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Millions risk losing cover as Justices take up Obamacare Challenge

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Feb 17, 2015.

  1. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    John Roberts at his confimation hearing was incredibly disingenuous, going on and on about the value of precedent and stare decisis.

    He then proceeded at the very first opportunity in Citizens United to call a "Do-Over" on McCain-Feingold (which was pronounced constitutional in 2003 in McConnell v. FEC) and not only invalidate narrow portions of it that were at issue or as applied but review and gut the entire thing. The damage that this case and its progeny have done (despite the rosy predictions of Roberts at the time) both directly and indirectly are immeasurable, but when people talk about inequality being the root of all problems, it's directly traceable to the ability of money to overcome the political system.

    There's other examples but frankly, he only appears borderline palatable now because he has a bit of shame left that Scalia-Alito-Thomas don't, and is just enough concerned about his legacy to not enter in to absurdly nakedly partisan decisions that will gut the last bit of respect that people (mistakenly, IMO) have for the Court, which throughout history has served as an enemy of progress more so than anything else.
     
    #121 SamFisher, Jun 26, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  2. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    If anybody's keeping track, Roberts on the wrong (and losing) side in both Gay Marriage and nonpartisan redistricting commissions.

    Roberts is a "great element" of the court if you set the bar at the ridiculously low level of a sniveling 12 year old reactionary that Scalia occupies.
     
  3. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    Yup. And Kennedy on the right side. I think he's the one who deserves the kudos. His voting with the majority on the Arizona case is almost as large as the vote on same sex marriage. If the Arizona case goes the other way, the impact would be as large as citizens united in terms of flat out destroying the ability of governments to create fair elections.

    I will give credit to Roberts in that he doesn't have a bombastic personality like the Thomas/Scalia (and to a lesser extent Alito).
     
  4. Major

    Major Member

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    Every judge is on losing sides of some cases and winning sides of others. I don't define a great judge as one that agrees with you or me all the time. A great judge in today's court is one that is not near-100% partisan. You're right that it's a very low bar, but a majority of our current judges, including some on both sides, don't pass that low standard.
     
  5. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    I think it was too much to expect that Roberts was going to be a Warren, Blackmun or a Souter, conservatives who ended up being liberal justices. Roberts does appear to be thoughtful in his decisions and cognizant about the court's position in the US government and society.
     
  6. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Really? Name the liberal judges who are disingenuous and dishonest in your estimation of their jurisprudence and pretty much in the tank for team L in the same sense as Scalia or Thomas are for Team R.

    And as far as Obergefell - Roberts wasn't just on the losing side of the case, he's on the losing side of history and many years from now, will be greatly embarrassed when his petty dissent is inevitably raised as an indelible black mark of his reign.
     
  7. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    Yeah I mean, it's not like on every single issue that has any political fight at all between R and L you can count on 3 automatic votes for both sides. LOL
     
  8. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    Same question to you then; Is there a liberal wing equivalent of King v. Burwell where the liberal wing tosses long held principle under the bus in order to stick it to a hated political enemy? Like say Stephen Breyer reversing himself to help out a friend or spite a political foil ?

    The difference is that the conservative wing is infamous for proclaiming it's supremacy by virtue of it's self-declared consistency, guised in various forms as formalism, textualism, originalism.

    Judge Posner, no liberal at all, exposed this act as a farce years ago with one of his books.
     
  9. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>Health insurers seek big rate hikes: 23% in Illinois, 25% in N. Carolina, 36% in Tennessee, 54% in Minnesota. @<a href="https://twitter.com/ropear">ropear</a> <a href="http://t.co/lnGiY1Tk2m" title="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/04/us/health-insurance-companies-seek-big-rate-increases-for-2016.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;module=first-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news">nytimes.com/2015/07/04/us/…</a></p>&mdash; Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) <a href="https://twitter.com/peterbakernyt/status/617341092808278016" data-datetime="2015-07-04T14:36:00+00:00">July 4, 2015</a></blockquote>
    <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
     
  10. Major

    Major Member

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    This happened last year too. It turned out when you looked at the final data, it was nothing like this. First off, it's cherrypicked data of specific insurers while ignoring other insurers that aren't raising prices. And second, what insurers want to charge and what they ultimately charge are very different things.

    Turned out last year, a lot of the companies that wanted the biggest hikes were just the ones that charged the least. They underpriced their insurance either because they messed up their estimates or because they wanted to undercut competition and get market share.
     
  11. Major

    Major Member

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    I didn't argue that anyone was disingenuous or dishonest - I said they are extremely partisan. The court did not decide nearly as many cases on party lines in the past.

    This is a good article with some data:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/upshot/the-polarized-court.html?abt=0002&abg=1


    That 5-to-4 split along partisan lines was by contemporary standards unremarkable. But by historical standards it was extraordinary. For the first time, the Supreme Court is closely divided along party lines.

    ...

    The new era arrived with the last retirement, in 2010. Justice John Paul Stevens, a liberal appointed by President Gerald R. Ford, a Republican, left the court. Justice Elena Kagan, a liberal appointed by President Obama, arrived.

    Now, just as there is no Democratic senator who is more conservative than the most liberal Republican, there is no Democratic appointee on the Supreme Court who is more conservative than any Republican appointee. “It’s not coincidence,” said Lawrence Baum, a political scientist at Ohio State, “that the court is now divided along partisan lines in a way that hasn’t been true.”

    ...

    The very question of partisan voting hardly arose until 1937, as dissents on the Supreme Court were infrequent. When the justices did divide, it was seldom along party lines.

