A reminder from ABL: “Conservatives seem to think that even though the highest court in the land ruled the mandate constitutional under Congress’s taxing power, it doesn’t matter because nyah! nyah! —President Obama said it wasn’t a tax! [...] Actually, I’ll be fair. I don’t know if he was lying when he said it was not a tax. Maybe he thought it was a tax, but knew the word “tax” causes immediate brain meltdowns among the wingnut class. Or maybe he thought it was a penalty. Or maybe he understands the difference between a tax and a valid exercise of Congress’s taxing power. (I’m betting on the last option.)”
The tracks of their tears this week:
Far right conservatives are beside themselves over Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision on the ACA, leading Glenn Beck to make some money on Justice Roberts ‘Coward’ T-shirts and spawning the following rightwingnuttiness and teameltdowns:
- Newsflash for Republicans: Romneycare works exactly like Obamacare – Romney’s mandate also works as a penalty, which blunts the charges critics leveled at Obama.
- Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) likened the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Democratic health care law to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
- Former Town Councilor Mike Malzone, the founder of the Merrimack Tea Party, said Thursday in a Facebook post reacting to the Supreme Court ruling on health care, “I hope the (5 supremes) get colon cancer.” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who joined the majority opinion, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1999 and had pancreatic cancer ten years later.
- Of all the right-wing meltdowns following yesterday’s decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, this statement, encouraging open revolt against the federal government put out by the chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party may take the cake…
- Slate compiled several other funny and over-the-top reactions from prominent conservatives, like Sarah Palin who thanked God for firing up “the troops,” or Breitbart.com’s Ben Shapiro, who tweeted that the decision “is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration.”
- The House Republicans 2009 “alternative” to Obamacare was no alternative — but that won’t stop Eric Cantor from still trying to push it to this day.
The DOJ won’t prosecute AG Holder over the Fox Entertainment / NRA political boondoggle-extravaganza known as the Fast & Furious investigation, so Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said on Fox “we could have Attorney General Holder arrested.”
Despite the Republican Party’s best efforts at stalling, obstruction, and doing nothing, Congress on Friday approved legislation that will extend federal highway programs through 2014, a low interest rate on student loans for one year, and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years. The final bill does not include language that would require approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
The unwashed conservative base, who so desperately want to vote Obama out of the White House (no gay marriage! no contraception! more guns!), have to embrace the candidate who’s been chosen for them, Mr-Plutocrat-One-Percent-Mitt-Romney, AND his ideas, like only those who can pay for an education deserve an education. Mitt is telling us proletarians to suck it — corporations look forward to all the minimum wage workers our country can create.
“In short, unless you belong to that tiny class of wealthy Americans who are insulated and isolated from the realities of most people’s lives, the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. For almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society.” — Paul Krugman (via azspot)
Verses the religious fundamentalists / patriots:
“The 2012 elections are now primarily a fight over whether health insurance is a right or a privilege, which is to say, a fight for decency.” — Jonathan Chait
Alec MacGillis says this was not the better outcome for Mitt Romney: “Romney has been in a bind on health care all campaign, given that he signed into the law the model for Obamacare. But a ruling against the law would have allowed Romney to lambast it on the court’s terms—as an unconstitutional overreach… And, crucially, it will now fall to Romney himself to lead the argument against Obamacare, and to the extent that he takes up this charge, it will bring into focus, as never before, just how compromised he is on this front. [...] And when he does so, when he makes the case for doing away with Obamacare, and Obama in turn makes the case for keeping it (“forward, not back”), Romney will be doing, as John Dickerson notes, exactly what he didn’t want to do this election: he will be turning it into a choice between two approaches, rather than a referendum on the incumbent who couldn’t even make sure his biggest achievement passed constitutional muster. No, this is not good for Mitt.”
And John Dickerson agrees, wondering if this gives the President back his mojo: “Twice in Romney’s statement responding to the ruling, he said, “This is a choice” when talking about the electoral conditions created by the court’s action. The president has been trying to get people to see the election as a choice for months—a choice between two candidates and their plans is preferable than a referendum on his record. [...] If voters see health care as a matter of which candidate will look out for them, then Obama has the advantage. He leads Romney by 31 points in the latest Pew poll when respondents were asked, “Who connects more with ordinary Americans?” In this fight, the president may have an unlikely ally in Chief Justice Roberts. By upholding the law and authoring the decision, he lent an extra measure of validation.”
