I guess the Obama administration has decided that rather than fight the moniker “Obamacare” they might as well embrace it. A smart move, I think. Calling it the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is long and clumsy, and its acronym PPACA is really no better.
And anyway, they could do worse than to be associated with caring. Is the opposition volunteering to oppose caring? Well, let them. It doesn't sound like a winning position to me. It also doesn't sound very compassionate. There's been nary a whisper by or about George Bush this primary season, as no Right-thinking Republican wants to be associated with him and his policies, so I guess they're running against compassion as well.
Speaking of compassion, the Supreme Court will today consider an unusual death penalty case. No, not for rape or murder. Those on trial today are just American citizens whose only crime is to be covered by Obamacare. Yet they may be penalized by losing critical coverage if the Supreme Court decides that's how we as a nation spell justice these days. And some of those penalized by any such Court action will die.
And why? Well, I hear it's about freedom. Somehow our freedom is enhanced if we're free to be at the mercy of individual insurance plans. Hey, if this works out, I've got an idea: Rather than debate whether lethal injection is humane or not, why don't we give convicted murderers a choice of how they'll be killed. Then when they complain they don't like it, we'll say: Hey, you chose it freely.
Funny (in a kind of sad way) that the GOP spends so much of its energy arguing that we have to “spare the lives of the unborn,” often babbling about how it's necessary compassion due to their religion, or how we might lose the next Einstein. But apparently they're pretty comfortable with little Albert, once born, losing his care. The government shouldn't be in the business of raising or educating Einsteins, just seeing they get born. I guess that's why they don't want birth control. If some of these up-and-coming Einsteins are going to plan poorly and die early, before they can crank out some useful formulas for us, we're going to need spares.
Oddly, it's the “mandate” that's being challenged. What's weird and ironic about that is that what many wanted was single-payer, universal care paid for out of taxes. There would be no Constitutional challenge to that. Taxes have clear Constitutional basis. What the Republicans don't like is the mandate, but the mandate is part of a market solution proposed by Republicans as an alternative to the Constitutionally-sound universal health care approach.
Not that the GOP would be happy with it even if it were seen as Constitutional. How offensive that people can be forced to buy something they don't want. We can be taxed, legally and Constitutionally, even to the point of nearly bankrupting the nation, to support wars we don't want. They're OK with that. But Heaven forbid we should be asked to pay for something that might save lives. That would be immoral.
And so, for reasons that seem utterly procedural, lives hang in the balance in this real life episode of Chopped. Whose insurance policies will be spared, and whose must be chopped? I guess we'll have to stay tuned.
But don't worry, if it turns out things go badly and some of us lose our health care, the others won't be forced to watch the aftermath on some sort of societal jumbotron ultrasound. Such in-your-face information is only good for individual abortions. If we end up instead casting out a large swath of society with the Constitutional bathwater, forcing the Court or the People to see the consequences of that action is not really something we'd ever want to mandate.
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