Friday, December 26, 2014

2015 Could Be a Bad Year for Liberals...

Rational Nation USA
Purveyor of Truth



2015 is going to be a very busy year for the Supreme Court of the United States and one that will result in defining moments on several fronts or issues. In just the first six months the SCOTUS will hear issues major that have divided political and social spectrum for some time.

Topping the list are:

1) Obama care
2) Same-sex marriage equality
3) Religious freedom
4) Freedom of speech

For details on the above short list and more GO HERE.

Via: Memeorandum

61 comments:

  1. A bad Obamacare decision would really, really hurt a lot of Americans. I hope the court is careful with that. It's bad enough there even are states that opted out, but to then ban subsidies to individuals that has nothing to do with that state? I just can't imagine being a bad enough person to want that.

    The rest of that stuff is trifling compared to this.

    JMJ

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  2. Supreme Court actions could result is a favorable movement towards a candidate like Bernie Sanders.

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    Replies
    1. The term (or concept) favorable is of course subjective. It depends on ones perceptions which are sort of like opinions. While we need movement away from the extreme partisianship of the republican base the thought of a Sanders or Warren presidency gives me the shudders.

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    2. "...the thought of a Sanders or Warren presidency gives me the shudders."

      The thought of a republican president along with a republican controlled House and Senate gives me the shudders!m

      Delete
    3. RN said: " the thought of a Sanders or Warren presidency gives me the shudders."

      No worries. They represent a rather small percentage of the electorate, and certainly can't capture the conservatives, or even the middle.

      If they do moderate their views, and tilt toward speaking of the public interest rather than just that of the State's top elites, that would be a good thing.

      Delete
    4. Third party for me Jerry, I've had it with the major parties. BOTH of them.

      Yeah dmarks, I suppose so. But I am skeptical of any politician who ever held the belief that the state and statism is the solution.

      Power corrupts and absolute power corrupt corrupts absolutely.

      What is needed is an educated and active electorate actively involved in the electoral process. Scrapping of the largely bogus Citizens United, elimination of lobbyists, real campaign finance reform, term limitations (perhaps 1 six year them for pres.; 3 three year terms for reps, and 2 six year terms for senators, and possibly limiting SCOTUS to ten years.)

      If course that is a huge amending of the constitution and will not happen. Entrenched power structure and ideology works against change. Money, Influence, Power... Authority feeds off all three.

      Delete
    5. "Third party for me, Jerry"

      While supporting a third party may make you feel good, its impact is generally either nothing or it helps one of the major parties by taking away votes from the other major party. That is the nature of a winner-take-all (two party) system.

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    6. Has nothing to do with "making me feel good".

      As long as people continue to accept the status quo, argue for the continuation of "the lesser of two evils" mentality, and accept a viable third party will never happen in USA we will remain trapped in old political paradigms.

      I simple cannot abide Sanders or Cruz and their parties BS. I will not support raw political ideologies.

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    7. Will Sanders in fact run as a Dem?

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    8. That's one of the advantages of residing in a blue or red state; you can vote your conscience and not have to worry about the BS of what your vote "actually means or does".......And, yes, I am quite proud of my 3rd party votes (well, except for that clunker in '96 for Perot).

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    9. IMO, third party candidates are merely spoilers. If you vote for a third party candidate and would have otherwise voted republican, you just help the democratic candidate. If you vote for a third party candidate and would have otherwise voted democratic, you just help the republican candidate.

      A third party candidate is not going to win a national election.

      Delete
    10. You must be happy with the present system then Jerry.

      See you in status quo then?

      Delete
    11. Jerry, what you say is very true. Except perhaps in deep red or deep blue states, where things are such that it can't help the loser at all.

      Then it is spoiler votes that are too weak to spoil anything.

      I say this as some one who votes third party sometimes. But I have no illusions about the effect.

      Delete
    12. "You must be happy with the present system then Jerry."

      I am merely stating what I believe is true about third party candidates. How does that indicate that I am happy with the current system? What I said is true regardless of my feelings about our current two-party system.

