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Mon Jun 25, 2012, 01:46 PM

No, the ACA doesn't "force" you to buy an insurance product from a private corporation.

All it does is make you pay a tax *if* you have sufficient income, but for whatever reason, you choose not to be covered.

And you know, unless you have lots of cash in the bank, the rest of us are going to be footing the bill if anything really bad ever happens to you. So making you pay, at least a little, is only fair.

Call this thing a tax and there is no case to be brought before the supreme court at all. I *already* pay lower federal taxes because I have insurance. It's deductible. The ACA is just a variation on that theme.

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Reply No, the ACA doesn't "force" you to buy an insurance product from a private corporation. (Original post)
dawg Jun 2012 OP
SoutherDem Jun 2012 #1
dawg Jun 2012 #3
TBMASE Jun 2012 #17
dawg Jun 2012 #21
TBMASE Jun 2012 #40
dawg Jun 2012 #47
MadHound Jun 2012 #2
dawg Jun 2012 #5
MadHound Jun 2012 #8
dawg Jun 2012 #10
MadHound Jun 2012 #11
dawg Jun 2012 #12
MadHound Jun 2012 #13
dawg Jun 2012 #14
dawg Jun 2012 #15
MadHound Jun 2012 #16
dawg Jun 2012 #18
eridani Jun 2012 #106
emulatorloo Jun 2012 #36
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #20
dawg Jun 2012 #24
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #27
dawg Jun 2012 #34
Erose999 Jun 2012 #49
dawg Jun 2012 #50
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #22
dawg Jun 2012 #25
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #28
dawg Jun 2012 #32
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #38
dawg Jun 2012 #43
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #46
dawg Jun 2012 #48
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #65
dawg Jun 2012 #66
LanternWaste Jun 2012 #55
dawg Jun 2012 #62
phleshdef Jun 2012 #45
Control-Z Jun 2012 #59
treestar Jun 2012 #92
joshcryer Jun 2012 #71
dionysus Jun 2012 #101
JVS Jun 2012 #4
dawg Jun 2012 #6
JVS Jun 2012 #7
dawg Jun 2012 #9
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #19
Zalatix Jun 2012 #107
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #109
Zalatix Jun 2012 #111
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #23
dawg Jun 2012 #29
NNN0LHI Jun 2012 #33
DesMoinesDem Jun 2012 #26
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #30
dawg Jun 2012 #31
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #35
dawg Jun 2012 #37
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #41
dawg Jun 2012 #44
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #53
dawg Jun 2012 #58
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #75
dawg Jun 2012 #80
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #82
dawg Jun 2012 #85
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #93
dawg Jun 2012 #100
TBF Jun 2012 #90
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #94
TBF Jun 2012 #112
pinto Jun 2012 #91
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #95
pinto Jun 2012 #97
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #98
pinto Jun 2012 #102
DesMoinesDem Jun 2012 #51
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2012 #57
dawg Jun 2012 #60
railsback Jun 2012 #39
Gman Jun 2012 #42
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2012 #52
dawg Jun 2012 #61
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #67
Selatius Jun 2012 #68
ForgoTheConsequence Jun 2012 #54
elleng Jun 2012 #56
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #63
dawg Jun 2012 #64
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #69
dawg Jun 2012 #70
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #72
dawg Jun 2012 #73
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #74
dawg Jun 2012 #78
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #81
dawg Jun 2012 #86
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #96
dawg Jun 2012 #99
bigcat00 Jun 2012 #76
dawg Jun 2012 #77
TheKentuckian Jun 2012 #113
David__77 Jun 2012 #79
dawg Jun 2012 #83
BlueCaliDem Jun 2012 #84
dflprincess Jun 2012 #87
Raine Jun 2012 #88
ibegurpard Jun 2012 #104
AnotherMcIntosh Jun 2012 #110
FarLeftFist Jun 2012 #89
ibegurpard Jun 2012 #103
sendero Jun 2012 #108
BlueCheese Jun 2012 #105

Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 01:55 PM

1. Good Luck

I tried to explain that some months ago and was totally shut down by the anti-mandate members on DU.

I look at it this way. We are going to pay one way or the other. On the front side or the back, directly or indirectly. But, INHO with ACA it may be cheaper, we have some protections from the insurance companies and some won't wait for a minor problem to become a major life threatening problem.

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Response to SoutherDem (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:00 PM

3. I know.

I'm just worried about the consequences if this thing is overturned. People will die because of it.

