Friday, June 29, 2012

The Supreme Court Rules on My Blog Posts


Well, actually the Supreme Court ruled this month on two of my blog post topics. I don’t do political commentary every day – not even every week. On those occasions when I have written about political issues, the two most frequent topics have been healthcare reform and immigration.  I am pleased to report that this month the highest court in the land has backed up much of what I have been saying.  Indeed, June has been a very important month in addressing two big issues for our country. 

On Immigration

My blogging on immigration was mainly in response to Alabama’s harsh immigration law. The last time I commented on the Alabama law was on May 9 with “Our Immigration Dilemma. “
When my state refused to repeal or even budge on its Immigration law, even after the protests and the many requests from our citizens,  it became all too clear to me that Alabama will not do what is just and right in this situation unless and until the Federal government intervenes. I should have known this. The same was true with Jim Crow laws, civil rights and integration (but one can always hope that his state will do better).

The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Arizona Immigration law, issued on June 25th, is a sure step toward correcting Alabama's law. As reported in The New York Times, immigration is a matter of federal jurisdiction , not individual states:

The justices make it clear that this case is about the power of the federal government to set immigration policy and to pre-empt, to a large degree, state policies that can infringe on that federal power. An expert on immigration law, Micahel A. Olivas, explained: "We can't have 50 different immigration policies, 50 different foreign policies."

The only part of the Arizona Law that the court tentatively upheld was the section that allows law enforcement to determine immigration status of someone detained for other reasons if there is legitimate suspicion. When this part of the law is enacted, it will likely lead to racial profiling which may then be struck down by the court.

So in short, there is some hope yet for justice. Will congress now embark on serious immigration reform?

On Healthcare

As for healthcare, I have had several posts in regard to President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.  As a healthcare worker, I am all too familiar with the failure of our healthcare system to grant access to healthcare for many of our people. I am also acutely aware of how our insurance premiums are driven up by the many people who show up in our emergency rooms without insurance. Hospitals cannot not treat them, and the cost is passed on to those of use with insurance. Many of these uninsured patients cannot afford coverage. Some are unemployed; some have part-time jobs with no insurance benefits. It is all too clear that we need reform that will bring better access to healthcare and reign in the spiraling costs of insurance coverage.  My last blog about healthcare was on April 9th after arguments had been made before the Supreme Court in the case challenging legality of the Affordable Care Act and we knew that a decision would be forthcoming in June. I was obviously concerned at the time when I titled that essay, "Healthcare in the Courts: Checks and Balances or Partisan Gamesmanship?"

Much has already been said in blogs, in print, and on the airwaves about the significance of this landmark Supreme Court ruling in which Chief Justice Roberts sided with (and wrote) the majority opinion to uphold the Affordable Care Act. Ezra Klein has a good commentary about what this ruling will mean for the country by showing how it will affect real people in their day-to-day lives.

Take a deep breath and be not afraid

In both of these important cases that went before the Supreme Court, I am thankful that reason and justice tipped the scales over doctrinaire extremism and partisanship. So much of what we have heard from vocal opponents of "Obamacare" and from loud supporters of Arizona’s immigration law has been a reaction based on fear. The road ahead will not be simple or easy, but we must never let fear be our guide.



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4 comments:

  1. Thank you for the measured response. It seems most people's reaction has been to simply slam those who think differently than themselves without much appreciation for the complexities of such a matter OR the people involved.

    It was heartbraking yesterday to see facebook posts of people I know celebrating the fact they won't lose their healthcare right next to posts about how lazy, misguided, or socialist those people are.

    The dichotomy was striking.

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  2. As someone who has been living in countries with "socialist" healthcare systems. I really like it. It is more just. It is more fair. Healthcare costs less. Healthcare is excellent. I choose my own doctor. Doctors don't drive Lamborghinis. These countries wonder why America claims to be "Christian" but doesn't have compassion for its people. Congratulations USA!

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  3. One reader made the observation that Justice Roberts did not "side with" the majority opinion, he "created" the majority opinion.

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  4. I agree with you on both immigration and health care. It's interesting that the largest immigration group are Asians and not hispantics. Also, letting health care be driven by market forces will not work. The demand is there but the supply is limited by income. Many that need health care can't afford it. The question now in Alabama is whether the state will accept additional Medicaid.

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