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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

WASHINGTON — Any day now, the U.S. Supreme Court may make possible something that has yet to happen: an honest and complete discussion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

And if it throws out all or part of the law now popularly known as “Obamacare,” we will need a fearless conversation about how a conservative majority of the court has become a cog in a larger right-wing project to make progressive political and legislative victories impossible.

I still harbor the perhaps naïve hope that some conservative justices — Anthony Kennedy? John Roberts? — will pull back from judicial activism and allow the voters to decide the fate of the health care law in this fall’s elections. And here is where the court’s reintroduction of the health care issue into the political debate could be turned into a blessing by allies of reform, provided they take advantage of the opportunity to do what they have never done adequately up to now. They need, finally, to describe and defend the law and what it does.

The ACA is the victim of a vicious cycle: Obamacare polls badly. Therefore, Democrats avoid Obamacare, preferring to talk about almost anything else, while Republicans and conservatives attack it regularly. This makes Obamacare’s poll ratings even worse, which only reinforces the avoidance on the liberal side.

  • William Deutschlander

    I wonder if it is something the Country would continue to be proud of, if the tainted SCOTUS were to strike down the Affordable Care Act, after our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES, representing the majority of their constituents, passed the ACT in the House of Representatives with a majority vote, passed the ACT in the Senate with a SUPER majority vote and our President, elected by a wide majority of voters, signed the ACA into the LAW.

    The UNITED STATES of AMERICA is the ONLY developed nation that does not provide an INTELIGENT HEALTH CARE PROGRAM FOR ALL CITIZENS, that is one hell of a disgraceful statement of FACT!

  • EdC

    It depends on which poll one reads about wheather we like Obama care or not. The one I’ve seen said that the American public is seventy-seven percent for it, but doesn’t go far enough. Even though it’s still personally too expensive, for me, it actually has saved my life. It is quite possible that if the court decides to overturn, Obama care, they will have rattlesnake bit them in the a–. Again the polls I have seen support most of Obama’s policies, which again if the court overturns health care, could charge the public up to keep Obama and vote out the majority of Republicans. thereby putting health care again near the top of the list, especially with not an insurance mandate, but a one payer plan, which is what we actually need in the first place. Since I am approching medicare, this is not a dream for me, but it’s a necessity for the general public. because medical expenses have gotten out hand by them selves, and thats not counting the vulture insurance companies that draw the blood ever before one gets to the doctors office. For the repugalogs that follow this who scream that they don’t want to pay taxes, for someone else healthcare, especially someone who, they say doesn’t work, especially, I say say you already are, Just take a look at the Republican leaders in congress, and you not only pay for their health insurance, but you are giving them $175,000 a year for not working.

  • I guess the Supreme Court is now a privatized entity–just the way the Republicans want to privatize everything else, (health care, post office, national parks, etc.)

  • labrown69

    A public option like we elected Obama to give us would have avoided this entire problem. He said it was not a tax when he tried to pass it and he says it is a tax when he wants to prove that “a mandate to purchase” which is almost certainly unconstitutional is legal and this is what happens when you get caught in your own web of lies. We speak of “what every other civilized country offers” but what the Democratic congress who experienced richly deserved bloodbath in 2010 gave us is not a single payer system or even a public option. Half measures avail nothing. They say ” a Camel is a horse designed by committee” and that is what this useless Frankenstein monster of a health care bill is. The reality is that Obama by being a limp wristed wishy washy weak leader who tried first to appease insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies and trial lawyers even allowing the crooked Democratic congress to ban Canadian prescription imports shut the door on any possible savings, squandered the one and only chance at real health care that will come in our life times and in doing so rolled out the red carpet for the right wingers. The reality is that losing this health care bill will not impact what’s left of the middle class and will be like losing Rutabaga from our diets.

    • EdC

      is that labrown or lapdogbrown, the individual mandate was a republican idea so that everyone had to pay the Republican cronies in the insurance industry. Obama ONLY went with it so that your masters might vote to keep the likes of you healthy. The origional idea and still the best is the one payer system, while it is a tax like social security, it is a tax that would benefit all. But your republican friends don’t want something that would benefit all cause they like a cast system where they and their buddies can lord over life and death like the Gods they think they are.

      • labrown69

        Well if “it was a Republican idea” it must be good, huh? After all, if The Heritage Foundation” likes it, what could be bad huh? I knew this would not be acceptable to Americans the minute I heard it with it’s penalties for failure to participate etc.

        I particularly love the pitch that “it’s like a mandate to buy auto insurance” which of course is both dishonest and stupid as you also have the choice not to drive and driving is considered a privilege under the law.