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Response to dawg (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:34 PM

17. People will continue dying even if the bill is upheld

 

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Response to TBMASE (Reply #17)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:40 PM

21. Yes. But fewer.

There are massive tax credits in the bill that will allow many people access to health care they would otherwise be unable to afford.

Of course, in the end you are correct. We're all going to die eventually. (Unless you believe that guy with the long beard who gave the TED talk on curing aging)

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Response to dawg (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:11 PM

40. No, not fewer

 

100% of the people, alive today, will die regardless of whether or not this law is upheld

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Response to TBMASE (Reply #40)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:26 PM

47. Well, you've got me there.

We all know how the party ends; let's all try to be kind to each other and have a great time while we're stll here.

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 01:58 PM

2. Ah yes, another Dem embracing a Republican policy,

 

A Republican policy hatched at the Heritage Foundation no less. Aren't you happy to be support Republican policy.

The fact of the matter is that this sets a huge precedent, and furthermore, with weak price controls, the insurance industry, armed with this mandate, is going to bleed the middle class dry.

Nice to see you defending Republican policy, makes one wonder where all the real Democrats went.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:01 PM

5. I know my son won't be able to get insurance without that "Heritage" plan.

Sure, I'd rather have single-payer. But that's not a choice right now.

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Response to dawg (Reply #5)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:06 PM

8. So because of your son, you are willing to consign the rest of us

 

To the tender mercies of the insurance company, armed with a mandated monopoly, constrained by little in the way of price controls.

Gee, that's real compassionate of you.

You know, the funny thing is if Obamacare goes down, it means that we'll probably get single payer sooner than if it is upheld.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:08 PM

10. No, I'm willing to consign you to pay a fucking tax.

That's all. (And only if your income shows that you can afford it.)

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Response to dawg (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:10 PM

11. No, you are consigning me to pay an insurance premium,

 

But that's nice, while millions of middle class Americans will see their way of life decrease, hey, at least your son will be able to get insurance.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #11)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:14 PM

12. No. It's just a damn tax. 2.5% of your income at the maximum.

You can do that instead of getting coverage. You don't have to buy a policy.

And it isn't just for my son. It's for all the sons and daughters with pre-existing conditions and other problems that make it impossible for them to get coverage under the status quo.

But you say, to hell with them. I'm not buying insurance and I'm sure as hell not gonna pay a 2.5% tax.

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Response to dawg (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:21 PM

13. No, what I'm saying is that we need to work for real change,

 

Single payer UHC, not Republican lite policy like a mandated monopoly for the insurance industry. Not for a policy hatched at the Heritage Foundation.

Like I said, the easiest path to single payer, which you say you support, is for the courts to repeal Obamacare. Isn't single payer what you say you want? Then why not take the easiest path to there?

Oh, by the by, if the Court strikes down the mandate, your son will still be able to get insurance.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:25 PM

14. Look for the lack of a severability clause to come into play.

Without the mandate, insurance companies can sue to strike down the other provisions of the plan. My son, and $30 million others, will *not* be able to get insurance. We will not get single payer, at least not for the next twenty years.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #13)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:29 PM

15. Also, the easiest path to single-payer is to build on the ACA framework.

A subsequent Democratic Congress could add a public option to the exhanges, and over time the public option could drive private insureres out of business through greater efficiency and lack of a profit motive. What you would be left with would be a de facto single payer system that grew out of the ACA.

That's why the Republicans were so dead set against a public option. Because they suspect that it would work really well.

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Response to dawg (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:32 PM

16. Working off the framework of a Republican, corporate friendly law is the quickest way to UHC?

 

Wow, there is so much wrong with that statement that I really don't know where to begin. So, since there is no relieving you of those *ahem* views, I'll simply have to agree to disagree and move on. After all, what can one say in the face of such stunning political naivete?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:37 PM

18. It's so Republican that they universally oppose it.

And we've been trying to get universal health care through other means since the Truman adminsitration - literally since before my parents were born. It hasn't happened.

I guess there's no point in arguing. You're going to win because Antonin Scalia ia on your side.

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Response to dawg (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 05:46 AM

106. Fast and Furious was a Republican program also

That's how they work--they oppose their own programs under a Democratic administration.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #16)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:05 PM

36. Republicans love ACA, as do the insurance cartels. That's why they want to kill it so bad!

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Response to dawg (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:39 PM

20. No. It is a penalty, not a tax. See #19 below.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #20)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:43 PM

24. Ooooh. A 2.5% of your income "penalty".

That makes all the difference in the world.

