PPACA | ACA | Obamacare | Mandate | Shared Responsibility Payment | Tax

Discussion in 'Judicial Interpretation' started by Dante, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    PPACA | ACA | Obamacare | Mandate | Shared Responsibility Payment | Tax - It's All The Same Thing: What do you agree or disagree with in the decision? Could be the majority opinion or concurring ones or opposing ones. What exactly turns you on or of to it (the opinion/decision)?

    I see little difference to get excited about in how Chief Justice Roberts joined the majority (and in his separate concurring opinion) in Citizens United and how he ruled in the PPACA. He seems to me to be fair and consistent. What I see are ideological and partisan arguments for and against him concerning these two decisions. But here I will argue that his reasoning was sound in deciding the 'shared responsibility payment' can not only function as a tax for constitutional purpose, but that it was his duty and obligation to be consistent here (PPACA) as he was in Citizens.

    We'll start with his own words and reasoning, not those of a pundit or pol:

    ...

    The reach of the Federal Government’s enumerated powers is broader still because the Constitution authorizes Congress to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.”Art. I, §8, cl. 18. We have long read this provision to give Congress great latitude in exercising its powers:Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional.” McCulloch, 4 Wheat., at 42

    Our permissive reading of these powers is explained in part by a general reticence to invalidate the acts of the Nation’s elected leaders. “Proper respect for a co-ordinate branch of the government” requires that we strike down an Act of Congress only if “the lack of constitutional authority to pass [the] act in question is clearly demonstrated.” United States v. Harris, 106 U. S. 629, 635 (1883).

    Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

    Our deference in matters of policy cannot, however, become abdication in matters of law. “The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those lim- its may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 176 (1803). Our respect for Congress’s policy judgments thus can never extend so far as to disavow restraints on federal power that the Constitution carefully constructed. “The peculiar circumstances of the moment may render a measure more or less wise, but cannot render it more or less constitutional.” Chief Justice John Marshall, A Friend of the Constitution No. V, Alexandria Gazette, July5, 1819, in John Marshall’s Defense of McCulloch v. Maryland 190–191 (G. Gunther ed. 1969).

    And there can be no question that it is the responsibility of this Court to enforce the limits on federal power by striking down acts of Congress that transgress those limits. Marbury v. Madison, supra, at 175–176.

    The questions before us must be considered against the background of these basic principles.

    Now what is there that is so unheard of, so unsound, so partisan, or ideological?n It has been said that CJ Roberts was something out of the ordinary in order to save the PPACA. What was so out of the ordinary here?
     
  2. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    What is there NOT to understand?
     
  3. HenryBHough
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    HenryBHough Gold Member Supporting Member

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    Will anybody who is forced to pay for something they don't want and didn't buy be upset?

    2016 will tell.
     
  4. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    What percentage of the population is that? I bet the GOP will NOT be running on Obamacare in 2016. But this isn't a political thread. It's about the Constitutionality and constitutional issues surrounding the PPACA

    mark this threat Dante keeper post site search for 2016 election
     
  5. eagle1462010
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    eagle1462010 Platinum Member

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    Since when do you care about staying on topic.............nevermind.............

    riddle me this................

    Qualifier Question..............How much does it cost for your company Insurance now? ONLY FOR YOURSELF may be used, even though your company insurance rates went up 60% because of Obamacare...............

    Family rates at work need not apply as written by dumb ass libs.
     
  6. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    Reminds me of the comments made by supporters and proponents of Prop 8 in California

    NCLR Analysis Oral Argument in Proposition 8 Appeal Sets the Stage for Ninth Circuit Ruling - National Center for Lesbian Rights

    Prop 8 Motion to Vacate to Crazytown Gay News Towleroad

    The Supreme Court has long held that, when interpreting an act of Congress, “a reviewing court should not confine itself to examining a particular statutory provision in isolation” as the “meaning—or ambiguity—of certain words or phrases may only become evident when placed in context.” So if the justices follow their own precedents in King, they will hold that tax credits are available in all fifty states.

    How A Stray Remark By A Republican Governor Could Save Obamacare From The Supreme Court ThinkProgress
     
  7. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Parts I, II, and III–C, an opinion with respect to Part IV, in which JUSTICE BREYER and JUSTICE KAGAN join, and an opinion with respect to Parts III–A, III–B, and III–D.

    Today we resolve constitutional challenges to two provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010:

    the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase a health insurance policy providing a minimum level of coverage;

    and the Medicaid expansion, which gives funds to the States on the condition that they provide specified health care to all citizens whose income falls below a certain threshold.

