Is the individual mandate in the healthcare reform legal?

20 Jun

The biggest issue facing the federal government as it reforms healthcare is the individual mandate.  The courts have upheld the federal government has the power to regulate the buying and selling of products and services, but does the federal government have the power to regulate inactivity, not buying of health insurance?  Many cases have been filed in the courts with mixed results.  Ultimately the Supreme Court of the United States will have to decide if the individual mandate is in line with previous rulings or they will set the precedent of expanding the power of the federal government.

 

The Supreme Court has ruled several times stretching Congress’ power in regulating commerce.  In McCullogh v. Maryland (1819), the Supreme Court ruled the Congress has “implied powers.”  This was ruling allowed the Congress to write laws that were necessary and proper to carry out the enumerated powers as well as the implied powers. In Gibbons v. Ogden (1824), the Supreme Court ruled “commerce as all commercial intercourse-all business dealings…the commerce power of the national government could be exercised in state jurisdictions.” (American Government & Politics Today, 2010-2011, Schmidt, p.54).

 

Based upon these precedents the case  Liberty University v. Geithner(2010) was dismissed by US District Judge Norman Moon.  “Judge Moon said the health-care reform law fits “well within Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause.” (Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor (2010, December, 1), Health-care reform law is constitutional, federal judge rules, CSMonitor.com)  As to the individual mandate clause and more specifically to the “inactivity” argument Judge Moon states “by choosing to forgo insurance, plaintiffs are making an economic decision to try to pay for health care services later, out of pocket, rather than now, through the purchase of insurance,” (Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor (2010, December, 1), Health-care reform law is constitutional, federal judge rules, CSMonitor.com).  Thus he upheld the individual mandate.

 

U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Conner ruled in Goudy-Bachman et al v. United States Department of Health and Human Services et al.(2011) the individual mandate was unconstitutional.  He said “The [individual mandate] provision of the [Affordable Care Act] exceeds Congress’s authority under the Commerce Clause.” (Joyce Frieden, MedPage Today (September 13, 2011), Court: Individual Mandate “Unconstitutional”, MedPageToday.com).  The Judge addressed the “inactivity” in this way. “…because it requires people to buy something ahead of time that they may or may not need in the future. “Congress cannot require individuals … who are not currently seeking or receiving services in the healthcare market to purchase health insurance in order to stabilize the health insurance market,” he wrote. “Congress cannot mandate or regulate in anticipation of conduct that may or may not occur in the future.” (Joyce Frieden, MedPage Today (September 13, 2011),  Court: Individual Mandate “Unconstitutional”, MedPageToday.com).

 

The biggest issue facing the Healthcare Reform is the individual mandate and the interpretation of is inactivity.  Meaning does inactivity imply activity at a later date?  The Supreme Court will have the final say in the matter.

I get it!! I am not into SEO!

19 Jun

To the 64 automated responses to my blog

Thank you for noticing my blog is not SEO compliant.  Also thank you for proving to me ANYONE can set up an automated response program.  Thank you also for helping learn to better my spam filters so I never have to see your posts again.

 

P.S. Automated responses have a viable use.  Mass spam is not a proper use.

 

The American Electorate is Bitter

19 Jun

The American Electorate is Bitter.

So you want to be an Entrepreneur

18 Jun

So you want to be an Entrepreneur.  Great, now what do you do?  According to many articles you must be prepared to fail.  Six out of seven Entrepreneurs fail, one third will fail, and so on.  Still want to be an Entrepreneur?    Then let me share some cold hard facts with you about being an Entrepreneur.

Treat it like the real business that it IS!  Decide up front is this a hobby or an income replacing business.

Everyone (and I do mean everyone; spouse, family, best friend, colleagues, etc.) will think you are crazy.  They will shoot holes in your ideas and try to drag you down.  Admittedly, some of their concerns will be valid.  You will have to sift the good concerns from the bad ones.

