Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's The End Of The World As We Know It...

No, not really.  Just the end of a free America as we know it:

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul.

The decision means the huge overhaul, still only partly in effect, will proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care. The ruling also hands Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Chief Justice John Roberts announced the court's judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

The justices rejected two of the administration's three arguments in support of the insurance requirement. But the court said the mandate can be construed as a tax. "Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts said.

There will be reams upon reams of analysis and comment over the coming days, and I'll be sure to post the best of it here.  For now, here's my rationale.

If the government can force its citizens to buy one thing, it can therefore force its citizens to buy (or not buy) anything.  Don't be surprised if we start seeing this case referenced as justification to force people to buy 'green' cars that cost more and aren't as good as what we'd like (there's a reason the sales of the Volt and Leaf number in the hundreds rather than the millions like most other cars).  So much for choice and freedom in how we spend our own money.  And, when you really boil it down, pretty much everything affects our health in some way.  What we eat, what we wear, where we live, how we live, where we drive, how much we drive, what we drive, what we breathe, what we drink, how much we eat, how much we drink, how much trash we produce, what we buy, what we don't buy, what we do for entertainment, where we go to school, where we work...the list is literally endless, and if this logic holds then the government can literally dictate any and all of these things to each and every one of us.

I'm curious to see what effect this decision has on the election.  The Obama administration is going to trumpet this as a major win, and it is for them.  However, it is a major win that 55-60% of the country didn't want two years ago and still doesn't want today.  Will this energize that huge majority of the nation and usher Obama and Congressional Dems to the door in yet another huge sweeping election victory?  Only time will tell.

I sincerely hope so, but the problem as I see it is that even if the GOP takes both houses of Congress and the White House, I'm not convinced they have the stones to repeal it.  It's one thing for the House to pass bill after bill to repeal when they know with certainty the Senate won't ever bother to vote, and even if they did the President would still veto.  If the GOP runs all three, then they will actually have to do it for real, and I question their spines to do that.

Again, time will tell.  More later.  For now, good-bye liberty.  The thought of my children growing up in this new world sickens me.

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