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Obamacare… June 28, 2012

Posted by WorldbyStorm in The Left, US Politics.

I’m actually pleased that the Affordable Care Act has passed – or at least mostly. Why? Well certainly not because it’s socialised medical care or whatever – because it’s nowhere near that. But simply because it pushes back the US right and there is no other feasible alternative anywhere near to gathering any political support. So, not exactly a victory then. But something.


1. makedoanmend - June 29, 2012

I don’t know WBS. I can’t see any positives in the decision. I won’t pretend to know what Obamacare entails, but from reading the article cited below and from reading the comments the entire situation is extremely complicated. The health issue seems almost secondary, taking a back seat to a power shift developing at the core of US society which has more to do with the changing relationships between the individual, the nation-state, individual states and corporations.


The general gist from the commentariat is that the US is morphing from a market based economy into a market based society. This theme seems to be developing across the entire OECD world, whereby the economy no longer simply provides livelihoods but has become the only identity marker for society as society – with the individual subsumed or sublimated entirely for the greater good of commerce.


Joe - June 29, 2012

Don’t worry makedo. We’re safe from that kind of thing here. The GAA won’t let it happen.


WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2012

I think that’s a great point re market based economy to market based society. Very very scary. That said an extension of healthcare to 30m is no small achievement. The problem is the 30m without it who are meant under the ACA to get Medicare extended to cover them. BUt this appears to be state dependent and the SC ruling, at least as I understand it, may not force states to do so.

Of course these are half measures, paltry on many levels, but… but…it does prove that it is possible to deflect or even part defeat the right orthodoxy there (albeit with non-socialist measures).


2. Garibaldy - June 29, 2012

Picked this up from Mick Fealty. Apparently at least one person is very upset



3. yourcousin - June 29, 2012

I’ll echo wbs and say that the ruling certainly didn’t make my day any worse for the news. That said I doubt anyone here views it as a fundamental shift. That something this basic took this long and has raised this much animosity is just a sign of the times.


WorldbyStorm - June 29, 2012

That’s very true I think. It shows how difficult even half way progressive measures are to get implemented in the US.


4. EamonnCork - June 29, 2012

Anyone who believes that it’s irrelevant whether Obama beats Romney or not should ponder the damage inflicted by Bush after his narrow win over Gore. God knows what crazed adventuring Romney will engage upon should he wins. This ruling, which came as a surprise, makes that victory less likely.


5. Pax - June 30, 2012

As far as I can see the administrative overhead of all this is astounding compared to single payer systems. The majority of Americans want universal healthcare but the lack of democracy means they won’t get it. Chomsky is most apt when he calls American elections candidate-centered “electoral extravaganzas” that are staged for people once every few years.

“In the US, there is basically one party – the business party. It has two factions, called Democrats and Republicans, which are somewhat different but carry out variations on the same policies. By and large, I am opposed to those policies. As is most of the population.” Chomsky


WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2012



6. CL - June 30, 2012

The catastrophe of a Romney presidency is now less likely.
The day of the decision was good fun with some Republican work colleagues absolutely stunned. Plus the ‘Dewey defeats Truman’ moment when CNN and Fox News declared that the ACA had been declared unconstitutional.
Professor Tribe of Harvard predicted the outcome and that it would be based on the power to tax. The individual mandate broadens the insurance pool and the tax on those who do not buy insurance penalizes ‘free riders’, an essential first step in reducing costs of health care. But the insurance companies, HMOs and big pharma still rule with the result that despite spending almost 20% of GDP on health U.S. health metrics compare unfavorably with other advanced countries. The U.S has an infant mortality rate higher than Cuba.

“During the oral arguments, the chief justice made it clear to anyone who was willing to listen with an open mind that he was inclined to view the mandate as a tax. I had also taken that view in a 2011 Boston Globe editorial, in which I argued: “[T]his law doesn’t literally force anybody to do anything; it just increases the tax liability of those who refuse to buy insurance.” The chief justice evidently saw it much the same way”-Laurence Tribe.

. There was an expectation, a bandwagon effect, that the ACA would be struck down, so this reasonable, even timid, measure being found constitutional was greeted with shock by the right. And the decision of a few days earlier, with Roberts voting with the majority, which struck down most of the state of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law increased the dismay.


WorldbyStorm - June 30, 2012

Great way of putting it, ‘reasonable, even timid’. I know it’s atavistic but it’s similar to me when the Tories get a bloody nose. That’s just fine in my book (though I have to be honest, there are a few Republicans of the US kind who I have considerable respect for).


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