As the Supreme Court prepares for health care, the politics of our health care won’t skip a beat. No matter what’s decided, nothing’s going to change. Let’s be honest, the issues many have against the Affordable Care Act isn’t even about health care, or you.
This is all about the Constitution, and the courts that interpret it.
ScotusBlog puts together an epic series of posts on the Affordable Care Act, focusing on the real nuts and bolts of what the Supreme Court will review, and in terms of information quality, a worthy hour to invest as the oral arguments start today. This blog reflects the best part of the internet. It’s a worthy site that actually provides information to its readers on SCOTUS.
The legislative, executive, and judicial reach of the ACA offers plenty of political ammunition, serves as a warning for future division and strife, and forces the hand of the GOP to address their health care platform in the face of stricter conservatives. They also have to deal with that Romney thing, too.
The ACA isn’t really evil. It’s just a poor law that needs changes. While some might cheer if SCOTUS reverses Florida v. US Dept. of Health and Human Services (pdf), it doesn’t mean the law that was passed was the right kind of law for our country. There are good parts of the law, but to accept all of it, instead of a smarter bill, is poor legislation, poor leadership, and more politics.
And for those who think ACA is some kind of ritual sacrifice to statists and communists, it’s not. The ACA is basically the old GOP plan, back when Dems were more conservative, and GOPers were reasonably moderate.
One thing is certain. This law is an unprecedented effort to regulate commerce in a way that has more to do with nuance rather than intent of the Constitution. It is the showpiece to what modern government is and will be for decades onward. The question is if voters still want all the benefits of this system. The ACA reflects a real test of this idea that people want government in their lives.
Is it in our general welfare, or a regulation of commerce for our benefit? Are there contracts? How does one validate a health insurance policy? Not to be too conspiratorial, but putting your insurance group # and ID on a tax form is rather invasive. Add to that the process of verifying a claim of insurance, and you’ve got a legal question waiting to occur.
But with all the opposition to the ACA, here’s the kicker about mandates. I support them. I like the idea that it should be a requirement for everyone to cover their health, as much as I want people to insure their car. But ACA’s requirements for coverage are far above and beyond what a simple catastrophic coverage rider could accomplish for everyone.
For the millions of Americans who are uninsured, many are also purposely uninsured. Out-of-pocket isn’t against the law, is it?
And so what if I’m healthy and happy?
Can one declare their independence from the messy bureaucracy of healthcare? What’s missing from the massive world of over-the-counter drugs, good health habits, herbal remedies and bed rest that do not require the health system to intervene with their forms and mailed billing?
Can we use some of the mandate money to pay for better hospital food?
And if religion is an exception to the mandate, then let’s have a revival, shall we? If companies and unions can get exemptions by threatening to drop their current coverage plans due to the ACA baseline, then we should also create corporations of ourselves (as corporations are people), and receive better treatment under the law, and save a few bucks on our health insurance.
In the end, it may not matter what is decided this week. The Supreme Court will use judicial activism, it just depends on who wins or not. The law is upheld, GOP calls foul. The law is rejected, the Dems call foul.
Either way, we’re still without a decent health care reform package.