Chief Justice John Roberts signs on to Health Care Act
Posted on Friday, June 29, 2012 at 09:52 AM
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Well, here's some humble pie I don't mind eating. In fact, I'm in a positively celebratory mood.
I wish that I could say today's ruling signals a move to the political center for the John Roberts Court, but clearly it means no such thing.
Following the public outrage over the Citizens United decision, had the Roberts Court ruled against the Affordable Health Care Act it could have bolstered a legitimacy crisis for the Supreme Court. For whatever reasons Roberts chose not to aggravate that perception at this time.
But critics like Rush Limbaugh are now contending, with laughable hyperbole, that Obamacare constitutes the 'biggest tax increase in the history of the world.'
Well, sometimes the social compact makes us pay for things that we don't like in order to promote the greater good of the nation, allowing us receive a mutual benefit.
What Tea Party supporters call an 'immoral tax' can also be called 'taking individual responsibility' to insure yourself so that your personal costs aren't passed on to everyone else, or failing that to contribute to the Government's revenue so that it can cover those costs.
When uninsured people seek medical care we all pay for it. Either through taxes or through increases to medical costs. The new mandate takes that burden off us and places it back with the person with no insurance.
You want medical treatment but don't want to get insurance? OK, you can have it but now we'll levy a fine against you.
This is not socialism. This is common sense. You can't get a drivers license without car insurance in some states. The government has just applied the same logic to health care. Applying the same logic to health care makes good sense.
There are people in America who believe they can go without health care insurance. There are people who are certain they will never get sick, never have an accident, never need stitches or break a bone. So when they go to hospital now without insurance for those things they'll be fined.
Once upon a time they thought, wrongly, that what they did had no impact on anyone else in society. Now they'll discover the error of that view and they'll contribute to the greater health of the nation.
That's what taking responsibility for your own actions means. The Court has upheld a sensible law. We all benefit from it.