Nel's New Day

July 1, 2012

Conservatives React Strongly to SCOTUS Health Care Ruling

As the dust settles over the health care decision, the fallout continues. From 10:09 am last Thursday morning when both CNN and Fox erroneously announced that the health care act had been struck down to the great wailing and gnashing of teeth since then when regressives get TV time, the reaction has been extreme. Rush Limbaugh screamed on the Glenn Beck show, “Why can’t we appoint out own judges.” Oddly enough, Mr. Limbaugh, after Citizens United  I thought that was exactly what you had done.

From the wingnuts’ bitterness at what they perceive as the loss of freedom and liberty came the appalling statement from Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) equating the ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act to the September 11 terrorist attacks. This man is running for governor of Indiana. When criticized for this statement, he gave the usual half-baked apology: “I certainly did not intend to minimize any tragedy our nation has faced, and I apologize.” Nothing about how he was wrong in the extreme.

Tea Party members have called for violent revolution. Mississippi Tea Party Chairman Roy Nicholson wrote, “To resist by all means that are right in the eyes of God is not rebellion or insurrection, it is patriotic resistance to invasion.” Matthew Davis, an attorney and former Michigan Republican Party spokesman, wants armed insurrection.

Unhinged is probably the best description for some right-wing comments. I especially like “I’m moving to Canada” which might have been the progressives’ answer if the ACA had not been upheld because Canada has universal health care. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) wrote, “Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so.” Ben Shapiro compared the health care act to slavery. And Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) made this twisted statement: “When you create a right for somebody, you create an obligation for somebody else, and then you’re taking away that person’s right.”

Regressives look for a reason to Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision to align  with the Supreme Court moderates. Right-wing radio host Michael Savage, who called  autism a “phony disease,” explained that Roberts’ epilepsy caused his “cognitive dissociation” in the Obamacare ruling. Savage said, “Neurologists will tell you that medication used for seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, can introduce mental slowing, forgetfulness and other cognitive problems.”

Gov. Bobby Jindal (LA) thinks that Roberts might have been “playing to the editorial pages of the Washington Post and The New York Times. David Berstein suggested Roberts was coerced into ruling for the health care act because President Obama and “unidentified circles” threatened to “delegitimize the Supreme Court.” One desperate person concluded that President Obama and David Axelrod threatened to kill Roberts’ family. After the plot was discovered by a Secret Service agent, according to “Harry” at ToBeRight, Roberts will reverse his ruling when “Obama and Axelrod will be taken away in handcuffs.” That was three days ago; I’m still waiting.

Some complained that the law gave women an advantage. They said that it , complaining that men didn’t received free STI treatment and contraception. ACA doesn’t cover free STI treatment for anyone, and there is no reliable male hormonal contraception. It’s back to confusion about what the law says as well as an ignorance of female and male biology.

Right-wing governors assert that they will refuse to carry out the law. Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) said that he would not follow the provisions of the law until his attorney general—a Republican—reminded him that he was required to follow federal law. Govs. Rick Scott (FL), Bobby Jindal (LA), and Bob McDonell (VA) are some who just won’t bother to do anything about it as they work to elect Mitt Romney president in November. They ignore two factors: Romney can’t do anything about the health care act legally, and the federal government will devise the plan for health insurance exchanges if states which don’t have one by January 2013. They also ignore the fact that 80 percent of the people in the country actually want the health insurance exchanges.

Presently Chief Justice John Roberts is heading to Malta, an isolated island nation south of Italy, to teach a class for the next two weeks. He said, “Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea.” This may not be humor.

One message that keeps coming from small business is that employers won’t hire more than 50 people because above that the company has to provide health care or pay a fine. Fox pointed out the Joe Olivo, CEO of Perfect Printing in Moorestown (NJ), has this concern. NBC also cited John Olivo’s concerns. And MSNBC. And NPR. Olivo also testified in front of House and Senate committees.  As a representative of ALEC and Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS, Olivo may be the major business owner objecting to the ACA. In Delafield (WI), however, James Stoffer, owner of Wholly Cow Frozen Custard, said he was so happy after the ruling that he acted like a 10-year-old because the law will keep his premiums down. Stoffer evidently doesn’t belong to ALEC or Karl Rove.

The dissent statement reveals that Medicare would probably be gone if Roberts had sided with them. Approximately 100 million Medicare claims are processed each month using a formula that was altered by the Affordable Care Act. If the entire law were tossed, new rates could not be calculated under the old, pre-ACA formula until after a rulemaking process that can take months to complete. Medicare could not pay doctors for what would be many months, and Medicare systems would likely crash because its computers aren’t equipped with this backlog.

There is also a theory that the wording of the dissent indicates that the original decision might have been the opposite. Some experts believe that Roberts might have dissented but changed his mind at the last minute.

Although some people thought Justice Anthony Kennedy would be the swing vote, he was the driving force behind Citizens United; Roberts advocated for a less radical approach. Kennedy is a zealous supporter of forced arbitration decisions enabling corporations to force people into a corporate-run court system. He cast the key vote against Lilly Ledbetter and against equal pay for women in the workplace, and he voted to install George W. Bush as president.

Quotes from the left—or at least moderate world:

“What was and is really striking about the anti-reformers is their cruelty. It would be one thing if, at any point, they had offered any hint of an alternative proposal to help Americans with pre-existing conditions, Americans who simply can’t afford expensive individual insurance, Americans who lose coverage along with their jobs. But it has long been obvious that the opposition’s goal is simply to kill reform, never mind the human consequences. We should all be thankful that, for the moment at least, that effort has failed.” Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman 

“The only health care mandate they [conservatives] can embrace are transvaginal probes for women.”—Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley

“By requiring most residents to obtain insurance … the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] ensured that insurers would not be left with only the sick as customers. As a result, federal lawmakers observed, Massachusetts succeeded where other States had failed….  The Commonwealth’s reforms reduced the number of uninsured residents to less than 2%, the lowest rate in the Nation, and cut the amount of uncompensated care by a third…. In coupling the minimum coverage provision with guaranteed­ issue and community-rating prescriptions, Congress followed Massachusetts’ lead.”—Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her ruling

1 Comment »

  1. Malta does sound like a good idea.

    Like

    Comment by lynchly — July 1, 2012 @ 7:27 PM | Reply


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