And Nate Cohn doesn’t think it helps either candidate at this point, but argues: “With belated validation from the Supreme Court, Obama could be tempted to resell the bill. Will Obama attempt to capitalize on the law’s newfound legitimacy, to the extent that the Supreme Court offers any? Prior to the Supreme Court’s hearings, the Obama campaign seemed to embrace the ObamaCare label, perhaps indicating their intention to promote the bill once legal issues were resolved. While it might seem unstrategic for Obama to return attention to an unpopular proposal, a resell could produce better results than the initial attempt, if for no other reason than the absence of an on-going partisan debate in Congress. Perhaps more importantly, Obama is better positioned to promote the law against Mitt Romney, who enacted a similar health reform scheme in Massachusetts. Romney’s previous measures will complicate his ability to credibly challenge the ACA and particularly the individual mandate. In that respect, Santorum was surely correct.”
“This is now a time for the American People to make a choice. You can choose whether to have a larger and larger government making intrusions into your life… Or whether instead you want to return to a time where Americans have their own choice in health care.” — Mitt Romney on ACA ruling.
A response from tenderstatue: Mittens, you and I must have different definitions of choice, because in my world “go bankrupt trying to pay medical pills or go without treatment” IS NOT A FUCKING CHOICE.
Think Progress notes “…there is no massive tax hike: few people will ever pay the penalty, and those who do will pay less than the amount of the payroll tax increase that Republicans nearly allowed to occur.
“In addition, according to a report from Families USA, 28.6 million Americans, most of them middle-class, will receive tax cuts under the bill due to entering health care exchanges and receiving affordability credits.
“[...] In addition to these tax credits and the fact that more than 30 million Americans will have new access to health insurance, the health care law will help create millions of jobs.”
Back in March, Bill O’Reilly made a bold prediction about the Supreme Court’s health care decision. Coincidentally, Laura Ingraham filled in for him last night onThe O’Reilly Factor.
In related news, Boston.com reports that “Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. said Thursday that its board has approved a plan to split into two companies, one containing struggling newspaper and book publishing businesses and the other comprising faster-growing entertainment operations.” Guess which company, news or entertainment, Fox “News” falls under? That’s right: ENTERTAINMENT.
“You may call tyranny a mandate or you may call it a tax, but it still is tyranny and invites the same response. If we refuse to obey, we will be fined. If we refuse to pay the fine, we will in time be jailed. If we refuse to report meekly to jail, we will be sent for by armed men. And if we refuse their violent invitation at the doorsteps of our own homes we will be killed — unless we kill them first. … I am on record as advocating the right of defensive violence against a tyrannical regime.” — Mike Vanderboegh, the ex-militia blogger…recently predicted that if the Supreme Court declared the health care reform bill to be constitutional, it would lead to violent insurrection against “government tyranny.”
Your Second Amendment right to bear arms gives you no right to use violence against those you disagree with.
LOL: Ben Smith and Zeke Miller of Buzzfeed Politics (Romney’s online PR firm) would like it very much, thank you, if you’d move along and quit talking about the ACA being ruled constitutional in a 5-4 vote by the Supreme Court. They want you to know that you’re not interested in talking about it anymore and neither are they. We’re all so over it.
I just don’t understand, since it was only two days ago Buzzfeed’s own McKay Coppins reported that either way the Supreme Court went with Obamacare, it would be fantastic news for Mitt Romney. Why don’t they want to talk about Mitt’s fantastic news?
Of course we know it’s the American people who will now have health insurance who really won.
Mother Jones reports on
10 11 things you get, now that Obamacare survived:
1) Insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime coverage limits on your insurance. Never again will you face the risk of getting really sick and then, a few months in, having your insurer tell you, “Sorry, you’ve ‘run out’ of coverage.” Almost everyone I’ve met knows someone who had insurance but got really, really sick (or had a kid get really sick) and ran into a lifetime cap.
2) If you don’t know someone who has run into a lifetime cap, you probably know someone who has run into an annual cap. The use of these will be sharply limited. (They’ll be eliminated entirely in 2014.)
3) Insurers can no longer tell kids with preexisting conditions that they’ll insure them “except for” the preexisting condition. That’s called preexisting condition exclusion, and it’s out the window.
4) A special, temporary program will help adults with preexisting conditions get coverage. It expires in 2014, when the health insurance exchanges—basically big “pools” of businesses and individuals—come on-line. That’s when all insurers will have to cover everyone, preexisting condition or not.
