Question for our legal minds on the ACA case (1 Viewer)

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Saint by the Bay

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I'm curious if the SCOTUS could or would issue a ruling that basically says "this is Unconstitutional, but it would be Constitutional if you do x" then set a timeframe for the government to do x?

It seems that throwing it out on Tuesday at 2 PM and having insurance canceled for millions of Americans at 2:01 would be a national disaster. Can the court give the government a period of time to rectify the situation, which means possibly a Biden administration would be the one attempting to address it?
 

coldseat

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I'm curious if the SCOTUS could or would issue a ruling that basically says "this is Unconstitutional, but it would be Constitutional if you do x" then set a timeframe for the government to do x?

It seems that throwing it out on Tuesday at 2 PM and having insurance canceled for millions of Americans at 2:01 would be a national disaster. Can the court give the government a period of time to rectify the situation, which means possibly a Biden administration would be the one attempting to address it?
I'm not sure about that, but what I've read is that even if the SC decides that the individual mandate is unconstitutional without a penalty, that they could still let the rest of the law stand based on serviceability. I'm not exactly clear what that would look like or means, but I think it would basically allow the ACA to continue to exist.

I also think that even if the ACA is ruled unconstitutional in totality, it's not going to impact the health care plan immediately since most polices have already been written and are binding through October. Though I don't know how that would work with health care market plans that have government subsidies. I would think it would if the Dems gained control, they would have time to put a new health care law in place by October when the most serious impacts would be felt. Of course that would mean that the coronovirus crisis, economic crisis and health insurance crisis would all be top priorities for the administration starting on day 1. That's a lot of legislative heavy lifting for any administration and congress.
 
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Saint by the Bay

Saint by the Bay

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I'm not sure about that, but what I've read is that even if the SC decides that the individual mandate is unconstitutional without a penalty, that they could still let the rest of the law stand based on serviceability. I'm not exactly clear what that would look like or means, but I think it would basically allow the ACA to continue to exist.

I also think that even if the ACA is ruled unconstitutional in totality, it's not going to impact the health care plan immediately since most polices have already been written and are binding through October. Though I don't know how that would work with health care market plans that have government subsidies. I would think it would if the Dems gained control, they would have time to put a new health care law in place by October when the most serious impacts would be felt. Of course that would mean that the coronovirus crisis, economic crisis and health insurance crisis would all be top priorities for the administration starting on day 1. That's a lot of legislative heavy lifting for any administration and congress.
The policies are written, but the Premiums aren't paid and most of those through the Exchanges are subsidized via the law. So my 2:01 statement was overdramatic, but my assumption is no ACA, no premium subsidy payment, no policy. People may be given the option to pay the difference themselves but they couldn't afford it, which means you'd probably actually be a month away from losing your insurance if the entire ACA were overturned. That would still mean dumping millions of their insurance in approximately a month.
 

coldseat

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The policies are written, but the Premiums aren't paid and most of those through the Exchanges are subsidized via the law. So my 2:01 statement was overdramatic, but my assumption is no ACA, no premium subsidy payment, no policy. People may be given the option to pay the difference themselves but they couldn't afford it, which means you'd probably actually be a month away from losing your insurance if the entire ACA were overturned. That would still mean dumping millions of their insurance in approximately a month.
Yeah, that would be pretty horrible and disastrous if it played out that way. I would sincerely hope that even though SC is extremely opposed to making any policy, they'd give very strong consideration to the practical result of their ruling on Americans and provide some mechanism to fix whatever problems there are with the ACA without kicking millions people off of insurance during a pandemic. But I don't know if that's asking to much.
 

wardorican

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This article seems to get into the specifics.

.

