dissenting justices seemed to be clear on that. At the end of the day it was a mistake. A particularly damning one given the precedent setting nature nature of ACA.

        • Mitch

          I have to disagree. He didn’t reframe it. As I said above, it is whatever it is, regardless of what it is called and regardless of what Congress thought the primary constitutional basis for it was. Congress isn’t filled with constitutional scholars, obviously, so what they say is the constitutional authority is really pretty darned meaningless, especially since they don’t get to decide what’s constitutional and what isn’t. Congress did X. The SCT has to decide whether X is constitutional on any basis. The primary gov’t argument was that it is constitutional under the Commerce Clause. One of the backup arguments was that it is constitutional under the Taxing clause. Roberts, whatever his faults may be, took an intellectually honest approach, and followed all of the rules as to how courts, including the SCT, are supposed to approach constitutional questions. If the court can avoid reaching the constitutional issue and decide on some other basis, it should do that. If the court has to decide the constitutional issue, it has to lean over backwards to give Congress the deference it is due and to determine whether the law is constitutional on any basis. And if part of it is unconstitutional, then the court is supposed to simply strike that portion of it and leave the rest, unless it is clear that the statute can’t stand without it. That’s the way it is supposed to work and to Roberts’ credit, that’s the way he approached it. The dissenters ignored that rule and although I haven’t yet read all of the opinions, from what I have read, it seems clear that they considered political issues rather than purely legal issues as they are supposed to do — and as Scalia, of all people, knows, since he’s always refused to look to anything other than the language of the statute and refuses to consider what Congress might have intended, what anyone said about the statute when enacting it, or anything else. Scalia’s abandonment of his core legal philosophy is very disturbing to me since I’ve always seen him as intellectually honest even if I disagreed completely with his legal approach. After this, and especially after his dissent in the Arizona immigration case when he ranted about things outside the judicial record, and political issues that happened only after oral arguments in the case, I have to consign him to the hypocritical political partisan bin. It is very disappointing.

          • Larry

            Well, I’ve read a number of op-eds today written by Constitutional experts who view Roberts ruling with contempt. They find his arguments riddled with contradictions and wanting for sound logic. They find disturbing his willingness to exercise legisprudence while ignoring the history and context of the legislation. I find myself in agreement with their analysis.

          • Timothy Dalrymple

            Well, I’m reading quite a few on both sides regarding the ruling. I think one of the major questions is whether this is truly recognizable as a tax.

  • Kristen inDallas

    I agree with Roberts that if this is actually a tax then it has more constitutional staying-power than it had with the whole commerce clause argument. What I take issue with though, is changing the actual reading of the law and the language that was (or wasn’t there) in order to get it there.
    If it HAD been explicity crafted as a tax, would all those same congressmen have voted for it?
    If it had actually contained a severability clause (which it didn’t) then would those same congressmen still have wanted to pass the bill knowing that it might limp through with only the bits that require them to spend but none of the bits that would have funded it? I suspect the severability was left out on purpose, as the law doesn’t really work financially without all it’s unconstitutional bits in place.
    And what exactly is the constitutionality of a body of congressmen that can levy a tax without knowing it’s a tax and most of whom didn’t even read the bill in the first place. If our representation has mentally checked out of the picture all together, is it that far a cry from taxation without representation?
    Sorry to rant… I’m all for health care reform… but not like this.
    I enjoyed your articles here, so the rant is really more of a “he might get me” than a “here’s why you’re wrong.” Hope it doesn’t come off as the second type.

    • Mitch

      “If it HAD been explicity crafted as a tax, would all those same congressmen have voted for it?”
      From a constitutional standpoint, this is not a relevant question. That’s a political question, not a legal one. They didn’t call it a tax for political reasons, and the SCT is in no position to answer your question one way or the other. Nor would it be a proper legal decision if they could answer it.
      Same for “If it actually contained a severability clause (which it didn’t) then would those same congressmen still have wanted to pass the bill….”? Maybe, maybe not, we’ll never know and the Court isn’t equipped to answer that political question. Suspicions as to whether severability was left out accidentally or on purpose really emphasize the point. The Court can’t decide based on its suspicions as to what the political motivations were for Congress’s decision to do X, Y, or Z. Congress passed a law and the law says what it says. The ONLY question that the SCT is equipped to answer, the only question that the SCT has the authority to answer, is the legal question of whether the statute, as written, passes constitutional muster on some basis.
      As for “the constitutionality of a body of congressmen that can levy a tax without knowing it’s a tax and most of whom didn’t even read the bill in the first place….,” Congress people are not constitutional scholars. Although I’d like to think that they’ve all at least read the Constitution, there’s no particular reason to think that’s true. And even if they have, unless they’ve studied how the SCT has interpreted the Constitution since its adoption, they’re not in a position to say — in a legally meaningful way — that something is or isn’t a “tax” for purposes of the Constitution or that something is or isn’t constitutional. They can opine all they want, but at the end of the day, what is constitutional is what the SCT says is constitutional. Sen. DeMint said the other day “just because a few people on the court have decided it’s constitutional doesn’t mean that it is.” Putting aside that he would have gone through the roof if the case had come out his way and the President had said anything like that, it is a metaphysical point. When the SCT says it’s constitutional, it is. Period. That’s how the system is designed and how it works, and that’s what the SCT emphatically established in Marbury v. Madison and it’s gone unchallenged by serious people since. If what the SCT says doesn’t determine constitutionality, then you have a free for all, where each branch decides for itself what’s constitutional and the SCT is nothing more than an advisory body — which would run contrary to the constitutional bar on rendering advisory opinions. Our system functions because the SCT is the last word on constitutionality. If you don’t like the SCT’s opinion, then you change the law using the political process or you amend the Constitution using the constitutionally-specified amendment process.
      I’m curious about your statement that you’re all for health care reform “but not like this.” What’s the “like this”? Is it the requirement that everyone buy their own insurance instead of having everyone who has insurance pay higher premiums to pay for those without? Is it the technicality that Congress didn’t call it a “tax”? Would you be ok with it if Congress had simply provided a tax credit for having insurance instead of a tax penalty for not having it?

