Mitt Romney’s Post Obamacare Plan: Nothing.
-The Rude Pundit on Twitter
Today would normally be a day spent on the beach renewing my spirit, mind, and body, but since it is unseasonably cool and cloudy much to my dismay, l will instead use the time normally spent wriggling my toes in the warm sand regaling you with my musings on current events. I know, I know. Try to contain your glee.
It would be stating the annoyingly obvious that this, in many ways, is a watershed week in the history of the Supreme Court and our country. Monday’s two SCOTUS decisions were important in and of themselves.
First, there was the striking down of 3 out of 4 of the provisions of S.B. 1070 but leaving the dubious “papers please” provision. That is, if you get detained and are a pleasant cream-color, chances are real good you probably won’t be asked for your papers, but you other ones…
Second, there was the Montana/Citizens United decision which overturned Montana’s keen desire to keep corruption and big money out of their political system since 1912. Evidently, the SCOTUS really, really digs corruption and big money in the political system so jusssst back the truck up there, Montana, SCOTUS knows better how to
fix run elections.
But the absolute bestest (hey, I know “bestest” it isn’t a word but it’s really fun to say) observation about these two rulings comes from genius Charles Pierce of Esquire.com:
It was an interesting day for our old friend, the 10th Amendment, which reads, if I recall correctly, “Congress shall make no law that disturbs the local rednecks.” Jan Brewer, the duly elected crackpot governor of Arizona, praised the Supreme Court for continuing to allow brown people in her state to be rousted for their papers by calling it “a victory… for the 10th Amendment.” Of course, at the same time, the Court also exercised the little-known second paragraph of the 10th Amendment, which reads, if I recall correctly, “The various States shall make no law that inconveniences the rich guys who buy us dinner,” by blowing up a campaign-finance law in Montana that had stood for 100 years. So, if you’re keeping score at home, “states rights” now mean that your gardener can be asked to produce his papers on his way to your house, and a billionaire from Colorado can buy your governor. I hope that clears things up.
Bravo Charlie Pierce I say, and honestly, why doesn’t Justice Scalia just sign the FOX contract now, lick the stamp with his viscous, libertarian saliva, deposit it in the soon to-be-privatized mailbox, and save us all the agony of waiting hungrily for his show, slotted in somewhere right before all the talking blonde-a-ma-trons on the “fair and balanced” network?
I always giggle a little when I say that…fair and balanced…tee-hee.
Because, in case you haven’t heard, “some people say” that Scalia is a Republican operative shill -with a job for life–so just suck it America. Again, “some people say” that. Not me though, I just report–you decide.
Now, just in case you have been living in a grass-thatched hut on Bora Bora, the next and perhaps most anticipated decision since Kim Kardashian’s choice of wedding couture is due out Thursday when the nine justices render their
smack-down decision in the Affordable Care Act saga.
I will admit that I’m a bit beaten-down by the conservative wingnut agenda since Obama became President. I’m bone-weary from combating the lies that come fast and furious (okay, bad choice of words) from the right-wing echo-chamber. It is a full-time job setting the record straight to family, friends, barroom sots, and internet strangers. There are not enough hours in the day for that when you have the deluge of disinformation that flies around the airwaves masquerading as “facts” from organizations masquerading as “newsrooms” disseminated by pinheaded lackeys masquerading as “newsmen.”
It wears on you.
Therefore, I will again turn to others more knowledgeable and clearly more coherent in their thoughts than myself for their take on the coming decision on Obamacare. Bill Clinton, the favorite presidential whipping boy of the righties before Obama rocked their world, had some insight on the matter in an interview in The Daily Beast written by Gail Sheehy. Clinton declared to Sheehy that what people don’t realize is the benefits that they have already seen will be vanquished if Obamacare falls, and they won’t like it:
If the Supreme Court decides to invalidate the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act, there will be consequences, Clinton said, which he claims aren’t being reported, and which he spelled out:
• Changing the health-care delivery system has already produced two years in a row of 4 percent inflation in health-care costs. This is the first time in 50 years that health-care costs have gone up so little. Killing the Affordable Care Act would let inflation loose again.
• Some 2.6 million people ages 21 to 26, who now have insurance coverage for the first time because they can be carried under their parents’ policy, would lose it.
• $1.3 billion dollars in insurance refunds have already been paid to businesses and individuals because now the law says 85 percent of your premium has to go to health care and not to profits and promotion. (California hasn’t reported yet, but will likely increase that figure to more than $1.5 billion.) Refunds would shrink.
• If Republicans succeed in persuading the Supreme Court to repeal the individual mandate, somewhere between 12 million and 16 million Americans will be unable to get health insurance because of preexisting conditions.
Clinton also brought up a little known fact about individual mandates decreed by people named George Washington and John Adams, you know, those iconic Founding Fathers the right incessantly genuflects over every two seconds:
Clinton drew laughter with anecdotes about individual mandates that go back to the founding of the nation. In 1797, when John Adams was president, he signed a bill that required all seamen to be covered by hospitalization insurance through their employer.
None other than President George Washington signed a bill that required employers to provide hospitalization insurance for sailors. Another of the soldier president’s individual mandates would tickle Republicans today: every free male person between ages 18 and 44 had to keep a musket, a bayonet, and ammunition in his home. Even Quakers were denied exemption.
Really? Whoa Nelly.
Good thing FOX News wasn’t around back then or else they’d have a thing or two to say to those socialist-elitists Washington and Adams!
Finally, in the interview, President Clinton accurately described the big, wrinkly, smelly, elephant in the room for Romney supporters. It is that pesky issue that just won’t go away and can’t be explained in any coherent or believable way–the issue of Romneycare.
Personally, I’m just assuming that Romney-bots must stick their fingers in their ears and sing “Call Me Maybe” really loudly when this item is brought up at cocktail parties in order to avoid looking like total
Before Mitt Romney as governor signed the individual mandate, Massachusetts had the highest health-care costs in America. Today, that state is seventh, because inflation in health-care costs in that state have been much lower than in the country as a whole. Why? The mandate prevents insurance companies from shifting their promotional costs to consumers, Clinton said.
So, there you have it. The week that almost is will be the week that was for posterity.
Chances are pretty good that I will be sitting on a beautiful, sunny beach when the big SCOTUS decision breaks on Thursday. The question is, will I be contentedly wriggling my toes in the warm sand…or wanting to bury my head in it?