With the Supreme Court reviewing President Obama’s Health Care law to determine whether the individual mandate to buy insurance is Constitutionally allowable, many progressives and liberals fear a defeat of the program. While a defeat would certainly be a major setback for Barack Obama and threaten his reelection campaign, the death of his plan would not be the worst thing for progressive proponents of health care reform in the United States.
Though they run and hide from any such suggestion now, the principle of an individual mandate to purchase health insurance originated with the Republican Party. They argued its merits vigorously during the mid-90s while President Clinton was in office and Hillary Clinton worked to achieve a national universal health care plan. Republicans insisted at the time that an individual mandate was the preferred alternative to the Clintons’ plan, which the GOP claimed would be too expensive and overly-bureaucratic. Always friends to big business, Republican lawmakers worked to deliver profits to insurance companies more than they worked in the interest of the citizenry.
If the Court finds Obama’s conciliatory appeasement of the insurance industry unconstitutional, Americans may be better positioned to someday achieve the universal health care other, more progressive leaders have worked to deliver. A single-payer health care system similar to those enjoyed by every other modernized nation on the planet could be made real by the expansion of Medicare and Medicaid. The Supreme Court reviewed those systems already (fortunately, not the present Justices) and ruled them well within the powers available to our federal government.
Republicans got the health care mandate they always wanted, but their imbecilic insistence to tear down any victory Obama could claim could very well cost them a future case against single-payer.
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Jake Negovan drives Red Brown and Blue to be an outlet for progressive political opinion that leads to the betterment of life for the real, multicultural population of the U.S. and the rest of the world. His columns address the issues faced by our country as we continue growing toward a society of equality. More about Jake can be found on the web at jakejots.com or on Twitter@jakenegovan.