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Author Topic: What's with the Mandate?
LetterRip
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JWatts,

quote:
My position is that most members of Congress are legitimately trying to act in what they feel is the best interest of their constituents.
Hmm I'd say that is a rather naive viewpoint that I suspect you don't actually hold.

Ie do you believe that when there is a conflict between the interests of their constituents and their personal power interests (donors, party support) they will act in the interests of their constituents?

We have an enormous body of legislation suggesting that this is not the case. Any conflict between the constituents and the party/donors always gets resolved in favor of the party/donors unless there is a massive **** storm by the constituents.

I'd say the most reasonable interpretation of legislation is that it will primarily serve the interests of major donors, with social policy related issues with little economic impact being largely based on desires of the candidates biggest voting block.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
It's not negotiating in bad faith, when your position is against the bill and that position never changes. Even someone who doesn't plan on voting for the bill and doesn't like the bill may try and negotiate for a bill they feel will be better than otherwise. That's not negotiating in bad faith, that's attempting to mitigate the damage.

Enzi, as a member of the Gang of 6 working on one of the prototypes for the bill explicitly said that he had no interest in compromising or doing anything but making sure that the negotiations took as long as possible and came up empty handed. That isn't compromising on something you're going to vote against, that's explicit obstructionism.

quote:
Let's face it, your entire argument relies on a monolithic view of Republicans in Congress and an interpretation of malice on their part.
Your suggesting that I'm begging the question? My argument is that that is how they are behaving; it uses specific examples of their behavior to support that conclusion. It does not _rely_ on that, it _demonstrates_ that.

quote:
My position is that most members of Congress are legitimately trying to act in what they feel is the best interest of their constituents. And that most Republican's felt that Obamacare was a bad bill and said so and voted so.
And yet there is little evidence to support that position- in fact the evidence suggests that they were already actively voting against things they actually supported both as political defense against the Tea Party and as part of an overall pattern of trying to undermine any potential successes the Democrats might have had, even if they had previously supported the same things when they lent support to a Republican administration.

quote:
Your belief is that Republicans are/were intrinsically bad.
Not bad. Partisan. They may have the best intentions in the world, but they are placing personal and party power over any other priority, without regard to the short term damage.
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Wayward Son
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quote:
Let's face it, your entire argument relies on a monolithic view of Republicans in Congress and an interpretation of malice on their part.

My position is that most members of Congress are legitimately trying to act in what they feel is the best interest of their constituents. And that most Republican's felt that Obamacare was a bad bill and said so and voted so.

But remember, it wasn't "most Republicans." It was every single Republican.

What I think most Democrats and liberals can't understand is how the bill was so toxic to every single Republican without influence from the Republican leadership and/or Tea Party. After all, the whole basis of the bill was the mandate, a Republican position from the 1990s, and enacted by a Republican governor. You would think that, staring with a Republican idea, there would have been enough agreement to create some sort of compromise.

But then that Republican idea became the major sticking point about the bill. [Confused]

It just doesn't seem conceivable, to me, that every Republican Senator and every Republican Representative all were so firmly convinced that the Republican idea of a mandate was so wrong and unconstitutional that not a single one of them could vote for it, unless it was because they wanted to oppose a Democratic bill or be punished by their own party if they did not.

The second scenario seems so much more likely to me than the first. I just can't see how the first scenario could work. [Frown]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
JWatts,

quote:
My position is that most members of Congress are legitimately trying to act in what they feel is the best interest of their constituents.
Hmm I'd say that is a rather naive viewpoint that I suspect you don't actually hold.

Ie do you believe that when there is a conflict between the interests of their constituents and their personal power interests (donors, party support) they will act in the interests of their constituents?

I think most of the time their isn't conflict between the two groups. Indeed, most of the time their donors are their constituents.

quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
We have an enormous body of legislation suggesting that this is not the case. Any conflict between the constituents and the party/donors always gets resolved in favor of the party/donors unless there is a massive **** storm by the constituents.

Then it shouldn't be hard for you to provide some statistically valid data.

quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
I'd say the most reasonable interpretation of legislation is that it will primarily serve the interests of major donors, with social policy related issues with little economic impact being largely based on desires of the candidates biggest voting block.

Except that major donors are quite often constituents. And politicians that don't keep their constituents happy, don't tend to stay in power.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Indeed, most of the time their donors are their constituents.
Here in Wisconsin, over 70% of the money donated to Republican lawmakers comes from outside the state.
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Indeed, most of the time their donors are their constituents.
Here in Wisconsin, over 70% of the money donated to Republican lawmakers comes from outside the state.
[LOL]
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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
But remember, it wasn't "most Republicans." It was every single Republican.

