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Author Topic: The Politics of Health Care  (Read 194674 times)
G M
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« Reply #900 on: April 22, 2012, 11:25:41 AM »

We can debate the constitutionality of Obozocare all you wish, we'll see what the SCOTUS says, more importantly, how do we PAY for it? Much like the deep blue state like California, deep in red ink, there is no more money. Please answer that.

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2011/0613/Medicare-other-entitlements-mean-US-worse-off-than-Greece
.
Much of the public focus is on the nation's public debt, which is $14.3 trillion. But that doesn't include money guaranteed for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, which comes to close to $50 trillion, according to government figures.

The government also is on the hook for other debts such as the programs related to the bailout of the financial system following the crisis of 2008 and 2009, government figures show.

Taken together – public debt, Medicare and other entitlements, and other debts – Gross puts the total at "nearly $100 trillion," that while perhaps a bit on the high side, places the country in a highly unenviable fiscal position that he said won't find a solution overnight.
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JDN
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« Reply #901 on: April 22, 2012, 11:39:43 AM »

How does (see list below) pay for a Universal Health Care Plan?


Norway   
New Zealand   
Japan   
Germany   
Belgium   
United Kingdom   
Sweden   
Canada   
Netherlands   
Austria   
Finland   
Slovenia   
Denmark   
Luxembourg   
France   
Australia   
Ireland   
Italy   
Portugal   
Cyprus   
Greece   
Spain   
South Korea   
Iceland   
Hong Kong   
Singapore   
Switzerland   
Israel
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G M
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« Reply #902 on: April 22, 2012, 12:21:35 PM »

By a combination of rationing (death panels) and economy-killing debt, which isn't working out so well for europe, is it?

Did the whole european crisis not make it onto your radar screen?

How does (see list below) pay for a Universal Health Care Plan?


Norway   
New Zealand   
Japan   
Germany   
Belgium   
United Kingdom   
Sweden   
Canada   
Netherlands   
Austria   
Finland   
Slovenia   
Denmark   
Luxembourg   
France   
Australia   
Ireland   
Italy   
Portugal   
Cyprus   
Greece   
Spain   
South Korea   
Iceland   
Hong Kong   
Singapore   
Switzerland   
Israel
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G M
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« Reply #903 on: April 22, 2012, 12:28:51 PM »

http://theweek.com/article/index/220190/greeces-austerity-driven-health-crisis

Greece's austerity-driven health crisis

Cuts in spending on hospitals and social welfare programs have put health care out of reach for many Greeks

posted on October 11, 2011, at 1:09 PM





 People walk past a heap of garbage in an Athens suburb: Between a trash collectors' strike and the stress of ongoing protests, Greece may be on the verge of a health crisis. Photo: REUTERS/Yiorgos KarahalisSEE ALL 51 PHOTOS

Greece's debt crisis isn't just making its citizens mad — it's literally making them sick, according to a report in British medical journal The Lancet. Here's what you should know:
 
What kind of health problems are on the rise?
All kinds. The number of people reporting general "bad" health has climbed sharply. New HIV infections are expected to rise by 52 percent in 2011. Half of those new infections are expected to be related to a dramatic jump in intravenous drug use. And suicides rose by 25 percent in 2010 over the previous year, according to unofficial statistics.
 
How is government debt linked to these health problems?
As Greece imposes austerity measures to keep from drowning under its debt, hospital workers have walked out to protest staff cuts. Garbage collectors have been on strike for a week, leaving trash heaps to pile up around Athens. And stress levels are rising for everybody. Plus, the Greek government has slashed spending on hospitals, welfare programs, and just about everything else to avoid defaulting on its debts. Among the cuts: Public hospitals have seen their funding reduced by as much as 40 percent, leaving them short on staff and supplies, even as admissions rose by 24 percent in 2010.

Are hospitals overwhelmed?
Public hospitals are. The economic crisis has left fewer people able to pay for private care. Private hospital admissions have fallen by as much as 30 percent, and patients are instead flooding into public health-care facilities. There are even reports of "bribes given to medical staff to jump queues in overstretched hospitals," the authors of the study in The Lancet wrote. Many Greeks are resorting to visiting street clinics run by humanitarian groups, such as Doctors without Borders, which used to almost exclusively serve low-income immigrants.

Sources: The Lancet, AFP, Huff. Post, BBC News
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JDN
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« Reply #904 on: April 22, 2012, 12:44:13 PM »

By a combination of rationing (death panels) and economy-killing debt, which isn't working out so well for europe, is it?

Did the whole european crisis not make it onto your radar screen?

How does (see list below) pay for a Universal Health Care Plan?
_________

"death panels"?  cute; or should I say hogwash.  If you need a liver transplant here in America; a committee decides based on variables who
gets the next liver.  Is that a "death panel"?  Hardly...  Then again, I suppose you would say the person with the most money should get the next liver or kidney.

As for for the European crisis, what does that have to do directly with universal health care?  Or is Germany and Canada and Hong Kong doing
well because they have universal health care?  A population healthier than ours.

As for Greece, workers are protesting in every industry, not just health care.  Odd private hospitals have rooms; why don't they open their doors and help sick Greeks?  Oh yeah, their personal oath was to make money, not heal the sick.  Ask Doctors to take a pay cut like everyone else?  Of course not.  It's sort of like asking police to take a pay cut like other government workers here in America; it never seems to happen.
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G M
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« Reply #905 on: April 22, 2012, 01:04:32 PM »

"death panels"?  cute; or should I say hogwash.

That's how socialized medicine works, as has been well documented. There is no magical money tree, so they use set criteria to decide who gets treatment and who dies. So, your wife could have gotten hospice rather than chemo.
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G M
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« Reply #906 on: April 22, 2012, 01:07:15 PM »

Then again, I suppose you would say the person with the most money should get the next liver or kidney.

