On his blog at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum compares Obama’s requirement that everyone buy health care to the law that requires car owners to buy airbags and insurance. He writes:
When I bought my last car, for example, I was forced by federal law to also buy seat belts and air bags — and as far as I know, no court has ever suggested the federal government lacks this power. Why?
Technically, of course, the government isn’t forcing me to buy these things. I could, if I wanted, forego the purchase of a car. This isn’t very practical where I live, serviced as I am by a single bus line that comes by once an hour, but I could do it. I could also move someplace with better transit. I’m not absolutely mandated to own seat belts and airbags.
But in real life, the fact is that most of us need a car. It’s only an option in the most hyperlegalistic sense, which means that for all practical purposes the federal government has mandated that I buy seat belts and airbags. And they’ve done that on the theory that even if I don’t care about my own safety, other people might ride in my car and they deserve protection. What’s more, taxpayers could end up on the hook for medical care if I injure myself and my passengers. So seat belts and airbags are the law.
Practically speaking, then, what’s the difference between this and an insurance mandate? In both cases the federal government is forcing me to buy something I might not want. The cost of complying with both mandates is substantial. You can be fined for disabling airbags or removing seat belts, just as Obamacare fines you for not buying health insurance. They’re pretty damn similar.
Time reports that 55 percent of doctors admit to lying to patients.
It doesn’t mention another kind of lying by doctors that used to be routine, and perhaps still is. I remember in the late 1980s, a woman I knew in Scotland had stomach cancer - and never knew about it. The doctor told her husband and other members of her family, who decided not to tell her, so the doctor lied to her and told her she had something minor. She underwent surgery for the cancer without knowing what it was.
I can think of several people who were terminally ill but were not told about it. Their families were told, and they made the decision to keep it from them. I wonder if this is still common, in the U.S. or in Scotland, and if it is legal.
I don’t expect to agree with AZ Governor Jan Brewer about many things, but, like her, I applaud the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that Obama’s health care “reform” - forcing people to buy the product that the insurance companies are selling - is illegal.
The Guardian reports that David Cameron is vowing to “end the state’s monopoly over public services,” i.e. hand over the National Health Service and the education system to private business. He calls this “putting power in the hands of the people.”
Anytime I write that Obama is George W. Bush with a better vocabulary, I get angry emails from his supporters, who I think have battered spouse syndrome. They usually tell me how he’s brought “meaningful health care reform.”
The Guardian reports: “Barack Obama’s efforts to end the iniquity that leaves millions of Americans without healthcare insurance suffered a blow today when a federal judge ruled the entire reform package unconstitutional.”
It’s unlikely to make much difference to the new law going into effect, but the law is going to be unworkable. Legally requiring people to buy health insurance presupposes that they have the money to pay for it. Obama’s so-called “reform” is a craven avoidance of what is really needed: the provision of health care for everyone without regard to their finances.
This being the U.S., many people will respond, “But how can that be paid for?” (Unsurprisingly, most of those who object to universal health care for that reason are lucky enough to have health insurance themselves - and, yes, it is about luck.) The actuality is that there is more than enough money to pay for it; the problem is that the majority of the money is in the hands of a small minority.
Gov. Jan Brewer has a solution to the state’s Medicaid shortfall. Eliminate the program.
Read the rest.
A friend in Scotland emailed me: The Governer of Arizona made Channel Four News last night about the 100 people who might die from lack of organ transplants for the sake of $5 million.
I guess we’ve gone from being a national and international laughing stock to being a horror show. In Scotland, and everywhere else I can think of outside of the U.S., Jan Brewer not only wouldn’t be a viable candidate for election - she’d be unemployable.