Oh brother

26 Jun 2015 06:12 am
Posted by: Donna


A little while back Rachel Maddow did a wonderful segment that had me nodding my head in furious agreement and applauding (I seriously clapped my hands at the TV, you guys). She expressed her bewilderment at certain political concepts that aren’t really meaningful when closely examined or helpful when put into practice, but are wildly popular with some segments of the public. Things like term limits (which regular people looooove but aren’t really conducive to effective governance), or nepotism (thinking someone is qualified to hold office simply because his or her relative did). It culminated in her main thesis about Donald Trump (to quote John Oliver, why is he still a thing?) but I’m going to draw from her build-up to laugh at the latest stunt by the GOP majority in the House to get back at the Supreme Court for upholding the ACA subsidies in their decision announced Thursday.

As with term limits, voters have an inexplicable love of the idea of “punishing” politicians by docking their pay. This is why Arizonans refuse to raise state legislative salaries from their current amount of $24K to the more princely sum of $36K (and then wonder why lawmakers who often have to have independent wealth so as to remain in office can seem out-of-touch) and why Congress regularly votes to freeze or cut its own pay (as if that gesture makes the slightest difference to a poor family facing cuts to food assistance).

From the very onset of the Affordable Care Act conservative opponents of it (both politicians and rank-and-file) have been braying about how “Congress needs to forced to go on Obamacare!” It’s a pointless proposition on its merits, since members of Congress and their staff are already on the Federal health care plan, which the ACA was modeled after, but no amount of pointing that out to them (I have tried) resonates. People who hate that dastardly Obamacare just loooooove the idea of making those dastardly Congresscritters have to have it!

In keeping with this strange ethos, a Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX) just dropped a bill to, you guessed it:

“As the Supreme Court continues to ignore the letter of the law, it’s important that these six individuals understand the full impact of their decisions on the American people. That’s why I introduced the SCOTUScare Act to require the Supreme Court and all of its employees to sign up for Obamacare. By eliminating their exemption from Obamacare, they will see firsthand what the American people are forced to live with!”

The “exemption from Obamacare” Babin speaks of is the same exemption anyone who gets insurance through their employer has. And as someone who is currently suffering under the horror of having a Silver plan on the exchange I can honestly say it’s better than being on the white-knuckle program (AKA being uninsured due to preexisting conditions) that I was on from 2007 to 2014. If Babin’s harebrained idea ever came to fruition, I’m confident that John Roberts and Sonia Sotomayor would be just fine. Hell, the more people on the exchange the merrier, and the closer we get to separating health care from employment, which should have happened long ago.

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