    We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions. In our federal system, the National Government possesses only limited powers; the States and the people retain the remainder.

    Nearly two centuries ago, Chief Justice Marshall observed that “the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted” to the Federal Government “is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.” McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 405 (1819).

    In this case we must again determine whether the Constitution grants Congress powers it now asserts, but which many States and individuals believe it does not possess. Resolving this controversy requires us to examine both the limits of the Government’s power, and our own limited role in policing those boundaries.

    The Federal Government “is acknowledged by all to be one of enumerated powers.” Ibid. That is, rather than granting general authority to perform all the conceivable functions of government, the Constitution lists, or enumerates, the Federal Government’s powers.

    Congress may, for example, “coin Money,” “establish Post Offices,”and “raise and support Armies.” Art. I, §8, cls. 5, 7, 12. The enumeration of powers is also a limitation of powers, because “[t]he enumeration presupposes something not enumerated.” Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 1, 195 (1824).

    The Constitution’s express conferral of some powers makes clear that it does not grant others. And the Federal Government “can exercise only the powers granted to it.” McCulloch, supra, at 405.

    Today, the restrictions on government power foremost in many Americans’ minds are likely to be affirmative prohibitions, such as contained in the Bill of Rights. These affirmative prohibitions come into play, however, only where the Government possesses authority to act in the first place. If no enumerated power authorizes Congress to pass a certain law, that law may not be enacted, even if it would not violate any of the express prohibitions in the Bill of Rights or elsewhere in the Constitution.

    Indeed, the Constitution did not initially include a Bill of Rights at least partly because the Framers felt the enumeration of powers sufficed to restrain the Government.As Alexander Hamilton put it, “the Constitution is itself,in every rational sense, and to every useful purpose, A BILL OF RIGHTS.” The Federalist No. 84, p. 515 (C. Rossiter ed. 1961).

    And when the Bill of Rights was ratified, it made express what the enumeration of powers necessarily implied: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution . . . are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” U. S. Const., Amdt. 10.

    The Federal Government has expanded dramatically over the past two centuries, but it still must show that a constitutional grant of power authorizes each of its actions. See, e.g., United States v. Comstock, 560 U. S. ___ (2010).

    The same does not apply to the States, because the Constitution is not the source of their power. The Constitution may restrict state governments—as it does, for example, by forbidding them to deny any person the equal protection of the laws. But where such prohibitions do not apply, state governments do not need constitutional authorization to act. The States thus can and do perform many of the vital functions of modern government—punishing street crime, running public schools, and zoning property for development, to name but a few—even though the Constitution’s text does not authorize any government to do so. Our cases refer to this general power of governing, possessed by the States but not by the Federal Government, as the “police power.” See, e.g., United States v. Morrison, 529 U. S. 598, 618–619 (2000).

    “State sovereignty is not just an end in itself: Rather,federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power.” New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144, 181 (1992) (internal quotation marks omitted).

    Because the police power is controlled by 50 different States instead of one national sovereign, the facets of governing that touch on citizens’ daily lives are normally administered by smaller governments closer to the governed.

    The Framers thus ensured that powers which “in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives,liberties, and properties of the people” were held by governments more local and more accountable than a distant federal bureaucracy. The Federalist No. 45, at 293
    (J. Madison).

    The independent power of the States also serves as a check on the power of the Federal Government: “By denying any one government complete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power.” Bond v. United States, 564 U. S. ___, ___ (2011) (slip op., at 9–10).

    This case concerns two powers that the Constitution does grant the Federal Government, but which must be read carefully to avoid creating a general federal authority akin to the police power.

    The Constitution authorizes Congress to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”Art. I, §8, cl. 3. Our precedents read that to mean that Congress may regulate “the channels of interstate commerce,” “persons or things in interstate commerce,” and “those activities that substantially affect interstate commerce.” Morrison, supra, at 609 (internal quotation marks omitted).

    The power over activities that substantially affect interstate commerce can be expansive. That power has been held to authorize federal regulation of such seemingly local matters as a farmer’s decision to grow wheat for himself and his livestock, and a loan shark’s extortionate collections from a neighborhood butcher shop. See Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U. S. 111 (1942); Perez v. United States, 402 U. S. 146 (1971).

    Congress may also “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 1. Put simply, Congress may tax and spend.

    This grant gives the Federal Government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate. The Federal Government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid,or otherwise control. See, e.g., License Tax Cases, 5 Wall. 462, 471 (1867). And in exercising its spending power,Congress may offer funds to the States, and may condition those offers on compliance with specified conditions. See, e.g., College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Post secondary Ed. Expense Bd., 527 U. S. 666, 686 (1999).

