There’s a whole lot of confusion surrounding the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare, for which a reader of the secret LCMS Life Ministries Facebook page took me down for quoting a news article that referred to the ACA as such, calling Life Ministries political and derisive…but that’s another story, and this is my blog, so I can call it what I want).
Part of me dislikes how political it’s all gotten. People just hate it because they hate Obama, and they’ve forgotten how to think, or even do their own reading. Even Congress had trouble slogging through the 1,245,838,305 pages that comprised the ACA. Here’s my opinion in a nutshell.
Things I like about the law:
1. It provides a whole lot of goodies for self-employed people like me, such as not banning people with pre-existing conditions from getting insurance, preventing insurance companies from dropping people who come down with an illness (the whole reason they pay for insurance, but that’s another rant), and not capping maximum payouts. You honestly cannot understand how important this particular reform is until you literally work for the sole purpose of providing your family with health insurance (and still pay out the nose for almost no coverage whatsoever, with preexisting conditions excluded and the threat of being dropped at any moment hanging over you); until you get cancer, get dropped, wipe out your retirement savings, kids’ college savings, and finally lose your house trying to pay for your medical care; until you are the guy dreaming of running his own business but, because you have a heart condition you’re doomed to forever be a corporate drone; until you can’t get coverage for your kid who has diabetes and needs insulin.
2. I think that’s about all I like. But the one reform I like could happen a number of different ways.
Things I don’t like about the law:
1. It puts the inefficient, overspending, bureaucracy-laden government in charge of healthcare. Because that always works.
2. It’s complicated, but basically the federal government will provide subsidies for certain families of certain incomes to help pay for their insurance. These families may have insurance that provides abortion as part of their plans. Therefore, our tax money is indirectly going to fund abortions, Hyde Amendment or no.
3. If the multiple lawsuits against Health and Human Services don’t prevail, the mandate that companies must provide health insurance for their employees with certain provisions regarding birth control and abortaficients completely go against the First Amendment. Actually, it’s hard to see how these lawsuits wouldn’t prevail, given the Supreme Court smacked down the LCMS teacher who wanted her former school to have to follow federal employment laws, and 9-0 the Court said, “We aren’t getting into this religious thing.”
Issues, Etc. had a great trio of interviews Friday that explain the impact of the Affordable Care Act, the HHS mandate, and how these affect our religious freedom and conscience rights. Todd Wilken claims to not be a journalist, but he asks all the right questions so the answers make sense. If you want to know more, start here. Go to the interviews featuring Ed Meese, former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Rassbach of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and Carol Tobias of National Right to Life.
And, as a whiny little aside, this is why I want to go to law school. So I can work for an organization like The Beckett Fund and write amicus briefs that lay out why the federal government is idiotically and shortsightedly trying to trample on religious liberty and conscience rights. Somehow I seemed to have missed my own boat. I asked Derek last night, “Why didn’t I figure all of this out when I was 22 and I had the time and mobility and was too stupid to understand the real price of student loans?” Now I have three kids and listen to Dave Ramsey and can’t make myself take out $60,000 in student loans in a job market where only one third–one third!–of law school graduates are getting legal jobs.
So I’ll try to reconcile myself to armchair analysis. Someone on Facebook posted, after the ACA decision came out Thursday, something like, “And now I’ll sit back and watch all my friends become constitutional scholars.” Amen.