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Supreme Court upholds Obama health care law by 5-4 vote

By Mark Sherman

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 04:10 p.m. HST, Jun 28, 2012


WASHINGTON >> The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance.

The 5-4 decision meant the huge overhaul, still taking effect, could proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.

The ruling hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in approving the plan. However, Republicans quickly indicated they will try to use the decision to rally their supporters against what they call "Obamacare," arguing that the ruling characterized the penalty against people who refuse to get insurance as a tax.

Obama declared, "Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country." GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney renewed his criticism of the overhaul, calling it "bad law" and promising to work to repeal it if elected in November.

Breaking with the court's other conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts announced the judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans. Roberts explained at length the court's view of the mandate as a valid exercise of Congress' authority to "lay and collect taxes." The administration estimates that roughly 4 million people will pay the penalty rather than buy insurance.

Even though Congress called it a penalty, not a tax, Roberts said, "The payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation."

Roberts also made plain the court's rejection of the administration's claim that Congress had the power under the Constitution's commerce clause to put the mandate in place. The power to regulate interstate commerce power, he said, "does not authorize the mandate. "

Stocks of hospital companies rose after the decision was announced, while shares of insurers fell sharply. Shares of drugmakers and device makers fell slightly.

The justices rejected two of the administration's three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax. "Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts said.

The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part in the law's extension.

The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.

Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

Kennedy summarized the dissent in court. "In our view, the act before us is invalid in its entirety," he said.

The dissenters said in a joint statement that the law "exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying non-consenting states all Medicaid funding."

In all, the justices spelled out their views in six opinions totaling 187 pages. Roberts, Kennedy and Ginsburg spent 51 minutes summarizing their views in the packed courtroom.

The legislation passed Congress in early 2010 after a monumental struggle in which all Republicans voted against it. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said Thursday the House will vote the week of July 9 on whether to repeal the law, though such efforts have virtually no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

After the ruling, Republican campaign strategists said Romney will use it to continue campaigning against "Obamacare" and attacking the president's signature health care program as a tax increase.

"Obama might have his law, but the GOP has a cause," said veteran campaign adviser Terry Holt. "This promises to galvanize Republican support around a repeal of what could well be called the largest tax increase in American history."

Democrats said Romney, who backed an individual health insurance mandate when he was Massachusetts governor, will have a hard time exploiting the ruling.

"Mitt Romney is the intellectual godfather of Obamacare," said Democratic consultant Jim Manley. "The bigger issue is the rising cost of health care, and this bill is designed to deal with it."

More than eight in 10 Americans already have health insurance. But for most of the 50 million who are uninsured, the ruling offers the promise of guaranteed coverage at affordable prices. Lower-income and many middle-class families will be eligible for subsidies to help pay premiums starting in 2014.

There's also an added safety net for all Americans, insured and uninsured. Starting in 2014, insurance companies will not be able to deny coverage for medical treatment, nor can they charge more to people with health problems. Those protections, now standard in most big employer plans, will be available to all, including people who get laid off, or leave a corporate job to launch their own small business.

Seniors also benefit from the law through better Medicare coverage for those with high prescription costs, and no copayments for preventive care. But hospitals, nursing homes, and many other service providers may struggle once the Medicare cuts used to finance the law really start to bite.

Illegal immigrants are not entitled to the new insurance coverage under the law, and will remain one of the biggest groups uninsured.

Obama's law is by no means the last word on health care. Experts expect costs to keep rising, meaning that lawmakers will have to revisit the issue perhaps as early as next year, when federal budget woes will force them to confront painful options for Medicare and Medicaid, the giant federal programs that cover seniors, the disabled, and low-income people.

The health care overhaul focus will now quickly shift from Washington to state capitals. Only 14 states, plus Washington, D.C., have adopted plans to set up the new health insurance markets called for under the law. Called exchanges, the new markets are supposed to be up and running on Jan. 1, 2014. People buying coverage individually, as well as small businesses, will be able to shop for private coverage from a range of competing insurers.

Most Republican-led states, including large ones such as Texas and Florida, have been counting on the law to be overturned and have failed to do the considerable spade work needed to set up exchanges. There's a real question about whether they can meet the deadline, and if they don't, Washington will step in and run their exchanges for them.

In contrast to the states, health insurance companies, major employers, and big hospital systems are among the best prepared. Many of the changes called for in the law were already being demanded by employers trying to get better value for their private health insurance dollars.

"The main driver here is financial," said Dr. Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, which has pioneered some of the changes. "The factors driving health care reform are not new, and they are not going to go away."

The Medicaid expansion would cover an estimated 17 million people who earn too much to qualify for assistance but not enough to afford insurance. The federal and state governments share the cost, and Washington regularly imposes conditions on the states in exchange for money.

