President Barack Obama is having an FDR moment right now, awaiting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act otherwise known as ObamaCare. Obama has the bully pulpit and he’s giving Americans the impression the healthcare market will be in disarray if this vast, sweeping bill of more than 2,000 pages is ruled unconstitutional.
However, Obama has deliberately omitted talking about exactly who the uninsured are.
Obama’s political ancestor and fellow Democrat, Franklin D. Roosevelt, tangled with the Supreme Court of his day. FDR was furious at the court because they struck down some of his major initiatives. The initiatives—the National Recovery Administration and the Agricultural Adjustment Act—were both ruled unconstitutional. SCOTUS determined NRA infringed the separation of powers in the Constitution.
Roosevelt persisted and ended up getting a number of provisions within those unconstitutional initiatives placed in future legislation.
Numerous media outlets reported Obama’s remarks, a warning to the justices:
"Ultimately, I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,"
Thing is, overturning ObamaCare would not be “unprecedented.” SCOTUS has done it before.
NOT A SINGLE REPORTER ASKED ‘WHO ARE THE UNINSURED?’
There is another critical issue missing from the mountain of debate centering around this bill.
Not a single politico has talked in specific terms about the identity of the uninsured. Not a single reporter has asked Democrats who passed the bill about the uninsured.
One study about the uninsured, conducted by June E. O’Neill and Dave M. O’Neill, Baruch College, City University of New York, found:
“The uninsured are almost 4 times as likely to be high school dropouts, more than 3 times as likely to be Hispanic, and close to 4 times as likely to be foreign-born non-citizens. Their incomes are substantially lower and a larger percentage never worked during the year or worked only part of the year.”
There’s also an analytical article at Cato. Michael Tanner took a look at the uninsured and found a number of suprises. For one thing, the uninsured are not necessarily poor.
Tanner also said that roughly 25 percent of the uninsured chose that status:
“[They] are eligible for Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP), but haven't enrolled. This includes 64 percent of all uninsured children, and 29 percent of parents with children. Since these people would be enrolled in those programs automatically if they went to the hospital for care, calling them uninsured is really a smokescreen.”
Another 10 million uninsured will likely keep that status even if the bill stands because illegal aliens will not pay the penalty that uninsured American citizens will pay if they disregard the mandate:
“Another 10 million uninsured ‘Americans’ are, at least technically, not Americans. Approximately 5.6 million are illegal immigrants, and another 4.4 million are legal immigrants but not citizens.”
Costs for those 10 million people will be passed on to the general population—the cost-shifting Obama’s Dept. of Justice claimed was a reason for the bill in the first place.
STATES HAVE ABILITY AND POWER TO FIND HEALTH INSURANCE SOLUTIONS
There are a couple of popular provisions in ObamaCare—non-denial of coverage to those with existing conditions and the option to insure a child beyond the age of 18. The states of course are eminently capable of dealing with those issues.
If we really want to tackle medical costs, why is no politician addressing the issue of illegal aliens and legal low-income workers?
OBAMA AND FDR HAVE MUCH IN COMMON
I’ve often quoted from a lengthy essay published as a booklet, Great Myths of the Great Depression, by Lawrence W. Reed. Reed’s work is a must-read, especially if you have a student who has likely been taught complete fiction regarding the presidency of FDR.
Reed quotes Paul Johnson’s summation of remarks by the great writer H. L. Mencken. Here’s how Johnson summed up Mencken’s comments on FDR:
“Mencken excelled himself in attacking the triumphant FDR, whose whiff of fraudulent collectivism filled him with genuine disgust. He was the ‘Fuhrer,’ the ‘Quack,’ surrounded by ‘an astonishing rabble of impudent nobodies,’ ‘a gang of half-educated pedagogues, nonconstitutional lawyers, starry-eyed uplifters and other such sorry wizards.’ His New Deal was a ‘political racket,’ a ‘series of stupendous bogus miracles,’ with its ‘constant appeals to class envy and hatred,’ treating government as ‘a milch-cow with 125 million teats’ and marked by ‘frequent repudiations of categorical pledges.’
That description of FDR suggests history really does repeat itself.
WAIVERS FOR LEFTIST CRONIES
Another development in the ObamaCare controversy relates to those who lobbied for the bill. Big Labor pushed the bill by conducting marches, filling union magazines with persuasive articles and cooperating with Leftist groups to promote a collectivist scheme that permitted the government to basically take over healthcare, not just health insurance.
Yet many of those Labor Unions jumped ship as soon as the bill passed. The unions wanted waivers so they would not have to abide by the same bill that will charge the rest of us a penalty if we don’t get a policy or if our policy is deemed unacceptable by bureaucrats. The Daily Caller reported in January:
“Documents released in a classic Friday afternoon news dump show that labor unions representing 543,812 workers received waivers from President Barack Obama‘s signature legislation since June 17, 2011.”
Half-a million Leftist cronies got an exemption. Most of us didn’t.
EXPANSION OF FEDERAL POWERS, EROSION OF PERSONAL FREEDOMS
One Supreme Court justice said ObamaCare would “would “fundamentally change the relationship between the individual and the state.”
The justice did not go far enough. ObamaCare turns liberty upside down, setting a precedent that would broaden federal powers beyond all reasonable and legal levels.
After reading the bill, I realized it was the most dangerous piece of collectivist policy I had seen enacted into law in my lifetime. If SCOTUS abandons the tenets of the U.S. Constitution, the end catastrophe will impact far more than healthcare.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/April 3, 2012)
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Moe Lane and Leon Wolf at Red State have written interesting commentary about President Barack Obama's remarks regarding the Supreme Court's possible "unprecedented" overturn of ObamaCare.
I pointed out an overturn is certainly not unprecedented. I am certain Obama knows that. His warning to SCOTUS was purely political.
Lane and Wolf's essays go further than I did in explaining why an overturn is nothing new, having origins in actions taken centuries ago. Lane links to Wolf and also includes a relevant paper from The Federalist Papers. By coincidence, I've been re-reading those papers and came across #78 early this morning.
Have a looksee at Lane's Constitutional Law 090 for President Obama: The Federalist Papers (#78).