Healthcare ball is in their court
**UPDATE: Humbled and shocked to admit that my predictions were wrong. That’s what I get for reading and listening to the pundits. The court upheld pretty much all of the ACA (aka Obamacare). I got the 5-4 vote right, but not the direction. The swing judge, Kennedy, went with the Right and Chief Justice Roberts went with the Left. It sort of restores my view of the Supreme Court that they can still issue a ruling that goes against their political beliefs, yet meets the requirements of the law and the Constitution. Despite all its millions, Citizens United was not been able to buy a verdict… this time. Thus, much of this no longer applies, but read on if you like.**
On Thursday, this group of people will announce a decision that will affect how you get access to health care and, likely, who has an edge on winning the election for President. They are unelectable, unimpeachable, and unaccountable. A little bit frightening, isn’t it? Don’t wake up Ginsburg; she’s got a big day tomorrow!
Actually, I’m not sure it is going to be that big a deal. I suspect it will be a mixed ruling, much like the immigration ruling on Tuesday. I predict a 5-4 vote knocking down the evil, sinister, socialist individual mandate that would require Americans who can afford it to buy a healthcare plan, but holding up everything else. Blah, blah, blah.
According to the latest polling, 56 percent of Americans oppose Obama care. What the news media rarely tells you is this: 61 percent oppose the individual mandate, but everything else in it is a hit. 61 percent favor a provision allowing children to remain on parents’ insurance until they are 26 years old, and 82 percent support a ban on insurance companies denying someone coverage based on a preexisting condition. What about that 61 percent who don’t like the mandate? Well, some of them are Tea Party Republicans but others are progressives who have always wanted true single-payer government healthcare. That means some of them are against it because they think Obamacare goes too far, and others oppose it because it doesn’t go far enough!
In fact, I suspect that a good number of the 61 percent who oppose the mandate do so only because the name Obama is on it. It has been fun to watch the parties forced into switching sides on this. Suddenly, the Dems are the party of personal responsibility. The GOP is in favor of preserving the freedom to free-load off the system if you want to. It’s your constitutional right.
It hasn’t always been that way. For a long time, the individual mandate was a GOP idea, created by the Heritage Foundation, backed by Bob Dole and Chuck Grassley, supported by John McCain and Newt Gingrich, and employed in Massachusetts by then governor Mitt Romney. (To this day, by the way, Massachusetts people love it!) It was the free-market GOP response to the socialist, single-payer Clinton system of the 1990s. Remember Hillarycare? When elected, Obama supposedly wanted to go for a single-payer system but he was persuaded to back off and go with the Republican idea so that he could get some GOP votes and to keep his critics from saying that Obamacare was a government take-over of healthcare. Yeah, right. Some progressives have never forgiven him for that.
Here’s Republican Chuck Grassley defending the mandate…
Here’s Newt as recently as 2008…
Romney defends it through the years. Who says he’s a flip-flopper?
And a bunch more Republicans pitching an individual mandate before Obama did.
Look, the media is going to ride tomorrow’s decision like it’s the Cuban Missile Crisis. I say, it’s not that big a deal. If the court supports the mandate, it will go into effect in 2014 and we’ll see what happens. If they knock it down, that only means that some kind of government single-payer healthcare becomes an eventual reality.
Look we only have three options:
- Government provided healthcare (like most other industrialized countries),
- Do nothing and keep it as it is.
The GOP has no other alternatives. That’s what happens when your opponent takes your plan. You’re left without one. Besides, if they came up with another good idea, it would mean that government would get credit for solving something, and that goes against their core principles. Remember Reagan’s ten most dangerous words in the English language? “Hi, I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” (All conservatives must knowingly nod and snicker at that. It’s some kind of law.) So, don’t wait for them to solve this.
Doing nothing is not an option. With an unregulated free market, Healthcare costs have gone up 149% since 2000.
This is what you get from doing nothing. You keep this up and we will have a national crisis of healthy millionaires and a very sickly 99%. American exceptionalism at work. The only way to keep costs down is when everybody is in the system. You know, buy healthcare in bulk, like at Costco.
So, that leaves us with only two choices. One of them is going to happen eventually:
- Obamacare with for-profit companies providing healthcare for purchase on the free market. (Wasn’t that Karl Marx’ Communist utopian dream?)
- Raise taxes and the government provides everybody with healthcare.
Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling will decide whether or not that list gets cut in half. The sound you hear will be heads on Fox News and MSNBC exploding.