Yes every single Republican voted against that one bill for the final vote.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
What I think most Democrats and liberals can't understand is how the bill was so toxic to every single Republican without influence from the Republican leadership and/or Tea Party.

There is no great mystery.

The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.
The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.
The bill was convoluted and excessively large.
The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.

That combination is toxic.


quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
But then that Republican idea became the major sticking point about the bill. [Confused]

No, the bill failed to gain Republican support for multiple reasons detailed above.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
No, the bill failed to gain Republican support for multiple reasons detailed above.
Again: are you sincere in this belief? I find the idea that you believe that lawmakers actually vote according to the merits of a law to be rather difficult to parse, since you don't strike me as a dewy-eyed idealist.
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PSRT
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quote:
[LOL]
I take it this means that you understand your point is being refuted, and have no good response to it.
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AI Wessex
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"The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.
The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.
The bill was convoluted and excessively large.
The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional."

Those rationalizations apply to every bill that either part puts up, except for the last one which they didn't even think of until after it had been passed. The real reason was much more partisan and unseemly.

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Wayward Son
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quote:
There is no great mystery.

The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.
The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.
The bill was convoluted and excessively large.
The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.

That combination is toxic.

And yet it wasn't toxic to the majority, and only to about 34 Democrats.

How it is that one group, called Republicans, all find a particular bill "toxic," but the majority from the other party finds it worthy of implementing? Did not the majority see the toxic aspects of the bill, too?

How is it that the majority did not see the bill as being so toxic, but the minority party saw it with such unity, such coherence?

Is it perhaps because the Democrats are intrinsically bad? [Wink]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
quote:
There is no great mystery.

The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.
The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.
The bill was convoluted and excessively large.
The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.

That combination is toxic.

And yet it wasn't toxic to the majority, and only to about 34 Democrats.

Toxic? No not quite, but clearly unpalatable. There was intense pressure (and political payoffs) brought/offered to Democrats to vote for this bill. And yet there was still significant defection on the vote.

quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
How it is that one group, called Republicans, all find a particular bill "toxic," but the majority from the other party finds it worthy of implementing? Did not the majority see the toxic aspects of the bill, too?

Quite obviously, Democrats and Republicans have slightly different POV's.

1) The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.

Democrat's realized the bill would affect huge portions of the economy, but a larger government isn't a negative for them the way it is for your average Republican.


2)The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.

Again, most Democrats aren't going to balk and a few hundred billion in extra taxes. Whereas, Republicans are going to object.


3) The bill was convoluted and excessively large.

Even the Democrat's admitted this was the case. Brought home by Speaker Pelosi's infamous quote: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."
You realize she actually said that, don't you? It's not a parody from Saturday Night Live.


4) The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.

I think this was a case of following the Rahm Emanuel philosophy "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." a little to closely.


5) The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.

There is obviously a lot of debate on this one. If the SCOTUS let's the mandate stand then Democrats will have been proven correct, if the SCOTUS strikes it down then Republicans will have been vindicated.


quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
How is it that the majority did not see the bill as being so toxic, but the minority party saw it with such unity, such coherence?
Is it perhaps because the Democrats are intrinsically bad? [Wink]

Of course I don't believe that, I'm not an ideologue. Different Points of View will lead to different actions.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
There was intense pressure (and political payoffs) brought/offered to Democrats to vote for this bill. And yet there was still significant defection on the vote.
And it is your belief that the majority of the Dems who did not vote for this bill did so because it violated their principles and was "too liberal" for them, and not because they were in risky districts that were vulnerable to Tea Party propaganda?

-------

quote:
Again, most Democrats aren't going to balk and a few hundred billion in extra taxes. Whereas, Republicans are going to object.
Hey, do you still claim to be a non-partisan moderate? [Wink]

[ May 01, 2012, 06:39 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Even the Democrat's admitted this was the case. Brought home by Speaker Pelosi's infamous quote: "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it."
No, she said "But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy."

The statement has nothing to do with complexity and is specifically about debunking the lies and misinformation that was being used to attack the bill, which had grown so thick by that point that the only way to disprove them was for the bill to pass and then fail to produce the death panels and other threatened catastrophes that were being attributed to it.

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AI Wessex
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"You realize she actually said that, don't you? It's not a parody from Saturday Night Live."

You realize, as Pyrtolin points out, that she did not say that, despite how often it is claimed by Republicans and Conservative media that she did? The other day Steve Doocy added phony context to an Obama quote to make what he said seem derogatory. What your version of the quote does removes context in order to do the same thing. The other reason she said it was because the bill was under attack with tons of amendments intended to undermine it, so that the only way you could reasonably assess it was after that process had stopped.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
1) The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.

