Trump's Justice Department Affirms ObamaCare is Unconstitutional

In a letter to House Speaker Ryan, Attorney General Jeff Sessions affirmed that the Justice Dept will no longer defend the constitutionality of Obamacare.

Sessions writes that the DoJ believes the law's individual mandate - the provision the Supreme Court upheld in 2012 - has become unconstitutional.

Notably, the three-page letter begins by saying that Justice adopted its position "with the approval of the President of the United States."

Specifically, Sessions writes that the mandate cannot be interpreted as a tax “because it will raise no revenue as Congress has eliminated the monetary penalty,” the department said in a brief filed in the Federal District Court in Fort Worth.

As Axios reports, the Justice Department almost always defends federal laws when they're challenged in court. Its departure from that norm in this case is a major development - career DOJ lawyers removed themselves from the case as the department announced this shift in its position.

The ACA's individual mandate requires most people to buy insurance or pay a tax penalty. The Supreme Court upheld that in 2012 as a valid use of Congress' taxing power, but as Axios details below, that is all about to come to a head as Democratic attorneys general have been granted permission to defend the ACA in this case...

  • When Congress claimed it repealed the individual mandate last year, what it actually did was drop the tax penalty to $0.

  • So the coverage requirement itself is still technically on the books.

  • And a group of Republican attorneys general, representing states led by Texas, say it's now unconstitutional - because the specific penalty the Supreme Court upheld is no longer in effect.

  • The Justice Department agreed with that position in a brief filed Thursday night.

  • DOJ said the courts should strike down the coverage requirement, as well as the provision of the law that forces insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

And before the left gets out its outrage machine (and Nancy Peolsi decrying the number of children that will die due to Jeff Session's opinion), while it is rare for the Justice Department to stop defending a federal law, it is not unprecedented: the Obama administration did it with the Defense of Marriage Act.

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Full letter from AG Sessions to Speaker Ryan:

Comments

hedgeless_horseman IridiumRebel Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:47 Permalink

 

There are good reasons why The Ten Commandments do not require charity, nor does The Constitution of the United States of America. 

Obamacare is immoral, as are all socialist policies.

Thou shalt not steal.

Charity must be allowed to thrive, naturally, rather than being forced upon men with the barrel of the policeman's gun, the judge's gavel, and the jailer's key.  

Which means if you aren't paying for your healthcare, then I am.  Unlike the good ol' days in America, when we had a choice to fund our local hospital via charity, and could feel good about doing so, in 2017 America, the Supreme Court has determined that we have no freedom of choice to donate to a charity.  We are now required to pay for other's healthcare, upon threat of imprisonment by the IRS.  It's sure hard to feel good about that.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-16/how-negotiate-directly-physic…

In reply to by IridiumRebel

D503 Automatic Choke Fri, 06/08/2018 - 00:05 Permalink

The only thing I really want from government is to inform me that another government is positioning forces against me. 

I don't keep shit friends, and I don't associate with shit neighbors. Forced association violates the constitution AND the human bill of rights.

The freedom to fuck up your own life shouldn't cost me a damn thing more than the effect it has as relating to me.

I'm sorry your kid/wife/mother/brother/father is a drug addict. I'm still not paying.

End that fucking dialysis shit too. Billions of dollars for incurable shit split 200k ways annually. 

 

In reply to by Automatic Choke

rtb61 hedgeless_horseman Fri, 06/08/2018 - 03:13 Permalink

So you must steal land to farm it originally. You must steal land to mine it originally. You must steal land to build a house on it originally.

What you just want to say is GOD SAID, this rule only starts after I steal my piece of land, or claim it as empty, or kill the orginal inhabitants and then say it was empty ie it is only stealing after I steal it and it's now mine and not before, try to take it from me after I steal it and GOD SAID you must die, but though should not kill, hmmmmmm.

Why should your starting point of ownership take precedence over mine and if you claim it because you can defend it under force of arms, well, that kind of ends you claim upon exactly the same basis, if my force of arms is greater, than I have the right to the land under God and you shall go to hell for trying to deny me my land.

Obama care is not charity, it is in fact compulsory corporate taxation, approved by the corporations (although they did want to keep junk policies, you know the crap, doesn't cost much but basically provides zero coverage, hence the low cost, no medical expences to pay for just advertising).

By the way, prove what was on the ten commandments before claiming anything as fact, sure cite other claims, but do not claim it as fact. No commandments available for review, no original bibles available for review (hmm, if the bloody book was so important why didn't god protect it, well, perhaps because it was full of crap and not worth protecting, come up with a better reason if you can).

