Critical Analysis of ObamacarePosted: July 3, 2012
In a surprising and controversial opinion, the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act’s individual health insurance mandate by interpreting it as a tax. Health care and legal experts dissect the ruling and its implications for future health care policy.
There is still plenty of time to fight over the healthcare law. Only now it’s at a fever pitch.
The individual mandate, like most Obamacare provisions, is not scheduled to go into effect until 2014. Between now and then there will be an election. This is one area of Chief Justice Roberts’ majority opinion where we feel there may have been some implied threats.
And we can certainly expect healthcare reform to be a key issue in that election. We now know that aspects of Obamacare is constitutional but nothing else about it has changed.
Now just for the sake of efficiency, having to follow Obama all the way to the SCOTUS has not been inexpensive to say the least; moreover, if one takes into consideration that virtually nothing has been legitimately done in the USA in the past year viz-a-vie our president and many congressional members have been bleeding Washington D.C., and their constituents dry with reelection campaigns. All the problems with the law remain. It still increases federal spending, taxes and debt.
It still adds new burdens to struggling businesses, making it harder for them to grow and hire new workers. Hum…is this a shot at socialism?
It still drives up the cost of health insurance, especially for the young and healthy, and it still puts in place structures that will almost inevitably lead to the rationing of care.
But none of that is the responsibility of the Supreme Court. As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his majority opinion: “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.”
Politicians, Justice Roberts continued, “can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them.”
Republicans, and in particular the Tea Party, who always saw the healthcare law as a costly over-reach, will be energized to do just that.
And while Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney might be a flawed channel for criticizing the president, given his own enactment of a similar law in the state of Massachusetts, he will nonetheless become the outlet for all those who oppose Obamacare.
In fact, Mr Romney’s campaign reportedly saw a dramatic spike in donations in the first hour after the court’s ruling.
President Obama lied once again to the public. Innumerable times to the people of the United States we have been lied to and at worse, have been witnesses to bribes, skullduggery, and basic backhanded bull excrement. Opponents of the law have also been handed a potent new political weapon.
President Obama and Democrats in Congress had argued vociferously that the healthcare law did not increase taxes on most households; however, we now find that it is far more expensive than originally estimated and about that taxation problem…
But in upholding the law, the court did so precisely on the grounds that the mandate is a tax.
If so, it would amount to the largest middle-class tax hike in recent history. In today’s political climate, that is not something that President Obama wants to defend. In fact, that’s why he spent so much time denying it was a tax hike, when in fact it is!
Moreover, by declaring that the mandate was a tax, the court was effectively saying that the president was lying in saying it was not.
Americans may already cynically discount most of what politicians say, but it cannot be good for the president to get a reputation for being less than forthright. Is there anyone reading here that does not believe they’ve been lied to by Barack Obama?
If the court had thrown all or most of the law out, the president would have lost his signature accomplishment and looked as if he had wasted much of his first term. Which in reality he did – and now with repeal and a fired up Congress, we believe that Obama wishes it hadn’t passed.
And the court’s decision leaves Mr Romney in the position of arguing not just against the law generally, but also against some of the law’s more popular provisions, such as allowing children to stay on their parents’ policy until age 26 or guaranteeing coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Overall the law remains unpopular. In the days leading up to the court’s decision, polls showed strong majorities of voters opposing the law and/or seeking its repeal.
No matter what, anyone who thinks the court’s decision was the last word on healthcare, probably is in need of a bit of treatment themselves.