Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Obamacare odds and ends...

From the Washington Examiner, CSPAN requests televised Obamacare oral arguments:
CSPAN chairman Brian Lamb wrote Chief Justice John Roberts today requesting that he break with Supreme Court tradition and allow for a televised broadcast of the oral arguments in the Obamacare case.

We believe the public interest is best served by live television coverage of this particular oral argument," Lamb wrote. "It is a case which will affect every American's life, our economy, and will certainly be an issue in the upcoming presidential campaign."
I'd watch...

Investor's Business Daily suggests that Elena Kagan should recuse herself from the Obamacare case:
Here are the facts on Kagan: She was the administration's solicitor general when ObamaCare became law last year. She has acknowledged that she was at a meeting in which state litigation against ObamaCare was discussed, though she said she was not involved in any legal responses concerning the states' litigation.

We also know that Kagan enthusiastically supported ObamaCare. This is made clear in emails released last week by the Justice Department.

"I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing," Kagan wrote on the day ObamaCare passed the House in an email to Laurence Tribe, the Harvard law professor who was working at that time in the Obama Justice Department...Nearly lost in this is the possibility that Kagan lied during her confirmation. She told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she had not been asked about the legal issues of ObamaCare nor had she offered any views on them. The emails, however, seem to tell a different story. Two exclamation points plainly show that in her legal opinion, ObamaCare was constitutional.
I have two things to say about that. The first is that the editorial is clearly correct about her conflict of interest and pre-expressed opinion - she's made it clear that there's no chance of her even considering the possibility that it might be unconstitutional, so that recusal is the only ethical approach. The second is that Barack Obama will demand that Congress repeal it before that happens. Zero chance.

Walter Russell Meade comments on a New York Times story of one of the unexpected consequences of Obamacare:
the New York Times reports that the controversial health care reform act has accelerated the destruction of small medical practices at the expense of large firms. And if the Times is right, these are part of some fundamental changes in the American health care system that no Supreme Court decision can undo...Is this what the social engineers who redesigned the American health care system really wanted to do? Is big better in health care, and is bigger still better still?

If the Times is right, so far the principal effect of the plan has been to accelerate the decline of family doctors and small medical practices in favor of larger, bureaucratic health care providers along the lines of HMOs.
Unintended or not? As we say in the software world, bug or feature? Well, let's just consider, for a moment, that age-old question, cui bono? Who benefits? Probably not the patients or the doctors, who end up breaking what is ideally a long-term and important relationship. But the politicians, who are then able to extract their tribute graft campaign contributions from a few large medical entities more dependent on their good will as opposed to many smaller entities less dependent on their good will certainly seem to.

Whether that was intended or just, from the politicians' point-of-view, a "happy accident" doesn't seem particularly relevant...

H/T: Instapundit, who linked all of these...

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