President Obama’s recently signed health care legislation has the many benefits of extending health care to over 30 million uninsured Americans while reducing the national deficit over the next decade; however, there are a number of immediate costs to large corporations with thousands of insured employees. Today, Boeing announced that first quarter earnings would be reduced by 20 cents due to a $150 million income tax charge because of the health care legislation. See here.
Just last week Caterpillar took a $100 million tax charge, while Deere & Co. too a $150 million tax charge. See here. Additionally, AT& T will take a $1 billion tax charge while cutting health care benefits to current and retired workers. See here. These are only a few of the large corporations that have announced the added costs that they are suffering due to the passage of the health care legislation. While the new health care legislation has some definite benefits, the costs to businesses trying to recover from the worst economic recession in recent history are real and may put a damper on recovery.
With all of the federal programs in place to stimulate hiring, it is baffling that the unemployment rate is so stagnant. A recent CNN Money story sheds light on the tough situation that employers are facing. Basically, employers do not see hiring a single $14/hour employee as just taking on the obligation to pay the employee that rate. Instead, other factors such as tax treatment and insurance jack the price up to around $20/hour. To top it off, the new employee is not nearly as useful during the first few weeks since he is being trained.
Employers must, therefore, make a huge initial investment in the new employee which will only pay off if the employee remains with the company long term and does good work. Otherwise, the employer has lost out on this initial investment in human capital and must begin again, already in the red. Clearly, it is a difficult decision. Though President Obama has tried to create different federal incentives to push employers into making this investment, Congress has derailed many of them. Eventually, when business picks up, employers will feel safe in taking on new employees. But this begs the question: Will business pick up if employment is still in a slump or do people need work in order to drive business?
- Parliamentary sovereignty means UK courts have no power to overturn legislation, unlike the U.S.’s judicial review.
- This principle is at odds with the EU’s system.
- The Factortame case forced the reconciliation of the EU and UK system.
This article is by David Schmidt, a 2L from Chicago-Kent who is currently attending law school in London.
A core principle of the United Kingdom’s (UK) uncodified constitution is the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. The authority on this principle is law professor A.V. Dicey in his 1885 treatise, An Introduction to the Study of the Law of the Constitution, where he writes that the UK parliament has “the right to make or unmake any law whatever; and, further, that no person or body is recognized by the law of England as having a right to override or set aside the legislation of Parliament.” Thus, parliamentary sovereignty means that the courts of the UK have no power to overturn legislation, in stark contrast to the United States’ principle of judicial review.
The attorneys general of thirteen states have filed a complaint in the Northern District of Florida challenging the constitutionality of the newly enacted health care reform bill. While the complaint launches a variety of challenges against the bill, many based on notions of state sovereignty, the most interesting argument focuses on whether the Commerce Clause empowers Congress to require all Americans to obtain health insurance.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed by President Obama on March 23, requires all individuals to purchase health insurance if it is affordable and if the individual does not fall into any exception. According to the attorneys general, the individual mandate to buy insurance exceeds the scope of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause. This argument may have seemed laughable a mere twenty years ago; however, recent Supreme Court decisions limiting the scope of the Commerce Clause, coupled with an activist conservative majority on the Court, may breathe life into this seemingly inane argument.
President Obama’s term in office was accompanied with an outcry by gun lovers that the President was going to severely limit their Second Amendment rights. These staunch Second Amendment supporters flooded gun stores in an attempt to buy as many guns and as much ammunition as possible before the Presidential crackdown on gun rights. However, any limitation on a person’s right to bear arms has not been limited; rather, in many instances gun rights have been expanded rather than limited.
- Medical marijuana is becoming an accepted alternative palliative treatment
- State law does not protect users against federal prosecution
- The Attorney General is not looking to prosecute medicinal marijuana use but the risk of prosecution is still very real
This article is by David Mindell, a 1L at Chicago-Kent.
Only a few years ago much of the marijuana found in America could be traced to drug empires and smuggling operations in Mexico. One of the most widely used drugs, marijuana, has been at the forefront of anti-drug campaigns dating back to the early 20th century. The medical benefits of marijuana are fast becoming an accepted alternative treatment in palliative care. California paved way for the medical marijuana industry with the passage of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. The Act promised seriously ill Californians the right to use and obtain marijuana for medical purposes, when deemed appropriate by a medical physician. Fourteen years later fourteen states followed.
According to an AP story, seen here, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used supermarket shopper-card’s to help pinpoint the source of a recent salmonella outbreak. This was the first time that this tool in the CDC’s arsenal was used to locate the specific tainted product and certainly saved lives by more quickly identifying the problem item: pepper used to season salami. Stores even used the data to send out notices to customers with the salami in their purchase history.
Currently, the CDC relies on victims to volunteer their information. As most food borne pathogen victims want answers, they are sure to comply. However, others fear that the government will have its hands on personal information. Conceivably, the U.S. Government could use this data to determine how many and which Medicare and Medicaid recipients are eating sugary, fatty or generally unhealthy foods. What is more, if the U.S. Government institutes some form of national healthcare, this information could theoretically be used to alter health premiums. With a nation that is seemingly against government intrusion into its personal life, this kind of data source could prove politically, and possibly constitutionally, problematic.