Lars Larson: Thirty-seven States Take a Stand Against ObamaCare

I don’t know what is going to happen this weekend with health care, but I do know that I like the move by 37 states to protect their citizens against ObamaCare.

The big vote is supposed to happen this Sunday morning. I’m sure hoping that Nancy Pelosi fails in her efforts to gerrymander this thing through””to ram it through the process no matter what rules she has to make up or break. But, what I would like to see more of is what is happening in thirty-seven states around America.

Two-thirds of America’s states have decided to defend their citizens against ObamaCare. It’s called the Health Freedom Act. The first one was signed into law by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter of Idaho just this past week.

The fact is citizens have a right to be protected against their federal government. That’s what the Constitution was really all about””limiting the powers of the federal government, maximizing the powers of the states and the individual and ObamaCare is not what we need.

“For more Lars click here”

  • retired UO science prof

    Discussions here lately about the mathematically challenged. Very interesting math problem: if 37 states have 74 senators, and the U.S. has 100 senators, do those 37 states have a majority in the senate? Seems something is missing from the equation.

    • Wayne Brady

      Maybe it is because this bill will put a burden on the state budgets.

      • retired UO science prof

        The senators are supposed to represent their states, aren’t they? I think there must be a lot of posturing going on.

    • eagle eye

      So, prof, how was your trip to southern Oregon? Was it just for the weekend? Or have you decided to move to Grants Pass?! Did you get to hang out with our friend Steve? A little off-subject, but with Jerry gone, and Obamacare passed, we might need a little lightheartedness here!

      • retired UO science prof

        I’m back, eagle, from my Grants Pass weekend. On Saturday I was hiking at a place called Table Rock, near Central Point, where Plunk’s trucks are, if I’m not mistaken. In fact, a glance on the web shows his place being on Table Rock Rd., which means I must have driven right past. I didn’t try to make his acquaintance, though.

        Table Rock a very striking place, a steep climb to a very very flat top covered with grass. I hiked all the way to the end and explored out there in several directions, views of the Rogue Valley. John Day had a runway there way back, is the story.

        By the way, saw some very eagle-like birds soaring there, quite a few!

        A BLM/Nature Conservancy/private ranch production. Public/non-profit/for-profit collaboration, I guess. There is also quite a good public TV station in southern Oregon. I’ll bet both of these will warm the hearts of various denizens of this website.

        No, not planning a move to Grants Pass or Medford any time soon. GP pretty depressed looking. I got yelled at by some derelicts in downtown GP. I enjoy the place, but not as a full-time thing.

  • No longer drinking the Kool-Aid

    The issue is that they aren’t going to be voting on it they are going to hide behind “reconciliation” to pass it so that they don’t need all the Senators. Besides these Senators and Representatives have been in Washington and are being brainwashed by the lobbyists and the progressives so they will do it despite it being unpopular and wrong.
    In order to fix health care we need to do the following 5 things:
    1. Get rid of the FDA, AMA and non emergency medical insurance
    a. This will need to be modified slightly for the people who are so messed up because of doctor’s reliance on drugging patients for everything.
    2. Get rid of medical patents
    3. Pass strict laws on the bribing of doctors and congress people. (IE drug companies/Lobbyists)
    4. Retrain doctors to work on the causes not the symptoms.
    5. Do real unbiased studies on more natural cures.

    • valley p

      “The issue is that they aren’t going to be voting on it they are going to hide behind “reconciliation” to pass it so that they don’t need all the Senators.”

      Right. Except that 60 Senators already voted for the bill. Reconciliation will only be used to adopt changes the House wants. And a majority of Senators still has to vote within reconciliation.

      “The fact is citizens have a right to be protected against their federal government. ”

      Yes. They need to be protected from getting subsidized health insurance against their will. They need to be protected from the government ordering insurance companies to stop dropping people from their coverage when they get sick. They need government to stop messing around with their Medicare. I mean…just who does our elected government think it represents anyway?

    • Sizemore will Veto any Tax Increase

      Obama rewards ACORN for supporting the New World Order
      For the love of money is the root of all evil.
      Tonight…the will of most Americans went ignored by those elected officials who believe that America is a democracy.

  • Bob Clark

    Most states are against Obuma care as are most people as poll surveys estimate, but the Congressional

    Dems are walking the plank with or without Obuma care. They have nothing to lose at this point but to

    take what backroom payoffs from the Buma administration they can weasel for. Judicially it sounds like

    Federal law trumphs state law. It’s a bad day, and hopefully Pelosi and crew will have their day of

    reckoning this coming Fall.

