ObamaCare Looking Wobbly: More Considerations
On this topic as a note to my post on Obamacare yesterday: Oklahoma announced today that it will file its own suit following its adoption of an amendment to the state constitution disallowing intervention on its citizens health care decisions. Missouri will be doing like wise after its landslide vote against Obamacare. That's 29 states that have acted against the law. Democrats holding out for the law are banging on the chest of a dead patient. Keeping it up will bring more trouble than being part of replacing it.
Six more states have joined the Florida suit against Obamacare, making 26 of them. And Virginia has its own suit, which also cites its own law declaring its invulnerability to federal intervention. Last year, Missouri voted overwhelmingly not to be subject to it, and may bring its own suit. Oklahoma has expressed its own exception to the law. We are almost there and with surely more to come, 30 or more of the 50 states will register objection. Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito will probably vote to strike or drastically qualify ObamaCare. Ginsberg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan (if she doesn’t recuse herself) will probably support it. If there is a tie, around 30 states in opposition will give Anthony Kennedy A LOT to think about.
Before the bill was passed, I wrote that the big difference between a private insurer and a government payer is that to the private insurer you are a customer, while to the government you are only a cost: pleasing you is hardly of the essence. Obamacare bought off support of private insurers and pharmaceutical companies by mandating universal coverage and mandating that all citizens purchase healthcare (which was the major constitutional objection of the suits). Private insurers are not made up of charitable people. They have to serve a market. BUT WAIT A MINUTE! If citizens are mandated to buy their plan, that need to serve is severely undercut and the individual’s status as a cost is severely magnified. The government has increased insurers’ costs with prescriptions about coverage, while transferring government’s lack of incentive to them.
The insurers must profit at the front because if the program were fully implemented, they would not long survive. But, it won’t be fully implemented. It’s too complex and impracticable to be, even if it were not killed or dramatically modified. But, it will be. Even Democrats are admitting that changes must be made. The House has passed a repeal. In The Senate, Harry Reid wants to avoid bringing the bill up, but Mitch McConnell has other ideas. Democrats could possibly lose Missouri’s Claire McCaskell, Nebraska’s Ben Nelson, and maybe Florida’s Bill Nelson, all up for reelection in 2012. But given Joe Biden’s tie-breaking vote, one more would be required to force Democrats to a filibuster. Kent Conrad has announced that he won’t run for reelection in 2012, but I wouldn’t count on him going out by defying the party and its president. So, a fourth would have to come from one up for reelection who’s been made nervous, like Jon Tester in Montana or Debbie Stabenow in Michigan. In any case, Obama would veto it, but I would like for him to have to. Let him defend it in his own reelection in 2012.
On Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi sloppily reported HHS Secretary Sibelius’s new analysis finding that up to 129 million Americans have a condition that could be considered a preexisting condition for which they could be denied coverage without the Affordable Care Act (what is called “Obamacare”). Said Pelosi agaist the repeal, “129 million Americans have a preexisting condition…” Of course by the Democrats’ own numbers, there are around 45 million uninsured, which reduces to around 12 million when you don’t count those who qualify but have not registered for other programs or who could but simply choose not to buy insurance. Simply put, the vast majority of that 129 million are insured and still more are coverable under existing programs. And incidentally, 129 million is nearing half the population of the country.
I just hope Republicans don’t fall into an old habit of offering a cheaper but still bad or unconstitutional program that will be headed for failure for which they will be blamed. They shouldn’t try to keep the “goodies” that they think people like. Sure, people like things that sound too good to be true because they are too good to be true. Families and communities can devise ways to care for people with conditions no insurer will cover or which can’t be afforded. But for the federal government to try to do that is unconstitutional, unaffordable, and just dumb. Challenge states and localities to devise such plans and arrange for funds to stay close to home. Democrats won’t like that because it deprives them of power but A) their way is unconstitutional, wasteful and inefficient and B) like the marchers in European streets, Democrats have not come to terms with the fact that THERE IS NO MONEY!