I got a memo from my work’s HR department last week, in reference to “ObamaCare” that recently passed into law. I know many other employers have done similarly and are all concerned about how this will affect their ability to continue providing high quality health Insurance to their employees. My employer mentioned that some retiree programs they currently provide will no longer qualify for tax breaks and become much more expensive; meaning they might have to be discontinued (Sorry old folks, you out of luck). They also mentioned that the coverage they provide for me and my fellow workers will likely fall into the “Cadillac” category which may mean a substantial additional tax for me; and I’m very much a middle class person, making under 100k a year (I thought Obama said no new taxes on the middle class?).
I’ve compiled some comments I’ve posted else were on the recent “Health Care”/Insurance “Reform” Bill (I put “Health Care” in quotes because I really think this bill is more about Health Insurance then it is about health Care), and put them together (with a few extra comments) here:
March 23 Gallop Poll: 49 percent of Americans approve of the health care bill, 40 percent oppose: http://www.gallup.com/poll/126929/slim-margin-americans-support-healthcare-bill-passage.aspx
Rassmussen Poll shows over 50% want it repealed: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/current_events/healthcare/march_2010/55_favor_repeal_of_health_care_bill
CBS New claims over 60% want GOP to continue to fight the bill even after it passed (I’m sure some liberals want this too as a way to try and discredit the GOP): http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20001117-503544.html
Regardless of what poll you look at it seems that most are so close to the 50% mark that if you consider the margin of error, and how close the voting was in congress, it could have gone either way. Personally I don’t think it would have passed without all the strong-arming, bribery, and underhanded dealings that went on in Washington these last few months: http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2010/03/22/4051214-congress-passed-the-health-care-bill-now-what
What I personally find most interesting is that all the Liberals I know seem to see this as a big success and keep talking about how just under half of Americans feel the same way, while painting conservatives as hateful because of the actions of a few people. At the same time all the conservatives I know see this as a big loss of personal freedom with just over half of Americans wanting it repealed; while feeling picked on because of the actions of a few people. They certainly can’t both be right (O wait… maybe they can? – just under 50 vs. just over 50 = about 100% – humm… why do so many seem to think the polls are wrong?), and they both seem to believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that they are right and the other is absolutely wrong. One thing I do think everyone agrees on is that this nation is changing; for better or worse.
The real problem isn’t a lack of health care, this recently passed bill wasn’t even about health care; the real problem is that we have lost the true meaning of charity and are now trying to replace it with the Secular Counterfeit of Socialism. After all it’s not really charity if we pay for someone else to do it for us, or are forced into it by law or obligation. If only we were more willing to help out our neighbors, or to seek help from our friends and family; instead we have a society that teaches us to look for ways to avoid such things, and have come to expect that government will take care of it for us.
Anyway you look at it, you have to acknowledge that this is a historical event in that never before has any new government entitlement been passed by such a slim margin. If you ask me, at the very least, they should have stuck with what Obama originally said, that it needed to pass with a supper majority. Better yet, if you really want to make sure it’s constitutionally sound, it should have started out as a purposed Constitutional Amendment: maybe some sort of second Bill of Rights (like what FDR wanted, but knew he couldn’t get the right way either, but he already had his “New Deal” anyway; that we are finding today to be unsustainable because it wasn’t done the right way – What a “Progressive” he was).
I say let the lawsuits being. They wouldn’t allow very much debate on it in congress, so I guess the courts will have to do. I fully expect at last one or two aspects to get thrown out as Unconstitutional, but likely the majority of it will remain intact; unless it get’s repealed next year by 2/3’s of Congress. That will require a rather large turn over in both the Senate and the House; which is not highly likely.
It’s not that I’m against “Progress” (though I’m certainly not a “Progressive”), nor helping the poor, it’s more that I’m for following the Constitution. The Health Care bill, just like many others that are enforced today, have big constitutional question marks in my opinion. It’s almost as if we’ve forgotten that there is a well defined process of constitutional amendments that needs to be followed if we want our Federal government to do something not specifically granted within the Constitution (see the 9th and 10th Amendments that basically mean that if it’s not specifically allowed, then the Federal Government can’t do it – at least not without an amendment). Just imagine if Social Security, instead of being passed by a bill that is then revised by another bill and so on, had an iron clad constitutional amendment behind it that required all funds put into it to stay within it and not used for anything else. The Federal government would likely have trillions saved up to support retiring Baby Boomers, instead of it all being spent for other things causing Social Security to now be adding to the Spending Deficit.
It’s not just a matter of making sure the majority of Americans are ok with something new, but also willing to support the new measures that inevitably give the Federal government more power and authority, by taking it away from the people. The power and authority, after all cannot exist in both places. Either we the people get to choose, or the government get’s to chose for us – or in other words Big Government or Big Citizens.
What I’d really recommend is that people need to work locally and within their States to accomplish great things and “Progress” within their communities. I strongly believe this nation would be much stronger then it is today, if we did more to work together on a local level, rather then looking to the Federal Government for handouts; as we have done for the last 80 years (thanks FDR). This would keep the federal government doing the basic things it’s actually authorized to do; provide for common defense, international and interstate commerce, and providing basic regulations and standards to enable the States to work together, and enabling the people to accomplish great things on their own.