    These offers may well induce the States to adopt policies that the Federal Government itself could not impose. See, e.g., South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U. S. 203, 205–206 (1987) (conditioning federal highway funds on States raising their drinking age to 21).

    The reach of the Federal Government’s enumerated powers is broader still because the Constitution authorizes Congress to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.”Art. I, §8, cl. 18. We have long read this provision to give Congress great latitude in exercising its powers: “Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional.” McCulloch, 4 Wheat., at 421.

     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  8. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    Our permissive reading of these powers is explained in part by a general reticence to invalidate the acts of the Nation’s elected leaders. “Proper respect for a co-ordinate branch of the government” requires that we strike down an Act of Congress only if “the lack of constitutional authority to pass [the] act in question is clearly demonstrated.” United States v. Harris, 106 U. S. 629, 635 (1883).

    Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.

    Our deference in matters of policy cannot, however,become abdication in matters of law. “The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those limits may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 176 (1803).

    Our respect for Congress’s policy judgments thus can never extend so far as to disavow restraints on federal power that the Constitution carefully constructed. “The peculiar circumstances of the moment may render a measure more or less wise, but cannot render it more or less constitutional.” Chief Justice John Marshall, A Friend of the Constitution No. V, Alexandria Gazette, July5, 1819, in John Marshall’s Defense of McCulloch v. Maryland 190–191 (G. Gunther ed. 1969).

    And there can be no question that it is the responsibility of this Court to enforce the limits on federal power by striking down acts of Congress that transgress those limits. Marbury v. Madison, supra, at 175–176.

    The questions before us must be considered against the background of these basic principles.
     
  9. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    Opinion of ROBERTS, C. J.
    Cite as: 567 U. S. ____ (2012) 7
    Opinion of the Court
    I

    In 2010, Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, 124 Stat. 119. The Act aims to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease the cost of health care.

    The Act’s 10 titles stretch over 900 pages and contain hundreds of provisions. This case concerns constitutional challenges to two key provisions, commonly referred to as the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion.

    The individual mandate requires most Americans to maintain “minimum essential” health insurance coverage.26 U. S. C. §5000A.

    The mandate does not apply to some individuals, such as prisoners and undocumented aliens.§5000A(d).

    Many individuals will receive the required coverage through their employer, or from a government program such as Medicaid or Medicare. See §5000A(f). But for individuals who are not exempt and do not receive health insurance through a third party, the means of satisfying the requirement is to purchase insurance from a private company.

    Beginning in 2014, those who do not comply with the mandate must make a "shared responsibility payment” to the Federal Government. §5000A(b)(1).

    That payment,which the Act describes as a “penalty,” is calculated as a percentage of household income, subject to a floor based on a specified dollar amount and a ceiling based on the average annual premium the individual would have to pay for qualifying private health insurance. §5000A(c).

    In 2016, for example, the penalty will be 2.5 percent of an individual’s household income, but no less than $695 and no more than the average yearly premium for insurance that covers 60 percent of the cost of 10 specified services (e.g., prescription drugs and hospitalization). Ibid.; 42 U. S. C. §18022.

    The Act provides that the penalty will be paid to the Internal Revenue Service with an individual’s taxes, and “shall be assessed and collected in the same manner” as tax penalties, such as the penalty for claiming too large an income tax refund. 26 U. S. C. §5000A(g)(1).

    The Act, however, bars the IRS from using several of its normal enforcement tools, such as criminal prosecutions and levies. §5000A(g)(2).

    And some individuals who are subject to the mandate are nonetheless exempt from the penalty—for example, those with income below a certain threshold and members of Indian tribes. §5000A(e).

    On the day the President signed the Act into law, Florida and 12 other States filed a complaint in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida. Those plaintiffs—who are both respondents and petitioners here, depending on the issue—were subsequently joined by 13more States, several individuals, and the National Federation of Independent Business.

    The plaintiffs alleged,among other things, that the individual mandate provisions of the Act exceeded Congress’s powers under Article I of the Constitution.

    The District Court agreed, holding that Congress lacked constitutional power to enact the individual mandate. 780 F. Supp. 2d 1256 (ND Fla. 2011).

    The District Court determined that the individual mandate could not be severed from the remainder of the Act, and therefore struck down the Act in its entirety. Id., at 1305–1306.

    The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The court affirmed the District Court’s holding that the individual mandate exceeds Congress’s power. 648 F. 3d 1235 (2011).

    The panel unanimously agreed that the individual mandate did not impose a tax, and thus could not be authorized by Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.” U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 1.

    A majority also held that the individual mandate was not supported by Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce . . . among the several States.” Id., cl. 3.

