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Jay Lake
Date: 2012-06-29 05:50
Subject: [politics] The Supreme Court's Healthcare Reform Ruling
Security: Public
Tags:healthcare, politics
I was quite shocked yesterday at the Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling. I was even more shocked at the voting composition of the majority.

The Supreme Court politicized itself in the Bush v. Gore ruling. In that case, the Court's conservatives definitively revealed themselves as unprincipled ideologues. The Court acknowledged directly this with their weak protestation that the ruling would not have standing as precedent in future cases. Nothing that's happened in the twelve years since has caused me to in the slightest shift my extremely low opinion of the Court's conservative wing. Citizens United, one of the most deeply misguided and disastrous rulings in modern history, sealed the Roberts Court's naked partisanship by decapitating both the national interest and common sense in favor of Republican interests. On an individual level, Justice Scalia's recent crabwalk on the Commerce Clause was just the latest in an endless round of objective proof that I have been right all along about the unprincipled ideology of the Supreme Court conservatives.

In other words, my expectations of the Supreme Court's ability to produce wise Constitutional jurisprudence in the national interest is rock bottom.

The Affordable Care Act ruling amazed me. I'm not wise enough to know what it will all mean. That will be gamed out in the press and Congress and the election booth over the next months, and likely years.

But I did happen to catch Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's response. The willful ignorance and hypocrisy of his remarks was breathtaking. Mr. Romney said:
As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision and I agree with the dissent.

What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States. And that is I will act to repeal Obamacare.

Let's make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do.

What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it's good policy.

Obamacare was bad policy yesterday. It's bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It's bad law today.

When Romney was governor of Massachusetts, his signature legislative accomplishment was a healthcare reform act extremely similar to the Federal healthcare reform promoted by President Obama.

Mr. Romney, was HCR bad law when it was your idea? Was HCR bad policy when you implemented it? You were certainly extremely pleased with the individual mandate at the time.

Furthermore, both the Massachusetts law and the Federal law have their roots, specifically including the now-hated individual mandate, in proposals originating with the conservative Heritage Foundation. HCR isn't socialism as Republicans now decry. It was their idea in the first place. One they used to oppose the Clinton-era attempts at healthcare reform, among other things.

Mr. Romney, was HCR bad law when the Heritage Foundation proposed it and when most Republicans promoted it? Was HCR bad policy when the Heritage Foundation proposed it and when most Republicans promoted it?

Romney went on to say:
Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations. […] Obamacare is a job-killer.

Mr. Romney, do you recall the most recent Republican administration of President George W. Bush? When the Republican controlled House and Senate spent their way to the highest deficits and deepest national debt in the history of the republic. Do you recall the job losses under Republican rule, the deepest and most unprecedented since the Great Depression? Are you aware that your party has spent the past four years blocking any jobs or economic growth plans put forth by President Obama in service of your flatly stated highest legislative priority of making him a one-term president? What on Earth gives you standing to talk about deficits and job losses now? How can you possibly do so with a straight face?

Then he said:
And perhaps most troubling of all, Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.

Mr. Romney, your Republican party is constantly legislating women's sexual and reproductive health. You have moved heaven and earth these past decades to insert the Federal government between citizens and their doctors at every possible point.

You and your political colleagues have amply demonstrated time and again that intellectual dishonesty and profound hypocrisy are necessary requirements for being a Republican today, but do you ever think about what you are saying? For even a moment? More to the point, do voters ever think about the typical word salad offered by Republican leaders?

Unfortunately, that last question answers itself every time this nation goes to the polls.

Republicans used to mock something they called Bush Derangement Syndrome. The conservative opposition to President Obama is so deranged, so powerful, that they will deny two decades of their own political history and abandon their own principles and positions rather than do anything that might seem to support or endorse the president.

My final observation is that I'm considering running a pool on how soon there is a Congressional attempt to impeach Chief Justice Roberts. In one stroke, Chief Justice Roberts has transformed himself in conservative eyes from a wise jurist to a judicial activist. In one stroke, he restored a modicum of respectability to a Supreme Court that traded every shred of dignity and respect they had away for an ultimately disastrous electoral victory twelve years ago.