    Dennis Miller had a funny perspective on Obuma Care: It’s like this encyclopedia salesman showed up at

    your door, and you made the mistake of letting him in. He’s now firmly planted on your couch, sweating

    from his working the neighborhood. He’s asking for lemonade, and you couldn’t get him out of your house

    now even with the “Jaws of Life.” He’s now pitching is whole set of encyclopedias when at most you

    might be interested in only one of the many volumes he wants to stick you with.

    I think there is probably a fair chance the reconciliation bill will be stripped of some of its onerous new

    taxes, such as the medicare tax on investment income.

    • John in Oregon

      Bob Clark commented > *I think there is probably a fair chance the reconciliation bill will be stripped of some of its onerous new taxes, such as the medicare tax on investment income.*

      I concur totally with the thrust of your comment, though the specific provisions are murky. Obama has made it very clear he wishes to punish investment savings and capital as a “mater of fairness”. It is this attitude of Obama’s that almost insures no recovery by November 2010. This despite Obama’s intent to dump the stimulus money in selected swing districts in an attempt to gain a temporary goosing of the economy. It worked for FDR but I’m not so sure it works for Obama.

      The cool-aid drinkers in the House think this vote in the dead of night is the last vote for this unpopular legislation. They think this despite the warnings of Senate Democrat committee chairman that the reconciliation bill will not fly. The reconciliation bill will suffer the fate of one thousand cuts then return like an albatross. And the House gets to live this night again.

      It was interesting to listen to the motion to recommit on the reconciliation bill. Steny Hoyer objected as the “Abortion Funding Provision” would not be accepted as a “Budgetary” item. This while Hoyer knows full well that the reconciliation bill is an attempt to amend a statute that does not yet exist.

      If the House Democrats are very lucky the reconciliation bill will simply die in the Senate and Obama will sign the Senate bill. The resulting blowback from House Democrats, not to mention the American people, would be something to behold.

  • Anonymous

    Kulongoski has already gone on record that he will not challenge the Federal Bill and fully supports it. His AG is even more leftist than he is, so don’t look for it there. We live in the socialist/communist belt of the American west.

  • John in Oregon

    Very interesting point UO Prof. Your numbers add up but as you say something is missing from the equation.

    I would suggest the missing element isnt a numerical component. Simply put the political sirens song of Washington DC is a factor that has a numerical value of null and an intense political value. Two sets of examples come to mind.

    On the Democrat side, Ben Nelson and Blanch Lincoln placed party loyalty and political power above the wishes of the people back home. In a recant visit to Nebraska Nelson stopped at a restaurant. He was booed and left embraced. Hence he learned that the corn husker bribe did not work back home.

    For Republicans Bob Bennett and Lindsay Graham serve as examples. In this case party loyalty is replaced by the progressive siren of political power. Neither represent the views of the home state people.

    On the whole the founders believed two things. The optimum government was the least government. And. The best government is closest to the governed. They also knew that a democracy was one of the roads to serfdom. They outright rejected democracy, hence the choice to create a republic.

    The federalist republic system they implemented gave limited enumerated powers to the national government while reserving all other powers to the States and the People.

    We often hear about the Separation of Powers and the three branches of Government. The Executive, Legislative and Judicial with the tension between each serving as a check on the others. From the federalism prospective the founders created four branches of government with the more equal States and the People serving as a check on the national government.

    The founders also envisioned that representatives in the House would be citizen legislators while Senators selected by the States would respond to State legislatures.

    But much has changed. The House has limited its size. Many point to the disparity of representation, one representative per 905,316 people in Montana VS one representative per 495,304 people in Wyoming. I think however that the real import has been that as political power increased the concentration of power grew in a limited number of hands. The House has thus come to operate much like a private club. A very powerful club.

    As a practical matter many Congressman and Senators no longer reside in the state they purport to represent.

    Thus we see the phenomena of 37 states moving to oppose the Federal Government. Even when that government includes that states elected representatives and senators. What is missing from the equation is federalism. Abused and battered by years of neglect while it rises to say ENOUGH.

    • retired UO science prof

      I have to think that a lot of the state stuff is posturing. But I have to agree with a lot that you say about the changes in the federal government.