Roberts said Congress' ability to impose those conditions has its limits. "In this case, the financial 'inducement' Congress has chosen is much more than 'relatively mild encouragement' — it is a gun to the head," he said.

The law says the Health and Human Services Department can withhold a state's entire Medicaid allotment if the state doesn't comply with the health care law's Medicaid provisions.

Even while ruling out that level of coercion, however, Roberts said nothing prevents the federal government from offering money to accomplish the expansion and withholding that money from states that don't meet certain conditions.

"What Congress is not free to do is to penalize states that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding," he said.

Ginsburg said the court should have upheld the entire law as written without forcing any changes in the Medicaid provision. She said Congress' constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce supports the individual mandate. She warned that the legal reasoning, even though the law was upheld, could cause trouble in future cases.

"So in the end, the Affordable Health Care Act survives largely unscathed. But the court's commerce clause and spending clause jurisprudence has been set awry. My expectation is that the setbacks will be temporary blips, not permanent obstructions," Ginsburg said in a statement she, too, read from the bench.

In the courtroom Thursday were retired Justice John Paul Stevens and the wives of Roberts, Alito, Breyer, Kennedy and Thomas.

.__

Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Charles Babington, Jessica Gresko, Jesse J. Holland and David Espo contributed to this report.

___

Online:

