“Death to The Boogeyman”

John Roberts killed him.

Ever since Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on March 23rd of 2010, the measure became cleverly and effectively branded by rabid Republican opponents as “Obamacare” — yet a new Boogeyman designed to scare and frighten a faithful flock with outright lies and unrestrained deceit. Such manipulation successfully spawned a mindless, mobilized opposition – elevating timidity and fear of change to the level of virtuous patriotism.

You’ve heard variations of the rap.

“Obamacare is a socialist takeover of one-sixth of the American economy, engineered by the worst Kenyan-born, secret Muslim President in our history, with government run health care, confiscatory taxation, thousands of unelected “Czars”, IRS agents behind every tree, the end of private property, no more HBO, bad haircuts and Death Squads dropping Gramma in a dumpster.”

None of this is remotely true, but much was generally believed by many. Until now.

God Bless John Roberts.

In what sure qualifies as a Kennedyesque “Profile in Courage”, John Glover Roberts, Jr., the 17th Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, not only provided the deciding vote in the Court’s historic (5-4) affirmation of the Affordable Care Act’s Constitutionality, but he actually found a brilliant way to make things come together — piecing the puzzle into place — preserving integrity through ingenuity. As with most complex issues, simplicity carried the day.

You don’t like “mandate?” Let’s call it a “Tax.” No one claims Congress can’t do that. Thank you and goodnight.”

Appointed by George W. Bush in 2005, this clearly Conservative Chief Justice’s sudden and completely unexpected shift to join his four more “liberal” brethren on the left in rendering one of the most critical Supreme Court decision of our lifetime — one of multigenerational implication, quickly brings to mind one of our own — a prominent Californian.

Earl Warren was one of only two people to be elected Governor of California three times, the other being Jerry Brown. Warren ran for Vice-President on the GOP ticket in 1948 behind Thomas E. Dewey.

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower thanked Warren for his service to the party through the years by appointing him as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in September of 1953. Chief Justice Warren then proceeded through subsequent years to lead the Court in a transformational series of progressive decisions that revolutionized the role of the Court in such landmark cases as Brown v. Board of Education (1954), Reynolds v. Sims (1964) and Miranda v. Arizona (1966).

The ultra-right wing John Birch Society initiated a strong “Impeach Earl Warren” Campaign from the late ‘50’s onward, as I suspect similar disapproval will be leveled at Chief Justice Roberts from this point forward by Latter-Day Birchers parroting Tea Party slogans or similar expressions of divisive discontent.

But in making his stand and drawing sharp, detailed attention to exactly what the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act IS against what it IS NOT, John Roberts has also succeeded where the Administration had inadvertently failed — in simply — explaining itself.

With the Boogieman down, most of us now know that “Obamacare” was designed to reduce healthcare costs by making services available to 32 million fellow citizens who currently can’t get insurance. The states will be required to set up insurance exchanges to make it easier to shop for private health insurance coverage and Insurance companies can no longer deny children coverage for pre-existing conditions, a benefit which will apply to adults in 2014. If you get sick, you can’t be dropped from coverage. Parents can put their children up to age 26 on health insurance plans. If Insurance Companies pay too much in Executive Compensation and other non-health related items, you will receive a refund on your premium payments. In 2012 alone, this will be more than a billion bucks coming back to taxpayers. The Medicare “doughnut hole” gap in coverage will be eliminated by 2020. The Act will lower the budget deficit by $143 billion for the next 10 years by raising some taxes and shifting more cost burdens.

Oh, and that “mandate”, now a “tax?” That will effect just freeloaders who want us to pay for them by refraining from participation. They’ll be only about two percent of the population. Two percent. All of this comes from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

And — as if our President needed more good news — extensive polling by the National Geographic Channel now reveals that the American people, by an overwhelming two to one margin, believe that Barack Obama is better equipped than Mitt Romney to handle an alien space invasion.

Sleep well tonight.

