Thom Hartmann, on his radio show yesterday, made a plausible argument for how Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts may have done the Republicans a favor — whether they realize it or not — by declaring the Obamacare mandate to be a tax. This opens the possibility that they may repeal the law by treating it as a money measure in the Senate, which will require only a simple majority to overturn, with no filibuster allowed.
Hartmann suggested this idea on Friday. He noticed that two days later, Mitch McConnell appeared on Fox News Sunday and repeated the idea that Obamacare can now be reconsidered as a tax measure in the Senate, subject to a simple 51-vote majority. McConnell pledged that if he is Majority Leader in the next Congress, repealing Obamacare will be “job one.”
Hartmann believes that the passion behind the GOP drive to repeal Obamacare is the likelihood that it will facilitate widespread adoption of single-payer systems on a state-by-state basis, thus posing a threat to the for-profit health insurance system.
Note that as of January of 2017:
“If any state can come up with their own plan, one which gives citizens the same level of care at the same price as the PPACA, they can ask the Secretary of Health and Human Resources for permission to do their plan instead of the PPACA. So if they can get the same results without, say, the mandate, they can be allowed to do so. Vermont, for example, has expressed a desire to just go straight to single-payer (in simple terms, everyone is covered, and medical expenses are paid by taxpayers). ( Citation: Page 98, sec. 1332 )”
Single-payer is the existential threat to the for-profit healthcare system from which we currently suffer, the system that guarantees fat profits for insurance companies by maintaining the per-capita costliest healthcare system in the Western world.
So, what’s the chance that McConnell will become Senate Majority Leader? Hartmann suggests that the election this November will be the first in American history in which — thanks to the Citizen’s United ruling — a sitting president will raise less money than his opposition.
As Hartmann says, “the fight over Obamacare has only just begun.”