What Motivates These People?

Sociopaths:

A few street blocks away from Supreme Court oral arguments Tuesday on the contraceptive mandate, an appeals court heard a separate case that poses a far greater threat to Obamacare and could cripple the law.

And while many have considered it a long shot, it showed clear signs of life.

The case is about whether the Affordable Care Act permits the federally-run insurance exchange to provide subsidies to consumers. Crafted by Case Western law professor Jonathan Adler and Cato’s Michael Cannon, it charges that the plain language of the statute confines the provision of premium tax credits to “an Exchange established by the State” — and not the federal exchange, which serves residents whose states opted not to build one.

The Obama administration won the case in January at the D.C. District Court, where Clinton-appointed Judge Paul L. Friedman labeled the challengers’ claim “unpersuasive.” He said Congress designed the federal exchange on behalf of states, so it functions as such for the purpose of the law. A ruling against the government, Friedman said, would “violate the basic rule of statutory construction that a court must interpret a statute in light of its history and purpose.”

But the landscape was vastly different when the case came before a three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals comprising one Democratic appointee and two Republican appointees, according to audio of Tuesday’s arguments.

Carter-appointed Judge Harry T. Edwards was the only member of the panel to side with the government’s position, describing the challenge as “preposterous” and repeatedly hammering Michael Carvin, the lawyer for the plaintiffs.

George H.W. Bush-appointed Judge A. Raymond Randolph antagonized the law and sounded firmly in the opponents’ camp, saying that the “text of the statute seems perfectly clear on its face” that premium tax credits are only for state-run exchanges.

“There’s an absurdity principle, but I don’t think there a stupidity principle,” Randolph said. “If the legislation is just stupid, I don’t see that it’s up to the court to save it.”

How does Jonathan Adler wake up in the morning and look at himself in the mirror? It just makes no sense to me how people like this go through life every day without a good degree of self-loathing. If he wins this case, the 6 million people who have now signed up for the ACA and the millions others who have been helped with Medicare and the Medicaid expansion in the non-Confederate states will all be without health care. That’s a victory for this scumbag. That is his endgame. When he goes to bed at night and thinks about winning his legal suit, his goal is to harm tens of millions of Americans.

Because freedom, that’s why. These people are just sick in their heads. Here is what is bothering Adler:

Richardson was injured on the job and was forced to live on his workers’ comp payments for an extended period of time, which ultimately cost the couple their house on Williams Street. The couple had to pay $1,100 a month if they wanted to maintain their health insurance coverage under the federal COBRA law.

Richardson said he only received some $2,000 a month in workers’ comp. payments, however, leaving little for them to live on.

“Thank God for Obamacare!” his wife exclaimed.

Now, thanks to the subsidy for which they qualify, the Richardsons only pay $136 a month for health insurance that covers them both.

Now I get it. Those fuckers need to suck it up and stop mooching off society and let freedom and liberty roger them up the ass until they are dead.

105 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    What Motivates These People?

    Social status among conservatives and a chance to cash in on wingnut welfare for being the driver behind undermining Obamacare.

  2. 2
    ruemara says:

    Evil does not hang mirrors in their homes.

  3. 3
    Wag says:

    Strict constitutionalists are the two year olds of the law profession. No empathy, everything exams exactly what it says with no room for nuance, and if they don’t get their way they’ll lie down on the floor and throw a temper tantrum.

  4. 4
    Tommy says:

    He wants to harm me John. The problem, and the Republicans knew this, is the ACA might and now worked. Maybe not perfect. But working. My plan is through it. All the outrage from the Republicans that you can’t keep your plan. So are they going to take my current plan away? Replace it with what?

  5. 5
    jharp says:

    I see folks deeming this a serious threat.

    Just don’t see it happening. Minnesotans paying 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of their neighboring Wisconsinites for the same coverage.

    Just can’t see it.

  6. 6
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Tommy: with the before time. Only you’ll have to refer to him as “my Lord”

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @jharp:

    Thanks to ending the filibuster, the DC Circuit is now majority Democratic, so hopefully they will reverse any crazy decision that these two Republican judges might hand down. But eventually it’ll go to the Supremes, and we know there are 5 justices there who are not averse to signing on to stupid decisions.

  8. 8
    Warren Terra says:

    How does Jonathan Adler wake up in the morning and look at himself in the mirror?

    What are the chances he actually has a reflection?

  9. 9
    Suffern ACE says:

    @jharp: yet it is very possible that the voters of Minnesota will vote to double their health insurance premiums.

  10. 10
    Violet says:

    Now I get it. Those fuckers need to suck it up and stop mooching off society and let freedom and liberty roger them up the ass until they are dead.

    Alan Grayson got it right–Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick.

  11. 11
    kindness says:

    The case in Federal Court is less important. Even if two of the three judges rule against it as soon as it’s appealed to the full bench they’ll squish it like a bug.

