When I listened to the debates about the Affordable Health Care Act in front of the Supreme Court justices the other week, I had one recurring thought:
Why couldn’t we get a lawyer who didn’t stutter every time the law was challenged?
My second thought was: Yes, of course Obamacare is unconstitutional. Or, more particularly, the individual mandate is.
Yes, you can argue that, already, no one can be denied service at the emergency room (a bill passed under Reagan), despite their inability to pay.
You could argue that having health insurance could encourage more people to go to the hospital for preventative care and therefore greatly improve the health of our nation… particularly in the long-term.
You could argue that most people who need doctors and don’t have insurance just go to the emergency room… which means that 55% of all ER visits are now unpaid. Sure, the individual mandate may fix that, but, really, too bad.
Because something would lead to a healthier and happier nation, just because it’s the right thing to do, doesn’t mean that it’s constitutional.
In my mind, the “let ‘im die” folks are right. In strictly constitutional terms, of course.
The individual mandate is unconstitutional, because it requires people to purchase a product.
The argument from the defense is that everyone will use health services at some point. And, er, the Affordable Healthcare Act would be completely untenable if the risk wasn’t spread across as broad a pool as possible.
Unfortunately, since every Supreme Court decision marks some kind of historical precedent, passing a law that allows the government to make people purchase products is seen as a free pass for all future socialistic measures.
But let’s be realistic about the individual mandate: not everyone uses healthcare. Some don’t make it to the hospital in time.
How am I supposed to know if I’m going to actually use a hospital until I’m at one? Am I right?
But if Obamacare is socialism, I reserve the right to call Medicare and Social Security socialism.
After all, there’s no assurance that I’m going to reach the age of 65 and become eligible for these programs. Instead, my money is simply taken from my paycheck and deposited into some ethereal Fund.
Why can’t I opt out? After all, if Paul Ryan has his way, Medicare in its current form most definitely won’t exist when I reach the golden years, anyway.
And the Obama administration has raided the Social Security trust fund multiple times to artificially stimulate the economy. Who knows when they’ll strike again?
I think anyone under 30 should be able to opt out of Medicare and Social Security. These programs were created when people had an average life expectancy of about 60 and 69, respectively, but now the “super senior” population is exploding, and the overall senior population of the United States is going to reach unprecedented numbers in the coming decades, while population flat-lines.
By 2030, Medicare enrollment is expected to increase from 48 million to more than 80 million, while the number of workers supporting the system will drop from 3.7 to 2.4. Spending, overall, is expected to increase from $560 billion in 2010 to over $1 trillion by 2022.
By 2035, only 50% of Medicare Part A will be covered by existing payroll taxes.
And the people on the bottom of this upside-down pyramid are expected to pay for those at the top?
But being forced to pay into Medicare & Social Security isn’t socialism, because the programs were instituted a long time ago?
I would argue that these programs aren’t socialism, because they are the right thing to do. Just like The Affordable Healthcare Act.
My question is: Why are so many conservatives (about 50% of tea partiers) demanding my money for government-funded healthcare & pensions, then saying, if I’m unemployed or a part-time worker, I can’t have any myself?
Yet the deification of our slave-owning founding fathers continues, even if the Constitution was just a tool to keep the lower classes from rebelling against the landed interests of the burgeoning American overlords.
How many other documents from the 18th century do we take seriously today? Why has the Constitution become so Biblical?
It seems like only the terrible, horrible abuses of our Constitution are considered Constitutional.
The people most intent on preserving the Constitution (ahem, Republicans) are the ones who have done the most damage to it, a la The PATRIOT Act and, so recently, the “Anyone Can Be Strip-Searched if Arrested” bill.
Or whatever it’s called.
But ask people to pay a little extra to make the whole country healthier? That’s suddenly unconstitutional?
Sometimes, I think that the welfare of society should trump capitalism and the Constitution, if that crumbly document gets in the way. Besides, didn’t one of the founding fathers touch on this subject?
But sure, let’s vote against a healthcare law and vote for strip-searching anyone who gets arrested at a protest. Why not?