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Obama on the Affordable Care Act

President Barack Obama explains the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. They ruled that the individual mandate was no more than a tax.

More from ScotusBlog:

Although the Court had four questions before it, the focus of the challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was the so-called individual mandate – the requirement that almost all Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. Defending the constitutionality of the mandate, the government’s primary argument was that Congress can require everyone to buy health insurance using its power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, because the failure to buy insurance shifts the costs of health care for the uninsured to health care providers, insurance companies, and everyone who does have health insurance. Five Justices – the Chief Justice and Justices Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, and Alito – all rejected that argument. But the government still won, because a different set of five Justices – the Chief Justice, and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan – agreed that the mandate was constitutional, but for a different reason. (more…)

By |2012-07-01T00:21:13-04:00June 29th, 2012|Healthcare|Comments Off on Obama on the Affordable Care Act

Grab Bag — Saturday (Updated)

  • The third round of the Masters has started. Lee Westwood, who has been playing some really good golf over the last two years, is tied for the lead. My golf instructor told me to watch Fred Couples. He had problems yesterday with 16, 17 and 18 and had a disappointing round of 75. Today he is three under through eight holes and is in fourth place. Not bad for a 50-year-old man. Tom Watson is in 11th place and he is 60. Everyone is watching Tiger Woods, who is playing the kind of up-and-down golf that he sometimes plays. He is clearly in the hunt. The weather is perfect. There should be some great golf today.
  • With Judge John Paul Stevens stepping down from the Supreme Court, SCOTUSBlog had a really nice piece yesterday discussing on how the “Kennedy court” will be shifting.
  • When is the Catholic Church going to simply hold a press conference and come clean? When are they going to stand up for the people they say they serve?
  • I hope that everybody realizes that the health-care debate is not over. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.
  • There’s an excellent article in the New England Journal of Medicine about the public opinion of healthcare reform at the time that reform passed. It’s kind of interesting when you drill through the numbers. 90% of the population thought that is a good idea to have tax breaks for small businesses to help cover workers and make healthcare more affordable. 36% of Americans thought it was a good idea to reduce Medicare payments to doctors and hospitals. Of the stuff that was asked but not in the bill, 69% of Americans thought that was a great idea to allow Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada. By the way, where was that in the final bill?
  • Finally, a lot of Americans are really upset over the individual mandate. I’m not sure I understand their objections, but their argument goes something like how can Congress force me to buy a product? The problem with healthcare is that if you do not have health insurance and get sick it is possible for you to run up a bill that you can never pay off ($500,000 – $2,000,000 in some cases). That’s the problem. To me, the individual mandate forces us to join the largest insurance pool possible. This in turn drives down costs for all of us. I guess you can look at it the other way. Suppose you are a 20-year-old healthy male and decide that you’re not buying into any insurance plan. In your early 30s you develop hypertension but don’t take your medication and still don’t go to a doctor or join a health-care plan. In your 40s, as your kidneys begin to fail, should you be allowed then to join the health-care pool? Individual mandate should help premiums stay low for all of us.
  • Has anybody seen any new movies? Anything good out there?


  • Phil Mickelson powered behind back-to-back eagles is six under today and has taken the lead at the Masters. Tiger Woods started off strong but has been struggling most of the day.
  • When is Sarah Palin‘s five minutes of fame going to be over? Snake oil science? Did she go to school? I mean, did she even go to high school? Man, I find her irritating.
  • Polish president, Lech Kaczynski, died in a plane crash. Wow, this is weird.
  • Michael Steele holds the key to the Republican hopes in November, or so he says. Do you think that he has a head injury? Is that why he acts the way that he does?
  • Republican restraint and fiscal responsibility. Don’t laugh.
  • Is it legal for the President of the US to order to have someone killed? What if that someone were a radical Muslim cleric living in Yemen? What if this cleric were an American citizen with ties to two people who were known terrorists?
By |2010-04-10T15:42:36-04:00April 10th, 2010|Healthcare, Sports, Supreme court, Terrorism|Comments Off on Grab Bag — Saturday (Updated)

Sotomayor Hearings

David Waldman of the Daily Kos and Congress Matters has the best summary of everything Sotomayor.  Live blogging at a couple of places – Scotusblog and Congress Matters.

From DK:

All Congress-watching eyes are expected to turn today to the Senate Judiciary Committee, as they begin their consideration of the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. And the Committee, aware of the intense interest, will be live streaming video of the hearing, which they’re wisely making available in blog-embeddable format. So that’s exciting in itself. They know where the interest lies.

Thinking of popping some popcorn and watching the proceedings? If it’s Sotomayor you want to hear from, make sure you get lunch first. And maybe a nap. Because although the hearings are expected to be gaveled into session at 10 a.m., the first order of business is opening statements. From the Senators. Nineteen of them. For up to ten minutes apiece. Plus statements of introduction from home state Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand.

That’s Washington for you. Three to four hours of opening statements — plus a lunch break — before the person you’re supposed to be talking about even gets to say anything. And then, once she makes her own opening statement, they’ll adjourn for the day. It will take an entire day to “open” things with statements. You want to see someone ask a question? Come back tomorrow.

Meanwhile, some resources:

Interested in embedding the video in your blog? Judiciary Committee Dems have made it easy. Just follow this link, choose your format, and (theoretically) you’re good to go. Video clips, highlights, etc. to be made available throughout the day here.

Plenty of good previews circulating online, too. (And if you find any more good ones, throw us a link in the comments.)

Why not start here, with Adam Serwer of TAP?

And perhaps something from Daniel Schuman of the Sunlight Foundation?

Myths vs. Facts, from Ian Millhiser at the Center for American Progress? (more…)

By |2009-07-13T13:42:27-04:00July 13th, 2009|Legal, Supreme court|Comments Off on Sotomayor Hearings
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