Early Mourning for the Soon-To-Be Late Affordable Care Act:
Oh, sweet liberals, allow the Rude Pundit to embrace you in this time of crisis, allow him to cradle you and offer succor, let him give you gentle rubs and tender tugs. Yes, the scales of blind justice are tilting right these days, and it seems as if our precious Affordable Care Act is not long for this world.
It was always going to be so because we didn't love it enough. The Obama administration failed, so incredibly, in showing the nation that what the law accomplished with its passage came out of the deeply Christian (and other faiths and just plainly human) idea of care of one's fellow men and women. It failed, so amazingly, to demonstrate on an ongoing basis, how, as each part was implemented, life was improving. And even those who voted for it failed, so sadly, to teach their constituents about how their lives would improve, with many losing their seats for running away like whipped dogs. Yes, liberal media figures did highlight tales: the family that got insurance for their kids, despite pre-existing conditions; the college student who was put back on her mother's insurance. Simply put, though, we lost the propaganda battle and thus we will probably lose the war. No, no, enough regret. Enough recrimination. Enough woulda and the hell with shoulda.
But admit it, oh, sweet liberals, to yourself first and then to all others: you hate the individual mandate. It was the ultimate capitulation to the very forces whose insatiable greed has harmed Americans, even those who have health insurance. This Republican idea, proposed by the Cato Institute, supported by Bob Dole back in the health care battles of the early 1990s, is government at the service of capitalism and obeisance to health insurance companies. We know that this was the wrong approach. We accepted it only because of all the other things that were accomplished because of its inclusion.
One thought, though: if we really, truly believe in President Obama as the master of ten-dimensional chess, then he had to know this was coming. Even back in 1994, conservative members of Congress were talking about challenging the constitutionality of any federally prescribed individual mandate. He had to know that, by front-loading so many of the real benefits for Americans in the bill, he would make it impossible for people to want to give it up wholesale. When the first story of a dying child having his health care taken away comes out if the Supreme Court declares the act unconstitutional, the fickle, idiot public will vote the opposite of 2010.
So, in the most optimistic reading of this series of events that led to the Supreme Court's three days of hearings, Obama knew that a conservative court would overturn the individual mandate. And that an eventual outcry would force Congress to either create Medicare for all or a public option.
But, no, no, these are not optimistic times. These are days where, in the name of freedom of the individual, the individual is crushed.