Saturday, June 30, 2012

The "Affordable" Care Act

Before my morning cup of coffee, I anxiously turned on the television to see if the Supreme Court had made their decision. To my surprise the news was discussing the court's ruling, but I, ... I couldn't believe my eyes. Figuring the lack of caffeine affected my comprehension early in the morning I re-read the breaking news headline: "Obamacare upheld by Supreme Court." How could the highest court in our land that is supposed to defend the United States Constitution actually rule in favor of such a law?

Secretly, and a little arrogantly, I thought I knew the court's decision the moment a majority of the States sued the Federal government. As we now know, I was terribly mistaken. To be fair, though, it was only reasonable for me to assume the ruling would strike down at least parts of Obamacare, if only the individual mandate. The very idea that the Founding Fathers would support such an infringement upon the rights and liberties of the people to be coerced into buying a private service or else be fined a penalty, is an absurdity among absurdities.Then again, when you consider that our Supreme Court Justices have also found an imaginary Constitutional "right" to murder your unborn children, the contradiction of the ruling on Obamacare makes more sense.

President Obama: "The fact that you've looked up Merriam's dictionary, the definition of 'tax increase,' indicates to me that you're stretching a little bit right now. Otherwise you wouldn't have gone to the dictionary to check on the definition."

George: "I want to check for myself because your critics say it is a tax increase."

President Obama: "My critics say everything's a tax increase. My critics say that I'm taking over every sector of the economy. You know that. Look we can have a legitimate debate about whether or not we are going to have an individual mandate or not."

George: "But you reject it as a tax increase?"

President Obama: "I absolutely reject that notion."

It is the epitome of hypocrisy that the President of the United States, who was vehemently opposed to Obamacare being a tax, made his case before the Supreme Court on the notion that it is Constitutional because of Congress's ability to tax her citizens. I'm not foolish enough to forget that many politicians - Democrats and Republicans - are simply playing the part of politician. This is precisely what Obama is doing here, and it disgusts me. He has proven before the American people that he cares more about his signature legislation than being honest with those he claims to serve. He has dishonored the office of President, and he ought to be ashamed of the fact that he felt the need to repeatedly defend a lie.

On a quick rabbit trail - I am certain that the Romney campaign will zero in on Obamacare being a new tax with our present economic situation.

Twitter captured a quote that I simply cannot say better myself: "@BenShapiro: Chief Justice Roberts was the worst part of the Bush legacy." Yup. Bush 43 was a Compassionate Conservative, and is flawed in his over-reaching governmental interference and overspending. But I have to 100% agree with the statement that Justice John Roberts' vote in favor of upholding Obamacare will be the greatest mistake of Bush's Presidential legacy. If you thought Bush spent too much, you haven't seen anything until you've seen what the added bureaucracy to the American health care system will do to increases in taxes as well as health care premiums and costs. The one positive aspect of Justice Roberts' written decision is that he set a precedent for the "Commerce Clause" in the Constitution by limiting Congress's ability to coerce citizens to participate in commerce.

Why any sane person who saw the immense bureaucracy that existed in the form of hospitals and insurance companies would think that adding the Federal government to that bureaucracy would somehow make health care more affordable ... is beyond me. What we do know is that forty-seven million Americans who were previously without health insurance will suddenly be insured under Obamacare. The amount of doctors are not increasing. Supplies across the health care sector are not increasing. The demand will drastically increase, but the supply will not. You tell me: what will this do to costs? Unless the government utterly controls prices we will see prices go up and up and up.

I'll be bold enough to predict that this is the beginning of the single payer system. Give it was a few years, but you'll begin to see employers and insurance companies bow out of the health care industry/business. Why would they do that? Because they won't be able to profit under such stringent government regulation and control. Too much regulation kills businesses and jobs. I fear that one day our only choice will be the government's single payer system.

Death panels have already been discussed as a part of Obamacare. What are these so-called 'death panels?' Basically, no matter what anyone tells you, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Everyone's taxes will go up - even taxes on the middle class (egads!). What this will mean is that care will need to be rationed. Services that we are accustomed to may not always be readily available, and actual panels are discussed in the Affordable Care Act to determine how, when and to whom care will be administered. This is scary stuff. I don't know about you, but I thought there was too much bureaucracy between me and my doctor without the Federal government. Now, it seems there will be barriers more thick than we ever thought possible.

It is only natural that since the government will be "providing" health care coverage that they will want their citizens as healthy as possible. The trouble with this is that the Feds may come knocking one day to enforce eating and exercise habits (imagine: New York on a grander scale).

Abortion is covered under Obamacare. You and I will be paying for other people's "right" to murder their unborn children, even if it is against our religious convictions. Our rights to religious liberty is stepped on by those who want to murder the innocent.