5. What is Happening at the Supreme Court?
The Supreme Court has agreed to review four legal questions in the case. First, the Court will consider whether Texas and the individual plaintiffs have standing to bring the lawsuit to challenge the individual mandate. If so, the Court will determine whether the TCJA rendered the individual mandate unconstitutional. If the mandate is unconstitutional, the Court will decide whether the rest of the ACA can survive. Finally, if the entire ACA is held invalid, the Court will resolve whether the entire law should be unenforceable nationwide or whether it should be unenforceable only to the extent that provisions injure the individual plaintiffs.
 

DaveXA

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I suspect the SC will punt and essentially tell Congress they need to fix it. I don't know if the case is such that they can do it, but just seems that way to me.
 

coldseat

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This article seems to get into the specifics.

.
When you read the majority ruling of the lower and appellate court, it seems so forced and not very logical. The ruling on standing for example says that the individuals suffer damage because of the individual mandate, but what's the damage? The dissent is right, there is no damage. The tax penalty is zero. If they don't elect to get coverage, oh well.

Conservatives claim they don't want activist judges, but they seem pretty damn activist to me.
 

MT15

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What I really want someone to ask Trump when he tries to pretend he has some sort of plan to replace the ACA is this: Why would you repeal the existing health insurance plan before you have passed the replacement? Just get your big beautiful plan out there and in place and then repeal the ACA.

It just makes no sense to take people’s insurance away and then start to work at replacing it. But I’ve never heard anyone ask him that question.
 

DJ1BigTymer

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The answer to that question is one that the Republicans are too cowardly to admit. The reason they don't have a plan is because they do not want a plan, they want the ACA gone and to go back to business as usual with government out of the health care business. Then once that is done, they'll move to privatized the VA, Medicare, and Medicade.
 

JimEverett

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When you read the majority ruling of the lower and appellate court, it seems so forced and not very logical. The ruling on standing for example says that the individuals suffer damage because of the individual mandate, but what's the damage? The dissent is right, there is no damage. The tax penalty is zero. If they don't elect to get coverage, oh well.

Conservatives claim they don't want activist judges, but they seem pretty damn activist to me.
What is the basis for Plaintiff's (individual) claims? Is it a constitutional violation? If so, it seems that as long as the plaintiff is the subject of the government action - the requirement to purchase - then the Plaintiff would have standing. I am not sure why the absence of a penalty would mean such a plaintiff lacks standing. But I am not at all familiar with the details of the case.
 

DaveXA

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What is the basis for Plaintiff's (individual) claims? Is it a constitutional violation? If so, it seems that as long as the plaintiff is the subject of the government action - the requirement to purchase - then the Plaintiff would have standing. I am not sure why the absence of a penalty would mean such a plaintiff lacks standing. But I am not at all familiar with the details of the case.
I'm not sure, but wouldn't there have to be some sort of monetary damages to have standing?
 

MT15

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The answer to that question is one that the Republicans are too cowardly to admit. The reason they don't have a plan is because they do not want a plan, they want the ACA gone and to go back to business as usual with government out of the health care business. Then once that is done, they'll move to privatized the VA, Medicare, and Medicade.
Yes, I know, but Trump is the one who ran on the big lie that he’s going to replace the ACA with something better, and he is telling this lie even to this day. I just want someone to make him answer that question. Just another irritant about his gross hypocrisy.
 

JimEverett

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I'm not sure, but wouldn't there have to be some sort of monetary damages to have standing?
No. A constitutional violation provides enough.
If the government unlawfully detains an unemployed person that person does not lack standing for a suit simply because he lost no income and suffered no monetary damages.
Or consider a law requiring that citizens pray to Jesus every Sunday - even without any civil or criminal penalties attached any person that the law sought to regulate would/should have standing to sue.
 

DaveXA

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No. A constitutional violation provides enough.
If the government unlawfully detains an unemployed person that person does not lack standing for a suit simply because he lost no income and suffered no monetary damages.
Or consider a law requiring that citizens pray to Jesus every Sunday - even without any civil or criminal penalties attached any person that the law sought to regulate would/should have standing to sue.
That makes sense, so the rights laid out in the Constituion being violated are what gives standing, not necessarily any monetary or even physical harm.