    According to the majority, the Commerce Clause does not empower the Federal Government to order individuals to engage in commerce, and the Government’s efforts to cast the individual mandate in a different light were unpersuasive.

    Judge Marcus dissented, reasoning that the individual mandate regulates economic activity that has a clear effect on interstate commerce.

    Having held the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, the majority examined whether that provision could be severed from the remainder of the Act. The majority determined that, contrary to the District Court’s view, it could. The court thus struck down only the individual mandate, leaving the Act’s other provisions intact.648 F. 3d, at 1328.

    Other Courts of Appeals have also heard challenges to the individual mandate.

    The Sixth Circuit and the D. C. Circuit upheld the mandate as a valid exercise of Congress’s commerce power. See Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, 651 F. 3d 529 (CA6 2011); Seven-Sky v. Holder, 661 F. 3d 1 (CADC 2011).

    The Fourth Circuit determined that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents courts from considering the merits of that question. See Liberty Univ., Inc. v. Geithner, 671 F. 3d 391 (2011). That statute bars suits “for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.” 26 U. S. C. §7421(a).

    A majority of the Fourth Circuit panel reasoned that the individual mandate’s penalty is a tax within the meaning of the Anti-Injunction Act, because it is a financial assessment collected by the IRS through the normal means of taxation. The majority therefore determined that the plaintiffs could not challenge the individual mandate until after they paid the penalty.[1]

    [1] The Eleventh Circuit did not consider whether the Anti-Injunction Act bars challenges to the individual mandate. The District Court had determined that it did not, and neither side challenged that holding on appeal. The same was true in the Fourth Circuit, but that court examined the question sua sponte because it viewed the Anti-Injunction Act as a limit on its subject matter jurisdiction. See Liberty Univ., 671

    F. 3d, at 400–401. The Sixth Circuit and the D. C. Circuit considered the question but determined that the Anti-Injunction Act did not apply. See Thomas More, 651 F. 3d, at 539–540 (CA6); Seven-Sky, 661 F. 3d, at 5–14 (CADC).
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  10. Dante
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    Dante On leave Supporting Member

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    The second provision of the Affordable Care Act directly challenged here is the Medicaid expansion.

    Enacted in 1965, Medicaid offers federal funding to States to assist pregnant women, children, needy families, the blind, the elderly, and the disabled in obtaining medical care. See 42
    U. S. C. §1396a(a)(10).

    In order to receive that funding,States must comply with federal criteria governing matters such as who receives care and what services are provided at what cost. By 1982 every State had chosen to participate in Medicaid. Federal funds received through the Medicaid program have become a substantial part of state budgets, now constituting over 10 percent of most States’ total revenue.

    The Affordable Care Act expands the scope of the Medicaid program and increases the number of individuals the States must cover. For example, the Act requires state programs to provide Medicaid coverage to adults within comes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, whereas many States now cover adults with children only if their income is considerably lower, and do not cover childless adults at all. See §1396a(a)(10)(A)(i)(VIII).

    The Act increases federal funding to cover the States’ costs in expanding Medicaid coverage, although States will bear a portion of the costs on their own. §1396d(y)(1).

    If a State does not comply with the Act’s new coverage requirements, it may lose not only the federal funding for those requirements, but all of its federal Medicaid funds. See §1396c.

    Along with their challenge to the individual mandate,the state plaintiffs in the Eleventh Circuit argued that the Medicaid expansion exceeds Congress’s constitutional powers.

    The Court of Appeals unanimously held that the Medicaid expansion is a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Spending Clause. U. S. Const., Art. I, §8, cl. 1. And the court rejected the States’ claim that the threatened loss of all federal Medicaid funding violates the Tenth Amendment by coercing them into complying with the Medicaid expansion. 648 F. 3d, at 1264, 1268.

    We granted certiorari to review the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit with respect to both the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. 565 U. S.
    ___ (2011). Because no party supports the Eleventh Circuit’s holding that the individual mandate can be completely severed from the remainder of the Affordable Care Act, we appointed an amicus curiae to defend that aspect of the judgment below. And because there is a reasonable argument that the Anti-Injunction Act deprives us of jurisdiction to hear challenges to the individual mandate, but no party supports that proposition, we appointed an amicus curiae to advance it. [2]

    [2] We appointed H. Bartow Farr III to brief and argue in support of the Eleventh Circuit’s judgment with respect to severability, and Robert A.Long to brief and argue the proposition that the Anti-Injunction Act bars the current challenges to the individual mandate. 565 U. S. ___ (2011). Both amici have ably discharged their assigned responsibilities.
     

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