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Tuesday, May 28

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R / June 28, 2012 10:53 AM

While I'm not a fan of driving uninsured people right into the greedy clutches of insurance carriers, there's so much good in this law: allowing people to stay insured even when they're sick (and actually using their benefits--gasp!), extending coverage in hard times, etc.

I've been bowled over by the people who are against it.

Also, Obama got just re-elected, in my mind.

Judge Roberts / June 28, 2012 11:28 AM

Don't you mean the "Affordable Care Tax"? Hey! Oh! :-)

vise77 / June 28, 2012 11:32 AM

Amazed. Thought it would be struck down, at least the mandate, and never thought it was be upheld in such a manner by, essentially, Roberts (though the Medicare restrictions will be interesting). That said, I think he is playing a longer game than some. That's how those Federalist Society all stars work.

I still wish we would go to single-payer for at least basic care, basic level, but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

P. Huff / June 28, 2012 2:11 PM

Unfortunate on many levels.

The law incentivizes businesses to drop insurance coverage for employees and let them move on to the govt program. In turn, they pay a simple $2K fee (now tax).

A McKinsey survey in '11 estimated that >30% of employers will choose to drop coverage. This number will increase as CFOs and business owners look for ways to reduce costs and impact bottom line revenues. In a slow growth economy like the current era, this is a simple choice. (all the while, the admin will say this is pro-business!)

What employers are most likely to go this route? Those w/low margins and those that employ the least skilled workers. In other words, the most vulnerable workers will be offloaded onto Medicaid (in name or equivalent).

As the realization of cost becomes apparent (the CBO estimates used in its passing were 10 yrs of taxes and 6 yrs of cost - obviously a false indication of total cost) they will factor heavily into the debt ceiling negotiations later this fall. As it stands, Obamacare will cost about $1.7 trillion per year, with half of that coming from taxes (subtract that from GDP growth) and the rest from newly issued debt. Despite what pundits want to tell you, debt ratings are mathmatical estimations, and adding another spending program to the budget hedges towards another downgrade.

Program also has created a new supply of crony capital to be distributed by politicians: Waivers. Not only are some organizations exempt from Obamacare's costs (equality before the law is a joke), there is no accountable mechanism to approve new or disolve existing waivers. Its up to the whim of the DHHS. (of course, now that the mandate is a tax, the waivers are tax breaks for corporations and political donors!)

On the employment front, the increased taxes and fees, coupled with lower GDP growth and consumption, will continue to drag (the less money firms have, net taxes, the less they can hire). The suck continues...

Lastly, and most importantly is that we now submit our healthcare system into central planning, where instead of taking the path of a multitude of different approaches competing for share, we now will foolishly assume that planners can create optimization for all where the decisions of millions of individuals could not.

Unintended consequences abound...

Spook / June 28, 2012 7:22 PM

I dig how in this new economy the 2% keep coming up with inventive ways to stack more cheddar. Think about it, force the poor and working class to "pick a plan any plan" of insurance displayed by the insurance industry. It doesn't matter the name of the plans, because they might as well be named Moe, Joe, Larry, Curly and Sheep, cause that's gonna be their intrinsic worth. And because the insurance companies are also allowed to set the caps,( with no regulation) your choke sandwich will be expensive. Now lets say conservatively 30 million people have to enroll, although I'm think it will be closer to 50 mil. That's a lot of loot! Not to mention the contratcs, I'm talking on a bigger scale than when Neno Brown( who I hear just brought a charter school in Northlawndale) took over the The Carter from that Jamaican dude.

But that's what happens when industry leaders not only get to write their own plan, but do so in the White House. It sends a message. Like Bushwick Bill and Scarface said "Damn it feels Good to be a Gangsta"

MWorrell / June 28, 2012 10:55 PM

As a middle class freelancer with a preexisting condition and an excellent Blue Cross plan that I purchased before I was diagnosed, I expect to get screwed by rate hikes and possibly forced by the cost to buy an inferior government backed policy. I'd rather have just paid higher taxes to make Medicare available to people than see this kind of sweetheart deal with insurance companies. But hey, maybe the government can do for health insurance rates what they did for tuition costs. Ugh.

eee / June 29, 2012 9:32 AM

I'm torn. Some of the plan is good, like the preexisting conditions stuff. But as for socialized health care... I have enough friends and relatives in Canada to know that socialized medicine doesn't come without its problems. The complaints I've heard from them are the same ones I've heard on the news from medical experts here in the US who oppose the reform. So I really don't know what to think.

I guess what it comes down to in the end is that this will help some people, and it will end up screwing over others. In a country this size, there's no way to win and please everyone, so what can you do?

Mucky Fingers / June 29, 2012 10:53 AM

My only two cents is how annoying it is that we continue to refer to this issue as "Obamacare". This type of health plan wasn't pioneered by our current president. Many others have already implemented it before (including, ahem - Mitt Romney).

The term "Obamacare" isn't assigned as an identifier of a new or even unique health care plan. It's just another obviously racist effort to demonize that fucking nigger by any means possible.

P Huff / June 29, 2012 11:07 AM


The "New Deal" wasn't a bill or series of bills with that name, but became known as such because it was the signature achievement of FDR, who popularized the name.

Same for "Great Society", "War on Drugs" and any number of other programs.

That you assign racism as the reason for its moniker is pathetic. Please take your anti-intellectual crutch and shove it. Race card is maxed out.

Mucky Fingers / June 29, 2012 1:42 PM

Race card is maxed out

...yet still relevant. Any president deserves criticism & scrutiny, but the kind of vitriol aimed at this President would not exist were he a southern white Baptist.

There are many thoughtful challenges against the president's various policies, unfortunately those people are usually not leading the discussion.

