Friday, June 29, 2012


In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled favorably on the Affordable Care Act.  Once again, CNN and FOX News got it wrong, and Comedy Central got it right. Paul Krugman had this to say in the New York Times. "In short, unless you belong to that tiny class of wealthy Americans who are insulated and isolated from the realities of most people’s lives, the winners from that Supreme Court decision are your friends, your relatives, the people you work with — and, very likely, you. For almost all of us stand to benefit from making America a kinder and more decent society."

Predictably, right wing conservatives are furious.  This is "socialism," they bray from their bully pulpits.  This is one more step toward Stalinism cooked up by a smooth-talking mixed-race Harvard lawyer (otherwise known as President Obama) who is a closet Muslim and hasn't embraced Jay-sus (except for the parts about helping the poor and the sick, which are conveniently ignored if not actually omitted from the Conservative Bible).  Pundits and their toadies are in an uproar.  Rush Limbaugh has even threatened to move to Costa Rica--which would be a win-win situation.  (Do they have Oxycontin in Costa Rica?)  Robotic Romney sees an opening and proposes Romneycare, which promises no change whatsoever.  You can hardly blame him.  The system works fine for Mitt. 

Once again, conservatives are on the wrong side of history.  This is typical.  These heel-draggers balked at the New Deal, Social Security and Medicaid (not to mention fluoridation and the abolition of slavery) until they finally shut up and cashed their benefit checks.  Did they learn a lesson?  Hardly.  These simpletons have short attention spans and little knowledge of history (learning is a liberal plot, after all) so they want everything to stay the same.  They fear change, which underlies all their other fears: fear they will be "forced" to have health care coverage, fear the poor and minorities will fill the emergency room, fear some poor old lady might get a pair of teeth she can't afford and they will have to pay for it, fear they will lose their chosen doctor who prescribes Oxycontin (well, Rush does, anyway).  But what about cost?   Who will pay for all this?  Is this simply a new tax, as Chief Justice Roberts, the surprising swing voter, suggested?

 "Put it this way," Krugman said, "the budget office’s estimate of the cost over the next decade of Obamacare’s 'coverage provisions' — basically, the subsidies needed to make insurance affordable for all — is about only a third of the cost of the tax cuts, overwhelmingly favoring the wealthy, that Mitt Romney is proposing over the same period. True, Mr. Romney says that he would offset that cost, but he has failed to provide any plausible explanation of how he’d do that. The Affordable Care Act, by contrast, is fully paid for, with an explicit combination of tax increases and spending cuts elsewhere."

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