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Posted at 6:44 PM ET, 01/31/2011

Does health-care reform stop cold?

By Ezra Klein

That's the big question. On page 75, Judge Vinson says that he thinks his decision is sufficient to stop implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the 26 states named in this suit. If he's right, it's not just implementation that stops. It's current benefits.

That means the small businesses that are getting tax credits to buy their employees health-care insurance will stop getting those tax credits. It means young adults who went back on their parent's health-care plan after the law allowed kids up to age 26 to qualify as dependents might be kicked back off. It means the rebate checks being sent out to seniors in the Medicare donut hole will stop. It means insurance plans will no longer have to cover preventive care or be barred from rescinding coverage.

It means, in other words, disruptions in the market. In all likelihood, that'll either convince Judge Vinson or the Appeals Court above him to issue a stay on the decision so the law can go forward until some final resolution is reached. But perhaps not. My sense is the Obama administration did not expect a judge to try to strike down the whole of the law or impede its implementation. So they're scrambling right now.

By Ezra Klein  | January 31, 2011; 6:44 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Comments

One word: SABOTAGE

Posted by: lauren2010 | January 31, 2011 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Oh, the Administration is certainly free to push the PPACA. Yeah, that's the way to go... put any attitude of compromise aside and bully forward. It's worked so well so far, hasn't it!

Posted by: rmgregory | January 31, 2011 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I feel the judge made the right decision on the individual mandate, but on the law as a whole, this judge went way too far. The provision allowing young adults to stay on a parent's policy until age 26 is extremely important, and one that affects people in my own family. It may even force this person to forgo graduate school, although it is hard to say at this point. Very disappointing.

Posted by: rescuetruth | January 31, 2011 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Shorter rescuetruth: I approve of healthcare reform insofar as it affects my immediate family; I oppose the cost-control and funding mechanisms that permit the benefits I approve of. My position is admirably self-consistent.

Posted by: tompaine1792 | January 31, 2011 7:27 PM | Report abuse

Shorter rescuetruth: I approve of healthcare reform insofar as it affects my immediate family; I oppose the cost-control and funding mechanisms that permit the benefits I approve of. My position is admirably self-consistent.

Posted by: tompaine1792 | January 31, 2011 7:28 PM | Report abuse

The gvmt will proceed with implementation until the USSC makes a final ruling.

And then Vinson should be impeached.

Posted by: lauren2010 | January 31, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

This might actually be ideal: Let Obama set a primetime press-conference tomorrow, and announce that as a result of this lawsuit, and the desires of the GOP and states, that he has no choice but to immediately order all 26-year-olds to be removed from parent policies, rescind all donut hole checks, and instruct insurance companies to once again allow banning coverage based upon pre-existing conditions. This will reveal this lawsuit for what it is: a return to the status quo. Let's see how the American public reacts to this inherent truth. The GOP has based so much of their opposition upon flat-out mistruths, that once America sees exactly what is at stake here, opinions will change. I'd predict the GOP would suddenly start to backpedal from this lawsuit.

Posted by: workmonkey | January 31, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

Who is paying for those tax credits Ezra?

Posted by: hz9604 | January 31, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

I continue to be shocked that half the country can't seem to do simple math. If your answer to this talk of dismantling the bill is, "I like all the parts of the bill that benefit me - keep those. But all the parts that PAY FOR those benefits. Hell no, strike those down." We can't really be this stupid...

Posted by: ash_doughty | January 31, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

From Power Line, a very good critique of Klein's so-called analysis:

http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2011/01/028256.php

Excerpts:

"I've often said that I think the Washington Post is the most respectable voice of the Democratic Party, but that paper's instant analysis of Judge Vinson's decision, by Ezra Klein, is pathetic. Klein has no legal training, and it shows. His reaction to the decision is shrill, partisan, and unencumbered by any knowledge of the law."

"Of course, Judge Vinson did not "concede[] that his position is activist in the extreme..." Klein just made that up. Klein's discussion of the severability issue is frankly ignorant, and while he quotes briefly from Judge Vinson's opinion, he shows no sign of actually having read it in its entirety."

