Wisdom and Fairness of Health Care Law in Question

Official 2005 photo of Chief Justice John G. R...

Chief Justice John G. Roberts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Supreme Court says the Federal Government cannot mandate that Americans buy health insurance denying the Obama Administrations claim that such a mandate was allowed under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Unfortunately for those who opposed the law, including yours truly, the Court ruled that the Federal Government was authorized to tax those without health insurance. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision saying,‘‘Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,’’. I’ll surprise my Conservative friends by stating, grudgingly, that I think Roberts is right. To disagree would impose undeniable limits on what our government can choose to tax. Since the adoption of the 16th Amendment creating the income tax, Congress has had the power to determine how and where taxes should be imposed. To impose a limit would render the Federal Government essentially impotent in its ability to pay for itself. “The law”, Roberts wrote, “makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.”

Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not happy about this. And I admit I’d never thought of the individual mandate in Obamacare as a tax and as such legal. Though clearly I and every American with an IQ above that of a Banana Slug knew in fact it was a tax. Part of the reason I didn’t think of it as a tax is because President Obama and the Democratic Congress that passed this nearly 3000-page law repeatedly said “it wasn’t a tax”. However, in arguments before the High Court the President’s Solicitor General repeatedly made clear the penalty for failing to have health insurance WAS a tax, and thus Constitutional an argument they won today.

English: Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice of...

Anthony Kennedy, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States

Justice Anthony Kennedy read the dissenting opinion and called the health care law, “invalid in its entirety”. He was joined in dissent by Justices Thomas, Scalia, and Alito. At the time of this writing their opinion and reasons for it are not available for reading or quoting.

With the Constitutionality of Obamacare now settled, and it is settled so those who oppose it can quit with  any whining; we must now revisit the law’s wisdom and fairness which Roberts pointed out the Court is not empowered to question. It still remains a bad law which does harm to the cause for its creation in the first place. The need for something like Obamacare came about because of the high cost of health care. Some would say the law was necessary because of the high cost of health insurance and the approximately 30-million Americans who are not covered by insurance. But insurance is expensive because health care is expensive. Those who are uninsured are uninsured because that can’t afford insurance. So, once again the problem is the cost of health care. Hello?

Obamacare’s only step toward controlling costs is to limit and regulate care. Determinations as to who and what care will be provided is, in large part, going to fall to government bureaucrats. How’s the wisdom and fairness in that?

Since the TAX for not having health insurance is well below the cost of the premium many, if not most, people and businesses will choose to pay the tax and drop coverage. Under Obamacare the TAX for businesses not providing health insurance coverage for their employees is $2500. With a fiduciary responsibility to stock holders, you have to ask yourself what is the incentive for anyone managing a business to carry insurance?  The penalty/tax for individuals not covered is as follows:
$95 in 2014, $325 in 2015, and $695 in 2016. Under Obamacare insurance companies are no longer able to deny coverage to a person seeking coverage based on pre-existing conditions. So, why pay for health insurance if you’re healthy. Why not pay the tax until such time as you get sick and then buy insurance? Financially, it’s the logical thing to do.

The end result of the High Court’s ruling is a law takes effect that will drive more people and businesses away from health care coverage, which will drive up insurance prices, which inevitably will drive more and more people and businesses away from paying for coverage. In the end insurance companies will no longer have a viable product that is affordable for anyone but the super rich. The burden of paying for Americans health coverage will fall on the already overburdened Federal Government. The added deficit spending will weaken the American dollar against world currency, as it already has, which will contribute to massive inflation, which will ultimately bring down the economy however strong or weak the economy happens to be. It’s a recipe for disaster.

The Supreme Court validated the Congress’ ability to tax. Sad but true. Fortunately, the disaster scenario we can all expect with the unfolding of Obamacare can be averted. As I wrote in a previous blog, Obama can’t Win Healthcare Test, winning the High Court’s decision will only inspire Republicans to vote Obama and Democrats out of office this November. Roberts has awakened a sleeping bear. The American people will not likely stand for the implementation of Obamacare without a fight. GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s promise to repeal it will undoubtedly bring many who were on the fence about him to his corner. Senate and House candidates who continue to stand up against the new law will receive the money and support necessary to put the GOP in control of the Congress. Even the more liberal media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and the New York Times admit polls show more than 70% of Americans don’t like Obamacare.

