Saturday, July 7, 2012

Dickens Was Right

Okay, so the Supreme Court has decided that the ObamaCare bill is constitutional, by some rather odd legal definitions.

The problem with healthcare before this was that a lot of people were too poor to buy health insurance, so when they had serious health problems they were either financially wiped out by medical costs or had to go on some form of Welfare. Obama's (wildly misnamed) "Affordable Health Care" bill attempted to solve this problem -- by forcing people, poor or not, to buy health insurance. Uhh, and where are they to get the money for this? Well, right where they did before: from some form of Welfare. The difference is that the Welfare money is sidetracked through a host of insurance companies. In brief, Obamacare is heaven for insurance companies. It won't be so jolly for the taxpayers, who will foot the bill for this.

The way the Supremes decided that it was constitutional to force citizens to buy a particular product was by re-defining the penalty (for not buying insurance) as a "tax". Never mind that Obama himself had insisted that the penalty wasn't a tax. Quite simply, the executive and judicial branches of the federal govt. want the Obamacare bill, under whatever excuse they can grab.

Never mind that about a million citizens, and a dozen states, have opted out of the bill and publicly sworn that they will neither obey nor enforce it. Never mind that assorted economists have predicted that this bill will drive the US even further into catastrophic debt. Never mind that insurance companies, hospitals and clinics are already "rationing" healthcare -- which means, yes, that a lot of old folks are already being denied medicines and treatments they need to survive. Never mind that a lot of Americans will just plain die because of medicine being practiced by insurance clerks. Never mind all that; the fed. govt. wants this law.

But why? The bill is a huge, sprawling, sloppy, bloated bureaucratic nightmare, 2900 pages long, which nobody in Congress bothered to read all the way through before voting it in. It contains lots of little amendments with curious purposes that have nothing to do with American healthcare -- such as the $100 million promised to rebuild the infrastructure in Gaza. It's designed to strip money out of Medicare, which -- despite its desperate need for overhauling -- really did provide reliable healthcare to the poor. It's a badly-written bill which will not help poor Americans with healthcare needs, but will pour lots of tax money into the pockets of the insurance companies and will create lots of jobs for govt. bureaucrats.

It has already done more than any other bad federal law to encourage the state govts. to pull away from the fed. govt., to the point just short of open rebellion.

Maybe that's the whole point.

--Leslie <;)))><


Doragoon said...

The goal wasn't to keep people from going bankrupt. Lower cost, High deductible catastrophic insurance was made illegal. And the poor people who can't afford that were already covered under Medicaid.

Aya Katz said...

It's not just a tax. Once people are forced to opt into the federally mandated insurance, then they will have to submit to conventional medicine, whether they like it or not.

People who were not on Medicaid even though they were eligible to be will now have to be, and so people will be carrying evidence of how poor they are in their pockets. Poor but proud will no longer be an option.

It's way beyond a tax: it's a loss of civil liberties on a colossal scale.

When does the bloody revolution start?

Paradoctor said...

Getting healthcare to the poorest is not, in itself, even close to a valid cause for revolt. Expense might be: but the old status quo was much worse; routinely ruinous for millions. I agree that the ACA is a mess of compromises; single-payer and/or medicare-for-all would be better. That may come later, but not if the R's can help it; they'd rather let the sick die.

As for the mandate, there is no free lunch. Roberts calls it a tax; the other 8 do not. 8 of 9 say the mandate is not a tax; 5 of 9 say it has to be a tax to be constitutional; and 5 of 9 say it is constitutional. A voter's paradox!

Paradoctor said...

If you don't like Obamacare, then why not vote for the other guy? He'll repeal it, and replace it... with Romneycare!

Leslie Fish said...

Heheheheheh. What I'm going to do is vote for Ron Paul for POTUS -- just vote if the GOP has the sense to nominate him, write him in of those idiots don't nominate him -- and otherwise vote straight Libertarian ticket, all the way down to local dog-catcher. Nothing short of giving America a viable Third Party will change the same-old-same-old political business as usual. And of course, I'm urging everybody else to do the same. Tally-ho!

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Anonymous said...

The problem is that many people, most of them on the "Left" side of the usual political aisle (sorry, Leslie, but the truth is the truth) had long envied European-style cradle-to-grave state assistance, and couldn't stand it that the US didn't have such programs. Never mind that European societies are very different from ours. Within the echo-chamber of "those who think like us," everybody else agreed with them about this,and now they literally cannot grok that people might object. They also think that their good intentions will prevent things going Horribly Wrong...they apparently do not know what road is paved with good intentions.

Ori Pomerantz said...

Aya, I'm sure the insurance companies would be willing to tax people's money and not spend money on giving them conventional healthcare.

Leslie Fish said...

What I'd like to see is the Obamacare bill thrown out, Medicare ruthlessly overhauled to eliminate waste, its coverage expanded -- both in qualifying clients and treatments allowed, give it an annual reconsideration of new treatments, and fund it from -- if ya please -- a 5% sales tax on (completely legalized) marijuana. I'd also like to see the protections for healthcare insurance companies repealed so they can't get away with a lot of cheating anymore.

That should help a lot. After that, we can go after the costs of healthcare itself, which is a whole different story.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Aya Katz said...

Ori, rich people will be able to opt out of the health mandate by paying a fee. But poor people will not be able to pay the fee, and to avoid going to prison, they will have to submit to the "free" or "subsidized" insurance that will be available to them. If they fail to submit, and they don't have some special dispensation (such as belonging to a weird religious sect), they will be sent to prison for failing to pay the tax.

Leslie Fish said...

Well, at least in prison you get free rent, food and medical treatment! I know more than one desperately poor person who has deliberately committed a small crime and arranged to get caught, for just that reason!

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, that may well be, but my concern is for those who, no matter how little they have, prefer to remain free.