"Klein fails to acknowledge that the Democrats omitted a severability clause from the health care reform statute. (A severability clause says that if one or more provisions should be found invalid, the remainder nevertheless is intended to stand. Such clauses are common in legislation.) Judge Vinson pointed out the importance of the absence of such a provision in assessing Congressional intent."

"The Post headlines Klein's piece "GOP judge rules against Affordable Care Act." This headline, combined with Klein's ill-informed "analysis" of the opinion, is about the lowest possible form of commentary on a judicial decision. The Post owes its readers better than this."

Read the whole thing. Klein just gets SPANKED.

Let's see how long this comment stays up.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 31, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

Re: WashingtonDame. People still call other people "shrill" without irony? I find that to be the most offensive thing about this whole affair. Well, that and the Right's uniform, largely implicit, argument that people need to hurry up and die, lest we have teh soshlisisms. I swear, if we'd just go all the way and repeal Medicare and Social Security, the Right's base would die off in 10 years, and then we finally could institute said soshlismss.

Posted by: tompaine1792 | January 31, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

--*Klein just gets SPANKED.*--

Yes, he does.

It's tough being a government mouthpiece, these days, what with the Internet, and all. Won't phase him a bit, though. There's more propaganda to be written tomorrow, all for the good of the collective!!

Posted by: msoja | January 31, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

And so now the right wing hacks at Powerline are supposed to experts on the health care system, as well as the Constitution? I'll take Ezra's reasones analysis instead, thank you.

Posted by: mkarns | January 31, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

**reasoned analysis.

And one judge who was never elected by anyone thinks he has singlehanded power to repeal all of health care reform, something that another judge (Henry Hudson) who ruled against part of the law didn't say? What was that whining from the right about "judicial activism" again?

Posted by: mkarns | January 31, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

"The gvmt will proceed with implementation until the USSC makes a final ruling.

And then Vinson should be impeached."


You know liberals don't believe in separation of powers when they say this.

Posted by: krazen1211 | January 31, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

So, if you can respond to Power Line's critique, you stoop to ad hominen attacks. How very shrill of you. LOL. In fact, the Power Line bloggers are all top drawer lawyers, which Klein definitely is not. The article I quoted was written by John Hinderaker. His bio:

"John H. Hinderaker is a lawyer with a nationwide litigation practice. For nearly twenty years Hinderaker has written with his former law partner Scott Johnson on public policy issues including income inequality, income taxes, campaign finance reform, affirmative action, welfare reform, and race in the criminal justice system. Both Hinderaker and Johnson are fellows of the Claremont Institute. Their articles have appeared in National Review, The American Enterprise, American Experiment Quarterly, and newspapers from Florida to California. The Claremont Institute has archived many of their articles here.

Mr. Hinderaker lives with his family in Apple Valley, Minnesota. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School. He is listed in The Best Lawyers In America and was recognized as Minnesota's Super Lawyer of the Year for 2005."

Posted by: WashingtonDame | January 31, 2011 8:03 PM | Report abuse

I completely agree with Ezra's understanding of the law. Thanks for reading it Ezra. Lots of other people commenting have clearly not read it. There appears to be no separate injunction but the Judge points out that it is unnecessary because he first gives to Congress the assumption that the ruling itself is to be adhered to and that this is inherent in his ruling!

Posted by: middleageinva | January 31, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

LOL, Ezra, its unconstitutional.
Just like the word "illegal" seems to be out of reach to you.
Sip your beverage and spin away, it will make no difference how many coffee buddies agree with you at wp.
So all the bribes, political losses and Obama waivers to supporters is for naught.
What achievements!
I mean what achievements?????

Posted by: Saladin3 | January 31, 2011 8:28 PM | Report abuse

--*I'll take Ezra's reasones analysis instead, thank you.*--

You're not even going to read the Powerline post, are you? They've got Klein pegged.

--*thinks he has singlehanded power to repeal all of health care reform*--

If the law is unconstitutional, it's a judge's DUTY to declare it so, and judges have that power. It's called a check on the power of the other two branches of government. You could look it up. As to the "all" that has you so concerned, take it up with Pelosi and Reid. It's the way they threw the bill together.

