SCOTUS:The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The latest revelation to spew forth from the Supreme Court of the United States is further evidence of how much this once august and independent establishment has become affiliated to corporate influence.

The question under debate is whether the federal government has the power to make medical insurance mandatory on every individual. Is it ‘unconstitutional’; does it attack those sacred principles: the rights and freedoms of the individual?

What the Supreme Court is totally ignoring is the very essence of government. Governments are appointed by the people specifically to regulate their affairs within the confines of the society in which they live. In a democracy, that means governing for the greater good of all – not just those at the higher echelons of society.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, disaffectionately labeled ‘Obamacare’ by its opponents, was an attempt by the US government to provide a framework of support for those people presently unable to afford medical insurance. ‘Healthcare for all’ was one of the platforms Barack Obama campaigned on, and the fact it helped him win the White House in 2008 is proof that a majority of Americans supported it.

Despite huge resistance from House Republicans, who forced substantial amendments to the bill and seriously weakened it, it managed to become law. There is little doubt, if Obama is elected to a second term, he will make every effort to strengthen those weaknesses imposed by his adversaries.

Unless, of course, the Republicans and their corporate masters bend sufficient Supreme Court judges to their will and force a legal ruling against the Act.

What began, only a few days ago, solely as a discussion on the legality of mandatory insurance, has now resulted in a proposition, by certain of the more ‘conservative’ (read: right-wing) judges to throw out the Act in its entirety.

If the US government is acting on behalf of the majority of the people in this matter, it seems that the Supreme Court most certainly is not. Which begs the question: on whose behalf are they acting?

The argument against mandatory insurance appears to hinge on a lack of precedent. Apparently, only once before has any US government tried to impose such a mandatory imposition. It was nearly two hundred years ago and only lasted a few months before being overturned.

Yet, it’s perfectly fine for any of the fifty states to do it, though they can be a little tardy. Take motor insurance, for example. Despite the advent of the Model T in 1908, Massachusetts was the only state requiring compulsory auto insurance until 1956. Most of the others followed suit in the 1960s and 70s, though Illinois allowed its citizens to drive around without insurance until 1990. God alone knows how many people died, or were maimed, from road accidents between 1908 and 1990!

Was Illinois merely protecting the ‘rights and freedoms’ of its citizens? Surely, not those who were mowed down by uninsured drivers?

The only US state still so irresponsible as to not demand mandatory auto insurance is New Hampshire. There, a penniless bum can swan around in any old pick-up truck and kill or maim whoever he chooses. If he has no money, they’ll likely get no recompense whatsoever.

Which begs a somewhat ironic scenario. Imagine for a moment, you lose your job, and with it, your family’s medical coverage. Bereft, you spend your last few hundred dollars on a vacation in New Hampshire. Whilst there, a drunken hobo from a tumbledown shack in the backwoods smashes his pick-up into you and your family. You spend weeks in hospital, only to discover on your discharge that the hospital’s taken your house and all your possessions as part payment for those huge medical bills.

You have no money, nowhere to live, and your only recourse is to move you and your family into the tumbledown shack with the drunken hobo who almost killed you all.

Maybe ‘Obamacare’ might seem a little more attractive from your new perspective.

What price your rights and freedoms, then?

3 Replies to “SCOTUS:The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

  1. I think the Act will be fully upheld – after last week’s grandstanding for the masses and media. Why would the SCOTUS upset their buddies the insurance corporations by putting a spanner in the works and denying them the extra millions of $$$$$$$$$ from the mandate? But they have to make like they might.

  2. WWW – you’re forgiven. 😉

    Twilight – yes, you may well be right on this one. Also, if they threw it out Obama could then come back at them with the public option, which they couldn’t throw out as unconstitutional (precedents: Medicare, Medicaid, etc).

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