Sunday, January 18, 2015

189.3 - Good News, mostly: ACA survives a challenge

Good News, mostly: ACA survives a challenge

Last up for this week is somewhat limited Good News, but on the whole it has to be put on the plus side of the balance sheet.

After the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare was passed, there were various suits challenging various aspects of the law, including one on the so-called individual mandate, the provision that required people to have some kind of health insurance that met certain minimum standards or pay a tax penalty.

The challengers lost in federal district court in 2012. They lost in federal appeals court in 2014. And on Monday, January 12, they lost at the Supreme Court, which refused to accept the case, leaving the appellate decision as the final one. Which is good news.

The reason it's limited good news is that I felt all along and still feel that Obamacare is not good enough; it does not meet the challenge set for it. According to various polls at the time the bill was being debated, somewhere around 18-20% of Americans opposed the law because it didn't go far enough. I was among that number. I felt and still feel that what we need is a national health care system - not national health insurance, even less the kind of publicly-subsidized private health insurance system that the ACA created, but national health care.

During the debate over the law, my concerns were dismissed by O supporters, who insisted for some reason that I still can't fathom that starting by going for what you actually want is foolish and besides "we'll get this passed and next year come back to make it better." I said no you won't, you'll spend your time and energy fighting to not lose the little you have gained. I think history has shown who was right on that.

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