      You know, senators used to be elected by the State legislatures. George Will has made the interesting contention that the constitutional change about a century ago, in which we went to direct election of senators, was the beginning of the end of federalism. Before, the senators had represented the States, with a capital S.

      The original Constitution was crumbling over a century ago, if not a lot earlier. With FDR, it was hard not to say that it had been largely abandoned. It may be that we are too far gone ever to go back to anything like the original ideas of the country. The world has changed too much, and with it the country. Even the FDR “reforms” — social security, later Medicare (I know, that was Johnson) — are practically sacrosanct, even among “conservatives”. They can rail at them all they want, but they don’t seriously propose to abandon them. For one thing, a lot of them are getting to the point where they want and often need to collect their checks. Not saying that’s good or bad, just the way it is.

  • surefoot

    Lars I feel that if this was 1860, you would be out raged that the Federal Government would impose its will on the States by not allows slavery in some States, you do not like any change. Your argument would be that if the Founding Father did not want slaves they wouldn’t have permitted it to start with and that it interferes with states rights. This health insurance bill will benefit a great many citizen in the U.S., you’re just hawking for the insurance companies.

  • dartagnan

    Lars, what part of the following don’t you understand:

    “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.” — US Constitution, Article 6

    States can’t nullify acts of Congress.

    • Rupert in Springfield

      True, but likewise states are under no constitutional obligation to enforce those acts or follow them either.

      What applicability this would have to BO care is questionable however, as most of BO care is intended to be accomplished through unintended consequences. Elimination of private insurance being an example.

      • dartagnan

        Laws enacted by Congress are the law of the land, Rupe, not just of those states that choose to obey them, and any states that refuse to obey them are violating the law and the Constitution. The language is very clear.

        I also don’t understand how this legislation is going to “eliminate private insurance,” since it doesn’t contain the “public option” and in fact requires everybody to buy insurance from private companies.

        • naoko

          “Laws enacted by Congress are the law of the land, … not just of those states that choose to obey them, and any states that refuse to obey them are violating the law and the Constitution. The language is very clear.”

          You mean like the medical marajuana laws? How about sanctuary city/sanctuary state laws? Oregon & California are in pretty flagrant disregard of both, & don’t seem to be suffering any consequences. Why should these 37 states think they’ll have any adverse repercussions?

          • Rupert in Springfield

            Well, it should be pointed out that these states do not disregard these laws, they simply are following the constitution and precedent.

            States are under no obligation to enforce or aid in the enforcement of Federal Laws.

            Federal law is the supreme law of the land in that it supersedes state law, however that is not the same as saying a state is responsible for enforcing a Federal law.

            Thus a state law saying Marijuana is legal has no effect, Federal law supersedes it and it is in fact illegal. However the state is under no constitutional obligation to enforce that illegality if that state declares Marijuana legal. The only law someone would be violating at that point in that state would be Federal law, and thus the Federal government would have to enforce it. The state would be under no obligation to do so.

        • Rupert in Springfield

          >Laws enacted by Congress are the law of the land, Rupe, not just of those states that choose to obey them, and any states that refuse to obey them are violating the law and the Constitution. The language is very clear.

          Actually that’s fairly incorrect Dartie.

          I’m not sure why you are under that impression nor what part of the bill you think it is applicable to. Congress can pass laws that affect people in a state, but congress cannot compel a state to enforce a federal law. Again, what part of this you think is aplicable is something I am unclear on.

          The law, the constitution and precedent is very clear on this. If congress does do such a thing, states can sue and generally win.

          >I also don’t understand how this legislation is going to “eliminate private insurance,” since it doesn’t contain the “public option” and in fact requires everybody to buy insurance from private companies.

          Then you don’t understand the basic premise of the bill.

          If you eliminate denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, and set the fine for not having insurance below that of which insurance costs, then obviously there would be no reason for anyone to carry their own insurance.

          Can you tell me why anyone would buy insurance under those conditions?

          • dartagnan

            “congress cannot compel a state to enforce a federal law.”

            Sorry, that argument was tried in the 1960s by Southern states fighting desegregation. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now.

            Re medical marijuana: The federal government so far has not chosen to force the issue, but that does not mean states can legally ignore federal laws with impunity.

      • John in Oregon

        Dartagnan — all.
        see my comment below.

