When did you find out the individual mandate was a tax?

For the vast majority who did not pay attention over the past few years, they found out that Obamacare’s individual mandate was a tax with the release of the US Supreme Court decision. That’s just fine for a brick layer or a clerk. It isn’t their job to think about such distinctions. It is the job of those in government. So when did Nancy Pelosi find out? When did President Obama find out? Is the date they found out so late as to consider it a measure of political incompetence that should weigh down their re-election campaign?

Is anybody asking these people these questions?

13 thoughts on “When did you find out the individual mandate was a tax?”

  1. Sorry I couldn’t comment yesterday, but I was driving when the SCOTUS news broke and was throwing up all over the steering wheel. That’s when I found out.
    My car ran off the road while I was preoccupied with that, and went into a ditch, where it collided with the US economy. I just got out of the ER. The car (and the economy) may be a total wreck.

  2. It is fascinating to watch the richest and most powerful country on earth grapple with something most of the rest of us had very little problem with. The concept is of course what I mean.

    Universal health care, or something very like it, is normal in most of the developed world, because it’s the right thing to do.

  3. “…most of the rest of us?”

    I would hazard a guess that less than 25% of the world’s population has universal health care: The EU countries, Japan, Taiwan, and Canada are the larger countries that come to mind. All are developed and all have homogeneous populations e.g., Japan is 99% ethnic Japanese, all the big EU countries are over 90% white, Canada’s in the range of mid-80% white. The US is less than two-thirds white.

    I suppose it’s easy to fork out lots of your income in taxes when you know it’s going to benefit people who look, talk, and probably think just like you.

  4. it’s the right thing to do

    I pretty sure 100% of the regular readers of this blog other than yourself disagree with this.

    There was just a doctor who testified before British Parliament who claimed that over 100,000 patients had been denied food and drink by the NHS. Starving people to death. Right thing? Don’t make me laugh.

  5. John Roberts (may his name be blotted out) is now Obama’s prison bitch.

    If it is really a tax, how could it be adopted by a bill that originated in the Senate? and why is it not required to be allocated among the states according to the census?

  6. “Universal health care, or something very like it, is normal in most of the developed world, because it’s the right thing to do.”

    And Canada had the US right next door to go to when the Canadian system denied care. Who do we have next door ? Why do you think there are huge medical centers in Spokane and in Minnesota ? Not to mention the Mall of America ? Canada now has private care again as the courts have decided that a “health plan” is not health care. It didn’t do Natasha Richardson much good, though. No CAT scanner at a ski resort. From the 1980s, private care was illegal. It isn’t any more. The left wing Canadian government decided to add no new doctors and import them from other countries with iffy medical education. Nursing schools were closed. I was at a medical quality meeting a couple of years ago and met the architect designing the first new Canadian hospital in decades. Canada was a medical pioneer 100 years ago. Insulin and William Osler were both from Canada. That was before the Trudeau bunch took over. Canada now has a more conservative government than we do, at least in economics.

    There are significant and rational reforms we could do but Obamacare isn’t one of them. It will prolong the depression we are in if not repealed or ignored. France has a much better model for us than the UK, with its obvious rationing, or Canada. I used to attend a good annual meeting in Saskatoon. About 15 years ago, I stopped going because all the doctors who had conducted the meeting had emigrated. The people who had replaced them had nothing to say that I wanted to hear. When I went to laparoscopy conferences after that, they were in France.

    I do agree that we have to have reforms that do not depend on the traditional US insurance companies. They are out of ideas and that is why they supported Obamacare. They want out of the insurance business because, unless reformed, it is a bankrupt system. They are happy to administer a government payer program but that way lies national bankruptcy. We have about five years to fix our health care financing. Then we will be broke.

  7. Cris – Thank you. I need to laugh so I do not cry.

    PenGun – Universal care is a slogan and devoid of meaning. Under some definitions the US has had universal care for decades. Defining what is in and out of the government covered care definitions is a great deal more complicated and the near unanimity in the first world you are trumpeting disappears when you look just a little bit closer.

    Tim – And now you’ve put me back to crying

    Robert Schwartz – I suspect that nobody actually raised a challenge on those grounds and thus the question was not ripe. Roberts gets to play his political games knowing that the law’s going down on other grounds later if the voters don’t kill it off via massive turnover in November.

    Michael Kennedy – The first key to reform is to permit price shopping (something that we severely restrict based on some stupid bureaucratic decisions). That’s perhaps 30% of the problem right there and could be accomplished quickly, with very little cost, and near zero disruption. It still astounds me that no “big fish” are advocating it.

  8. “Universal care is a slogan and devoid of meaning.”

    No foolin’. I hear people cheering “healthcare for all!” Dr. Michael, perhaps you could discuss the problems doctors have getting compensated fairly and quickly for Medicare and Medicaid patients – and how doubling down on this is just pure folly.

    Just because you declare “healthcare for all” doesn’t mean you’re going to get any.

  9. Percy, it’s worse than that. I would suggest reading this blog and the online book the author is writing. It is written for physicians and makes depressing reading. He has been writing this blog for years and has actually read the Obamacare bill. I’m not sure it can be stopped after last Thursday but, if you want to know, this is the best source I know.

    A small sample: A major thrust of Obamacare will be to create numerous panels of experts, appointed by the Central Authority, which will – in an entirely disinterested and objective manner, of course – publish clinical “guidelines” which will suggest to physicians what medical services they ought to offer patients with specific medical conditions. In concept, clinical guidelines are a perfectly fine idea, and indeed are often helpful to practicing physicians. This is why professional organizations have published and updated numerous sets of clinical guidelines for decades.

    But the guidelines published by the GOD panelists (Government Operatives Deliberating) will be something new. These guidelines will be treated as sacrosanct rules, which must not be broken, the violation of which might lead to criminal prosecution. We already have examples of criminal investigations based on alleged guideline violations, which I will show later.

    I will be devoting much of the remainder of Part II of this book to the tyranny of experts which is about to be unleashed upon American doctors and patients, through the medium of “guidelines,” so I will say no more about it here. I will simply note that the structure of Obamacare, wherein it is an integrated team (instead of individual doctors) deciding whether to follow “suggested” sets of guidelines, will render this tool immensely more powerful than it has ever been before.

  10. Chief justice Roberts, by declaring the mandate a taxing power, de facto abolished private property in America.

    The political majority of the moment in Congress can steal by taxes anything at all from the despised minority, because they are the majority.

    If private property isn’t safe from the thieving political class on the make, neither is the American middle class.

    _That_ is the script for Bloody Revolution in America.

    The productive private sector employed Middle class has no one it can trust in the Political class not to steal from it.

    Unless they get succor via the political process, then all power comes from the barrel of a gun and those willing to use them.

    And the middle class will have nothing to lose but its oppression.

  11. Trent Telenko – So long as we have elections and the ability to reverse course peacefully it is both more practical and a moral obligation to undertake peaceful, not violent, reform. Alan Gura has done more to save us from a new civil war than is generally realized. The political class dare not cancel elections because they understand that they will immediately be in a permanent state of siege and vulnerable to assassination at a level of threat that would make even their medium term physical survival highly problematic. They will do the right thing and keep elections and we will do the right thing and put in those who will fix this.

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