5) Insurance companies can’t drop you when you get sick, either—this plan means the end of “rescissions.”
6) You can stay on your parents’ insurance until you’re 26.
7) Seniors get $250 towards closing the “doughnut hole” in their prescription drug coverage. Currently, prescription drug coverage ends once you’ve spent $2,700 on drugs and it doesn’t kick in again until you’ve spent nearly $6,200. James Ridgeway wrote about the problems with the doughnut hole for Mother Jones in the September/October 2008 issue. Eventually, the health care reform bill will close the donut hole entirely. The AARP has more on immediate health care benefits for seniors. Next year (i.e., in nine months), 50 percent of the doughnut hole will be covered.
8) Medicare’s preventive benefits now come with a free visit with your primary care doctor every year to plan out your prevention services. And there are no more co-pays for preventative services in Medicare.
9) This is a big one: Small businesses get big tax credits—up to 50 percent of premium costs—for offering health insurance to their workers.
10) Insurers with unusually high administrative costs have to offer rebates to their customers, and every insurance company has to reveal how much it spends on overhead.
UPDATE: Here’s one more big benefit we’ve found out about since the ACA passed: 11) Free birth control and other preventative services for women, unless you work for a faith-based organization that opposes birth control.
CNN had a massive, total FAIL on every level today, from the internet to iPhone “breaking news” coverage. Total, complete failure:
“Many expect an activist Supreme Court will strike down part or all of health reform. If they strike down the mandate, the Supreme Court will be paving the way to a single-payer system, or back to the old broken health care system.” — Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), quoted by TPM.
Medicare for all. Let’s do that.
If Clarence Thomas rules against ACA, he’ll be RICH!
“Scalia’s cafeteria constitutionalism, in which he picks and chooses the laws he ideologically agrees with and ignores the ones he doesn’t, was never on better display than in Monday’s SCOTUS decisions. In the world according to Scalia, Arizona has the rights to patrol its own borders associated with a sovereign state, but Montana must bow to federal power when it comes to obeying Citizens United (the state’s 100-year-old campaign finance law was enacted free its citizens from the corrupt control of mining interests). Or as Harold Meyerson put it in the Washington Post, “You’re sovereign when Scalia agrees with you; you’re nothing when he doesn’t.” — Joan Walsh, Thanks, Antonin Scalia – Salon.com
erosum: Rachel Maddow on “Obamacare”
They did the right thing:
“Hindsight is always 20-20, but last time I checked almost every president since Teddy Roosevelt tried to do something on health care and wasn’t able to do it. It was the right thing to do, and sometimes you don’t get a second chance to do the right thing.” — Former North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge
“Republicans did a great job of misinforming … and scaring the American people. So did the insurance companies, and the fact is when you explain provisions of the bill, the American people support it. …I’m embarrassed for Congress that they didn’t pass health care reform long before we did. Far too many people in Congress think that they are there to get reelected and that’s unfortunate. We’re there to work for the American people, and that’s what we did. We passed a measure that allows millions of Americans to be insured. It allows people with pre-existing [conditions] to get covered.” — Former Ohio Rep. Steve Driehaus
“You have to vote with your conscience and do what’s right. In my district, I had 350,000 who had no health insurance. I came from a migrant family, and I knew the seriousness of not having insurance and people dying because they couldn’t go to the doctor. It was the right thing to do, and if I had to do it again, I would do it again. It was now or never.” — Former Texas Rep. Solomon Ortiz
— Politico spoke to Democrat lawmakers who fought to pass the Affordable Care Act — and who were voted out as a result. The consensus? No regrets.
Think Progress: Thousands of federal firefighters are battling massive wildfires in Colorado and Utah. But because most of these firefighters are temporary employees of the Forest Service, they do not receive health benefits under federal regulations. Bill Dougan, president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, said health insurance is unaffordable for many unless “they have a spouse that might be able to get coverage under an employer. In some places that’s not an option.” The Affordable Care Act, on which the Supreme Court will rule tomorrow, could help them by guaranteeing coverage if they have a pre-existing condition from smoke inhalation and by offering subsidies to help cover insurance premiums. But if the Supreme Court overturns the law, as Wonkblog’s Sarah Kliff writes, “the firefighters stay in the same situation they’ve been in all along: Working a dangerous job and unable to afford coverage.”