http://hosted.ap.org/interactives/2012/healthcare







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Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on June 28,2012 | 05:15AM
Mana07 wrote:
Yeah you better hold onto your wallet. Oh wait.....I'm sure it will be me paying for you. Welcome to the USSA.
on June 28,2012 | 05:17AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on June 28,2012 | 06:00AM
Mana07 wrote:
Typical...here goes the name calling.
on June 28,2012 | 07:43AM
hawaiikone wrote:
Classy attitude.
on June 28,2012 | 12:56PM
64hoo wrote:
you make good money thats fine but wait till you have to pay the 1 million illegal immagrints who don't have health care you will be paying there coverage good luck.
on June 29,2012 | 12:10AM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:37AM
Manoa2 wrote:
Remember that requiring the purchase of private health insurance was a conservative idea (from the Heritage foundation) and a Republican idea supported by Gingrich and Reagan among many others and of course by Romney-- Obama just copied it. Conservatives and Republicans called it the free market approach-- they said "We have the best private insurance providers in the world. Just require everyone to purchase their own private insurance, and competition among insurers willl provide the best healthcare at the most efficient cost." Think PRIVATE insurance companies and individual responsibility to buy insurance on the market-- that is not socialism, it is just the opposite.
on June 28,2012 | 01:28PM
OldDiver wrote:
Romneycare.
on June 28,2012 | 02:29PM
false wrote:
Well, Romneycare was implemented in a state which, like all the other states, must balance its budget. It was a bad program, a bad idea for the state, but a much worse idea for the nation which has over $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities. This bill is just like the Honolulu rail fiasco, headed for guaranteed and substantial cost overruns. Then where will we be with our massive unfunded entitlement costs? $70 trillion? 80 trillion? Constitutionality aside, this law is the most fiscally reckless legislative act in our lifetimes.
on June 28,2012 | 05:37PM
false wrote:
There was never a conservative consensus on this matter, that compelling citizens to buy a product was either constitutional or desirable. What does reflect a conservative consensus is the position taken by the party since the tea party revolt and that is that mandated commerce whether compelled by law or a tax, is unacceptable and an expansion of government power which we'll look back on with great regret.
on June 28,2012 | 05:32PM
stingray65 wrote:
He shouldn't get elected to begin with!! Because He Promised the Change, and the changed goes wrong.!! :(
on June 28,2012 | 02:31PM
hawaiikone wrote:
My favorite car was my 1965 396 vette. Would be worth some bucks today.
on June 28,2012 | 05:22PM
thepartyfirst wrote:
When the government forces you to do something it is called tyranny! Do not take this bending over like a typical Democrat.
on June 28,2012 | 07:39AM
kahuku01 wrote:
I wonder if it is called tyranny when the government mandated everyone to pay the added half percent on the sales tax dedicated to rail and HI-5 for every bottle purchased?
on June 28,2012 | 04:10PM
kainalu wrote:
While the poisoned-tea guzzlers often refer to it as "Obamacare", it's actually on the law books as the "AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT". You get a sense that many don't even know that this ruling is a victory for the working-class stiff. As it stood, the quality of your health care was dependent on your personal-wealth. There is an immediate positive impact for those with a pre-existing condition, and parents willing to include their children up to the age of 26 as their dependents. There's little-to-no impact on those that currently purchase their own insurance, or subscribe to insurance through an employer. Finally, the AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT closes the doughnut hole - the gaff in the current Medicare policy that requires the senior-patient to pay the next $4K for prescription medication out-of-pocket after the initial Medicare coverage of $2,700 is met. Meanwhile, the cry of wolf on the impact to small business owners is just that - with less than 5% of those impacted - the others already meeting the requirement of the law before it was implemented. And that's another fact lost on most - that most conditions mandated in this Act have already been voluntarily implemented by most on their own, as their own policy. The AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT merely requires those others to get on board.
on June 28,2012 | 03:07PM
Hullstown wrote:
Yeah, the middle class should be ecstatic! They've just been handed the largest tax increase in the history of the world! Ha!
on June 28,2012 | 04:33PM
hawaiikone wrote:
What has happened is now the govt. is squarely between the doctor and the patient. Whether the results justify giving up more rights remains to be seen, but what has the govt. ever done that worked out well for anyone other than the new federal employees hired.
on June 28,2012 | 05:32PM
OldDiver wrote:
Nonsense from Republican TV (Fox News).
on June 28,2012 | 05:53PM
ISCREAM wrote:
You need to read some of the law...
on June 28,2012 | 08:52PM
Changalang wrote:
All the bennies are coming in before the election. Look at the GOPidiots getting ready to repeal a law that keeps American Middle Class families with up to 26 year old children back in nest on the only medical insurance available to the household. Check the unemployment rate on those college grad age kids. The chessboard is set. Wonder who got to Roberts,though. Total surprise to the best data feeder lines out of D.C. Talk about a false crack.
