The new health care law

It took 13 months before health care reform became the law of the land. 13 months, rancorous “debate,” childish attitudes by the GOP toward the Democrats and President Obama.  “Fear tactics” about mandates that as I understand from David Axelrod speaking on PBS “News Hour” the Republicans themselves advised were absolutely necessary toward a health care reform law.  Whereby, if you can afford insurance but have not chosen to get it, then you can be penalized…  Well, the GOP advised as to its necessity and then used what they promoted against that very legislation.  Even further, want to “sue” against that very legislation many parts of which they proposed in the first place.  —CBS Evening News and PBS “News Hour.”  How childish can you get.

According to the news (also published in the Spokesman-Review), Republican members of the House of Representatives egged protesters on by holding up signs that said “Kill the bill.”  According to CBS Evening News and PBS “News Hour,” protesters engaged in racial slurs against Rep. Lewis, homophobic slurs against Rep. Frank, and there were GOP who shouted “baby killer” even though Rep. Stupak got President Obama’s word that there would be no federal funding for abortion services.  Today, I understand the fellow apologized for that.  Well, at least he managed to grow up a little.

And then, there were those GOP who made the argument that this was totally against federalism.  From what I understand historically about federalism, this was federalism!  Amazing.  Again in the Spokesman-Review, Rep. Boehner complaining that we “failed the American people.”  If he wants to discuss the special interests who fought the hardest against massive reform, esp. of health insurance companies as being “the American people,” then yes, he lost.  But, since health insurance companies do not comprise all of America, then doctors (Coeur d’Alene Press recently published this article that doctors in Idaho no less want health care reform), the Chamber of Commerce who have complained about the crippling costs of health care as it stands now, people who find themselves going bankrupt trying to pay their health care bills, children lacking insurance, etc. represent the rest of America.  So, which “America” does Rep. Boehner represent?

I should consider myself exempt actually for facing penalties for not having health insurance.  Last year, I made around $8,000.00 in income.  The typical health insurance can cost upwards of 2,000 and better.  Right, either I pay bills and try to pay for a booth at my business at the Kootenai County Farmers Market, or I try to spend money on an insurance that can deny me coverage because of pre-existing conditions, etc.  On the other hand, if I actually had an income of 88,000 per year, you bet I’d glom on health insurance.  I wouldn’t need a gvt mandate or a “tax penalty” to get such insurance.  My income would enable me to afford it.

Now, where Axelrod comes in, the GOP want to use the newly passed health care law to gain new seats in the Congress and then work like hell to repeal the new law.  What Axelrod says and this Republican does have to agree, you are going to say to children that we want to take away the insurance you have access to now because of this new law.  To tell people going bankrupt because the health insurance companies who put caps on coverage, that the health insurance companies are back in the driver’s seat.  To tell small business crippled by health care costs, that they should go on being crippled by health care costs.  Good luck with that.  The fury by the GOP is that ultimately, they didn’t make health care reform Obama’s Waterloo.  But they make it childishly plain that they don’t plan (McCain) to work with Obama on any other important legislation.  Really?  Beyond the jobs bill, when did they actually plan to work with Obama on important legislation?  I guess that it would take real adults to do that.

So, what was in the Spokesman-Review this morning on 22 March 2010 edition, besides the fact that health care reform would be phased in over a period of years, was what was in this important legislation.  New regulations of insurance companies as described above.

Now, for the proposed lawsuits against the feds by the states.  No, health care as such isn’t in the U.S. Constitution, but it didn’t stop Congress from passing Medicare and the GOP controlled Congress from passing Medicare “reform.”  If its a “state’s rights” issue, then states with an elderly population dependent on Medicare should have been prepared to reject it when it was passed into law.  Wonder why that didn’t happen?  SCHIP programs beneficial to children should have been rejected by the states…  Wonder why that didn’t happen?  Medicaid specifically to aid the poor, should have been rejected by the states.  Wonder why that didn’t happen?  There is “no” constitutionality for SCHIP, Medicare and Medicaid, but these entitlements haven’t been rejected by people who have since made use of them.  Isn’t that amazing?  On a side note, wonder if anyone has ever considered the constitutionality of bankruptcy reform that benefited credit card companies in particular?  Uh, commerce right?  Congress can present various legislation when it comes to various aspects of commerce.  And credit card companies represent one aspect of commerce.

Now, up and until heath care reform is becoming the law of the land, there is no question that the GOP argued that the health care industry is part of the marketplace (commerce).  But, when it comes to health care reform that would regulate any commercial (or marketplace) aspects of it, there is not now constitutional support for it.  Well, which is it?  I personally do not regard health care as a member of the marketplace.  Although insurance and drug companies most assuredly are.  I certainly would not argue that there is a health care “right” found specifically in any wording of the U.S. Constitution.  However, I am fully aware that the federal government has passed a great many laws and involved itself in a great many areas of society—inclusive of the marketplace—where there is absolutely no specified constitutional support.  Until now, with the current Obama administration and Democratic majorities in Congress, who the hell cared?  It says a great deal about the current politics.  Given this particular victory, it also says a great deal about the potential and fact of Obama’s presidency.

In closing, wonder who is the real “baby killer?”  You oppose insuring 50,000 children in the state of Idaho (Coeur d’Alene Press article) because you oppose “socialized medicine,” juxtapose that with the opposition to abortion.  It doesn’t square.  How childish can you get?


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