Thursday, March 29, 2012


Not mine. The news media. If a person watched only U.S. mainstream media, you'd think only two things were happening in the world today: the Supreme Court hearing the oral arguments about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Sanford Police Department bungling the Trayvon Martin shooting in Florida. Both are interesting events, but surely something else is happening elsewhere in the world?

I will admit watching the Supreme Court coverage has been moderately amusing, especially when reporters have  interviewed the Tea Party types protesting in front of the court building. If those people ever had a clue as to how our government actually works, they lost it long ago.

Of course, the talking heads on MSNBC, CNN, et al. aren't much better. They all seem to think that the oral arguments are it -- that whatever drivel emerges from the attorneys arguing pro and con is the sole support for whatever conclusions the justices reach. Bizarre. Haven't they ever heard of a brief? Are they really all so ignorant that they truly believe that the way the system works is that the justices listen to the oral arguments and then disappear into the equivalent of a jury room to make a decision then and there? I can understand the tinfoil hat types with the funny costumes and misspelled signs not grasping how the process works, but shouldn't the so-called professionals know better? There is a reason there's usually a gap of several months between the time oral arguments are heard and when the court's decision is released: the justices are spending that time reviewing the mountain of documentation associated with each case (the merits briefs submitted by the plaintiff and defendant, the friends of the court briefs submitted by various interested parties, the summaries prepared by the justices' clerks, the preliminary drafts of each other's opinions, etc.).

In short, although it's quite possible that the final decision will indeed fall along the lines the pundits are currently predicting, we're not going to know that for awhile -- so why did everyone insist on talking like the court would announce its findings as soon as oral arguments ended?

As a side note, I keep having this feeling that this whole mess could turn into cause for major regret among the  conservative anti-federalism foamers who made the short-sighted decision to fight "Obamacare." If the Supreme Court tosses out the Affordable Care Act on the basis of it being unconstitutional to require people to buy private insurance, then the door is wide open for Medicare for All -- a single payer, national healthcare system administered by the government -- because it'll be the only legal option left. Despite all the babbling about how the U.S. has the best healthcare in the world, most people recognize that line as bullshit -- if we had the best healthcare in the world, there would be no need for fundraisers to help people pay their medical bills. Everyone knows reform is needed, and if a plan that was originally designed by the Heritage Foundation doesn't cut it with the court, what's the alternative?


  1. Romney all but admitted last night on Leno that he had no idea about how to deal with the pre-existing conditions issue. I don't see Obama-Care surviving and the single -payer option may be a player. The Republicans - and Democrats in Congress who are on the take from the insurance lobby will scream about gutting the insurance companies block of business.
    Not true. The supplemental market will explode! Plus, a single payer would eliminate the need for a individual mandate as everyone gets coverage regardless of their health care status - Just as someone turning 65 does with Medicare. Everyone, unless meeting poverty standards would have to pay the $104 Part B premium monthly - think about that revenue
    income nationwide flowing into the coffers. Now, if it needs paid for - a one cent national sales tax
    would do that.


  2. Watch BBC America to get a more balanced view of American politics and world events. But you had better hurry because the Republicans want to defund Public Radio and TV.
    the Ol'Buzzard

  3. Despite all the babbling about how the U.S. has the best healthcare in the world,


    Well, it's pretty damn good if you are in politics, we just paid for a new heart for Asshole and they didn't even ask us if we wanted too.

  4. I don't have anything but medicare but I know how to get dead, what we all do in the end anyway. I'll just take it the way nature hands it to me, thank you.

    Staying alive is for pussies that don't want to die.

  5. I hope you are right, that defeat in court of Obamacare will mean the only solution is single pay system. It would do away with Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans programs, special programs like for 9/11 responders etc. Reduction in administration alone should save a fortune. It does not have to cover everything and so the supplemental insurance business will boom as Sarge said. Add a dollar a gallon tax to your gasoline and you need not even worry about the $100 per month fees. And pre-existing is not a problem.
    Actually Al-Jazeera will give you pretty responsible coverage as well, Ol'Buzzard.

  6. If this were a sane country, everyone would be on Medicare and Medicare would be negotiating down the prices of drugs, like the VA does. The anti-singl-payer ceowd seems to confuse having the best doctors & hospitals with having the best healthcare system. In truth, we don't have a systm at all.

  7. I think if it is defeated and they don't consider Medicare for all, and people lose the ability again to get coverage when they have pre-existing conditions, that there will be a big backlash! Hope so anyway!

  8. Do you know the two things exempt from anti-trust laws? Professional baseball is one of them. Here's a hint: Have you ever comparison shopped for health insurance and been surprised with the similarity of coverage and cost from one insurance company to another? Doesn't it seem reasonable to assume that taking away that exemption from anti-trust laws just might make health insurance companies become more competitive? That single change in the law might accomplish a great deal... Just a thought in the midst of more complicated proposals.


My space, my rules: play nice and keep it on topic.