Going off of the rails on the crazy train…
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over two years since the Affordable Care Act, our beloved Obamacare, was signed into law. After all, the sky is still up, right?
Today’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of Obamacare is exactly what happens when the right challenges the constitutionality of a law that was supported, endorsed, and championed by a president who is a constitutional scholar: they get their asses handed to them. The result has been predictable, even if the SCOTUS ruling was not.
The ruling says that Obamacare, and more specifically, the personal responsibility mandate, not because it is allowed under the Commerce Clause of the constitution but because it is basically a tax for not having health insurance. The federal government is allowed to enact such a tax.
So, of course, the immediate response by the right was to say that Obama has “raised taxes on the middle class”.
Except, of course, that he hasn’t.
Our experience also demonstrates that getting every citizen insured doesn’t have to break the bank. First, we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others. This doesn’t cost the government a single dollar.
Here he is in February of THIS year, for Goddess’ sake:
Whether you like it or not like it, it was seen as conservative to say that individuals who could pay for insurance should either buy their own insurance or help the state pay for their cost if they become ill but people shouldn’t be able to go to the hospital and expect government to pay for them. So we can have a discussion as to whether it’s conservative or not conservative but our view was that individuals had a responsibility to care for themselves, a personal responsibility.
And then, today, he had this to say:
Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obamacare cuts Medicare, cuts Medicare, by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts, and tax increases, Obamacare adds trillions to our deficits and to our national debt and pushes those obligations on to coming generations. Obamacare also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep. Obamacare is a job killer. Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact is of Obamacare. Three quarters of those surveyed by the Chamber of Commerce said Obamacare makes it less likely for them to hire people. And perhaps most troubling of all, Obamacare puts the federal government between you and your doctor.
There are so many blatant lies in this statement that it’s no wonder that the British paper Guardian wrote recently that Mitt Romney’s public lying is unprecedented:
Granted, presidential candidates are no strangers to disingenuous or overstated claims; it’s pretty much endemic to the business. But Romney is doing something very different and far more pernicious. Quite simply, the United States has never been witness to a presidential candidate, in modern American history, who lies as frequently, as flagrantly and as brazenly as Mitt Romney.
It’s a must-read piece that suggests that maybe the distance of an ocean is needed for journalists to see the reality we’re dealing with. Romney’s statement today is nearly all a complete lie. Typical of Romney, he gave his statement and then left without taking questions from the press.
The Obama campaign responded appropriately, calling Romney’s position “callous”:
Mitt Romney had an opportunity to rise to the occasion today and tell the American people specifically how he would move the nation forward on health care and ensure people get the care they need. Yet, once again, he squandered that opportunity. Instead of explaining how he would ensure costs don’t go up and health benefits are protected, Romney promised to repeal the President’s health reform law and take America back to the same old political battles of the past. He is completely unmoved by what that would do to millions of middle-class families, women, seniors and young Americans who are today benefiting from the law. Romney’s promise to repeal the law would give insurance companies free rein to exploit Americans through the worst industry abuses, strip 86 million Americans of often life-saving preventive care, cost 3.1 million young Americans of their coverage by kicking them off their parents’ plans, allow insurance companies to discriminate against kids with preexisting conditions, and increase prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare.
Just six years ago, before Mitt Romney decided to run for president, he passed a law in Massachusetts that achieved universal coverage for the citizens of that state through an individual mandate and tax penalty. That law became the model for the President’s health reform law. Now, as he is running for president, Romney has run away from his accomplishment in Massachusetts, callously promising to repeal national reform and “kill it dead.” He owes the American people a clear, non-parsed explanation of why he believes his decisions in Massachusetts are wrong for the country, and exactly what he would do to help the American people get the health care they need. – Jim Messina, Campaign Manager, Obama for America
Meanwhile, the talking heads on Fox News are crowing about how Obama is raising taxes on the middle class which is the most Orwellian description of Obamacare you could imagine. They should probably be careful with that particular lie because if it’s true, their candidate for president did the same in Massachusetts.