I guess you would say the person who can bribe the gov't employee with life or death power or who is hooked into the power structure should get the transplant, right?
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G M
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« Reply #907 on: April 22, 2012, 01:11:57 PM »

As for for the European crisis, what does that have to do directly with universal health care? 

Everything. As politicians grow government to buy votes with "entitlements" including healthcare, they set the stage for what we are seeing in Greece and California.

Or is Germany and Canada and Hong Kong doing
well because they have universal health care?  A population healthier than ours.

Hardly, Germany is in the short term doing well, but as they run out of Germans, their future grows dim. HK's system is for the poor, anyone who can gets private healthcare.
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JDN
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« Reply #908 on: April 22, 2012, 01:43:26 PM »

"death panels"?  cute; or should I say hogwash.

That's how socialized medicine works, as has been well documented. There is no magical money tree, so they use set criteria to decide who gets treatment and who dies.

That's the problem; we don't have a magical money tree either.  I'm not sure they exist.  So when when my friend's friend's mother age 92 had heart surgery and died, that drives up the cost for all of us too.  If you are 33, and you need liver, you get priority over the drunk who is 78.  Liver's are finite.  So is money.

HK's system is for the poor, anyone who can gets private healthcare.

I'll accept that and probably that is what we should have been done.  Still it needed to be mandatory.  For example, a limited (no bells and whistles) HMO plan for the masses and a various supplemental plans for the rich; if I want the the top guy at Harvard to do my surgery I think he should be entitled to charge more.  And if I want bells and whistles, I should pay more.

The concept is like car insurance here in CA except with health insurance, you need a rule that says you can't opt out.  But you only have to buy the minimum.  Still, it's a start. 
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G M
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« Reply #909 on: April 22, 2012, 02:07:44 PM »

I'll accept that and probably that is what we should have been done.

It was done. Ever heard of Medicaid?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #910 on: April 22, 2012, 02:29:55 PM »

As JDN is administered his daily medicine by Dr. Snark cheesy I will point out that I do agree with him point that as a teamthe Reps have not put forward very much in the way of their own ideas-- contrast Paul Ryan's budget.

I will also agree that the finite supply of livers means that no matter what is done, there is rationing.

I will disagree with the notion that heart surgery for a 92 year old means less heart surgery for other, younger patients.  Actually the contrary is true, by increasing the amount of money to be made in heart surgery it motivates entry into that sector and motivates those already in it to increase their capacity.



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G M
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« Reply #911 on: April 22, 2012, 02:38:19 PM »

The answer is to the same system that has reduced costs and inceased suppy in every place it's allowed to function. The free market.

Can you imagine the nightmare if we bought food the same way we purchased health care? Imagine paying monthly "food insurance" premiums and then going to store, not knowing the prices of various foods and what would or wouldn't be covered. Image fighting with your insurer over the deductable for your Thanksgiving meal....
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JDN
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« Reply #912 on: April 22, 2012, 02:54:43 PM »


I will disagree with the notion that heart surgery for a 92 year old means less heart surgery for other, younger patients.  Actually the contrary is true, by increasing the amount of money to be made in heart surgery it motivates entry into that sector and motivates those already in it to increase their capacity.

Yes and no.  Most/much of the cost is hospitalization.  Further, we the consumers pay for this pointless surgery through higher premiums and/or costs.  As costs rise due to unnecessary treatments, something has to give; remember money is finite.

As for motivation, I would agree with you, but it doesn't work that way. The price is basically set by the insurance industry.  Further, the doctors are in cahoots.  If you wanted to lower the price of heart surgery, just open up the floodgates to foreign doctors.  Prices will drop like a rock.  As GM points out, supply and demand.  But the AMA keeps it limited therefore salaries are high. 

However, I think the analogy to buying food is a bit simplistic.  I can get by on eating low cost food; if I need heart surgery that is financially fatal.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #913 on: April 22, 2012, 02:56:43 PM »

"why don't the Republicans propose just that?"

They did that at the time.  Pre-existing conditions, cross state lines, malpractice reform, all of the 'popular' pieces of Obamacare were on the table.  Democrats should have done a head fake with this monstrosity and locked in all of what at least the most moderate of Republicans were ready to agree to.  It was Democrats who did not want that deal.  They were willing to write a cornhusker kickback, exempt the Bank of North Dakota from student loan legislation, and build a hospital in Connecticut in order to buy the last Democrat vote and not need a single Republican.


"The concept is like car insurance...except with health insurance, you need a rule that says you can't opt out.  But you only have to buy the minimum.  Still, it's a start."

Constitutional distinction: a) car ins. is a state law, b) you can opt out - bicycle, bus, let someone else drive, stay home when your finances are down, etc. and c) You used to be able to post some OTHER form of financial responsibility up to the minimum and not HAVE to contract with a psuedo-private insurance company.


"you only have to buy the minimum."

Article Two, or where did that authority come from?


"As for for the European crisis, what does that have to do...with health care?"

Lol.


"How does (see list below) pay for a Universal Health Care Plan?
Norway New Zealand Japan Germany Belgium United Kingdom Sweden Canada Netherlands Austria Finland Slovenia Denmark Luxembourg France Australia Ireland Italy Portugal Cyprus Greece Spain SouKorea Iceland Hong Kong Singapore Switzerland Israel"

The question in a constitutional case is - how did they authorize it?

If you are willing to skip that question then the answer is obvious, move.


GM: "Is it right and fair to confiscate money from the young to partially subsidize the care for the older population?"

Justice Alito had that point quantified and no one corrected him.  The ones hit most by the mandate will be mandated topay 6 times what their current burden is on the others.  Had that been based on actual costs, the underlying argument they made might have had truth to it.


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JDN
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« Reply #914 on: April 22, 2012, 03:49:11 PM »

Doug, I don't know how the Court will rule.  They will tell us if it is constitutional or not.  It seems people disagree on the subject.

