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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:16 PM

Is the mandate a violation of the First Amendment?

I believe it is, as for the first time the federal government would be punishing people for not purchasing a product from a private for profit industry, just for being alive.

The amount of the fine is irrelevant as that can always be made more punitive in the future, the critical point being that precedent would be set.

The for profit "health" insurance industry will then use those profits extorted from the people to bribe and lobby future Congresses to act against the peoples' best interests.

Furthermore they will use those profits in an unlimited fashion thanks to Citizens United to promote propaganda enabling for profit "health" insurance industry friends to political power again at the expense of the peoples' best interests.

The people are in effect forced to subsidize an industry diametrically opposed against them, literally politically speaking against themselves.

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is the mandate a violation of the First Amendment? (Original post)
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 OP
COLGATE4 Jun 2012 #1
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #5
COLGATE4 Jun 2012 #38
EFerrari Jun 2012 #2
JoePhilly Jun 2012 #3
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #8
JoePhilly Jun 2012 #10
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #12
JoePhilly Jun 2012 #20
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #32
elleng Jun 2012 #4
EFerrari Jun 2012 #13
elleng Jun 2012 #19
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #21
elleng Jun 2012 #35
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #36
Swede Atlanta Jun 2012 #6
JoePhilly Jun 2012 #11
matmar Jun 2012 #17
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #18
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #23
HopeHoops Jun 2012 #7
sabrina 1 Jun 2012 #9
EFerrari Jun 2012 #14
Motown_Johnny Jun 2012 #15
EOTE Jun 2012 #16
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #24
EOTE Jun 2012 #37
trof Jun 2012 #22
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #25
trof Jun 2012 #31
unblock Jun 2012 #26
1-Old-Man Jun 2012 #27
unblock Jun 2012 #29
sadbear Jun 2012 #28
1StrongBlackMan Jun 2012 #30
trof Jun 2012 #33
Uncle Joe Jun 2012 #34
cbdo2007 Jun 2012 #39

Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:17 PM

1. How does the ACA violate the 1st Amendment?

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:34 PM

5. Here is the text.



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.





http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/abridge?s=t

a·bridge   /əˈbrɪdʒ/ Show Spelled Show IPA

verb (used with object), a·bridged, a·bridg·ing.

1. to shorten by omissions while retaining the basic contents: to abridge a reference book.

2. to reduce or lessen in duration, scope, authority, etc.; diminish; curtail: to abridge a visit; to abridge one's freedom.

Synonyms

1. cut down; epitomize; condense, abstract, digest. See shorten. 2. contract, reduce. 3. divest.






http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/divest?s=t

2. to strip or deprive (someone or something), especially of property or rights; dispossess.
3. to rid of or free from: He divested himself of all responsibility for the decision.
4. Law . to take away or alienate (property, rights, etc.).

5. Commerce .
a. to sell off: to divest holdings.
b. to rid of through sale: The corporation divested itself of its subsidiaries.



By coercing the people to financially support a private for profit "health" insurance industry, just for living, they have De Facto reduced the peoples' free speech authority.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 11:14 AM

38. It would take more pages than I have the energy

(or inclination) to type to show all that's wrong with this. But suffice it to say that the First Amendment only covers SPEECH, not ACTIONS. (That's why burning your draft card is not protected speech). There's nothing in the ACA that remotely affects speech, your dictionary 'examples' notwithstanding.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:20 PM

2. I was thinking along the same lines this morning.

If money is speech, then can the IRS compel my speech to act against my interests? I don't know if that makes sense but it did, lol, after two cups of coffee.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:21 PM

3. You get a tax break for your Mortgage Insurance.

That is a tax break for purchasing a for-profit item.

In this case, if you get insurance, you don't pay a penalty (aka tax).

Its basically the same concept.