Eric Cantor and John Boehner are promising yet another vote to repeal Obamacare on July 11. Not content to take their loss and move on, they are doubling down on their “Do Nothing But Obstruct” approach in Congress that will, of course fail. Even people not paying attention know that (a) the Senate is controlled by Democrats and (b) President Obama will never sign such a law. Meanwhile, no action on a jobs plan for Americans.
The GOP sent out this tweet which contradicts the sign in front of Romney during his comments today that read “Repeal and Replace”:
— GOP (@GOP) June 28, 2012
Actually, what has happened was a “fullrepudiation” of the GOP and their abhorrent position. But that hasn’t stopped them from flogging the #fullrepeal mantra all day. Clearly they are willing to sacrifice millions of Americans and their health, maybe even their lives, to take back power.
It’s verging on treason.
Some on the right are now tweeting that, with this SCOTUS decision, they will now move to Canada.
Taxes went up again thanks to #Obama if this bum gets reelected I'm moving to Canada
— Tom Sestito (@TomSestito23) June 28, 2012
Right. Canada. Home of universal, single-payer healthcare, same-sex marriage and higher taxes than the USA. Go Galt, you dumbasses. We insist.
By the way, there’s a bit of irony in the fact that the left-leaning Supreme Court justices were joined by Chief Justice John Roberts. Roberts was appointed by George W. Bush. Then-Senator Barack Obama voted against his confirmation. Funny how things work out, isn’t it.
The right’s exploding head carnival would be a pleasure to watch if it were so screwed up that they would do harm to so many people merely to get Barack Obama out of office. The days when small-town values of all of us looking out for each other have evaporated, replaced by a callous “I’ve got mine, die if you don’t get yours” mentality.
One final thing: the hypocrisy coming from the right on the SCOTUS decision is rich and deep. For years, we’ve heard endlessly about the sanctity of the constitution and how the left-leaning judges are “activist”. Now that one of theirs, John Roberts, has upheld the constitution, they are calling for his head. Apparently you can only be an “activist judge” if you disagree with the tea party credo.
The most comical example of this came from one of the elites of tea party, Senator Rand Paul, who issued this statement:
Just because a couple people on the Supreme Court declare something to be ‘constitutional’ does not make it so. The whole thing remains unconstitutional. While the court may have erroneously come to the conclusion that the law is allowable, it certainly does nothing to make this mandate or government takeover of our health care right.
Actually, Senator, it does “make it so”. Look it up.
It’s in the constitution.
UPDATE: Actually, it’s not in the constitution. It’s the result of a case decided in 1803 called Marbury v. Madison:
“It is emphatically the province and duty of the Judicial Department [the judicial branch] to say what the law is. Those who apply the rule to particular cases must, of necessity, expound and interpret that rule. If two laws conflict with each other, the Courts must decide on the operation of each.
So, if a law [e.g., a statute or treaty] be in opposition to the Constitution, if both the law and the Constitution apply to a particular case, so that the Court must either decide that case conformably to the law, disregarding the Constitution, or conformably to the Constitution, disregarding the law, the Court must determine which of these conflicting rules governs the case. This is of the very essence of judicial duty. If, then, the Courts are to regard the Constitution, and the Constitution is superior to any ordinary act of the Legislature, the Constitution, and not such ordinary act, must govern the case to which they both apply.
Those, then, who controvert the principle that the Constitution is to be considered in court as a paramount law are reduced to the necessity of maintaining that courts must close their eyes on the Constitution, and see only the law [e.g., the statute or treaty].
This doctrine would subvert the very foundation of all written constitutions.”
Thanks to everyone who commented or sent an email to set me straight on this. And Rand Paul is still a fool who doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.
[CC photo credit: NuclearWarfare | Wikimedia Commons]