However, I still don't understand how it's any different than Medicare or for that matter Social Security.  They seem to be mandated and no one seems to question the government's authority to do so.  Why is merely, in essence, lowering the benefit age for Medicare from 65 to birth any different?

And yes, you can opt out of car insurance since other alternatives are available, but that is exactly the point.  You cannot opt out of medical treatment (there is no alternative) if you are suddenly diagnosed with a serious illness.  Somebody, i.e. the tax payer has to pay, so to avoid adverse selection, everyone must be covered. 
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G M
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« Reply #915 on: April 22, 2012, 04:35:22 PM »

Somebody, i.e. the tax payer has to pay, so to avoid adverse selection, everyone must be covered.

Which is how every bit of tyranny will be excused. Hey, the taxpayers have to pay, so we'll need to monitor your personal choices and control them.
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G M
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« Reply #916 on: April 22, 2012, 04:44:05 PM »

However, I still don't understand how it's any different than Medicare or for that matter Social Security.  They seem to be mandated and no one seems to question the government's authority to do so.  Why is merely, in essence, lowering the benefit age for Medicare from 65 to birth any different?

Do you get that we are the most indebted nation in human history? What part of "deck chairs on the Titanic" do you not grasp? Without wading into penumbras and the Federalist Papers, let's just focus on the fact that THERE. IS. NO. MORE. FCUKING. MONEY!
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #917 on: April 22, 2012, 05:16:01 PM »

Agreed on No Fg Money, but that is a separate point.  The question presented is how to logically distinguish the two.
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G M
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« Reply #918 on: April 22, 2012, 06:46:16 PM »

http://volokh.com/2010/04/02/destroying-the-constitutions-structure-is-not-constitutional/

Destroying the Constitution’s Structure is not Constitutional

David Kopel • April 2, 2010 3:38 am


Thus far, the argument among law professors over the constitutionality of Obamacare has been well represented by scholars who have made pro and con arguments over particular clauses in the constitution, such as the interstate commerce clause, or the tax power. In this post, I would like to examine an insight by Jonathan Turley, which points the way to strong, recent, and repeated precedent suggesting that Obamacare is unconstitutional.
 
Let’s begin by getting rid of the red herring that questioning the constitutionality of Obamacare requires denying the constitutionality of the New Deal and the Great Society. Orin asks:
 

In your view, which of the following federal programs or agencies are constitutional?
 
(a) Social Security
 (b) The Federal Trade Commission
 (c) Medicare/Medicaid
 (d) The Securities and Exchange Commission
 (e) The new Health Care mandate
 
In my view, (a), (b), (c), and (d), are constitutional, but (e) is not. My answer is based on using “constitutional” in the normal sense of the word as it appears in most modern public dialogue. That is, “Should a judge who accurately applies existing precedents, and other sources of legal authority, find the law to be constitutional?” This is the question that federal district judges and circuit court of appeal judges will have to answer, since they have no authority to reject Supreme Court precedent. The Supreme Court can change its own precedents, but for for purposes of argument, I am presuming that the Supreme Court would not overrule any precedents.
 
As Jack Balkin, Sandy Levinson, and others have ably pointed out, “constitutional” can be used in a different way, in that people express aspirations about what the Constitution should mean, even if that meaning is contrary to current precedents. For example, a person in 1946 might say “Discrimination against women is unconstitutional.” That person would not be describing the current state of the law, but would be making an argument that constitutional intepretation should be changed. Often, these aspirational statements do become constitutional law, especially when they win the hearts and minds of the public. Some of the 1930s decisions upholding parts of the New Deal or its state analogues are examples of the success of this aspirational constitutional rhetoric.  For example, the statement in 1890 that “mortgage relief laws are constitutional and do not violate the Contract Clause” would have been  incorrect in regard to Supreme Court precedent, and was utterly contrary to the original meaning of the Contract Clause. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court later changed its intepretation of the Contract Clause, so that the aspirational statement became an accurate description of the law.
 
People are free to argue all they want, on the basis of aspiration, original meaning, or anything else, that items (a) through (d) on Orin’s list are unconstitutional. If these people persuade enough of their fellow Americans, perhaps the Court might eventually narrow or overturn some of the precedents which uphold (a) through (d). However, my argument is based on the law as it actually exists today, and it presumes the continuing validity of all the New Deal and Great Society precedents.
 
Some parts of Obamacare, such as the calorie labeling requirement for restaurant chains, appear to be solidly within the scope of existing precedents. (At least based on the discussion I’ve heard thus far.)
 
In contrast, the individual mandate to purchase health insurance is not. It “is unprecedented in our jurisprudence.” Romer v. Evans (1996). It is possible to make arguments for extensions of cases such as Wickard, Raich, and Sonzinsky in support of the mandate. However, such arguments are a plea for extending those cases, not for merely applying them. For example, an application of Wickard/Raich might be a law against a person manufacturing her own medicine at home, rather than purchasing the medicine through the federally-controlled market.
 
No prior case stands for the proposition that Congress may use the interstate commerce power to order persons to buy a particular product, or may use the tax power to punish people for choosing not to purchase a particular product. I can imagine a judicial opinion that builds on the foundation of Wickard, Raich, and Sonzinsky, and extends those cases much further, in order to uphold the mandate. The Court might do so, but the Court would be doing much more than merely applying precedent.

 
At this stage in the debate, the only cited instance of Congress ever forcing people to buy particular products have come under the congressional exercise of the enumerated militia powers in Article I, section 8, clause 16, “To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia. . .” Here, the congressional power to mandate is provided in the text itself. Further, the original understanding of the militia was that the militiamen ”were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.” United States v. Miller  (1939). The congressional power to provide for arming the militia straightforwardly includes the power to tell militiamen what kind of arms to bring to duty.
 
