ObamaCare vs. SCOTUS, Round 1
Posted by Euroranger on March 27, 2012
In the interest of holy brevity (which I rarely observe), I’ll try and keep this short today…mostly because, in a few months, this post will be rendered obsolete.
Today is day 2 of the Supreme Court hearing the case of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services et al v. Florida…or otherwise and more famously known as “Obamacare”. So far, the news today is that one of the thought-to-be crucial swing votes, Justice Anthony Kennedy, has been posing some skeptical questions to the government’s lawyers (the ones defending Obamacare) which, in turn, makes people start to think the court may indeed rule against Obamacare. This is all info that can be found practically anywhere on the web today. What’s interesting though is that we have a fight in court simply because of political cowardice…and that cowardice ought to be nigh unforgivable should this law be struck down as unconstitutional (which, I believe, it will be).
Why cowardice? Well, it’s because of the issue that’s actually being argued in court today: does the federal government have the right to compel a private citizen to purchase a product they may not want to purchase? This is being argued because of the coverage mandate language of the Obamacare law that states that, with only few exceptions, everyone must be covered by a health insurance policy by some future date or risk being assessed a penalty (call it a tax as well if you like) by the IRS on your next tax return. The government is arguing that they can enforce this clause via the rights ensured to Congress via the interstate commerce clause of the Constitution. The law’s opponents, naturally, have responded with the legal language equivalent of “bullshit”.
Anyway, if the federal government’s goal was for everyone to have medical insurance, wasn’t there a better and easier (and constitutional) way to do this? Oh, you bet your ass there was. It’s called “taxation”…something the federal government positively excels at. The cowardice charge comes from me because this law SHOULD fail because the Congress didn’t have the stomach to do this the way they should have (if they were going to go this route of ensuring everyone is insured) and copped out by saying they were requiring people to buy their own. Had the Democrats in Congress simply manned up and said “we’re imposing a new tax to pay for health care coverage”, issued people a voucher for X dollars per year to pay for it (probably via their tax return) OR simply given the taxpayer a choice of insurers their voucher could be sent to (so they wouldn’t simply pocket the money) so as to pay for the premiums then this law would likely survive and maybe do what it was intended to do.
But they DIDN’T man up, didn’t call it a tax when it really IS a tax and instead pussed their way out so that they could run for office back in 2010 without the claim hanging over them that they just ushered in the single biggest taxation increase in United States history. What it boils down to is: they wanted to be re-elected more than they wanted (ostensibly) to help the country and its citizens.
The SCOTUS, I think, will strike down at least this portion of the law and rightfully so. If you allow the Congress to get away with passing a law saying you MUST buy something then you’ve opened the Pandora’s Box a crack to allow them to decide you need to eat certain things, engage in certain activities, must read and possess certain texts, etc. It is a way too intrusive step of the federal government into our lives and hopefully the Supreme Court will bitchslap this stupid law back to the frickin’ Stone Age.
You want universal healthcare? Fine. There’s really only one way to do it: expand Medicare to cover every single American for a minimum of basic medical coverage. This will mean that your tax bill WILL increase but you get to do away with Medicaid and the VA. Also, your private insurers will still survive because the coverage provided is basic…and they’ll sell supplemental policies which (if I had my way) would be strictly regulated. But none of this will happen because our Congress doesn’t give a flying rat turd for the country when that care is opposed to their getting re-elected to office. So, this law will fail, Obama was an idiot for proposing it, an even bigger idiot for going along with all the concessions he made to get it to pass and he deserves the full blame (along with Reid and Pelosi) when the court rightfully squashes this idiocy as it almost surely should and probably will. And just so I’m on the record: I too believe we have a major problem with health care in this country and I believe the only ultimate solution is to go to some form of a single payer solution. Only problem with Obamacare is: this ain’t it and it deserves to die so we can all deal with the shock of that and move to address the situation with a mature, comprehensive, bi-partisan plan.
I almost typed that last part without laughing out loud. Almost.
My name is Euroranger and I approved this message.