Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What March 28th Means To Me: Supreme Court Healthcare Debates

I won't pretend I'm an expert in this field, but I am more than a casual observer, so I figured I'd throw in my two cents regarding the constitutionality of the individual mandate, and whether or not I find it "fair" to implement the most controversial part of the law.  I don't think there will be any surprises here!

After listening to the arguments from both sides, I couldn't help but feel that "legalese" and business ethics were clouding basic common sense.  While I completely understand why opponents of the law do not want to set a precedence in which the federal government forces you to purchase products from private enterprise, we have to step back and realize that healthcare is a very unique business.  For one, health is not a luxury, and we as a community should support each other in an effort to provide basic healthcare for everyone.  If that means that all citizens must pay into the system (which effectively is a tax/think Medicare) to keep premiums down, then so be it.  Also, it is law in this country that emergency rooms cannot turn away patients with acute illnesses (as well we shouldn't).  The costs of this law amount to 50 billion a year in unpaid medical costs that's essentially on the government's dime.  I heard someone on NPR say it best (I'm paraphrasing):  If your favorite college basketball team makes the Final Four and you don't have a TV in which to watch the game, you can't storm into Best Buy and demand one because of your allegiance.  But if you have a heart attack, you will be treated in the emergency room regardless of whether or not you have insurance. 

We are still the only country in the world with a functional healthcare system that doesn't cover its citizens universally.  If this means we all have to buy into a system to keep costs down, then that should be law.  Healthcare is not a car.  It's not a TV.  We all either need it, know someone who needs it, or will need it at some point in our lives, and considering we live in a community of equal citizens, affluent people should not be able to play God with the ones truly affected by this decision. 

Obviously, a single payer system is either years and years away, or is just a pipe dream, so if we must play within what already exists (a mostly privatized system), then the rules for Healthcare should be made to fit this system.  And if it's "unprecedence" that's influencing the Supreme Court's decision, it wouldn't be the first time they made a unique ruling for one specific case (Bush v. Gore being a famous, recent one).  For opponents who think this is the first step into complete government takeover, grow up. 


At some point soon, I'm gonna have to write some lulz.  It's been a while since we had lulz.  Bring on the lulz!

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