ObamaCare, The Supremes, And Pelvic Pyromania

Ed Raymond

I suppose many people think that the old evolutionist Charles Darwin caused enough trouble with his “Origin of the Species” without getting involved so much with pleasurable, powerful, and restricted sex. We do need sex to survive—and Charles came up with another irrefutable idea: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” Soon we will get some kind of a decision about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) from our Supreme Court about whether it is constitutional or not.
   Think of it for a moment. Health care is a lot about sex. If you need an explanation about how it dominates health care, please dedicate your brain to science. We need to think seriously about how life has influenced the nine members of the Supremes. We have six Roman Catholics and three Jews representing the total diversity of 312 million Americans on a subject that every organized, industrialized, and intellectually superior culture answered to their satisfaction decades ago. First, we have six Roman Catholics on the Court who were raised in a church that took over 400 years to recognize the indisputable scientific fact that, yes, the earth does revolve, evolve, and sometimes stagger in orbit around the sun. The Catholic Church also thinks women are second-class citizens, that homosexuals are sinning their fool heads and other parts off, and that Girl Scouts, their leaders in general, and other “stupid women” must be protected from themselves.

The Bishops And
That Great Girl Scout
Song “Sipping Cider
Through A Straw”

And then we have that magnificent band of Roman Catholic brothers, the 412 bishops in the U.S. Conference of Bishops who are presently tackling humanity’s major problems of Catholic nuns “gone wild’ in their radical feminism and their disregard for fighting abortion and same-sex marriage. And picking on the Girl Scouts in their towering wave of ignorance about the services of Planned Parenthood. This is a double-whammy: pelvic pyromania and pelvic paranoia.
   A recent Guttmacher study on the contraceptive knowledge of men and women 18-29 indicated that American young men and women are woefully ignorant about sex. In short: the lower the knowledge, the more likely girls are to get pregnant. Abstinence-only programs contribute to that ignorance and have not helped much in preventing teenage births. In the survey, 60 percent underestimated the effectiveness of oral contraceptives and 40 percent replied that birth control didn’t matter! Could the bishops be right? Shouldn’t they try to keep Girl Scouts away from Planned Parenthood?
 The old Scout song “Sipping Cider Through a Straw” sums up ignorant sex rather well:

        “The prettiest girl I ever saw was sipping cider through a straw.
         I asked her if she’d show me how to sip that cider through a straw.
         We sipped that cider through a straw.
         Every now and then, the straw would slip, I’d sip some cider from her lip.
         The parson came to her backyard, a-sipping cider from a straw.
         And now I have a mother-in-law and fourteen kids to call me Pa.
         The moral of this little tale is sip your cider from a pail!”

    But these are modern times, so young people need all the information the forces of medicine and parenthood can muster. So now the bishops, mired in 14th-century thinking about the role of women, heretics, and stake-burning, are investigating the Girl Scouts so soon after ending up with muck all over their faces after investigating their own nuns. I see the psychologists and psychiatrists are debating new categories to list in their revision of the  mental disorders manual. What about a new category for priests, bishops, cardinals, and popes called “Celiballical Traumatic Stress Disorder”?
   The three liberal Jews? Their background involves such scenes as females required to sit in the back of buses, concerns about any exposure of parts of the female body, and some really silly Biblical demands from Leviticus and other rants from old men and the Old Testament. To sum up both “religions,” I think of the hilarious episodes of the huge foreskin of the Jew Jesus Christ worshiped as a relic on the altars of 18 European Roman Catholic churches in the Middle Ages, placed their by papal and popish demands that each church had to have saintly and religious relics. What a relic! What will these six Catholics and three Jews with their rich and diabolical pasts do to our new universal health care program? Time marches on.

The Basic Question
Has Nothing To Do
With Constitutionality:
Is Health Care A
Privilege Or A Right?

  We hear about the complexities of the Commerce Clause from lawyers on both sides of the health issue who love to make simple questions complex because they are paid $400 an hour and so many dollars per word to do so. What’s that old story about lawyers? If they don’t have the law on their side, they argue the “facts” they often make up. If they have neither the law nor the facts, they try to turn the perpetrator into an orphan....or something like that.
   Let’s cut to the quick. Is health care a privilege or a right? If you believe in community, a workable society, a caring state and country, in your neighbor, in your family, I think you would come down on the “right” side. If you believe in Social Darwinism, in the survival-of- the-fittest, the free market, the “I’ve got mine, Jack—now you try to get yours!” crowd, and the Ayn Rand–Tea Party cabal that has currently captured the Republican Party, then you will think health care is a privilege.
   Sara Robinson of AlterNet has come up with the best definition of Ayn Randism I have read: “Ayn Rand libertarianism (means) me-first-and-the-rest-of-you-go-to-hell ... there’s-no-government-like-no-government theology ... She’s just the nanny state. The bitch ... Society? There’s no such thing as society. There’s only what I want right now, which is the ultimate good in my universe ... Obligations? I am God’s gift to the world. I don’t owe it anything. In fact, it owes me.” I think this code means health care is a privilege of money and position to this bunch.
   Some wag put the Republican Affordable Health Care program together from a concocted message from “The National Alliance of Funeral Directors.” As everyone dies eventually, every U.S. citizen would be “mandated” to buy a coffin from a member-owned and operated funeral home. The Republicans recommend the Peaceful Valley Royale, a luxury mahogany casket with sienna satin interior and the finest antique nickel handles. It’s a steal at $2,899 (but only for a short time!).

