Thursday, March 29, 2012
Political Reality and the Supreme Court
Our country is the only modern Western country that doesn't consider health care a right but privilege that only comes when you have an employer to provide the benefit or when you turn age 65. What was passed in 2009 was minimal in addressing the health care issue in this country. We will someday have a "Medicare for all" type of single payer system because our present system is breaking down. Employer provided health insurance coverage is now coming with large deductibles and other changes to lessen the financial burden on employers. We have the worst of both worlds---expensive health care and fewer people with insurance to access the system.
It is sad to see the ideological divide that we have in this country being played out in the Supreme Court. It is apparent that even supposedly "impartial" judges using legal rationales as cover for their political opinions. The Bush v. Gore was the first indication of this Court's politicization.
For the past couple of weeks I have been reading a book on James Madison and the Constitutional Convention. Hearing the arguments this week in the Supreme Court made me think of passages from the book. One of the key debates in that Convention was how strong the Federal Government should be. The delegates saw how the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation divided the States against each other and threatened the safety of the States from foreign intervention. State rights threatened the "general welfare." In a similar way I see the opposition to the individual mandate of the health care program as also ignoring the general welfare. It was reassuring to finally hear Justice Kennedy say that health care maybe one of those "special circumstances" that makes a mandate necessary and constitutional. Maybe that and the 45,000 needless deaths each year.
Posted by duanestclair at 4:22 AM