    There is room for interpretation in such assessments. But of the 71 cases from 1790 to 1937 deemed important by a standard reference work and in which there were at least two dissenting votes, only one broke by party affiliation. “The dividing line in the court was not a party line,” Zechariah Chafee, a law professor at Harvard, wrote in a classic 1941 book.

    Nonpartisan voting patterns held true until 2010, with a brief exception in the early 1940s, when a lone Republican appointee voted to the right of eight Democratic appointees. But the general trend was the same. Of the 311 cases listed as important from 1937 to 2010 with at least two dissents, only one of them, in 1985, even arguably broke along party lines.

    That adds up to two cases in more than two centuries. By contrast, in just the last three terms, there were five major decisions that were closely divided along partisan lines
    : the ones on the Voting Rights Act, campaign finance, arbitration, immigration and strip-searches. In the current term, last month’s campaign finance ruling and Monday’s decision on legislative prayer fit the pattern, too.
     
  12. peleincubus

    peleincubus Member

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    i obviously understand the point you are making. but it goes to show you that people NEED insurance and/or medical care. they are living day to day with things that hinder their life, and that brings on all different types of problems. perhaps like not being able to provide for their family etc.
     
  13. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    This argument is flawed.

    The proper nonpartisan decision in an inherently ridiculous suit like king v Burwell would have been either cert denied (en banc of DC cir would reverse) or 9-0 (or per curiam)...same goes for Obergefell

    All it takes however is for one side, not both, to begin bloc voting as partisans, as Alito, Scalia, and Thomas, and yes even your boy Joao Roberto, have done and due to arithmetic, the other non ridiculous side becomes partisan by the virtue of not changing at all.


    Look no further than 5-4 Obergefell, with its petty meanspirited petulant dissents.

    As Judge Posner observed a week ago, this case is exactly like Loving.


    Can you quote from the dissent in Loving? Or Brown for that matter?

    No, you can't, because there weren't any. That says quite a bit.

    All it takes is one side to start being dicks in order to relationally define the other side as non-dick partisans.

    It should not be surprising to you in this age of extreme drift of the conservative movement that the same drift has applied to their boys in robes.
     
  14. mtbrays

    mtbrays Contributing Member
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    This will become even more obvious in the next term. The Court has chosen to take up cases about abortion, unions and, inexplicably, Abigail Fisher's affirmative action case against UT. People cheering the Court this term do so at the expense of the long term. King and Obergefell may, unfortunately, be blips on a larger radar.

    Should we start a Supreme Court thread for all debate like this? Could be fun.
     
  15. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

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    No surprise that insurers are seeing big rate hikes. I said that would happen down the road from the very beginning.

    This year in Texas you've had two major companies take their best plans completely off the market because they were getting killed on them. Blue Cross is showing 20%+ increases in the market after they were supposed to trend 2% a year. LOL

    Humana just got bought out by Aetna (which is horrible!)

    The market is falling apart.
     
  16. SamFisher

    SamFisher Contributing Member

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    People cheering the court are doing it on the flimsiest possible evidence with a very low bar - Kennedy and more notably Roberts did not sign on to the disingenuous "destroy obamacare at all costs!" movement. It's like saying Ted Cruz is a moderate becuase he didn't say all Mexicans were dirty criminals like Trump.

    Then you get John Roberts lecturing us sternly a few days later about Kalahari Tribesmen because, good god, gay folks be getting married. Progress! :rolleyes:
     
  17. larsv8

    larsv8 Contributing Member

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    I think we should look at a system where we identify "catastrophic medical ailments" that the government will cover and negotiate the rates with hospitals/doctors and any overages are made up by taxes on root causes like alcohol, unhealthy food, cigarette purchases, etc. Everyone pays into it as part of their normal insurance premium but it is actually two separate providers.

    Insurance companies only operate on non catastrophic medical coverage which fits the actual true elastic supply and demand models, which should keep costs down.

    So it would be like
    Catastrophic Premium (Same for everyone) - $200
    Market Negotiated Rate (Free to shop around) - $150
     
  18. geeimsobored

    geeimsobored Contributing Member

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    Agreed, not really shocking. At least here in Minnesota, its been known for a while that insurance companies totally under-bid on premiums. The Twin Cities have the lowest premiums in the US currently. With that said, the insurance commission is pretty tough so I suspect the rate increases will be nowhere near what was requested but they'll certainly go up. They came in way too low last year.

    The other important thing to note is that while I dont think the ACA really made costs worse, it did little to make them better. And most of the "savings" came in the form of changes to Medicare and Medicaid. The bargain with the insurance companies/hospitals/pharma was that they were going to gain billions from new customers and that they should split the profits with the government. That split came in the form of changes to Medicare and Medicaid. While that's nice, that's nowhere near the cost control that most economists think we need.

    The truth is that the Obama administration more or less punted on cost control in favor of universal coverage. And people shouldn't expect huge cost savings from the ACA. The ACA will lower the deficit thanks to Medicare and Medicaid savings but it won't result in any substantial savings for the average consumer. Those reforms were killed off in the Senate bill. The House bill at least made a few piecemeal attempts at real cost control (and larger deficit reductions). The Senate bill was just a mediocre bill written by the drug/hospital/insurance industries.
     
  19. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    Did insurers not think that people would delay treatments until they were covered? That the backlog will spike the numbers in the first years?
     
  20. R0ckets03

    R0ckets03 Contributing Member

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    I hope they don't go up in Texas much. Mine went from $150 in 2014 to $325 in 2015. Thats f'n crazy! What the hell is the penalty for people who choose not to insure?
     

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