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Monday, July 2, 2012

Thank God I Don't Have to Move to Israel

Posted by on Mon, Jul 2, 2012 at 3:42 PM

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.


Comments (11) RSS

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OuterCow 1
It's funny that the "conventional wisdom" said it was going to be thrown out when I never had much doubt it would be upheld, because that's what the insurance and pharma companies wanted to happen. How isn't it conventional wisdom yet that "huge corporations get what they want"?
Posted by OuterCow on July 2, 2012 at 4:09 PM · Report this
Right on OuterCow! The insurance and pharma companies wrote the legislation so why wouldn't they want it to be upheld?
Posted by nwcitizen on July 2, 2012 at 5:06 PM · Report this
when I crap on my property, is that activity or inactivity? the city or state can make me enter a market to purcahse sewer services. and they don't even let me choose the provider! it's commyism boo hoo.

if I fail to get health insurance, is that activity or inactivity? in the aggregate us who fail to buy it, hahaha, we get ER care for free. And the extra padding of your bills this causes causes or helps cause them effects...on interstate commerce. Like, oh spending 17% of GDP on health care or 2/3 all bankruptcies being for health care bills, most from people who thought they were insured, hardy har har. But ohmygod if you regulate the decision to not buy health insurance the relationsihp between the individual and our national limited government is changed. it's not limited anymore. whereas the word "limited" is one we read into the commerce clause and the whole damn constitution. so you see, the city of seattle can regulate your shit, but the usa gummint can't regulate 33 million people without coverage when this impacts the other 270 million up the wazzoo. because that would be regulating inactivity, you see!

note to self: next time they institute draft, try to remain "inactive" and see if that gives me exemption. when the wildfire is raging thru my property stay "inactive" don't fight it -- and don't let the city mandate you have to buy a bucket and pail for fire protection and keep it on your property. inactivity rocks. you must consent to being regulated or its Just Not Fair.
Posted by inactivist judges on July 2, 2012 at 5:20 PM · Report this
Your martyr complex and righteous indignation would play well there.
Posted by Hutch on July 2, 2012 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Sandiai 5
@3 Well, taking a crap IS technically "activity."

I'm just messing with you. I like what you wrote and how you wrote it.
Posted by Sandiai on July 2, 2012 at 8:20 PM · Report this
Strange that the most conservative, pro-business members of the Court--Scalia, Thomas, and Alito--didn't seem to realize that the pharmas and insurance companies wanted the legislation to be upheld.

This was not a slam-dunk; it was a 5-4 vote. Roberts finally just couldn't stomach being quite that mean.
Posted by sarah70 on July 2, 2012 at 9:26 PM · Report this
@6 corporations.
Posted by capicola on July 2, 2012 at 11:42 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 8
@6 Because despite what Thomas, Scalia and Alito have led us to believe about "strict constitutionalists" they are, they are really right wing ideologues.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 3, 2012 at 5:13 AM · Report this
Maybe acknowledge that your back-up plan depended upon a "Law of Return" that is racist, xenophobic, and total bullshit?
Posted by It should at least be acknowledged. on July 3, 2012 at 6:15 AM · Report this
Stiny 10
For the rest of us, do you think Canada would allow an influx of elderly health care refugees? I doubt it. We really need something better here at home.
Posted by Stiny on July 3, 2012 at 8:23 AM · Report this
@1 (OuterCow) and @2 (nwcitizen): Bingo. AHIP wanted Obamacare upheld, or failing that, scrapped in toto. The US Chamber of Commerce wanted a definitive decision now rather than later (which may help explain why Roberts went for that tortured rationale of the penalty being a tax for the purposes of congressional power and yet not a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act). PhRMA didn't file a brief. See, Stephanie Mencimer, "On Health Care Refo… Big Health wrote the Act and they wanted it upheld.

@Goldy: Keep believing the Democratic-party-machine line if you will, but the goal of Obamacare was to extend and expand the for-profit health sector's protection racket for another decade or two, not to protect Medicare, certainly not to provide affordable or cost-effective care, and most certainly not to be the first step toward universal cost-effective care. We can't achieve universal, cost-effective care without breaking some major Big Health rice bowls, and there are no provisions in Obamacare for doing that. To the contrary, the ACA actually further entrenches Big Health and gives them an even bigger cut of the economy (from 18% now to over 20% by 2019). I don't see how this will make real reform easier to achieve down the road. In the meantime, keep an eye on those impending cuts to Medicare rates and how they affect seniors.
Posted by PCM on July 3, 2012 at 8:56 AM · Report this

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