    Fox will crow for a week or two and then whine & pout like babies when they lose.

  12. 12
    Jeff Spender says:

    Man, I don’t get why people are so eager to shoot themselves in the face and then claim victory.

    It makes me want to just turtle-up and not give a shit.

  13. 13
    Baud says:

    @Jeff Spender:

    It makes me want to just turtle-up and not give a shit.

    And that’s why people are so eager.

  14. 14
    Ruckus says:

    It just makes no sense to me how people like this go through life every day without a good degree of self-loathing.

    And who says they do?

    How does Jonathan Adler wake up in the morning and look at himself in the mirror?

    I’m thinking that when he looks in the mirror in the morning all he sees is an asshole, and the only thing coming out of it is shit.

  15. 15
    Wag says:

    Strict constitutionalists are the two year olds of the law profession. No empathy, everything means exactly what it says with no room for nuance, and if they don’t get their way they’ll lie down on the floor and throw a temper tantrum.

  16. 16

    “. If he wins this case, the 6 million people who have now signed up for the ACA and the millions others who have been helped with Medicare and the Medicaid expansion in the non-Confederate states will all be without health care.”

    This is simply false. If you want to criticize the arguments upon which the suit is based, you might want to get your facts right.

    If you actually want to know where the suit came from, you can look at this post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....are-began/

  17. 17
    jharp says:

    @Suffern ACE: “yet it is very possible that the voters of Minnesota will vote to double their health insurance premiums.”

    You have Minnesota confused withTexas and Alabama. Voters in Minnesota are quite well informed.

  18. 18
    Lee says:

    If they are success at this, someone should set up a super pac (or use an existing one) that starts running ads on how the Republicans took away your health insurance.

  19. 19
    John Cole says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: What is your endgame? What do you consider a win? What will the ramifications be, if, in the story you linked, Obamacare will be toppled? Will there be more or fewer people in this country with health care? How will the cause of liberty be advanced?

    If you win your case, how many people will be helped? How many will be hurt? In which way will the Constitution and the public well-being be preserved or advanced? I know this will require you doing some thinking other than quoting legal precedent, but do you ever think about the outcomes of your zealotry?

    You took your swing at the ACA once with specious nonsense, and were shot down, but you just can’t give up.

    But seriously, I would like to know how, should you win this next quixotic lawsuit, America will be better. No quoting Nick Gillespie.

  20. 20
    Arm The Homeless says:

    Someone has a Google alert set, apparently.

    Because I am a venegful person, Mr. Adler has been added to the list of graves I have plans to piss on. Better get cremated, shit-bird.

  21. 21
    Lolis says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    Your article doesn’t vindicate you in terms of humanity. From the headline down, you sound positively gleeful about undermining a program designed to help people. As you say, nobody predicted Republicans would spitefully put their party above their constituents so the law had to get creative to fulfill its mission. It all goes back to Republican sabotage.

  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @John Cole: But seriously, I would like to know how, should you win this next quixotic lawsuit, America will be better.

    Is there anyone with a law degree from George Mason who actually spends time thinking about how to make America better? Is that even part of the curriculum there?

  23. 23

    If the case is successful , it will vindicate the principle that the law is what Congress enacts, not what the executive decides, and that administrative agencies cannot unilaterally rewrite statutes to try and “fix” them. It’s a principle I’ve advocated in other cases and one you might actually appreciate the next time there is a Republican President.

    What will be the practical consequence of this? For starters, unauthorized spending will be halted. A successful suit may mean PPACA implementation will also face further difficulties, and further increase pressure for meaningful reforms, but it’s also possbile (if PPACA supporters are correct about the laws potential) is that states that have thus far refused to create their own exchanges will reconsider so that their citizens can obtain tax credits.

  24. 24
    danielx says:

    @Tommy:

    They don’t plan to replace it with anything, because free markets. If you don’t make enough to pay for whatever shitty plans insurance companies will offer if ACA goes down in court, then you deserve to die for lack of healthcare. That’s pretty much what i heard from the Republican base during the freak shows – er, Republican primary debates – in 2012, and I’ve not heard that their sentiments have changed; if anything they’ve gotten worse. This is Republican ideology – emphasis on “id” – at its deepest and darkest. When ideology collides with reality, such as preexisting conditions, ideology must rule at all costs.

    of course, there’s also the reality that they aren’t likely to get a lot of votes from people who might go without healthcare because Obamacare is worse then twenty Hitlers, but then they aren’t really interested in votes from people who can’t afford to cough up fifteen hundred a month for a halfassed family insurance plan.

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Makes one wonder if people who get law degrees from George Mason are in the same league as people who get economics degrees there, considering the entire Economics Department is staffed by Koch Brothers scum.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    Everyone knows you won’t win because of the merits of your legal arguments because you argument can’t overcome the deference that agencies are entitled to receive by the courts. If you win, it’ll be because of partisanship of judges and justices. And you might want to think of that the next time there are a majority of Democrats on the Supreme Court.