Acutally, to the Supreme Court, it probably will. We should have called it a tax in the first place, but that is such a bad word they chose to call it a penalty instead. And that little bit of semantics will make the difference between 30 million people getting access to health care or not.

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Response to dawg (Reply #24)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:51 PM

27. Congress, not "We," decided that the penalty is a penalty.

 

You are assuming that the Supreme Court will strike it down?

I'm not. The mandate was a Republican idea. The Republicans are unhappy because Obama's name is on it. They are unhappy because he is getting credit for its passage.

There should have been Medicare for all. But then how would the lawmakers buy stock in health insurance companies and profit from doing so?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #27)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:59 PM

34. By "we" I mean the Democrats who wrote the legislation.

And right now, I'm feeling pretty sure that the Supremes will strike down the mandate. Attempts will be made to cobble together the remaining provisions of the bill, but they will be chipped away one by one.

We will return to the pre ACA status quo. That's my expectation.

But maybe I'm just being overly pessimistic. Maybe Thomas, Scalia & Alito have a conscience after all.

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Response to dawg (Reply #12)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:36 PM

49. 2.5% of income is a big hit for those barely getting by. Especially those out of school struggling


with debt.

Thanks, Heritage Foundation and Turd Way

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Response to Erose999 (Reply #49)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:49 PM

50. If you're not high income, you don't have to pay it.

In fact, you get the option of having insurace paid *for* you by the U.S. government.

Only fairly well-off people who choose not to be insured have to pay. And 2.5% of anyone's income, for a good cause, should not be a deal-breaker on a liberal discussion board.

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Response to dawg (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:41 PM

22. No, it is not a "fucking tax," it is a fucking penalty. See #19 below.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #22)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:45 PM

25. See #24 above.

This is a matter of life and death that will be settled based on semantics.

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Response to dawg (Reply #25)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:52 PM

28. No. This is not a matter of semantics.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #28)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:56 PM

32. What is it then?

It's 2.5% of your income. Rather than pay that, you'd just have access to health insurance continue to be denied for millions.

Why is a 2.5% penalty any different from a 2.5% tax?

Because it makes you feel more naughty?

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Response to dawg (Reply #32)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:08 PM

38. The difference between taxes and penalties was explained in detail by Judge Vinson in

 

opinion, STATE OF FLORIDA, by and through Bill McCollum, et al. versus UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, et al. (2010).
http://plf.typepad.com/Florida%20Order.pdf

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #38)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:15 PM

43. Again, semantics - this time supplied by a conservative judge.

The point is that no one has to purchase coverage. They can simply opt to pay a maximum "penalty" of 2.5% and the rest of us can get coverage.

Calling it a penalty in the legislation was a huge mistake. It's the same 2.5%, but if called a tax it could not have been assaulted in this manner.

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Response to dawg (Reply #43)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:24 PM

46. So if a person chooses to pay a penalty instead of complying with the law, it is not a penalty?

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #46)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:28 PM

48. It's a maximum 2.5% of income.

Call it a tax. Call it a penalty. Call it my Aunt Gertrude if you want to.

But no one forces you to buy insurance. With 2.5% of income (if you're pretty well-off, that is) you can buy your way out.

No one forces you to pay the corporate overlords. That is my point.

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Response to dawg (Reply #10)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 06:08 PM

65. There is no tax

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #65)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 06:20 PM

66. I"m talking about the .... sigh .... "penalty".

They can just pay 2.5% of their income and not have to buy insurance at all. No one is forcing them to give money to the evil corporation. And that's just if they are rich enough to qualify for the penalty. Otherwise, there is literally no downside for them at all.



(I was really tempted to reply, "There is no tax .... only Zuul")

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Response to MadHound (Reply #8)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:56 PM

55. As opposed to what realistic alternative in the here and now...?

"you are willing to consign the rest of us..."

As opposed to what realistic alternative in the here and now...?

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #55)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 04:14 PM

62. The alternative?

"Don't get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly."

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:23 PM

45. I personally don't give a shit if Republicans had the same idea a decade or 2 ago.

That means absolutely nothing. Yes, scrapping the private system altogether and having an all out, publically subsidized single payer system would be superior. But until that can happen, I'll take the ACA over the current situation any day, regardless of which party might have originally provided the ideas behind it.