        Its hard to read skinny comments
        Which look like

        Good for,
        you actually
        looked at


  • Teedee in Oregon

    I think if we look at the numbers, then the people who were wanting this to happen (poor, indigent, elderly) who needed health care, will find that shortly, the numbers will be reviewed again, and it will be imperitive to maintain a stablaization that end of life discussion and actions will become the norm for these sectors.
    I am a business owner who provides excellent insurance for my employees. However this bill will create a sitation because of my size that I will have to give my employees substandard because I will fall into a different pooling now. Thanks Obama and Piolosi for taking away the health of my employees.

    • valley p

      “Can you tell me why anyone would buy insurance under those conditions? ”

      Oh I don’t know..can you tell me why people buy insurance now even if they are healthy? And are you making an argument for larger fines?

      “I think if we look at the numbers, then the people who were wanting this to happen (poor, indigent, elderly) who needed health care,”

      Poor, indigent, and elderly are already covered by government through Medicaid and Medicare.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    >Oh I don’t know..can you tell me why people buy insurance now even if they are healthy?

    Because current insurance doesn’t cover pre existing conditions, thus, best to buy insurance before you get sick so you will be covered.

    Now – Can you tell me why you do not think before you respond, and then get so threatened by someone who actually thinks for a few minutes before they do?

    Can you tell me why it is so difficult for you to simply say “yes, that’s right, of course, sorry, didn’t think there” when I can indicate with an astonishingly clear example like this one, that you have an amazing propensity to pop off with some nutty things that are clearly both ill considered and un true and yet you can never own up to them?

    Can you tell me why, with almost 100% certainty, I can predict that you will not be able to say “oh yes, that’s right, I cannot believe that in a discussion of health insurance, I said something that stupid”

    • valley p

      Someone definitely needs a hug. That bill passing really set you off today didn’t it? My my.

      “Because current insurance doesn’t cover pre existing conditions, thus, best to buy insurance before you get sick so you will be covered.”

      I start from the assumption, which is the same assumption the CBO apparently makes by the way, that most of the people who presently do not have insurance will either buy it with the offered subsidies or enroll in expanded Medicaid. That includes those with pre-existing conditions and those without. Thus the CBO estimates that the bill will result in 32 million Americans being insured. That leaves about 10 million Americans still on the outs. That could be by choice to pay a fine or by virtue of slipping through whatever cracks still exist, and there are some.

      So…were I to admit I was wrong and you right, I would have to take your expressed certainty based on conjecture as being superior to the actuarial analysis of the CBO. Let me think about that and get back to you.

      OK…I thought about it. I’ll stick with the CBO.

  • John in Oregon

    Good for you dartagnan, you actually looked at the constitution and brought it to us as part of the discussion. That doesn’t happen often enough. Not nearly enough. Lets look at the constitution in relation to the question that Lars raised.

    You correctly mentioned article 6 of which two sections of are relevant, but first we need to take a short side trip. In article 1, Section 6 the constitution enumerates the powers granted by the people to the Federal government. These are:

    1. Borrow money
    2. Regulate commerce among the states
    3. Regulate naturalization
    4. Regulate bankruptcies
    5. Coin money
    6. Fix weights and standards
    7. Punish counterfeiters
    8. Establish post offices
    9. Establish post roads
    10. Record patents
    11. Protect copyrights
    12. Create federal courts
    13. Punish pirates
    14. Declare war
    15. Raise an army
    16. Provide a navy
    17. Call up the militia
    18. Organize the militia
    19. Makes laws for Washington, DC
    20. Make rules for the Army and Navy
    21. Make treaties
    22. Tax directly

    Now look at the 9th and 10th amendments:

    Ninth: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people

    Tenth: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

    The Ninth makes it clear that the Government may not tinker with peoples rights, they belong to the people, hands off.

    The Tenth is what I call the “We Really Mean It” amendment. After listing the only powers of the federal government, the framers expressly reserved all other powers to the People. In other words the enumerated powers and Tenth amendment are a bright line across which the federal government shall not pass

    Congress has often gotten around the limitation of powers by adding strings to money. Accepting federal highway money with the string of setting speed limits. Stimulus money with the requirement that state money be spent in other ways.

    As you said Article 6 states in part “This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof”. This states that laws must comply with the constitution and the constitution is superior to laws (or treaties for that matter). Only then is a law “the law of the land”.

    There are two major complaints by the states.

    First the constitution does not grant the Federal Government the power to compel the people to purchase a product under pain of punishment for non-compliance. The states contend that if such power exists at all then that power is reserved to the states by the Tenth amendment.

