JC,

There is a sense, through your amazing powers of regurgitating American political history that although you sound as if you believe The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, you also state the obvious that its existence is not only unremarkable, but also quite rote by congressional standards. (HEALTH CARE ON TRIAL – Issue: 4/4/12) So, as usual, the reader is unsure if you think it should be overturned or you merely believe it will be overturned.

I wonder, and I put it to your other readers, if there is a law they agree with enacted over the 230-year history of this republic that borders on or obliterates constitutional law? My guess is that no one is as pure as they claim and would have some unconstitutional stain on their record. Therefore, it is less a legal issue than a political one, or I think, as you point out so fervently, a personal one. And therein lie the hypocrisy of any argument, and the real bedrock of this weekly rant of yours that always hammers away at the humanity of a point-of-view rather than its inherent realities.

And then again when I think I have you and these writings figured out I remember what you said once at some book signing I attended, in which you stressed that you do not comment on issues, but the reaction by people of those issues. It is how the issue affects society and not its intended or unintended origins.

Please tell us if this is right. We need to know!

—sick4987bastard

 

James,

As a specialist in healthcare in NJ and MA (the main battlegrounds and architects of this monstrosity), I can tell you it is absolutely unconstitutional. To make it constitutional you would have to revise the Commerce Clause as well as the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Right now, insurance is interstate commerce subject to the laws and regulations of the 50 individual state insurance commissioners. If that were to change it would be clear that everything else is up to federal takeover and it is clear that state’s rights no longer exist. At that point, the statists have won and the nation we have known as it was founded, no longer exists.

But let’s be real, what is the fight where the rubber meets the road? Money, my friend…money. You see insurance; if you can set the rules can be a goldmine. In NJ, despite the 85 percent rule saying that for every dollar collected in premium 85 cents must be paid out in claims the carriers are still not crying poverty. Can you imagine when it is a faceless nameless bureaucrat who is deciding medical necessity and decides that you don’t need that $2,500 MRI? Once the money is flowing into Washington and politicians and bureaucrats control that money, do you honestly believe they will do the right thing? It is a complete removal of fiscal checks and balances. When the person who is collecting the money is also making the rules, there is no way to assure sensible or responsible actions with the money collected. At least with the carrier/government relationship there was one group looking over the shoulder of the other completing the independence and checks and balances thing. Remove that and we have problems. You will have the government with 1/7th of the American economy with no system of checks and balances. A fixed game if I ever saw one.

Peace,

—Bill Roberts

 

The biggest problem with the Health Care law may not be its unconstitutionality as it is the complete random nature of its intent. No one knows the full extent of its reach and scope and never did. The White House could not decipher this red herring and struggled so badly explaining it, if they attempted at all, it left open the flanks to easily refute it, and even those who opposed it had no clue what the hell is in the thing.

I think the main opposition is its ambiguity. Period.

The fucking thing is the great American mystery! Whether unexplainable phenomena is unconstitutional or not may not be able to be interpreted by any court, much less a supreme one.

—S. McKinney

 

I had barely gotten over how appalling the Patriot Act was I couldn’t be bothered being stunned by the Health Care thing. It is as if the entire crap house has gone sideways. You ever feel like that from your ivory tower of mockery? This is a broken system, both from the right and the left. There is no ethos left to us. There is only rhetoric and spitting goons on cable television and whatever the hell Rush Limbaugh is.

I don’t even think the constitution is a viable document and probably never has been. Its holes are gaping and it was as shortsighted as any cobbled by clear-thinking men. It is weird that James Madison, who was Thomas Jefferson’s cabin boy, would have such faith in the citizens. Jefferson was an elitist snob who preferred the French to the American rabble and believed that most of what he and Franklin and Adams and the rest of the ship moguls cooked up should be stripped down and burned to cinder every two or three election cycles.

The fact that these lunatics took five minutes to enact a set of binding laws to be battled about by lawyers and business geeks is about as sad a commentary on democracy as there is.

Oh, and I like the column. It was well researched and argued with the right kind of obnoxious humor. You’re a jackass, but a fairly well read jackass, so I forgive you.

—Ed-T

 

I don’t get what is so evil and destructive and feared about fairness? (THE BUFFETT RULE? – Issue: 4/25/12) Have you gone completely libertarian on us, Campion? You usually take the centrist or non-side of a story and let us piss and moan about it. This one is half-baked and sounds phony, as if you’re baiting the very idea of fairness, and not economic fairness, but the structure of democratic ideals. Could that be true? Am I missing something here?

I agree with President Obama on this, if we are truly concerned about the deficit, and I have my doubts, then we have to consider making the tax rates more equal and stop rewarding the rich for getting richer without contributing anything of any consequence to the nation, like manufacturing or infrastructure or medicine or technology. These Wall Street types, which ironically support this president like no other since Reagan, have only wealth to push around and buy up more congressmen and more ad time with these Super PACs, but they contribute nothing to the advancement of our country. It is making money for money sake and although I do not begrudge the concept, why should they be given breaks I can’t receive? We don’t get the same breaks.

This is the point, which you and the whole financial snob crowd misses. Not everyone is handed privilege, and that is not taking away from achievement. I almost wish that those who do create something of some merit get the tax breaks for their well-earned profits. I would go for that. If real invention was going on and jobs were being created instead of shifted around or eliminated and bought up and restructured and sold aboard then we’d have something.

There is true class warfare in this country and it is about time a president have the balls to say it and not couch it in a fancy ass-kissing way.

—The Rose Pedal

 

Don’t forget, under Eisenhower—a Republican—the rich paid 90 percent. That’s how we financed NASA and the interstate highway system. The one percent has an incredibly sweet deal right now. And it was another Republican—Teddy Roosevelt, god among men in my eyes—who first pushed hard for a progressive income tax. His famous muckraker speech is probably worth revisiting.

—V.

 

James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus and Midnight For Cinderella.

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