No system will work without some form of a mandate anyway, whether it be a tax to fund a single payer system or a fee to fund otherwise unpaid for emergency room bills for people who don't have insurance. There is no way around this fact.

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #45)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 04:00 PM

59. +1000 n/t

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Response to phleshdef (Reply #45)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:22 PM

92. +2000

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 07:47 PM

71. The Heritage plan was a credit, not a fine.

But you knew that.

Meanwhile the Heritage Foundation disavows it completely. Other right wing institutes like Cato never supported any variant of a "mandate" (I do not consider a credit a mandate).

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=505489

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Response to MadHound (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:17 PM

101. i see you got the talking points down...

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:00 PM

4. No. See the archives and quit beating a dead horse.

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Response to JVS (Reply #4)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:03 PM

6. Dead horse, huh?

Seems pretty topical to me.

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Response to dawg (Reply #6)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:04 PM

7. Not really. It's not even in the hands of elected officials.

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Response to JVS (Reply #7)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:07 PM

9. Was it ever? n/t

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:37 PM

19. The law makes a distinction between taxes and penalties. The language in 26 USC 5000A

 

indicates whether a tax or a penalty is applicable:

26 USC 5000A (b) Shared responsibility payment
(1) In general
If a taxpayer who is an applicable individual, or an applicable individual for whom the taxpayer is liable under paragraph (3), fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months, then, except as provided in subsection (e), there is hereby imposed on the taxpayer a penalty with respect to such failures in the amount determined under subsection (c).
(2) Inclusion with return
Any penalty imposed by this section with respect to any month shall be included with a taxpayer’s return under chapter 1 for the taxable year which includes such month.
(3) Payment of penalty
If an individual with respect to whom a penalty is imposed by this section for any month—
(A) is a dependent (as defined in section 152) of another taxpayer for the other taxpayer’s taxable year including such month, such other taxpayer shall be liable for such penalty, or
(B) files a joint return for the taxable year including such month, such individual and the spouse of such individual shall be jointly liable for such penalty.
(c) Amount of penalty ...

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5000A

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #19)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 05:53 AM

107. Word play. Look up "de facto".

 

If you have to shell out money in response to not buying insurance, that's a penalty. Whether they call it one or not.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #107)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:05 AM

109. Congress expressly called it a penalty in "26 USC 5000A." No word play is required or involved.

 

It is a penalty, not a tax. The provision is included within the Internal Revenue Code. It is enforceable by the IRS, although some people claim that it is not.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #109)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:54 AM

111. Agreed. Word play is what people do when they DENY it's a penalty.

 

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:43 PM

23. If you are looking for someone you can reason with here you can save your breath

It isn't going to happen.

Don

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Response to NNN0LHI (Reply #23)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:52 PM

29. I know.

It's just that I've seen so many horrible things - not on the news or anything - but real life. It isn't a matter of principle with me so much as it is real people who could be helped.

The health insurance companies are getting exactly what they want if the ACA goes down, and half of DU will be cheering.

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Response to dawg (Reply #29)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:57 PM

33. DU is not representative of the real world

Never has been.

Don

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:47 PM

26. Obama himself said it is not a tax.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:53 PM

30. And, of course, Obama is right. It is a penalty as reflected by 26 USC 5000A.

 

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #26)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 02:54 PM

31. And this make a difference to you how?

Tax is curse word in the U.S. right now so they just called it something else. That was a huge mistake.

It's still a maximum of 2.5% of income. No one has to buy a policy if they don't want to.

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Response to dawg (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:01 PM

35. Penalties are imposed to punish people for their actions or their willful failure to act.

 

Taxes are not.

For more information, see the Internal Revenue Manual, e.g.,
http://www.irs.gov/irm/part4/irm_04-010-006.html

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #35)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:05 PM

37. So it makes you feel more naughtly then.

It's still just 2.5% of your income. Rather than be willing to pay that, folks would just rather keep the old U.S. health care system.

Most people don't even make enough to pay the 2.5%

Whether it is a tax or a penalty is just an issue of semantics. The blood is still red and the dollars are still green.

This semantic issue is what the anti-ACA case hangs on. Had it been a tax, with a corresponding credit for obtaining coverage, the dollars paid and the outcome would be exactly the same, except the Supremes would not have a convenient excuse to strike it down.

