Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 31, 2009


Sam Smith, Progressive Review - Central to the success of the Democrats' healthcare plan is the fact that it massively subsidizes the health insurance industry through mandatory mandates and other devices. Neither the president nor anyone on the Hill has honestly reported the size of this subsidy but it is undoubtedly one of the largest earmarks ever enacted in return for campaign contributions.

Pleased with this, the insurance industry has agreed to accept numerous restrictions on their dubious past practices - which restrictions are, on their own, positive improvements in national healthcare. The unanswered question is: how much are we paying for these worthy improvements through subsidies to the industry?

Mulling this question, it occurred to me that there is one way this baroque, affair could end up on the clearly positive side. The bill is passed with its mandates and restrictions but someone sues on the clear grounds that mandatory insurance is unconstitutional. Remember, this is not auto insurance, where citizens do not have an inherent right to drive on public roads. This is a government order that citizens must pay a private firm for insurance just to live unharassed in America. There is nothing in the constitution that permits this.

So the bill goes to the Supreme Court which throws out the mandates. Voila. Totally against the intent of Obama and the Democrats we then have a decent bill, full of new restrictions on insurance companies without the cost of subsidizing them.

On the other hand, maybe this is Obama's secret plan. If so, I'll have to admit he's a lot smarter than I thought.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since when did the Constitution matter? The insurance co.s will get their way. A provision will be made for Christian Scientists. Everybody else: pay up!

August 31, 2009 9:34 PM  
Anonymous robbie said...

"On the other hand, maybe this is Obama's secret plan. If so, I'll have to admit he's a lot smarter than I thought.

If he was so smart, why is he so bogged down?

September 1, 2009 6:17 AM  
Blogger m said...

Fat chance that the mandates will be thrown out. We have mandated accident vehicle insurance, and not just for liability in harming another person. Most if not all States require your own medical coverage. Long term precedent.

September 1, 2009 3:10 PM  

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