  27. 27
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: This sounds like freshman physics, with its frictionless pulleys and massless strings.

  28. 28
    John Cole says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: Thank you for the confirmation:

    A successful suit may mean PPACA implementation will also face further difficulties, and further increase pressure for meaningful reforms…

    The endgame is fewer people with health care, because even you can’t be so willfully stupid as to think there is a chance in hell of positive reforms with the Republican house you undoubtedly vote for every year. Thank you for being so honest, even though you attempted to obfuscate with a bunch of nonsense.

    I had you nailed at sociopath. Good night to you, sir.

  29. 29
    kindness says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: Bullshit. All of what you said.

  30. 30

    No, I don’t always vote for Republicans in Congress (or for other offices). But thanks for playing.

  31. 31
    Patrick says:

    @jharp:

    You have Minnesota confused withTexas and Alabama. Voters in Minnesota are quite well informed.

    Some of them might be. But I wouldn’t consider those folks who keep voting for Michelle Bachmann all that informed…Or how about that woman at a Minnesota town hall meeting who thought Obama couldn’t be trusted because “he is an Arab”.

    There are idiots in every state.

  32. 32
    danielx says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    If the case is successful , it will vindicate the principle that the law is what Congress enacts, not what the executive decides, and that administrative agencies cannot unilaterally rewrite statutes to try and “fix” them. It’s a principle I’ve advocated in other cases and one you might actually appreciate the next time there is a Republican President.

    Yes, I remember reading about exactly that principle many times during the administration of He Who Must Not Be Named. David Addington was absolutely rabid on the topic of executive deference to congressional mandates, wasn’t he? Remember those howls of protest from Republican congressmen, pundits, political theorists, etc., about Bush’s signing statements, for example?

    Yeah, me neither. It seems that a great many principles dear to Republican hearts are entirely based upon who is occupying the Oval Office.

  33. 33
    Kay says:

    Under the employer mandate, employers are penalized for not offering coverage only if one or more workers obtain subsidized coverage on the exchange. Likewise, people can obtain an exemption from the individual mandate if the least expensive plan in their area exceeds 8% of income, a situation that will affect many more people if there are no subsidies available through the exchange. Thus, if the court upholds Oklahoma’s position, the immediate effect, according to AEI legal and health policy expert Tom Miller, would be to “cripple the federal exchange operations in Oklahoma, and encourage dozens of other states to mount similar challenges and continue to refuse to authorize their own state-administered exchanges.” If these challenges are successful (or resolved by the Supreme Court), then in states that do not set up their own exchange, the entire employer mandate will be unenforceable, along with the individual mandate for many people. Effectively, the law might well completely collapse in the 28 states planning to rely on a federal exchange (and likely the 7 states in partnership exchanges as well).

    It’s about the employer mandate. They’re protecting low wage employers.

    Large low wage employers feel they should be able to force everyone else in the country to pick up the costs of their employee health care.

    Because of course their employees have health care costs, and of course health care isn’t “free”.

    Their employees will get rock-bottom, crappy, wildly expensive “care” in an emergency room or a clinic. Their employees can’t pay for that on minimum wage, so that means we’ll all be covering those costs for Wal Mart and employers like Wal Mart.

    Large low wage employers just decided we should all pay for this, rather than them.

    Conservatives and libertarians agree with this.

    In imaginary theory-world, the emergency room and clinics are “free”.

  34. 34
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    If the case is successful , it will vindicate the principle that the law is what Congress enacts, not what the executive decides, and that administrative agencies cannot unilaterally rewrite statutes to try and “fix” them.

    Eh, if we want to play hyper-literal games with a small section of a statute, let’s play this one: the word “state” as used in that particular context referred generically to a unit of government. There, that takes care of that.

  35. 35
    Kay says:

    If they’re successful in ensuring that large low wage employers don’t have to reimburse the country for covering their employees health care costs, we’ll continue to cover employee health care costs for the benefit of people like the Wal Mart heirs.

    Because we owe them that. After all, they’re “job creators”.

  36. 36
    Hill Dweller says:

    @danielx: Both Reagan’s and Bush Sr.’s legal defense rested almost entirely on the most broad interpretation of Executive power during the Iran Contra investigations/hearings.

  37. 37
    Lolis says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    I am sure you vote for libertarians as well.

  38. 38
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    That part of his response was especially lame. Every administration has made some decision that has been overturned by the courts. It happens. It’s commonplace. But somehow it’s critical to our entire system of law that the Obama administration’s decisions be overturned by the courts, lest we have … TYRANNY.

  39. 39
    chauncey1186 says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the “State” refer to gubbmint in general, and not specifically “a” State? I’m thinking of “Enemy of the State”, or “State Department”, or any number of references that can encompass federal, state, and local gubbmints. Seems like a simple semantic issue.