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Response to dawg (Reply #37)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:11 PM

41. Judge Vinson explained in detail the difference between taxes and penalties in his 2010 opinion

 

STATE OF FLORIDA, by and through Bill McCollum, et al. versus UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF
HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, et al. (2010).
http://plf.typepad.com/Florida%20Order.pdf

He seems to think that there is a difference, a does the legal community.

Do you think that he and they are wrong?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #41)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:19 PM

44. It's 2.5% of income that *you* are not willing to pay.

It makes no difference what you call it. You, and those who take your position, want tio posture like you would be forced to fork over unlimited cash to an evil corporation. That is not true.

It's a maximum of 2.5% of your income. Hell, in the first year it's a maximum of $95.

And the "legal community" is nowhere near together on this thing.

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Response to dawg (Reply #44)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:55 PM

53. If a Constitutional scholar such as President Obama says that it is not a tax, why should you

 

disagree with him?

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #53)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 04:00 PM

58. 2.5%. I don't give a damn what you call it.

Had the original legislation called it a tax, there would be no opening for the case against the mandate. That was a mistake.

Like I said in my OP, the ACA does not force you to buy private insurance. That is an irrefutable fact. You can just pay the 2.5% - assuming you make enough money to qualify to do so. You probably don't, but if you do you can certainly afford it.

You don't have to buy private insurance.

2.5% is the maximum you would have to pay.

Corporations don't have to get one slim dime of your money. (Except for all the aircraft carriers, missiles and shit paid with your taxes)

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Response to dawg (Reply #58)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:05 PM

75. Excuse me, but you seem to be very intolerant of people calling it what Congress called it when they

 

passed 26 USC 5000A: a penalty.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #75)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:17 PM

80. How can I be intolerant when you just replied to my post titled ...

"I don't give a damn what you call it"?

I'm intolerant of anyone who thinks continuing to deny coverage to 30 million Americans is a good idea because otherwise they personally *might* have to pay a penalty of 2.5% of their income.

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Response to dawg (Reply #80)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:23 PM

82. Maybe

people who think that the individual mandate is unconstitutional think it is a bad idea because it changes the relationship of the federal government from one of limited powers to almost limitless powers? If the Federal Government can force you to buy something just by existing, what can it not force you to do?

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #82)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:32 PM

85. The government has always had the power to charge you money.

And to not charge you the money if you do certain things the government approves of. The legislation should have been written as a tax with a corresponding credit. There would have been no substantive difference in the amounts involved. The only difference is one of semantics.

You pay income taxes, and they give you a tax credit for making fuel efficient improvements to your home.

They could have worded this the same exact way. They chose not to, but the underlying policy is the same.

They have always had the power to charge you money, and to relieve you of that for doing other things they approve of. It's a semantic difference that could easily be corrected.

No reason to throw 30 million people to the wolves.

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Response to dawg (Reply #85)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:46 PM

93. except

As I keep explaining, the fact that they did not word it as a tax means its not a tax. It's not a question of semantics. It's a question of law.

As to your other point that the government always had the power to charge you money what it wants you to do so: Let's say you do not earn income and do not take part in interstate commerce. E.g. You grow your own food, leave off the grid, etc.

In this very specific case, where you do not pay or owe income taxes, does the government have the right to charge you money for not doing what it wants?

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #93)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:10 PM

100. So, you're income is nothing in this scenario?

2.5% of nothing is ..... nothing! Congratulations, you skate!

Clearly they should have called it a tax. But that is a technicality, not material in any way to the economic substance of the transaction. Clearly the Congress has the Constitutional authority to effect the payments required under the ACA. It should have worded the document differently, but clearly it has the authority to compel the exact same payments as called for by the ACA.

Having determined that, the only question is does the court honestly reflect that the authority exists despite the poor wording, or does it strike down the law based on a technicality and it's own prejudices.

This is Bush v. Gore all over again.

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #82)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:19 PM

90. Like it can force your uterus to carry fetuses?

Is that what you're talking about?

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Response to TBF (Reply #90)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:46 PM

94. hm..

not sure where this came from...?

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #94)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 07:41 AM

112. hmm are you confused?

You were speaking about the problem of government exacting controls on folks. How would you like it if folks were legislating one of your body parts?

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #82)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:22 PM

91. The act was passed by a publicly elected Congress, signed by a publicly elected President

and is under constitutional review by a duly appointed Supreme Court. Those are the established limits of federalism under our Constitution. I think your question is pretty specious. And a reach at fear mongering.