on June 28,2012 | 06:45PM
ISCREAM wrote:
This is a lot like social security...a federally mandated program that most people don't know was supposed to be "temporary" according to FDR (yes look it up) and is now bankrupt. This too will bankrupt the middle class and it is only the beginning of "behavior modification through taxation". This is a Democratic Party strategy outlined in the Progressives Caucus (think Mazie Hirono) designed to better peoples lives because they are smarter than the rest of the country. Next will be a tax on sugary drinks (think bankrupt California with a 10.3% sales tax), then a tax on high fat foods, followed by a tax requiring us to buy long term care insurance. These are already in the pipeline...can you say BOHICA!
on June 28,2012 | 08:52PM
onevoice82 wrote:
Freedom of Religion just took a hit! Watch out you Protestants, Baptists, Catholics, Episcapalians, Mormons, Lutherans, Buddist.......not long before religious persecution is back!
on June 28,2012 | 05:38AM
Taisho808 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on June 28,2012 | 06:25AM
kainalu wrote:
At last check, this healthcare reform has no impact whatsoever on your right to get down on your knees of an imaginary power, and pour all your money that you want into the collection plate.
on June 28,2012 | 06:58AM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:38AM
lucky181 wrote:
Now the whole country can have part time jobs, just like Hawaii. I wonder if the Feds will have an exemption for religious reasons like HI does.
on June 28,2012 | 05:51AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Obama wins! Obama wins! Obama wins!
on June 28,2012 | 05:52AM
scooters wrote:
and WE lose...
on June 28,2012 | 09:30AM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM!
on June 28,2012 | 12:14PM
rigormortis wrote:
Ha ha, and we were led to believe our 401s could be withdrawn when we retire with a lower tax rate!
on June 28,2012 | 06:00AM
username_required wrote:
Wanna make some money? Intrade is showing that the individual mandate was not ruled unconstitutional. In fact, CJ Roberts did find it unconstitutional under the commerce clause.
on June 28,2012 | 06:08AM
sluggah wrote:
This will end up biting Obama on his backside. People don't support it.
on June 28,2012 | 06:08AM
kuewa wrote:
Which people are you referring to? The millions who are already benefitting from extension of dependent coverage, lower Medicare prescription costs, State insurance pools and phase-out of pre-existing condition exclusions? Or the millions more who will be receiving rebates from their insurance companies, ability to shop for insurance (including expanded Federal and State programs), etc.? Or maybe you mean the people who won't acknowledge anything good that comes from this President.
on June 28,2012 | 07:25AM
Pacej001 wrote:
I think he's talking the 60% in polls that do not like the law, or the majority that were pulling for either full or partial defeat of the law by the court. You do have something right, though. Nothing good will come from this president who's determined to "completely transform" a country that doesn't need it, doesn't want it, will only suffer for it.
on June 28,2012 | 09:59AM
kuewa wrote:
Not sure where you get your numbers, but here is an excerpt article from the Washington Post (a conservative newspaper) yesterday: "A poll taken days before the high court’s ruling found that 43 percent of Americans said the court should not overturn the law, and 35 percent hoped it would."
on June 28,2012 | 12:54PM
kahuku01 wrote:
Better yet, what percentage of the American population do you really think understands the the Obamacare or are they just listening to the bits and pieces from the media or the negative remarks from Romny and his republican members of congress and become rah rah followers. Many Americans could care less whether it was passed or not because they do have some form of medical insurance coverage. So what's the big deal if you have some kind of medical coverage and the court did not overturn the law? Is it because it's called Obamacare?
on June 28,2012 | 04:33PM
false wrote:
The big deal is in the future costs of this new entitlement. None of our major entitlements have come close to their original cost estimates. They have cost more than estimated by orders of magnitude. We're already seeing unanticipated costs arising with Obamacare. More will come and add to our crushing national debt.
on June 28,2012 | 05:47PM
false wrote:
The Washington Post is not a conservative paper. No one thinks of the Post as conservative, anywhere. I read the polls, the majority favor either partial or complete termination of the law. Some in this group would keep the law, but hold that the insurance mandate is unconstitutional and should go. The post is probably playing a word game with that group of respondents, saying that they world favor keeping the law, but not mentioning the negative opinion on the mandate. If the mandate goes, the law has no fiscal foundation. It might as well be repealed.
on June 28,2012 | 05:43PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM!
on June 28,2012 | 12:15PM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:39AM
beachbum11 wrote:
It does not matter when the election is fixed. He will change the law and be president (dictator) till he dies. He will use his excutive powers to do it. Good Bye USA
on June 28,2012 | 12:44PM
roadsterred wrote:
