by Richard Crews
There are (or soon will be) four epic Supreme Court errors.
First: In 1857 in the infamous Dred Scott case the Supreme Court ruled that no one of African descent could be a citizen of the U.S.--once a slave, always a slave. Dred Scott entered the Court a free man and left a slave. This has echoed through history as the worst decision the U.S. Supreme Court ever made.
Second: In 2000 the Supreme Court awarded the presidency to George Bush although Al Gore had won the popular vote by a million votes and probably would have won the electoral vote as well if the Florida recount had been allowed to proceed--the Supreme Court stopped it. The disastrous results of Bush's presidency are incontestable.
Third: In 2010 the Supreme Court ruled in "Citizens United" that a corporation can spend unlimited, secret funds to influence an election. This disastrous reversal of campaign-finance laws moves us ever closer to having "the best government money can buy."
Fourth: In a few months the Supreme Court will probably rule that aspects of the health-care program enacted in 2010 are unconstitutional--specifically, the requirement that a citizen make a purchase (health insurance) from a private company violates the Constitution's allowable limits on trade governance.
This restriction would destroy the financial viability of the health-care program. Insurance companies can only afford to sell insurance to sick people if they have a large field of well people (that is, not-yet-sick people) to average out the costs. That is the essence of the insurance business. (As things stand now, about 1/3 of the premiums paid for health insurance go to pay for care for the uninsured; this cost would be cut in half if these people had insurance that let them go to scheduled clinics rather than use emergency services--and they would get better care.)
Happily this problem can be overcome by reawakening the "public option" and offering people a non-private source to buy insurance from. People can still opt to purchase from a private company, but a non-private source would be available.
Whether our politically driven and gridlocked federal government will have the wisdom and capacity to solve this problem is uncertain.
Bun Gladieux, president of the Presssure Positive Company, has a blog with an interesting series of topics.
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