The insurance racketeers are about to place themselves in a truly poetic position. Through their paid legislative and judicial representatives, they have chosen to raise the Constitutional question of whether the government can or cannot mandate that individuals purchase healthcare coverage. This seems an odd tactic for an industry that rakes in big bucks from State mandated auto insurance. The Poet’s Eye was fairly wide with amazement when the State of Texas mandated that we all buy auto insurance. I was amazed that any single industry had the political suck to arrange that, by law, we must purchase their product. I imagined that if the egg industry had that much clout, we would all be required to eat omelettes for breakfast each morning. The idea of mandated insurance has plenty of precedent, every state has mandated auto-insurance. But is it Constitutional?
The attornies-general of several states are suing the government over the Healthcare Act, saying that it is un-Constitutional because of the individual mandate. In the process of this litigation, the question will inevitably arise: If it is un-Constitutional for the government to mandate that we buy health insurance, then why isn’t it also un-Constitutional for the State to require auto insurance? The standard argument used to support State-mandated auto insurance is that it’s not really a mandate because you have the option of not driving. It will be interesting to see how this argument works when they try to tell us that triple-by-pass surgery or an appendectomy is an elective procedure.
The Poet’s Eye expects to see quite a rodeo in the next year, complete with clowns and plenty of bull-pucky, as the insurance mafia saddles up for the fight to maintain their revenue stream. For what the industry is prepared to spend on propaganda and legal costs and political pay-offs to roll back ObamaCare, we could finance a gleaming new National Healthcare program which would cost us less and deliver better care. But that won’t happen because a barrage of lies and phony arguments designed to completely obscure the facts and befuddle the public into supporting nonsensical positions which are directly against their own self interest, are about to be unleashed. If they must, the insurance cartels will buy politicians, elections, whole television networks if necessary, to repeat the phony numbers and rum-headed reasoning which they hope will confuse or scare us away from the simply logical idea of a single-payer, not-for-profit National healthcare system which would cost less and deliver more.
The reason that all drivers are required to purchase insurance is to protect the typical tax-paying, Lexus driving, law-abiding motorist from being left with the bill when a drunk illegal immigrant with eight kids in the car T-bones them at the intersection of Liability Lane and Shiddowdaluck Rd. Nobody seems to be thinking about the financial car wreck that happens every time one of those eight kids gets taken to an emergency room to secure primary healthcare. Through our County, State and Federal taxes, we all bear the liability of a poorly functioning healthcare delivery system. That system is working poorly for the intended recipients of care, but it functions very well for the profiteers who are taking their share off the top. Besides the insurance gaming, graft made possible by the fractured and piecemeal nature of our current programs adds to the gross inefficiency which makes our system cost nearly 20% of GDP while other, more sensible countries get more equitably delivered healthcare for 8 to 10 percent of GDP. This is the indisputable, gold-clad, mathematical fact that you will NEVER hear uttered on Fox News.
The question remains, Is it Constitutional for the government to require that its citizens purchase a product on which someone makes a profit? In my reading of the Constitution, I don’t find anything to suggest that the government might enjoy this power. Even if What is good for GM is good for America, they can’t mandate that we all drive Chevrolets. An individual mandate also does absolutely nothing to eliminate the real problem which is that the insurance industry is an unnecessary middle man sucking the system of its viability. Their profit is the difference between paying 10 and 20 percent of our GDP for healthcare. The individual mandate is nothing more than a further capitulation to the insurance bandits who designed it and are now making a charade of fighting it in court. Plus, its just a sloppy way to move toward the real goal which is Universal Healthcare.
What needs to happen instead of forcing individuals to buy products from which others profit, is to issue a healthcare card to every American at birth which would identify them to a smooth-running, not for profit system which would dispense healthcare with an equal hand to all citizens. Anything less than this will result in some degree or version of the current two-tiered system in which those who can afford the best care will get it and the rest will stand in line for the leftovers. As a nation, it is time to ask the question, “Is healthcare a human right? Or is access to healthcare a luxury which should only be available to those who can afford it?” How, as a society, we answer this question will determine what our system looks like. The Poet’s Eye would love to see compassion conquer greed as we respond.
Oh help me, please doctor, I’m damaged
There’s a pain where there once was a heart
It’s sleepin, it’s a beatin’
Can’t ya please tear it out, and preserve it
Right there in that jar?–Stones