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The Expansionist
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
 
The Poison Pills in Obamacare. Barack Obama's sad need to be loved by everybody, which derives from his biracial family background and his determination to win over everybody on both sides of the (racial, and now political) divide, caused him to compromise away the essence of a law to create universal healthcare. He surrendered — not compromised: surrendered — on single-payer coverage paid for from general revenues thru increased taxes on the rich and super-rich. He surrendered on "public option". Then he accepted two poison pills. The lesser was taxing "Cadillac" health plans — reducing some people's healthcare benefits to fund other people's. But the far worse poison pill was the individual mandate, forcing people to buy insurance from private companies even if they don't want to. That is plainly unconstitutional, and hugely unpopular. He then compounded these two substantive poison pills with a third, procedural poison pill, pushing off the effective date of the change to 2014, well after he could rely on a Democratic Congress. Unsurprisingly, he will already have lost a dominantly Democratic Congress, in large part BECAUSE of his poisonous healthcare plan, by 2011!
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You really have to ask, "Was Obama ever sincere about wanting universal healthcare, or was it all a charade?"
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Plainly poison should not be part of a healthcare plan. But Obama put three poison pills into his bill. The Supreme Court is very likely to find that the Federal Government does NOT have the authority to compel private persons to spend their private, after-tax moneys they do not wish to spend, on insurance placed with private companies that they do wish to do business with. Obama knew the Supreme Court is controlled by Republican Conservatives, yet he inserted a provision that is almost certain to be voided by that very Court.
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Then what? Does the Court sever the individual-mandate portion of the law from other, constitutionally unobjectionable parts, which then are permitted to take effect? Or does the Court void the entire law on the basis that a central provision is unconstitutional? — as it plainly is. Many state attorneys-general have filed a suit to void the universal mandate provision. I don't know if they wish to have that provision severed from other provisions, or to have the entire law voided.
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If the entire law is struck down, it's back to Square One. Great.
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But maybe this time we'll do things right, and push for single–payer financed by higher taxes on the obscenely rich, so we can rejoin the civilized world. Republicans will fite that, but the PEOPLE want it. If Obama goes to the people — who might have lost the popular provisions that have already gone into effect, so be fiting mad — and refuses to compromise, but takes it to the electorate in 2012 (long before the main features of the insanely bad healthcare bill was to have gone into effect), he might win re-election and a massively Democratic new Congress.
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If he does not fite for us, and the Democrats do not fite for us, we will continue to have 45,000 Americans dying each year from lack of health insurance, and 45- to 50 million Americans being sicker and weaker than they should be because they do not get healthcare. (It is not true that everyone gets healthcare, as thru emergency rooms. Tens of millions of people suffer illness or injuries they should be treated for.)
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This is a very sad time in human history, when the United States has turned its back on progress and let the worst of us get the best of us.



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