7 Responses to ““Death to The Boogeyman””

  1. Bill Hennes Says:

    Peter-This is right on the money! Mr John did the right thing and then some!

  2. petercavanaugh Says:

    Thanks, Bill! I’m still in a state of happy shock, particularly since Roberts DID engineer a smooth move and then some.

  3. Charles Walker Says:

    Ah, Peter C! You certainly a endorsing your Proglibacrat creds with this one. The thing that cracks me up is that had The Chief Justice voted the other way you would have molten lava pouring from your ears as you excoriated him. I don’t remember you patting the Chief on the back after the Citizens United decision. So I’m assuming Roberts is a good guy only when he agrees with the party [DNC not CPUSA]. Bottom line is that SCOTUS interprets the constitution. Frankly, what they might decide on Monday could be different on Tuesday depending on whether or not they got the old ashes hauled Monday night.

    Personally I’m now 4 square in favor of replacing Obama-care with Hillary-care. The ACA is going to be an administrative nightmare. Frankly we’d be much better off with a single payer system. The insurance companies would survive writing private insurance for the folks who want concierge coverage and everyone else could divvy up what was left. You and I live in high end communities. We should spend a Friday night sitting around the Emergency room at St. Vincents in LA or Slidell Memorial in N’orleans to get a real taste of what the future will look like for the vast majority on Americans. Last year I was kidding my PCP Doc about the Medicare cuts. He very seriously told me that he and his wife had spent a lot of time thinking about their future. He could go back to the University of Florida and in two years have his DVM degree. Cash business, cheap malpractice and no complaints from the patients.

    BTW, my daughter is visiting. She’s a CCU nurse at the Syracuse VA. She was telling me about the patient she lost the other night because a VA Anesthesiologist had a little whoopsy in the OR and injected a spinal anesthetic into an IV drip and killed the poor bastard deader than a doornail right on the table. He was 80 years old and was in for a circumcision! Can’t make stuff like that up.

    BTW, have you ever watched George C Scott’s 1972 classic “The Hospital”? That’ll give you an eye ball on the future…

  4. petercavanaugh Says:

    I completely agree on single payer and, yes, “Obamacare” is just a serious start on moving in the right (correct) direction. Also, yes, “The Hospital” is a classic and one of George C. Scott’s best!

  5. Dave Mayton Says:

    “It’s amazing that people who think we can’t afford doctors, hospitals and medications think we CAN afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medications AND a government bureaucracy to administer it.”

    In 1991 I dislocated my patella, tore all the interior and anterior ligaments and tendons and chipped a bone. The surgery lasted one hour, was performed by one physician, one nurse and an anesthesiologist… and cost $13,000. I was just a young buck then, and had no money or insurance. I made payments for three years to take care of that bill. Do I think the price was exorbitant for one hour of work? absofrigginloutely!!! THIS is where the problem lies. Knowing that the government is a lousy and expensive surrogate for compassion is good enough on it’s own to not want this mandate. It’s like saying the government has a revenue problem when we can factually say it has a spending problem.

    I don’t pay an Insurance company a premium because I don’t want or need their services, though now I will be taxed/penalized for not purchasing a product? This nonsense is SO unconstitutional they has to use an obscure commerce provision to get it through.

    Remember the Constitution? Federal Government is to serve we the people by doing only a few simple tasks. Namely they were to protect our lives, liberty and property. So if they take my liberty (choice) and they take my property (my money) the only thing left is my life. Oh that’s right, NDAA allows Obama to take that too! The only thing I would ask you to do is to read about the fall of the Roman Empire. Those who know not history are doomed to repeat it, and the story of Rome IS the story of America.

    PS- I am a Libertarian in case you wondered.

  6. petercavanaugh Says:

    I have several good friends who are Libertarians and agree with Thom Hartmann’s general assessment that “Libertarians are Conservatives who like to smoke dope and screw.”

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