Posted by: msoja | January 31, 2011 8:30 PM | Report abuse

No contingency plans for a ruling of this nature? This just shows how green our national executive leadership is. They seem to be constantly surprised by the realities which surround them.

Posted by: Beagle1 | January 31, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

"You're not even going to read the Powerline post, are you? They've got Klein pegged."

I could not care less about what anyone at Powerline says. And I don't suspect that you care about the criticism of Judge Vinson's decision expressed by a number of top lawyers at Talking Points Memo, but to each his own.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/heavy-hitters-rip-florida-federal-judge-opinion-striking-health-care-law.php#

Posted by: mkarns | January 31, 2011 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I enjoy Ezra, but he is not even close to educated enough on the nuances of consitutional law to even offer cogent opinions on the matter. The discussion of a severability clause is technical and really important, because the absence of one only indicates the level of talent drafting the law.

Posted by: Gooddogs | January 31, 2011 8:48 PM | Report abuse

"If he's right, it's not just implementation that stops. It's current benefits."

Good!

Posted by: cprferry | January 31, 2011 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, "Power"line is the final word on legal and constitutional questions. Man, that kool-aid sure must be tasty!

Posted by: AZProgressive | January 31, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

--*I don't suspect that you care about the criticism of Judge Vinson's decision expressed by a number of top lawyers at Talking Points Memo*--

Ho hum. Former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger sez the ruling "has such radical implications", but, apparently, nothing else worth quoting.

TPM sez: "[C]ourts tend to defer to Congress and sever only the provisions of law that they find unconstitutional -- even if Congress didn't include a "severability clause" in the legislation."

Why does Congress ever insert severability clauses, then, if courts don't need 'em? And what does that "tend to" mean, except that courts do rule entire laws invalid rather than chop out the offending bits.

--*"The lack of deference to Congress here is just breathtaking," said Washington and Lee University professor Timothy Jost.*--

But an early version of the DeathCare reform had the severability language in it. Did Congress not *mean* to remove it? Does their removing it not imply that they wanted the legislation to be unseverable? Have not numerous politicians and their mouthpieces said that the mandate is essential to the working of the whole monster?

--*Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress, who helped craft the law, noted that judges, "try to minimize the impact of their rulings, because of concerns over judicial activism and deference to other branches of government."*--

So, what? That's not an argument. It's commentary.

--*"I don't know that I've ever seen a severability analysis quite like that," said a senior administration official.*--

The words of a political flunky, also not an argument.

--*As the result of an apparent oversight, the final version of the health care reform bill did not include a severability clause.*--

Ah, one nibble of truth. The funny thing about laws is that the way they are written is material. Maybe Pelosi and Reid should have read the thing before they rammed it through.

--*Most experts expect [blah blah]*--

Sounds like wishful thinking to me, and not even as authoritative as "six out of eight dentists recommend brushing after every meal."

That's your crummy Talking Points Memo "criticism" for you. I find it rather thin.

Posted by: msoja | January 31, 2011 9:17 PM | Report abuse

"The [Socialist Welfare State] needs neither [judges] or [courts]; the course of justice can not be delayed."

Posted by: cprferry | January 31, 2011 9:18 PM | Report abuse

From the Talking Points Memo link:

--*Neera Tanden of the Center for American Progress, who helped craft the law, noted [blah blah]*--

Just noticed that completely unbiased source.

Isn't having commie kooks like Tanden write truly massive laws a magnitude more disquieting than canoodling with Exxon in drafting a little energy legislation?

Posted by: msoja | January 31, 2011 9:34 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,

Don't underestimate how far these radical right judges will go.

I wouldn't put striking down Medicare, yes Medicare, by at least four of the Republican Supreme Court Justices, if not five.

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | January 31, 2011 9:40 PM | Report abuse

After the decisions we've seen from the Republican judges, Bush V. Gore, corporations are people, it's hard to rule anything out.

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | January 31, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

It's certainly a very strong argument for ending lifetime appointments, which we should have never had in the first place.

