Go figure that just as one of the most stressful college basketball seasons crashes to a close with my Buckeyes playing Kansas in the Final Four this week and cross-state rivals Louisville and Kentuckysquaring off in the other game, the Supreme Court would take up the challenge to Obamacare.
I’m doing everything I can to not think about the repercussions if the Affordable Care Act is overturned, what it means for our democracy if five to six unelected justices shred the most important piece of social legislation in sixty years that took two landslide elections, countless activists, the Heritage Foundation, MIT proposals, the Massachusetts test case Romneycare, and the last vestiges of real political courage to enact.
But then I have to immediately turn my mind to the Kansas Jayhawks, who unraveled North Carolina to earn their spot, and the energetic Thomas Robinson, who I’d love if the Cavs drafted but will nevertheless not enjoy when he squares off against the Bucks. Ohio State played one of their finest second halves against Syracuse, and they will need to be just as good to beat Kansas.
It’s almost as stressful as wondering if the courts’ conservative justices actually care more about giving President Obama a black eye than hewing to their previous decisions about the commerce clause of the Constitution or that they could set back the ability of congress to regulate interstate commerce to pre-New Deal era territory. Despite what you’re uncle might have told you on Thanksgiving, the individual mandate is clearly constitutional. Furthermore, talk from the left and right about how the law “forces” you to buy health insurance is total crap. It doesn’t “force” anyone to do anything. No one goes to jail if they don’t get coverage, they just have to pay a (relatively small) tax penalty because at some point those who don’t have health insurance will get sick or in a car accident and the rest of us will have to pay for it. Call it an “emergency room tax" and it’s hard to see how we’d even be here.
Yet even if the Buckeyes get past KU, they will almost certainly face the Kentucky Wildcats and their freak-show of a center Anthony Davis. That team is so stacked from Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (Choose a name! There are no hyphens in basketball!) to Terrence Jones (T-Jones) to sharpshooter Doron Lamb (the Lambinator), that fans should all jump off a cliff if they somehow manage to lose the tournament. Did you hear me, Kentucky fans? Your team is so much better than Ohio State, that if we were to beat you in the finals, hari kari would be an acceptable form of penance.
Speaking of hari kari, that would be the best health care option for the 30 to 35 million uninsured Americans who would yet again be out in the cold if Obamacare goes down. Will insurers again be allowed to kick sick people off the rolls and deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions? Will the Supreme Court also strike down the cost-saving measures that may be our best actual hope of reigning in the deficit? And will we just have admitted that the Supreme Court’s new role is nothing more than an enforcer of partisan thuggery?
I pretty much can’t take the suspense.
Go Bucks. And go Obamacare.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times