The Widdershins

Feminist Friday: The 8 Million and 12th Reason For Single-Payer Health Care Is…

Posted on: March 30, 2012

So that the Health Care Bill you create won’t be in the hands of f*cktards like this guy.

It appears from this week’s discussions at the Supremely Conservative Court, that Obama’s Health Whatever Bill is soon to be either overturned, or eviscerated to the point that it can’t pay for the few enhancements it actually offers. The Huffington Post reports:

“Shock and awe” best describes the reaction of legislators and commentators upon hearing the Supreme Court’s closing day of arguments on the constitutionality of Obama’s health care legislation. Democrats as well as the beltway media had assumed the bill was safe, thinking that the legislation fit firmly under the Congressional power of the Interstate Commerce Clause and that justices would be wary of repercussions of single-handedly dismantling the most expansive social legislation since the creation of Medicare.

How wrong they were. From the same justices that brought you Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (the decision that ruled that corporations, like individuals, are protected by the first amendment, which resulted in the unleashing of a wave of super PACS in this year’s elections) and Bush v. Gore, now comes the very real possibility of the end of health care reform.

(snip)

Reporters, commentators and Democratic legislators were stunned by the Court’s turn. CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called today “a train wreck for the Obama administration.” Toobin said, “this morning was unbelievable. It was like a given that they’re throwing out the mandate. Anthony Kennedy was like, ‘Well, when we throw out the mandate…’ — Do you know what a huge deal that is?” Although shaken, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid warned that we couldn’t draw any conclusions yet, saying that justices ask lots of questions in many different directions, but that doesn’t mean they’ve made up their minds.

The logistical problem is that if the Court strikes down the mandate, the rest of the law may unravel for financial reasons. Obama’s new citizen protections, such a requirement that insurance companies cover people with pre-existing conditions, a ban on charging more for those with complicated health problems and the removal of insurance payout caps on medical services, are all supported by the insurance premiums of new people entering the market through the mandate.

You have to wonder if these Beltway Bozos ever read anything they don’t already agree with, or listen to their Republican colleagues during those long, LONG sessions in the House and Senate. “Obamacare” has been in their sights since 2010 (the Tea Party won many seats because of its promise to overturn the hated “socialist” bill), and they all seemed pretty confident that their friends on the Supreme Court would grant their desires. Were the Democrats truly so naive that they thought people like Scalia would actually consider the bill on its merits? Or are they just mugging for the cameras? Either way, it’s a truly pitiful sight to see the way both Parties have made a horrible joke out of such an incredibly important issue.

But many single-payer advocates aren’t upset. They are hopeful that the probable destruction of the Health Whatever Bill will lead to the change the system really needs: a bill that truly overhauls the way Americans pay for, and access, health care.

Premiums in “Obamacare” are based on a large pool of both healthy and unhealthy people sharing the costs of insurance for all. This is much like the car insurance pools many states have, which make sure that insurance is available to all.

If you take away the larger pool, all that is left are the people with conditions that require ongoing care, or are more prone to diseases, such as the elderly. In other words, the most expensive customers in the health insurance market make up the bulk of the pool. For insurance companies to continue to pay claims and still make a profit, they will have to raise premiums dramatically.

So how does this lead to a U.S. single payer healthcare system?

In a relatively short period of time, millions more Americans will not be able to afford health insurance. Even people who get insurance through there employers may have to drop coverage as increasing premiums are passed along through payroll deductions. With pressure on politicians to solve the problem of health care for few but the wealthy, they may have few options other than to turn to an expansion of Medicare and Medicaid.

While some might say this is an overly optimistic take on the situation, I think it’s actually pretty realistic. If you talk to anyone who has experience in the health care industry (not the health INSURANCE industry), they will all say the same thing: health care costs in America are rising at a rate that is untenable. If they continue to rise unchecked, then the industry will implode within just a few years because they won’t have enough paying customers to survive. That’s why the insurance industry allowed the Health Whatever Bill to pass: they got lifelong income, guaranteed – AND they didn’t have to conform to any sort of pricing standards. It was a huge win for them; they could buy themselves a few more years of relevancy before they retired to their chalets on the French Riviera.

In any case, when health insurance does self-destruct in an orgy of greed, so will our current for-profit system. What will come next? I don’t know about you, but I plan to make a lot of noise about Medicare for All. It’s just tragic that our political system is so corrupted, that it might take a countrywide crisis for us to do what every other civilized country has done for decades.