    Second, ObamaCare drops the pretense of strings. It just compels the states to spend money as the federal government demands. That is the Federal Government strips the state legislatures of the power to set the state budget.

    • valley p

      I guess its settled then. The law is unconstitutional. Conservatives can relax while unelected, activist judges toss out a law enacted by elected representatives and signed by the president.

      Interesting how quickly things turn in politics.

    • John in Oregon

      Do you have a comment about the constitution or its meaning?

    • John in Oregon

      Perhaps you could enlighten us which part of the constitution authorizes Congress to compel a citizen to purchase a particular product?

      • valley p

        I’m not a constitutional scholar. I’m just saying that based on your confidently expressed analysis, the bill is unconstitutional, so opponents should stop spending so much energy here claiming the sky is falling on their freedoms. I’m also saying its ironic that conservatives want unelected judges to overturn something passed by elected representatives. I seem to recall arguments running the other way not long ago. Do you deny that?

        By the way, Rupert is the self proclaimed constitutional scholar around here. Ask him your question.

  • John in Oregon

    This is a general comment although UO Prof gave us a nice starting point. Prof said > *I have to think that a lot of the state stuff is posturing.*

    I thought about that for a moment and my immediate reaction was “its posturing until its not”. That’s not intended as a flip slamdown but is I think the case as Prof properly pointed out. Challenging the power of Government is often like the white knight astride his steed charging the air driven rotating device. Except, that sometimes the Knight wins.

    Campaign Finance and the Mayor of New York are two recent examples. In the late nineties the Mayor of New York sued the President of the United States. In that case the Supreme Court struck down the line item veto as unconstitutional.

    Much of the expansion of Federal power comes from the period 1937 to 1945. Prior to 1937 the Court had struck down many of FDRs unconstitutional New Deal programs including the NRA and the AAA. One example struck down was FDRs Executive Order implementing a 100% income tax against his political enemies.

    Over the years Presidents have ignored the court. Presidents have even defied the court. In 1936 FDR became only one of two presidents to publicly attack and threaten the court. Chief Justice Hughes became convinced that what was at stake in the crises precipitated by FDR was nothing less than the distraction of Supreme Court’s historic role as guardian of the Constitution. Justice Hughes chose a strategic surrender. In 1951 Justice Roberts wrote “We voted against the Constitution to save the Court.”

    One relevant example is Wickard v. Filburn. In that case Roscoe Filburn, was growing wheat for his own use. FDR told the court that Filburn did not have the Federal Governments permission to plant. The Court held that FDR had the power under the interstate commerce clause. The reasoning behind the ruling was that Filburn was growing wheat for his own use was not participating in interstate commerce, and not participating in commerce was the same as participating in commerce. Therefor not participating in commerce is regulated as commerce.

    For some time (prior to recent appointments) court watchers have surmised an interest on the part of the Court to revisit the commerce clause, provided the proper case can be found. Several states have adopted Federal firearms regulation nullification laws to that end. This would be consistent with the traditional roll of the Court to restrain the Legislative and Executive to insure they adhere to constitutional requirements.

    This may be that case. The legal defense of ObamaCare would of necessity rest on the Commerce ruling of Wickard V. As tortured as that logic is that not engaging in commerce is commerce may be, the next step may be a bridge to far.

    That bridge. Concluding that a person who has never engaged in interstate insurance commerce may be compelled to participate in interstate commerce because not participating in interstate commerce is the same as participating in interstate commerce.

    • retired UO science prof

      Challenges in the courts may work, on some aspects of the bill, but I wouldn’t hold out much hope that the courts will overthrow it in the main. If social security and medicare survived, so will this.

      There are various ways of posturing. The Republicans have mastered a lot of them. Anybody could see that the present medical system was about to change, big time. But the Republicans, when they had the chance, did nothing (except expand Medicare along statist lines.) They simply weren’t aren’t serious about governing. The Democrats are. Whatever you think of them and their programs, they stuck to their principles. At huge (fatal, if you believe Rush/National Review/WSJ) risk to their own political futures. Say what you will, they have principles, and they are determined to get what they believe in. they also go about things in a serious way.

      • valley p

        The main constitutional point seems to be the question of whether the feds can actually force people to buy insurance or pay a fine. Lets say the Republicans win that point, but the entire rest of the bill stays in force. What they will have accomplished is to allow young and healthy people to avoid buying insurance up until the moment they are diagnosed with something. This could end up bankrupting the private insurance industry altogether and set the stage for a single payer system supported by taxes. Medicare for all. We know Medicare is constitutional and very popular. Why not just expand it?