For clarity.

The totality of existence is my God (not some goat herder wish machine).

My religion is freedom, democracy and justice (all I need from a religion, apart from the rest of you, I need all of you for the democracy bit as well as to serve justice and probably a element of freedom as well).

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

BigJim rtb61 Fri, 06/08/2018 - 04:41 Permalink

Yes, private land "ownership" is problematic, even if the land wasn't acquired through conquest. Additionally, if you look at what governments are "for", historically their principle purpose has been to establish or maintain control over who gets to exploit land and natural resources, yet people who have access to neither are being expected to pay (via income taxes) for the core government services (police and military) that defend these "rights".

However, unless they are allowed to act as if the land is theirs, people are unwilling to invest the time/labour/capital required to farm or construct the buildings or infrastructure that civilisation requires.

 

It seems to me that high LVT on the unimproved value of the land is the most ethical way to square this circle, complemented with conversely very, very low income and sales taxes. This maximises incentives to utilise land in the most productive way and reduces disincentives to work.

In reply to by rtb61

gregga777 sixsigma cygnu… Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:41 Permalink

In what country was the Magic Halfrican born? Kenya? Indonesia? It certainly wasn't the United States of America. He was adopted by Soetero in Indonesia and became an Indonesian citizen. Of course, the MSPM (Mainstream Propaganda Media & Entertainment Oligopoly) did everything in their power to cover up his past. The mainstream media presstitutes are loathesome and despicable POS's. 

In reply to by sixsigma cygnu…

chubbar StychoKiller Fri, 06/08/2018 - 07:26 Permalink

No this one didn't get recycled, either find out the facts of the case or shut the fuck up, we don't need idiots stating their opinion as facts around here. The SSN that Obama is using belonged to a Harrison Bounell (SP?) who died in the 80's IIRC. He applied for his SSN later in life because he needed Medicare and he wasn't issued a SSN earlier in life (born in the early 1900's/late 1800's). Because he applied for his SSN late in life (early 80's or so, conveniently for Barry it was around his birth date) and then died, it was the perfect SSN to use.

As most people know, the prefix for SSN's were assigned by state/county location of birth at that time (the SS Admin changed this during the time Orly Taitz was challenging Barry about his SSN), so unless Barry was born in CT, his SSN is a lie, and everyone KNOWS THIS. They aren't recycled like the idiot above states.

Also, an interesting tidbit, the governor of CT signed a law AFTER the Newtown School shooting, that SSN's history/research information is now sealed which means that conveniently no one can go into those records to further investigate Barry Soetoro and his SSN. 

In reply to by StychoKiller

Theta_Burn Thu, 06/07/2018 - 21:30 Permalink

What..no more 6K deductibles for those with coverage, or the 50% yearly cost increases for those on the obamashare?

Insurance co's will actually need to compete, streamline and innovate?

Say it ain't so.....ho.

HagbardCeline slightlyskeptical Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:12 Permalink

I can see only two possible reasons why insurance cost wouldn't go back down to what it was before ObamaCare.

One is if the requirement to ignore pre-existing conditions stays standing, but Sessions says he won't defend that.

The other is if insurance that is now "substandard" (because it doesn't provide coverage for everything in ObamaCare's ridiculous definition of "minimum essential coverage," including sex-change operations) doesn't become available for sale again.

I don't believe ObamaCare ever made it illegal to offer "substandard" insurance; it just doesn't relieve you from the tax penalty for not having coverage, so long as the tax penalty exists.  Therefore "substandard" coverage will be available as soon as insurers are willing to offer it again.  I assume this will happen as soon as a court strikes down the pre-existing conditions requirement.

But it would still be nice if Rand Paul's bill to allow consumers to buy insurance in other states were resurrected, as a way to let people in over-regulated states enjoy affordable coverage too.

Then we can talk about lifting the ceiling on the number of admissions to med schools.  Repealing HIPAA, which enables the feds' war on pain patients.  And most importantly, enacting loser-pays to make bogus malpractice claims, which have tripled the cost of some treatments, go away.

In reply to by slightlyskeptical

swmnguy HagbardCeline Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:48 Permalink

Do you really think the healthcare finance industry is going to cut any prices for anything?  Do you have any idea how many layers of middlemen there are with their hands in the till?

The insurance industry is why you can't buy insurance across state lines.  The McCarran-Ferguson Act, of 1947.  If insurance companies operated over state lines, they'd be subject to federal regulation under the Interstate Commerce Clause.  They've managed to stay under the control of State boards they control, and they've spared no effort to keep it that way for over 70 years.