This is an open thread. (Widdershins Lounge tonight – drinks, soft and hard, for all!)

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23 Responses to "Feminist Friday: The 8 Million and 12th Reason For Single-Payer Health Care Is…"

Sadly, the Supremes have deteriorated into political hacks. Now I have never deluded myself that all justices are Sandra Day O’Connors-in-waiting who could listen and rule fairly. Most of them reflect the politics of the president who appointed them. That said, Scalia sounds more and more like a Fox commentator and less and less like a jurist,

Great post Madamab, and I am damn glad to see you back in action!

The Tea Party has been in a frenzy over this bill.

The Right has sunk millions into ensuring its defeat.

The “behind the scenes” money lenders have financed both with the
“one term” promise to destroy Obama at all costs. Matters not that only a few short years ago the GOP backed this bill and You Tube has video to prove it.

No surprise if this goes down to defeat. Thomas’s wife is a member of the Tea Party and though he sits there like the Sphinx session after session, he is a guarantee vote for whatever the Republican Party mandates in his rulings.

But to me the overall message is this: we just don’t give a rat’s ass about anybody else. As long as “I’ve got mine, to hell with those who do not”.

This bill may have its flaws but it did manage to give some hope to those with pre existing conditions. But somebody will have to pay in the long run and it will be the bulk of us when prices continue to rise and the deductibles become a joke.

Either way it is a “win win” for the insurance industry.

Most of [the Supreme Court justices] reflect the politics of the president who appointed them.

How true, Chat. I’ve been a Court watcher for close to 40 years now and I can’t believe how ideological it’s become. It’s rare to get a decision that’s not 5-4, split right along political lines. It’s all so predictable.

Compare that to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. It was decided 7-2, with five of the justices in favor having been appointed by Republican presidents. Some 20 years later, Planned Parenthood v. Casey was decided 5-4, with Sandra Day O’Connor (bless her heart!) casting the swing vote.

This was the plan all along. The Republicans duped President Compromise into taking single-payor off the table in exchange for the mandate which they knew they could successfully challenge in court. How was that “brilliant Constitutional lawyer” so easily fooled when we saw this coming? This is the result of the learning curve we anticipated when the party forced Obama down our throats. I don’t believe Obama today would fall for it, but inexperienced, “I can make the Republicans love me”, Obama played right into their hands, and we’re all the worse off for it.

janicen: Bingo! I think you hit the nail on the head.

By renaming it “Obamacare” they further pushed the meme of “one term” by shifting the “blame” and exonerating their own obstructionism.

Remember, a few years ago they “loved it” but today, not so much.

It does work here in MA regardless of Romney. Not saying it is the best alternative when UHC would have been better but certainly not what they are promoting.

Whether he was duped by Repubs or complicit with the insurance industry, Obama’s failure ln this issue was inexcusable. He could have expanded Medicare and Medicaid in the first 100 days of his Presidency. Had he done so, he’d be sailing into a second term with a high approval rating, having resolved one of our country’s most outstanding and shameful problems.

#6: He may not be the most “expert negotiator” but the GoP was determined to throw up every roadblock available to oppose him.

In all honesty, the last 12 years has illustrated that few in DC were ever working for the average citizen.

Just one big ongoing game of political ping pong in a never ending battle for power above all else.

@7 – Oh, without a doubt. Their hypocrisy on this issue knows no bounds. This is the Heritage Foundation plan that Mitt Romney implemented in your fair state…which now the GOP claims is unconstitutional. Good grief!

Hey waitaminute…if this individual mandate is unconstitutional, would it throw out the MA law as well?

It seems as if the Supremes are determined to wipe out the individual mandate and as has been said, if they take that out I don’t think the rest can stand alone.

However, I was reading this article last night and I”l throw in a few snippets.

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/03/us_supreme_court_justices_meet.html

They will meet in a wood-paneled conference room on the court’s main floor. No one else will be present.

In the weeks after this meeting, individual votes can change. Even who wins can change, as the justices read one another’s draft opinions and dissents.

But Friday’s vote, which each justice probably will record and many will keep for posterity, will be followed soon after by the assignment of a single justice to write a majority opinion, or in a case this complex, perhaps two or more justices to tackle different issues. That’s where the hard work begins, with the clock ticking toward the end of the court’s work in early summer.