Hooray! Thanks to Obamacare and the formerly-controlled Democratic Congress under Nancy Pelosi, we now have a new tax under the Individual Mandate provision. Also, the Federal Government will reduce unemployment by hiring 1,500 new IRS Agents to enforce this provision. It's time for everyone to rejoice because the for the first time, the United States of America will have universal healthcare. President Obama said it wasn't a tax, however, today's SCOTUS decision says otherwise.
on June 28,2012 | 06:48AM
kuewa wrote:
You will only pay the "tax" if you refuse to obtain healthcare coverage. This is because the rest of us will not want to pay your medical bills unless you contribute to the system.
on June 28,2012 | 07:19AM
soundofreason wrote:
Hasn't worked out so well for mandated car insurance, now has it? Uniinsured drivers running around everywhere.
on June 28,2012 | 07:29AM
kuewa wrote:
Uninsured drivers are not the same situation. They do not depend on the government or public funding to support their driving.
on June 28,2012 | 12:57PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
And nor do autobody places have to fix your car if you have no auto insurance.
on June 28,2012 | 01:50PM
soundofreason wrote:
and "the tax" is a $100 fine. Yeah, THAT'LL fix this:/
on June 28,2012 | 09:09AM
kuewa wrote:
Thanks for making up your numbers. Here are the individual penalties in the current Affordable Care Act. Certain employers will also face penalties for not providing insurance coverage. "Those without coverage pay a tax penalty of the greater of $695 per year up to a maximum of three times that amount ($2,085) per family or 2.5% of household income. The penalty will be phased-in according to the following schedule: $95 in 2014, $325 in 2015, and $695 in 2016 for the flat fee or 1.0% of taxable income in 2014, 2.0% of taxable income in 2015, and 2.5% of taxable income in 2016."
on June 28,2012 | 01:01PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM!
on June 28,2012 | 12:16PM
kuewa wrote:
You can stop your senseless BOOMing every time someone makes up numbers and facts. It makes you look gullible.
on June 28,2012 | 01:03PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM for you!
on June 28,2012 | 03:12PM
soundofreason wrote:
and WHAT was that # for 2014?? 95$ Excuse me for the $5 discrepancy
on June 28,2012 | 04:10PM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:39AM
thanks4reading wrote:
If you want an economic prediction of what the affordable care act will do, look at the stock market. Hospital stocks went up because they will not have to pay health care costs for the uninsured and insurance company stocks fell because they will no longer be able to rip off the public and drop coverage when you get sick. Personally, I like the fact that hospitals will have more money to invest in health services and I can live with the fact that Insurance ceos are not getting their fourth vacation home. I am also grateful that my child will be covered until age 26 and that I can not be turned down again for insurance because I have an eye problem (requires very cheap medication drops about 3 times a year). Romney had it right when he passed the same law as governor.
on June 28,2012 | 07:09AM
kuewa wrote:
Great comment. And of course, Romney (aka Etch-a-Sketch man) is now saying that he would overturn ACA if he becomes POTUS.
on June 28,2012 | 07:28AM
Changalang wrote:
Electoral College modeling shows that Romney has a very very low probability of success against Hawaii's favorite son; our beloved President Obama.
on June 28,2012 | 08:58AM
Pacej001 wrote:
What model?
on June 28,2012 | 10:00AM
Changalang wrote:
Ask Dick Morris; he'll tell you what you want to hear. Doesn't matter if he is wrong again AGAIN though to people whose only functional coping system is to forgive and forget. LOL.
on June 28,2012 | 12:59PM
false wrote:
A fact, please. Is that so hard to supply? What model, developed by whom, with what database? I suspect you are using magical fairy dust facts. Prove me wrong.
on June 28,2012 | 05:51PM
Changalang wrote:
Bunch of mathematical probability facts in my response to maneki. I am sure you can work out your own model to show how Romney is going to win in a wave election. Knock yourself out. I try to limit my responses to non-delusion. :)
on June 28,2012 | 06:40PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Intrade has O re-election odds at 53%. I think that is pretty accurate. Whether it's good or not I leave to each person to decide. But make sure you vote your belief.
on June 28,2012 | 10:07AM
Changalang wrote:
Intrade shows the odds on favorite. Electoral vote modeling shows potential pathways. 270 wins it all. Romney only has 181 locked. There are approximately 136 verified toss ups. For a 42.7 % Intrade underdog challenger to pull in 65.4 % of the toss ups in a deliverable map strategy simply has not been accomplished; ever. Also, InTrade has Obama at 54.4% now. Out of Colorado (9) Florida (29) Iowa (6) Michigan (16) Missouri (10) Nevada (6) New Hampshire (4) North Carolina (15) Ohio (18) Virginia (13) Wisconsin (10) where is Romney's 89 more vs. Obama's 49? It's not rocket science.
on June 28,2012 | 12:57PM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:40AM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM! Can't wait!!!
on June 28,2012 | 12:18PM
kuewa wrote:
Well, you better move then if you really think you are doomed.
on June 28,2012 | 01:04PM
lee1957 wrote:
He was saying that before this ruling.
on June 28,2012 | 11:36AM
IEBuzzin wrote:
PUNI!
on June 28,2012 | 03:13PM
Changalang wrote:
Agree one hundred percent; big picture logic.
on June 28,2012 | 07:29AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Donkeys ONE - elephants ZERO.
on June 28,2012 | 07:15AM
soundofreason wrote:
