And I dared to be optimistic about the ruling this week!
In one of the most historic cases of modern times thus far, the Supreme Court of the United States largely upheld the law known as Obamacare, yet tweaked the individual mandate from an exercise of the commerce clause – one, if unchanged, would have essentially established the precedent for government to regulate almost any behavior – to a tax.
J. Christian Adams breaks it down quickly far better then I could.
So, what does this mean?
This is obviously an outcome I wasn’t hoping for – I feel -strongly- that the commerce clause is a deeply abused power of congress, and that obamacare is at worst designed to eventually force everyone in America into public health insurance with the goal of control, and at best is a deeply misguided solution to the very real problems we have today with healthcare. I would have much rather preferred to see SCOTUS overturn and punt the law back to congress.
You have to remember this law was rushed through congress as swiftly as possible without review, passed by -one vote- in the senate, is hopelessly vague about the limits of regulation it establishes, and in a nutshell constitutes of an obscene power grab by the Executive branch. There are those out there defending Obamacare saying it’s ‘necessary’ and the ‘right thing’ to do, but I’m not an ends justifying the means guy. This law is poison in terms of giving government power it does not deserve.
On one hand, it’s weirdly intriguing that the individual mandate is now a tax. Combined with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts in January, Obama will have one of the largest tax increases in US history under his belt – an albatross from the neck he’ll have to defend in the coming months.
On the other – it’s not all doom and gloom today – rarely, it ever is, with politics. It’s not up to SCOTUS to rule on the validity, ethics, or soundness of law, they rule on constitutionality and precedent. Congress is allowed to be incredibly stupid as much as we may dislike it – and this in no way means that congress can’t later on change things as they see fit. This means that conservatives have a lot of heavy lifting to do this summer in terms of not only pushing for repeal of Obamacare, but most importantly coming up with a solution of our own.
We need to get worked up. If Romney leaves a sour taste in your mouth – push for a congressional candidate. Holding and expanding upon seats in congress is our best bet to turn this around.
This isn’t fueled by racism, shallow bitterness, or anything of the like – there is a very serious deficit problem in this country and the collapse of the economy at any point to any number of factors is a real threat. If there’s a huge rush to put folks on entitlements and welfare, just for the rug to get swept out from under them by economic disaster, where does that leave those people compared to today? Is a sweeping entitlement that comprises quality of care worth destroying one of if not the best health care systems in the world? I am not comfortable with government administrators making decisions that trump doctor’s authority. I resent the fact that government leaning heavily on the healthcare system at large the past several decades has pushed us to this point. And I think it’s just plain reckless to erect yet another towering bureaucracy when we all know how corrupt and two faced our system is today.
As I’ve said many times, this is going to be a bitter, divisive, and highly interesting summer. Enjoy the ride while it lasts.
I’ll share some more specific thoughts regarding the Supreme Court, whether it overreaches or not, and the positives and negatives of judicial review later this week. And I’m going to publish this with crossed fingers hoping that a rushed post immediately after an opening shift at my job isn’t too addled and rambling!
Update: More analysis on the impacts of Obamacare and why this is important