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    13. Fair enough Jerry.

      In my view voting either dem or repub insures continuation of a badly corrupted system. What I am saying is that unless a majority starts voting third party we perpetuate that corrupted system.

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    14. RN, you are making a very big assumption. You are assuming that a third party can attract a majority of the people (which makes them one of the big two) without falling to the "evils" of our current system, not impossible, but highly unlikely. I think it is better to work for change within the current parties than from a third party.

      Delete
    15. Actually Jerry I don't assume another party could attract a majority, nor would I want that. But I do believe a third party with a straight up truthful platform and a vision could attract maybe 25 to 30 percent, enough to field a viable candidate for the top spot and congressional and senatorial candidates as well.

      I realize any third party to be really viable would need a good presence in all 50 states.

      In the meantime I vote third party whenever their is candidate with any sensible positions.

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    16. I guess I misinterpreted the meaning of majority when you said,

      "What I am saying is that unless a majority starts voting third party we perpetuate that corrupted system."

      Delete
    17. No Jerry, I phrased what I meant poorly. I need to do better.

      Thanks for pointing it out.

      Delete
    18. Jerry, Obama could have killed a guy and CT still would have voted for him. My vote for Johnson was a vote for Johnson, period.

      Delete
  3. A good Obama decision... especially one which takes the jackboot off the throat of families and abolishes the individual mandate, could really help a lot of Americans.

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  4. DMarks... I agree that there are some people, essentially a rather small group of people cuaght in the middle on the ACA. Mostly, they are too "wealthy" for medicare, but too poor to pay the bill for insurance, even with subsidies.

    But eliminating the program is not a solution. That will just bring us back to a large gropup of people accessing medical care via emergency rooms, exclusions for prior conditions, etc.

    We the people are going to pay for them anyways through higher costs assoc with our bills as hospitals write off care for them. We can't refuse care for people with no means.

    Why not work to close those loopholes and get everyone coverage?

    there are no jackboots here... just an acknowledgement that since we are already to paying for folks, lets look for a way to do it.

    Simple repeal, will not move the ball forward. Pres Obama ran on this, said he was going to do, and a majority of Americans who voted in both 2008 and 2012 supported him knowing this.

    It was not a surprise that he would push for this. What is a surprise are people who saw the will of the American people, expressed in two Presidential Elections, and now claim he had no mandate to to move ahead. All the while claiming "the will of the people" when they won.

    When Bush pressed for medical expansion, the Dems fought hard against it. But once it was passed, they worked to improve it. If the GOP and conservatives adopted that attitude, we could get this fixed.

    Why do you think they are not doing so, and why do you think they have not put forward a plan to give more Americans more access?

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  5. There's definitely a "jackboot" there, Dave, with a threat of a large fine (cough. middle class tax hike) if families do not divert money away from college, vacation, cars, housing , in order to pay for a commercial product they may or may not need. This decision is best left to middle class families.

    I didn't say repeal it all. Just eliminate some of the measures that are the most harsh on working families, such as this very mandate.

    And I didn't mention the problem of the ACA forcing companies to kick people off of insurance coverage, to fend for themselves or get often-worse ACA coverage. If Obama had kept his "if you like your insurance" promise, this would not have happened at all. So, is holding to that promise really so radical? Protecting the plans people have and like?

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  6. And Dave? You won't get any argument from me that the GOP has presented a major alternative. When given a chance to do so, Ted Cruz used his leadership position to read children's books and put mere filler into the Congressional record.

    But this does not necessarily lead to me supporting the parts of the ACA which are the most harsh to working families. These parts must go.

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  7. Agreed; 2015 will be a poor year for liberals...especially if SCOTUS continues its bizarre ways.

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    Replies
    1. Perhaps Roberts will become the moderate and deciding vote on several cases. It will be an interesting term...

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  8. And now Obama has promised to veto a lot more.

    I'm sure those who repeatedly whined up a case about Republican "obstructionism" will go silent when it is a progressive President doing the obstructing.

