Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Few Thoughts On Today's Historic Ruling ...

Well, first of all, I'll never bother with CNN again.

Way to botch one of the biggest moments in U.S. history, guys. Ouch.

But after reading the tweet from CNN that the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act, I saw a tweet from AP, saying the individual mandate had been upheld.

On any given day, I trust AP more than CNN. But then Reuters weighed in, and other outlets, too. They may have all been reporting the AP's news, but CNN seemed alone in its reporting. (Aside from FOX News, but you know I don't follow FOX News.)

And from there, Twitter lit up like a Christmas tree, like a Christmas tree Obama was trying to tax, if you watch FOX News.

I was mindful that I could not share the day's news with Dave. He had degrees in political science and journalism. Oh, the discussions we would have had.

The right wing, of course, is losing its collective mind over this. A Breitbarter declared, "This is the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration."

Really, dude? No exaggeration?

Well, shit! Somebody call Will Smith!

But seriously.

Trust me, FOX News viewers and others on the right who have drunk the Kool-Aid: Today's ruling is a good thing. Health care is a good thing. Tens of thousands of your fellow Americans not dying every year because they don't have health insurance is a good thing. Kids being able to stay on their parents' insurance until they're 26 is a good thing. Denying insurance companies the right to deny you coverage because you have a pre-existing condition is a good thing. Forcing insurance companies to spend more of your expensive premiums on actual care is a good thing. Having millions more people paying into the insurance pool, thereby driving down costs is a good thing. Hell, for the happy capitalists among us, sending Big Insurance a huge influx of customers is a good thing.

Romney, of course, is increasing his rhetoric about repealing Obamacare. Never mind that Obamacare was modeled on Romneycare which he instituted when he was the governor of Massachusetts. Then, Mitt "was very pleased" with the individual mandate. Then, Romney encouraged Obama to follow his example. But now, of course, the very same legislation that Republicans have been proposing for ages is suddenly evil. EVIL! "... the end of America as we know it. No exaggeration."

Isn't that fascinating?

When it was their idea, it was model legislation. Under Obama, it's the end of America as we know it.

I think someone's fibbing

In solidarity with Romney, Boehner and Cantor are threatening to repeal ACA.

But they offer nothing – nothing – as an alternative. NOTHING. Unless you count all the parts of Obamacare that they now see that they'd have to keep in place, because - will wonders never cease?! – people like them.

Yes, woe unto the GOP to realize that people like being able to get insurance if they – the crazy kids – need insurance. People like being able to insure their kids until their kids can get insurance of their own. People like being able to go to their mailboxes and retrieve checks from their insurers if insurers don't meet thresholds for how much they spend on actual care.

The White House has done a bad job of messaging on ACA, which is why so many people say they oppose it as legislation, yet when asked if they like specific provisions of the bill, they're quick to answer "Yes."

Knowledge is power, kids.

(By the by, the $235 million that's been spent on ads attacking the law – nearly a quarter of a billion dollars – could have been spent toward its implementation.)

There's a whole lot more to the story, of course. Conservatives feel betrayed by Roberts. They're calling for his impeachment. Louie Gohmert is screaming for the judicial head of Elena Kagan. Sarah Palin is trying to make herself relevant again – of course, that assumes she was ever relevant in the first place – recycling the old "death panel" yarn.

But it really is much ado about nothing. Our president – yes, I know, it pains some of you to acknowledge him thusly – is a Constitutional law scholar. Do you really think he'd make health care the signature achievement of his first term – yup, I said "first"! – if he had any doubt that what he was doing was unconstitutional?

Of course not.

Interestingly, many are positing that Roberts may have ruled as he did because the dissenting opinion on the Court would have struck down ACA in its entirety. Nothing would have survived.

Radical much? Legislating from the bench much? Isn't that what Republicans are always yelling about?

Relax, folks. Remember, too much stress is bad for your health.

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