  40. 40
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Hmmm… I thought the same thing when I read it. If the law meant one of the several states of the union, why did it not say so explicitly? But then IANAL, so I dismissed it as too commonsensical to mean anything legally.

  41. 41
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: Any administration needs some latitude to effectuate the broadly defined purposes of statutes. Statutes tend to be poorly drafted and oddly worded, cobbled to together as they are from various drafts and amendments, etc.

  42. 42
    Baud says:

    @chauncey1186:

    I think state is defined in the statute to mean the states, not the feds. That’s not the problem with Adler’s argument. The problem is that he would read one provision in isolation instead of as part of a whole statutory scheme. When you do that (look at the whole statute), it become clear that every exchange (for statutory purposes) is a state exchange even it is run by the feds on behalf of the state.

  43. 43
    JCJ says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    Do you happen to know anyone who has chosen to delay medical care due to financial considerations which result from a lack of health care insurance? Have you seen a vulvar carcinoma which could have been cured by radical vulvectomy if treated early that has progressed into a T4 lesion with invasion of the anal sphincter which then required chemotherapy and radiation prior to surgery all because the patient had been unable to pay for a follow up visit when the lesion was first discovered? That made an impression on me many years ago. That is what you should be fighting to prevent. BTW – combined chemoradiation to the vulva and inguinal lymph nodes is not something you would wish on your enemies.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @JCJ: Jonathan Adler isn’t interested in people. It’s not the people that matter. Only the law matters. What happens to the people as a result of the law, well, that’s incidental.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud:

    The problem is that he would read one provision in isolation instead of as part of a whole statutory scheme. When you do that, it become clear that every exchange (for statutory purposes) is a state exchange even it is run by the feds on behalf of the state.

    Exactly.

  46. 46
    Kay says:

    Here’s a brief history of conservative and libertarian opposition to any employer mandate in US health care, over decades.

    Romneycare, as passed by the Massachusetts legislature, included both an individual mandate and an employer mandate, making it more like Enthoven’s “managed competition” plan than Heritage’s individual-market plan. Romney vetoed the employer mandate, but the legislature, which was 80 percent Democratic, overrode his veto.

    Hence, while it’s accurate to say that Obamacare was modeled after Romneycare, one difference between the two situations was that the Democrats behind Obamacare were quite comfortable with dual mandates upon employers and individuals, whereas Mitt Romney had favored an individual mandate but opposed an employer mandate.

    It was always about protecting low wage employers. Always. Over DECADES. It still is.

  47. 47
    chauncey1186 says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: Please proceed, Jon.

  48. 48
    jharp says:

    @JCJ:

    Mighty powerful post. Thanks.

  49. 49
    chauncey1186 says:

    @Baud: Thanks for the clarification. :-)

  50. 50
    jl says:

    I guess I would make a very poor lawyer, since I have too much common sense. In Adler’s piece he linked to, he cites all the sections relevant to his argument, so a person can go look at them in context.

    The law clearly says that if one of the several states of the union does not set up it’s own exchange, the federal government will set one up “FOR the state (emphasis added). Reading his article, the whole argument rests on the fact that the text in some places refers to state exchanges. So, we are supposed to believe, on Adlers argument, that those references do not refer to exchanges set up FOR the states by the federal government, but it refers only to exchanges set up BY the state.

    I am not a lawyer, but I do believe that judges are supposed to interpret laws so that they are not absurd (edit: or maliciously assume that the legislators did not write absurd things). It is patently absurd to assume that some references refer ONLY to state exchanges set up by the states themselves and not also exchanges set up FOR the states by the federal government in cases where state governments chose not to set up their own.

    IANAL so I may have missed something. But if that is the argument, I think it is silly. Silly legal word games and nothing more. Adler can talk all he wants about lawlessness, but tendentiously placing absurd constructions above common sense can lead to lawlessness as well,

  51. 51
    Matt says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    Ah yes, the vaunted truth-tellers over at Volokh’s place. This lawsuit is one long hissy-fit from the GOP after they discovered that they couldn’t nullify the ACA by having their state governments sabotage it.

    See also the Fox crowd whining about how states decided to backfill cuts to food stamps.

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @jl:

    But if that is the argument, I think it is silly. Silly legal word games and nothing more. Adler can talk all he wants about lawlessness, but tendentious placing absurd constructions above common sense can lead to lawlessness as well,

    It is the argument. It is silly. It is also why the DC Circuit en banc will slap the suit down.

    Also too, don’t judge my profession by Adler and I won’t judge yours by the Econ Department at GMU.

  53. 53
    jl says:

    @jl:

    Instead of
    ” assume that the legislators did not write absurd things”

    I meant to type
    ” assume that the legislators did knowingly write absurd things”

  54. 54
    burnspbesq says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    I’ve read the briefs, and I’ve made my living for over 30 years construing complex Federal statutes (the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA).

