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Obamacare’s Best Allies: the Courts and the Republicans
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By ruling for the government in the case of King v. Burwell, the Supreme Court once again tied itself into rhetorical and logical knots to defend Obamacare. In King, the court disregarded Obamacare’s clear language regarding eligibility for federal health care subsides, on the grounds that enforcing the statute as written would cause havoc in the marketplace. The court found that Congress could not have intended this result and that the court needed to uphold Congress’s mythical intention and ignore Obamacare’s actual language.

While Obamacare may be safe from court challenges, its future is far from assured. As Obamacare forces more Americans to pay higher insurance premiums while causing others to lose their insurance or lose access to the physicians of their choice, opposition to Obamacare will grow. Additional Americans will turn against Obamacare as their employers reduce their hours, along with their paychecks, because of Obamacare’s mandates.

As dissatisfaction with Obamacare grows, there will be renewed efforts to pass a single-payer health care system. Single-payer advocates will point to Obamacare’s corporatist features as being responsible for its failures and claim the only solution is to get the private sector completely out of health care.

Unfortunately, many Republicans will inadvertently aid the single-payer advocates by failing to acknowledge that Obamacare is not socialist but corporatist, and that that the pre-Obamacare health care system was hobbled by government intervention. In fact, popular support for Obamacare was rooted in the desire to address problems created by prior government interference in the health care marketplace.

Republicans also help the cause of socialized medicine by pretending that Obamacare can be fixed with minor reforms. These Republicans do not understand that replacing Obamacare with “Obamacare Lite” will still leave millions of Americans with inadequate access to quality health care, and could strengthen the movement for a single-payer system.

Republicans’ failure to advocate for a free-market health care system is not just rooted in intellectual error and political cowardice. The insurance industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the other special interests that benefit from a large government role in health care are just as — or perhaps even more — influential in the Republican Party as in the Democratic Party. The influence of these interests is one reason why, despite their free-market rhetoric, Republicans have a long history of expanding the government’s role in health care.

Those who think a Republican president and Congress will enact free-market health care should consider that the last time Republicans controlled Congress and the White House their signature health care achievement was to expand federal health care spending and entitlements. Furthermore, Richard Nixon worked with Ted Kennedy to force all health care plans to offer a health maintenance organization (HMO). Even Obamacare’s individual mandate originated in a conservative think tank and was first signed into law by a Republican governor.

Instead of Obamacare Lite, Congress should support giving individuals direct control over their health care dollars through individual health care tax credits and expanded access to health savings accounts. Other reforms like long-term group insurance could ensure that those with “pre-existing conditions” have access to care. Another good reform is negative outcomes insurance that could help resolve the medical malpractice crisis.

America’s health care system is just as unsustainable as our foreign policy and our monetary system. At some point, the financial and human costs of Obamacare will prove overwhelming and Congress will be forced to replace this system. Hopefully, before this happens, a critical mass of people will convince Congress to replace Obamacare with a truly free-market health care system.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Obamacare, Republicans, Supreme Court 
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  1. Maj. Kong says:

    The Obamacare system is at its roots a Conservatism Inc idea, albeit implemented by liberals.

  2. Ron, you’re right about the impetus for Obamacare being corporate hunger for tax dollars, just as with the government subsidized war contractor business.

    But Health Savings Accounts were a cruel joke. When we could no longer afford health insurance due to long term unemployment, we followed Bush’s advice to get an HSA. The money we put into it was all eaten up by fees and bank charges, and the bank had the nerve to even say we owed more, without our ever have been able to get the tax credits promised or afford the copayments required by the low cost policy, which cost more than food or rent. Not a single dime ever went towards medical care.

    What I’ve been hearing from friends whose jobs or retirement packages provide them with health insurance, tbat tbey are now experiencing long delays in actually getting the services. Others can’t find doctors. It appears it’s being run, as per usual, to maximize profits – which involves minimizing expenses.

    Why would the FIRE corporations who’ve shown no mercy towards their fellow Americans with their financial shenanigans, planned collapses and collusion in offshoring jobs, care one whit about health care of others except as an excuse to fraudulently transfer wealth to themselves?

    It might be a single payer solution could improve things by eliminating the gross parasitism and perverse economic incentives, but because we have government through donorism, it will most certainly be rigged, like the unAffordable Health Care Act, to be not in the best interests of the vast majority of Americans.

  3. The U. S. Supreme Shysters–nine unelected, unaccountable, ethics-free megalomaniacs–are up to their usual bullshit. When they’re not bowing to authority and/or destroying constitutional freedoms, they’re legislating from the bench.

    Obamacare–Obama’s gift to the insurance industry–is a convoluted travesty. Let’s hope that the American sheeple wise up to it someday.

    All the best to Doctor Paul.

  4. MarkinLA says:

    Ron is a Libertopian who can’t see reality on some issues. There is something seriously wrong with a health care system that makes you sign a piece of paper without knowing what things will cost and then gives you a bill hundreds of times what that care would cost anywhere else in the world. In addition, you can be forced into bankruptcy court over these highly inflated prices.

    There is that example of someone in Arizona needing rattlesnake anti-venom and getting a bill for 64,000 dollars while a clinic in Mexico charges 100 dollars just across the border. We have medical tourism for elective surgery simply because the costs here are ridiculous.

    Free Market solutions won’t fix this.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  5. ” in Arizona needing rattlesnake anti-venom and getting a bill for 64,000 dollars”

    Obviously no more to do with “free market” than “Free Trade.” Free riding on the backs of the public for the bankster insurance subsidiaries, legal parasites and greedy mediquack corporations who donate big and hard to their political lackeys.

    When you can charge prices like that, and get away with it, there are things called “monopoly,” crony capital “collusion” and Wall Street “trusts” in play that make free markets impossible in a rigged system.

  6. @MarkinLA

    You are a fool.
    It is the governments edicts on who can and cannot practice medicine, what they can and cannot do or prescribe, who they can or must treat and the monopolies that the the political filth grant to drug companies that slaughter millions every year.

    • Replies: @MarkinLA
  7. MarkinLA says:
    @Bill Jones

    It is the governments edicts on who can and cannot practice medicine, what they can and cannot do or prescribe,

    Better a fool that a complete moron. So in your world anybody can call himself a physician and anybody can open up a hospital in their garage? Is that the “free market” solution to health care costs. Should everybody decide for themselves if their case of Ebola is too contagious to swim in the public pool?

    That regulations don’t always work doesn’t mean that regulations are bad only that medical science is far less reliable than the hard sciences. Given that, people are living longer and healthier, and that is the proof that something is working.

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