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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:28 PM

8. No one forces anyone to buy a house, that is a choice, you don't get fined for not owning a house.

In fact, during the Campaign, when Obama opposed the mandate, he used that analogy to support his reasons for opposing the Mandate.

He compared forcing people to purchase HC Insurance who could not afford it, to forcing people to buy a home, in order to 'solve the homeless problem'. But now, who's to say that the next thing we hear about is that the homeless will be fined for not owning a home?

At one time after all, it was inconceivable to imagine anyone being forced to buy Health Insurance. The door is now open.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:34 PM

10. You don;t have to buy insurance.

But if you do, you avoid a tax.

You ignore the fact that the mandate has subsidies and exemptions for those who can't afford insurance.

A renter who pass 1000 a month rent does not get a tax break ... a home owner who pays the same monthly payment gets a tax break.

Now ... are you telling me that YOU will not purchase health insurance unless forced? I doubt it.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:47 PM

12. I'm saying that there are people who cannot afford it. Even a small extra amount of money

going to something like HC, can take food off the tables of some Americans. I do not know anyone without insurance who is without it because they do not want it. They have priorities, kids, food to feed them, clothes, which many buy in thrift shops, and even though they are working, they are barely surviving.

So as Obama said, and he was aware that many people were too poor to pay for HC, 'it would be so unfair to force people who are poor to pay for something they cannot afford'. He was right then.

That is why he used the 'forcing the homeless to buy a house' solving the homeless problem analogy. Because he got it. McCain did not get it, nor did Hillary.

And those who will be considered among those who can afford it, will get the shittiest policies because all they be able to do is pay the very minimum, to try to avoid the tax, which is coercion btw. They will have huge co-pays, and most likely will never be able to use what they are being forced to pay for.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:17 PM

20. If you don;t make enough, you get either a subsidy or an exemption.

Obama ADDED those provisions.

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Response to JoePhilly (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:58 PM

32. Getting a tax break and receiving a fine are two different things, even

if they come out to be the same.

One is the carrot and the other a stick, they're not the same as this sets a major precedent.

Taken to an extreme example, in the case of the former you might get a deduction for buying Obama for President t-shirts, in the case of the latter, you may receive a penalty for not buying products endorsing Romney for President items.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:23 PM

4. FIRST Amendment?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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Response to elleng (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:48 PM

13. Where money is speech -- as the Supreme Court has decided it is?

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Response to EFerrari (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:03 PM

19. Have to get there in other ways, EF.

First Amendment is about Establishment of religion, Free exercise of religion, and right to petition government. We'll see what SC says about Mandate and constitution, if anything, tomorrow.

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Response to elleng (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:21 PM

21. Did you miss the part about speech?



Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.



What kind of speech could they have been thinking of?

Logic should tell anyone considering the history that political and economic speech would have been at the top of the totem pole.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:28 PM

35. And they are.

'The Court has been particularly protective of political speech (and less protective of other kinds of speech, such as commercial speech). In several different ways, individuals have greater leeway in speaking about politics than they do about other subjects. For example, the First Amendment does not give individuals the right to lie about other people. If someone lies about you in writing (libel) or in speech (slander), you can sue them and collect monetary damages from them for defaming your character. However, if you were a public official, you would have to meet a higher legal standard to collect your money. In a landmark Supreme Court case, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, a Montgomery, Alabama city commissioner sued the New York Times for running an ad that contained false information about him. While an Alabama court ruled in his favor, the Supreme Court overruled the lower court's decision declaring that:

The constitutional guarantees require, we think, a federal rule that prohibits a public official from recovering damages for a defamatory falsehood relating to his official conduct unless he proves that the statement was made with "actual malice" - that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
The Court has also provided broad protection for things that are said, written or broadcast during the course of a political campaign. The Court has even upheld the right of candidates to spend as much of their own money as they choose. In 1974, the Congress passed the Federal Election Campaign Act, part of which set limits on the total amount candidates for federal elective office could spend on their campaigns. In response to challenges brought by several candidates in Buckley v. Valeo, the Court declared the limits on spending a violation of the candidates' First Amendment rights. In its decision, a unanimous Court observed:

