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Honored Advisor

Supreme Court Decision & Farming

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In many ways the Court case is not about health care, but about the federal government's roll in demanding, or mandating specific action by the population.  In agriculture we have seen this played out in the survey and sign up process.  USDA has operated with respect to the privacy of those who participate and avoided "mandating" the participation in all government programs.  (I use the term "all" here with risk.)

What are the ramifications to the farming business of either decision by the court?  This question keeps bouncing in my head and I am trying to keep it on a business management scope.

This one could fall into the "ag forum" bucket with ease, but I think there is much beyond politics in this decision.  The size and scope of farms as well as taxation, financing, regulation, etc, all could be affected.  Am I way off this morning??

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Senior Advisor

Re: well smokey

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You have to deal with the diabetes, the blood pressure, the  chlorestral plus the blood thinner, the pee pill, the anxiety pill, the ed pill, & the pain pill.

 

You want to avoid all those pills? Don't go to a doctor.

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Advisor

Re: Supreme Court Decision & Farming

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Here is an ironic twist to the idea of government mandated insurance.....crop insurance is a prerequisite if you want to qualify for disaster aid programs. 

 

Not an all encompassing mandate, for sure, but a mandate.

 

Government requires all parties to participate in social security funding, with one exception of opting out for several specified religious groups.  This mandate came into being in the Roosevelt era. 

 

As for the business perspective, rural health care challenges continue whether the courts rule against health care reform.  Ultimately, this will affect agriculture as it tries to keep or attract a labor force.  Whether one is for or against "obamacare", this will continue to plague rural America until we find an acceptable, workable solution.

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Re: Supreme Court Decision & Farming

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Wickard v. Filburn was said to be one of the precedents. 1942 case about federal authority in farm programs justified under the commerce clause.

 

I'm by no means a legal expert but am pretty sure that the hardest thing the SC has to do here is to stuff ACA without any broad reversal of precedent that potentially undoes 70 years of other government actions under the commerce clause.

 

I wouldn't worry, worst that could happen is that the government will just give farmers cash with no strings attached.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Supreme Court Decision & Farming

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My worst case thoughts today are leaning more toward the idea that payments are not needed.  If health care is important enough for federal mandates then where does "food security" fall on the scale of importance.  Would usda need to guess at acres if they can mandate the number of acres of each crop a farm must plant for the good of the population.  The only reason for payments has been to encourage participation.  

Any farm senerio I can think of with participation mandates leads to more "industrialization" of agriculture.  Of course meeting labor and safety standards will be required as well in such an important process as food creation.

 

Anyway I have the feeling that we are witnessing a gettysburg address/stock market crash/ pearl harbor/ 911 type moment in history for our country.  And I just wonder if the congressional approval rating is as low in those chambers now as it is in the general public. Smiley Happy

 

smokey, I bet your right,  this decision will not be an end to our problems either way.

 

Healthcare -----------1999 year---- interesting personal note,  my farm lost a good employee because I decided to provide health insurance at no cost to the employee.  We formed a group with 6 members, got a blue cross policy, and added the cost of it to the expense sheet of the farm.  2 of the full time, well paid(40K), employees were non-family, non-owner participants.  The day I presented it to the group one of the full time employees wanted to know what that insurance cost per month.  He was told $650 per month, farm paid, nothing to him.  After a days thought came to me and declared he did not want insurance and asked for the $650.  I told him that option was not being offered.  He told me I was crazy for paying for that stuff when there was a government health office in town for health care.  He quit the next morning.  

true story.

 

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Honored Advisor

Is this what you had in mind?

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Honored Advisor

Re: Is this what you had in mind?

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Kay, thanks for the laugh.

 

And a fitting title "natural news"=-----------like organic anything----------we sure have the ability to smear even the good words.

 

Anyway thanks,  with a laugh, maybe my day needed to lighten up.

 

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Is this what you had in mind?

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And smokey,  most are required to pay the social security tax, but noone is required to take the retirement benefit.  not quite the same as paying and being required to participate in the insurance.  We already have the tax paying and government funded healthcare.  

I have pondered the idea of requiring employees to have health care even if the employer is paying, but I am not sure there is a legal problem with that.  And I am pretty sure I could not release someone for not using it.  

I now use it as a part of the test for employment like reading and multiplication.  "Do you or would you like to have health insurance?"  It is one of the most interesting set of answers I get in an interview.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Supreme Court Decision & Farming

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I really haven't followed the cases that closely, but harking from VA originally, I think I do recall hearing about objections to being forced into any kind of commerce.  My husband tells me wnough Justices do not seem inclined to agree with the current administration. 

 

Colbert seems to think that Obamacare is dead in the water...and he is as often right as any real pundit, perhaps more.  Maybe we should ask Kermit the Frog.  He's offered some sage observations on current events lately. 

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Honored Advisor

White House version:

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Re: Is this what you had in mind?

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Spoiler
 

The federal mandate is not concerned whether one uses the benefits or not.  It only requires one to pay in and be a part of the pool of potential recipients. 

 

There's a philosophical and moral imperative component to the health care issue.  In the 50's and 60's, all health care companies were inclusive with their subscription policies, utilizing the commonality of risk sharing to lower costs.  It is based on the moral imperative that recognizes we all share the burdens and assist those in need.  We've gotten away from that.  In the late 70's and 80's, companies began "harvesting" healthy policy holders and underwriting lower premiums to attract them into the segregated pool, not to mention writing rules that justified the use of "pre-existing" conditions for exclusion. They weren't doing this because they believed healthy people deserved lower premiums and were shouldering an unfair burden of the cost of health care for the sick, it was a purely profit making motive to take advantage of the market pool.

 

Today, we are far enough removed from our Judeo/Christian ethical moral roots that most do not even think in these terms.  I find it ironic that evangelicals who believe strongly in God and believe that sin will be punished in the hearafter are so quick to abandon a behavior that recognized the moral imperative for social action, like health care.  That's why I do not believe their religious commitment to righteousness is genuine.  It's a hypocritical stand, like standing before one's parent, holding a cookie and denying it's even there.

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