The federal militia powers come from the state militia powers, which (by enacting the Constitution) the People and the States chose to give (at least concurrently) to Congress. No one could possibly dispute that state militia powers included the power to require militiamen to bring certain types of arms to duty, and thus to require the purchase of such arms if necessary. The federal power to regulate commerce among the several states was likewise granted to Congress from the powers which were then possessed by the States and by the People. There was certainly no understanding in 1789 that state power to regulate interstate commerce (e.g., by inspecting goods at ports of entry) included the power to compel individuals to purchase goods in commerce.
 
So neither the Militia arming clause nor any cases provide precedent for the unprecedented mandate to purchase insurance. At best, the mandate is in a constitutional gray zone. To resolve the gray zone question, we are not limited to wondering whether to greatly extend some prior cases on the interstate commerce clause or the tax power. In addition, we can consider the structure of the Constitution itself.
 
As Jonathan Turley has written, allowing the individual mandate to stand “could amount to a ‘do not resuscitate’ order for federalism.” If judges find this argument (in the greatly eleborated form that will eventually be presented to the courts) to be persuasive, then the Supreme Court precedent is very clear. Several recent cases, including Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida (1996), Alden v. Maine (1999), City of Boerne v. Flores (1997), United States v. Morrison (2000), Board of Trustees of University of Alabama v. Garrett (2001), and Nevada Dept. of Human Resources v. Hibbs (2003)  have demonstrated the Court’s persistent determination to defend state sovereign immunity. Some of these cases involved the Eleventh Amendment, and some involved the Fourteenth (Cong. powers under sect. 5). In one case (Hibbs), the federal abrogation of sovereign immunity was upheld, partly because the federal law involved a state practice (sex discrimination) that was already unconstitutional.
 
These decisions have been heavily criticized by the academic Left, and the critics have pointed out that these decisions have much less to do with the constitutional text, or with original meaning of the text, than they do with the Court’s broad view of constitutional structure: the essential nature of state sovereignty, and one of the attributes of sovereignty, namely sovereign immunity.
 
According to the Court, a Congressional statute making it easier for states to be sued for patent infringement is such a serious violation of federalism that it must be held unconstitutional. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Educ. Expense Board v. College Savings Bank (1999).  (Eugene Volokh’s article on the case is here.) In terms of the practical harm to state sovereignty, the congressional law on patent suits is to Obamacare as a house cat is to lion.
 
The extensive line of recent cases on state sovereignty is complemented by the Ninth Amendment. The Ninth Amendment may be read to create a presumption of liberty. Randy Barnett, Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty (2005). Or it may be read as requirement that enumerated federal powers be narrowly construed so that they do not violate the retained natural rights of the people, including the people’s right of self-government in the states. Kurt Lash,  The Lost History of the Ninth Amendment (2009).  Either reading raises further doubts about the constitutionality of the insurance mandate.
 
As the joint complaint of the 13 Attorneys General has argued, Obamacare constitutes an immense assault on federalism. If Obamacare is upheld, the states may be well on the way to becoming like the Roman Senate in 100 A.D.: formerly the an essential component of republican sovereignty, but now a hollowed remnant, possessing the forms of the old republic but really functioning as a mere puppet of the Leviathan.   
 
“[F]ederalism was the unique contribution of the Framers to political science and political theory,” wrote Justice Kennedy. United States v. Lopez (1995) (concurring). To declare Obamacare to be unconstitutional, the Court may take into account the importance of preserving the unique contribution of Our Federalism. In doing so, the Court need not overrule a single precedent, nor need the Court cast into doubt any of the creations of the New Deal or the Great Society. Instead, the Court may simply choose not to invent unprecedented extensions of the interstate commerce power and the tax power.


From federal district court to the Supreme Court, the judges and justices who decide to leave constitutional doctrine exactly as it is today will decline to validate the unprecedented exercise of power in Obamacare. The last fourteen years of the Supreme Court determination to defend our precious constitutional system of dual sovereignty gives reason to hope that the courts will apply the existing law rather than make up new law, and that the insurance mandate will be declared unconstitutional.
 
And then: Over two thousand pages of laws certainly contain items (e.g., restaurant menu labeling, tanning taxes) that theoretically could have been enacted separately from the mandate, and might be considered severable. But the main provision of Obamacare–turning private insurance companies into ultra-regulated public utilities–makes no sense without the individual mandate; it would not have been enacted without the mandate, and it is not severable.
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JDN
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« Reply #919 on: April 22, 2012, 09:05:29 PM »

Good find; interesting read, but I still don't understand while in his original question the author refers to Medicare (and Social Security) yet never does the article itself again refer to Medicare nor does it say why Medicare is constitutional but Obamacare is not.  Or is he simply saying rather than involve private insurance companies (mandate to buy coverage) because that is
unconstitutional Obama should have simply said Medicare will now cover everyone in America; period?  That would be then constitutional and ok?  Rather disingenuous since I would think Republicans would want the plan administered by private insurance companies versus a government bureaucracy like Medicare. 
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G M
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« Reply #920 on: April 22, 2012, 09:57:11 PM »

Does Medicare require you to purchase anything?

Good find; interesting read, but I still don't understand while in his original question the author refers to Medicare (and Social Security) yet never does the article itself again refer to Medicare nor does it say why Medicare is constitutional but Obamacare is not.  Or is he simply saying rather than involve private insurance companies (mandate to buy coverage) because that is
unconstitutional Obama should have simply said Medicare will now cover everyone in America; period?  That would be then constitutional and ok?  Rather disingenuous since I would think Republicans would want the plan administered by private insurance companies versus a government bureaucracy like Medicare. 
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JDN
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« Reply #921 on: April 22, 2012, 10:58:12 PM »

I guess that's my point/question.  Medicare, to the best of my knowledge is mandatory in that everyone must participate.  Further, almost everyone must pay/purchase/contribute.  But private insurance companies are excluded; again you would think Republicans would be horrified about excluding private companies and expanding a government bureaucracy like Medicare, but is that why you think it's unconstitutional?  Because everyone must buy insurance versus it being provided directly by the government like Medicare?  So if Obama had merely expanded Medicare to cover every American citizen, it would have been constitutional and ok?
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G M
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« Reply #922 on: April 22, 2012, 11:03:28 PM »

But private insurance companies are excluded; again you would think Republicans would be horrified about excluding private companies and expanding a government bureaucracy like Medicare, but is that why you think it's unconstitutional?