In the free society ordained by our constitution, it is not the government, but the people--individually as citizens and candidates and collectively as associations and political committees--who must retain control over the quantity and range of debate on public issues in a political campaign.
However, while the Court rejected overall spending limits for candidates and their campaigns, it let stand limits on the amount that individuals can give to candidates."

http://www.thisnation.com/textbook/billofrights-speech.html

And things moved on.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission

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Response to elleng (Reply #35)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 09:04 PM

36. This law abridges the peoples' political speech via economic means.

Political speech isn't just about slander and libel it's about being able to openly discuss ideas and issues in the public arena.

Issue advocacy according to this Supreme Court shall have no monetary limitation because it's protected free speech.

Thus the people are coerced in to supporting an industry that will surely dominate the free speech issue advocacy of health care on the public square, and affect future elections thus economic speech is De Facto political speech.

This coercion and diversion of the peoples' financial means is an abridgment of their political speech against themselves.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 05:41 PM

6. The whole "mandate" thing is a ruse.....

 

Today we pay all forms of taxes; income taxes, sales taxes, excise taxes, property taxes, use taxes, etc.

Those taxes in turn often fund the performance of services by PRIVATE companies. So in essence you are being forced to "purchase" a service provided by a private company.

I think that is what people are missing. Whether you purchase a private insurance policy or contribute to a public policy (e.g. Medicare), you are purchasing a service that will, most likely, be provided by a PRIVATE company.

So where is the difference? It is a matter of semantics but not substance. But "Guido" (no offense to my Italian friends) Scalia won't see it that way. We will know tomorrow.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:35 PM

11. +100

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:52 PM

17. I disagree....

 

Health Ins. Co's are nothing more than a middle man taking your money and handing it off to providers while siphoning off a significant amount for profits.

There is no reason why they should exist.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:59 PM

18. Only because this is something they have been trying to do for decades and they were not

stopped. That is what needs to change. They've done it with the funds for Public Schools, now for HC, and they are desperate to do it with the SS Fund.

These are Heritage Foundation policies and should be fought, not endorsed. When public funds get into private hands, it costs far more than the government handling those funds as much of it then goes for profit.

Let them generate their own funds if they are so smart, but handing them Public Funds has caused much of the problems we have in the schools, in Health Care and next up, SS if they are not stopped.

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Response to Swede Atlanta (Reply #6)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:29 PM

23. Those taxes go to the peoples' elected agents; that being the government to do as it wishes.

The Constitution gives the right to the government in regards to taxation or collecting the monies but it doesn't give it the right to force the American People to buy a product from a private for profit industry against their will.

This mandate boils down to taxation without representation, the private for profit "health insurance industry damn sure isn't the peoples' agents, that industry's best interests are diametrically opposed against those of the people.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:17 PM

7. No. Citizens United is.

 

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:31 PM

9. Considering that money is speech now, not something the FFs probably had in mind, but

I think you might have a point. People who cannot afford to buy HC Ins. are speaking according to our current understanding of 'money is speech'. So to force them to buy it, IS depriving them of their right to speak in a way.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:49 PM

14. I see it as using their own framing against them.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:51 PM

15. Your logic is flawless.


If money is free speech then the choice to not give your money to a company is also a form of speech.

Forcing someone to use their speech/money in a specific way described by law and backed by punitive measures can't be constitutional.


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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 06:52 PM

16. I have a big problem with the mandate, but I'm not following your logic.

By extension, couldn't you say that all Federal taxes are a violation of the first amendment as that tax money could go toward actions and programs that you disagree with? I am sickened that my tax dollars go to support the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but I don't believe that the taxes I pay are unconstitutional because of them. Where does the difference lie?

