What with all that happened at last week's McKenna press conference I haven't had time to write much about the US Supreme Court decision itself, upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. So I thought I'd take a moment to express my personal relief.
In the months leading up to last week's landmark opinion I had grown increasingly pessimistic about my own health care future. Although a supermajority of constitutional scholars had opined that the provisions were constitutional, the conventional wisdom was that the court's conservative majority would toss it out nonetheless. At the same time Republican House budget writer Paul Ryan was continuing to push his own plan that would eliminate Medicare for people like me who were stupid and irresponsible enough to be born past a certain arbitrary date.
Without health care reform and without Medicare, I literally did not see a way I could afford health care for myself in my old age. There's simply no profit to be made providing affordable health insurance to old people, so after a healthy lifetime of paying into the system I figured the day would soon arrive where I would have no choice but to join the ranks of the uninsured.
At least in this country. See, I had a backup plan: Move to Israel.
I'm not a particularly observant Jew, but I am Jewish nonetheless, and as such Israel's "Law of Return" guarantees me both residency and citizenship. And Israel offers its citizens a comprehensive, and by all accounts high quality, universal health care system.
Nothing against Israel—it's kinda like South Florida only with less humidity and fewer Jews—but I don't particularly want to move there. I've never even visited. Still, I suppose it's better than dying.
But now, thanks to the US Supreme Court, I don't have to learn Hebrew. The ACA is almost certain to survive (only a Romney victory and filibuster-proof senate Republican majority could kill it), and Ryan's faze-out of Medicare makes even less sense in that context.
My own personal health care exodus has been averted.