    With all due respect, your proposed construction of the statute is so bizarre, and so clearly wrong, that any lawyer who signed a pleading espousing it should be subject to Rule 11 sanctions.

    Yes, your arguments are frivolous.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq:

    With all due respect, your proposed construction of the statute is so bizarre, and so clearly wrong, that any lawyer who signed a pleading espousing it should be subject to Rule 11 sanctions.

    Now, drop the mic.

  56. 56
    jl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    ” Also too, don’t judge my profession by Adler and I won’t judge yours by the Econ Department at GMU. ”

    ha… touchy are we?

    Your threat does not worry me, my profession has a lot more to worry about than GMU. Those with little hope have little fear.

  57. 57
    Scott S. says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: The only good Republican lawyer is a Republican lawyer who’s been tied to a rocket and shot into the sun.

  58. 58
    The Best of Times, the Blurst of Times says:

    If the case is successful , it will vindicate the principle that the law is what Congress enacts, not what the executive decides, and that administrative agencies cannot unilaterally rewrite statutes to try and “fix” them.

    If the executive’s interpretation runs contrary to what Congress enacted, how come this challenge was raised by professors and scholars, not actual members of Congress?

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    But, they seek meaningful reform. So instead of gaining a congressional majority and succeeding in electing a president and enacting this meaningful reform, they decided to work thru five votes on the Supreme Court.

    That way they don’t have to deal with any of that messy democratic process, or any of the political risk that comes with actually doing anything about health care!

  60. 60
    JCJ says:

    @Violet:

    Jonathan Adler isn’t interested in people. It’s not the people that matter. Only the law matters. What happens to the people as a result of the law, well, that’s incidental.

    Oh I realize that. Another thing that infuriates me is that whole “everyone can go to the emergency room” argument. Radiation treatments are generally not given through the ER. Even if I write off my bill the hospital where I practice is not as forgiving.

  61. 61
    burnspbesq says:

    It’s really simple.

    As defined in the statute, healthcare.gov is a state exchange, operated by the Feds on behalf of those states that chose not to create their own exchanges. And because it is a state exchange, subsidies are available. Period, full stop.

  62. 62
    jl says:

    @Kay: Don’t worry. If there is even one tiny misprint or (even only on the basis of the most outlandish and crazy argument), any possible ambiguity in the wording of the new law replacing the ACA, someone can go to court and get it completely wrecked, for the sake of the rule of law, dammit.

  63. 63
    JCJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Now, drop the mic

    I dunno. Do you think a Dukie could really pull that off with any credibility?

  64. 64
    burnspbesq says:

    Not to mention: the only way Plaintiffs win is if the court stops at Chevron step one, and says there is only one permissible construction of the statute. If you get to Chevron step two, it’s a slam dunk for the Government, because the regulations written by the IRS clearly advances the statutory purpose.

  65. 65
    mclaren says:

    What motivates “these people”?

    The same thing that motivates all Americans — the desire to see other people suffer.

    You guys really don’t get it. This and the homeless woman who got jailed and the Iraq invasion and the beating of the Occupy protesters are all part of the same sick twisted pathology that characterizes Americans: we’re a puritan Calivinist society, and we believe suffering makes people better.

    So the more suffering, the more people will improve. Jesus suffered on the cross. Therefore it is our moral obligation to torture and brutalize our fellow citizens.

    America is a sick twisted culture obsessed with torment and delighted with torture. America is a society that hates and fears the human body, despises pleasure, and loathes joy. Americans glory in sadistic pain and delectate in making innocents suffer.

    This is the nature of puritanism. “No pain, no gain,” as America’s sick twisted motto has it.

    So the more pain, the more gain. Quod erat demonstrandum.

    The goal of these people isn’t to block the ACA, it’s make as many people suffer as possible. That’s all they want. That’s all they care about. Tormenting the innocent is the highest American value, it’s the basis of our culture and the apotheosis of our entire economic and social system.

    If you want a vision of America at its purest, imagine a heavyweight prizefighter beating a crippled child to death with a baseball bat — while crowds of people applaud and take snapshots for their photo albums.

    That’s America.

    What the fuck did you expect, an enlightened culture? America was founded by the David Koreshes of Europe. Get a fucking clue.

  66. 66
    John Cole says:

    @burnspbesq: For all the times you have called me a legally illiterate moron, and all the times that you appear to always defend the rich and powerful, I fully forgive you, because that was truly beautimous.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    for the sake of the rule of law, dammit.

    I don’t buy it. The entire conservative opposition to every attempt at a health care law was the employer mandate. Over decades.

    It’s been their opposition to every attempt at a health care law since Nixon. Just reams of words and hundreds of millions of dollars in attack ads and long, windy “principled” arguments, but at the heart was always the Sacred Rights of the Employer, and how the employer must not be mandated to do anything, ever.