The Commerce Clause
Shenanigans And The
Great Big Fuss Over The
Mandate—Or How To
Make A Whole Mountain
Range Out Of A Molehill

   The decision on the constitutionality of health care is described as the most momentous of a half century. It is. Germany has had universal health care since 1889, when the tough old conservative Otto Von Bismarck decided that German society needed to be healthy to serve themselves and the nation well. So he combined government and private sources to make health care available to all. His program of a mixture of government and private sources still exists in modern Germany. In 1945 after World War II, another European conservative named Winston Churchill made the same decision for the Brits. He advocated, pushed, and shoved the British Health Service into existence, and it has become a model for many other universal care programs around the world. So why are we so damn primitive? Why is American health care so lousy for our society when it costs double any universal care system in the world? Let’s call it what it is. The free market has determined there are bundles of money to be made building and operating cardiac and orthopedic units and prescribing expensive drugs, while neglecting what really makes people sick. That’s why we are last in infant mortality rates among industrialized nations, 34th (behind Cuba) in total health care, and die two years younger than any of our competitors around the world. What are two years worth?
   The “mandate” thing which has so enraged the Republicans? Of course, they never want to pay for anything themselves—look at our last two wars and all of those wonderful tax cuts for the rich. Thinking only of the next quarter has become axiomatic—and let the grandchildren pay the bills.

The Mandate
Legality And
Constitutionality Farce

   Soon we will be reading the Supreme Court decision about the health mandate and other pompous lawyerly discussions. There are actually loads of precedent about mandates from George Washington on. The famous Founding Fathers, known for their probity, patriotism, and common sense, and even worshiped by the National Rifle Association and occasionally even  the American Civil Liberties Union, passed mandate after mandate in our early years.
   The very first Congress in 1790, which contained twenty of the original signers, passed a law requiring all ship owners to buy medical insurance for their seamen. George signed the law, becoming the first president to sign a health care mandate! In 1792 Congress passed a law requiring all able-bodied men to buy themselves a firearm to be used to protect family and country. No peaceniks or Cheney deferments here. This was the Militia Act, requiring able-bodied men to have a good musket and equipment on hand for a national emergency. So I guess the NRA was right about the Second Amendment. Not only did everybody have a right to bear arms, the lowly settler had a “federal” duty to buy them! An attempt by know-nothings to repeal the law failed.
   But in 1798 came the decider. The previous law requiring an employer mandate to buy medical insurance covering drugs and physician services did not cover hospital stays. Guess what. Congress then passed another law requiring seamen to buy hospitalization insurance. That is an individual mandate, folks. President John Adams signed that one into law. Einer Elhauge, a law professor at Harvard, that citadel of conservativeness, has been studying various mandates for years and supports the present ObamaCare mandate.

The Republican
Supreme Court And
Judicial Activism

   So here we are dealing with a Republican Supreme Court that personally elected George W. Bush to the presidency in 2000 over the wishes of the American people, forever enshrining the mandate of the Peter Principle for that position. We are also dealing with a Republican Supreme Court that has turned corporations into human beings by giving them voting rights  bought and paid for with tsunamis of corporate money throughout the land. Citizens United? My ass. It’s Corporations United against citizens. Will the Republican Supreme Court have the guts to declare ObamaCare unconstitutional? Of course it will! It’s the nature of the beast. That’s why there are no moderates left in the Republican Party.  
 Chief Justice John Roberts and his Republican cohorts have driven the Supreme Court to its lowest approval rating in the history of the country. Witness Bush vs. Gore and Citizens United. The Court has become a partisan Congressional committee instead of an independent guardian of the mores of a country. Justice Antonin Scalia is a reckless bully, spouting nonsense about the “originalist” position of the Founding Fathers. Base our gun laws on George Washington muskets instead of AR-15s and AK-47s? Utterly ridiculous! If the Supreme Court in its infinite ignorance finds the Affordable Act unconstitutional, we will go back to health care defined by a New Yorker cartoon: “I’m sorry, sir, but if you weren’t wearing clean underwear we automatically deny your claim.” That’s just another pre-existing condition.