Post A Comment | 9 Comments | | Flag | Link

Larry Sanderson: Bush Worst
User: lsanderson
Date: 2012-06-29 12:56 (UTC)
Subject: IOKIYR
Keyword:Bush Worst
Oh heck no.
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User: farwideserenity
Date: 2012-06-29 13:17 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
totally agree
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User: joycemocha
Date: 2012-06-29 15:28 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I have a feeling that, if anyone can manage to replicate what Bob Woodward did in The Brethren (Matt Tabibbi? Maybe), what we'll find out is the wheeling and dealing on this one will rival if not exceed what happened in Roe vs Wade.

As you can imagine, this household was exceedingly happy to hear the news. I'd steeled myself to spend the rest of the summer scrambling to find health care coverage for DS, only minorly consoled that Kaiser at least would probably be semi-reasonable to deal with. I even did the rare measure of calling DH to give him the good news.

But then, we are definitely a household who's seen the immediate benefits of ACA.
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(no subject) - (Anonymous)
Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2012-06-29 17:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I know there are supposed to be subsidies for the mandated insurance exchanges, but I have no idea what the qualifying terms are for those subsidies.
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User: ulfhirtha
Date: 2012-06-29 19:36 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

>"Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor."

To Mitt, and every other ACA & health care reform critic who has said this, my response stays the same: So? My HMO already does that.

I was surprised that Roberts made the Majority, though subsequent reading has made me a bit less so (various opinions on how this furthers various future aims like reining in Congressional power, taking his Court back from Kennedy, etc.). It does seem like it could be a very mixed blessing in terms of future Sumpre Court behavior. But I'll take the results right now for the ACA going forward.

The sheer hypocrisy of Romney going full-bore against essentially his own swignature governing acheivement and a long-standing GOP idea to boot is quite clear. As is how it sets him up -sure, he'll inflame people by railing against "Obamacare! Boo! Hiss!" but when it becomes specifics like "Women will pay more for insurance! (again)", "Pre-existing condition? Go twist in the wind!" and "Ooops! Need life-saving treatment? Sorry...hit your lifetime limit" that may not play so well. Nor will it help that the insurance companies are already announcing that in any case they'd keep a lot of these in place...but having the influx of millions of new customers, many of whom are healthy, helps soften that blow. They may be less keen on President Mitt & the GOP Congress doing away with that mandate & those customers.
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Rowan aka: The Seticat: serious - able-to-survive - demen
User: seticat
Date: 2012-06-29 19:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:serious - able-to-survive - demen
Romney: He flips his positions and statements [as well as his memory of past actions] around faster then a wind sock in a tornado. It's been a while since there's been a candidate that's actually scared me as much as Romney.

Impeachment: let them finish with Holder first. I don't think they can multi-task.

'Derangement Syndrome'. I *like* that.
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User: lindadee
Date: 2012-06-29 23:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Well said! Have you thought about sending it to a newspaper as an op-ed piece?
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User: mmegaera
Date: 2012-06-30 04:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
My first thought was, I wonder if Roberts has someone he cares about personally who's been refused insurance or otherwise will benefit from this.

After all, it is the Republicans who want to keep the "other" from having the stuff they need. If he knows someone who needs it and isn't "other"...

I don't know what you'd call a thought like that, but it's the first thought I had.
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User: cissa
Date: 2012-07-07 07:15 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I am actually opposed to RomneyCare/ObamaCare, ever since Romney enacted it in my state (MA). It is not "health care reform"; it is more accurately described as "mandatory heath insurance" paid to- mostly for-profit companies. I can go into detail about the vast difference of these 2 phrases, especially as RomneyCare has been out into practice here in MA.

And "ObamaCare" IS RomneyCare; it's close to 100% identical.

Let's all call it "RomneyCare", just to give him the credit for the success of his mandate.
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