(on edit) Must be a glitch, as this is a reply to bigcat00, yet doesn't show as such in the discussion tree.

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Response to pinto (Reply #91)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:47 PM

95. Yes

Exactly the point. The review by the Supreme Court is what keeps the check on federalism. Were it not for the Supreme court review the federal government could potentially give itself unlimited powers.

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #95)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:55 PM

97. Do you feel government is part of the solution or part of the problem? That seems a standard divide,

or an undercurrent, in many discussions about federal and state actions. For myself, I'm firmly in the "part of the solution" camp. Our national history is one of the federal government stepping up to the plate, belatedly at times, to help improve the lives and well-being of all Americans. And we're partners in that effort.

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Response to pinto (Reply #97)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:59 PM

98. I feel that

the federal government should do what it can do improve the lives and well-being of all Americans provided it does so within the law or Constitution in this case. For example I fully support nationalized health care paid for out of taxes.

Do you believe that the means justify the ends?

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #98)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 12:01 AM

102. I think the means effect the ends and the ends reflect the means.

The Affordable Care Act, for instance. The end result was largely due to the means by which it finally got passed. Congressional maneuvering and strongly partisan stances placed the end result on the President's desk.

And the end result reflects those means.

Justifiable? Yeah, as part of the allowable process I guess. I have big doubts about the (R) contingent in the whole thing though. Especially in the House. They seem obsessed with knocking down anything proposed or supported by the President. Even if they supported similar proposals in the past. Pure obstructionism for the vindictive sake of obstructionism. Those means bode no good for any of us.

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Response to dawg (Reply #31)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:52 PM

51. So you're calling Obama a liar.

I think he understands what it is far better than you.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #51)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:59 PM

57. Haha.

Apparently words like "opinion" and "discretion" are lost upon some people. Obama may be a constitutional scholar but that doesn't make him the end all and be all of constitutional law.

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Response to DesMoinesDem (Reply #51)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 04:06 PM

60. I do not give a flying fuck whether this 2.5% is called a tax, a penalty, or a turd payment.

You don't have to buy insurance under the ACA. You could just pay the 2.5%

Why does it matter so much what we call it? Answer: this is the wedge the Supreme Court is going to use to overturn the legislation. Had it been called a tax in the original legislation, the opening would not be there for them to overturn.

But the bottom line is that it's a maximum of 2.5% of income. Are we not willing to pay even that much so sick children can get coverage?

We want the rich to pay more, but if we might have to pay a little then just fuck 'em all? Is that how it is?

I'm not calling Obama a liar. I think he was unwilling to call the contribution a tax because he knew the Republicans would run with "Obama is raising your taxes" 24-7. But that is proving to have been a mistake.

Ultimately, it's 2.5% - maximum. For most people not even that,

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:10 PM

39. I've, too, tried to explain this

 

but the stigma of the mandate being a Republican idea seems to trump common sense.

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:11 PM

42. People screamed louder here than at FreeRepublic

about having to buy insurance from an evil corporation. They did as much damage to HCR as anything the right wing did.

They'll never be happy.

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Response to Gman (Reply #42)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:55 PM

52. Give me a break.

I'd be happy if health care reform actually reformed health care. Forcing people to buy a product from the same corporations that created this mess is not reform. This isn't a football game, its about more than picking sides and "winning" its about peoples lives.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #52)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 04:11 PM

61. No one is forcing you to buy a product.

But if you don't, you'll have to pay up to 2.5% of your income as a "penalty" which will then be used to fund tax credits to help those that do want to purchase insurance be able to afford it.

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Response to Gman (Reply #42)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 06:49 PM

67. TeaPubliKlans are the ones who demand we all buy insurance from the cartel.

The comment makes no sense at all in ideological context.

Of course leftists will complaining more about that issue and no we won't be "happy" with being fed to a bunch of unreformed criminals profits, creating a new too big to fail industry, and getting Gingrichcare shoved down our throats, having opposed it before the TeaPubliKlans rolled it out as their plan in the 90's.

If this is what makes you "happy" then why didn't you vote for Dole and push for the plan then? There were plenty of TeaPubliKlan votes to be had at the time. A little pressure on little more than a handful of Democrats could have made you well pleased like 15 years ago.