Democrat's realized the bill would affect huge portions of the economy, but a larger government isn't a negative for them the way it is for your average Republican.

Only, even on the most nominal levels, if you don't count the military and social restrictions as "government". In practice, Republican politicians only actually seem to push for smaller government when a Democrat is in charge to bear the brunt of the fallout from the economic damage that such cuts cause.


quote:
2)The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.

Again, most Democrats aren't going to balk and a few hundred billion in extra taxes. Whereas, Republicans are going to object.

And here you get to the core of the Heritage Foundation's claim that the ACA was substantially different; Republicans were all gung-ho about an unfunded mandate, but as soon as measures were added to fund the mandate and actually enable poorer people to afford to comply with it, it became anathema.

quote:
4) The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.

I think this was a case of following the Rahm Emanuel philosophy "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." a little to closely.

No, that would have been pressing for financial reform right away, which they would have been able to do fairly quickly, if the health care debate wasn't intentionally drug out. (Enzi: "If I hadn't been involved in this process as long as I have and to the depth as I have, you would already have national health care.") But Ted Kennedy was dying, and so they bumped it up on their agenda to try to get it done in time for him to be able to see some degree of accomplishment in something that he'd devoted so much of his life to achieving.

That said, this point is completely nonsensical as it points to a reason to get reforms out the door that help people in dire straits get what they need, and adequate health care is one of the things right at the top of the list things that are needed to get through such a mess.

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velcro
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When someone makes an emphatic point, is soundly rebutted, and then leaves the thread without reply, I take that as admitting they were wrong.
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Greg Davidson
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Sometime people are busy in their life, and cannot return for a week or more.

That being said, it is one of the weaknesses of this mode of communications that one is not required to address arguments. Instead (and I am not sure that is the case here - it is possible that J Watts really is busy), it is possible for someone who has no response to the arguments levied against him or her to demonstrate a lack of intellectual integrity (and indeed cowardice) and never concede the argument.

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AI Wessex
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JWatts gives as good as he gets, but nobody is obligated to respond to a point they don't want to. Although having the last word can leave the impression Velcro claims, I think he (like most of us) want the conversation to continue rather than trail off while it feels to him that it is still developing.
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JWatts
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Reasons why Republican's didn't vote for Obamacare:

The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.
The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.
The bill was convoluted and excessively large.
The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
JWatts: 1) The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.

Democrat's realized the bill would affect huge portions of the economy, but a larger government isn't a negative for them the way it is for your average Republican.

Only, even on the most nominal levels, if you don't count the military and social restrictions as "government".
Yes, but what of it? The point stands that Republican's felt that: The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.

Stating that Democrat's didn't feel that way doesn't change the point. And stating that Republican's support high military spending doesn't change the point, either. None of what you said actually affects the point.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
JWatts: 2)The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.

Again, most Democrats aren't going to balk and a few hundred billion in extra taxes. Whereas, Republicans are going to object.

...; Republicans were all gung-ho ..., enable poorer people to afford to comply with it, it became anathema.
Again, none of that changes the point. Republican's have consistently argued that the bill is way too expensive. You may think otherwise, but that again doesn't change the point at all. You may think that Republican's hate poor people and puppies, again, that doesn't address the actual point.

quote:
JWatts:
3) The bill was convoluted and excessively large.

quote:

"But we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy."

And over a year later and what is the result of getting the bill away from the fog of controversy so people (Congressmen are people too, after all) could find out what is in it?

Popular support has dropped to the mid 40's and if SCOTUS strikes the mandate down in June, it's reasonable to assume support would be below 40. The bill came out of the fog of controversy and it hasn't gotten any prettier.


quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
JWatts: 4) The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.

I think this was a case of following the Rahm Emanuel philosophy "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." a little to closely.

No, that would have been pressing for financial reform right away, ...
Another completely irrelevant point.

quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
But Ted Kennedy was dying, and so they bumped it up on their agenda to try to get it done in time for him to be able to see some degree of accomplishment in something that he'd devoted so much of his life to achieving.

Umm.. doesn't this actually support my point that the bill was rushed and the timing was poor. Democrat's clearly pushed it through in a hurry and attempting to rush it out the door before Senator Kennedy dies is not a good enough reason to rush a Trillion dollar health care reform.


quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
That said, this point is completely nonsensical as it points to a reason to get reforms out the door that help people in dire straits get what they need, and adequate health care is one of the things right at the top of the list things that are needed to get through such a mess.

