Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Funday: One America

It is Friday, so we’re going to be positive today - especially in light of the 5-4 Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, on Thursday.

Whether the ACA - still called ObamaCare by some - will lead to truly universal health care, or just mostly universal healthcare is a question far beyond our ability to forsee. As we noted on Thursday it will be quite some time before the effects of the Court’s decision are fully understood. Or as Paul Krugman said, "This ain't over by a long shot."

The most important and positive thing we can immediately pull from Thursday’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act is this. For the first time in our lives, no American has to be worried that they’ll lose their insurance coverage - or won’t be able to get health insurance - because of a pre-existing condition.

So if you haven't been to the doctor recently, for a check-up? Schedule it now.

Affordable health care is now no longer a luxury in America, or something only for the wealthy. That seems to be the idea so many on the right used millions and millions of dollars to try and sell to everyone. They failed.

Not surprisingly, the most extreme Republicans have already insisted they’re going to repeal the ACA. Of course, the likelihood of them being successful is probably about the same as one of our staff members growing wings overnight and flying away. Even Republican power brokers like David Frum has said repeal is a fantasy, and Republicans need to grow up. That said, we’re certainly willing to see them try.

As any student of history knows, now that the Affordable Care Act has been found constitutional, and even more of its component parts are put into effect over the next two years, it’ll be like Social Security, Medicare, or any of a host of other programs Americans have enacted over the last two hundred plus years. Once citizens get used to having affordable health care (like every other first world nation) the extremist fools screaming "socialism" will suddenly shut up. The idea of repealing “ObamaCare” will become utterly unimaginable to everyone but the lunatic fringe.

When all the dust has settled about this argument, it will be clear that the core of the inspiring speech Barack Obama gave nearly four years ago, at the Democratic National Convention, remains true today. "We ARE connected as one people.... If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother.”

“...Even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters and negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes. Well, I say to them tonight, there's not a liberal America and a conservative America there's the United States of America. There's not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there's the United States of America.”

Regardless of what side you were on in the health care debate, when we celebrate our Independence Day next week, we won’t be celebrating being independent from one another.

We’ll be celebrating that we’re all together in this crazy experiment in self-governance called The United States of America.

One nation. With liberty and justice for all.
And now, thankfully, basic affordable health care too.

**We’ll be off next week, as large sections of the American population are also taking the week off. Paul will have a special cartoon next week, then we’ll return to our regular publishing schedule July 9.

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