A stronger prescription for what ails health care
By Eugene Robinson, Published: March 29
“In arguments before the Supreme Court this week, the Obama administration might have done just enough to keep the Affordable Care Act from being ruled unconstitutional. Those who believe in limited government had better hope so, at least. “
“If Obamacare is struck down, the short-term implications are uncertain. Conservatives may be buoyed by an election-year victory; progressives may be energized by a ruling that looks more political than substantive. The long-term consequences, however, are obvious: Sooner or later, a much more far-reaching overhaul of the health-care system will be inevitable…”
“…Our only choice is to try to hold the costs down. President Obama tried to make a start with a modest approach that works through the current system. If this doesn’t pass constitutional muster, the obvious alternative is to emulate other industrialized nations that deliver equal or better health-care outcomes for half the cost.
I’m talking about a single-payer health-care system. If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, a single-payer system will go from being politically impossible to being, in the long run, fiscally inevitable.
We’ve reached the point where the decision will be made. Constitutional or non-Constitutional, The SCOTUS is slated to tell us in June of this year. It is guaranteed that the presidential election will be impacted by the court’s decision. The 2000 election keeps coming to mind, when an election was decided by what was a stacked court that has now become even more stacked.
If the Court decides against the Affordable Care Act, there is bound to be a huge up-roar as the positive benefits of the law as currently in place are rapidly withdrawn from insured citizens by the insurance companies that opposed those benefits from the start for the dent they once left in corporate profits.
Failure to confirm the ACA would leave a huge pool of angry voters willing to let the GOP taste their anger in November. They will rightfully blame the teavangelists and the GOP main-line incumbents for their sudden loss of those benefits. The Democrats, having done little to focus the blame where it belongs for the last three years, will be in a good position if they can only begin to act like legislators concerned for the most good to the nation rather than as pawns of the insurance industry.
The Democrats had a back-up, single-payer, universal Medicare for all citizens. The GOP\teavangelists have no replacement for ACA and no backup plan. The eventual outcome will be a single payer tax-supported health plan similar to Canada’s, France’s, or dozens of other industrialized nations.
I find myself torn. Rejection and overturn of ACA will result in loss of insurance, bankruptcy, and even loss of life. All of this can and should be heaped on the GOP in November. Then, after a period of chaos, the Congress will reluctantly do what should have been done previously; institute a national single payer insurance plan. At some point, we will wisely realize that the way to budget cuts is to boot the health insurance companies from the control and profits they now exercise.
On the other hand, if ACA is not overturned we will slowly and with great interference from the teavangelists, finalize those portions of ACA not yet in effect. We will not move toward single-payer national health insurance, and the insurance companies will remain in the revenue stream they now enjoy.
We need to get rid of for-profit health care. If physicians opt out, too bad. The really good ones will remain in practice. We need to establish single payer national health care supported by universal taxation.
Which way will the SCOTUS go? Which way do I hope they go? I can’t honestly say this morning.