And that’s how it should be. As President Barack Obama reportedly said, elections do have consequences. The GOP’s anemic efforts in 2008 led directly to Obamacare. If Republican leaders want to dismantle the law, they’ll have to make a stronger showing in November.
And they won’t be able to do so merely by campaigning against the current law. They’ll have to present a better alternative. They’ll have to make the case that their plan will be superior to Obama’s largely untested reforms.
In the meantime, Texas leaders must accept the defeat and start the process of establishing those insurance exchanges. Of course, the Legislature won’t convene until after the November elections, but setting up the exchange is a big job and state agencies need to get to work now.
One note about broccoli — the vegetable loomed large in the Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday.
“According to the Government, upholding the individual mandate would not justify mandatory purchases of items such as cars or broccoli because, as the Government puts it, ‘health insurance is not purchased for its own sake like a car or broccoli; it is a means of financing health-care consumption and covering universal risks’…” the majority opinion reads. “But cars and broccoli are no more purchased for their ‘own sake’ than health insurance. They are purchased to cover the need for transportation and food.”
Broccoli is important, because it’s a good example of what lengths the government can go to in order to fix us.
By upholding the individual mandate, the Supreme Court has affirmed a disturbing precedent: government can require much more of us, in the name of our own good, than many of us believed.
In all likelihood, that’s going to become very apparent, very soon. One of the biggest problems with our health care system isn’t the system, as much as it is our health. We make bad choices. Many Americans eat too much. Many smoke. Many engage in high-risk behaviors.
The ACA decision gives government the green light to “help” us make better choices. Watch for new laws, new regulations and new penalties for things we might enjoy — but might not be good for us.
The voting public may rise up in November and elect politicians who oppose Obamacare.
But until then, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land.