Thursday, July 3, 2014

Patriotism in Chaos

Last year on this day, I wrote one of my more brutally honest posts about how I feel about the way things are in this country of ours.

My opinions haven't changed, in fact I've dug my heels in and fought harder as things only continued to get worse.

This hasn't been a good week for my patriotism in many ways, it's solidified my convictions in others.

I'm beyond frustrated with the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case and the more I think about it the angrier I get. In just the few days since it came down, it's become glaringly obvious that the so-called narrow holding isn't.

All forms of birth control can now be excluded from insurance, not just the four specific forms that were objected to in the case. There are already calls to use the precedent set as grounds to refuse to hire LGBT workers. The can of proverbial worms has been opened and anyone with a claim to religious reasons has an incentive to challenge any law they see fit.

Sure, the case only applied to closely held corporations, but something like 90% of corporations in the country are closely held. If the RFRA applies to them, it would certainly also apply to partnerships and sole proprietorships as well. People are not just people these days. So, really, the only entities that can't claim protection under this act of Congress are publicly traded companies.

The court totally ignored the hypocrisy of Hobby Lobby, a company that covered all the challenged forms of birth control without issue until the ACA passed, a company that invests in the manufacturers of the forms they took issue with, a company that imports almost all their products from a country with well publicized forced abortion. They fell for the lie that this case had anything at all to do with moral objection. It didn't. It had to do with undermining the ACA....they just leeched on to the pro-life cause with their totally unsupported claims about abortion to make it seem like it was a faith based issue.

This was never a faith based issue.

The claim that it was, just a means to an end.

I'm fairly confident that the ruling will be overturned, and eventually Citizens United might be too, once Muslim owned companies and Jewish owned companies and Wiccan owned companies start asserting their rights. The decisions will be overturned once the court realizes that allowing a Christian company to claim religious justification, but disallowing any other belief system to do the same violates the Establishment Clause...which, unlike the RFRA is actually part of the Constitution.

I can promise you that those people cheering this verdict won't be continuing to do so once other religions start to make claims.

Speaking of the RFRA, we could all make this go away, you know. And fairly simply.

Congress could, at any time, vote to repeal the law. 

Yes, they could. We absolutely do not have to wait for anything to get overturned or work its way up to the Supreme Court. Congress could act on this tomorrow if they had a good enough reason.

The only way that is going to happen is to get people elected who will do it....and that depends entirely on you out there, reading this right now.

My gut reaction to the decision was that this case would do one thing that those advocating for the result don't seem to understand and most likely weren't will make a compelling case for why health care shouldn't be tied to employment in the first place. It will actually make the argument that the only way to protect both the rights of the employers and the employees in health care decisions is to untangle the involvement that got them there in the first place.

Employers have no place in health care decisions. Health care is supposed to be between a patient and their provider, without interference or encumbrance by a third (insurers) or fourth (employers) party...and yet that is exactly how the system is currently set up.

Health care reform was originally envisioned as a single payor system, similar to the ones that exist in many countries around the world. The ACA was, essentially, a conservative, industry focused derailing of that initial goal. It preserved the enormous health care insurance industry and attempted to fill in the gaps with mandates and fines and exchanges.

The gaps just got wider. Significantly. So wide in fact that, and with so much uncertainty going forward, that people are wondering now how we got here and how we fix it.

Except that anyone who has studied the health care industry or the law for years can tell you how.

You know that point when you're cleaning your house where it all goes to hell for a while, where the mess gets infinitely bigger before it has any chance of improving???

We're there, smack dab in the center of the mess right now.

We can either clean it up or choose to live in chaos and disorder.

Vote. Advocate. Speak.

If we don't, we'll be sitting in this filth indefinitely.


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