In a somewhat surprising 5-4 decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the contentious ObamaCare law, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance. The ramifications of the decision, though, go far beyond health care.
In the ruling, the court treated the penalty for failing to purchase health insurance as a tax, a move that libertarians immediately criticized as rewriting the law. The mandate was structured as a Commerce Clause power, which the court rejected as unconstitutional. It then decided to save the law by declaring the penalty a tax, something Congress never would have passed.
The result is favorable to them, though. Now Congress can require anybody to do just about anything — including eat their broccoli — and “tax” those who don’t want to, and be virtually guaranteed a seal of approval from the courts.
As I said, the ramifications go far beyond health care. Already the usual suspects are talking about how they will repeal ObamaCare if they get elected. And who knows, they might try it. But they will be bought off by the same special interests — the insurance companies themselves — who bought off the politicians who voted for ObamaCare in the first place. What, you didn’t know the insurance companies wanted this?
If Mitt Romney and a crowd of Republicans get elected this November, repeal will never pass Congress. The insurance companies will stop it dead. If Obama gets reelected, repeal may pass, but not with enough votes to override the obvious veto.
Which brings us to the long-term effects, not only of this ruling but the general direction of the Supreme Court and the rest of the United States government, and the wall it is about to hit.
Given the way democratic-republican politics works, the best you can possibly hope for with respect to ObamaCare is minor changes, and not enough of those to have any serious impact.
If Obama is reelected this November, a U.S. State is likely to attempt to secede as early as 2013. Should Romney be elected, that secession will be delayed, but only for as long as it takes for people to realize that he will change absolutely nothing and that the country will continue its descent into madness.
I say attempt to secede because it’s not at all clear how the U.S. will react. What is clear is that the U.S. can ill afford yet another war, and especially not one on its own shores. Military action would divide the country like it hasn’t been in almost two centuries, giving legitimacy to the secession and prompting more states to leave the union. Yet if the U.S. doesn’t react, (refusing to acknowledge a secession grants it no legitimacy, as Key West learned when it seceded) many more states will be emboldened and secede peacefully.
Obviously, the health care law is not the only issue; it is just the last straw for many people. The growing awareness of how the U.S. through the Federal Reserve has caused the economic collapse and orchestrated a false recovery yet again and sure knowledge of the U.S. government’s only possible next move to “save” the economy — open war with someone, anyone — will virtually force several states to leave. The only questions are which state will be first, and when.
It could also be that the economy collapses completely before any state can secede, though I believe that collapse is still a few years off. Any way it happens, the U.S. as we know it today is dead. May it rest in peace.
The ideas underlying the United States were good ones. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as unalienable rights certainly sounds good, and it certainly is true as far as it goes. One of the fatal flaws in the Declaration of Independence, though, was that the unalienable right to own and dispose of property was never enumerated. Perhaps it is because that right is the first that governments must violate in order to exist in their usual coercive form, and actually enumerating it would emasculate any government that did so. Whatever follows the United States, should it fail to do this, will simply be more of the same.
(The other fatal flaw in the Declaration of Independence was the omission of the word “unanimous” before “consent of the governed.” Whatever follows must also adopt this.)
We are living in interesting times, as the ancient Chinese curse says. Now eat your broccoli… if you can afford it.