The Supreme Court, though it’s supremely conservative by my definition, narrowly upheld the Affordable Health Care law (its Three Bush-appointed Stooges, surprising nobody, voted as expected; during earlier arguments, the indescribable Scalia tried to equate health insurance with being forced to eat broccoli, which makes one wonder exactly how he made it past kindergarten, let alone to a pivotal lifelong judicial appointment).
It’s ironic to see Mitt Romney, in his pathetic effort to ingratiate himself to the lunatic fringe, become a pretzel by bashing a law essentially based on the mandate he himself developed for Massachusetts. It’s also funny to see CNN and FauxNews commit the “Dewey beats Truman” error with the full panoply of talking heads and floating news banners — probably because they wanted so much to see the law defeated that they didn’t bother to listen closely to the ruling. Or maybe they got confused because it contained words of more than single syllables. Too, it’s funny in a bitter sense to hear House Republicans, who are doubly covered in terms of health, bleat about individual freedoms. Perhaps they should spend a month without coverage — I suspect that just having to pay for their Viagra would cause an epiphany. These are the same people, incidentally, who are pushing for full government ownership and monitoring of women’s wombs.
The US is the sole First-World country not to have universal or near-universal health coverage. Having health care tied to employers is a recipe for abuse and avalanches of paperwork from the private insurance companies (which is one of the major reason for spiraling costs but who cares as long as the shareholders are happy!). The specter of bankruptcy hovers over everyone in this nation who has anything beyond a routine illness. Having gone through a bout of cancer, I can tell you that the bills look unreal: they are meant to confuse and discourage. They require a professional accountant to parse and a professional enforcer to straighten out. I can’t imagine how someone without insurance would cope. There is consensus that the system is not working, and even foaming-at-the-mouth Teabaggers actually come out in favor of many provisions of the healthcare bill if they get asked about the merits of individual items (as long as the unmentionable name “Obama” doesn’t come up). Among these are allowing children to stay on their parents’ policies up to 26 years of age; and the removal of the dreadful “pre-existing condition” clause.
Not surprisingly, Republithugs are vowing to go for a total repeal of the law and will obviously use the Supreme Court decision to rally their zombie armies for November. On the other hand, it looks like there is steady and growing support of the single-payer alternative. But the goons who have kidnapped the Republican party do not care if they turn this nation into a smoking hole in the ground. They are set on some version of Rapture, all else is incidental. Those who planted and fed these dragons’ teeth knew this was bound to happen: the current outcome, which threatens to engulf the entire world, was not a bug but a feature. For them it’s all a game, since they can retire to private islands in countries where they can have slaves. For the rest of us, it’s our lives, those of our children and the future of whatever civilization we can keep safe from the constant onslaught of people whose fear has been skillfully channeled into hate.