Thursday, March 29, 2012

Supreme Court's Debate on Health Care/Health Insurance

Topic of the week around political blogland is the Supreme Court's current debate on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, the "landmark" healthcare reform bill signed by President Obama a couple of years back.

Comment on this issue is really "beyond my pay grade" (nada). Attempting interpretation of astrology relating to this debate would become tangled up in too much fog, variables and complexity to be useful. The only time I've ventured into anything connected with the Supreme Court was in noting that Chief Justice John Roberts shares my birthday, 27 January (but not birth year). When mentioning this in a post several years ago, while still very wet behind the ears as far as US politics and the finer points of applied astrology were concerned, I wrote:
US Chief Justice John Roberts has Sun and Mercury in Aquarius, with Aquarius' modern ruler Uranus conjunct Jupiter in Cancer. Jupiter is traditionally connected with law, and government. Incidentally, with his natal Moon almost certainly in Pisces, Sun in humanitarian Aquarius, and that conjunction in sensitive Cancer , I'd say Chief Justice Roberts is a compassionate man, it's good to see such a person occupying that lofty position.(27 Jan. 1955, Buffalo, New York)
Since then I've come to the conclusion that my Pollyanna-ish view of Chief Justice Roberts and the impact his astrology were mistaken. If he is indeed compassionate and sensitive he reserves these traits for his intimate relationships. Compassion for, and sensitivity to the needy masses doesn't seem to enter much into his professional decisions.

Surfing the net for related astrological insights, I stumbled upon a non-astrological blog: His Vorpal Sword written by Hart Williams. Hard to resist a blog title taken from Jabberwocky, one of my favourite poems by Lewis Carroll:
.....He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.....
Mr Williams' post dated 26 March is titled Athena and the Jurists and opens like this:
Any astrologer worth her salt would tell you that there is not a lot of good that you can expect from a grand Supreme Court argument over the future of health care, held on a day when Mercury is retrograde, Saturn is retrograde, and Mars is retrograde. And, since, like global warming, astrology is easily refuted, except by observation, allow me to make this observation on the madness of the zeitgeist.
That's the only mention of astrology in the complex and interesting post. I was very glad to find this unusual non-astrological writer who doesn't immediately disparage astrology. Thank you Mr. Williams! That was rather a good astrological point he made too.

My experience of US health care isn't wide enough to write about the current issue with any grain of credibility. I've lived here only since 2004. All I know for sure is that the National Health Service of the UK, flaws and all, beats the current US system, or the system that would come to pass if the Supreme Court upholds The Affordable Care Act, hands down.

This quote from a debate about the debate, hosted by Amy Goodman, reported at Truthout outlines what I think needs to be said:
DR. STEFFIE WOOLHANDLER: Well, the insurance industry wrote the framework for Romneycare in the form of Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation in Massachusetts that wrote the original framework. When it came time for Obamacare, the Senate framework, which became the backbone of the law, was written by none other than Elizabeth Fowler, whose previous job had been vice president of WellPoint, the nation’s largest private insurance company. The insurance industry spent hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying on this bill. They gave hundreds of millions to the Democrats and hundreds of millions to the Republicans, both supporting and opposing the bill, but assuring that voices from the left who supported real universal healthcare, real single payer, were shut out.

The only way those voices ultimately got heard was because people showed up in front of the White House in white coats and demonstrated. Doctors and nurses got arrested in Senate hearings. We forced the issue of single payer back onto the agenda against the wishes of the private health insurance industry. And that’s what needs to happen if we’re ever going to get to a real universal system that’s affordable, that gets rid of the private health insurance industry, and recaptures that $380 billion in excess paperwork costs and uses it to cover everyone.

I found this this morning - Will Fudeman sings Charlie King's parody of John Lennon's well-known Imagine- advocating for universal single payer health care in the United States. I'm absolutely certain that John Lennon would approve and would have added his voice to this. Oh my - if only he could!


Anonymous said...

GP: "Astrology as easily refuted as global warming" (except by - objective - observation), "objective" being my addition to this argument.

But who in this world wants (or even could if he/she wanted) be objective? Supreme judges? Who still believes in that?

Or for that matter who else, without being a judge nor supreme, is really able to be objective?

If the same stringend parameters which are being used to refute astrology were applied to politics, justice (also social justice), and other "noble human institutions", the "world" would crumble. That thing the Hindus know as Maya would become intelligible to not just some initiate Hindi Gurus...

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~

Excellent judges should be able to be objective when interpreting the law. That's their job - to blank out all else but their knowledge of the law and how it appies to the circumstances before them.
Do they do this? The best of them, in lesser courts, do, I think.
In the Supreme Court I'm not so sure. These guys have vested political interests, and too much power. I'd hazard a guess that so much power over matters that can affect the lives of a population of of 313,263,000 would have been considered unconstitutional by the men who wrote that hallowed document the US Constitution.

Anonymous said...

GP: At times (like you T.) one has to be provocative and express it to maintain one's sanity. As your friend Adams did the other day by hoping that they had "taken out the nails" before selling those Jesuses. Had a good laugh!

Knowing that you were associated with judges in the UK, I am glad that some there left you with the memory of probity. They exist, no doubt, but not so much at top levels. Could give examples I know from Switzerland and more recently here in Brazil.

Twilight said...

Anon/Gian Paul ~~

Agreed. re judges at the top: Same old thing, absolute power corrupts. The cream may rise but sours very quickly and stinks soon after.

Yes - I have nothing but admiration and respect for the skills of the lawyers and judges I worked with in the UK. Good ones do exist.

Wisewebwoman said...

I feel such compassion for those suffering masses in the US whose lives are totally in the power of the corporations now accorded personhood by these very same judges who are completely bought and paid for.
It is an obscene political system.

Twilight said...

Wisewebwoman ~~~ Obscene, obsolete and obnoxious! :-(

R J Adams said...

I think the fact Roberts was appointed by George W Bush is relevant. GWB didn't associate with any 'nice, compassionate' people. You've, no doubt, already read my take on this subject: it's okay for the states to mandate auto insurance (rightly) but it's a no-no for the government. The SCOTUS is a total farce funded by the corporates. Incidentally, corporations never suffer human diseases, never require healthcare, so how can they legally be 'people'?
PS It's nice to know I made GP laugh ;-)

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~ Every chortle and giggle is precious! There are so few to be had in the news cycle these days.

I'm suspecting now that SCOTUS was only show-boating, and they'll uphold the Act but don't want to make it look too easy. They couldn't possibly take away all that extra dosh from their pals the insurance corporations.

It's a farce alright, as you say - as is almost everything going on on the political scene just now.