Hello and welcome to the breathless anticipation edition of PostScript! Supreme Court decisions are rocking the whole country today, and the forecast says it’ll continue all week. We in the PostScript bunker are rock-proof, soundproof, nuclear-war proof and Ebola-proof, so we think we’re pretty safe here under the bed, mewling.
Agitation is manifesting in the approximately 3500 comments to EJ Dionne’s column today. Dionne is in the ER waiting room waiting for the Affordable Care Act to come out of surgery — dead, missing limbs, or euphoric on morphine. He’s wondering if a court decision will finally force the serious adult conversation about how we’re going to pay for the hospital bill, or if we’re going to cut off one of the surgeon’s hands if he screws up, or something that makes more sense in this brilliant metaphor.
Dionne hopes that the possible death of Obamacare will allow us all to realize we loved it all along. Commenters don’t seem to be changing their minds about whether ACA is/was the right one for us; several, however, try to grapple with what to do if the law is struck down and we still have the freako crazy vampire system we had five years ago — minus a bunch of jobs and respect for the political process. And dumped by insurance companies for having the insolence to already be sick.
Ericcallenking is optimistic about individual states’ abilities to enact universal health care, should they choose:
The way ahead is clear. The states, individually, can enact any health care plan they want. Romneycare is in no danger of being repealed, Vermont is trying to move forward to single payer, Oregon has a plan to cut costs with better preventative care. The way forward is to help the states solve the problem of universal, affordable health care individually since a federal solution looks likely to be ruled out. The roadblock is only temporary if the government pivots to enabling the states to come up with individual solutions.
VoterVA7th predicts ACA will remain intact, for an interesting reason — corporate greed:
This current court always decides in favor of what corporations want. ACA gives 30 million new customers to insurance companies. For that reason, I expect the mandate will stand.
MDlaxer disagrees, but offers a solution:
I don’t think so. I think 5 justices will concur that that U.S. Constitution does not grant the Federal Government the power to require citizens to purchase a product. Whether such a power, as in this case is good, just, right or economically sensible should be irrelevant to the SC.
“We the People” can pass an amendment granting such powers, if that is really what we want.
TJMAN says we already have a cost-effective model for health care for most American species:
The cheapest health care in the world is cash basis health care. It is maximally efficient. It drives cost through the floor. Look at veterinary medicine. The medications used for animals are in many cases the same medicine that is used to treat humans. The cost is 30% or less for a prescription. The cost for animal visits and surgery are far less than human medicine. Does the free market work? Yes.
What is the downside? Society has to be willing to let people die who cannot afford the care. That is the trade off. We have all had a dog or other animal put down because it was cheaper than treating a fatal illness. Ready for that, America?
Well, no. That’s where family comes in. Then charity.
TheAnswerIs42 proposes a radical new solution:
I think we should be able to buy into Canadian health care system.
PostScript kind of likes this idea, but suspects Canadian taxpayers would reject this plan, politely. The obvious solution is to invade Canada and take their health care for ourselves. Work with us here, Canada. We’ve got whooping cough amassed at your border.