Obama’s Solicitor General, Donald Verrilli, has rough start at health care oral arguments. Abee…abee…abee…Hopefully th…th…th…this is Th…th…th…that’s All Folks for Ob…Ob…Ob…Obamacare.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Bonfire of the Absurdities March 27, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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I don’t think the man is incompetent or badly prepared as the lefties suggest, he’s just trying to defend the indefensible. If the government can make me buy health insurance, why can’t it make me buy Chevy Volts, Treasury Bonds or brocolli? It’s hard to see where you can draw the line and make the case that the health insurance market is different from other commerce and that somehow the government is entitled to force you into it in THIS ONE INSTANCE. It basically comes down to “it’s different because we said so” and if the court is honest about this fact, they’ll strike it down.

Alien March 27, 2012 at 3:06 pm

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i have wondered what markets exist that are compelled to provide service for an unconscious individual brought into an establishment by a stranger.

If dude was laying on the ground, passed out, is there a brocolli vendor that would be compelled to meet his broccoli needs, just because another dude brought him in?

Sidekick March 27, 2012 at 3:10 pm

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According to the Solicitor General: yes.

Alien March 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm

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but present day, there is nothing compelling a broccoli vendor to provide product or brocolli services to an unconscious man.. this market is stunningly different from healthcare, because the healthcare market has already been drastically modified by regulation (services must be provided by law under certain circumstances)

also i barely know how to spell broccoli

Sidekick March 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm

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Ahhhh, but let’s say that you have a child whom the State deems malnourished. Not starving but simply not getting enough of whatever it says is the requisite daily vegetable “dose”. Under the absurdity of the government’s argument, the government can compel you to buy broccoli or anything else it wants under the Commerce Clause. In fact, it could label it a healthcare item just like birth control pills and offer it for free and force the tax payer to buy your broccoli. Logical extremes are weird are they not?

Alien March 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

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they are fascinating.. i envy the justices their hyperbolic discussions. The thing with broccoli, though, is that the market fit is different. Sellers aren’t compelled at all to provide anything to that child. Costs must be settled immediately. I can’t take a starving child to Safeway and drop him off for feeding. In fact, they’d likely redirect that child to a hospital.

What i think really should happen, to make these arguments consistent, is remove the entitlement to ER care (EMTALA) which underpins this whole argument in the first place

perlcat March 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

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Yep. Government interference breeds more problems than existed in the first place — and the natural conclusion of our government is? “What we need here is more government interference.”

What was that Buffet once said about “never ask an insurance agent if you need more insurance?”

Sidekick March 27, 2012 at 3:09 pm

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I liked Scalia’s line about the absurdity of forcing people into a market so the government can regulate them and the market. Blows the Commerce Clause argument out of the water. I just looked at Federalist 42, which discusses the rationale of the the Clause. Madison would be happy with today’s results.

Alien March 27, 2012 at 3:40 pm

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revisiting.. its not different because “they said so”.. its because they “made it so”.. there’s already a mandate on the providers of the service, now they are trying to put in the mandate on the receivers of the service

but no one really attacks that underpinning.. at least its not a prevalent argument

Sidekick March 27, 2012 at 3:49 pm

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Bottom line is the government needs the mandate to fund the whole scheme. Without it, there is no way it can work without a faster pace toward bankruptcy.

Alien March 27, 2012 at 3:51 pm

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right.. forced ER care is an unfunded mandate, plain and simple (which just means cost shifting, ultimately, to deal with those that won’t plan or pay)

Sidekick March 27, 2012 at 3:59 pm

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I’ll bet that Obama loudly blames Congress if the ruling goes badly for him. Remember, he had virtually no visible role in the actual crafting of the bill. That is his cover and he was probably advised of that while the sausage was being made.

Neo-7 March 27, 2012 at 4:03 pm

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You do mean poisoned sausage don’t you ?

Alien March 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

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i see it possible that they remind everyone, quietly, that he mocked the individual mandate during his presidential primary.. when Hillary was for it. Instead, later, he ostensibly had to compromise over what had been formerly seen as a conservative solution..

retaliation to a SCOTUS slap down will be something along the lines of Medicare For All

KimmyQueen March 28, 2012 at 5:44 am

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As we know by history goverment one instance turn into all instances rather quickly or leader by leader depending on the people not paying attention or not doing anything about it to stop it.

Neo-7 March 27, 2012 at 3:48 pm

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Although I have quiet optimism and hope that the constitution’s intent will be upheld , there are those that hate the constitutions constraints , sitting on the bench . Roe vs Wade , Kelo vs New london come to mind . The court has largely ruled in favor of more government control of their minions , for many years now .

If Obamacare is struck down , I could see these constitution haters appealing to the Hague .

KW Willy March 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm

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I listened to the whole thing and we are far from out of the water, it sound as if Beyer, Kegan, Ginsburg and WTF Sotomayer have already made their minds up. Sotomayer said she would recuse herself from these hearings, what is she doing there. She wrote the f**king bill.

GhostntheMachine March 28, 2012 at 11:57 am

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Hey, hey, be nice to Ruth Bader Dingbat, she can’t help it.

Homersdad March 28, 2012 at 6:00 am

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I can imagine it is every lawyer’s dream to get to argue a case before the supreme court and I can also imagine you might get nervous doing so given the fact that when a case gets to that point, the outcome becomes a pretty big deal….however I can’t help but have a little fun at the Solicitor General’s expense…the whole time he was stammering I felt like I was watching an episode of Wheel of Fortune….I kept wanting to buy a vowel.

Alien March 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

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i listened to yesterday’s arguments about individual mandate today.. i found that most summaries of the proceeding are oversimplistic. Verrilli started rough, dry throat i guess, but eased into what is a very difficult debate. His position seems nigh impossible to defend–i have some sympathy. The conservative justices asked too many biting questions. I don’t think i could’ve handled Scalia, Alito, and Roberts either. Sounds like Kennedy may go either way, but leans towards striking it down

Sidekick March 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm

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Alien, what do you mean too many biting questions? Making the government explain its rationale is not too much to ask.

Alien March 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm

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i mean it was brutal for the solicitor general, in terms of attempting to defend a fairly weak Constitutional position. Verrilli is characterized as having handled it badly, but i now just think its a losing case. Scalia, Alito and Roberts pretty much tore it up (i don’t recall Thomas saying hardly anything)

Sidekick March 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm

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Thomas rarely does ask questions. I have zero sympathy for Virrilli. His job is to defend the indefensible and that is just too bad. The Dems have had two years to figure out how to “sell” Obamacare in the court system. Clearly, it is unconstitutional and the Supremes are making him work. I’ll never forget the blinding arrogance of Pelosi and her entourage striding down Pa. Ave basically giving over half the country the finger after it was deemed passed. Seeing that whole mess fall apart under scrutiny is very very pleasing to me.

Kip Hooker March 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm
Sidekick March 28, 2012 at 6:53 pm

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That’s the one!

flashingscotsman March 28, 2012 at 9:56 pm

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If Verilli isn’t able to lie like a dog, and be perfectly comfortable doing it, maybe he should apply for a job with someone other than the Obama Administration.