Felicia Muftic: Obamacare is political fodder
April 3, 2012
The Supreme Court heard the arguments against Obamacare last week and it will be late June before they rule. The part of the law that received their most scrutiny was the mandate, the requirement that all must carry health insurance. The Court will decide whether they uphold the law, deny the one mandate clause and leave the rest standing, or whether they throw the health care law baby out with the bathwater.
Regardless of the Court ruling, health care reform will continue to be political fodder for the 2012 presidential campaign. If the court upholds the constitutionality of the law, the debate will continue about whether it is good policy. If the popular provisions, making health insurance affordable to all, removing life time limits, or covering pre-existing conditions, are thrown out with a ruling the entire law is constitutional, Democrats will point the blame finger at the GOP and a Supreme Court divided by party affiliation that gave us the legalized corruption of the election process by super PACs and sided with the election of a Republican president over Al Gore, as well.
If the court rules only the mandate is unconstitutional, it could be the Administration as plan B implements the remainder. If the court upholds the entire law or all but the mandate, GOP legislators sworn to kill Obamacare will not be able to repeal it. Because of the uncompromising turn to the right by the GOP, some moderate senators have quit, making the goal of GOP’s getting sixty votes in the Senate to agree with the Tea Party dominated House of Representatives and vote for repeal is an impossible dream.
Assuming the GOP candidate is Mitt Romney, he will be no help to the GOP on the issue . He was the advocate and signer of a very similar law when he was governor of Massachusetts. He says with ringing rhetoric he says he will “kill Obamacare” and he calls the law “horrendous.” It is sound and fury that rings hollow, a clanging bell enclosing a puny clapper and a lot of air, crafted to bring applause from conservative audiences.
By calling the law horrendous, does he mean it is horrendous to make it possible for all to afford health insurance? Is it horrendous to forbid health insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions? Is it horrendous to make it illegal for an insurer to drop coverage when you get sick? Is it horrendous to mandate all to carry health insurance? All of these provisions were in his own Massachusetts law.
What is left for Romney to oppose is the requirement that all states do it as part of a nationwide law. His position, that states rights in these matters are simply superior to a federal program, appeals to those who want a limited federal government, but has a worthless ring that provides neither a workable plan B or a plan C-Z.
Unless federal money from federal taxpayer’s pockets is irresponsibly gifted to states without requiring standards and accountability, what state would be compelled or could afford to provide a similar alternative with the same benefits, including covering the uninsured and pre-existing conditions and removing life time limits? Not ours. Shoving Obama/Romneycare to the states would be dumping it in file 13 and Romney needs to come clean on that clunker.
For more commentary visit http://www.mufticforum.com
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