by Scott Creighton
UPDATE: Nearly half of the expanded coverage of the Obamacare insurance industry bailout plan was due to the increased Medicaid coverage written into the bill. Basically what was supposed to happen was states would have to expand Medicaid coverage to people up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level and if they didn’t the Federal government would strip the state of ALL of it’s Medicaid money.
Though the increase has been upheld, the court ruled that the Federal government can’t force states to accept the new updated cut-off level (138% of Poverty Level) nor the increased funding to cover them.
Basically the court has ruled that the individual states can decide for themselves if they wish to help more people with Medicaid or, lets say, if they happen to be lobbied by industry insiders, they might just reject this additional money and thus the poor people are forced to buy cut rate nearly worthless insurance policies which amount to nothing more than one more useless bill per month.
There was some early confusion as to the ruling, but in the end, the word is, the Roberts court upheld the individual mandate, forcing citizens to purchase insurance from for-profit companies on the basis that it was “a tax”. I shit you not. We now can be mandated to pay “taxes” directly to privately owned corporations.
“The trouble started early for CNN. Congressional correspondent Kate Boulduan read out part of the Court’s ruling, which said that the individual mandate could not be upheld using the Commerce Clause. Disastrously, though, it failed to pick up the other part of the ruling, which said that it could be upheld as a tax.”
“Five justices concluded that the mandate, which requires virtually all Americans to obtain minimum health insurance coverage or pay a penalty, falls within Congress’ power under the Constitution to “lay and collect taxes.”Huffington Post
“That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.” Judge Roberts
“The Court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching,” wrote the four other conservatives.
Holy shit. The people who aren’t buying insurance these days aren’t the wealthy 1%ers, they are the working people who can barely afford to get by as it is. Now they are going to be TAXED by congress (and Obama) and forced to pay INSURANCE companies whose profit margins are off the fucking chart right now. These people may not need insurance, they may not want it, but most of them damn sure can’t afford it. And Roberts cutely puts in their that this is within congress’ power to force us to buy something from private for profit companies? Damn right this isn’t a power granted to congress through the commerce clause. Of course congress can’t FORCE citizens to buy something from companies. But apparently they CAN simply call companies an extension of government.
So pay your TAX t Wellpoint. Pay it to Blue Cross. Soon enough now that there is a precedent, you had better save up some cash to pay your TAX to JP Morgan Chase and Exxon and TransCanada as well.
Talk about fascism. Now you’re paying your taxes straight to AIG. Holy shit. I figured it would be upheld and I figured it would be bad… but not like this. Obamacare is ok cus it’s a tax. Unbelievable.
UPDATE 2: Some progressives comment on the bill at Firedoglake:
I think I prefer the “tax” (the fine) to being compelled by the government to give my money to a private corporation looking to fleece me.
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