Sunday, July 01, 2012

Shit I was meaning to get back to

In that Obama fundraising email I mentioned a few days ago, he said “We can be outspent and still win -- but we can’t be outspent 10 to 1 and still win.” Er, why the hell not?

In the dissent in the Obamacare case, the right-wing justices argued that young people didn’t need the health-insurance mandate: “the health care ‘market’ that is the object of the Individual Mandate not only includes but principally consists of goods and services that the young people primarily affected by the Mandate do not purchase. They are quite simply not participants in that market”. Sure they are, because even if they do not get sick a good 40% or so of them avail themselves of contraceptives. The four justices, all being male and Catholic, seem to have forgotten about that.

Also, what’s up with the quotes around market?


  1. That's a staggeringly disproportionate number of left-footers on the Court.

  2. The dissent means to write "health care INSURANCE 'market.'"

    It's a distinction progressives and liberals that support Obamacare get wrong too. This 'market' does not provide health care. It's a 'market' for a financial product. Insurance companies do not provide health care. They profit off it.

    And the Court is correct to put scare quotes around market. This is not a free market. We are forced to buy a product from a predatory industry that has special protection and rights to abuse us. They are exempt from antitrust laws and most people can't sue them for bad faith torts when they wrongly deny claims.

    Now we are providing huge subsidies to them and forcing people to buy products that go mostly unregulated. There is very little control over what they are required to give you. Forcing people to buy a fraudulent and crappy financial product (not health care!!) from one of 5 huge evil companies is certainly not what most people would think of as a 'market' .

  3. You're conflating the pre- and post-Obamacare health care/insurance markets, when the issue in the dissent was the Commerce Clause justification for imposing the individual mandate. The scare-quotey market reference clearly refers to the pre-Obamacare market, which is why I wasn't sure what point they were trying to make, though I'm pretty sure it was a stupid one.

  4. I didn't even read the dissent (or all of the opinion) so thanks for the clarification of what they were referring to.

    But even if they were referring to the pre-Obamacare health INSURANCE market, they had every reason to put scare quotes around market. The antitrust exemption and federal preemption via ERISA (which prevents most bad faith tort claims among other things) have already made it one of the most protected industries in the country.

    I used to be concerned about the Commerce Clause but basically I think the whole thing is so rigged it's not worth worrying about. The Court will always find some justification to do what it wants ("I know, let's call it a tax"). Plus, it's not like the Democrats or anyone else was going to do something good with the commerce clause.