cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Another Supreme Court decision-announcement day has come and gone with nothing mentioned about PPACA (a/k/a ObamaCare). It now appears that we’ll wait until either next Monday or as late as next week Thursday before learning what the justices have decided in this case.
The wait reminded me of the extremely widespread reach that ObamaCare has already in our society, and of the difficulty in reining it in if that, in fact, is the decision taken by the Supreme Court.
That this law was passed in the dark of night without anyone knowing the details (including those whose job it was to vote it up or down) is bad enough. There are still things being learned almost daily about ObamaCare, and I suspect that will continue for years if this law is permitted to stand in part or in toto. Significant dollars, some $500 Billion, is to be cut from Social Security spending for example, and that comes in the form of reduced payments to providers for services rendered. That will obviously force many doctors to simply end their provision of services to Medicare patients. Then patients will queue up in line waiting for appointments, etc., etc. from the few remaining providers. We have already begun to see this impact. There are practices today that are no longer accepting new Medicare patients. Programs such as Medicare Advantage, now used by some 25% or more of the people covered by Medicare, will be put out of business.
Things, like the definition of a dependent child being made age 26 instead of age 25, while relatively minor, still carries with it a cost increase, since those are services that weren’t previously covered by group health or individual health care plans. The small penalty extracted for late enrollment does little to curtail people from delaying election of health insurance coverage until it is needed. That increases everyone’s cost since the younger, healthier population is no longer paying into the broad pool of money necessary to pay for all the services required. That is among the reasons that the requirement to buy insurance coverage is such a critical component of the Court’s decision. If that is ruled unconstitutional, then the funding required for ObamaCare almost certainly cannot be found and the program will crash and burn.
The intentional avoidance by Congress of including a ‘severability clause’ could be the one thing that would contribute to a Court decision to kill ObamaCare in its entirety since the funding simply would not be found without the requirement that everyone must buy into the program.
This is but the tip of the iceberg so far as ObamaCare is concerned. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services was quoted in the past day or two of saying that her department would continue to roll out ObamaCare no matter what the U. S. Supreme Court announces as its decision. That is quite blatant but I have little reason to doubt the Secretary given her past zeal to implement, and the Administration has not been shy about making decisions on its own by fiat. It doesn’t seem to think that it needs laws to be made by Congress, and it has succeeded in some cases in doing just that.
The Obama Administration recognizes that there is a point of no return out there in the not too distant future. If enough of ObamaCare can be instituted, it will effectively be the end of attempts to rein it in since it will be so deeply entrenched in so much we do as to be impossible to end. That is why the DHHS Secretary said what she did.
The delay of the Court’s announcement could be caused by almost anything. I suspect that the Court realizes that it will come under heavy criticism no matter the ruling, and will make this case the final announced decision since the furor will be huge following the announcement. The former Speaker of the House, who fancies herself a student of the Constitution, tells us that the Court cannot overturn the law since it is obviously constitutional. Others tell us the opposite. If this is to be struck down, that must be made known as soon as possible, with requirements to end the program made quite definite (with specific dates, etc.) by the Court’s decision. If there is any wishy-washy language in this decision, that will perpetuate the Obama Administration’s effort to surreptitiously implement this program without regard to law.
The November election will prove to have come too late if DHSS and the Administration are permitted to continue to pursue implementation even a day beyond the Court’s ruling. We might have a new President come next January 20th, but that would not affect ObamaCare since so much that we don’t generally understand, or even know about, will have already been put into place.