        The mandate to purchase IS IN FACT unconstitutional and just plain un-American and if the right wingers on the court allow it to stand, it will be nothing more than a cynical attempt to allow this tragically ineffectual Democratic Party to sleep in it’s own bed and experience the pain it is causing it’s so called constituents so that corporate America can continue squeezing them like a sponge.

  • sigrid28

    E. J. Dionne tries to account for the diffuse anxiety spreading among thoughtful Americans in anticipation of the Supreme Court ruling on the ACA. In the prior Supreme Court rulings Dionne cites (Bush v. Gore and Citizens United), many U.S. citizens could already hear the revving up of machinery set to bull-doze democratic ideals, denude primal forests and feed them to the wood-chipper, and otherwise flatten what was once a wilderness worthy of our deepest thoughts and highest aspirations–just to auction it off to the highest bidder. By the time we get past this handwringing to do something about it, it could be too late. The next line in Joni Mitchell’s song warns, “They sold Paradise and put up a parking lot.”

    • rustacus21

      My suggestion is already on the table!!! All we, as a nation, must do is vote. We already have a Liberal/Progressive Constitution. All that’s missing are Liberal/Progressive representatives & a judiciary to fully implement it. Conservatives are the only ideology having problems w/Democracy & its mechanics. Lets show them how it REALLY works!!!

  • barbarareed89

    The GOP has done a masterful job of spinning and lying about the ACA to protect Health Insurance Companies. Unfortunately this administration didn’t anticipate the breadth of the attack and fell short in advocating for it. The majority of the American people don’t even know the benefits this the law provides them. The law is being implemented gradually and won’t be obvious for several years. It will cut costs through preventive care and due to the larger pool of insured. Most don’t know that they are getting a rebate from their coverage this year. But that will go away and millions of Americans stand to loose their health care if the Supreme Court stricks this law down. The GOP won’t vote to replace it because they don’t want a health care system for the American people. If they did it would have happened long before now.

  • RodgerMitchell

    The U.S. government is Monetarily Sovereign. It has the unlimited ability to create dollars. It does not need to ask anyone for dollars.

    For that reason, the U.S. government could provide free Medicare coverage to every man, woman and child in America — without FICA and without requiring people to pay for insurance.

    Not understanding this fundamental fact is at the root of all the controversy.

    Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

  • hubydoll166

    “You dont know what you got till its gone” What an understatement! We finally get some kind of value out of health care and so much effort was spent on negating it using words to scare people. At this point, its not the justices, its not the republicans, its the people of this country and the fact that there is a whole swath of people who just ont take the time to do basic research into something that has such great power to begin to change a system that is in serious trouble and controlle by a “FOR PROFIT” system that stacks everything against the people its suppose to serve. Im personally scratching my head in delirium on why people could work sgainst their own self intrest. This law made doctors and insurance companies give a higher standard of service and guidelines to go by versus getting “whats offered to you base on a profit an loss sheet and corporate bonuses for denying care” all because people thought “TAX”. Im not so bent over the courts and our politicians who protect profits over anything good for the people(Im really fuming), im losing confidence in knowing or thinking that “We The People” have the ability to think for ourselves anymore and have lost control over what our Publically elected officials say or do. The much bigger picture now to me has become much bigger than ACA. Im wondering how far back into the dark ages and how much of what our prior generation have done for us in the past to hold many things to account will get undone by pure lack of ignorance and void from fact checking. Im beyond driving myself nuts over our resistance to anything good and for the greater benefit of our future generations as we try so hard to inadvertantly keep them strapped in the same constraints that plagued our generation..its a sad day if this law gets overturned but its been a sad day anyway since the GOP’S only goal was to deny this president anything good whether it help the country or not and so many people support that ideology regardless of it hurting this country. What was the Republican Slogan “Country First’? Yeah right. Thats a joke. We dont know what we want anymore and are on a slow path to nowhere fast. Its very hard to watch this happen to our YOUNG 216 Year old country.
    I say this Not ANGRY but very sadly over what we become as a country. SADDENING!

  • joyscarbo

    The SCOTUS issue is all about the “mandate” to have healthcare. What everyone seems to not know is that there is no real consequences to not having healthcare. The healthcare law language is clear a fine could be imposed, but the law also goes on to say that there would be NO enforcing payment of any fines by any means. So why is our SCOTUS even wasting their time on this?!

