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
Wow! The PPACA decision by the U.S. Supreme Court has caught me looking like the “deer in the headlights”. Obviously this decision is opposite what I expected it was going to be, and it is opposite on completely different grounds than I had expected.
Everyone, well almost everyone, was discussing this case on the basis of the ‘Commerce’ clause in the Constitution, and the idea this was a ‘tax’ was decried by Nancy Pelosi and by President Obama and his Whitehouse. Intentionally, the word “tax” is not anywhere to be found in the thousands of pages of PPACA. Whitehouse attorney’s decided their only hope was to argue that the PPACA requirement of everyone buying health insurance was a tax since it was obvious from questioning by the Justices that the ‘Commerce’ clause defense was destined to fail.
What are the implications of today’s decision? In no particular order:
Ø >Chief Justice Roberts has shown that he can be the ‘swing’ Justice since it was his move that decided this case as it was decided.
Ø >President Obama has received a significant boost so far as a campaign theme.
Ø > > The cost explosion this will provoke in the health care industry will be phenomenal, as people avoid buying insurance until they are ill while fewer and fewer people will feel so obligated as a matter of ‘fairness’.
Ø >The availability of and access to physicians will grow worse and worse as reimbursement amounts decline and as physicians become booked months ahead instead of days and weeks ahead.
Ø >Anything can now likely be defined as a ’tax’ so there is no limit to what Congress can do TO us while claiming it is a tax.
Ø >This issue becomes a centerpiece in the election of the next President assuming that conservatives who were ‘on-the-fence’ so far as the Republican nominee coalesce around Romney who represents the only alternative to the newly approved ‘single payer’ health care system; since the insurers will leave the marketplace rather than perish under bad risk and government policies that are ultimately intended to destroy the present system of third-party payment, I suspect that Romney will become the darling of that group which will see it as an alternative to the current options. The opposition to PPACA was a significant piece of the voting public standing at about 49% in some polls and as much as 57% in others. The supporters of PPACA were typically at about two-thirds of those opposed; if that translates into Presidential votes, this could be the seminal piece in electing a new President.
Ø > Gov. Walker will need to potentially rethink the delay in creating a state-run Exchange.
Ø >Smaller employers will find the provision of health care coverage less attractive.
Ø >Finally, this really and truly opens the door to all kinds of social justice legislation and there will be many such bills introduced over the next few years. The ability of our economy to withstand these kinds of programs will be strained, and the look and feel of Europe will be more and more something we can identify with and ‘appreciate’.