Wednesday, June 20, 2012

When Fascism Comes to America, it will be as cruciferous vegetables



There is a tension in the air. No, I'm not talking about the new Breaking Dawn trailer. I'm talking about ACA, the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare aka Romneycare. The BIG ruling should be out soon.

Will it stand? Will it be severed – the mandate struck down but the rest left intact? Or will the whole thing be tossed out? Overall, I'm an ACA fan. It's not great but it was the best we could get with a split congress and conservative Democrats calling all the shots. 


I'm optimistic that the plan will stand.

Why? What are the alternatives? For all the convulsing on the right about European style socialism, this is THE conservative health care plan. It is the plan Bob Dole put up as an answer to Hillary Clinton's health care reform. It's the plan Romney pushed for and passed in Massachusetts. It is not single payer. There is no public option. All other possible plans are to the left of this.

We need reform. Our current system is morally and financially bankrupt. Presently, we have a health care system that structurally excludes the sick. Access to health insurance is limited to the healthy. Think about that. This is Alice in Wonderland. This is a fun-house mirror. Down is up, and left is right. It's a sick joke until you're the one being denied. Then, immediately, all funniness ends. 

Prior to recently enacted ACA reforms, having insurance was no guarantee of protection. Insurance companies could unleash teams of researchers to find evidence of fraud, like undisclosed teenage acne, to justify cancelling your insurance. That practice is now history and it needs to stay history.

If you examine the act issue by issue, ACA provisions are popular. Keep your kids on your insurance? Check! Eliminate exclusions based on preexisting conditions? Check! Provisions that cover preventative care? Check! The unpopular part is the insurance mandate, and that's the part that makes it all financially feasible. Strike that part down, and costs will shoot upward.

It's happened before. Back in the 90s, Washington state enacted reforms very similar to the ACA. As with the ACA, the mandate was the unpopular part and that one part was eventually repealed by the state legislature to disastrous results. Premiums costs exploded and insurers began fleeing the state. You can read a full account of this in The Washington Post here. Is that the nightmare scenario that SCOTUS is going to plunge the country into? I think not.

So what about striking the whole thing down? It's clear that many of the provisions are perfectly proper and constitutional. If the entire law is struck down there is no "more" conservative plan waiting in the wings to fix this mess. All viable alternatives are to the left of the ACA.


If increases in premium costs continue along the current curve, within 20 years annual premiums will exceed average family income. The system will become completely untenable long before then. A great man once said, “unsustainable systems cannot be sustained.” If this comes to pass, expect pressure for a single payer system or at least a public option to grow rapidly. And that is something the for profit insurance industry would find even more unacceptable than ACA. 


That is why I think the law will stand.

So if they can force you to buy health insurance, can they force you to buy broccoli? They tried this with Chris Christy. He just stuffed the broccoli with sausage, dipped them in pancake batter,  and deep fried it all in lard. Sometimes you can't get what you want. Sometimes you can't get what you need. Sometimes you just get what you deserve.


4 comments:

  1. Hey, those "teams of researchers" are half my readership!

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  2. To them I say "some day you're going to have to face the deep dark truthful mirror... "

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  3. I hope you're right but fear you're wrong.

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  4. Fascism is alive with the arrogant Sara Soto, now with Bressler, Amery & Ross. Sara Soto will defame and talk crap about anyone, especially those she does not know. She is an overweight nightmare and all should beware of this carzy, scorned woman. The lawyers at Bressler should watch out and be careful - she will soon start talking crap about them each.

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