After Thursday’s historic ruling by the Supreme Court in the ObamaCare case, it’s almost useless to argue the merits of the law itself.
Most people, having paid attention at all, know this is is an unsustainable solution replete with bloated bureaucratic oversight and unfettered spending.
But, like it or not, it’s the law…at least until November.
That’s exactly why it was so important that Mitt Romney framed this ruling the way he did Thursday.
His speech was excellent: it was poignant without being overly critical, creating a clear choice in November. In other words: this is going to be a referendum election on ObamaCare.
But more than that, he did something I’ve been saying for weeks when it comes to this massive insurance overhaul: the way to deal with the uninsured is to help them get jobs.
In the 1990’s, when life was good and businesses were booming, we had an unemployment rate under 5% and no one was complaining about the costs of health insurance and health care.
The reason is simple: they could afford it.
When you have unemployment at 8.2% and a structural unemployment at 20% or higher, you have millions of Americans who have no access to employee-sponsored health insurance.
According to May statistics, 8.2% unemployment translated to 12.7 million people. That means at least 20 million people are out of work given the number of Americans who have given up looking.
Compare that to the number of uninsured Americans at about 17% and you understand how closely related these two statistics are. That’s almost 50 million Americans who are uninsured.
If you could cut unemployment down to pre-Obama levels, down to say 5% and 10% structural unemployment, you could likely reduce the number of uninsured Americans by 20% at least.
The U.S. Government (a.k.a. your tax dollars) pay for about 50 million people on Medicaid.
How many of the unemployed do you think also qualify for Medicaid?
Furthermore, as Romney notes in his speech, a national survey found nearly 3 out of 4 businesses say this new law will impede their ability to grow.
In fact, the United States Chamber of Commerce has vehemently opposed the ACA, insisted that up to 20 million currently insured workers could lose their health insurance given the prohibitive costs on businesses.
This, of course, goes against one of the main tenants of liberal mythology that government is the best way to provide for its citizens.
More to the point, you are incapable of making the right decisions and handling it yourself.
What our government ought to be doing, and what Mitt Romney is trying to convince the American people he’ll fight to do, is providing this country with an environment for business growth.
The single most empowering thing the government can do is help get people back to work. Despite what some (mostly older) Republicans believe, most people who aren’t working would rather be doing so.
Not everyone who is on Medicaid or Unemployment is just lazy.
Health care costs have skyrocketed because too many users of the system can’t afford to be part of the system and that is inextricably linked to the persistently-high levels of joblessness in this country.
The more people in the system who can actually afford the system, the less insurance companies have to offset their losses from those who can’t afford to be in the system.
It’s essentially what Obama wanted to do with ObamaCare, the idea of pooling risk, but the best way to add people to the insurance pool is to get them working so they can afford to be in it.
This, as much as anything, represents the distinct difference between Republicans and Democrats. It’s the very core of the ideological divide between our current president and Mitt Romney.
One believes the government is the solution to every problem, and the other believes government is the problem, obstructing every solution.
America will decide in November which vision for our country it prefers.