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Thursday, June 28, 2012

"Obamacare" Ruling

Just a short comment on the SCOTUS ruling on "Obamacare"...

Funny, but Republicans oppose "Obamacare" because of the mandate to purchase health insurance.

Funny?   How so?

Well it's a not so secret fact that the concept for the mandate came from the Heritage Foundation.  Citation HERE (from the uber-liberal folks at FORBES).  The first government official to actually put a mandate in place?  Yup, that would be a Republican, in the form of Mittens Romney.  Citation HERE (via Mittens himself).  <==Insert Irony.

So why the cries from the Right regarding the individual mandate?  I suspect the reasoning is pretty simple:  because it was actually proposed on a national level by a Democrat.

Now in fairness, had George W. Bush proposed an individual mandate, I suspect that at least most Democrats would be using the exact same arguments being put forth by Republicans now.  Why?  Because this whole mess is as much an exercise in politics and political power as it is anything else.

As for me, I view the whole Affordable Care Act as overly complicated and providing too much of a give-away to firms in the business of health care delivery.  There, I said it.  On the other side, the Republican talking point of "unleashing the power of the free markets" is a LAUGHABLE JOKE.  Newsflash:  Free markets specialize in maximizing profit by minimizing costs.  Is that what YOU want YOUR doctor/hospital to be focused on?  What's more, if the free market is the be-all and end-all, why don't we "unleash the power of the free market" for things like police coverage, fire fighting and the military?  The answer is simple: sometimes the emphasis shouldn't be on profit (so says the private sector guy with a quarter century of business experience...unlike some of my strident conservative...but public sector employed...friends and relatives).

In the end, I am hoping for the best but decidedly un-optimistic for the future.

On a more positive note, Oxycontin addict and bloated talkshow host Rush Limbaugh apparently commented that he would leave the country if "Obamacare" becomes law (citation HERE).  Score!  However, just where would he go?  The vast majority of the civilized world has true socialized medicine, so that limits his choices to such garden spots as Mongolia and Somalia.  It might be hard for Rush to score his stiffy pills in Mongolia, so maybe a move isn't really in his cards.

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