Can the federal gov't require you to purchase a pound of bacon every month,even if you are a vegetarian or follow kosher or halal dietary rules? Are there any limitations on federal powers?
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G M
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« Reply #923 on: April 22, 2012, 11:13:48 PM »

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=49832


The Institute for Justice has filed a fascinating new legal brief against the ObamaCare individual mandate, raising a devastating point about the damage ObamaCare’s core concept of “mandated commerce” will do to our legal understanding of contract law:
 
Constitutional law professor Elizabeth Price Foley, who is the executive director of the Institute's Florida Chapter and who co-authored IJ's brief, said, "The individual mandate violates a cardinal rule of contract law—to be enforceable, all agreements must be voluntary. The Framers understood this, and would never have given the federal government the power to force individuals into lifelong contracts of insurance. The Court should not allow the government to exercise this unprecedented and dangerous power."

As IJ's brief shows, the principle of mutual assent, under which both parties must consent for a contract to be valid, is a fundamental principle of contract law that was well understood during the Founding era and is still a cornerstone of contract law today. Indeed, contracts entered under duress have long been held to be invalid. Yet the mandate forces individuals to enter into contracts of insurance that would never be valid under this longstanding principle. (For a copy of IJ's brief, visit: www.ij.org/PPACAbrief.)
 
If the U.S. Supreme Court fails to strike down the individual mandate, there will be nothing to stop Congress from forcing people into other contracts against their will—employment contracts or union membership, for example. If we still have a constitutional republic in which the federal government's powers are limited, then the Court should strike down this law.
 
(Emphasis mine.)  The Institute also produced a short video explaining their legal brief:

#Invalid YouTube Link#

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=BuvkXqE8HDw
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JDN
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« Reply #924 on: April 22, 2012, 11:18:15 PM »

Bacon or eggs; let's not get off the subject.  Everyone is pretty much required to participate/pay for Medicare.  Social Security for that matter.  I can't tell my employer don't deduct my SS contribution from my paycheck.  Nor can my employer forgo paying his share.  It's not "voluntary".  If that is so, why not Obamacare?  That's the question on the table.  What's the difference?
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G M
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« Reply #925 on: April 22, 2012, 11:24:04 PM »

Bacon or eggs; let's not get off the subject.  Everyone is pretty much required to participate/pay for Medicare.  Social Security for that matter.  I can't tell my employer don't deduct my SS contribution from my paycheck.  Nor can my employer forgo paying his share.  It's not "voluntary".  If that is so, why not Obamacare?  That's the question on the table.  What's the difference?

Did you read the above posts? The reason the dems didn't just try to give medicare to everyone is the costs are too massive, so they tried mutiple fig leaves and games to hide the price tag. So, force young healthy people to buy insurance to subsidize the older population. It's not about healthcare, it's about gov't control of the American people. Once the federal gov't owns healthcare, they own you.
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G M
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« Reply #926 on: April 22, 2012, 11:26:47 PM »

So, what limitations are there on federal power, if any? Can the feds mandate everyone in the US buy a pound of bacon every month? Yes or no?
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JDN
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« Reply #927 on: April 22, 2012, 11:37:55 PM »

You are not answering the question.  I did read the above.  And I concur; costs are unknown at best, that is why I agree a minimal plan might be good to start with....

I don't agree, "once the federal government owns healthcare, they own you".  My father has Medicare; he loves it; yet I don't think my father thinks the government "own"s him.

Anyway, the issue on the table is what the heck is the difference between mandated Medicare, Social Security, and Obamacare? 

Quit bring bacon into the equation  smiley
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G M
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« Reply #928 on: April 22, 2012, 11:48:16 PM »

I don't agree, "once the federal government owns healthcare, they own you".  My father has Medicare; he loves it;

Yes, it's easy to love free stuff the government gives you when you aren't aware of how they are ruining the future of generations yet unborn to do so.

yet I don't think my father thinks the government "own"s him.

He doesn't think so, but he a dependant class that now must vote for those who provide for his dependency. Now imagine Obozocare, where the US gov't has your medical records with all the intimate details within, that now can force you to comply to any rule created because your behavior impacts the bottom line. We go from being free individuals to serfs on the collective health compound.
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G M
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« Reply #929 on: April 22, 2012, 11:49:40 PM »

So, what limitations, if any are there on federal power? None?
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G M
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« Reply #930 on: April 22, 2012, 11:53:13 PM »

Anyway, the issue on the table is what the heck is the difference between mandated Medicare, Social Security, and Obamacare?

Forcing every person in the US to sign a legal contract and purchase a service no matter if they wish to do so or not.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #931 on: April 22, 2012, 11:57:06 PM »

Forgive my ignorance.  Who has to buy Medicare?
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G M
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« Reply #932 on: April 23, 2012, 12:00:44 AM »

No one. Only Obozocare requires a private citizen purchase a service/sign a contract with a private business as a result of being a live human being in the US.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #933 on: April 23, 2012, 12:20:15 AM »

Social security is a tax and spend program.  Medicare is a tax and spend program.  The individual mandate is not.

The GM piece covered it,  There is no explicit authority and there is no precedent.

The income tax had the same problem - then they passed an amendment.

