Thursday, March 29, 2012
Careful what you wish for
I was caught by surprise because I thought the administration would put more of a fight than they did in their recent health care battle with the conservative Supreme Court. They had over year and to come up with better arguments for the individual mandate or at least a plan B. The way it's going, 2.6 million young people might be taken off their parent’s health care plan along with children with pre- existing conditions.
I know my disappointment may be premature because even thou the oral arguments are over for SCOTUS, they will take an informal count sometime this week to see where they stand. It's obvious by their actions that they have disregarded any argument for the individual mandate but perhaps in today's climate, there isn't one. I understand the argument that you can’t compel anyone to buy anything just because the government tells you to but I also see the importance the mandate plays in the commerce clause because health care is 17% of GDP. The official ruling won't be until June but a White House spokesman said that President Obama will not run against a Supreme Court decision in the fall. He hinted that if elected, the Democrats might do some creative additions if the rest of the Affordable Care Act is left intact. They might use reconciliation where it only takes 51 votes to pass and they might submit a "Medicare for All "which they know is constitutional." The opposition will cry socialism but what's new?
If the Supreme Court strikes down the whole ACT, there will be major problems ahead. Justice Scalia doesn't think that the court or its clerks should read all 2700 pages in order to make a decision on what is constitutional and what's not. The court does not want to seen as being a partisan magic wand for the Republican Party. I think if Justice Kennedy allows a good portion of the law to remain intact, Justice Roberts will join him for a 6 to 3 vote. I heard yesterday, that there's about $900 billion that will have to be distributed back to the insurance companies and other entities, if the ACT is struck down. The states will lose the anticipated Medicaid funding and many laws will have to be rewritten. I'm pretty sure the GOP will want to put the $900 billion on the debt and not think twice about the escalating insurance premiums around the horizon. It's my opinion that the court needs to stick to the law and not make judgments that may impact our economy because that role belongs to Congress.
In the meantime senate minority leader Mitch McConnell said that they don’t have any health care plans, not surprising, and the House of Representatives are only interested in passing Paul Ryan’s budget bill with as many republicans as possible. I was surprised that Bowles- Simpson got only 68 votes in the house; proving once again that you can’t believe anything a politician tells you. Legislators in both parties praised Bowles- Simpson on the talk shows but won’t vote for it when it counts. At least they can’t blame the president anymore for running away from Bowles-Simpson.
There has to be a Saturday Vent blog and it’s in the making.