  • howa4x

    The problem is the democrats ran from it instead of fight for the principles of the ACA. We have a problem in this country, with a figure now of 50 million lacking health insurance, and out of that number 50k die because they lack care, this is a national disgrace. If the individual mandate part of the law is struck down it will also be a blow to the conservatives, since it’s their idea, thought up by the heritage foundation as an answer to Hilliary care.The interesting thing is it takes government out of running things and actually creates a giant pool of new customers for the insurance companies.
    The real problem in health care/illiness intervention, is that it’s based on a business model where all the players are in it for profit. The doctors, hospitals, big Pharma,and the insurance companies all want a peice of the pie. Let’s not forget that the insurance companies are publically traded and Wall st wants a 20% profit off the top. The CEO of CIGNA made 24 millioin last year, and I’m sure the other giant firms paid equally well to their CEO’s. This is where the real money in health care goes, and why it is so expensive.
    We have a health care tsunami coming, called obesity and its healthcare implications. Today 14% of our young people are obese and will suffer heart disease by the time they are 30. They will be non contributers to our economy and create a drain of resources. They are also too fat to fight and that is a national security issue. The other 60% are adults who are suffering from more, and more complications. The system we design will have to deal with this, and I don’t think this is even on the Supreme courts radar.
    So conservatives, what’s the plan? The individual mandate is personal responsibility (your idea)so now that it might be struck down by your actions,what will you do? This mess is now yours
    I can’t wait to see this.

  • Sep_Arch

    Unfortunately, liberals aren’t defending the plan, because there isn’t much to defend. They went along with this rather poor law solely to avoid giving Republicans a victory. Most real reform was abandoned by Obama months before the final, rather lame, law went into affect. So it is very hard to get any passion on this bill from the left, especially since its provisions haven’t kicked in yet (except the under 26 coverage, which, not incidentally, is a big money-maker for insurance companies).

    What I understand of “Obamacare” is that the health insurance industry remains unregulated by anti-trust laws, meaning you might not be turned away for a pre-existing condition, but they will just charge so much, or have such high co-pays and deductibles, that you can’t afford it. And frighteningly enough, Obama’s crew seems to think that spending 17% of your paycheck on health INSURANCE (not health CARE) is affordable. Why he recycled old republican ideas (hatched as an answer to the Clinton plan and then quickly abandoned) instead of real reform, I don’t know. But let’s stop pretending that Obamacare is much of a solution. It is just another half measure no one will stick their necks out to defend, tarring and feathering universal coverage just as Solyndra (Obama was told by a VC they were cooking the books but he proceeded to spend 1/2 billion on them anyway) tarred and feathered the alternative energy sphere. Thanks for nothing, really.

    • DukeDacat

      What is with you Idiots and “Solyndra”????????????????
      Why don’t you talk about the $$$$ Trillions pissed away in the 2 Bush/Cheney Wars????
      Not to mention the 7,000+ Killed and 45,000+ injured???
      “Solyndra” by the way if you bother to check, started with the Bush regime……………

    • rustacus21

      So what was conservatives plan originally, to address this crisis (created, I might add, b/c of corporate greed)? Any ideas “Arch-ie”? This was a start, would U agree? & as this represents the fundamental difference between Liberal/Progressives & conservatives, which would U rather have: government working for U or against U? This is a ‘for U’ regulation, by the way. What conservatives have to offer? Nothing… for U, that is…

  • sleeprn01

    Why would anyone think that the Supreme Court is unbiased, especially when 2 of it’s members attended a conservative think tank meeting, which is held biannually and sponsored by the Koch brothers. Attendees of this meeting included captains of industry, and both prominent public and political figures. Two of the prominent public figures who attended were justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas both of who attended the 2008 meeting held in Palm Springs. That transgression of judgement demonstrates that at least those 2 justices have an extremely conservative agenda; this makes me think that Scalia and Thomas are what the GOP has termed “activist judges legislating from the bench”
    ( their words not mine). For attending that meeting alone; I think that both of these justices can not make an unbiased decision and therefore should be removed from office, even if by impeachment.

  • gargray

    They should strike the healthcare bill down, then we would not have to have car insurance. Health care is more important than automobile insurance, right.

  • If the law is struck down, I say roll up your sleeves and let the President, the congress and everyone else know that we need a single-payer system. The proponents of National Health Insurance have been fighting for one since the very early 19th century; they reintroduced some form of National Health Insurance in almost every congressional session for 60 years and finally won a small but significant victory with the enactment of Medicare in the 1960s. The change came because ordinary citizens were mad. They flooded The President’s and Congressional member’s mail boxes with 100s of thousands of letters (no Internet at the time), made equal numbers of calls and confronted them in person at local meetings telling stories about their parents, uncles, aunts and other relatives that were dying because they were lock out of the employee based health coverage system and were having to choose between eating and health care. That support gave the President what he needed to pass Medicare and it can work again. Just because SCOTUS strikes down the law does not mean we can’t make another. Social Progressives got Social Security, Medicare, Legalized abortion, and the civil rights act fighting against the same Conservative attitude and power that is trying so hard to undo the Affordable Care Act: They were able to do that by using the power of the 99%; we can do that again.