People like Alan Blinder (or JDN) can write or talk for hours about how great the benefits will be - everyone covered - like everyone having a home because the law requires you to buy one.  If you like that, fine, but you need a super majority to write the authorization for that new power, not an act of congress.

Under Obamacare, you lose liberty and you lose privacy.  Liberty is mentioned in at least one founding document - and so is life - which includes life's big decisions, does it not?  Privacy is a Supreme Court recognized right.  Without it, Roe v Wade falls.  You have to buy the policy under Obamacare and therefore you lose privacy - you have to give them all the personal information they require including the most personal things possible, allow them to store it, read it, use it and act on it.  What if you don't want to give them your ss number, your birthdate, whether you smoke or not, drink, have sex, have guns in the house, eat right, exercise, or a lot of other things.  What if you don't want to buy exactly what is in the plan or don't want to pay for provisions that violate your beliefs or don't fit your needs.  What about the freedom to figure this all out for yourself and not subscribe to a one size fits all out of Washington.  What about the right to freely consent to your contracts.  Anything short of that isn't a valid contract anyway.  You lose the right to make all of your own choices including those that could save your life - a quality recognized in at least one founding document.  Even the right to make a wrong choice, isn't that a liberty?

If you agree to the loss of these recognized freedoms and established rights in the creation of a new federal govt power that isn't authorized anywhere in Articles One or Two or in any amendment to the constitution or in any court precedent or anywhere else - isn't that the opposite of upholding the constitution?

Is it too much to ask to have an amendment passed for every new power over us that we grant to the federal government?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #934 on: April 23, 2012, 12:48:00 AM »

OK, that seems pretty clear to me.  How about you JDN?

Also, the Kopel article posted by GM seemed to me to be sound in its observations.  Nice find.
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G M
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« Reply #935 on: April 23, 2012, 06:48:23 AM »

Toying with Medicare to fix elex
 
By BENJAMIN E. SASSE & CHARLES HURT
 
Last Updated: 1:41 AM, April 23, 2012
 
Posted: 10:45 PM, April 22, 2012
 


Call it President Obama’s Committee for the Re-Election of the President — a political slush fund at the Health and Human Services Department.
 
Only this isn’t some little fund from shadowy private sources; this is taxpayer money, redirected to help Obama win another term. A massive amount of it, too — $8.3 billion. Yes, that’s billion, with a B.
 
Here is how it works.
 
The most oppressive aspects of the ObamaCare law don’t kick in until after the 2012 election, when the president will no longer be answerable to voters. More “flexibility,” he recently explained to the Russians.
 


Getty
 
Postponing the pain: The administration is temporarily restoring funds to Medicare Advantage so seniors don’t lose coverage before the election.
 



But certain voters would surely notice one highly painful part of the law before then — namely, the way it guts the popular Medicare Advantage program.
 
For years, 12 million seniors have relied on these policies, a more market-oriented alternative to traditional Medicare, without the aggravating gaps in coverage.

But as part of its hundreds of billions in Medicare cuts, the Obama one-size-fits-all plan slashes reimbursement rates for Medicare Advantage starting next year — herding many seniors back into the government-run program.
 
Under federal “open-enrollment” guidelines, seniors must pick their Medicare coverage program for next year by the end of this year — which means they should be finding out before Election Day.

Nothing is more politically volatile than monkeying with the health insurance of seniors, who aren’t too keen on confusing upheavals in their health care and are the most diligent voters in the land. This could make the Tea Party look like a tea party.

Making matters even more politically dangerous for Obama is that open enrollment begins Oct. 15, less than three weeks before voters go to the polls.
 
It’s hard to imagine a bigger electoral disaster for a president than seniors in crucial states like Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio discovering that he’s taken away their beloved Medicare Advantage just weeks before an election.
 
This political ticking time bomb could become the biggest “October Surprise” in US political history.
 
But the administration’s devised a way to postpone the pain one more year, getting Obama past his last election; it plans to spend $8 billion to temporarily restore Medicare Advantage funds so that seniors in key markets don’t lose their trusted insurance program in the middle of Obama’s re-election bid.

The money is to come from funds that Health and Human Services is allowed to use for “demonstration projects.” But to make it legal, HHS has to pretend that it’s doing an “experiment” to study the effect of this money on the insurance market.

That is, to “study” what happens when the government doesn’t change anything but merely continues a program that’s been going on for years.
 
Obama can temporarily prop up Medicare Advantage long enough to get re-elected by exploiting an obscure bit of federal law. Under a 1967 statute, the HHS secretary can spend money without specific approval by Congress on “experiments” directly aimed at “increasing the efficiency and economy of health services.”

Past demonstration projects have studied new medical techniques or strategies aimed at improving care or reducing costs. The point is to find ways to lower the costs of Medicare by allowing medical technocrats to make efficient decisions without interference from vested interests.
 
Now Obama means to turn it on its head — diverting the money to a blatantly nonexperimental purpose to serve his political needs.

A Government Accounting Office report released this morning shows, quite starkly, that there simply is no experiment being conducted, just money being spent. Understandably, the GAO recommends that HHS cancel the project.
 
Congress should immediately launch an investigation into this unprecedented misuse of taxpayer money and violation of the public trust, which certainly presses the boundaries of legality and very well may breach them.
 
If he’s not stopped, Obama will spend $8 billion in taxpayer funds for a scheme to mask the debilitating effects on seniors of his signature piece of legislation just long enough to get himself re-elected.
 
Now that is some serious audacity.
 
Benjamin E. Sasse, a former US assistant secretary of health, is president of Midland University. Charles Hurt covers politics in DC.
 

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/an_billion_trick_ImTBFfz7MeuZLJY7JzXEIJ
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JDN
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« Reply #936 on: April 23, 2012, 09:53:15 AM »

OK, that seems pretty clear to me.  How about you JDN?