This might have been a valid point, except for the rather inconvenient fact that most of the really significant Obamacare's provisions that will substantially change the health care system and help people in dire straits get what they need haven't kicked in yet, almost 2 years later.

quote:
JWatts:
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.

We'll know more in June.
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TomDavidson
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Hey, look! He left the thread to go find a time machine, in order to return to a world before the rebuttal! [Smile]
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by JWatts:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
JWatts: 1) The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.

Democrat's realized the bill would affect huge portions of the economy, but a larger government isn't a negative for them the way it is for your average Republican.

Only, even on the most nominal levels, if you don't count the military and social restrictions as "government".
Yes, but what of it? The point stands that Republican's felt that: The bill was too expansive, affecting a huge portion of the economy.

Stating that Democrat's didn't feel that way doesn't change the point. And stating that Republican's support high military spending doesn't change the point, either. None of what you said actually affects the point.


I didn't say that the Democrats didn't feel that way- I pointed out how the Republicans suddenly forget that they're supposed to be against big government in those areas; that they use "big government" as at disingenuous code for "things we don't like, but feel we need to create a stigma about to make room to attack"

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
JWatts: 2)The bill is too expensive, involving hundreds of billions in new taxes, etc.

Again, most Democrats aren't going to balk and a few hundred billion in extra taxes. Whereas, Republicans are going to object.

...; Republicans were all gung-ho ..., enable poorer people to afford to comply with it, it became anathema.
Again, none of that changes the point. Republican's have consistently argued that the bill is way too expensive. You may think otherwise, but that again doesn't change the point at all. You may think that Republican's hate poor people and puppies, again, that doesn't address the actual point.

They have not consistently argued against the program. It _was_ their baby and what they argued _for_ right up to the point that the Democrats conceded to them and tried to implement it. They only started backpedaling and saying things like "too expensive" once their bluff was called.

quote:
And over a year later and what is the result of getting the bill away from the fog of controversy so people (Congressmen are people too, after all) could find out what is in it?

Popular support has dropped to the mid 40's and if SCOTUS strikes the mandate down in June, it's reasonable to assume support would be below 40. The bill came out of the fog of controversy and it hasn't gotten any prettier.

Just the opposite- when you poll the rest of the bill away from the mandate, it's very popular. Over a year later and not one dire prediction of death panels or doctors quitting in droves or any other doom saying has come to pass. While on the other hand, a very large number of people, even prominent Republicans, are already fully taking advantage of the provisions that are already in place.

It's only the mandate that's unpopular, but rather than simply proposing revisions to that one aspect to make it more palatable Republicans continue to try to use it to suppress the popularity of the rest of the measures and toss or cut completely unrelated portions of the bill.


quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
JWatts: 4) The economy was in bad shape and the timing of the bill was poorly chosen.

I think this was a case of following the Rahm Emanuel philosophy "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste." a little to closely.

No, that would have been pressing for financial reform right away, ...
Another completely irrelevant point.
The crisis was a financial crisis. Not letting it go to waste would have involved taking advantage of the anger at the bankers who caused it while it was still fresh, rather than waiting a year and finally coming up with the comparatively wimpy Dodd-Frank provisions instead. (And then turning around this year and pledging build a solid platform for even more fraud and cons, completely undermining the fundamental integrity which has been one of the key selling points of US non-financial investment markets.)

quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
But Ted Kennedy was dying, and so they bumped it up on their agenda to try to get it done in time for him to be able to see some degree of accomplishment in something that he'd devoted so much of his life to achieving.

Umm.. doesn't this actually support my point that the bill was rushed and the timing was poor. Democrat's clearly pushed it through in a hurry and attempting to rush it out the door before Senator Kennedy dies is not a good enough reason to rush a Trillion dollar health care reform.

I'll fully agree that the bill was rushed in the local sense (being 50+ years late isn't exactly rushed; Medicare should have made all of this a non-issue from the start) But that's only getting started on the bill. The actual process was excruciatingly long compared to the bill that came out, and was intentionally dragged out an put through procedural loopholes just for the sake of making it take longer than necessary, without any honest attempts to improve it along the way. Once it was actually on the table, it was anything but rushed. Under normal conditions it should have easily been able to be done and out of the way by the end of that summer, not struggling to make it in under the wire at Christmas. Senator Enzi took personal credit for intentionally bogging down the process for the explicit sake of making it take longer with no intent to actually contribute anything to it.


quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
That said, this point is completely nonsensical as it points to a reason to get reforms out the door that help people in dire straits get what they need, and adequate health care is one of the things right at the top of the list things that are needed to get through such a mess.

