Sunday, November 8, 2009

Health Care Reform H.R. 3962: Just Say No!

Kucinich voted no and here's why:

John Geyman M.D.'s informed opinion of the bill last Thursday:

Yeah, there are some useful tweaks to existing health care insurance here that should pass into law and I'm not opposed to every word of this bill or anything like that. But I am opposed to the mandate that exists to buy insurance from the private health insurers and I equally resent the fact that a fantastically robust Medicare for all style provision is entirely lacking in the bill. I am also pro-choice, so no joy there either.

I could give a fuck if this bill passes or not. I rather hope it does not. I'd frankly rather that the health care crisis get worse rather than to approve a measure so insubstantial that it is little more than a thinly disguised handout to the private health insurance industry by way of a mandate to buy health insurance. The working poor will not be able to spend 18-20% of their income on private health insurance in this way and I very much doubt that any subsidies will alleviate that crushing burden.

The mandate to buy insurance will not likely prove to be constitutional, in my opinion. It's one thing to tax an individual and then to provide public services in return; and it's quite another thing altogether to force anyone to contract with other private entities just because the federal legislature seems to think you should.

So, if this passes we're headed for a showdown on the issue of "freedom of contract" - because contained within the idea of the freedom of contract is the freedom to not contract at all.