        Wouldn’t that be ironic?

        The whole debate illustrates what retired prof points out. Republicans are perfectly willing to provide the cake, but not hand the bill to the customer. They are FOR all the good stuff in the plan and AGAINST establishing the means to pay for it, including the Medicare cuts that eliminate wasteful subsidies Republicans put there in the first place.

        Like you say, they have become a party that is not serious about governing. They are against “big government” except for when they actually govern. Sooner or later a big majority of the voters are going to catch onto this game and the Democrats really will have clear sailing.

  • valley p

    This just came to my attention, from

    Only a few years after the nation’s Founding Fathers ratified the Constitution, Congress approved *the 2nd Militia Act of 1792* , which was duly signed by George Washington, then the president and commander in chief.

    Establishing state militias and a national standard for their operation, *the Militia Act explicitly required* every “free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of 18 and 45, with a few occupational exceptions, to “provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder..”

    If this is true, it will be interesting seeing conservatives tying themselves in knots arguing that the Founding Fathers did not think the government could force citizens to buy a specific product. I mean, 2 spare lints and a knapsack…now THAT is specific.

    I’m surprised our resident constitutional scholar Rupert missed this one.

  • John in Oregon

    VP you misstate the meaning of activist judge. The largest roll of the courts is to serve as an honest broker of disputes between and amongst the people. In terms of separation of powers the court serves to restrain the excesses of the other two branches. For example when a President issues an executive order to amend a statute passed by the legislative branch.

    An activist judge is one who issues a ruling supported by neither the plain meaning of the statute at hand, the facts of the case, nor the constitution.

    > *The main constitutional point seems to be the question of whether the feds can actually force people to buy insurance or pay a fine.*

    I focused on the two most likely grounds to challenge.. Compelling purchase is one. Obliging the states to expend local revenues to fund the legislation is another. Although the CBO was not allowed to calculate that cost, current reports suggest this uncalculated cost imposed on the states will total somewhere around a quarter to half trillion dollars.

    Those are only the two strongest challenges at the moment, others below.

    You misstate in another way. It isnt a choice offered to the people. The people are being ordered to purchase a product under the penalty of fine or jail.

    UO Prof has the more thoughtful comment when he says > *Challenges in the courts may work, on some aspects of the bill, but I wouldn’t hold out much hope that the courts will overthrow it in the main. If social security and medicare survived, so will this.*

    Social Security was established on the principal of dual fictions. On the one hand the public was told that SSI was a retirement savings system. On the other the court was told that SSI is a tax. A case where two wrongs do make a right, I guess.

    I have never thought nor claimed the court was likely to strike down the entire statute as I would expect the court to demonstrate the restraint not found in the House of Representatives.

    ObamaCare gives the federal government the three major controls that are characteristic of all government-run health care systems.

    First, forced participation in the health care system for all individuals in a one-size-fits all health care system with no chance of opting out.

    Second, massive government subsidies to individual citizens which creates massive dependency in a huge voting bloc.

    Third, federal agencies, which establish regulatory control over every aspect of the health care system. Boards to ration care, the Health Choices Commissioner to ration private insurance coverage, and the Comparative Outcome Boards “guide” Doctors to proved only the government-approved treatments.

    If the court strikes down only the forced mandatory participation then people will have the option of finding alternatives. Which they will.

    By the way, the third characteristic, rationing, is open to challenge under enumerated powers. However the victims will have to wait until they are denied treatment to have standing to sue. That issue is not yet ripe.

    Canada can serve as an example as the issue and process are similar. Like ObamaCare, George Zeliotis of Quebec was forced to participate in a government health care system with no alternative. Unable to obtain care Zeliotis sued eventually reaching the Canadian Supreme Court. Upon review of the system the Court ruled that access to a waiting list is not health care. In Canada the issue became ripe, so ripe it stank.

    UO Prof, I do think you touch the nugget of the discussion. > *Anybody could see that the present medical system was about to change, big time. But the Republicans, when they had the chance, did nothing (except expand Medicare along statist lines.) They simply weren’t aren’t serious about governing.*

    Frankly the criticism of the prescription drugs bill is earned. Conservatives did not support Bush reaching across the isle to Senator Kennedy to write the statute nor the legislation produced.