    And because no blindly partisan whine can go un-whined, I'm sure the "obstruction" claims will be picked up and flogged by the Republicans now.

    Principle never matters, with these guys. All that matters is whether or not those doing it are on your side.

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    Replies
    1. He might as well, the repubs dogged him every step of the way the past 6 years; Obama might as well go out with a bang, what has he got to lose?

      Delete
  9. Dmarks, insurance isn't a product they "may or may not need." If someone is middle class, I doubt they have the resources laying around to pay for a hospital stay of even a few days.

    That means others, with more means, or with insurance, will pay with higher rates for their care and insurance.

    The problem with repealing the mandate is that it brings down the whole shebang, wiping out millions who now have coverage, which they could not get before.

    I have yet to hear one conservative propose any plan to cover the uninsured in a way that us feasible.

    This system worked fine in Mass, and would on a federal level if congress would work to improve it, instead if repealing it.

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  10. Dmarks... After having seen the coverages, on both the federal and Nevada state exchange, I find it hard to believe those options were bad options... Coverage for 60, 70, 80, and 90% of expenses after deductibles.

    Prescriptions in many cases could be had for free...

    Annual physicals... Free and much more.

    Yes I know free means no out if pocket after your premium, but as for people being forced into worse policies, I just can't see it.

    Where was all the outrage from people when millions of us could not get affordable coverage because of preexisting conditions?

    This was a GOP model.

    Build a system that the ins companies could, and would support. And that would work.

    The only problem is that the pres who did it had a D after his name.

    Politics, as you mentioned...

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  11. If the plans you describe are so great, then why the need to forcibly remove people from existing plans, in the millions? They'd go on their own. No, the fact is that so many people preferred their own plans. Just because you personally were not one of those who were "forced into worst policies" didn't mean it didn't happen. These people know their own plans, and they know how the ACA forced them to go to "bad options". So it is a fact that the ACA has diminished the healthcare plans of millions... something that was entirely unnecessary, and something that the President specifically promised would not happen

    There were a lot more problems with Obamacare than just the President having a "D" after this name. To excuse these problems might be evidence that you are for the plan just because the President who backed it has a "D" after his name, rather than the plan's own merit. Politics, as I mention...

    I didn't even earlier mention the provision to force medical equipment makers to raise their prices 10% or so. Makes things less affordable, Dave. A nasty, greedy provision that makes people who need this equipment poorer.

    So let's fix the ACA. Get rid of the medical equipment price hike (abolishing it will make the ACA more Affordable. Let people return to the better plans they lost.... do you think the plan would have passed if this had been known? Abolish the individual mandate to make it easier on families.

    All of these reforms would definitely help the average American.

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  12. Also, Dave, you said: "Dmarks, insurance isn't a product they "may or may not need.""

    I strongly disagree. It is arrogant of you to make this decision for families. Dave, you know whether or not you "need" this. You simply have no idea whether or not other individuals do. They know, You don't. Of course. it follows that my own proclaimations of "they need this" or "they don't need this" are similarly arrogant. I simply don't know. Only the families and individuals faced with such personal budget decisions know this... for themselves.

    "If someone is middle class, I doubt they have the resources laying around to pay for a hospital stay of even a few days."

    Thinking in terms of the supremacy of the ruled, rather than the supremacy of the rulers, why not let these "someones" decide based on their own life situations and finances? Instead of having the rulers so arrogantly force them to cut money for college, vacation, education in order to pay for a product they don't want to buy. The choice of whether or not to do this should belong to the people. Not arrogant individuals thousands of miles away who dare to think they have the right to micro-manage the family budgets of most of the people in the nation.

    As for your specific scenario, many do have this money. But you probably don't realize that your same scenario comes around the other way,when you consider the massive cost of a mandated insurance plan.

    Again, let families choose.

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    Replies
    1. Thinking in terms of the supremacy of the ruled, rather than the supremacy of the rulers, why not let these "someones" decide based on their own life situations and finances?

