Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Answers the Wrong Question

Because our judicial system only allows courts to answer questions that are asked of them, all that we learned from the Supreme Court today is that the federal government can impose taxes in a way that is designed to encourage people to buy insurance. We didn't learn whether the “ObamaCare” legislation is the best way to provide health care for the American people. We have known for a long time that it is not.

ObamaCare is designed to keep the health insurance industry functioning pretty much the same way it has been. Insurers will continue to set their own rates, which will be higher than they need to be. There will continue to be very little competition among insurers. Consumers and doctors will continue to be confused and frustrated. Insurers will continue to deny people the coverage they need and thought they had until they submitted claims. Hospitals and doctors will continue to inflate their charges so that they can discount them to preferred insurers. Doctors will continue to prescribe unnecessary tests, drugs, and therapies. Marketers, claims adjusters, salespeople, and many others will continue to siphon off a huge percentage of health care dollars into unneeded overhead expenses. In short, ObamaCare is designed to assure that some Americans will continue to receive health care that is worse and far more expensive than what is available elsewhere in the world and that other Americans will not receive health care at all.

Instead of asking the Supreme Court whether ObamaCare was constitutional, we could have asked whether a government-run single payer health care system was constitutional. The answer would have been yes. We know, because there isn't any question about Medicare being constitutional.

Why didn't we ask the Supreme Court about a single payer system? Because Obama, the Republicans who opposed any health care reform, the Democrats who were afraid to use their power, and the monied interests that support all of them didn't want anyone asking that question. None of them wanted the American people to focus on the solution to the present health care mess. None of them wanted things to change very much. They made sure we couldn't ask the court about the only system which could really make things better. They turned their backs on what the American people need.

Obama's supporters are triumphantly telling us that because the Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare a few million people will be better off than they are now. This might be something to boast about if it weren't for the fact that all of us, including those few million, will continue to be worse off than if Obama and Congress had done what really needed to be done. They had an opportunity to do the right thing, and they threw it away. Or, to be more precise, they sold it.

A lot of Republicans are upset with the Supreme Court's decision. They wanted ObamaCare invalidated, not because it would change health care, but because throwing out ObamaCare would help them reach their goal of throwing out Obama. They should be upset, but for a different reason. Today's decision doesn't endorse Obama's legislation. All the Supreme Court did today was affirm the power of the federal government to let the American people suffer and die needlessly.

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