    That said its easy to misstate the differences between the Progressive and Conservative principals. Republicans don’t claim that they can administer the welfare state more effectively than the Democrats. Republicans recognize its not how the bureaucracy is administered that is the problem, it’s the bureaucracy that is the problem. When governing is taken to mean administering people, criticizing conservatives for “not governing” is criticizing Republicans for not being Democrats.

    Representative John Dingell gave us a perfect example for contrast. Asked in an interview about the 14 month delay in ramming through ObamaCare, Dingell explained:”it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.”

    The marathon health care summit provides the contrast.

    Rep. Paul Ryan and Sen. Jon Kyl plainly laid out their objections to ObamaCares massive legislation emphasizing a major philosophical point of departure between Progressives and Conservatives.

    Progressives place a great deal of faith in the effectiveness and wisdom of the federal government in handling complex social and fiscal issues, they said. Conservatives know centralized planning and onerous regulation are ineffective and never work while the free markets produce stunning results.

    President Obama became aggravated cutting off the Republican lawmakers he said “Any time the question is phrased as, ‘Does Washington know better?’ I think we’re, kind of, tipping the scales a little bit there—since we all know that everybody is angry at Washington right now”.

    Of course Obama wouldn’t address why everybody might be angry at Washington. I believe that was the moment that Obama flipped Ryan and Kyl the bird. (He really needs to break that habit. It was childish when he did it to Hillary, here it was beyond childish.)

    Its inaccurate to say Republicans did nothing. Health Savings Accounts and allowing corporations to treat as an expense medication benefits they provide to retirees are just two examples.

    Again UO Proff made an excellent observation. > *Anybody could see that the present medical system was about to change, big time.*

    I agree. As I said here some months ago the free markets are providing cost reductions through in store medical services. That’s just one example. In contrast ObamaCare closes HSAs and taxes retirees medication benefits.

    The question is will it change for good or ill.

  • retired UO science prof

    Appreciate your serious reading of my posts, and your responses.

    When i say the Republicans “simply were not serious about governing”, I have a lot of things in mind. But let’s stick to medical issues.

    The problem was that the current system was breaking down, in many ways. It was obvious that something had to change. By not being serious about governing, I mean the Republicans did not try to put into place some kind of comprehensive medical system, reformed to meet the problems of today. I don’t necessarily mean a government-run program. It could have been based more or based less on private, market (for profit or not) elements.

    I doubt, for instance, that there was much chance of doing away with Medicare or Medicaid. As in trying to do so would have meant political suicide. But they could have reformed those programs, and dealt with the other aspects of the system that clearly are breaking down. But they didn’t really try. And so now, with Democrats as ruthless as the current crop, the Republicans got rolled, at least for now. Probably it is too late to avoid something that is more along the statist lines favored by the Democrats, than along the lines the Republicans could have pursued if they had been serious. I’m talking back when they held Congress, when the President was Republican, etc.

    • valley p

      It strikes me that what the Democrats just passed is essentially what moderate Republicans (when there were some) were in favor of for years; an individual mandate to buy private insurance in order to eliminate free riders. Being Democrats, they included pretty generous subsidies to help people buy overly expensive private insurance they otherwise could not afford. In a way, what we just passed is massive corporate welfare for health insurance and drug companies, which is why their stocks are now soaring. A ‘”statist” solution would have been Medicare for all, with allowance for supplemental private insurance like they have in France or the rest of Europe.

      What current Republican/tea partiers seem to want is to make health insurance and medical care an essentially free market good, while the Democrats (those on the left at least) want it to be primarily a social good, like social security. Over the years we have created a hybrid system that is partly socialized and partly free market, and this has turned out to be increasingly unaffordable, and with ever widening cracks large enough for tens of millions to fall through. Republicans never really had enough power, even within their own ranks to more fully privitize the system, so they back burnered it. Now they are freaking out that the other party had the gumption and votes to impose a solution.

      Unfortunately (I think) the Dems, who did not have the power within their own ranks to fully socialize the system (thank you Joe Lieberman,) have left us with an even more expensive hybrid that retained too much of the dysfunctional status quo. This is why those of us on the left have been lukewarm to the project. We like expanding access, but do not think the means used to do so will work very well. When you hear the phrase “this is a step,” it is a signal to people like me to be patient for the next round of reforms. And make no mistake, there will be more reforms once the flaws in this program become evident.

      I’m happy they managed to pass what they did. But I think it is off the mark by 3 ticks.