Donkeys have a shortler lifespan than elephants.
on June 28,2012 | 07:29AM
Changalang wrote:
Yeah, but Elephants have selective memories and tend to conveniently Forgive and Forget when it fits "the agenda".
on June 28,2012 | 08:56AM
soundofreason wrote:
Let's talk about the selective HEARING of donkeys then, cause HERE'S the reality of how this is all going to come down. All across America, employers are going to be meeting with their uninsured employees and explaining to them WHY their wages will soon be reflecting a $400 decrease from what they HAVE been getting paid to compensate for the new overhead placed on the employer JUST like our Hawaii office pays approx $400 less for the SAME job being done in other markets. And when THAT light goes off in the employees heads.......Obama will have JUST bought another vote for Romney. So, remind me, WHO won here again? That's why I get a kick when people scream about corps needing to pay more in taxes. Corps just raise prices back to the consumers to compensate and the same crying consumers are the ones who end up paying more. Smart.
on June 28,2012 | 09:19AM
Changalang wrote:
Actually, what is going to happen is that Federal funding will shift taxpayer money spending onto Healthcare and enforcement via hiring 14,000 IRS agents. That money will be shifted from Defense spending. Just giving you the truth; so you can forget at will, particularly after it happens. LOL.
on June 28,2012 | 01:04PM
kuewa wrote:
And where do you get your factoids from? Romney?
on June 28,2012 | 01:05PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM!
on June 28,2012 | 12:18PM
Charliegrunt wrote:
Payback time has arrived. Kagan and Sotomayor were the swing votes. One who only has three years as a lawyer and NO TIME as a judge, and one who had a short shaky career as judge making decisions on constitutional law. Isn't it odd that this administration follows countries who have socialized medicine and whose citizens say it doesn't work. Canadians and Europeans have told me that those who can afford it buy American medical insurance and come here for treatment.
on June 28,2012 | 07:25AM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:41AM
sailfish1 wrote:
All Japanese have medical coverage. It is required under Japanese law. The per capita cost is half the cost in the U.S. and the life expectancy there is the highest in the world. Do you see Japanese coming here for medical treatment - NO!
on June 28,2012 | 01:41PM
Changalang wrote:
Wow; nobody expected Roberts to flip. Confirmation that Kennedy was on-board was all the insiders that they needed. This is a good outcome. A partial strike down would've have passed the cost onto providers; now the Fed is on the hook for Medicaid users.
on June 28,2012 | 07:28AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
From my view it doesn't much matter whether the states tax the bejeezus out of us to pay for Medicaid or if the Feds tax the bejeezus out of us to pay for Medicaid. The states will opt out so the Feds will be on the hook but my pockets will scream no less for being pilfered long, hard and continuously by Uncle Sam.
on June 28,2012 | 10:04AM
Changalang wrote:
Not Hawaii, so it matters a lot to us here. Our state exchange by math modeling is unsustainable. fits in with everything else, though; Rail, ERS, and etc.
on June 28,2012 | 01:15PM
Anonymous wrote:
The judicial activism of the Roberts Court was curbed at least for one day and in one case. From the overturning of decades of wise legal precedent in the campaign finance Citizens United case to other less noteworthy cases, the uber-conservative block has operated at hellbent speed to thumb its collective noses at the doctrine of judicial restraint. This is a principle espoused by conservatives, but not practiced by them. The shrill propagandists on Fox and its ilk deride so-called liberal judges for judicial activism, but judicial activism has become the hallmark of a new breed of conservative judges. Chief Justice Roberts sided with the four reasonable Supreme Court justices because he saw the legitimacy of the highest Court undermined by the increased politicization of its decisions. A contrary decision would have been considered just another politically based opinion. Thus, for now, there was an absence of judicial activism. There was no interference with the legislative branch's constitutional prerogative to enact a far-reaching law.
on June 28,2012 | 07:41AM
Descartes22 wrote:
I just posted that. Don't know why it was attributed to Anonymous.
on June 28,2012 | 07:43AM
kuewa wrote:
Thanks for posting a thoughtful comment.
on June 28,2012 | 01:07PM
Changalang wrote:
Roberts redefined the intent to make individual mandate Constitutional, while simultaneously paralyzing any future use of penalties in the commerce clause to force undue will onto the people. I thought Roberts did a crafty and fine job of producing a constitutional outcome that left the law and all its progress so far intact. Activism indeed, though.
on June 28,2012 | 08:12AM
Descartes22 wrote:
I agree with you in that the decision was crafty because the tax aspect underpinning the case was barely argued. The four justice's in the concurrence would have upheld it on Commerce Clause grounds. But it is not judicial activism. Judicial Activism would have been to strike down a law enacted by the legislative and executive branch.
on June 28,2012 | 08:27AM
Changalang wrote:
When you read the majority opinion you will find that the devil is in the details and may change your mind on the activism perspective.
on June 28,2012 | 08:55AM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM!
on June 28,2012 | 12:20PM
LanaUlulani wrote:


