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Melinda Gopher Headshot

Calling on Obama: New Health Positivism

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It looks like its going down in flames. The conservative United States Supreme Court is expected to strike down Obama's signature health care law; the U.S. media characterizes this as the centerpiece of his domestic legacy. In reading the analyses so far, it seems that in simple terms:

  • The health care law was a boon for the health insurance industry.
  • It did not really reform the industry; it imposes a mandate that is at the heart of the unconstitutionality argument.
  • The law is not what you would want to have as a legacy.
  • Health care for the masses in America should be a single payer system.
  • Health care in America is already rationed, and will continue to be under the law.
  • You will be penalized if you do not carry coverage.
  • The government will subsidize payments for low-income people; who will be reliant on a less-than-trustworthy health insurance industry.

The truth is: no one likes this law. No one understands it, and the only cheerleaders of the law are the administration -- who are paid to support it. It is hated by the progressive and/or liberal left, it is not liked by independents, and it is extremely despised by the right. Obama's legal team is accused of a less-than-spirited defense of the law. Being a political realist he is, and probably the most skilled person on the planet in this forum; the president seems to be backing away from his own purported legacy.

The age for a single-payer system has arrived. A strike down from the high court presents a clean slate for President Obama. It would be a wise strategy move by Democrats to focus on jobs and the economy -- first. Single-payer health care, modeled after the efficiency of the Medicare program, will round out the legacy of America's first and real post-colonial president.

Only a promise for a single-payer system will rouse Obama's base. John Roberts and his court? This is life handing you lemons, Mr. President. Its time for some lemonade. Do you really want to win this thing? Or not? Channel FDR and LBJ; because this is your defining moment to do the right thing.

Sometimes by losing, a win can be had. This is not a good law, the only people really humiliated in its defeat are Senator Baucus and Liz Fowler. It is not in the spirit of the Great Society or the New Deal, it would be a conscientious act to throw it in the dustbin of history. And in the future, please let's not have him and his industry backers write any single-payer legislation.