The uncertainty may be especially pronounced in this case, where the views of Roberts and Kennedy are likely to decide the outcome, Kerr said in an interview Thursday. “I don’t think anyone knows. I’m not sure Justice Kennedy knows.”

No one’s vote counts more than the others’, but because they speak in order of seniority, it will become clear fairly quickly what will become of the health care overhaul.

That’s because Roberts speaks first, followed by Scalia, then Kennedy. If the three men hold a common view, the Obama health care overhaul probably is history. If they don’t, it probably survives.

If Roberts is in the majority, he will assign the main opinion, and in a case of this importance, he may well write it himself, several former law clerks said. If Roberts is a dissenter, the senior justice in the majority assigns the opinion.

These justices aren’t locked in. Minds have changed during the drafting process and minds have changed after opinions have been circulated,” said Rick Garnett, associate dean and professor of law at Notre Dame Law School who worked for Rehnquist 15 years ago.

In one celebrated case decided in 1992, Rehnquist initially assigned Kennedy to write a majority opinion for five justices allowing prayers at public school graduations. In the end, Kennedy ended up writing the opinion for a different five-justice majority striking down the graduation prayers. According to several accounts, Kennedy simply changed his mind during the writing process.

Didn’t meant this to be so long but wanted to throw out the salient points in case no one goes to read the link.

Personally, I liked Jon Stewart’s *imagined* take on how the S.C. hearings went. (wish I could embed this!)

http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-march-29-2012/march-29–2012—pt–2

It really is shocking to see what the USSC has become. Their true colors shone in neon with Bush v. Gore, and they’re not slowing down.

DYB@11: Hey stranger!!! Where ya been?

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing, Fredster!

The Court has not improved with age, has it? Still, Fredster has a point that just because they seem to be poised to overturn the individual mandate now, that doesn’t mean the “swing” justices have been convinced.

I don’t know though – the signs are not good.

Hey Fredster! Just working. Ugh!

OT, did you see Current TV has fired Keith Olbermann!

http://theclicker.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/30/10945071-current-tv-fires-keith-olbermann?chromedomain=entertainment

D: I was just getting ready to put in a link from Uppity’s about Keith.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/30/keith-olbermann-out-current-eliot-spitzer_n_1392513.html?ref=media

I hope he ends up selling used cars.

I just heard about the latest firing of KO. Boy, has this guy got issues or what?

I can give a little insight to what I saw over the last few months.

The Friday before Christmas week he announced they would be doing a week of reruns of his show. I thought that was kind of weird but Current is a rather “new” network so I let it pass.

He never returned from Christmas break until mid January during that time there were others filling in that time slot.

Then they announced that Cenk Urygur was joining the lineup to start around then with Jennifer Granholm to pick up the 9pm slot.

Keith did not cover the elections and his apppearances were sporadic, one appearance on a Monday, than not another until Thursday, I was pretty inconsistent.

I read an article that the was “unhappy” last Fall. That the production values were not up to his “standards”. The network quietly responded that they were paying him 10 million dollars, that most of their budget was being sunk into his show, and that they designed the set to his liking but they were broadcasting from an old studio because they were essentially a start up network for going live.

So Keith was eating up most of their budget but continued to rant and rave off camera about “everything”. He began with the network I believe sometime in late April 2011 and began to feel “constrained” by Sept/Oct of the same year.

They brought on Cenk (whom I love!) followed by Granholm (who I don;t watch because she is opposite Rachel) and they seem to be broadcasting out of a small studio that is nowhere near MSMBC for production value.

But KO is KO. Spoiled, arrogant, entitled and manic. How many networks has he been fired from now?

Next stop: PBS Sprouts?

Pat: Well I know of ESPN and MSNBC, and now Current.

We don’t have it here or in nola on the cable lineup.

Did all of y’all who are able to, get your Mega Millions tickets?

They don’t sell them in Al and I wasn’t driving to the Georgia border just to stand in line for hours.

I’m in an office pool for the Mega Millions. I might buy a few for myself. But you know chances are not fabulous, right?

Oh and Keith, he is such an entitled prima donna. I wonder who would hire him now. He might have to start his own network, like Oprah did.

DYB said: I might buy a few for myself. But you know chances are not fabulous, right?

In case you do win, remember I was always your best friend evah! :lol:

Minx, somehow spammy got you and I have no idea why. You’re released now. YOU’RE FREE, FREE!!!

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