    For Gods sake, six months ago they were arguing that we can’t raise the minimum wage because the employer mandate in the health care law is an increase in the minimum wage in terms of costs to low wage employers. This is the issue, and it’s always been the issue.

  68. 68
    Scott S. says:

    @mclaren: Dude, what country are you even from? And you better be saying “THE COUNTRY OF ANGELS WHO ARE ALWAYS GOOD AND PRETTY” and have some pretty solid proof. ‘Cause if you’re from some country that ain’t holy and pure, welcome to the cesspit, fellow human.

  69. 69
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JCJ:

    No need to worry, I’m sure that Mr. Adler will never, ever, get cancer, or diabetes, or heart disease, or be disabled in a car accident. He’s The Right Kind of People, so bad things will never happen to him. And if his luck does ever run out, he’ll continue to see himself as the magical exemption to the rule who deserves to get treatment regardless of his ability to pay.

  70. 70
    Scott S. says:

    @Mnemosyne: When he’s flying through space, strapped to the side of a rocketship, tied securely with rusty barbed wire and safety pins, watching the sun get closer and closer, he’ll wonder whatever he did to deserve such treatment.

    But his opinion won’t matter then either.

  71. 71
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    in the wording of the new law replacing the ACA, someone can go to court and get it completely wrecked, for the sake of the rule of law, dammit.

    There won’t be any replacement for the ACA. There is no political upside, none, for covering the vast majority of the uninsured, because most white people with college degrees HAD health insurance and there is substantial political risk with covering the uninsured because most white people with college degrees were getting plenty of health care, and they were happy with it.

    No US politician will touch it.

    Clinton and Obama are two very talented politicians. If neither one of them could do it, why would anyone else pick it up? The next President will find the Secret Sauce that those two somehow missed? It’s a disaster for politicians. There’s no short term upside, at all, and substantial downside.

  72. 72
    JCJ says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I agree with Mr Cole. That was quite lovely.

  73. 73
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @JCJ: Not to mention legally accurate. Adler is playing law school parsing games. What fun. He is not applying the actual principles of statutory interpretation. The fact that two Circuit Court judges bought this bafflegab is disheartening.

  74. 74
    jl says:

    @Kay: @Kay: That was a joke, son, I joke, I say. I was joking about their legal approach.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    How many conservative governors have enacted “meaningful health care reform” in their own states?

    One. Mitt Romney, and it was Obamacare and the only reason it passed is he had a Democratic majority statehouse and he was in a blue state. It’s just bullshit that they seek meaningful health care reform.

    No one was stopping them when they were running red states with conservative legislatures. Where’s the conservative solution at the state level? They’ve had thirty years. How long do they need? They’re the state government people, supposedly. Why does health care in their states suck for everyone who isn’t white and college educated? Why haven’t they solved this in The Laboratory of the States? Hundreds of thousands of people have died. When do you think they’ll get off their ass? Never? Yup. Never. Too risky, and “those people” don’t vote anyway.

  76. 76
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    I know. I just can’t stand this idea that he can toss off “meaningful health care reform” and ignore the fact that incredibly talented and well-intentioned people have been trying to do that for 30 years, and failing. They all failed. We failed.

    Conservatives take absolutely no responsibility for this huge national failure, and do nothing, yet we’re all subject to their temper tantrums and endless petty nitpicking anytime anyone tries to do something. Why are they even in this debate? They only appear when it’s time to tear down someone else’s work, decade after decade. They’re useless on health care. They offer nothing.

  77. 77
    mclaren says:

    @Kay:

    I know. I just can’t stand this idea that he can toss off “meaningful health care reform” and ignore the fact that incredibly talented and well-intentioned people have been trying to do that for 30 years, and failing. They all failed. We failed.

    30 years???

    Kay, try 108 years.

    1906. That was the date of the first organized American political campaign to set up national health insurance:

    In 1906, the American Association of Labor Legislation (AALL) finally led the campaign for health insurance. They were a typical progressive group whose mandate was not to abolish capitalism but rather to reform it. In 1912, they created a committee on social welfare which held its first national conference in 1913. Despite its broad mandate, the committee decided to concentrate on health insurance, drafting a model bill in 1915. In a nutshell, the bill limited coverage to the working class and all others that earned less than $1200 a year, including dependents. The services of physicians, nurses, and hospitals were included, as was sick pay, maternity benefits, and a death benefit of fifty dollars to pay for funeral expenses. This death benefit becomes significant later on. Costs were to be shared between workers, employers, and the state.

    In 1914, reformers sought to involve physicians in formulating this bill and the American Medical Association (AMA) actually supported the AALL proposal. They found prominent physicians who were not only sympathetic, but who also wanted to support and actively help in securing legislation. In fact, some physicians who were leaders in the AMA wrote to the AALL secretary: “Your plans are so entirely in line with our own that we want to be of every possible assistance.” By 1916, the AMA board approved a committee to work with AALL, and at this point the AMA and AALL formed a united front on behalf of health insurance. Times have definitely changed along the way. In 1917, the AMA House of Delegates favored compulsory health insurance as proposed by the AALL, but many state medical societies opposed it. There was disagreement on the method of paying physicians and it was not long before the AMA leadership denied it had ever favored the measure.