Posted by: RichardHSerlin | January 31, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

As a moderate/centrist, I have to agree that Obama spent way too much time and all of his political currency trying to impose this mandate. The first 2 years of his presidency focused on little else, at the expense of the economy and other worthy efforts. The only reason so much was done in this area seems to have been to secure a place in history for Obama, much like FDR and LBJ in their day. Now it seems this half-baked notion of healthcare for the masses will die before it ever takes effect, with little justification for all the lost time and monies spent, not to mention the toll it has taken in other more pressing issues the nation currently faces, including employment, alternative energy and the unfortunate wars America is embroiled in. What a waste, what a shame. This really could have worked with careful planning and realistic compromises.

Posted by: kenalexruss | January 31, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

1. "That means the small businesses that are getting tax credits to buy their employees health-care insurance will stop getting those tax credits."
Good. Tax credits only redirect resources from what is in the business/persons' best interests and drives economic growth by maximizing the impact of resources and toward the selfish, less productive/efficient/valuable policies that some lobbyist bought off politicians to implement. This tax credit, specifically, rewards a rigidly-defined set of businesses to claim it helps small businesses. Unconsidered are the regulatory impact on these businesses to apply, monitor, reapply, certify and maintain their fulfillment of the rigid qualifications.

2. "It means young adults who went back on their parent's health-care plan after the law allowed kids up to age 26 to qualify as dependents might be kicked back off."
Good. Unfortunately it's too late. Which only apply to those kids that turned 18 or graduated from college THIS YEAR and were already on their parents' plans. So the impact for actual individuals is rather insignificant. The impact on the industry has been disastrous. Companies that once served this market have already shut down. Firms were shut down, people were laid off, insurance options were limited all due to the law.

3. "It means the rebate checks being sent out to seniors in the Medicare donut hole will stop."
Good. This was in part a bailout to Big Pharma and a huge reversal on the claim for cost control. Part D was a constituency handout and aims to reduce part of the responsibility of seniors have in a new entitlement is to merely another constituency handout. It serves little purpose to reform health care or address costs but merely to win senior votes.

3. "It means insurance plans will no longer have to cover preventive care or be barred from rescinding coverage."
Good. Mandated comprehensive health care coverage limits health insurance options and greatly increases wasteful costs upon the system as healthy individuals seek procedures that they otherwise would and physically could go without.

Posted by: cprferry | January 31, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ezra, you have that Constitution figured out yet?

Posted by: Dutchml | January 31, 2011 9:57 PM | Report abuse

As Yggles points out, does that mean that in these 26 states the government must resume subsidizing for-profit student loan companies? Go small-government tea-partiers!

Posted by: _SP_ | January 31, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

"The discussion of a severability clause is technical and really important, because the absence of one only indicates the level of talent drafting the law.

Posted by: Gooddogs"

Earlier proposed bills included a severability clause. It's been theorized that it was purposely removed by the Democrats to discourage judges from ruling the law, including all its "good" parts, unconstitutional

Posted by: cprferry | January 31, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

"After the decisions we've seen from the Republican judges, Bush V. Gore, corporations are people, it's hard to rule anything out.

Posted by: RichardHSerlin"

Are you suggesting that corporations AND unions AND advocacy groups aren't groups of people that retain the rights of people?

Posted by: cprferry | January 31, 2011 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Thanks: cprferry. That's also pretty foolish, imo, since it bets the bank on the commerce clause power. One argument that I haven't seen is that is enfringes on the 10th Amendment, vis a vis removing decisions from the states insurance commisioners.

Posted by: Gooddogs | January 31, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Klein, a non lawyer, issues the DNC's talking points and a fatally flawed analysis. Did he even read the ruling? Cripes will the WaPo never learn.

Posted by: gun313 | January 31, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Ezra: Don't worry. Others will analyze it for you, as to what it 'means'. The Constitution is too complicated for you and it's over 100 years old. You might only understand issues and proclamations as old as you've been able to read.
It means that if someone doesn't want to buy a damn 'policy' to cover every conceivable malady and non-malady, won't have to. And if someone is self-insured and wants to pay cash when needed, they'll be able to. And if someone wants to live in a trailor or tent with no health insurance premiums, they'll be able to. You might eventually understand what the founding fathers meant by a limited federal govt with competitive states vying for the best systems to entice citizens to live freely in their states. You might. Or you may never.
If our federal govt had been limited since 1933 and not meddled in the economy to the extent it has, our country would be in infinitely better shape now. Period.

