Friday, June 29, 2012

Obamacare, round one

Obama care has survived the Supreme Court challenge. Or at least it has survived this particular challenge. There's more to come. And winning may not turn out to have been the best outcome for the Obama administration. The law is so unpopular in the US it may serve to unite opposition against the incumbent in the November elections. The hope being that his opponent would repeal the legislation if he won. 

In the meantime, there's not a lot of need for me to comment further on the Supreme Court decision. I'm sure you probably heard enough on the radio or television already; and no doubt your newspaper covered it. If you are interested in a selection of reactions from some Catholic commentators (remember, the health mandate as it stands would force Catholic institutions to pay for some things that are against Church teaching) here is a good link to a page that has quite a few (and more here).

I will say this, though. The Supreme Court upheld the law on the grounds that the Federal Gov has the right to levy taxes. Did I hear you say 'huh? I thought this was about health care? What have taxes got to do with it?' Exactly. The law requires one to buy health insurance. Failure to do so results in a penalty. The gov are calling the penalty a tax rather than a fine. Okey-dokey, says the Supreme Court. Sounds good to us. 

What it sounds is a bit perverse. It almost sounds the US gov can do what it likes to its citizens from now on, as long as they work some kind of tax implication into it. (Actually, that gives me an idea for tomorrow's cartoon ...)

Any thoughts?

And of course, now it is time for you to hit SHARE!


  1. From pargontwin:
    Sounds to me like they're taxing my health now. What I want to know is, how
    is someone who has no income supposed to buy health insurance, anyway? Go
    ahead, fine me; I can't pay that, either! ;D

  2. sorry pargontwin - I hit publish on your comment & it vanished, so I pasted in a copy from my inbox. Sorry about that.
    Thanks for the comment - You raise a good point; how exactly does one pay for this is one can't afford it? I see that the law exempts the President & the house & senate, so I guess it isn't their problem!

  3. It's very distressing--I was shocked when I read the decision, and I agree with pargontwin--this is a tax/penalty on our very existence, and it doesn't help those who really need help. I'm so disgusted with the whole thing I can hardly talk even talk about it.

  4. Hi EK
    well, it's not over yet ... we'll see what happens in November. It's like Chief Justice Roberts (sort of) says ... people have to take responsibility for their own electoral decisions.