December 17, 2018

ACA Declared Unconstitutional

“A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was unconstitutional based on its mandate requiring that people buy health insurance.”

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From the Left

The left is confident the ruling will be reversed on appeal, and help Democrats politically in the meantime.

“The ruling will be appealed, and will likely be overturned… it’s hard to imagine that this will be the case that ends the ACA. At the end of the day, many judges are hesitant to strip access to insurance from millions of people without a pretty good reason.”

This was an amazingly broad ruling. The judge didn't just strike down everything that's related to the individual mandate. He struck down everything, period.”

“It was Congress, not a court, that eliminated the mandate penalty and left the rest of the statute in place. How can a court conclude that Congress never intended the rest of the statute to exist without an operational mandate, when it was the 2017 Congress itself that decided it was fine to eliminate the penalty and leave the rest of the law intact?...

"Judge O’Connor’s claim to the contrary is the equivalent of saying that your 2017 tax cut isn’t valid because the 2010 Congress also enacted a tax bill, and wouldn’t have included your tax cut there.”
New York Times

Many note that “voters have come around on Obamacare in part because they’ve started to see what it really is: an effort to make healthcare more accessible and affordable, in part by shifting some costs onto healthier and higher-income Americans — instead of the ‘government takeover’ of healthcare that its critics ludicrously claimed it to be….

"And in a sign of how far we’ve come since Obamacare took full effect in 2014, premiums at the state insurance marketplaces stopped their sharp climb this year. In fact, the average premium for the typical comprehensive policy will drop slightly in 2019.”
LA Times

“In the 2018 election, Democrats across the country highlighted the GOP’s attempts to do away with Obamacare’s consumer protections, and it paid dividends as the party won 40 House seats. Health care ranked as the most important issue to Americans by a nearly two-to-one margin, and those who cited it preferred Democrats to Republicans by a striking 52-point margin.”

“The Texas ruling against Obamacare is a boon to Medicare-for-all… Nearly a decade of constant and cynical assault on what was supposed to be a compromise bill has pushed the Democratic Party left on health care policy… with Obamacare under constant threat, Republicans have refocused Democrats on building what they failed to build in 2010… some version of Medicare-for-all.”

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right points out Obamacare’s many flaws, but is skeptical that this lawsuit is the best alternative.

From the Right

The right points out Obamacare’s many flaws, but is skeptical that this lawsuit is the best alternative.

One doctor writes, “the average deductible on the most popular type of ObamaCare plans is almost $4,000 this year. This has blocked access to many basic and essential services that I want to order for my patients but that they can’t necessarily afford…

“Forcing everyone to pay for top-heavy policies loaded with so-called ‘essential’ benefits – but including high deductibles and narrow networks of health-care providers – doesn’t work. No one in the health-care sector is happy with the current ObamaCare plans – not doctors, patients, hospitals or insurers.”
Fox News

“Obamacare led to years of increasing costs and decreasing choices. Premiums doubled in the first four years of the program. Millions lost the coverage they used to have. Americans found it harder to pick the right plan and doctor, as health plan choices declined and provider networks narrowed…

"As the case continues to wind its way through the legal system, it is imperative that policymakers pursue real health care reform… legal fight aside, we need a better health care solution than Obamacare.”
Daily Signal

Some note that while “it’s easy to find flaws in Obamacare… the truth is, in the eight years since the 44th president signed the Affordable Care Act into law, Republicans have never come up with a common approach that truly repeals and satisfactorily replaces.”

Regarding the ruling, many note that “Obamacare has become fairly popular with the electorate. Health care seems to have been a winning issue for the Democrats in the recent elections. If the judiciary were to overturn Obamacare — meaning no more ban on denying coverage due to preexisting conditions, for example — Republicans might suffer the political consequences in 2020.”
Power Line Blog

“Millions of people now rely on ObamaCare’s subsidies and rules, which argues against judges repealing the law by fiat… In any case, the Supreme Court’s ‘severability’ doctrine calls for restraint in declaring an entire law illegal merely because one part of it is…

“[The Trump] administration has done good work revising regulations to reduce health-care costs and increase access, but the risk is that the lawsuit will cause Republicans in Congress to panic politically and strike a deal with Democrats that reinforces ObamaCare. This is what happens when conservatives fall into the liberal trap of thinking they can use the courts to achieve policy goals that need to be won in Congress.”
Wall Street Journal

“If Joe Biden can win his way through the primaries, he’s almost lab-engineered to beat Trump. He doesn’t cause Republican panic, he has the potential to connect with white working-class voters in a way that Hillary couldn’t in 2016, and he has a potential to connect better with black voters than Hillary did… if Biden emerges from [this] crucible, Trump will face a very different challenge than he faced in 2016.”
David French, National Review

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

Parrot uses Amazon Alexa to order items while owner is away.

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