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Response to Gman (Reply #42)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 06:56 PM

68. I really doubt that. Folks like Max Baucus did more damage going against the Public Option.

That's where heavy damage was inflicted. For her part, Nancy Pelosi delivered a Public Option in the House version of the bill. It was the Senate that deleted that. Had it not been for the Senate, there wouldn't be as much bitching about ACA from the left as there currently is.

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:56 PM

54. I'm not stealing your car.

I'm just saying that if you don't give me your car I'm going to drag you out of it by the hair and pistol whip you.


ITS TOTALLY DIFFERENT MAN!

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 03:57 PM

56. Yes and the tax/penalty is virtually unenforceable,

by the terms of the law itself.
It is REALLY no big deal, AND rmoney implement same thing in Mass. EVERYONE, thinking of voting, should be aware of that.

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 06:02 PM

63. Call your Congresscritter, they wrote it as a penalty not a tax

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #63)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 06:07 PM

64. Oopsy!

We called the contribution a penalty not a tax so all the people with pre-existing conditions are still screwed. Ooops! (cue wah-wah game show music).

But the point of my OP still remains. No one is forcing anyone to purchase insurance from an evil corporation. If you're too poor, there is no penalty at all. If you're pretty well-off, you might have to pay up to 2.5% of your income. And that money goes to help others afford coverage.

But I guess that's just a bridge too far for some.

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Response to dawg (Reply #64)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 07:36 PM

69. Your entire argument is semantics and you're shouting people down for semantics

You may as well argue there are no laws restricting murder, after all no law can prevent you from killing folks, you just pay the penalty.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #69)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 07:44 PM

70. Only the penalty for murder is a helluva lot more than 2.5% of income.

And there's no hardship waiver for low income.

No one has to purchase insurance if they don't want to. The penalty only applies to those who are relatively well-off. And it isn't that large. It is no reason to deny coverage to millions who can't get it otherwise.

No. A 2.5% penalty contribution is not the same as a life sentence for murder.

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Response to dawg (Reply #70)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 07:47 PM

72. I guess

What you call it doesn't matter. You can call it a tax, penalty, or whatever.

However what Congress calls it matters. You see, under the US constitution, taxes are different from penalties. It's not just semantics either.

Question: if you park illegally and get caught do you pay a penalty or a tax?

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #72)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 07:57 PM

73. Either way, I'm not being forced to buy health insurance from a corporation.

That is my point.

Two people make the same income. One has a large mortgage and pays no tax. The other, because he has no large mortgage, pays income taxes.

Is that a penalty? Is it a mandate to get a mortgage?

Yes, this thing has been designated as a penalty. But it could have just as easily been called a tax with a corresponding credit for purchasing your own insurance. The numbers would not have been any different. In some aspects, this actually resembles the tax and corresponding creidt scenario more than it does the penalty scenario. But that is beside the point. The difference is entirely semantic.

And for this, millions are to go without coverage?

I'm willing to pay my share.

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Response to dawg (Reply #73)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:03 PM

74. But

The difference is not semantic. It is legal. Congress passed it as a penalty hence it is a penalty. If Congress wanted it as a tax, it would have passed it as a tax (assuming it could get the votes). The power of Congress to tax is not disputed.

You can't pass a law based on something then turn around and argue it is something else.

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #74)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:13 PM

78. When you say it's "this" because they called it this ...

it would be "that" if they had called it "that", you are describing the very definition of a semantic difference. Someone not buying insurance pays an amount. Call it one thing, and the Supremes have an excuse to deny coverage to 30 million people. Call it something else, there is no such excuse. The nature and amount of the payment is the same either way. The only difference is what it is called. To deny coverage to 30 million people based on such a distinction is madness.

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Response to dawg (Reply #78)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:20 PM

81. it matters

Because there are different powers granted to the Federal Government. The power to tax is clearly stated in the Constitution as is the power to regulate commerce between the several states.

Since the Federal Government has limited enumerated powers, we need to be clear which power it is drawing upon.

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #81)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:34 PM

86. So, lets just call it a tax and be done with it.

If were possible to amend the legislation so as to rename it a tax, everything would be fine, no?

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Response to dawg (Reply #86)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:48 PM

96. yes probably

if you can get the votes to do so.

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #96)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 11:01 PM

99. The enforcement mechanism of the mandate ...

i.e. the "penalty"; is for all practical purposes indistinguisable from a tax and credit scheme. Everyone agrees that a tax and credit scheme is well within Constitutional authority.