      I get what you're saying dmarks, but let me throw this out there. A family of 4, medium middle class income, no employer provided health insurance and they can not afford monthly premium levels for family health insurance, both children in college with all the associated costs, the father has a serious heart attack, he makes it but will require triple bypass surgery... the family has no insurance. Who pays for the hospital stay?

      This is a complex issue, one for which there are no easy or simple answers; but we do know the health care system as it was was not working well and we all were paying for the uninsured to receive emergency room care every time they went to the ER for treatment.

      What the nation needs is a paradigm shift.

      Delete
  13. Interesting question. Might require looking at the "can't afford" end of it and look at factors that make the costs so high... from frivolous lawsuits to profiteering to the ACA provision whick makes medical equipment cost more.

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  14. ... from frivolous lawsuits to profiteering to the ACA provision whick makes medical equipment cost more.

    Ah, the profit factor. Think of the profit motives of the medical malpractice trial lawyers and staff and the miilions they would lose. Consider their influence on their brethren in the halls of congress.

    Malfeasance runs deep.

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  15. Actually I first had in mind the nonprofits where those at the top make millions.

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    Replies
    1. dmarks consistently argues people should make no more than they are worth. While I agree the CEOs of non-profits make too much money (American Cancer Society-$2.1 million, Boys & Girls Clubs $1.8 million, Lincoln Center $1.4 million), IMO its more egregious in the private sector (McKesson-$131.2 million, Cheniere Engery-$141.9 million, Oracle-$78 million, the top 200 being all over $12 million). So, which ones are worth it?

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    2. I agree BB Idaho, What dmarks argument essentially boils down to is a diversion from a much larger IMO problem.

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  16. The difference with that first group, BB, is that those are supposed to be charities, not vehicles for millionaires to make more mad money.

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  17. I disagree on those immoral folks who abuse nonprofits. .. especially charities... to make millions. It's a major problem. But yes there are bigger problems.

    The relevance to this subject, the healthcare part of it, was how this makes hospitalization mote costly.

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  18. The propaganda for the support of obamacare was there are over 30 million people who don't have health insurance. Now we have over 4 million who lost their employer supported insurance and a total of nine million who have signed up for obamacare. If it is so great and wonderful why aren't people sprinting to get signed up?

    Tort reform is no mentioned as a cost saving idea because our politically corrupt are also lawyers and they won't bite the hand that they have to extort from. Healthcare in this country is broken and to think that obamacare is the answer is a joke. There seem to be a lot of politicians who voted for it before they voted against it.


    Dave "Prescriptions in many cases could be had for free"
    Nothing is free it is just paid for by others.

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    Replies
    1. skud, I'd like to see a link to data (reliable and verifiable) supporting these numbers.

      Yep, the lawyers and the politician lawyers are part of the problem and so no meaningful tort reform is going to happen anytime soon.

      Following is what Dave said in context:

      Prescriptions in many cases could be had for free...

      Annual physicals... Free and much more.

      Yes I know free means no out if pocket after your premium, but as for people being forced into worse policies, I just can't see it.


      Care to elaborate skud?

      Delete
    2. RN

      I would post a reference but one of your readers will get upset because I don't do it correctly but it can be found using google and the press.

      If you have a subsidy for obamacare and you get your RX and physical free, the taxpayer is paying for your subsidy there for someone is paying just not the recipient.

      Delete
    3. Gee skud! Is all we have to do to get you NOT to do something is to complain that you are doing it wrong?

      Delete
  19. Skud: You do point something out. I believe that ""Prescriptions in many cases could be had for free" is terrible for those of means.... that it is a very bad idea for the government give the handout of free healthcare to those who can easily afford it. This unnecessary welfare, by the way, Les, is part of a HUGE problem, and it also makes the so-called 'entitlements" go out of control too. I think it would be a good idea to go back to the idea of welfare for the needy, only. Means-test all the handouts. Cut the wealthy and others of means off this gravy train, while strengthening the safety net for the truly needy.

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    Replies
    1. This unnecessary welfare, by the way, Les, is part of a HUGE problem, and it also makes the so-called 'entitlements" go out of control too.