Posted by: sbourg55 | January 31, 2011 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Watch out Klein....that Constitution thingy is mighty hard to understand.

Posted by: zoomie95 | January 31, 2011 10:18 PM | Report abuse

The argument that "because the federal government has never done a particular thing before (such as require a person to participate in a particular form of commerce, even though that's not really the case here), it must be unconstitutional to do so" is not a rational or logical argument, nor is it based on law, constitutional or otherwise. It's a purely political one, an expression of the author's preference for limited government. Whether something's been done before is logically irrelevant. Which is why Judge Vinson's argument, and that of many opposers of ACA, is nearly certain to be overturned.

The only argument that matters is whether the commerce clause in the Constitution holds in this case. Which turns on whether a person can truly choose to not participate in health care commerce. But in order to make the argument, conservatives must argue that a person CAN choose not to participate at all, a choice which is already illegal under federal law (federal law says if you are delivered to a hospital unconscious after a car accident, it must treat you regardless of your ability to pay or insurance status) and plainly ridiculous, at least if we hope to have a semblance of western civilization in this country.

The arguments put forward in this manner are almost adolescent in their petulance. It ain't going to work, judge-shopping notwithstanding.

Posted by: WizintheRockies | January 31, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

It couldn't be better for the country. Obamacare will lead to a single-payer or else it will be overturned and the country will be forced to re-engineer a single payer. Why? Because the current payers are already covering the uninsured and paying (on world average) 40% too much. In both higher premia, and local taxes! While achieving health outcomes no better than the average of a handful of the better nations! The bad results spread further: The only problem with the long-term U.S. federal budget is medical costs -- everything else is manageable, completely manageable. In fact you can eliminate everything manageable, and healthcare cost growth until Obamacare would STILL sink the U.S. But we are talking 30-40 years out. Right now the best way is to look for cost-savings everywhere. Getting everyone to pay into the system is a prerequisite, but there are a number of ways to put that into words, and some of them are already in settled law. So redoing it should be easy, if ever the forces of reform retake the House. Meanwhile it may be seen, and rather shortly, that these anti-reform judges are doing the Constitution a spiritual injustice, insofar as they conclude in essence that the Constitution responds not to the spirit of the law, but to the wording of it -- a curious and finally debilitating political position.

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | January 31, 2011 11:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ezra,

Read any 100 year-old books lately?

Posted by: pburich | January 31, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Two items:

#1-This is NOT the will of the country as some of you ignorant blowhards claim it to be. An astounding majority of 19% of the country want this law repealed without replacement (my bad, that would be a shrinking minority).

#2What about the other 24 states that are not a part of this lawsuit nor have a desire to be?

Posted by: croftonpost | January 31, 2011 11:22 PM | Report abuse

What a waste, what a shame. This really could have worked with careful planning and realistic compromises.

Posted by: kenalexruss | January 31, 2011 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Compromises? It takes two sides to compromise. The only idea the Republicans have embraced for the past two decades is tort reform which economists who specialize in the health care problems of today didn't even rate in the top ten ways to reduce health care costs. There must be a legitimate desire to do something before compromise is possible which has not existed.

Posted by: croftonpost | January 31, 2011 11:35 PM | Report abuse

2012 is going to be a great year! The Supreme Court will strike down Obamacare. Republicans will take back the Senate and Presidency. And Elena Kagan will face impeachment charges for failing to recuse herself of the case!

Posted by: cprferry | February 1, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

--*[T]hese anti-reform judges are doing the Constitution a spiritual injustice, insofar as they conclude in essence that the Constitution responds not to the spirit of the law, but to the wording of it -- a curious and finally debilitating political position.*--

Debilitating to people who want even more leeway to use the force of the state to solve each and every problem that pops into their little heads, you mean.

Posted by: msoja | February 1, 2011 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Obama claims we can solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.

Obama proposes we end starvation and famine by mandating everybody to buy food.

Posted by: panola60 | February 1, 2011 4:05 AM | Report abuse

Not having insurance would just be completely crazy. I am an accountant and in my local area Wise Health Insurance is the best health insurance finder I ever had. Yes my insurance does cover dental and eye insurance which is a big help to my life.