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

Mitt Romney

Romney and Republican Congressional candidates need to make sure they don’t forget the aspects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that are good and that people like. Their challenge will be to figure out how to pay for guaranteed coverage for those with pre-existing conditions; the guarantee that you won’t be dropped by your insurance company if you get sick; the ability to keep adult kids on their parents insurance plans (though does it really have to be until age 26? I mean, I love my kids, but I expect them to stand on their own at a certain point. 1 or 2 years after normal age of leaving college, 24, seems reasonable to me).

My hope is the Supreme Court’s ruling today wakes up the American people and helps them understand the responsibility they alone hold. If your Congressman votes for a law you oppose, or an excessive tax it’s up to you to vote him out of office.  The High Court is holding YOU accountable. YOU have to hold your legislators accountable.

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Obama Can’t Win Healthcare Test

U.S. Supreme Court building.

U.S. Supreme Court building.

Note: This blog was originally written at the time of oral arguments before the Supreme Court in March. It’s still timely. 

Today the U.S. Supreme Court takes up legal arguments for and against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The plaintiffs are 25 Attorney’s General, including Washington State gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna.

Rob McKenna

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna

The defendants, technically, are the U.S. Government. For an unprecedented three days lawyers for either side will try to convince the nine justices of the Robert’s Court that Obamacare should continue to be the law of the land, which it is currently; or that several aspects of the 27-hundred page law are un-Constitutional and ought to be overturned and disallowed.

By the time The Court hears the arguments and issues their decision it will be Summer, probably June. At that time we almost certainly will have chosen a Republican Presidential candidate and it almost certainly will be Mitt Romney. And the Presidential, Senate and Congressional election campaigns will be gearing up for the fall vote. And while the Court’s ruling on the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act will have serious legal, judicial, legislative, and personal impacts all across this country; another aspect of impact that is undeniable is the political impact. And the good news on that front is Republicans can’t lose. The GOP will get a huge boost this Summer no matter if the Court rules for or against Obamacare.

If you are one of the 70% of Americans who don’t like Obamacare and feel it should be struck down or repealed how are you going to feel about The Court telling you, “tough”. You are going to feel angry and you are going to feel charged up. With an affirmative vote from the court upholding Obamacare the last, best hope of actually removing this albatross from around the necks of the American people and American business will be to win the November elections for Congress and The White House. Failure to do either will undoubtedly mean Obamacare will NEVER be repealed. Even winning the White House and retaining the House of Representatives will not be enough for the GOP, because the Senate has proven to be a place where good ideas go to die. Filibustering is used as a method to block legislation far more than was intended by James Madison and the other authors of our Constitution when they penned it for consideration 225 years ago. So winning in November becomes an all-or-nothing proposition.

Sarah Palin at the Americans for Prosperity-ru...

Sarah Palin at the Americans for Prosperity-run Wisconsin 2011 Tax Day Tea Party Rally.

As was demonstrated by the Tea Party movement in 2010 Americans will respond when pushed to the brink. If Obamacare is upheld, the Democrats will face a desperate GOP that can’t help but win.

If, as I expect, the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare, saying the Individual Mandate represents an extreme over-reach by Congress, an example of government tyranny our Founding Fathers fought to get rid of, then you will have a President facing re-election with egg all over his face. More significantly you will have a President asking to be re-elected after having accomplished near nothing in his four plus years in office. (That fact remains true even if Obamacare is upheld since the bill was not written by Obama or any of his administration).

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection an...

Barack Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House Español: Barack Obama firmando la Ley de Protección al Paciente y Cuidado de Salud Asequible en la Casa Blanca (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A President Obama with no healthcare legislation to hang his hat on has only a weak economy, high unemployment, high gas prices, a more dangerous world, and an ardent promise to raise taxes in which to campaign-on. That is a formula for disaster from a Democrats standpoint.