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Response to EOTE (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:41 PM

24. No because taxes go to your elected representatives; the government, supposedly you

and the government are on the same page, ie; "We the people" and the government should always do what is best for the people and the nation.

Of course the government doesn't always live up to the highest ideals as stated in the preface of the Constitution but idea being the government is us and should do what is best for us and/or the nation.

Private for profit industries such as the for profit "health" insurance industry have no such fiduciary responsibility, other than to make the maximum profit for itself and the peoples' health be damned.

Make no mistake about it, the for profit "health" insurance industry; will be spending its' profits whether that be via bribing and lobbying politicians or pushing limitless propaganda ala Citizens United against the peoples' interests and not for the people.

Logic dictates that industry wants the best deal possible and will be actively working day one to undermine the best parts of the ACA which benefit the people but cost the industry and to increase the punitive measures against the people for not having for profit "health" insurance.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #24)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 06:41 AM

37. It seems to me to be a distinction without a difference.

So as soon as you cross the line from the federal government to private enterprise, THAT'S when it becomes a violation of the first amendment? Yes, ostensibly the government is supposed to be on our side, but you and I know that's not always the case. Just as the health care industry is supposed to be on our side.

Also, the government subsidizes lots of private industry using our tax dollars, wouldn't that be considered a violation as well? And the benefit of the mandate is supposed to be price controls, and that would be impossible to negotiate without it, so it seems to me the mandate could be said to be for the public good.

Perhaps I'm not familiar with the intricacies of constitutional law, but the draft seems to me to be a fairly outrageous use of government power and it has held up for many, many years without being struck down. A mandate for health insurance seems so incredibly benign compared to compulsory military service.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:22 PM

22. There already is a mandate for auto insurance.

Why not for health insurance?
Isn't your health more important than your car?

49 states and D.C. REQUIRE it for all drivers.
http://www.carinsurance.com/kb/content20009.aspx

ONLY the Great State of New Hampshire (Live Free Or Die! ) has caveats.
http://www.autoinsurancetips.com/new-hampshire-auto-insurance-laws-minimums-requirements

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Response to trof (Reply #22)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:45 PM

25. That's only if you purchase an automobile and that pertains

to the states not the federal government.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #25)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:56 PM

31. No, you don't have to purchase an automobile.

Just drive one.

State vs Federal is an obfuscation.
If one is 'unconstitutional' so is the other.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:48 PM

26. no more of less than the income tax does.

because the "penalty" doesn't have to be paid if you don't make enough income to be required to file an income tax statement.
that qualifies the "penalty" as an income tax, period, end of story.

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Response to unblock (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:50 PM

27. But you don't send the check directly to the Government Contractors, it goes to the IRS

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Response to 1-Old-Man (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:54 PM

29. no, you pay the income tax or "penalty" or whatever you want to call it to the irs.

if you want the 100% offsetting credit, then, yes, you have to participate in, which may involve a direct purchase, of insurance, either from a private company or the government pool.

same as if you want the deduction credit for day care or solar panels or hybrids or whatever.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:52 PM

28. Is it a penalty if you don't get a mortgage?

I know as a homeowner I can deduct a lot more money from my taxes than a renter can, all else being equal.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:54 PM

30. I get so depressed ...

Reading posts such as this; where liberals/progressives advocate against that we HAVE (i.e., the ACA) that is clearly in the interest of, and benefiting, many (though not it's perfect and does not benefit all), in favor of something that we had no shot of in the very recent past, and no shot of anytime in the near future; leaving everyone with nothing!

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #30)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:00 PM

33. +1000

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #30)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:03 PM

34. I wouldn't care if I didn't believe the ACA with the mandate to be a Trojan Horse.

But that's the way I see it.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 11:16 AM

39. WTF....have you read the First Amendment?!?!

I'm not even seeing in your argument anything that relates to the First Amendment. What grade are you in?? Have you not gotten to the First Amendment section of your class yet?

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