    Source: “A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US,” Physicians for a National Health Program website.

  78. 78
    burnspbesq says:

    @mclaren:

    And yet, you vote for America with your feet every morning, when you wake up here and don’t emigrate. That makes you a very loud hypocrite.

  79. 79
    Violet says:

    @Kay:

    Conservatives take absolutely no responsibility for this huge national failure, and do nothing, yet we’re all subject to their temper tantrums and endless petty nitpicking anytime anyone tries to do something. Why are they even in this debate? They only appear when it’s time to tear down someone else’s work, decade after decade. They’re useless on health care. They offer nothing.

    Thing of beauty. Quoted for truth. Also applicable in every situation:

    Conservatives take absolutely no responsibility and do nothing. They’re useless. They offer nothing.

    Yes. That’s right. Fits every occasion.

  80. 80
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @burnspbesq: Actually fomenting a revolution would be an acceptable alternative.

  81. 81
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet:

    Conservatives take absolutely no responsibility and do nothing. They’re useless. They offer nothing.

    No, they are worse than useless.

  82. 82
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    They tried all their bullshit, politically safe ideas. Texas HAS “tort reform”. Plenty of red states HAD health insurance regs that allow sales of policies that cover nothing “to keep premiums down” and encourage people to “save” on health care. We’ve tried all these things, in red states. None of them did anything to increase access.

    Red states have the worst health care access for working people in the country. They’re a disaster area. Why should we listen to the people who failed at this, in their own states?

  83. 83
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    It;s the cowardice that kills me, because that’s what it is.

    In 1994, Dole introduced a health care reform bill which had no price controls, no mandates and no taxes.

    I mean, seriously.

    “No one loses, everyone wins!” “No one has to pay for anything, or change anything!”

  84. 84
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Wow, an actual unicorn, right?

  85. 85
    Violet says:

    @Kay: According to wingnuts, no one has to pay for health care now because they can get it for free at the ER. Must be fields of unicorns in wingnuttia.

  86. 86
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The next President will be more talented than Truman, Nixon, LBJ, Clinton or Obama and he or she will enact “meaningful reform”. THAT’S a unicorn. This person will never appear.

  87. 87
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    It’s not even true at the most basic level. Poor people only get it “free” if they’re completely destitute; unemployed and/or uncollectible. The provider gets a judgment and they get their wages garnished, is what actually happens. The whole “free” concept is fantasy, at every stage.

  88. 88
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    You didn’t go far enough. Conservatives are useless for everything. Well except for making a few ridiculously wealthy assholes a lot wealthier. Their lawyers are useless except for obfuscating conservative bullshit. Their politicians are useless except for creating more bullshit and pain for all but the very wealthy. And their followers are the worst, because they enable all of the above at their own expense. It is an illness, this idea that government only exists to make a few extremely wealthy and to wage war.

  89. 89
    Kay says:

    @Ruckus:

    FWIW, I don’t think they will succeed. Not for any legal reasons or humanitarian reasons but for practical reasons. The big legal machine at the state level is rolling full speed on the health care law now, and it’s hard to stop once it gets moving.
    The federal law interacts with all kinds of state law, everything from state taxes to child support. My state, like all states, I imagine, is dealing with that and they’re moving right along at a pretty good clip.

  90. 90
    Ruckus says:

    @Kay:
    I don’t think so either but with the way things are going these days and with all the idiots on the right, and the level of vitriol that people are flinging about the health care law, which really doesn’t affect the vast majority who are doing most of the screaming(I’m teetering on the edge about unfriending a lot of my FB chums), I don’t hold much hope that logic and reason will prevail. I hope you are right and the noise is on the margins.
    I’d like to believe that if we can gain ground or at the very least not lose any in this years elections and have a decent person running in 2 years, maybe, just maybe we can make some headway. Conservatives are obviously concerned that they are on the losing side of, well everything, because they are. You pointed out that they have done nothing, I would say that they have done nothing positive. Look at the lawsuit this post is about. It’s ridiculous on it’s face. One doesn’t have to be a lawyer to see that. Even the idiot who wrote it can’t defend it with any reasonable logic. Of course being ridiculous has worked for them before.

  91. 91
    agorabum says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: I read your arguments in the post. And it was plain that you were only interested in sabotage of the bill.
    When the bill was passed, did anyone in Congress make the argument you now make? No. It is only a concerted effort to pick at the law to create absurdities. And you and your ilk have done so. But it remains an absurdity.
    You have obviously dedicated a significant portion of your life to ensuring that people are denied health care. There are worse things to fight for – but not many. You fight to deny poor people health care on the practical level, and on the abstract level, that laws should be interpreted in an absurd fashion and that we should not try to operate our government in a rational matter.
    Thats messed up.

