I want or wanted to write about the latest challenge to Obamacare, presented in a Supreme Court hearing today, and I at times past had thought I would have liked law school, but this has me wondering about that because I cannot seem to get a handle on this case, at least not in the legal context, other than it involves the seemingly literal interpretation of one clause standing alone in a voluminous statute vs. interpretation of the clause within the whole context of the law itself.
But what I do understand is the fact that the case is really just a continuing political struggle between those who believe in some form of universal health care on the grounds it benefits society as a whole and, too, is morally correct and those who apparently believe otherwise.
And more to the point, this is a political struggle between Democrats who tend to support all types of social programs to help the populace and Republicans who are somewhat less inclined to do so but who at the same time would support using public tax dollars to subsidize private capital (and I realize what I just wrote seems partisan on the liberal side of the equation, but I only mean to say we’re talking more of a political struggle here than prudent public policy).
And while going back over what I posted I read portions of the Supreme Court transcript from today (Wednesday, March 4, 2015) and got tired of wading through the legal gibberish and word play — I mean I know this is how law is decided, but it seems to have little to do with coming up with policy to do good for the American people — form without substance.
But it occurs to me that perhaps what might result from this is that the high court will once and for all clear the challenges to the health care law and let it succeed or fail on its own. It seems doubtful to me that even this court with its conservative majority would end up handing down a ruling that would throw the whole system into disarray and cause trouble for all parties involved: supporters, opponents, and even the indifferent. I think a ruling is expected in June. Don’t know what the outcome will be of course…
If it were only the fact that one clause, a few words, was sloppily written, it could be amended. But the opposition, all Republicans (isn’t that correct?), would rather gut the law. They do not believe in universal health care but rather health care for those who can afford it (and who thus “deserve it”).
Surprisingly, the conservative Chief Justice Roberts saved the day for Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act) in the last challenge, disagreeing with his conservative colleagues on the bench.
This time around his position is reportedly unclear because he had virtually nothing to say. However, conservative Justice Kennedy (who has a history of going between the conservative and liberal sides, a swing vote) seemed to indicate, according to reports, that he might not go along with the plaintiff’s arguments challenging Obamacare. No one knows what is in his mind, or course.
The troubling thing in all of this is the fact that history so far has shown that Republicans as a whole have no desire to implement any type of health care program (except of course Romney did on the state level but opposed it on a national level, but conservatives don’t trust him anyway). Obamacare opponents have presented no credible alternative plan that I am aware of.
I personally continue to think it would have been wiser to expand Medicare to cover those who could not be insured otherwise due to economic inability.
And I have little patience for those who simply just wait for something bad to happen to them with the idea that if worse comes to worse they can check into an emergency room and the taxpayers will foot the bill but in the meantime pay nothing. Someone has to pay for them.
I also think it is important for health care consumers to have to pay something or sacrifice something — you need to have some “skin in the game”, otherwise you tend to waste vital and scarce resources.
There is no such thing as free health care. Someone pays for it.
So in summary, the current challenge, as the last one, is all politics and has little to nothing to do with constitutional or legal issues.
If congress as a whole was more responsible, it would have not passed such a complicated law which its members did not understand in full and at the same time would be ready to amend it if there are inadvertent errors in it.
In the end, though, voters may have to step up to the plate and make their desires better known.
Because they don’t, congress responds to the pressure of big money and special interest groups and lobbyists.
I did not bother to summarize or brief the exact case in question here, although perhaps I should have. I may go into more of that with my opinions later, but for now the above seemed the important issue.
Well I read paragraph after paragraph of the petitioner’s brief or whatever (the argument supporting the Obamacare challenge) and it just makes one’s head swim, or at least it does mine — and that is not to say there is no merit. So then what?
I mean what the challengers really want is to end Obamacare. So let congress do that legislatively (not that I would support that).
And I can’t seem to end this post because I failed in consolidating the issue into something understandable.
It does seem apparent that a lot of things were said to make the hard sale on the bill that ultimately became the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Opponents charge deliberate deception. They found a whole in the whole program via one clause and hope if interpreted their way it will in effect gut the whole program.