Robert Bennett: How Supreme Court justices may vote on health care

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  • ThatsSoUtah Fredericksburg, VA
    March 27, 2012 2:44 p.m.


    Tell me, since you now have access to knowing exactly what Obamacare does, give me specific examples of what you hate so much about it? Is it only the mandated coverage? Or are there other things?

    What I have found interesting about so many people who strongly oppose the healthcare reform act is that they don't have a clue what it does.

    There were polls done before it was passed asking if people supported the Presidents Healthcare Reform in general. I believe there was a majority that said they did not.

    However, when they were asked about what the bill actually did, there was a majority of people who supported it.

    The problem is with people who oppose it without knowing what it actually does. I don't believe there are many, if any, politicians who would go for a full repeal because of the things it would take away from people.

    Repealing it would allow for:
    coverage maximums
    children being dropped for getting sick
    children only covered under parents until 19/21
    canceling policies for honest mistakes
    medicare "donut hole" issue to return
    removing small business insurance tax credits

    There are others, but I'm out of space.

  • GiuseppeG Murray, Utah
    March 27, 2012 10:47 a.m.

    "Section. 8.

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States"

    Pre-amble TO the Constitution states: PROMOTE the General Welfare
    Section 8 OF the Constitution states: PROVIDE for the common Defence AND general Welfare

    I think the individual mandate is unconstitutional as well and believe Wickard v Filburn should be nullified by this ruling rather than relied on for the ruling, but dang...stop quoting the preamble as if it is the Constitution and ignoring the actual Constitution. It trivializes the argument!

  • Miss Piggie Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2012 11:55 p.m.

    @John Charity Spring:

    "The Constitution prohibits the federal government from exercising any power that is not expressly enumerated within its pages."

    Unfortunately, the Constitution does not delineate specifically enough the powers the founding fathers intended for the federal government, so they used broad, catchall terms such as 'regulate commerce.' Therein lies the problem. Zealous politicians

    "Nowhere in the Constitution can anyone find anything that even comes close to giving the federal government the power to establish and run a healthcare system."

    Nowhere in the Constitution can anyone find anything that legalizes abortion (murder of the unborn) so our legislators had to go to the privacy clause for support... a quantum leap.

    Nowhere in the Constitution can anyone find authority to collect FICA (Social Security), Medicare, Medicaid taxes. True, the Constitution provides for the collection of taxes to conduct necessary and appropriate government business. But, providing SS, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits for the aged, poor (or anyone) is not found in the Constitution, thus, not government business.

  • Linguist Silver Spring, MD
    March 26, 2012 8:43 p.m.

    "that is until we got a socialist president who is determined to stamp out the constitution and replace it with his own ideology."

    With respect, did you know that the mandate originated as a Conservative idea, promoted first by the Conservative Heritage Foundation then by many Conservative Republicans? Indeed, as a candidate, Obama argued against it.

    Rather than "socialist", it requires individuals to be responsible for their own medical coverage. Through a capitalist insurance system.

    I don't think a capitalist insurance system is necessarily the wisest or most cost efficient healthcare system (people in France --even Conservative Gaullists-- are overwhelmingly happy with their subsidized system, for example), but to call the Affordable Care Act "socialist" is to misunderstand it in a fairly fundamental way.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    March 26, 2012 2:41 p.m.

    It is a conservative principle to take care of your own health care; pay an insurance company or pay the mandate fee (or pay for it all yourself) ; no more free rides: Pres. Obama is a conservative. All people will have health care costs some day. No more free rides. Everyone pays.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2012 11:36 a.m.

    Actually there's one other way to get rid of Obamacare aside from the courts and elections... there's a provision in Obamacare that lets every state opt out. All a state has to do is to find it's own method of making sure at least as few people are left uninsured as Obamacare would, and it has to control costs at least as well as Obamacare. If conservatives think they have a better healthcare solution, the state can just write up a bill, pass it, and they can get out of Obamacare entirely. So far though only one state has tried and that is Vermont who passed a single-payer universal healthcare system.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    March 26, 2012 11:15 a.m.

    One must remember that the true purpose of Obama care was never to cover the uninsured You don't need to create 1968 new federal offices to do that. Between private insurance, s-chip, medicare, etc. almost everybody was already covered.

    The true purpose if Obama care is to make every American dependent upon government. Between federal employees, social security recipients, union members, state employees, etc. most American are already dependent upon high taxes and big government. We are very close to having this group control all elections.

    Democracy is not a permanent form of government. It can only last until the people discover that they can vote themselves gifts from the public treasury. From that point forward they always vote for the guy that gives them the most. (Alexis De Tocqueville)

    It is utterly foolish to seek these gifts when we are already $15 Trillion in debt.
    Those who support Obama Care support the financial destruction of this nation.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 26, 2012 10:22 a.m.


    There is bit of a difference between national defense and being forced to purchase private insurance. National defense is part of the constitution but I don't seem to find private health insurance mandate in the constitution - do you??? Purchasing insurance is a STATE issue - not a federal issue ... that is until we got a socialist president who is determined to stamp out the constitution and replace it with his own ideology.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 26, 2012 10:18 a.m.

    If Romney wins the election then he has said he will immediately issue 'opt-out' vouchers for each state which would in effect KILL Obamacare. If the GOP can take back the senate then his bill will be repealed in full.

  • Cincinnatus Kearns, UT
    March 26, 2012 10:12 a.m.