It sure seems like the penalty, or lack thereof isn't germane to the standing argument. I guess the question is what Constitutional right is being violated in this case.
 

JimEverett

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That makes sense, so the rights laid out in the Constituion being violated are what gives standing, not necessarily any monetary or even physical harm.

It sure seems like the penalty, or lack thereof isn't germane to the standing argument. I guess the question is what Constitutional right is being violated in this case.
I am not familiar with the case so I may be missing something on the standing question. But if it is a constitutional violation, I am not sure why the lack of a penalty would necessarily be dispositive of the question.
 

Ayo

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I've said and believed, for years, that this is merely the inevitable result of the GOP not in the least bit concerned with healthcare.

I believe that they were shocked that Trump won. They leveraged "OBAMACARE! OMG!" for years. Nothing substantive, nothing nuanced. Total PR campaign. And it worked. These legislators had ZERO intention of doing anything except grousing about "OBAMACARE!" because it was politically expedient.

Not because they actually had morals.

Hillary was the presumptive nominee. And the presumptive President in waiting. She also had a history of trying to fix healthcare. I don't care for Hillary, but I do agree with her attempts and focus on this. So I think the GOP was looking at another President on whose neck they could drape the albatross.

That meant at least another four years of not having to do a DAMN THING about healthcare. In fact, it was better than that - it meant another four years of being able to complain about healthcare and sow discord and paranoia while NOT having to lift a damn finger.

It's an amazing benefit for them. Do absolutely nothing, and gain from it.

It's a beautifully ideal political topic in that way, right?

Problem.

Trump gets elected. They have the House. They have the Senate. They have all the power.

That comes after YEARS of talking about removing and replacing Obamacare.

And the reason that's a problem is because it becomes 100% obvious that healthcare - the health and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of Americans - was never actually their goal. They don't care. They never did. They only wanted the PR and the leverage but Trump's surprising victory, along with having all of Congress, revealed that they didn't have anything. No idea. No legislation.

In my opinion, it's one of the most major abrogations of your elected duties as I can remember. This is something that literally effects every, single American.

fork em
 

Nebaghead

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I've said and believed, for years, that this is merely the inevitable result of the GOP not in the least bit concerned with healthcare.

I believe that they were shocked that Trump won. They leveraged "OBAMACARE! OMG!" for years. Nothing substantive, nothing nuanced. Total PR campaign. And it worked. These legislators had ZERO intention of doing anything except grousing about "OBAMACARE!" because it was politically expedient.

Not because they actually had morals.

Hillary was the presumptive nominee. And the presumptive President in waiting. She also had a history of trying to fix healthcare. I don't care for Hillary, but I do agree with her attempts and focus on this. So I think the GOP was looking at another President on whose neck they could drape the albatross.

That meant at least another four years of not having to do a DAMN THING about healthcare. In fact, it was better than that - it meant another four years of being able to complain about healthcare and sow discord and paranoia while NOT having to lift a damn finger.

It's an amazing benefit for them. Do absolutely nothing, and gain from it.

It's a beautifully ideal political topic in that way, right?

Problem.

Trump gets elected. They have the House. They have the Senate. They have all the power.

That comes after YEARS of talking about removing and replacing Obamacare.

And the reason that's a problem is because it becomes 100% obvious that healthcare - the health and wellbeing of hundreds of millions of Americans - was never actually their goal. They don't care. They never did. They only wanted the PR and the leverage but Trump's surprising victory, along with having all of Congress, revealed that they didn't have anything. No idea. No legislation.

In my opinion, it's one of the most major abrogations of your elected duties as I can remember. This is something that literally effects every, single American.

fork em
It’s like the Joker from Dark Knight. It’s like a dog chasing a car. What’s he going to do when he catches it?
 

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