A little part of our freedom dies with Obamacare. If you don't want health insurance: too bad. If you only want certain limited health insurance coverage: too bad. Your liberty has been taken away.

I think it is safe to say that both sides on this issue want everyone who wants health insurance to have it. But the Federal government is not the solution to our problem. Government will only add to our problems, and I wonder with amazement at the behemoth that will fester and grow under the newfound Obamacare legislation. Mitt Romney is not my perfect candidate, but compared to the sitting President, he is a ray of sunshine. He has said his first act is to overturn this infringement upon our personal liberty, and that is another reason to make sure Obama is a one-term President.


  1. I think you see things too black and white. Is there really nothing good you can say about a plan that gives millions of people health care? The way I see it, it might not be perfect, but it's the first step towards a better system. Also, you raised some good points, but you lost me at death panels. That's a Glenn Beck-level paranoid conspiracy theory. Until the republicans can offer a better solution, i think this is a good idea. Also, Mitt Romney is a mormon, and I don't know how i feel about that.

  2. If I see thing as black and white, is it fair to say that you don't? Is it fair to say you see things in shades of gray without absolute standards?

    I agree with you that in a very broad way, I am happy that 47 million people who were uninsured now will have health insurance. But that is a short term fix that creates even larger long-term problems. That much of an increased demand without increasing the supply will be bad. It will be bad for everyone responsible enough to get insurance. Prices will increase ... drastically. Private companies will begin to bow out of the health insurance industry because they won't be able to compete with the Federal Government - having worked in the industry I know of a few big named companies that will.

    Death panels is a conspiratorial subject? I am not wild-eyed enough to claim that there will be a named "Death Panel" sitting around deciding which Dr. Jones gets to die. But there are panels discussed in the Affordable Care Act that are responsible for deciding who receives care and to what extent. This includes rationing of care. It isn't a stretch at all. As a side note, I am not a fan of Glenn Beck at all. Cavalierness is not my style in most circumstances surrounding important subjects. And Mr. Beck tends to be a bit cavalier.

    Conservatives have offered meaningful solutions that don't include more governmental power, oversight, growth and an increase in taxes. What Conservative Republicans have offered are to have gov't shrink back from involvement in health care to offer competitiveness between the states which will drive down costs and increase insurance.

    Romney is a Mormon. I would certainly prefer a Christian was running for office. But this is a choice of the lesser of two evils. Romney is the lesser of two evils because he will put the break on the attacks on religious liberty - which Obama has been the champion of.


  3. It would be fair to say I see some things in shades of gray. Healthcare would be an example. I don't think there's one universal answer to healthcare that exists throughout time and in all cultures. We have to be wise, practical, and work within the context of our time and place.

    There's a huge semantic gulf between the possibility of rationing care and "death panels". And besides, we already ration healthcare in the current system: by price. The quality (or existence) of your healthcare is "rationed" by how much you or your employer is willing to spend on it. The choice isn’t between rationing and not rationing. It’s between rationing well and rationing badly.

    Can you link me to a conservative solution? Honestly, I haven't seen one and would be interested in reading alternatives to Obamacare. I don't think Obamacare is perfect, but I also think the current system is akin to leaving fire protection or the police to the private sector. It's too important to be dictated by the market (can you imagine different private police companies "competing" for who gets to keep order on our streets? no thanks.) My hope is that Obamacare- an imperfect first step- evolves and improves over time. The Federal Highway Act was a mess when it was first implemented (also a MASSIVE government program, by Eisenhower no less!), but over the decades it's become well regulated and efficient.

    Keep in mind, our current system of employer-financed health insurance exists only because the federal government encouraged it by making the premiums tax deductible. That's a $200+ billion government subsidy for health care. So if we're talking about fearing a government "take over" of health care, or "compelling" people to get it, we should recognize that those things have already been going on for more than half a century.

    As for Mitt, I don't mind him. I think he's fairly moderate, and I would vote for him over any of the other Republican nominees we vetted over the last year. I would be interested in hearing what you think about the possibility of his presidency "mainstreaming" Mormonism and making it synonymous with Christianity in the US and abroad. We've already seen some pastors downplay the differences between Mormonism and Christianity in order to justify their support of Romney, and I'm afraid that Christians need to be careful not to form an unholy alliance for political purposes. I could see Mormons using a Romney presidency as a huge PR campaign (basically, "America is Christian, Romney is President of America, therefore..."). I'm not saying people shouldn't vote for Romney because he's Mormon. The president can be Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, whatever, as long as he holds up the Constitution. However, I'd be interested in reading your thoughts. Maybe a future blog post?

  4. youd vote for a muslim? lost all credibility in that last paragraph.

  5. so honest question, why is it ok to vote for a mormon but not a muslim? mormons believe all kinds of crazy things!