Monday, March 22, 2010

It's Funny

You'd think I'd be a little upset, or wary, or pissed off this morning.
You'd think that.
You'd be in error.
I feel great.
And I've still got my health!
Wait a second...
Seriously though, does this surprise anyone?
Were any of you fooled by the excruciatingly slow, poorly scripted kabuki unfolding in the Capitol lo these many months?
I wasn't.
The funniest part, (if any humor is to be found in this) is that the Senate likely won't pass the House's reconciliation bill, which was the only reason the House was willing to pass the Senate bill in the first place. It will be fun to see them stabbed in the back yet again.
Actually, the funniest part was watching Stupak denounce on the House floor the exact anti-abortion funding language he himself had written, and had pushed for months.
You will hear a lot of tough talk about repeal, and it will likely sweep the Repugs back into power as a seemingly stunned Democrat leadership watches helplessly, but it is all window dressing, all for show.
The only chance for opponents to repeal is for the courts to strike it down, and the only avenues they'll have are
1. Declaring the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate
2. Declaring the undfunded mandates placed on states to be unconstitutional or excessive
3. Through some kind of challenge of Congress' authority to even do this through the commerce clause, as health insurance isn't technically commerce, and even if it were, is not commerce that is exchanged between state lines at all.
4. Through a backdoor legal challenge to the student loan nationalization bill that was passed as an amendment to the HR health bill.
In my heart of hearts, I don't think any of them will go anywhere, but on the bright side this more than a trillion-dollar debacle will rocket America's entitlement charade well beyond the precipice and into the howling chasm of doom and destruction much sooner than I had been banking on.
I'll drink to that.


Also, I am not quite clear on how this new package insures "30 million+" of the uninsured, with no public option or single-payer government system. As far as I'm aware, this bill institutes a shitload of taxes, the individual mandate, some token and meaningless subsidies for small businesses, orders the 50 states to expand Medicaid coverage (but not necessarily to cover more people) and heaps mountains of regulations on insurance companies. Which they are probably happy about, because they know they can then raise rates exorbitantly because you HAVE TO BUY insurance. It is likely that many of the small insurers will fold up shop and be absorbed by the larger ones, and since health insurance companies still will not be able to compete across state lines, chances are there will only be one or two companies in your state when the dust settles.
Guess which way premiums will go then?

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