Posted by: jamesolney | February 1, 2011 4:11 AM | Report abuse

Health care reform needs to start over. The idea that our federal legislative and executive branches can regulate non-activity is the most obscene intrusion into personal freedom that has ever been attempted. The senate needs to have an honest vote and the President needs to set aside his politics and repeal the bad law before the Supreme Court guts it. Such an action would show good faith. Then the legislative branch should work TOGETHER to plan reforms that are affordable and caring.

And no universal plan.

Posted by: dennikenni | February 1, 2011 7:27 AM | Report abuse

"It means, in other words, disruptions in the market."

That's pretty rich, coming from a progressive. The whole tactic of the progressive march to statism is to create as much disruption as possible in the 'normal' behavior of markets, all part of their quest to convince the masses that the federal government should control everything.

Think of how much 'disruption' occurred in mortgage markets thanks to Fannie/Freddie and other liberal efforts to force lenders to ignore all traditional rules governing risk management...and look where that ended up.

Posted by: dbw1 | February 1, 2011 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I live in a state that requires me to buy auto insurance. Does this mean I don't have to pay? At this point I can not choose to stay economically inactive with regards to auto insurance with out breaking the law.

Posted by: thedomesticdog | February 1, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

--*I live in a state that requires me to buy auto insurance. Does this mean I don't have to pay?*--

Take it up with your state, but it's part and parcel with the larger trend to nanny statism.

The theory, though, is that auto insurance protects the *other* guy from your negligence, while with health insurance, your negligence only hurts you.

Of course, the promise of nanny statism is that even your self-destructive ways are still the responsibility of the collective. Hence, anti-smoking laws, encroaching laws in the realm of food control, etc.

In a free country, of course, adults get to choose their own poison, and get to live with the consequences on their own recognizance. If the country doesn't return to something along those lines, the slide into mediocrity and ultimately, failure, will continue.

Posted by: msoja | February 1, 2011 11:19 AM | Report abuse

"while with health insurance, your negligence only hurts you."

No, everybody else currently pays higher premiums and local taxes to cover the uninsured. (And is paying 40% more than the average of the best developed countries, on TOP of that.)

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | February 1, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

--*No, everybody else currently pays higher premiums and local taxes to cover the uninsured.*--

No, it's anyone who buys health *care*, whether insured or not, who subsidizes the required care of the indigent. Doctors and hospitals have to cover the costs of dispensing care to those who can't pay, somehow. But taking that reality and turning it into sweeping laws alá DeathCare, merely shuffles the free rider pea under a different set of shells, while installing another large bureaucracy or three. In fact, DeathCare reform, in actively subsidizing care on a wider scale then ever before, will increase the amounts average, working people have to pay to cover those who aren't covering themselves, and will, also, lower availability, and, in the long run, reduce quality across the board.

Of course, one can always hope for admission to the select group who have been granted DeathCare reprieves (aka waivers), but that spectacle merely underscores the corrupt nature of the entire enterprise.

Posted by: msoja | February 1, 2011 12:21 PM | Report abuse

"I live in a state that requires me to buy auto insurance. Does this mean I don't have to pay?
Posted by: thedomesticdog"

No, it means you either forgot everything you learned from high school civics or didn't read a decent review of the lawsuit decision (hint: you won't find one from Mr. Klein).
The issue at hand is the Constitutional limitations placed upon the federal government, not your state.

Posted by: cprferry | February 1, 2011 12:25 PM | Report abuse

"will increase the amounts average,"

Let's hear a little evidence from economics to support this.

In reality, supply can only grow if there is more demand: thus the pricing structure and quality wouldn't change, although availability increases. Add the fact that everybody is required to pay in, and then: prices go down, (or in the case of healthcare, won't increase as quickly).