According to the healthcare industry itself, the cost of malpractice payouts is less than 1/2 of 1% of healthcare costs.

No, the problem with healthcare finance is the finance industry itself.  How can that surprise any ZH'er?  Getting government involved doesn't seem to have solved the problem in healthcare finance, any more than it did on Wall Street.  But the problem was already reaching crisis proportions long before ObamaCare.

Indeed, that's why the health insurance industry hired the Heritage Foundation to write what became ObamaCare, back in 1990.

ObamaCare is a total clusterfuck, as will be every single approach that keeps the Finance sector at the center of the healthcare system.

In reply to by HagbardCeline

Bigly swmnguy Thu, 06/07/2018 - 23:10 Permalink

I usually find your comments offbase, no offense. You are absolutely spot on here. +100

Obamacare was epically bad...on purpose.

But as a person who was in that industry since the late 80's, I have NEVER seen one year where medical inflation was only single digits. This was headed toward TILT since then. Pharma is the nail in the coffin. Too much pill popping, bad side effects, then more pill popping. Pharma inflation even more than Medical.

Disaster.

I would love to clean the industry up but at this point, what's the point?  Demographics alone are sinking the ship, regardless.

In reply to by swmnguy

Zoobs Bigly Fri, 06/08/2018 - 13:42 Permalink

I propose we all just die of natural causes. No interventions. You are what you eat. Die of Big Mac or running track. Get rid of all the dramatic interventions that cost $millions. Emergency care only.  No transplants or life support.  Only pain killers in sufficient dose that you won't recover. Some yuck just said having children was causing global warming so lets get the population in balance, for the children.

In reply to by Bigly

BarkingCat HagbardCeline Fri, 06/08/2018 - 01:06 Permalink

While Obamacare did not make "substandard" coverage illegal,  it did make it impractical. 

In order to avoid penalties the insurance plan had to meet certain criteria  (as made up by some bureaucrats.....because some pencil pusher pulling stuff out of his ass is a good way to distribute resouqrces ).

 

There just has to be one company that creates new plans that match what we had before.

After that others will follow or they will go under.

In reply to by HagbardCeline

JelloBeyonce Theta_Burn Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:11 Permalink

Yeah, Obamacare sucks donkey dick, but the problems go way beyond ACA....

There is no true "competition" in the market anymore.....

The largest shareholders of the largest hospitals include:
State Street
BlackRock
Vanguard
JP Morgan & Chase
T Rowe Price
Wellington Management
And other of the largest money management firms, whom operate collaboratively, monopolizing corporate America by largely owning, & thus controlling, the largest "competing" companies in most every industry.

These same money management firms are also the largest shareholders, and thus effective controllers, of the largest pharmaceutical companies.

These same money management firms are also the largest shareholders, and thus effective controllers, of the largest insurance companies.

These same money management firms are also the largest shareholders, and thus effective controllers, of the largest medical devices companies.

Many of these money management firms have members that sit on the Boards or Advisory Committees of many of the largest private hospitals.

These firms own corporate America:
In the past, individuals and large institutions mostly invested in actively managed mutual funds, such as Fidelity, in which fund managers pick stocks with the aim of beating the market. But since the financial crisis of 2008, investors have shifted to index funds, which replicate established stock indices, such as the S&P 500.

The fast-growing index sector, on the other hand, is highly concentrated. It is dominated by just three giant American asset managers: BlackRock, Vanguard and State Street – what we call the Big Three.

In a recently published paper, our CORPNET research project comprehensively mapped the
ownership of the Big Three. We found that the Big Three, taken together, have become the largest shareholder in 40% of all publicly listed firms in the United States.

In the S&P 500 – the benchmark index of America’s largest corporations – the situation is even more extreme. Together, the Big Three are the largest single shareholder in almost 90% of S&P 500 firms, including Apple, Microsoft, ExxonMobil, General Electric and Coca-Cola. This is the index in which most people invest.

These money management firms are the largest shareholders of the six largest airlines.
These money management firms are the largest shareholders of the six largest banks.

The list goes on & on.

There is no true competition in airlines anymore.
There is no true competition in big banking anymore.

Thinking there will be true competition in insurance, drug pricing, hospitals, etc. is foolish when the same firms own the largest "competing" companies.

The healthcare issue (crisis) is so much more comprehensive & complex than the mindless masses realize.

In reply to by Theta_Burn