Actually the Supreme Court revealed that ObamaCare is a NEW TAX after Obama said it was not a tax. Worse for HAWAIIANS... THIS is the death of lāʻau.

Obama shifted the paradigm FROM Hawaiian-based medicine which is PLANT-based to American-based medicine which is DRUG-based. This is a very sad day for lāʻau !!!


on June 28,2012 | 07:52AM
HD36 wrote:
Hawaiian's get da best plant based medicine for sea sickness: pakalolo no ka oi!
on June 28,2012 | 07:58AM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM!
on June 28,2012 | 12:21PM
Descartes22 wrote:
The import of the decision is outlined with what I said at 7:41 a..m Its significance does not relate to the purported healing power of plants.
on June 28,2012 | 08:03AM
Changalang wrote:
Perhaps somebody had magic brownies for breakfast.
on June 28,2012 | 08:13AM
kuewa wrote:
Looks like you've been taking too much plant based medicine.
on June 28,2012 | 01:09PM
Kuokoa wrote:
Welcome the the Unconsitutional Socialists States of America. Were are my inalienable rights? Don't I have the right to choose for myself? Why is this government forcing me to do something I do not want to do? Oh, I see, the USA has become a socilaist country.
on June 28,2012 | 08:08AM
Changalang wrote:
Adapt, and overcome.
on June 28,2012 | 08:54AM
soundofreason wrote:
Hence Romney.
on June 28,2012 | 09:31AM
Changalang wrote:
Ahh no; Romney is the loyal opposition. Adapt to prosper in the environment and envision a plan to have you succeed in the second term, when the gloves come off.
on June 28,2012 | 01:17PM
beachbum11 wrote:
You are full of it.
on June 28,2012 | 12:51PM
Changalang wrote:
I am honored to be full of it, when it fills the same great minds as Darwin. Perhaps, when you find more of it, then you can appreciate higher thought. But, Darwin's theory of Natural Selection indicates that you probably don't have enough of it to adapt and overcome. Therefore, your future is probably bleak.
on June 28,2012 | 01:27PM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:42AM
kuewa wrote:
Ummm...you keep posting the same line over and over again, and nobody is really paying attention. Maybe you could learn to write something else?
on June 28,2012 | 01:10PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Feeding trolls encourages them.
on June 28,2012 | 01:57PM
WKAMA wrote:
I think your brain is stuck. Please press the ESC button.
on June 28,2012 | 01:46PM
sunnyhi wrote:
History in the making. There are a lot of provisions in the Act that I like and I'm sure many of Hawaii residents will benefit from. Stop calling it Obamacare and move forward. Both parties need to agree to disagree and embrace the Affordable Care Act ( ACA) and move forward now. Work together to improve it where they agree to compromise. Repeal is not the answer. Working together to make the ACA an efficient model to benefit all Americans is the right way to lead.
on June 28,2012 | 08:26AM
scooters wrote:
The SOCIALIST President has gotten his way. What's next in his agenda of oppression of the American people? We're doomed if he's re-elected.
on June 28,2012 | 09:43AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
I agree we should quit with the Obamacare label. But let's also quit with the Affordable Care Act label too. Maybe we could call it what it is: "Insurance Industry Income Annuity Program for Perpetuity"
on June 28,2012 | 10:00AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Ah yes. Now is the come together moment, not. It might have been if this law wasn't rammed through in the worst, most partisan way possible, if it were not based on a pack of lies and distortions-- cost calculation based on 10 years of taxes covering 7 years of implementation, the mandate supported by a fine, but argued as a tax in court after passage, "you can keep your insurance if you want to", the double counting of Medicare savings, and on and on. Bottom line: the message from the court is that it isn't their job to save us from our own stupidity at adding a massive new entitlement when we already have $60 trillion in unfunded liabilities, mostly entitlements. Repeal now becomes the only answer.
on June 28,2012 | 10:11AM
IEBuzzin wrote:
REAL PUNI!!!
on June 28,2012 | 03:34PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM
on June 28,2012 | 03:33PM
Kaleo744 wrote:
Agreed! ..SunnyHi
on June 28,2012 | 08:48AM
Naloboy wrote:
Now watch the conservative's try to turn this into political fodder for the pathetic masses of hate mongering anti-obamaites who have just lost their strongest argument for getting rid of the President. Now they will have to find another bogus issue to mask their true problem with Obama....that he is an African-American.
on June 28,2012 | 09:28AM
Pacej001 wrote:
Geezo-Beezo!! You guys can't even avoid the race card when you win. Also, you're dead wrong. This law is very much hated by the public (a majority). If Romney wins, that this monstrosity was upheld, will be one of the main reasons. It, along with the economy, has now become one of the strongest reasons for getting rid of Obama and the Democrat senate.
on June 28,2012 | 10:14AM
Changalang wrote:
Romneycare is the father of Obamacare; Mitt deserves credit too. :)
on June 28,2012 | 01:28PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
BOOM, BOOM! YOU KNOW DAT!!!
on June 28,2012 | 12:22PM
beachbum11 wrote:
Bra what are you smoking. Must be the Hawaii education.
on June 28,2012 | 12:54PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
Not your Bra, and lay off Hawaii education as it produced Obama, lolo.....
on June 28,2012 | 03:39PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
What interested me was that the states are apparently able to opt out of the Medicaid benefit increases without penalty. So some states will bump up Medicaid and some won't. Those that do not will not be penalized. If that is correct, I suspect all states will move to ignore Medicaid increases or the states that do bump up will get an influx from the others.

I know, that sounds complicated but given Hawaii's history of pro-near universal health care this could lead to Hawaii becoming a very popular place for sick people with few assets and no income. Health tourism is one thing but health migration is another. But I guess it's too soon to really tell, eh?


on June 28,2012 | 09:58AM
kuewa wrote:
My understanding is that the ruling allows the Federal Government to limit but not eliminate Medicaid funding for States that do not comply. Of course, the Fed Govt already has this right since Medicaid is a jointly funded initiative.
on June 28,2012 | 01:12PM
serious wrote:
What? A tax on the middle class? But HE said in his campaign!!!!!!!!!!
on June 28,2012 | 09:59AM
DoraJoe wrote:
I love it! I love it! I'm going to .pdf all the comments of the 50th State and as someone said: Hawaii's favorite son; our beloved President Obama, and see where he is come January. Do you really think he'll give everything up and come home to Hawaii Nei??? He will be back in Chicago living in his mansion! Aloha y'all!
on June 28,2012 | 10:27AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Why all the angst? Either you pay through payroll deductions or you pay in higher medical costs. Uninsured patients costs hospitals mllions of dollars a year which they immediately pass on to insured patients.
on June 28,2012 | 10:40AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Why all the angst? Either you pay through payroll deductions or you pay in higher medical costs. Uninsured patients costs hospitals million of dollars a year which they immediately pass on to insured patients.
on June 28,2012 | 10:41AM
Mana07 wrote:
If you are applauding this, ask yourself do you REALLY UNDERSTAND what has just happened? Actually, the act as Obama sold it was ruled unconstitutional but the court ruled that it was OK as a tax....WHAT!? Hasn't Obama been saying, swearing, contending, that this is in no way a tax? I pity you. If you are applauding this ruling you do not understand it. You are guided by your hatred of conservatives. I believe that this liberal ruling has awakened a nation that will not stand for it. Ok....go ahead call me names now.
on June 28,2012 | 10:55AM
tiki886 wrote:
John Roberts and Obama have just created another Ponzi scheme identical to Social Security which is supposed to be "Insurance". Roberts, created new law by calling the individual mandate a "Tax" which Obama vehemently denied it was because if it was a tax, the Democrats knew it would not pass.