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | February 1, 2011 1:18 PM | Report abuse

--*In reality, supply can only grow if there is more demand: thus the pricing structure and quality wouldn't change*--

But government is more or less in charge of the supply, now, too, and they aren't handling that side of it particularly well. More doctors means more costs all the way around, of course, from training, to building hospitals and clinics in which to put them, to paying them to work. And then there are all the threats to doctor's earnings from busybodies and bureaucrats trying to stretch their ill-gotten gains as far as they can, along with the increasing paper work and regulatory load. Doctors are retiring at record rates, and I don't know if they're being replaced in the necessary numbers. Reportedly, access has suffered in Massachusetts, as no one made allowances for a supply of doctors. The ersatz fix is to suddenly "allow" nurse practitioners and the like to handle what once the purview of the doctor, which in some cases might be problematic.

And what was it? Sixty doctor-owned hospitals that were under construction are now in limbo, or outright put out of business? As a direct result of DeathCare. That's the sort of incompetence and corrupt colluding that *will* take access and quality down, down, down.

I really don't know how anyone makes economic sense out of DeathCare. All we get from Klein, even, is his relentless prattle about what the forced taxation will do for the government's bottom line. Things look different to those being ground under Klein's clodhopper policies. The money comes out of real people's hides, and then they have to experience the disruptions that come from all the meddling and tweaking and endless re-fixing. The fact that you have to use FORCE to make the thing work even half way ought to be a clue to sane people that maybe they aren't on the right track, but you people aren't sane.

Posted by: msoja | February 1, 2011 6:17 PM | Report abuse

The way to increase the supply is by restricting the demand? One person's spending is not another person's income? We should not grow the healthcare sector of the economy?

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | February 1, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

--*The way to increase the supply is by restricting the demand? One person's spending is not another person's income? We should not grow the healthcare sector of the economy?*--

In the private sector, those things are true, but here we're talking about the government playing both sides of the market. The only laws that apply there are hazard, and the inevitable effects of incompetence. Price controls (and you can't get around that that is exactly what the government is seeking) will lead to shortages. The attempt to centrally control will result in misallocations and dislocations that will gradually become more and more pronounced leading to a slow suffocation of the entire system.

Posted by: msoja | February 1, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

"The only laws that apply there are hazard, and the inevitable effects of incompetence."

No, supply and demand also apply.

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | February 1, 2011 9:48 PM | Report abuse

--*No, supply and demand also apply.*--

No, when both factors are controlled by the same entity, it's a whole new ball game. The market is no longer a market, but is subsumed by other pressures. When health care is officially rendered not-a-commodity (which is the aim of socialism) by fiat, then political access becomes the new commodity, for which competition is understandably fierce, and rooted in corruption. Witness the 700+ political DeathCare waivers recently granted. Such cannot be described in ordinary market terms of supply and demand. (Can you assure anyone that none of those waivers were granted corruptly? On what basis were they granted?) Another possible result of both supply and demand being constrained by the same entity is that black markets appear, restoring a sort of balance, but with an inbuilt extra cost of watching out for the police, and no easy means for redress of grievances, especially when the government has co-opted all that power, too. Or inflation rears its ugly head, as a distortion of the point where supply and demand normally cross in the little graphs. In Venezuela, where Chavez has imposed strict price controls on numerous goods, as well as holding the exchange rate at an arbitrarily low level, coupled with an equally strict trade regime, inflation and black markets are rampant. The "official" "markets" cannot accurately be said to be operating under the strictures of supply and demand. Official businesses only operate until supply runs out, and the supply regularly runs out. There is no incentive to produce more the next day, because profits are apportioned according to political whim, and there is no profit in working harder for the same money.

Having the laws of supply and demand suspended is akin to having one's rights violated. It may be my inalienable right to speak my mind as I see fit, but the government can indeed shut me up, if people acting on its behalf choose to do so. Likewise, supply and demand can be shut up, even as much as they are part of the natural fabric of this world. And that, really, is the aim of Marxism.

Posted by: msoja | February 2, 2011 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Since both factors aren't controlled by the same entity, none of this applies.

Posted by: Lee_A_Arnold | February 2, 2011 1:53 AM | Report abuse

--*Since both factors aren't controlled by the same entity, none of this applies.*--

You mean that the government hasn't quite cornered the market in health care, yet. But they sure are working hard toward those ends, aren't they? And with the force of their ersatz laws to the fore.

Posted by: msoja | February 3, 2011 1:43 AM | Report abuse

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