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Old 03-28-2012, 03:45 PM   #61
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You can't tell how the justices will vote based on what they say, and you certainly can't tell based on the sound bites on the news.
Most definitely. I saw a local newspaper in a vending machine this morning with a headline that read something like "Supreme Court Justices extremely critical of proposed healthcare law."

Well of course they're being critical. It would be very worrying if our Supreme Court Justices weren't thinking that way.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:41 PM   #62
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It seems that every controversial decision in US society comes down to a 5-4 partisan vote. I therefore suspect that the oral arguments before the supreme court have more theatrical than predictive value.

Still its very significant to me that the intrade contract value swung 20 points in one day.

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Intrade has shown some accuracy at forecasting outcomes of popular votes, but only a day or two ahead of elections. This is not a public vote and the outcome is not limited to "keep or revoke". The US Supreme Court is expert at ruling in a way that satisfies no one but itself.

I thought this was well-said.
Actually, the outcome of the intrade contract is indeed limited to the fate of the mandate provision and not to other parts of the law. So its market price should accurately reflect the perceived probability of just that portion of the law being struck down.

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Agreed. And I think today's arguments are biased toward giving the impression that the judges will vote to strike down the mandate. The whole "severability" discussion presuposes that outcome. Intrade is probably a good sell today. Maybe we can get this discussion moved to the Stock Picking board.
On the subject of pricing, there is presently an excellent arbitrage opportunity on the intrade contracts related to healthcare reform - the one that expires 12/31/2012 is priced *higher* than the same contract which expires a year later. Negative relative time premium!
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:51 PM   #63
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I wonder how much Justice Kennedy feels like Joe Mantegna's character on First Monday...
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:31 PM   #64
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Allow all to buy into Medicare and charge a premium for Medicaid, based on income for those not covered by Medicare or Private insurance. I know, I know, where was I when all this was being drafted.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:14 AM   #65
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Here he comes...
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:35 PM   #66
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Lets try to keep the thread on topic and related to early retirement and financial independence, and not get sidetracked into arguing about freeloaders, leeches and socialism.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:47 PM   #67
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Lets try to keep the thread on topic and related to early retirement and financial independence, and not get sidetracked into arguing about freeloaders, leeches and socialism.
This is silly. The thread has to do with the SCOTUS review of the health care law, which is an admittedly political topic in a politically titled thread. If the dialogue is censored to be only related to ER & FI, there isn't much to be said.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:50 PM   #68
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So, don't say much.

If mean spirited, politically orientated digs are desired, there are a number of forums specializing in that sort of thing.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:58 PM   #69
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This is silly. The thread has to do with the SCOTUS review of the health care law, which is an admittedly political topic in a politically titled thread. If the dialogue is censored to be only related to ER & FI, there isn't much to be said.
One can discuss the review without using charged labels such as freeloaders, socialism and other emotionally-charged words intended to stir up acrimony and which generate defensive, emotional responses. The issue itself IS central to FI and RE and can thus be discussed provided the rhetoric is more carefully chosen and don't use language that invites "full contact politics."

This is your absolute final warning shot across the bow. Any more questioning of moderator decisions in public here WILL result in thread closure and possibly additional action -- period, full stop.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:11 PM   #70
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So, don't say much.

If mean spirited, politically orientated digs are desired, there are a number of forums specializing in that sort of thing.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:31 PM   #71
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One can discuss the review without using charged labels ...
Thanks - I'd like to see the thread continue. I think we can learn from it.

At this point I'm most interested in the mechanics of the SC decision. We've debated the HC stuff many times, so now I'd just like to discuss how this SC process works.

As was mentioned, it seems that some judges are talking about what would be good or bad, or what Congress intended. I'm surprised by that - I would think they would look at it in strict Constitutional terms, almost in a vacuum. Each branch should do their own thing.

In that light, if they decide it is unconstitutional, I think the whole thing should go. I don't think it is reasonable for those judges to decide what would should stay and what shouldn't. In some cases, issue X,Y or Z was added to get a State to go along with the mandate - but can the judges 'know' this - should they try to fathom that? I don't think so. Make it all or nothing, and let Congress put the pieces back together again, and make it Constitutional this time - that was their job.

True, we now have a different Congress than we had. But whose 'fault' is that? The questions on Constitutionality were there from the start, so this is the price they pay for taking that risk.


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Old 03-29-2012, 01:49 PM   #72
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Whichever way SCOTUS eventually decides, it's gonna be a historic decision.

In the back of my mind, I've wondered if SCOTUS decides if the mandate is constitutional, then would more folks say "I'm outta here" and FIRE as it seems for many, not finding individual insurance because of pre-existing conditions is the biggest hurdle to FIRE.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:51 PM   #73
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.....As was mentioned, it seems that some judges are talking about what would be good or bad, or what Congress intended. I'm surprised by that - I would think they would look at it in strict Constitutional terms, almost in a vacuum.......-ERD50
I was surprised that many of their comments/ruminations had to do with the detriments and benefits of the law rather than the constitutionality. Though I suppose the constitutionality is covered ad nauseum in each sides legal briefs.

It was amusing where Scalia questioned whether having to pore through all 2,700 pages of the law might be cruel and unusual punishment.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:55 PM   #74
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Whichever way SCOTUS eventually decides, it's gonna be a historic decision.

