Today was the third day of this.
Each day this week, the conservative-tilted court has let on that they have concerns about one piece of the Affordable Care Act / Obamacare or another. This is pathetic.
As you know, I am a registered Republican that pretty much supports Democrats for everything nowadays. In fact, I think the part of the Republican Party, the liberal Northeast part, that I would have fit into had it continued into the 21st century, is pretty much shot. (What “into the 21st century”? It was shot around 1975.)
So with a party that has pretty much grafted the Southern Dixiecrat arm onto it—which fell off after Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and the Civil Rights Act—the Republicans go off now and say every kind of stupid thing that can stymie and frustrate any sort of progressive legislation. Any kind of progressive improvement for our nation. You really feel this, when you read comments by people who had served under Ford, or even Reagan, and they go, “whoa!”, about things that the current crop of Republicans are doing. Ezra Klein interviewed Chuck Fried, and there’s one more for the list.
(When Truman integrated the military is when the arm first started getting chopped off. So that was maybe 1948. Johnson gave it a good whack with the Civil Rights Act sixteen years later.)
I return to mathematics. The whole hullabaloo seems to be about people saying the individual mandate “forces” Americans to buy health insurance “that they may not EVEN want!” (Shades of Ron Kessler, ne? longtime readers . . . ?)
Yet we tax people everyday to provide health insurance for other people (Medicaid, state worker policies, military, over-65ers), but, if we say, in lieu of tax, you must go get a policy, then somehow we have violated a liberty? How does it matter if we turn around and say: buy a policy, or pay a tax? You are already paying tax to support others’ health care. Which is the worse infringement on liberty?
To me, the individual mandate is the same as if everyone has to pay a $95 surtax, but those who have an adequate policy get a 100% credit for that tax payment. It is, algebraically, the same as this individual mandate. Buy the policy or pay a penalty. I really get the sense that people don’t like how the issue is framed. Not whether or not it’s unconstitutional. It seems like we’ve been beaten down by the loudmouths, know-it-alls and shills, that we have lost the ability to sit down and reason.
I think if more people making that $25,000, $45,000, $65,000 (couple) knew that the Obamacare also contains a cap on what you can be charged out-of-pocket for an insurance policy, AND what you can be stuck with as co-pay within the policy, there wouldn’t be this anger out there about the “individual mandate”. It wouldn’t be so easy for the party’s loudmouths to make like it’s the end of the world, simply because Congress is readjusting a regulatory scheme that has been in place since the New Deal.
It’s pathetic that so much of what our country does nowadays hangs on the vote of just one unelected federal official—-Anthony Kennedy. The so-called swing vote on the high court.
Maybe the problem is that we need to scrap the Supreme Court or set term limits.