This might have been a valid point, except for the rather inconvenient fact that most of the really significant Obamacare's provisions that will substantially change the health care system and help people in dire straits get what they need haven't kicked in yet, almost 2 years later.

Which is, in part, to give the states time to comply, but mostly a stupid concession to try to get the nominal expenditures for the first 10 years to match a throwaway number that Obama put into his speech about it. We'd have been better off all around if they'd have used a better timeline, and also gone ahead and allowed the opt-out provision to start right away, rather than delaying it several years to get a better CBO score. (That last one is another measure that should be on the table right now as a way to unwind the mandate. Pass Wyden-Brown and let states opt out with their own programs right from the start. Vermont is already set to so so as soon as they're allowed, there's no good reason that any other state that doesn't want the mandate couldn't get their own program in place.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
JWatts:
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.


Even if the Court bucks precedent and rules against it, that doesn't change the fact that the Republicans were perfectly behind it as constitutional for nearly 20 years, right up to the point when a Democrat was about to implement it, at which point they suddenly had always been against it.

Even the Heritage foundation has said that the "substantial difference" from their plan wasn't the mandate itself, but the fact that the bill subsidizes it.

[ May 08, 2012, 07:34 AM: Message edited by: Pyrtolin ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
JWatts:
The mandate is quite probably unconstitutional.

Even if the Court bucks precedent and rules against it, that doesn't change the fact that the Republicans were perfectly behind it as constitutional for nearly 20 years, right up to the point when a Democrat was about to implement it, at which point they suddenly had always been against it.

Could you stop repeating this clap trap? Nothing like the Obamacare mandate was ever passed into Law. Republican's never voted for it. The idea was talked about. It was never passed into law.

But either way, SCOTUS will decide the issue once and for all in June. And we will all live with the results.

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TCB
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Well, the justices already voted shortly after they heard the case, and it's very likely the Republicans won.

Between the justices, their clerks, and their spouses, there are well over 50 people who directly know the outcome. That's way too many people to keep a secret. It would be pretty easy for Kagan to give an Obama staffer a thumbs down at a cocktail party, Scalia to drop a hint to Dick Cheney on a fishing trip, or Kennedy's intern to brag to an attractive junior researcher at Cato after a couple beers.

Assuming then that the results are more or less an open secret among Washington elite, look at how people in the know are talking. Obama's pre-emptively rebuking the court, George Stephanopolous sometimes accidentally refers to the individual mandate in the past tense, and Republicans are suddenly talking about how trustworthy the courts are. Meanwhile, columnists are writing about whether the court striking down the mandate would be good or bad for Obama, and Democratic columnists and bloggers are already writing about how the Roberts court is the most partisan in history.

Washington's whole tenor implies the court will strike down the mandate, if not the whole law. The other (remote) possibilities are that someone is playing a sophisticated misinformation game or one of the justices will change his mind.

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threads
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Meh, Washington's whole tenor is consistent with what was heard during the Supreme Court's oral arguments; I think people would be going crazy if it got leaked that the mandate was struck down.
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AI Wessex
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"Could you stop repeating this clap trap? Nothing like the Obamacare mandate was ever passed into Law. Republican's never voted for it. The idea was talked about. It was never passed into law."

More than talked about. They proposed universal health care legislation in 1993 with 23 Republican co-sponsors.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
"Could you stop repeating this clap trap? Nothing like the Obamacare mandate was ever passed into Law. Republican's never voted for it. The idea was talked about. It was never passed into law."

More than talked about. They proposed universal health care legislation in 1993 with 23 Republican co-sponsors.

Yes you are correct. The legislation was proposed which is certainly more than just talking about the idea. However it was never put up for a vote. It certainly never became law. Republican's are allowed to learn from their mistakes.

And in any case, the 1993 Republican proposal would probably have been un-Constitutional. Bad law is bad law no matter which group wrote it.

[ May 09, 2012, 11:28 AM: Message edited by: JWatts ]

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AI Wessex
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"Republican's are allowed to learn from their mistakes."

Of course, but I'm not sure what they (or we) were supposed to learn from that episode. The bill included an individual mandate and was put forward as a counter-proposal to Clinton's, which had an employer mandate. Although Chafee and others were sincere (16-23 co-sponsors depending where you look), indicating that Republicans were not adamantly opposed to the idea back then, the party leadership had no intention of passing anything. Now you can't find a single Republican who admits to liking the idea.

As to the that or the current mandate's Constitutionality, we'll find out what the SC decides about that, which is not exactly the same thing as finding out about its Constitutionality. In saying that, I do expect them to strike it down, but the argument would go on whichever way they decide.

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