Also, the Kopel article posted by GM seemed to me to be sound in its observations.  Nice find.

Yes, that seems clear thank you.  Obama should have designed it to be a tax and spend program like Social Security and Medicare.
He foolishly tried to involved private enterprise; the insurance companies.

Also, I think Doug's points about liberty and privacy are a bit overblown.  The government already has my SS#, my DOB, my guns are registered, etc.
As for the rest, whether I smoke, drink or have sex is also already out there in Insurance Companies (pooled) data banks.  Notice you sign a release
on every medical form?

Anyway, I guess we will just wait to see what the Court rules.   
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #937 on: April 23, 2012, 10:06:07 AM »

"He foolishly tried to involved private enterprise; the insurance companies."

This leads to what I think is a very important point.  This is the essence of economic fascism-- when the government co-opts private enterprise as a means of expanding its control.   You think the mission of Obamacare is expanding the free market or a co-option that leads to the insuriance companies as facades for single payer or some variation thereof?

I share Doug's concerns about the implications for liberty and privacy.



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JDN
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« Reply #938 on: April 23, 2012, 10:21:03 AM »

While you may personally be opposed to Social Security and Medicare, I bet the overwhelming number of Americans are grateful.

No one is talking about doing away with Social Security or Medicare; but if as you all seem to imply, why not?

And, I would bet that the overwhelming number of Americans would be grateful for Universal Health Care in a few years.  Look at
the long list of Countries that have Universal Health Care.  Sure there are problems, but overall, the overwhelming number of
citizens would never go back.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #939 on: April 23, 2012, 10:26:51 AM »

So, you admit that the intention in involving private enterprise is to end its role in health care?

Spain, which I just left, has universal health care , , , and everyone is universally fuct.  THEY ARE BROKE.  Unemployment is 23%. For the young it is 48%.  The birth rate is something like an astonishing 1.1  shocked shocked shocked  This is a demographic death spiral.  The people are so grateful for what they have , , , that anyone who can is leaving the country.

Oh yeah, they have green solar energy too!
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JDN
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« Reply #940 on: April 23, 2012, 10:40:22 AM »

So, you admit that the intention in involving private enterprise is to end its role in health care?

I never said that.  But frankly, having worked in the health care industry I know there are layers upon layers of unnecessary, redundant and costly expenses. Billions could be saved.

Spain, which I just left, has universal health care , , , and everyone is universally fuct.  THEY ARE BROKE.  Unemployment is 23%. For the young it is 48%.  The birth rate is something like an astonishing 1.1  shocked shocked shocked  This is a demographic death spiral.  The people are so grateful for what they have , , , that anyone who can is leaving the country.

And you are implying that because they have universal health care, that is why they are broke?  Facts please.  Further, although broke, I bet universal health care is one of the last things
they would vote to repeal.  It's that important to them.

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DougMacG
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« Reply #941 on: April 23, 2012, 12:36:49 PM »

The commerce clause gave power for our government to be the referee, not the participant or architect of private sector commerce and innovation.  And it does not negate the other clauses or even the unenumerated rights.

Promote general welfare did not mean government do everything or make all private decisions.

"I share Doug's concerns about the implications for liberty and privacy."

Lots of government programs step on liberty and privacy.  I'm just saying that this is a huge, additional theft of liberty and privacy.  That, and the fact that 26 states oppose it and the Court chose to hear the case puts a very heavy burden on the proponents of the law to show where the federal government in this case derived its authority to do that.  The arguments made before the Court were made public, were quoted and linked in this thread, and I couldn't find in any of that a coherent case for that even a politically liberal leaning Justice could honestly cling to.

Unanswered: In a structure of enumerated powers, why (other than that you don't have the votes) wouldn't you pass a new amendment to authorize a new federal government power.
-----------

I would love to hear bigdog (and anyone else) summarize this historic, constitutional case as he would decide it - before the ruling comes out.  What are the strongest arguments in the favor of the losing side of this case and what are the paramount arguments that trump those arguments and make it necessary to upheld or strike down this law?

----------
In a short time we will know what 9 justices think.  I predict struck down 6-3.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #942 on: April 23, 2012, 01:52:07 PM »

I too would love to have Justice Big Dog give us his pre-decision.

"So, you admit that the intention in involving private enterprise is to end its role in health care?"

"I never said that."

Yeah, you did, you just don't realize it  cheesy

"But frankly, having worked in the health care industry I know there are layers upon layers of unnecessary, redundant and costly expenses. Billions could be saved."


YES!!! AGREED!!!  The solution however is not an unread 2,700 page law that creates hundreds (?) of bureaucracies with vague directives to write regulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   The solution is to look for was to restore the pricing mechanism to people's behavior as much as possible. 

"Spain, which I just left, has universal health care , , , and everyone is universally fuct.  THEY ARE BROKE.  Unemployment is 23%. For the young it is 48%.  The birth rate is something like an astonishing 1.1      This is a demographic death spiral.  The people are so grateful for what they have , , , that anyone who can is leaving the country."

"And you are implying that because they have universal health care, that is why they are broke?"

No, I am SAYING it  grin

"  Facts please.  "

Frankly, Life is too short to run this down.  Instead I am going for a home cooked Irish dinner  cool


Further, although broke, I bet universal health care is one of the last things
they would vote to repeal.  It's that important to them.


Which is a fine example of why they are fuct.

TAC!

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G M
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« Reply #943 on: April 23, 2012, 03:51:34 PM »

Further, although broke, I bet universal health care is one of the last things
they would vote to repeal.  It's that important to them.


Which is a fine example of why they are fuct.

EXxactly. Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.... It's almost like JDN can't see the connection.
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G M
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« Reply #944 on: April 23, 2012, 07:35:59 PM »

No one is talking about doing away with Social Security or Medicare; but if as you all seem to imply, why not?

