On June 28, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the provision in the Affordable Care Act (popularly known as ObamaCare) that requires every American who doesn’t otherwise have health insurance to purchase an individual health insurance policy or be subject to a penalty. This provision is popularly called “the individual mandate.”
The hearing by the Supreme Court on this one provision in the Affordable Care Act was the latest attempt by the opponents of the Act to invalidate it. These opponents began their vicious, relentless, and totally deceptive attacks on this act from the moment President Obama introduced it to the legislative branch for enactment almost a year later on March 23, 2010. The attacks have continued non-stop since then.
Although the Act has over 40 separate provisions in it, its opponents have concentrated their attacks entirely on the “individual mandate” provision. Why? One reason is that all of the other provisions are provisions that fall into one of the following four areas:
1. Improvements in the quality of health care and lowering of costs
2. Increases in access to affordable care
3. New protections for consumers of health care
4. Holding health insurance accountable for their services and costs
The main reason for concentrating their attacks on the individual mandate provision is that the opponents quickly figured out how to frame their attack in such a way that it would support their overall utter disdain for the person of President Obama. Thus the messaging campaign of the past three years that the individual mandate is government overreach. It’s socialism. “Keep your government hands off my Medicare” signs. Staged Tea Party rallies decrying that evil, Kenyan, bone-in-the-nose Black, African “who-does-he-think-he-is, uppity illegitimate President. Remember, the very origin of the Tea Party was in the summer of 2009 as the powerful opponents of the person of President Obama financed and organized them against the Affordable Care Act…specifically against the individual mandate provision.
Because the financially-powerful opponents couldn’t organize critical masses of working and retired people against any of the 40-plus provisions that are in fact beneficial to those working and retired people, the only provision left that would serve the opponents’ larger agenda of discrediting the person of President Obama was the individual mandate.
But it was never about the individual mandate. Not really.
So, when the opponents of the person of President Obama succeeded in getting the Supreme Court to rule on the constitutionality of the federal government mandating that individual Americans purchase health insurance policies, they were convinced that their five cronies on the Court would rule in their favor, thus discrediting President Obama’s signature legislative achievement and all but guaranteeing his defeat in 2012.
And to doubly insure their success, they simultaneously launched an attack on President Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder. This attack was planned to culminate on the same day as the Supreme Court ruling was to be announced—June 28. On that day, the African-American President was to be handed his head by the Supreme Court and his African-American Attorney General was to be handed his head by being the first Cabinet member in U.S. history to be formally charged with contempt of Congress, criminally and civilly.
But two things happened that precluded the opponents’ all-out victory on June 28. First, in the days just before June 28, a Fortune Magazine investigative reporter published a detailed accounting of the underlying scandal (“Fast and Furious” ATF guns to Mexican cartels) that exposed the ruse of the attack against AG Holder. Even though he was cited with the contempt charges, the spuriousness of the whole charade was nationally evident. Second, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Constitutionality of the individual mandate. The deciding vote was cast by the Chief Justice, John Roberts. It was conjectured that he couldn’t see himself going down in history as the Chief Justice who destroyed the American health system.
It was never about the individual mandate. It was about the person of the first Black President of the United States. It will be about that for as long as he is the President.
Note: An excellent slide presentation of the 40-plus provisions in the Affordable Care Act is available at http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/
June 28. 2012