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What the Supreme Court said

by on July 8, 2012

About ACA, also known as PPACA, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Communism/Socialism/Nazism/Kenyanism, or just plain “Obamacare!,” the Supreme Court issued an opinion.  And the verdict is,

it’s long!

the bill is long!

the ruling is long!

it’s a tax, not a penalty!

John Roberts is like Mitt Romney: he writes conflicting opinions at the same time

Seriously, I read the ruling. I read it 1)because it’s fascinating, and 2)so you don’t have to.
Here are some of my favorite quotes. Page numbers cited.

Chief Justice John Roberts, Majority Opinion

“Every day individuals do not do an infinite number of things. In some cases they decide not to do something; in others they simply fail to do it.” 20-21

“People, for reasons of their own, often fail to do things that would be good for them or good for society.” 23

“[that means] means the mandate can be regarded as establishing a condition—not owning health insurance—that triggers a tax—the required payment to the IRS. Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance.Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it  may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.” 32

‎”In 1922, we decided two challenges to the “Child Labor Tax” on the same day. In the first, we held that a suit to enjoin collection of the so called tax was barred by the Anti-Injunction Act. George, 259 U. S., at 20. Congress knew that suits to obstruct taxes had to await payment under the Anti-Injunction Act; Congress called the child labor tax a tax; Congress therefore intended the Anti-Injunction Act to apply. In the second case, however, we held that the same exaction, although labeled a tax, was not in fact authorized by Congress’s taxing power. That constitutional question was not controlled by Congress’s choice of label.” 33-34

Justice Ginsburg et al, concurring opinion

“States that undertake health-care reforms on their own thus risk ‘placing themselves in a position of economic disadvantage as compared with neighbors or competitors.’” 8

‎”‘Nothing . . . can be more fallacious,” Alexander Hamilton emphasized, “than to infer the extent of any power, proper to be lodged in the national government, from . . . its immediate necessities. There ought to be a CAPACITY to provide for future contingencies[,] as they may happen;and as these are illimitable in their nature, it is impossible safely to limit that capacity.'” 14

‎”See also Wickard, 317 U. S., at 128 (“It is well established by decisions of this Court that the power to regulate commerce includes the power to regulate the prices at which commodities in that commerce are dealt in and practices affecting such prices.” (emphasis added)).” 17

‎”Although an individual might buy a car or a crown of broccoli one day, there is no certainty she will ever do so. And if she eventually wants a car or has a craving for broccoli, she will be obliged to pay at the counter before receiving the vehicle or nourishment. She will get no free ride or food, at the expense of another consumer forced to pay an inflated price.” 21

‎”The Federal Government, therefore, is not, as THE CHIEF JUSTICE charges,threatening States with the loss of “existing” funds from one spending program in order to induce them to opt into another program. Congress is simply requiring States to do what States have long been required to do to receive Medicaid funding: comply with the conditions Congress prescribes for participation.” 40

Justice Scalia et al, dissenting

‎”It is true enough that everyone consumes “health care,” if the term is taken to include the purchase of a bottle of aspirin. But the health care “market” that is the object of the Individual Mandate not only includes but principally consists of goods and services that the young people primarily affected by the Mandate do not purchase.” 11

“The Federal Government can address whatever problems it wants but can bring to their solution only those powers that the Constitution confers, among which is the power to regulate commerce. None of our cases say anything else. Article I contains no whatever-it-takes-to-solve-a-national problem power.” 15

‎”The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism, and the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers. But the Court’s ruling undermines those values at every turn. In the name of restraint, it overreaches. In the name of constitutional avoidance, it creates new constitutional questions. In the name of cooperative federalism, it undermines state sovereignty.” 65

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From → US Politics

One Comment
  1. Seems like we both decided to do the same thing. READ THE RULING.

    Haha I was getting tired of uninformed opinions, so I decided to quote from the real thing. 🙂

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