I don't expect racists to admit that they are racist.

vise77 / June 29, 2012 2:20 PM

Mucky: While I agree racism still exists to a very large degree in the USA, I ask you to consider this as well: Obamacare seems more like a classic propaganda attempt to label something that is attached to, at least, a fairly decisive person, to personalize something. Same thing happened with 'HillaryCare' some 20 years ago. I wonder if you are reading too much into the label. It's an effort to personalize a policy, to reduce it to one person who sparks emotional and widely varying responses among the citizenry.

You also say this: " .. but the kind of vitriol aimed at this President would not exist were he a southern white Baptist."

I see your point, but do you not remember how the right wing reacted so emotionally and, at times, apocalyptically to Bill Clinton in the '90s? I believe he was, indeed, a Southern Baptist, but I am not 100% sure.

To be fair, the left had some fairly emotional reactions to Reagan, especially during his first time, during the last real spike in Cold War tensions.

Spook / June 29, 2012 2:23 PM

Mucky Fingers,

I'm far more concerned at this President's unwillingness to use the bully pulpit to fight for the changes that he promised. This heath reform is an embarrassment, yet if it was sucessfull no one would have a problem with calling it Obama Care. Obama completely ignores race, and in this case so should you.

eee, that's the problem with liberals, not expectation with defeatest attitudes and expectations like "In a country this size, there's no way to win and please everyone, so what can you do?" Is there any wonder why Obama is more accountable to the Plutocratic class as opposed to us?

Mike / June 29, 2012 2:28 PM

I'm pleasantly surprised this went through and I think most Americans should be too.

"Obamacare" is brilliant. It's like "death panels," "pro-life" and "death tax." It's rhetorical and dishonest, but it succeeds in giving people who aren't very smart and don't view things in a complex manner an opinion to latch onto and parrot to others while they vote against their own interests.

I never fell for the "Hope" hysteria that grabbed some of my friends, and I've been very critical of Obama. But even I believe that if it's not blatant racism that has driven about 75% of the bile spewed up by ignorant right-wingers and the people who represent them in government, then it's xenophobia and jealousy.

That mysterious half-breed dark colored guy:
(a) can't possibly be American
(b) is a socialist/marxist/fascist "other"
(c) must have gotten into Harvard on affirmative action
(d) was "placed" into the presidency in a conspiracy that began decades ago
(e) is intent on destroying America

When you read some of those long-winded birther arguments, it becomes quite clear that these nuts are only able to suspend reality to such a bizarre extent because the subject of their suspicions and theories is that mysterious half-breed dark-colored guy who is (somehow) smarter and (unfairly) more successful than they will ever be.

For me, I was always more disturbed that he supported Toddler and got a free side-yard from Rezko.

Franky / June 29, 2012 8:24 PM

Let's call it the "Affordable Care Act" so we can all have a good laugh.

maardvark / June 29, 2012 9:27 PM

The opinion is interesting reading. (No, really.) The contortions Roberts goes through to uphold the law without expanding the commerce clause are really a must-read for anyone who's at all into constitutional law. Lots of nuance in there.

It's nice to see at least one of the "conservative" wing of the court ignoring the politics and sticking to his jurisprudential guns. Upholding the law is, after all, the judicially conservative position. Funny how Scalia and Thomas conveniently forget that element of things so often.

sarah / June 30, 2012 12:03 AM

What happened to the idea of everyone getting one comment? The blowhard(s) are killing this forum.

vise77 / June 30, 2012 10:48 AM

"What happened to the idea of everyone getting one comment? The blowhard(s) are killing this forum."

I look at it as the approximation of a discussion, not killing anything. Perhaps you should take part instead of complaining?

What are your thoughts about this ruling?

Cheryl / June 30, 2012 1:45 PM

I want socialized medicine, and I want it now.

But I'll take this until we get there.

Spook / July 2, 2012 12:51 PM


I just wonder how long it will take us to, "get there", now that the insurance industry has tapped into another seemingly endless gusher of wealth, although it's better than nothing. I'm just so disappointed that a National Single Payer Option was blown with out a fight. I am though hearing some interesting things happening in Vermont with designing a "state single payer" option to compete with the probable steep increases for limited coverage of the three to four unregulated insurance plans that the insurance industry will assign.

Oh, and wassah matter Sarah? Did us blowhard(s) soil the erudite comment you were all set to lay on us? Maybe I can find it where all the cool civil people post on Etsy illuminating ugly DYI toddler fairy hats and Dinosaur customs for cats?

vise77 / July 2, 2012 3:34 PM

It's a hell of a day for digital Chicago when Spook and the fascist Vise77 agree on the need for single-payer--that is, even more socialized--health care in the USA. Maybe the Cubs are due for a World Series ...

David / July 2, 2012 4:06 PM

I think the nicest thing to come out of this mess is that Mitt Romney, America's foremost corporate fellatio expert, has been backed into a corner in terms of how he can spin this development.

He can't embrace any aspects of the law because of the rabid and uncontrollable elements of his party, and he can't wholly reject the law because it's largely based on the one he implemented in Massachusetts. Even the penalties for non-compliance at the Federal level are HALF what they are for the Massachusetts plan.

So yet again poor Mitt Romney will be left in the lurch, torn between the need to satisfy a political base which by definition will never be satisfied, and the need to at least appear to be a centrist for a few months this summer.

Not even the haircut he bought from Superman can protect him now.

Rachael Maddow is my Brother / July 2, 2012 5:12 PM

I think...I THINK David watches The Rachel Maddow Show with his regurgitation here of the other nights show. If I could ask, you wear Buddy Holly glasses and dress like the opposite sex too? Hey! Oh! :-)

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