Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Decision on Health Care Reform.....A Good One

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court always feels the weight of responsibility and the weight of history.  We have seen it before.  Brown vs. the Board of Education, Roe vs. Wade, United States versus Richard all these landmark cases the Chief Justice is leading the majority.  In today's historic decision on the Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice Roberts, a conservative Republican appointee, courageously lead the majority in an opinion uphelding the law in a 5-4 decision.

The great thing about the fact that justices are appointed for life is that they are not subject to re-election or popular appeal.  Their job, however unpopular or popular a particular decision might be, is to strictly and fairly interpret the Constitution.  Sometimes we are ideologically pleased, sometimes we are not. The framers got it right again.

Chief Justice Roberts honored "the robe" today, honored "the court", honored the judicial system. He is a conservative Republican, has conversative friends, likely conservative family, he was appointed by GW Bush, he was fought for and confirmed by conservative senators, and today he honorably disappointed all of them. He "took one" for the country. He sealed quite a legacy today, in my view.

This decision is a landmark decision and a victory for America.  I have been in the health insurance business for 35 years.  I do not know how the law will impact my business.  I do know the current system is broken.  This law will be no panacea.  But I believe it will put us on the right trajectory.  Health care is a long and complex discussion (example: the cost for America's health care is ALREADY being very inefficiently absorbed into the system!). It consumes close to a one-fifth of our economy.  Anytime that much money is involved, easy solutions or simple discussions they are not.

Politically, this affirmative decision will only add momentum to the President's re-election efforts.  It puts Mitt Romney in a position of having to campaign on taking American's health care away from them.  It will have him campaigning against a concept of which he is the "father" (of which he will be often reminded), a concept which is said, by a Washington Post Congressional Budget Office piece, to reduce the deficit by $1.3 trillion, (of course, I'm sure many of my conservative friends know better than the CBO). ;-)

This issue is also another example of the difficult environment in which an incumbent President functions.  The world and it's institutions are under tremendous stress and transition.  It behooves all of us to stay closely engaged in the process.  If we do not, special interests and the pawnes and puppets of special interests, will prevail.  Stay informed and stay vigilant.  Our founding fathers, as wise as they were, did not envision the complexity and the varibles we face in the 21st century.

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