No serious legal scholar would consider this grounds for striking down the law unless they were already predisposed to find a reaon, any reason, to do so.

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Response to dawg (Reply #73)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:06 PM

76. based on your argument,

You can argue that you are not forced to obey parking/speeding limits because fines are merely a tax on people who speed.

However most people think of fines as penalties and try to obey the law. Maybe you think of speeding limits as optional and fines as taxes?

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Response to bigcat00 (Reply #76)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:08 PM

77. I do, indeed, think of speed limits as being optional.

But that's my issue!

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Response to dawg (Reply #70)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 04:49 PM

113. I didn't say it was the same other than in regard that both are penalties for non-compliance with

laws.

You are distorting the legal system. There are few or no laws that prevent a person from violating the laws. Your argument is no one is forced to buy insurance and that is exactly true as there are no laws that force you not to murder. That doesn't mean the penalties for the respective violations are the same or similar, it means since we are not a realm of magic that our laws punish violations rather than prevent them.

It doesn't matter what the penalty is and such an argument is a poor defense of an unsound argument.

Maybe murder is just too far out of scope. Instead we can go with speeding. Getting a ticket and/or points against your license don't prevent one from speeding they are a consequence of non-compliance, they are punishment, they are indeed penalties.

Penalties generally way under 2.5% of income just to get a similar scale so you get off the distraction but it shouldn't matter what the offense or the penalty is, it shouldn't be too hard to grasp the point of why your statement is not practicably relevant.

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:16 PM

79. I just don't think there should be this subsidy to the insurance industry.

In fact, I also think there should be a public auto insurance company, for that matter.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #79)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:23 PM

83. I wish there was a public option.

The subsidy effect to the insurance companies is partially offset by the limitations on their non-patient expenditures under the law. There are some holes in that provision, too, but nothing that couldn't be fixed.

The insurance companies don't like this law. They have not been lobbying or advocating for it's non-repeal.

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Response to David__77 (Reply #79)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 08:29 PM

84. A public auto insurance company would be awesome.

But that would be "socialism!".

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 09:49 PM

87. The ACA also does nothing to guarantee you access to care


but you will "encouraged" to buy insurance from the very crooks who broke the system - even if the only premium you can pay for is for a product you can't afford to use.

(oh yes, a few preventative and screening measures are covered, but what good is that if you can't afford any follow up you may need?)

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #87)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:10 PM

88. Yup, you're totally on point. nt

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #87)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 12:49 AM

104. exactly

I'm not going to continue fighting about this because it's all out of our hands now. They fucked it up and we're stuck with it however it comes out.

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Response to dflprincess (Reply #87)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:23 AM

110. x2

 

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Mon Jun 25, 2012, 10:14 PM

89. K&R!

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 12:45 AM

103. why should our tax dollars go to for-profit middlemen?

instead of directly into the hands of healthcare providers?

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Response to ibegurpard (Reply #103)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 06:02 AM

108. The bigger question, for me, is..

.. how much longer can we support a "name your price" health care system? A system in which many/most providers, especially surgeons, specialists, drug and device makers, simply NAME THEIR PRICE with no checks or balances whatsoever. No free markets, no competition, just NAME THEIR PRICE and the cost-plus (the more they pay the more they make) insurance industry is happy to go along.

Our health care system is doing more than just deny care to many who need it. It's out of control cost makes American business completely uncompetitive. If the business leaders of this country REALLY wanted to do what is best for BUSINESS, they would be clamoring for single payer and thereby removing the single biggest overhead cost from their bottom line.

Our system as it is now, with ACA or without is completely unsustainable because it does very little to actually CONTROL COSTS.

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Response to dawg (Original post)

Tue Jun 26, 2012, 02:22 AM

105. There is a moral difference between a tax and a penalty, or between a fee and a fine.

The individual mandate is a penalty for doing something wrong--not buying health insurance. That's the way it's described--it's punishment for trying to be a freeloader on the health care system.

Think of it this way: Why don't you park in handicapped parking spaces when you're not handicapped? After all, it's only a "tax" of a few hundred dollars if you're caught. You're not going to go to jail. But the reason we don't generally do that is that we see the fine as a penalty--a form of moral criticism and a punishment for doing something wrong.

I'm not saying that I oppose the individual mandate (I would support it if coupled with a public option, but Obama gave that away early on), but the penalty is meant to be a real penalty.

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