  92. 92
    jl says:

    There was a sad dysfunctional family with rebellious maladjusted children, two boys and two girls. The littler boy, Johnny, was supposed to set the table for his sisters but he didn’t want to sometimes, and didn’t do it. So, they made a written agreement. The agreement said that little Johnny would set the table, and if he did so, would be relieved of other chores. But little Johnny was so maladjusted that he had a tantrum and wouldn’t do it.

    So the family amended the agreement to say that if little Johnny did not set the table, his older brother would set the table FOR little Johnny, for the sisters.

    But there was still a problem because parts of the agreement still referred to the plates that little Johnny set. Little Johnny went on a tantrum binge, and his older brother set the tables for his sisters. But the parents wouldn’t let their daughters eat because the agreement said they could eat when little Johnny set the table for them.

    The older brother said “But, wait, I set the table FOR, INSTEAD OF, indded, IN LIEU OF, my little brother, beloved parents. That part is in the agreement too.”

    But the parents said “No, it clearly states down here that the sisters eat after little Johnny sets the table for them.”

    So, after a few days, protective custody took away the two girls. The parents told their story to the judge, who laughed them out of court.’

    This whole nonsense reminds me of the time some hypocritical corporation paid for employee health insurance for years that reimbursed for birth control. But then when there was a health reform law enacted by the corporation’s political opponents that required minimum standards for coverage, and that included birth control, this corporation suddenly discovered that birth control was against its religious beliefs. And corrupt and incompetent judges on the nations supreme court took this idiocy seriously.

    I took it seriously too. Congress passed a law that said laws had to respect central religious beliefs.After I read about the law, I suddenly discovered that I have a belief central to my religion that requires me to get stoned on peyote every day or so. The judge laughed me out of court. Can any kind commenter here go me some bail?

    Lawlessness, indeed.

  93. 93
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler: Shorter you: You want to take years off my life.

    Good to fucking know. Be grateful I’m civilized enough not to invoke the Golden Rule here. Asshole.

  94. 94
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @NobodySpecial: Sorry, but don’t you hate this law? Isn’t it a complete sell-out to corporate interests? Or do I have no memory of the past five years?

  95. 95
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Hey! Maybe we won one.

  96. 96
    David M says:

    What boggles my mind is why Adler and Co are willing to push such transparent nonsense. Besides being sociopathic assholes, don’t they care what happens to their professional reputations? We weren’t all in a coma for the last 5 years, everyone knows their claims about the subsidies on the federal exchange are bullshit.

    Don’t anyone pretend that Adler and Co actually care about the law either, it’s all about stopping Obamacare. I don’t think there’s any chance that they actually believe what they are claiming in this lawsuit. They just don’t care about the people that will die if they win, and they don’t care they are presenting something they know is not true.

  97. 97
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No, I said it was badly implemented, inferior to single-payer, and would cause a hardship for people who make too much for meaningful subsidies but who still lived on a paycheck to paycheck basis….which is all true. In order for me to fit it in my budget without destroying my health even further, I reduced my hours at work. That’s your idea of a total victory?

    At any rate, depending on your memory is like depending on burnsie’s legal advice, his broken clock moment today notwithstanding. You can go look if you want to refresh your incorrect memory, though.

  98. 98
    AxelFoley says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    No, I don’t always vote for Republicans in Congress (or for other offices). But thanks for playing.

    No, you just do their bidding in the courtroom, it seems.

  99. 99
    Brian says:

    So let me get this straight. The ACA must be read literally… Do you really think they’ll apply that to the second amendment too?

  100. 100
    RaflW says:

    @jl:

    Adler can talk all he wants about lawlessness, but tendentiously placing absurd constructions above common sense can lead to lawlessness as well

    This really sums it up.

    And when you add in the near-silence during the Dubya years about expanding presidential & administrative power, well, you realize that it’s all just so much bullshit masquerading as sharp legal thinking.

  101. 101
    burnspbesq says:

    @NobodySpecial:

    his broken clock moment

    GFY.

  102. 102
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @mclaren: tch tch tch, all this blather about healthcare in 1906 and YOU can’t even adhere to your med schedule

    How can someone so smart be so dumb?

  103. 103
    Joel says:

    It’s unfortunate that our friend shares a name with a well-regarded designer, but at least it’s not my name.

  104. 104
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Jonathan H. Adler:

    No, I don’t always vote for Republicans in Congress (or for other offices).

    But you did stay at a Glibertarian Inn last night, where shame is optional.

    The Volokh Conspiracy remains a gathering of high-functioning sociopaths.

  105. 105
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Ouch. I hope Mr. Adler has health insurance to cover the beating he just took here.

    What a clown.

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