In the back of my mind, I've wondered if SCOTUS decides if the mandate is constitutional, then would more folks say "I'm outta here" and FIRE as it seems for many, not finding individual insurance because of pre-existing conditions is the biggest hurdle to FIRE.
Not just "I'm outta here" but also "I'm changing jobs". Than could have a very positive effect on business and employment in the US.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:58 PM   #75
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Whichever way SCOTUS eventually decides, it's gonna be a historic decision.

In the back of my mind, I've wondered if SCOTUS decides if the mandate is constitutional, then would more folks say "I'm outta here" and FIRE as it seems for many, not finding individual insurance because of pre-existing conditions is the biggest hurdle to FIRE.
How many would-be entrepreneurs choose not to pursue their dream and stay at teh day job just to keep the health benefits? That is one major reason I have not seriously considered any such ventures.
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Old 03-29-2012, 01:59 PM   #76
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In that light, if they decide it is unconstitutional, I think the whole thing should go. I don't think it is reasonable for those judges to decide what would should stay and what shouldn't. In some cases, issue X,Y or Z was added to get a State to go along with the mandate - but can the judges 'know' this - should they try to fathom that? I don't think so. Make it all or nothing, and let Congress put the pieces back together again, and make it Constitutional this time - that was their job.


If the mandate is deemed unconstitutional, the correct thing to do is to strike the mandate and let Congress address whatever problems arises if it so desires. The court doesn't need to comb through the law to judge the impact, nor should it. Congress has the power to strike down its own law in a single paragraph of legislation - why should the court take this extraordinary step to invalidate a law that doesn't even fully take effect for another year and a half?

Besides, the mandate is just one part of a very large bill. I could see striking down the whole law if the intent of the law was to require people to buy insurance. But that isn't the intent. The mandate is a single provision designed to ameliorate a specific problem. Congress can easily devise other ways of accomplishing the same thing. Is it really the court's role to say that such fixes aren't possible or desirable or even necessary?

Assume for a minute that the mandate is struck down and Congress is unable to make any other changes? Are we left with a "shell of a law" as has been alleged? I don't see why. Many states require the issuance of health insurance, without underwriting and without a mandate. It's not ideal, but it is currently the law of the land in many places. If other local legislatures feel that the absence of a mandate creates problems in their states, they can institute a mandate at the state level; just like Massachusetts.

It seems to me the issue before the court is a fairly narrow one. It should answer that narrow question and leave drafting legislation to the legislature.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:05 PM   #77
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Whichever way SCOTUS eventually decides, it's gonna be a historic decision.

In the back of my mind, I've wondered if SCOTUS decides if the mandate is constitutional, then would more folks say "I'm outta here" and FIRE as it seems for many, not finding individual insurance because of pre-existing conditions is the biggest hurdle to FIRE.
But you are talking a very thin slice. The question of constitutional/not was going to be settled one way or the other in a pretty short time, it's not like this was going to sit out there for ten years.

I thought it was interesting that 3 days of hearings is it. Courts sure spend a lot more time on less important cases. But I guess there is no gathering and analysis of evidence, it's all there in the bill, and the Judges look at that outside of the hearing itself. Just still seemed strange. June is the next step?

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Old 03-29-2012, 02:13 PM   #78
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I was surprised that many of their comments/ruminations had to do with the detriments and benefits of the law rather than the constitutionality.
Me too. It's quite heartening actually.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:18 PM   #79
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I thought it was interesting that 3 days of hearings is it. Courts sure spend a lot more time on less important cases. But I guess there is no gathering and analysis of evidence, it's all there in the bill, and the Judges look at that outside of the hearing itself. Just still seemed strange. June is the next step?
Most of what the Court considers is written. Not just the bill itself, but thousands of pages of briefs submitted by interested parties. I don't think you can see access the Court's records without a log-in, but I believe this is the list of briefs filled in one of the lower court cases. As you can see, it is quite extensive.

The Supreme Court also relies on all of the work done by these lower courts, which it has access to as well.
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Old 03-29-2012, 02:22 PM   #80
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If the mandate is deemed unconstitutional, the correct thing to do is to strike the mandate and let Congress address whatever problems arises if it so desires. ...
Well, that is your opinion - I see it differently.

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The court doesn't need to comb through the law to judge the impact, nor should it.
Agreed. But that's why I say strike it all/nothing - to avoid going through it all. It seems to me that they would need to assume that the mandate was written 'in a vacuum' regarding any other clause. But I don't think that is true - weren't certain clauses added to get some states to go along with the deal? So if you take out the 'the deal' you could argue that the clause added to support it should go too. So now you are putting the SC in the position of determining this, and to me, that is akin to making the SC the writer of the law, and that violates the system of the three branches of government.


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Congress can easily devise other ways of accomplishing the same thing. Is it really the court's role to say that such fixes aren't possible or desirable or even necessary?
They (Congress) should have done it the first time 'round then if it is so easy. It is the SC role to say if something is Constitutional or not, what is fixable or desirable is up to Congress, no?


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Many states require the issuance of health insurance, without underwriting and without a mandate. It's not ideal, but it is currently the law of the land in many places. ...
I

Again, that is for Congress to hash out what the public wants, and to do it within the law. SC should decide if it is Constitutional or not. I don't think the SC should be basing it's decisions on the law of 'many lands', but the law of this land. It's our Constitution we are talking about, not someone else's.

I don't think I can really add anything to that, we probably need to agree to disagree beyond this.

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