Believing being an Entrepreneur is a get rich quick scenario.  Being an Entrepreneur means you are in it for the long haul.  Very rarely does it happen overnight.  Also if you prefer a 9-5 lifestyle, you might want to think again about being an Entrepreneur. There will be a lot of long, sleepless nights ahead.

You can’t do everything yourself.  You will need professional help in certain areas.  Accounting, Taxes, writing the business plan, and Legal are usually the first ones that come to mind.  Remember, professional doesn’t have to mean expensive.  You can get professional help with lots of things at www.fiverr.com.   Don’t be shy about using your local Chamber of Commerce or the local SCORE office of the SBA to get help.

You will need a network of people with varied backgrounds.  These people will be able to give you valuable insight about your idea or a process.  Remember though, GIVE more than you take.  Help others whenever you can.  It will repay you in the long run.

Financing will not come via an Angel Investor (probably).  Be prepared to work on a shoestring budget or finance it yourself.  The Angel Investor will come after you start being successful.

Finally, have fun with it.  Will it be a stressful, overwhelming, hair on fire, or pulling out your hair proposition?  Yep, but that is the fun part of being an Entrepreneur.  If you can live with these cold hard facts, welcome to the wonderful world of Entrepreneurship.

I welcome any comments or suggestions on this article.

Does the Golden Rule apply to Business?

13 Jun

Growing up I heard time after time, “Remember the Golden Rule!”  Do unto others as you have done to you.  Does this saying really applicable to the business world?  Does it apply to customers and clients?  Does it apply to employees?  Does it apply to business partners?

I have experienced many situations where I as an employee certainly have not been treated that way.  I would have certainly been fired had I treated my managers as they treated me.  They certainly wouldn’t have tolerated it.  Why can they get away with it, but I couldn’t?

What about with customers/clients?  Is the banking industry practicing the “Golden Rule” when they keep adding fee after fee to their customer accounts?  Car repair shops?  Used car dealers?  Any business has to take a look at itself and ask “are we being fair to our customers?”

Where do business loyalties lay?   Is it to the customer/client?  Is it to the stockholder/owner?  What is best for the customer may not be the best for the stockholder.  Who does the business choose to please?

Some companies like L.L. Bean and Zappos go to great lengths to please the customer.  They are successful companies why doesn’t everyone emulate their model?  Could business survive if everyone followed their lead?  Or do we always need the “JR Ewing’s” to make business thrive.

I would love to your comments and ideas on this.

140 characters to elect a President?

9 Jun

I am worried no one will read this because it is over 140 characters, contains no video, or an audio clip.  It seems that the attention spans, that started shrinking in the 80’s courtesy of MTV and music videos, have shrunk to 140 characters.  Can an informative and well thought out decision actually be made by reading your Twitter feed?   Can a Presidential platform be conveyed in a Tweet?  Doubtful, however the candidates seem to want to just that.

First of all, I love Twitter.  I use it constantly to keep update to on what is happening around the world.  If I see a tweet and it is something of interest I follow up with more reading so I can get the whole story.  I have found not everyone does that.  I see and hear so many debates that people have who reference the data in a tweet.  Last week Obama and Rommey both announced they were formatting their platforms to be more easily understood via text and Twitter.  Is that what the dumbing down of the United States has come to?

I wonder what the new budget will look like in 140 characters.  It looks like the great speeches of Roosevelt, Washington, Adams, Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan are indeed ancient history.

Big Brother Washington

7 Jun

Interesting yet scary read.

Candor News

Just when we thought the society we live in was one of the most progressive in the world, it looks as though even freedom of speech has limitations. In the age of technology any American can seemingly voice his or her opinions through any source of technology without the government’s jurisdiction. But here’s the kicker: The Utah Data Center, an estimated $1.5 billion dollar project created by the National Security Agency that can hold yottabytes (the largest unit of informational units) of information. The innocuous sounding name camouflages the reality of how this will affect our every move. The idea behind the UDC is to be an intelligence community that would monitor the internet and other technological devices for the principle of national security. In actuality, the UDC will store every private form of communication in our lives. This means more than just emails and phone calls; the UDC will…

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