And do you think Mitt Romney might benefit from having the Obamacare discussion removed from the table? Since much of Obamacare was written, based on the Health Care Law in Massachusetts which Mitt Romney signed into law Romney is likely to dance a jig when the John Robert’s led Supreme Court returns their ruling. He won’t have to continually defend a law that’s very unpopular, or be faced with the comparisons with a law that no longer exists. Instead he can do the right thing and campaign on really fixing the healthcare system in this country.

I can’t imagine how President Obama successfully campaigns in the fall. As expected I believe he will only have negative, slime to throw at Mitt Romney. He won’t be able to run a positive campaign. This is another reason Romney is the best candidate for the GOP. He has led such a squeaky clean life his worst foibles aren’t all that bad. In fact, his worst foibles amount to not always being Conservative enough. And President Obama can’t win that argument either.

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What if Obama Wins!

English: Seal of the President of the United S...

We’re just eight months away from voting for President of the United States. Could it be that we’re just ten months away from having a new President? Or, as much of the broadcast and print media would have you believe, are we only ten months away from President Barrack Obama beginning another four years of serving as our nation’s leader.

Current events in the RepublicanPresidential nominating race would have you believe that Obama is nearer to re-election than he has been in the minds of the electorate in a year or two. Can this be? And if so, what does it mean? Here are just a few things likely to happen if Obama squirms his way into another term.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

First, and most important, Obamacare will not be repealed and the 70% of Americans who said in a recent Gallop Poll that they oppose it would be left to relying on the Supreme Court to knock it down. While I do think that is likely. I’m not comfortable leaving it up to our Justices. We could all be much more comfortable repealing it and starting from scratch. Were the Supreme Court not to strike down Obamacare, Obama’s recent dictum to religious institutions that they provide free contraception to all their employees represents a fine example of the tyrannical rule the President’s health care program allows for. Call it a drop in the bucket.

English: Barack Obama signing the Patient Prot...

Signing Obamacare.

Most of Obamacare becomes law in 2014. It is then that all company’s in the U.S. with employees of 50 or more will be required to provide healthcare to their employees or pay a fine. It is then that all individuals regardless of age, health, or financial wherewithal will have to buy private health insurance coverage or pay a fine. It is in 2014 that Medicare doctors will lose much of what they are paid for.

Gas prices will continue to rise. Obama wants them to. His plan for moving us to a “greener” society is to make our current way of living cost prohibitive. This isn’t angry Republican theory. He’s said it.

The cost of everything will go up. Obama has been trying like crazy to raise taxes on the upper 5% of income earners since entering the White House. Now he’s likely to get what he craves. Rich people didn’t get rich by being stupid. If they have to pay more taxes than they will raise the price of goods and services which they control in order to make up the difference.

America crawling out of the deep recession is likely to continue at a glacial pace. 3-4-percent growth is a mere pipe dream. As economists have predicted we’ll continue with growth only in the anemic 2% – 2.5% range; which will continue to keep unemployment high and wages low. If the economy is not growing and lots of people are out of work and under-employed employers have zero incentive to raise wages and/or benefits. Besides, having eaten the massive extra costs Obamacare will impose on business America’s workers can kiss any wage or salary increases goodbye for the next several years. Yes, Mr. Obama, elections do have consequences.

Português do Brasil: Brasília, 23/11/09 - O pr...

If Obama wins re-election Iran gets a nuclear weapon and war is likely to spread in the Middle East and will include Israel. Such a scenario might also include the exchange of nuclear weapons.

Worst of all Obama’s stated goal of redistributing wealth will continue to ingrain in the minds of Americans and our youth, our future, that the world owes them something and that they are entitled to it. Such a sick way of looking at the world might assure everyone a roof over there heads and food on their plates. But that’s about it. Our collective mutual poverty is all that’s assured with such a socialist mentality. Striving, reaching for more, enduring hardship…all gone. Instead Obama will teach us that we’re all in this together and we all deserve what each other has.

If Obama wins…we lose our souls, we lose our hope, but we will definitely face change.

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