Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obamacare: Ug

Today the Supreme Court laid down two absolutely stunning rulings.  I'll deal with each one in a post on their own.  First up is Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act.  Now to be clear I think that healthcare does cost too much.  The reasons are varied, everything from Research and Development costs, to the administration it takes to track you down to make you pay your bill.  Our system is not broken, it actually works remarkably well, given the stresses placed upon it by the explosion of people needing advanced healthcare and the steady decline of young men and women willing to enter the profession.  Doctors and Nurses work long hours, and for what they do their pay is actually not as great as you might think given the massive amount of time it takes to train for their jobs. 

The goal of lowering the cost of healthcare is laudable, and I really do applaud lawmakers for wanting to do this.  However the implementation has been nothing short of horrific.  First off the bill itself is a grand total of 2700 pages.  Have you ever read a book that was 2700 pages long?  The longest book I've ever read in one go was Battlefield Earth, which really should have been two books.  It was a struggle to get through that, and it actually had a plot.  Ever try to read a real actual bill, and not even a long one?  I've tried several times, and I usually am bored to tears by the first page.  How can you rule on a bill or law that you haven't read in its entirety?  Perhaps more terrifying is that we really don't know whats in the law.  There might be a million loopholes we will only learn about after its too late to do anything about them.  

The horror doesn't end there.  The irony that the same people who might have chanted "my body my choice" are now cheering this law, and especially the individual mandate on, is not lost on  me.  It is my body, and my choice, for good or ill, to get health insurance.  To be honest I simply could not afford it.  I can barely afford to stay in an apartment, eat twice a day and have gas to go to work or school.  I usually use the stipend for books to pay bills.  How exactly this will help me, a 28 year old, is not clear.  I would invite anyone that thinks this is a good idea to go through the VA system for a spin or two.  It gives migraines a migraine.  That's where we're headed.  Unfortunately the dirty little secret of this whole bill is that the whole aim was to get a single payer system.  Health Insurance is expensive, and some of the statutes in this bill will make it even more so, meaning that you will have to take the Government run option. 

And this individual mandate.  Weren't we told time and again that it was not a tax?  Well it stands, as it is because it is. . . a tax.  Putting aside that someone should be fired, and potentially put in jail for perjury, governments should be very wary about the taxes they levy.  After all it was Taxes that caused this nation to revolt in the first place.  Most especially in times of great economic difficulty we should be loathe to apply any new tax and should speak of any tax hike be it on the rich or poor, the same way we speak of an impending limb amputation.  And if we are speaking of lopping off 10% of the Defense budget to pay for the already inflated government, where is the money going to come from for this? 

As a law there is enough questions, and enough unease that it really should have been stopped long before it ever got to the point that it went before the SCOTUS.  There could have easily been smaller bills, or small fixes that might have done a far better job.  We need to tackle the Malpractice, which is driving up the cost of everything.  I'd even go so far as to say that we as a nation should have a national, per capita cap on lawyers.  We would even be able to reduce significantly all healthcare costs if we were in anyway able to expel all the illegal aliens, who never pay for healthcare, or taxes.  There are so many little things we could do that would almost overnight lower the cost of healthcare, but this bill was supposed to be the be all end all.

To be honest after reading some of the opinions, I am beginning to wonder if the Justices are getting high.  There really is a number of issues in this law that I haven't even touched on that really scare me as an individual, and as a citizen.  From a purely political prospective this may actually be a very bad thing for the Democrats.  Conservatives almost immediately pointed to November as being that much more critical.  The Liberal base is usually charged up for this cause or that but it is a truly rare thing in America when a conservative base gets fired up and goes full bore.  Expect to see a lot of people who are scared (for good reason) of Big Brother, doing everything they can to defeat the Democrats.  There might be a lot more Tea Party action and a swing of independents.  They might actually raise money on par with Obama (who has broken all records for campaign contributions).   So as disappointing as this ruling is, there is actually hope yet. 


Rob said...

Doc. You are so right on this. On a scale of 1 to 10 you are running a 12. Everyone needs to take a deep breath and cool down. i am linking your post to my blog.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you on this totally! I thought John Roberts was probably high, as well, when he voted to uphold this ridiculous law. Excellent post! Thank you.