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Thursday, July 03, 2014

Let's dust this thing off and get back to work

So I'm gonna TRY to do this again and since I still don't have a long complex thought I'll throw together a clip show.

We all know Hobby Lobby isn't really about health care. Brian Beutler summed it up best of all I saw. It's about cultural signifiers.

By declining to extend the ruling to other insurance mandates, the five justices affirmed what liberals have suspected all along: Hobby Lobby supporters weren't fighting for "religious liberty." They were fighting for an affirmation of privilege for advocates of conservative sexual morality.

Beutler also asks hey, why do we get our health insurance at work anyway, a point Uwe Reinhart expands on:
The ruling raises the question of why, uniquely in the industrialized world, Americans have for so long favored an arrangement in health insurance that endows their employers with the quasi-parental power to choose the options that employees may be granted in the market for health insurance. For many smaller firms, that choice is narrowed to one or two alternatives – not much more choice than that afforded citizens under a single-payer health insurance system.

In the meantime, the case should help puncture the illusion that employer-provided health insurance is an unearned gift bestowed on them by the owners and paid with the owners’ money, giving those owners the moral right to dictate the nature of that gift.
But it's Jonathan Chait who REALLY cuts to the chase:
Conservatives are now representing their true bedrock position on Obamacare. It is largely a transfer program benefiting people who either don’t have enough money, or pose too high a health risk, to bear the cost of their own medical care. Conservatives don’t like transfer programs because they require helping the less fortunate with other peoples’ money.
 And some of the less fortunate look different or speak a different language. And looking at Kevin McCarthy's election as House Majority Leader (not to be confused with former Iowa House minority Leader Kevin McCarthy), Dara Lind notes:
Pew asked voters whether they believe that unauthorized immigrants who met certain requirements should ever be eligible for citizenship, or not. Then, people who said immigrants shouldn't ever be eligible for citizenship were asked whether there should be a national effort to deport unauthorized immigrants, or not.
 
What they found: the overwhelming majority of Americans either want unauthorized immigrants to be eligible for citizenship (now or eventually), or want them deported. There's no real middle ground.
And in Mississippi, tea partiers are enraged that black people voted. All sorts of ugly precedent there. They're SAYING that they're mad Democrats voted, but Mississippi has no party registration. Doesn't need it. The state is so polarized that skin color is de facto affiliation. And you thought walking over to the corner on caucus night was too obvious. Right, Hillary?

Hillary is off to crucial early caucus state England - that's OLD England, not NEW Hampshire - on her book tour, even as Republicans Chris Christie and Rand Paul announce their visits to Iowa to raise money for GOP candidates and fire up the troops.  Now, we have great candidates of our own to fire up the troops - Bruce Braley is in town Saturday and Brad Anderson has a great plan to make us the highest turnout state in the country - but there's nothing like a likely candidate making a personal visit to really excite folks.

Supposedly that doesn't matter because Clinton has won over the skeptical left, it says here. Count me as still skeptical. But before everyone gets on the Bernie Sanders bandwagon, can we wait till the man actually calls himself a Democrat?

And a couple last random thoughts: why free parking sucks (attention: fourth place supervisor candidate) and a better way to deal with child support.

1 comment:

Big Grove Walker said...

I differ with Beutler somewhat. People forget that private businesses structure their health insurance policies for employees like they do all other aspects of their operations. With the ACA setting a baseline for coverage, it was to be expected there would be some push back, and IMHO the Hobby Lobby discussion is a diversion from that broader picture. Most employers of any size would rather eliminate or minimize the cost of health insurance on their P&L statement by 1). paying a health insurance stipend, and letting employees choose if and what kind of coverage they might get; or 2). just eliminate/reduce this perquisite altogether by employing more temp and part-time workers, or by going to an outsourcing model.Large corporations are already well into the execution stage of this. We hate the Hobby Lobby decision, but employer provided health insurance itself may be on the chopping block. Which would be fine for people on Medicare, or who have labor union contracts to protect them, but would suck for younger people who change jobs more frequently and have to rely upon parents or the government for health insurance coverage in an increasing number of instances.
Thanks for posting these links. PD