Where do we go from here?

The Supreme Court has, surprisingly, upheld the Obamacare plan.

Frankly, I have been against this because I feel that it is an unwarranted imposition on extremely personal liberties, even if at its heart there was an attempt to help people.  There are two things that I worry about.

1.  We have created a slippery slope.  That’s actually a lie, we are already well on the slippery slope.  At least since the 1960s, the federal government has become a bully pulpit for pushing agendas.  Mind you, some of those things were needed (civil rights).  Unfortunately, the same forces that begat the federal government getting more involved in enforcing civil rights opened a flood gate to the federal government getting a lot more involved in pushing things around.  It started with innocent enough things (raise your drinking age to 18, or lose federal highway funds).  But it worked both ways … NCLB worked the same way (submit to federal testing and control mandates or lose funding).  20 years ago, the thought of the federal government controlling public schools would have been unthinkable.  Today it is a reality.

I am gratefully concerned where this will lead.  Today the law reads that pre-existing conditions will not be a concern.  Will that be the same in 20 years?  What happens when (as several insurance companies today require), to manage costs the government requires mandatory annual exams?  Most people would find that laughable, but 30 years ago the thought of the United States government running health insurance would have been laughable.  Now, it is a reality.

Some folks might say that I am taking this to ridiculous ends,  That may be true, I can’t claim to know the future, but I worry that our federal government has a history of doing some pretty repugnant things.

2.  If you thought politics was polarized now, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

On the one hand, overturning the provisions would have been a defeat for the Obama administration.  On the other hand, this action is going to completely galvanize the opposition now that they have gone from mad to incensed angry.  There were a number of independent voters who were against this plan, and in an election year where I think a lot of folks are voting between “the lesser of two evils”, I wonder how that will effect the overall play of independent voters.

Worse than that, it is going to result, I suspect, in a whole new round of hard core right wing extremist candidates who are gong to be elected and charged with one guarantee:  gut the insurance plan.  This is what happened last time with the debt ceiling.  Mind you, I approve of finally doing something to get our debt under control, but making it a single item voter issue, and one that leaves the Congress with very little room to negotiate.  I am worried that instead of gridlock getting better, it will be the same or worse.

I hope I am wrong about all of this … but I lost faith in our government a long time ago, and I don’t have hope that our government will be bale to work this out and function properly for the greater benefit of the people.


4 Responses to Where do we go from here?

  1. Alan P says:

    Nice birthday present for you…

  2. Beth says:

    As to your second point, I fear that Roberts’s reasons for choosing to uphold are completely political, for the galvanization of the GOP conservatives and independents who don’t like the health care bill. (Personally, I wonder how many back rubs it took from Kennedy for him to not be the swing vote on this one…)
    I also believe that Mitt Romney is completely full of crap when he talks about how he will repeal it on his first day in office. I don’t even think that’s where the real political fight is. Trying to repeal a law makes the Congressional races that much more important, and most likely, heated and divisive.
    That being said, I am doing my best to not respond to others’ knee-jerk, vitriolic statements about this (via facebook and e-mail) until I do my own homework. The Affordable Health Care Bill remains on my Summer Reading List.

  3. teganx7 says:

    I think I counted the word “jaw-dropping” not fewer than a dozen times in as many news stories. As I am looking at this:
    1. He did this to galvanize the right. I think it will, but I think it will also galvanize the left. What it does for moderates is anyone’s guess.
    2. He did this because he wanted to secure his personal place in history. Right now, there really aren’t any “individuals” on the court. There are the five conservatives, and the four liberals. This is certainly one way to make a name for himself.
    3. He genuinely thought that exactly what was in that decision. I would be very inclined to do this, if not for so many people, including that president disagreeing with him (of course, it is is President Obama’s interest to say “This is absolutely not a tax!”).
    My opposition is only slightly philosophical, and more that I simply do not trust the government to not somehow screw this up.

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