Supreme Court’s Healthcare Decision: Democrats Should Not Cheer Just Yet


Democrats should restrain themselves at today’s Supreme Court decision.  What the SJC did may have made the healthcare issue more confusing now than ever.  Why?  It ruled that Congress overreached in a part of the law where commerce is concern; that is, the law would have acted as a sort of restriction to free commerce which the Constitution absolutely prohibits.  These are the words that can be found in Thomas’s dissenting opinion.  It is curious, however, that the SJC being 5 – 4 in conservative leanings, had conservative Justice Roberts voting for the measure’s passage.  This could easily be a case of the conservatives of the United States “all or nothing” approach to government these days.  They argued that since the commerce portion of the law was invalid it should have invalidated the entire law.  Roberts, however, it seems felt differently.

What the SJC did say is that Congress could levy a tax penalty upon persons who do not have health insurance starting in 2014.  That is a problem because President Obama has already stated that it is the law’s intent that each state will make key decisions on the enactment of the law within that state.  But not all states have a personal income tax which by default means that the Federal return will necessarily be impacted.  The SJC also said that Congress could not entirely withhold healthcare funds from states that opt to not take part in mandatory health insurance.  How will that play out?  The SJC has effectively made this law a lot more difficult and, possibly, killed it by making its provisions too difficult for Congress to satisfactorily meet.  And that is saying we can even have a Congress that works to make the bill usable.  I believe the Republican Party will simply stonewall participation in making the necessary changes.

What I do not understand more than anything is why the Republican Party is so against affordable health insurance for all Americans.   Mitt Romney, who started this whole thing when he was governor of Massachusetts and successfully lobbied for mandatory health insurance in that state, now has reversed himself 180 degrees.  He has failed to offer a reason.  But the question remains, why would anyone be against requiring health insurance companies to make available affordable insurance to all Americans, and, even more importantly, be restricted from denying young people insurance because of pre-existing conditions, of unreasonably raising health insurance rates when someone incurs a life-threatening illness, and from simply over-charging the tens of millions of present policy holders?  These are questions that have not been answered by those who oppose “Obama-care” as they call it.

I challenge all those who are against the Obama healthcare program to offer what they would do in its place.  Doing nothing is not an acceptable answer as our healthcare system was, and still is, broken.  They are defiantly against socialized medicine as exists in Canada, England, and many other countries, which, by the way, get rated more highly than the U.S. in health care, but I do understand and agree with the sentiment against socialized healthcare.  But short of that what do you propose?

Here is what I suggest to those who persist in being against healthcare reform.  Consider that your wife, your sister, your mother has breast cancer.  Under the present system she will receive the care she needs but she can expect her premiums to go up drastically.  She will also likely face an arbitrary life-time limit, in dollars, to how much the company will cover.  Breast cancer has a very high rate of recurrence even when it is successfully treated.  These limitations and consequences are eliminated under the present healthcare reform.  Kill the reform and retain the conditions.

Most people, as they age, lose bits and pieces of their health to one degree or another.  Medications and treatments become necessary to sustain life at a comfortable and reasonable level.  Simply put, as your grow older your need for comprehensive health insurance becomes greater.  And right now, like it or not, agree with it or not, hospitals and other medical professionals decide the level of care each individual will receive according to that person’s ability to pay.  If you think that is wrong, next time you visit your primary care doctor ask for a candid response to the question.  You will likely be surprised by the response as long as he does not leave with “it all depends.”  You must start at a worst case scenario because that is, in truth, why we all have major health insurance in the first place.  Otherwise we would each simply pay the $150 or so cost of our annual visit and avoid paying a thousand or more dollars a year in insurance premiums.

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