    • sigrid28

      What a sweet thought! Here we are voting, with all the requisite bells and whistles. There are designated winners and losers. Even with the best of intentions, a crisis occurs and there is a legitimate need for change. A righteous, motivated citizenry rises up, swarming Washington, D.C. Everyman (and woman) makes themselves heard through massive, peaceful demonstrations, overseen by Mr. Friendlies on horseback, a placid police cavalry, mostly for show. An army of fired-up young staffers gets unpaid internships to read millions of letters and emails flooding congressional mailboxes. Our elected officials and appointed leaders, whose job it is to do so, this time go about diligently keeping score, checking off a tally by candlelight, if necessary, to comprehend the will of the people. The result is a final, ultimate, grand, blindingly bright number we all hope and hope and hope will be capable of convincing the wealthy rulers of American society, our very own fairy tale aristocracy, to do our bidding– for a change, costing something that to them must be small change, indeed. In this fantasy, we are really, really, really convinced that they will grant us every giant wish that has been certified to have been asked for by a majority. It is so exciting. We could win a single-payer health care system, or the right to vote, or the path to citizenship, or a social safety net. The rulers have told us all along that these could be some of our prizes, just as long as we show them that we want them bad enough. It is their little joke on rubes like us, that we have mistaken the Coliseum for a public square.

      • sigrid28

        And another thing. If the wealthy benefactors of the Republican Party were really so distraught over the deficit, why not just dedicate their Superpak funds to lowering the national debt, instead of using their billions to purchase political influence?

        • EdC

          Amen, but that would be a very cold day in he–

        • rustacus21

          The deficit is meaningless b/c eliminating conservatives from the executive, legislative & judicial equations, there is no deficit, no joblessness, no government dysfunction, no worries over the reach, size or purpose of government, in fact, b/c Liberal/Progressive would equitably implement our Liberal/Progressive Constitution in advance of ALL Americans w/no preference for any 1 American (demographic/individuals). But then again, that’s what conservatives FEAR most – EQUITY & being on par w/every other American!!! They’re loving this ‘royalist’ treatment their money ‘thuggery’ has “BOUGHT” them. So, the question to American voters is do WE THE PEOPLE let it continue to its nitemare conclusion – the destruction of American Democracy? This is GUT-CHECK time for America & the wimps need to get out of the way or join in the BATTLE!!!

  • insurance finaly needs some rules we can live with

  • karinursula

    No what is un-American, that in this country people die because they cannot afford to go
    to a doctor. I was born and I grew up in Germany, and I never really understood why this
    country does not have a universal health insurance. I’m also sick and tired to read that everything the President proposes must be bad. I’m also sick and tired of reading that the President is not doing anything when Congress fights him every step of the way.

  • truesoy

    If liberals have no spine to defend what they believe in, how do they expect others to move to their side?.
    This behaviour is a self-defeat strategy. Has the Obama administration fought all the way for a ‘universal plan’ and/or the ‘public option’ instead of caving in to republicans demand, ehalthcare reform, real health care reform would have been an unquestioned done deal now.

    Sincerely,
    Truesoy

    • rustacus21

      True the in-fighting MUST cease, but so must the wavering, fair-weather Liberal/Progressive voters criticisms & get back to what makes the nation great – engagement!!! Voting Liberal/Progressive!!! Encouraging other to do the same & enlighten themselves in the meantime!!! By the way, here’s ( > http://wwwdottnrdotcom/article/politics/103943/magazine/constitution-avenue-supreme-court <) a great article spotlighting whats wrong w/in the administration & what it can do about it. All Americans have to do is come to the realization conservatives don't understand Democracy & therefore, inherently have problems w/its applications. History tells us what we must do. Having the collective courage to do so is a whole different issue!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • rockin_the_bay_in_Tampa

    No one has yet spoken about the “bottom line” of this country’s woes and that is pure American GREED! The big money people are only worried about keeping theirs and only theirs at any cost-to Hell with everybody else! They have basically taken the attitude of “I didn’t take you to raise…”

  • rustacus21

    Well, I guess corporate reach in2 the highest court will be complete if the Health Care Choice Act is repealed. Conservatives have obviously declared war on the Constitution. It’s time the citizenry declare war on conservatives. How? Funny U should ask!!! Vote Liberal/progressive!!! Since the Constitution is Liberal/Progressive ANYWAY, isn’t it time we ‘OCCUPY’ Congress & the Executive – but why stop there – the Supreme Court, w/ALL Liberal/Progressives!!! Conservatives may not like, but who cares? At least their quality of life will improve & w/Universal Health Care, they can then get that desperately needed psychological/mental health care & intervention treatment for the long term (or as long as required)!!!

  • This is historic. GOD is smiling on the righteous in this President for his love and concern for the lest above us. Please urge everyone you know to vote for PRESIDENT OBAMA 2012