Social Security and Medicare are going away all on their own.

http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/long-term-medicare-ss-deficit-tops-63-trillion/497066

Long-term Medicare & SS deficit tops $63 trillion


byPhilip Klein Senior Editorial Writer





Medicare and Social Security, the nation's two largest programs, have long-term deficits of $63.3 trillion, according to annual reports from the programs' trustees released today. The reports underscore the dire need to reform the programs if the nation wants to avert a fiscal crisis.
 
Though most news reports will focus on the trust fund exhaustion date (2024 for Medicare and 2033 for Social Security) the reality is that the trust fund is a farce. The Social Security program is financed primarily by payroll taxes. When the amount of tax revenue collected exceeds benefits, the surplus is theoretically put in the trust fund. But in reality, the federal government uses that surplus to finance ongoing government operations, and puts a stack of bonds -- or IOUs -- in the funds instead. Ultimately, the money to fund Social Security and Medicare has to come from American taxpayers one way or another, regardless of whether there's a paper "surplus" in the trust funds. A better way to assess the actual budgetary impact of the programs is to look at the deficits they are projected to run. And according to the trustees' reports, they're going to run deficits as far as the eye can see.
 
"In 2011, Social Security’s cost continued to exceed both the program’s tax income and its non-interest income, a trend that the Trustees project to continue throughout the short-range period and beyond," the Social Security trustees wrote. Though the payroll tax holiday accounted for a large chunk of the deficits in 2011 and 2012, the program still would have run a deficit had it not passed.
 
As for Medicare, the trustees wrote of the program's core hospital insurance benefit, "Beginning in 2008, expenditures exceeded income, and the Trustees expect this situation to continue throughout the projection period."
 
The trustees offer projections for the program's anticipated deficits through the 75-year time frame and an "infinite horizon" (given that the 75-year estimates include taxes collected from workers without taking into account the cost to government once they become retirees). I've broken down both sets of numbers in the chart below, which show a combined long-term deficit of $63.3 trillion. Keep in mind that this assumes that certain Medicare cuts go into full effect. For instance, the trustees assume that physician payments get cut by 30 percent in 2013, even though they acknowledge that, "it is a virtual certainty that lawmakers, cognizant of the disruptive consequences of such a sudden, sharp reduction in payments, will override this reduction just as they have every year since 2003." It also takes as a given that all of the Medicare changes in President Obama's health care law will go into effect exactly as written. Of course, Obama's projected Medicare cuts don't actually extend the solvency of Medicare in reality, because the money is already slated to be spent to help finance Obamacare's $1.76 trillion in spending.
 



Though it's difficult to grasp numbers so large over such a long time period, it's worth keeping in mind that investors deciding whether or not to purchase U.S. bonds take into account the nation's long-term fiscal picture, and thus could choose to stop buying Treasuries a lot sooner than an actual crisis is projected to hit, driving up borrowing costs dramatically. It's also important to realize that the sooner we take action to reform these programs, the easier it will be to phase in changes to avoid massive tax increases that will crush the economy and much more disruptive cuts. Unfortunately, with a predictable crisis staring us in the face that promises to wreck the futures of younger Americans, Obama has spent his first term avoiding dealing with the problem so he has a free hand to attack his Republican opponents.
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #945 on: April 24, 2012, 04:52:07 PM »

Just to be an add JDN, Congress doesn't pay into social security. So why isn't it optional?
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JDN
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« Reply #946 on: April 24, 2012, 05:42:58 PM »

Ahhh Gator Bait. I suggest you read up. They do pay into Social Security.
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Hello Kitty
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« Reply #947 on: April 24, 2012, 09:37:57 PM »

No... I suggest you read up. Until 1983, they weren't paying into it at all, which is to say that they weren't supporting the people that were drawing from it which is something that most people do and to our own peril because the fact remains that Congress has misspent the money and it well may not be there when we are ready to retire. Even today, they contribute to it at a reduced rate, and have their own retirement plan. If that isn't an option (they voted it into place for themselves), I don't know what is.
 http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm
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DougMacG
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« Reply #948 on: April 24, 2012, 10:33:39 PM »

Keeping this in healthcare because the proponents of Obamacare argue it has parallels to social security.

The facts about congress paying in or not are interesting but the question POSED TO JDN remains, why isn't social security optional?

The answer is quite simple...
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JDN
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« Reply #949 on: April 24, 2012, 11:21:23 PM »

Congress doesn't pay into social security.

Let me repeat; the answer is YES Congress does pay into Social Security.



Home • Ask FactCheck • Members of Congress Pay Social Security Taxes
Members of Congress Pay Social Security Taxes
Posted on December 17, 2007

Q: Do members of Congress pay Social Security taxes?

A: Yes, ever since 1984.

FULL QUESTION

Do members of Congress have to pay Social Security or are they exempt?

FULL ANSWER

All members of the U.S. Congress pay Social Security taxes and have done so since 1984.

A good deal of false information about the House and Senate pension system has been circulating in chain e-mails and Internet postings, mostly based on information that has been outdated for more than two decades. Prior to 1984, members of Congress were covered only by a separate Civil Service Retirement System that was criticized as being overly generous. They did not pay Social Security taxes and received no Social Security retirement credit for their time in office. However, legislation passed in 1983 required members to begin paying into Social Security, effective January 1984. As the Social Security Administration’s Web site states:

SSA: All members of Congress, no matter how long they have been in office, have been paying into the Social Security system since January 1984.

The myth that members of Congress don’t pay into Social Security has found continued rebirth on the Internet despite having been debunked by myth-busting sites including Snopes, TruthorFiction and UrbanLegends. The SSA includes the false claim among its frequently asked questions, as does the U.S. Senate’s "Virtual Reference Desk." Even the National Taxpayers Union, no friend of congressional pensions, has a page on its site correcting the falsehood.
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