Instead of lamenting the fate of the tens of millions of Americans who will be forced to do without even half-assed medical care if five black-robed right wing political hacks strike down the law, the Democrats see defeat as actually being good for them politically. Should the Court rule against the mandate requiring everyone to purchase private health coverage, they have no Plan B waiting in the wings. There will be no attempt to "fix" the law, no stampede to introduce a Medicare for All bill. Why should there be? The fate of Obamacare will not affect the presidential election at all.
Tribalism will trump policy and the outcome of the Rombama contest will hinge on which candidate raises the most cash from the oligarchy. If you're already an Obama supporter, you're going to vote for him no matter what. You are not going to blame him and his fellow corporatists for not pushing for a public option when they had the chance and making the pay-for a tax instead of a controversial mandate. You are going to gleefully blame the nasty Supremes if Obamacare goes down in flames. You are going to point out that this was originally Romneycare, the product of a Republican think tank -- and the doofuses from "the other side" voted against their own plan! The GOP will be destroying our gigantic giveway to the insurances leeches and Big Pharma. Not our fault! Maybe the health care industry will donate the big bucks to our side now.
Democratic strategist James Carville thinks that millions of people being deprived of medical care would be absolutely dandy:
“I honestly believe this — this is not spin,” Carville said. “I think that this will be the best thing to ever happen to the Democratic Party because health care costs will escalate unbelievably. It’s 2012. Twenty out of 100 people are over 65. By 2020 it will be 26. And you know what the Democrats are going to say and it’s completely justified, ‘We tried. We did something and go see a 5-4 Supreme Court majority.”(Translation: We were perceived to be caught trying, although our hearts have never really been in it. Oh well. If millions of people have to sicken and die just to make us look good, so be it.)
Jeff Zeleny of the New York Times theorizes Obama will run against the Supreme Court in the good old progressive spirit of FDR, and fight against Congress as a Give Em Hell Harry copycat. One of Zeleny's unnamed Democratic sources confided they'll be unashamedly casting themselves as victims and playing the martyr card. The Dems will be drowning in the bathos as the GOP drowns government in the bathtub. The rest of us will be drowning in our own tears.
The lack of political urgency in what is essentially a humanitarian crisis is mind-boggling. Instead of meeting in emergency session to craft legislation to ensure that the 50 million and counting uninsured Americans get medical care, Congress is throwing out members who wear hoodies. It's passing a bipartisan act to make it easier for financial crooks to bilk investors and then having the chutzpah to call it a JOBS Act.
The White House remains "confident" that Obamacare will stand, and thinks the bumbling solicitor general did a heckuva job in his lackadaisical Supreme Court appearance.
Despite the solicitor general’s shaky performance before the court, (WH Deputy Press Sec. Josh) Earnest called Donald Verrilli Jr., the government’s lawyer in the case, a “very skilled advocate” and “one of the brightest legal minds in Washington, D.C.”
Verrilli “delivered a solid performance before the Supreme Court. That's a fact. We feel good about his performance,” he said.Methinks Josh was joshing. And his claiming not to know whether Obama had been paying much attention to the court case beggars belief. But he was probably right when he warned against placing bets on Obamacare, calling it a "risky business."
Maybe he was listening to CNBC Mad Money guy Jim Cramer (the same guru who told everybody to buy Lehman Brothers stock right before it crashed.) Cramer was on TV yesterday talking about the futility of reading too much into the lines of questioning by the Supremes. (So far, at least as far as we know, there exists no hedge fund betting on Obamacare futures. But give the geniuses of Wall Street a day or so.)
The judges were probably just funnin' with us anyway because, you know, people getting sick and dying for lack of health insurance is so damned hysterical. The word "broccoli" had everyone rolling in the aisles. Still, predicts Cramer, if Obamacare goes down, stocks will go up! If it stands, he advises investing in temporary employment agencies -- in order to avoid mandated coverage, "job creators" will simply hire people and fire them six months later to game the law. The profits of Manpower and other temp agencies will skyrocket as a result, he enthuses. Clip here.
That just about wraps it up. American-style health care policy doesn't have much to do with health. It has everything to do with pretend legislation, pretend bickering between the two sides of the Money Party, and ensuring that each side benefits both politically and financially whether it passes judicial muster or not. Heads they win, tails we lose.