Nobody asked me, and it’s a good thing, because I really don’t understand why Republicans are crying about the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act.
I hear them saying that the government is usurping American’s personal freedom by requiring everyone to have health insurance.
First of all, only those folk who can afford not having health insurance will have their hand forced. The rest of us are thrilled to have insurance, if we can afford it. How much money do you have to have to be unconcerned about the cost of catastrophic illness or injury? An hour and a half in the hospital can cost more than a car payment.
Plus, isn’t it the government’s role to provide what the people need? What does “government for the people” mean?
What our government has done here really follows a well established pattern. For example, even the rich have to buy auto insurance for their vehicles. Probably, a little more than one percent of Americans could write a check for any liability they might incur in a traffic mishap. But, that’s a “freedom” people never had and never complained about. Here’s the government protecting potential victims and drivers alike without asking for their permission or thanks. If you own a vehicle that’s operated on American roads, you can self-insure the vehicle but you have to have liability insurance to protect potential victims and their property.
Social Security is an even better example. If you have a job, the federal government will appropriate some of your pay and invest it in order to insure you against abject poverty as a retiree. The government decides how much of your money they want to take. It gives it back to you, in little pieces, when you retire. It decides on the size of the pieces it takes and how much it gives back. Citizens have no control over or input into how or where the money is invested. There’s no report on how the money is doing. The only report a person will get is what the government decided a person’s monthly benefit payment will be when that person retires should that person stop earning. Do not expect the government to ask advice on anything about this money. There is no option for wage earners to self-insure against poverty in their “golden” years or to decide they’ll likely never reach retirement age. If a person doesn’t live to retirement age, that money goes to someone who does.
So, what new freedoms is our government usurping?
In the Star Tribune the other day, the following phrase appeared in their discussion of the then impending Supreme Court decision.
“Insurance companies with billions at stake …”
Ok, I lied. I do understand why Republicans are crying.
Health care for all Americans is about to improve. It will become a smaller percentage of domestic spending and insurance companies will have to divert some of their profits from Tea Party campaign spending to their own bottom lines.
And we have President Obama to thank. It is indeed a blessing to have a president who cares about all of us here on Mainstreet, USA.