By Bob Bennett
Justice John Roberts should remember, when SCOTUS reviews Obamacare again, March 4th, that he is chief justice of the highest court in the land—not a television host concerned about his ratings. When the court last reviewed the law, he bowed to pressure from the president, who, on April 2, 2012 had made a statement so absurd it might’ve been an April Fools joke, arriving a day late:
“For years what we’ve heard is, the biggest problem on the bench was…that an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law…I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that and not take that step.”
SCOTUS had been overturning laws for only 209 years, since Marbury v. Madison. But somehow, when Obama uttered an absurdity, it was as if the archangel Gabriel had blown the final trump; maybe it was all those photos depicting Obama with a halo.
Roberts heard and found a way to obey.
If Roberts again genuflects to Obama, this law will devastate both our health care system and our economy.
That’s because the real intent is for Obamacare to transition into single payer, a system that has delivered sub-mediocre—yet costly—care wherever it’s been installed.
First, the issue at hand. The law clearly states that refundable tax credits would be available to Americans who bought health insurance via “an exchange established through the State.”
At least thirty-four states declined to establish exchanges, but an IRS regulation allowed tax credits to flow from federal-run exchanges—in direct contradiction of the wording of the law.
The plaintiffs are lower-income Americans who don’t want to buy the bloated, pricy insurance the law mandates, and if there were no federal subsidies, they’d be exempt from Obamacare. They contend the federal subsidies are illegal.
Oddly, Obamacare expert Jonathan Gruber agreed with them, inadvertently. In January 2012, he said:
“What’s important to remember politically about this is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits.” That’s precisely what the plaintiffs are claiming.
He later tried to walk back the comment as a “speako,” analogous to a “typo.” It didn’t fly, because Gruber had added detail:
“Your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill. So you’re…[telling] your citizens to pay…taxes to help all the other states.” The plan was to embarrass the states into setting up exchanges. But it didn’t work.
If SCOTUS rules for the plaintiffs, there will be far less people in the plan and premiums will soar, excluding even more people, until the law spirals into oblivion.
Reuters has reported that five states (so far) will not rescue Obamacare if SCOTUS turns thumbs down on federal subsidies. Others will find Republican legislatures an obstacle to setting up an exchange in their state.
The media is whipping up fear to pressure SCOTUS to uphold the law. But, do your job this time, Justice Roberts: Congress must—and will—pass transition legislation, and legislation to replace Obamacare.
Remember: the media barely reported it when over 6 million people lost their insurance—in spite of Obama’s promise they could keep it, if they liked it. This year, we’ll see cancellations of up to 40 million employer health plans, says USA Today: “Most…cancellations will be for plans that were supposed to be canceled last year….After the fallout from last year’s fiasco became too politically toxic, President Obama unilaterally changed the law so that some non-compliant policies could continue for at least another year. That 12-month period is now up.”
But there’d likely be no employer mandate in states without subsidies, if SCOTUS knocks down federal subsidies.
If SCOTUS upholds the law again, we face a far worse fate: single payer health care, which is what the president and his Democrats planned from the start.
Harry Reid admitted in an interview that Obamacare was meant to evolve into single payer, where the govt. pays for all health care, like in Canada or Great Britain.
Reid said we have to “work our way past” insurance-based health care during an appearance on the Vegas PBS program Nevada Week in Review.
“’What we’ve done with Obamacare is have a step in the right direction, but we’re far from having something that’s going to work forever,’ Reid said.
When asked if he meant the country would have a health care system without insurance, Reid said: ‘Yes, yes. Absolutely, yes.’”
Obama and some Democrats have been touting single-payer for some time, Breitbart reported on October 29, 2013:
“President Barack Obama made it no secret he was a proponent of a single payer health care system in America when he first came on to the national scene. However, he explained…that a ‘potential transition’ would be necessary to break away from the current system.”
This is a very real possibility: we all know that Democrats mean to impose their radical beliefs on the Nation, regardless of the effect on Americans. Here’s a peek at life under single payer.
The Toronto Sun wrote that, after funding cuts, a Canadian eye surgeons’ website announced: “several hospitals…will be closing their cataract surgery departments for months at a time. Some hospitals have chosen to get out of…cataract surgery altogether.” Ophthalmologist Tim Hinson said: “he and other doctors have wait lists of six months or more.”
In November 2014, Fraser Inst. reported: “The median wait time for Canadians seeking medically necessary surgery…remains stalled at 18.2 weeks.”
Treatment delays are so severe in Canada that Quebeckers sued their government for violating their “right to life and security” under the Quebec Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In Chaoulli v. Quebec (2005), Canada’s Supreme Court declared: “The evidence…shows that delays in the public health care system are widespread, and that, in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care.”
Long waits are inevitable, because the principle way to limit costs under single payer is to limit access to services.
For example, the UK and Canada each has only 8 MRI machines per million people, vs. 35 in America.
Cost-cutting delivers atrocious and deadly care. Here’s a bleak assessment of British health care, from the medical director of the UK’s National Health Service:
“Warning signs were there…including alarming levels of infections, patients suffering from neglect and appalling blunders such as surgery performed on the wrong parts of bodies…up to 13,000 patients died needlessly in that period.”
Yet, their annual cost is high. And adjusting for our larger population and higher salaries, health care of similar quality in the U.S. would cost well over $1 trillion a year.
This is clearly in our future, if Obamacare isn’t stopped now. Read the entire findings of this report, and rejoice for the “health care ” planned for us by Obama and the Democrats.
Bob Bennett is a New York-based writer who has written op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and the NY Post, and has appeared on Fox and Friends and America’s Newsroom. He has traveled widely and written travel pieces for the NY Post, a cover article for the Jewish Press, and an op-ed for the medical journal Cancer Biotherapy & Radioimmunotherapy. Bob was also award-winning producer of a travel radio show heard on New York stations: WMCA, WNWK and 50,000 watt WOR and the national Sky Angel Network. He now blogs on Tea Party Nation, Tea Party Community and Red State Diaries.