      • Mitch

        Argh, sorry — it was Sen. Rand Paul that said that, not Sen. DeMint. DeMint just urged governors not to implement the law.

  • Craig

    Wow PeaSoup. I missed that part of the Gospel that states that when I see an injured person along side the road I’m not actually obligated to bend over to help. Rather, I’m supposed to call the local authorities to force my neighbor to get out of bed and come down and take care of the victim. Or, maybe just to have a death panel come evaluate him to determine whether he is worth saving or not?

  • John R Huff Jr

    Stop arguing over things that do not matter, but make for intellectual sounding authoritativeness.

    Pure and simple the decision today is a vindication for the poor and least of these.

    If you favor helping poor people , vote Democratic always. If not, then vote Republican.

  • Mitch

    I can’t argue this from the standpoint of the Gospel – since I’m Jewish – but this just misstates the law in a basic way. If you don’t have insurance then I and everybody who does pays higher premiums because hospitals jack up their prices to cover the emergency services that they are required to provide to those who don’t have insurance. That means that insurance companies pay higher prices, and naturally pass them on to the insureds as higher premiums. This is well-documented; you can read Justice Ginsburg’s opinion for citations and more on the point. So without the ACA, I have toget out of bed and go make more money so that I can indirectly pay for the health care of those who don’t have insurance. The ACA is aimed at eliminating this free-rider problem by requiring everyone to have insurance. Rather than forcing me to get out of bed to take care of the victim, I can sleep in because he has to provide his own insurance and can’t look to me to pay for it. The only other way to get rid of the free-rider problem is to eliminate the requirement that hospitals provide care to anyone, regardless of ability to pay. That would be an intellectually honest approach, so if that is your view, I can respect it on an intellectual level. Society has decided that this would be an unacceptable approach. Whether based on societal views of morality or simple self-preservation — people dying in the street or transmitting communicable diseases presents a clear and present danger to my health and that of society — doesn’t matter. Unless you are willing to let hospitals refuse to care for people who can’t pay then you have a free-rider problem that increases the cost of health care and of insurance to everyone else.
    Moreover, I just don’t see how the ACA is “the authorities forcing my neighbor” to do anything. The objection to the mandate is that it impinges on individuals’ freedom to choose whether or not to have insurance. The mandate doesn’t force my neighbor to do anything for me or me to do anything for my neighbor. It says “you take care of your own health insurance and I’ll take care of mine, so stop making me pay for you.” It is fundamentally an individual responsibility approach, which is why it came out of the Heritage Foundation and was touted so strongly – on that very basis, there’s video – by the current R candidate.
    As for death panels, stop speaking in talking points. Tell us precisely how these death panels work. And then explain how these death panels are different from the death panels that already exist in health insurance companies, where bureaucrats motivated by profit decide what to cover and what not to cover rather than individuals and their doctors.

  • jerry lynch

    The Right is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow: spreading lies and distortions with hateful venom about this issue of ACA and the president personally. Does the Right have any clue how many people in America, most ot them children, suffer and die needlessly because they can’t afford adequate health care? Is that what they want for their citizens.
    The Individual Mandate came out of the Heritage Foundation in 1996 and was warmly embraced by the Right; listen to Flipper or McCain on the subject. President Obama was initally against the idea but as soon as he saw its merit and implemented it in ACA, the Right was vehemently against, it was rabid socialism.
    The Right is disgracing itself and destroying America with their obstructionism and divisiveness.

  • Jay Saldana

    A law that forces the 2% who are uninsured to live up to the responsibility of living in this society is bad for the rest of the county? A law that says IF you can’t pay we will help you pay but don’t dump your bills on us is bad? A law that protects ALL life by saying you have an obligation to protect that life by seeing you have the tools to keep it healthy is bad? A law that helps small business get insurance at reduced cost for its employees by giving them bigger buying power is bad? A law that keeps people on insurances even when they are catastrophically sick is bad? A law that says you are reasonably entitled to health care at a reasonable rate is bad?
    If you are a Strict Conservative, you should be ashamed as you have had plenty of time and the power to do this as you saw fit and you have done nothing – and you still have no alternative. Frankly, you are like a whitewashed tomb with your complaints.
    Well I am sure you will agree with this then: Jesus should NOT have died for our sins because when He did He imposed His will on us and denied us our right to go to hell. What a socialist He was.
    Have a God filled day.
    Jay

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Jay.


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