      Forgive my ignorance dmarks but I don't follow you here as it is nothing more than yet another distraction IMO. Were we discussing the wealthy? Have you personally researched insurance through either a state exchange or the "ObamaCare" federal path? I have and I can tell you first hand it is the lower to mid MIDDLE CLASS income individuals and families that get hurt by the ACA. The wealthy have no issues as they can afford and purchase platinum plans while the poor are eligible for generous subsidies and indigent continue get medical care free.

      So dmarks, I've heard all the "bitching and moaning" from all sides. My question for you is... What would you, without prejudice offer up as a better alternative to the move Obama made away from a system that was under stress and sooner or later was bound to implode?

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    2. It really isn't too much of a distraction, this time, as Obamacare is Number One on your list in the parent post.

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    3. Guess it depends on your perspective. Or would it be motives?

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    4. Maybe it is time to discuss the other ones...

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    5. Someone, anyone can wade in on 2,3, or 4. Perhaps these issues are too uncomfortable for some and hence no discussion.

      You would think the religious right would be weighing in in #2 and #3.

      Delete
    6. I think the opposite ... that most of us are of one mind on these, perhaps...

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    7. Possibly among the regular commenters, so in that case there would be no need for further discussion.

      Maybe a stray from the RR will weigh in.

      Delete
  20. There are so many fingers in the healthcare pie that some physicians argue
    that there is a difference between a service and a commodity; in light of costs vis a vis the rest of the world, a very hard look and harder action may be the answer.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting... but I'm not sure that the " vast" number of competing independent entrepreneurs is so much part of the price problem. What about the sectors where there are a few oligarchs who can price-fix? Did they even mention that? Thinking of "big pharma" and the insurance companies. Wondering if they are much worse for the cost problem than competing small businesses.

      Delete
    2. Simply put it is interesting the rest of the industrialized world sees things differently than the USA and therefore approach healthcare differently and effectively. But hey, we're exceptional and of course always know what's best. It was after all ordained eh?

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    3. Does this mean you endorse the authoritarian, highly centralized, monopoly approach?

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    4. IMO, the thrust of the article addresses 'competition' in the medical market. The customer
      has no idea of the basic true cost of a procedure (unless you are in the business) and most
      would not limp around on their broken leg seeking the best deal. Compare to the deregulation of airlines- lower costs? better seats? Nada. Just two or three mega airline
      corporations. We don't know their true costs either, but note that the recent extraordinary
      decline in aviation gas had no effect whatever on ticket price. IMO, competition in most areas is just a façade and most customers are naïve about the true cost/value of what they
      purchase. As for me, I haven't flown commercially since 1985, but it is more difficult to boycott the clinic: and that difficulty is why costs are unrealistically high, IMO.

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    5. No dmarks it represents no such goddamn thing.

      What it means is I believe the system we have been operating under is f-ing broken, unless you are very wealthy or work for a damn fine company that heavily subsidizes your health insurance cost.

      What it means is I am damn tired of the whining and BS from people who haven't the brain power or don't care enough to figure out there was and continues to be a problem and it won't just go away on its own. The market? Private insurance companies?... It is simply about maximizing, maintaining, and increasing profit. For them it is decidedly not about affordable healthcare.

      What it means is I am open to the idea there is certainly a better solution than either the old or the ACA than and that America holds no monopoly on ideas that work.

      I made a personal decision(career change into an entirely different field at 60) that put me in the situation many have been in for years with respect to health insurance and healthcare. I am perfectly okay with that decision and the resulting consequences of it. Bit it has opened my eyes to the reality many people have faced year after year.

      Thomas Paine in particular had ideas far more enlightened about the social contract government has or should have with its people. It makes interesting reading. He was more enlightened and certainly more intelligence than most so called patriots of republican and libertarian mindsets.

      Sorry about the lengthy response but there it is...

      Delete
  21. Excellent article, thanks for providing the hot link.

    It will take a tsunami paradigm breaker before the USA will accept what the author of the article says.

    ReplyDelete

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