Random thoughts on the Supreme Court’s ruling that the individual mandate in the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (a/k/a ObamaCare) is constitutional, thereby keeping the entire law intact:
I’m glad I’ll be able to include my now-eighteen-year-old daughter on our family health insurance policy until she’s 26. We’ll save money, and she’ll be insured. That’s better than a lot of young Americans, who until this law couldn’t stay on their parents’ plans, which made it prohibitively expensive to have health insurance. Most of that demographic went without, figuring that they were young and invincible and would never need medical attention. So they didn’t have a regular physician or go for preventive care, until they ended up in an emergency room after a sports injury, a car accident, or their idiot friend’s fireworks mishap. Since they didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford the exorbitant cost of an ER repair job, those costs were passed on to you and me, the ones with insurance, to the tune of nearly $1,000/year. That was the hidden cost of health care in America. Now, those twenty-somethings (and many older than that) will be forced to have insurance. The more who do, the better for all of us.
There are 835,000 Missourians without health insurance, about 14% of the state’s population. In Illinois, it’s around 15% (1.9 million). I bet every licensed insurance company would like to have that many new customers — and the rest of us should want them in the pool, too. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured will have access to health coverage within ten years. Fewer people suffering, no caps on lifetime benefits, subsidies for the poor, and rebates of over a billion dollars from companies that don’t spend enough on medical care (as opposed to administrative and marketing costs) — all part of ObamaCare that don’t get nearly enough publicity. Tell me again which of those you think most people are against?
The idea of an individual mandate didn’t start with Barack Obama. It began in conservative think tanks like The Heritage Foundation n 1989, then picked up steam as the right’s alternative to HillaryCare, which is how it got onto Mitt Romney’s plate when he implemented it as governor of Massachusetts. But once the President embraced the idea, right-wingers had to reject it or renounce their Obama Haters Club membership. Now that neocon Supreme Court hero Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with the four liberal justices and the President, conservative heads are swaying faster than Kim Kardashian in an NBA locker room.
Speaking of the Chief Justice, my radio colleague McGraw Milhaven tweeted this irony this morning: “Then-Senator Obama voted against Roberts for Supreme Court. Now he saves the day for Obama.” Addendum: Vice President Joe Biden didn’t want Roberts on SCOTUS, either.
Romney says he’ll repeal ObamaCare on his first day in office if elected President. Not likely. First of all, most Americans like the parts of the law that have already been implemented, such as the under-26 coverage, and would never want insurance companies to return to discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. In fact, when the public was informed about all the elements of the law (and not just the mandate), most were in favor of it. Besides, Romney can only repeal it if he gets both houses of Congress to go along, and while he’d certainly get the tea-party-infused GOP majority in the House to go along, the Democrats in the Senate would block him even if they lost the leadership (they can filibuster, too!).
I’m laughing out loud at the idiots on Twitter who say they’re so upset with the SCOTUS/ObamaCare decision that they’re going to leave the US and move to Canada — apparently unaware that our neighbors to the north have socialized medicine, where everyone subsidizes everyone else’s healthcare. I hope they make the move before Election Day.