Two tragedies for the American people: 1 - Obama lied; 2- Roberts is a Bush nominee and so this truly was BUSHS' fault for not veting Roberts as conservative in sheep's clothing who is actually a LIBERAL who legislated from the bench!


on June 28,2012 | 03:00PM
tiki886 wrote:
Even if ObamaCare is repealed, this ruling opens the door so the Federal Government can tax all American Citizens into compliance for behavior it deems necessary for the common good. Our Nation has taken the biggest step in history towards COMMUNIST dictatorship! We are doomed!
on June 28,2012 | 03:07PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
PUNI!
on June 28,2012 | 03:17PM
tiki886 wrote:
ObamaCare will add $800 billion dollars in new taxes and cuts $500 billion from medicare. This tax hits the people he wanted to help. The poor, the old and the young. Obama won the battle but he's lost the war. He has awoken a sleeping giant and he will be kicked out of office faster than Jimmy Carter!
on June 28,2012 | 03:22PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
IMUA OBAMA!!!
on June 28,2012 | 03:24PM
tiki886 wrote:
Forward? Yes, that's a familiar commie slogan.
on June 28,2012 | 03:47PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
Puni tiki....
on June 28,2012 | 09:54PM
blackmurano wrote:
John Roberts decision to side with the Liberals in this Health bill may elect our new President, Mitt Romney. This Presidential race is very close so this health bill decision is what the Republicans and Mitt Romney needed. The first day offfice,a President Mitt Romney will use the "pen" repel this ridicoulous health bill drawn up by a far left liberal socialist.
on June 28,2012 | 04:11PM
tiki886 wrote:
Does anyone see the similarity between the exorbitant costs in funding ObamaCare and the Rail including the politics involved?
on June 28,2012 | 05:26PM
IEBuzzin wrote:
More puni, burning pukas in your pants....
on June 28,2012 | 09:56PM
Descartes22 wrote:
As this historic day in the annals of the Supreme Court closes, I see some well-reasoned opinions, particularly from Kuewa and Kainalu. I also see parrots of the Fox and Rush drivel. In a country where a huge percentage of people believe the President is not Hawai`i born or is a Muslim, it is unsurprising that the positive consequences of the Act are distorted to the extreme. After all, the only policy initiated by the GOP subsequent to Bush the Younger is to Jimmy Carter-ize Hawai`i's Obama. It is no wonder that Obama's support among educated Americans dwarfs that of Romney.
on June 28,2012 | 08:29PM
Kuokoa wrote:
Wait a minute, I have a question. Is the government also going to require rich people to get health care insurance even when they can well afford to pay for health care themselves? According to the law they must or they will be taxed. I think this health care BS is stupid.
on June 28,2012 | 11:17PM
64hoo wrote:
another flip flop for obama last year on a t.v. talk show george stepheapolis show he was showing obama that he will have to raise taxes on this health bill but obama said there will be no raising taxes but what justice roberts said who was the decideing vote said this bil is constitunal because it is a tax rasing bill. so hold on to your wallets because, you will be paying for it. it is a tax increase, where as flip flop obama said it was'nt. well i guess obama is going to raise your taxes for this healthcare bill so be prepared for a tax increase america.
on June 28,2012 | 11:35PM
CloudForest wrote:
Tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax ........... that's right 21 NEW TAXES for all to enjoy! I'm sorry for only those whom pay taxes, not for those whom don't!
on June 29,2012 | 12:24AM
HD36 wrote:
Two of my friends are voting for Obama. One is getting unemployment for over a year while still working and the other gets food stamps and works in a resturaunt. They both aspire to goberment jobs.
on June 29,2012 | 12:32AM
64hoo wrote:
feel sorry for those whom pay taxes for covering non u.s citizens and otherwise
on June 29,2012 | 01:20AM
64hoo wrote:
to all readers who made comments about this bill go to you tube and type in government healthcare bill H.R.3200 and watch the the film an see the key points on the healthcare bill..
on June 29,2012 | 01:06AM
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