I had high expectations that ABC’s This Week would handle last week’s Supreme Court arguments on the Affordable Care Act under its usual intellectual standards. After all, with a panel that includes George Will, Matt Bai, Van Jones, ABC’s Terry Moran and the incomparable Ann Coulter, you’re bound to have your mental framework enlightened after they’re done.
Here’s what I learned today:
The free rider problem — people getting health care after refusing to purchase insurance — is wholly a creation of Congress being so foolish as to allow illegal aliens to get free medical care for “the sniffles.” Thank you, Ann Coulter for that insight.
With Ann having reduced the national health care problem to a mere runny nose, it then made perfect sense for George Will to declare that Constitutional founder James Madison would be profoundly offended at the egregious violation of individual rights that would occur if Congress were allowed to impose a mandate for everyone to have to purchase Kleenex and stop borrowing everyone else’s hanky.
Matt Bai said arguing about this would only hurt President Obama, because the ACA hasn’t helped anyone, . . . uh, except the millions it already has helped under provisions that have nothing to do with the mandate, which apparently is the only provision in the ACA.
Bai was sailing on Will’s wind that it was wrong for Obama supporters to challenge the prestige of the Supreme Court, the most venerable institution in America. When Terry Moran suggested that the Court’s prestige might be harmed by the blatantly partisan divide revealed (again) by the Justice’s questions, Will insisted there is no evidence that the decision in Bush v. Gore did any harm to respect for the Supreme Court. I assume that’s because everyone still loves the winner of that one and they’re thrilled by Citizen’s United.
So, the matter is settled. The Court can, should and likely will strike down the law because the Constitution is there solely to promote individual liberty over the crazy notion the Congress can promote the general welfare through compassion for the undeserving. Only the conservatives understand this, and the public will applaud their strictly partisan majority decision, because they’re tired of giving free tissues to those irresponsible brown people.
Coulter finished by assuring us that her candidate, Mitt Romney, “knows how to fix this,” because as we all know, RomneyCare is different. I believe she means that he will rename every state Massachusetts and let Massachusetts handle it, but perhaps Ms. Coulter was not being serious.
If you are unable to get ABC and wish to have a comparable intellectual discussion, rent a copy of Animal House.