Health care Human Rights Justice Politics

The Irony of ACA Healthcare Demise and Public Option

It seems likely to me that the Supreme Court Inc. will break out 5 to 4 to scuttle as much of the President Obama’s health care program as possible, perhaps all of it. This is a pyrrhic victory for the opponents of Obama, but may not be all that bad a thing for those courtesy wiki commonsof us who think that health care reform based on private insurance and fee for service profitability has always been a poor choice. The anemic public option that might have kept a foot in the door for the better single payer (Medicare for Everyone) option was dropped by the even more anemic Democratic Party when they were pressed by the Republicans.

Robert Scheer hits the mark in my estimation with his article: Five Hypocrites and One Bad Plan that ran at Truth Dig. I think that the five justices in question are simply adhering the hypocritic oath and performing true to form.

Paul Krugman came out today with his view that the 5 right justices would seize on any argument that would allow them to strike down progressive legislation, and if that is true, then maybe it would not have mattered if health care reform had included a public option.

What do you think? Are the Supremes going to strike it down? Cast your votes and predict the score. I am going with the easy prediction: 5 to 4 to strike the law down.

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2 Replies to “The Irony of ACA Healthcare Demise and Public Option

  1. I note that 50 doctors in favor of single-payer also petitioned the Supreme Court to declare Obamacare unconstitutional. Kinda odd, because if they find it unconstitutional you’d think they’d be even more likely to find single-payer (Medicare for all?) unconstitutional — although Medicare is still on the books.

  2. That discussion resolves around the funding of health care. It is harder to question the authority of the federal government to institute taxes for essential services than it is to question the authority of the federal government to make us buy something. Auto insurance is a state issue. Health care purchase can be ordered by the State, look at romneycare in MA. That is the ironic part of the mess with ACA, the failure to include a public option forces folks to purchase insurance when they might otherwise do nothing and be covered by the public option. That opt-out of requirement to purchase something leads to the mess of having the individual mandate struck down, and hence gutting the bill. Medicare is constitutionally safe for a variety of reasons, including that it is funded by payroll tax and is politically popular (that shouldn’t matter to a justice, but I think it does with the 5 political operatives wearing robes at SCOTUS these days). The danger to Medicare comes from privatization, age bracket creep and funding issues that are at risk in the budgetary process that has become completely politicized.

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