    @John Charity Spring

    It's interesting that you have declared this law unconstitutional, prior to the Supreme Court having issued an opinion. If I recall correctly, it is the Supreme Court who has the authority to declare things constitutional or not.

    "The Constitution prohibits the federal government from exercising any power that is not expressly enumerated within its pages." Well then, explain to me the FAA. I've looked over and over and I can't seem to find anywhere in the Constitution that allows the federal government to create a department to oversee a safe, national aviation system.

    "In short, the Supreme Court must invalidate this pernicious legislation. If it does not, we will know that the rule of law has been replaced by tyranny and absolutism." So, if the Supreme Court does not rule in favor of your opinion of this law, it is tyranny? Amazing that I don't hear those same statements when they rule in favor of things you like. The Supreme Court doesn't rule on popular opinion (they are protected from doing that). They rule based on the Constitution and legal precedent- whether you or I like it or not.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    March 26, 2012 9:09 a.m.

    Lost in this discussion is the non-judicial solution to eliminating Obamacare. It is known as an election.

    Obamacare is wildly unpopular and polarizing. People fundamentally hate change of any kind, particularly a change threatening their favorite entitlements.

    However, one does not need to have an advanced degree in statistics to understand the cost curve associated with health care is going straight up. Bending the cost curve and attempting to flatten it in future years is what Obamacare attempts to do.

    Voters must always remember they have control. If you are opposed to Obamacare (most in America are by a wide margin, and who really understands it?), it is likely because of the way the act was passed. With a perceived mandate and control of the White House, Senate and House, it was forced upon us. We were assured by its creators we would like it when its contents were fully disclosed.

    Just the opposite happened.

    November holds the key for voters, regardless what the SCOTUS does.

    Health care costs must be contained under Medicare and Medicaid. The way to do that is to begin again in November by voting for candidates who oppose government tyranny.

    More freedom is required.

  • screenname Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2012 9:06 a.m.


    So according to your interpretation of your quotations, Congress's commerce regulating powers extends to actually being able to require citizens to engage in commerce? That doesn't sound like REGULATING commerce to me; it sounds more like controlling commerce.

  • goatesnotes Kamas, UT
    March 26, 2012 8:30 a.m.

    Obamacare is the over-reaching attempt to control the rising costs of Medicare and Medicaid.

    While Medicaid and Medicare sound similar, they are in fact very different programs. One of the biggest differences is Medicaid is state-governed and Medicare is federally-governed.

    Medicaid is for low income pregnant women, children under the age of 19, people 65 and over, people who are blind, people who are disabled, and people who need nursing home care. Application for Medicaid is at the State's Medicaid agency.

    Medicare is for people 65 and over, people of any age who have kidney failure or long term kidney disease, people who are permanently disabled and cannot work. Medicare is applied for at the local Social Security office.

    Some people qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare, and Medicaid is sometimes used to help pay for Medicare premiums. People who qualify for both programs are called "dual eligible."

    Obamacare was written as an attempt to regulate the costs. The root causes of high cost have been with us since the inception, and now nobody really wants to eliminate the programs. We like entitlements.

    They must be fundamentally transformed another way. Obamacare is NOT the answer. It costs too much.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    March 26, 2012 7:53 a.m.

    The Supreme Court must rule against this insidious and unconstitutional healthcare mandate. The very foundations of this Country will be shaken to the core if the court fails to strike this law down.

    The Constitution prohibits the federal government from exercising any power that is not expressly enumerated within its pages. Nowhere in the Constitution can anyone find anything that even comes close to giving the federal government the power to establish and run a healthcare system. And yet, this is exactly what the current left wing government is doing.

    The worst aspect of this law is that it will set America on a path towards complete government control over every aspect of citizens' lives. This is absolutely not what the Founding Fathers fought for.

    In short, the Supreme Court must invalidate this pernicious legislation. If it does not, we will know that the rule of law has been replaced by tyranny and absolutism.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    March 26, 2012 7:43 a.m.

    The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

    Article I, Section 2, Clause 3:
    Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers...

    Article I, Section 8, Clause 3:[2]
    [The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes
    section 8, clause 18:
    The Congress shall have Power - To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    March 26, 2012 7:37 a.m.

    If one doesn't care what our forefathers meant with specificity as per the Federalist Papers, etc, all points of constitutional doctrine are subject to "interpretation" and caution can be thrown to the wind of popular opinion.

    Otherwise, we are left with the original meaning of the Commerce Clause, which is that Congress has power to create rules that establish the manner of how people exchange commodities between the states and other nations, all for the purpose of promoting the domestic economy and fair (not free) foreign trade.

    Federally chartered interstate health care does not fall under the Commerce Clause. A sixth grader, much less a seasoned US Senator should be able to clearly understand this and any congressional vote other than "nay" is fool hearty.

    Additionally, presidential executive orders, mandates or edicts in this vein should be countered with instantaneous threats of impeachment for attempting to circumvent constitutional authority that a president raises his hand to the square to uphold and defend.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    March 26, 2012 7:33 a.m.

    "The constitution does give congress the power to tax to promote the general welfare doesn't it?"


    "PROMOTE the general welfare"? Yes
    "PROVIDE for the common defense"? Yes
    Tax the haves and give to the have nots? Sorry Robin Hood. Nice idea, but no such provisions are granted by the Constitution. Let’s first try to obey the law before we give in to communistic approaches.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    March 26, 2012 6:35 a.m.

    We have no problem with individual mandates that people drafted must show up for war, why is this mandate so problematic? The constitution does give congress the power to tax to promote the general welfare doesn't it?