Healthcare

LaVonne Neff 3-29-2012
Photo by Stephen Finn /Shutterstock.

Statue ouside Supreme Court building in Washington, DC. Photo by Stephen Finn /Shutterstock.

Maybe the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and maybe it's not. If it turns out to be constitutional, maybe it's good legislation and maybe it's not. In any case, it's looking increasingly likely that the Supreme Court, come June, will strike down at least the requirement that everyone buy health insurance. And if the mandate goes, two other requirements will most likely go with it: Once again insurers will be able to reject or refuse to renew applicants. And once again Americans with pre-existing conditions will be uninsurable.

Let me tell you four short stories about friends of mine. These are true stories, not hypothetical examples. I have changed nothing but the names of the people involved. I am not arguing on behalf of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. I'm just saying that all of these people had serious problems before it was passed, and some of them are doing much better now because of it.

Parker Haag/Sojourners

Protestors march outside the Supreme Court as oral arguments are heard inside. Parker Haaga/Sojourners

People lined the steps of the Supreme Court once again today, asking for their voices to be heard on the ongoing healthcare debate. Justices on Monday began their three-day review of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, which would require U.S. citizens to purchase health insurance or face a penalty.

Thousands gathered starting on Friday for a ticket inside for oral arguments and to stand outside the court in protest, both for and against the plan.

Duane Beachey 9-24-2011

Regarding Elizabeth Palmberg's article on healthcare costs ("Sky High and Rising," June 2011): I've been under the impression that a lot of our high medical costs are related to the restricted number of doctors.

Michael Nagler 8-12-2011

On Monday the Dow Jones industrial average fell 634.76 points; the sixth-worst point decline for the Dow in the last 112 years and the worst drop since December 2008. Every stock in the Standard and Poor's 500 index declined.

It is easy to blame bipartisan bickering for the impasse that led to Standard and Poor's downgrading of the American debt, and in turn the vertiginous fall of the Dow. This bickering -- this substitution of ideology for reason, of egotism for compassion and responsibility on the part of lawmakers -- is a national disgrace; but while it failed to fix the problem, we must realize that it did not cause it. The cause -- and potential for a significant renewal -- lies much deeper.

So let's allow ourselves to ask a fundamental question: what's an economy for?

We have come to an impasse in the negotiations to raise the debt ceiling because of several conceptual errors in our public discourse. These errors were most glaring in the remarks recently delivered by Speaker of the House John Boehner in his response to President Obama. The largest conceptual error is the idea that the government of a constitutional representative democracy is different from the people. Boehner said, "You know I've always believed the bigger the government, the smaller the people."

What does this mean? The government is composed of the people, and if people are paying attention and voting according to their own interests, the government ought to work toward the happiness of the people. The problem is that too many Americans have bought into this conceptual error that the government is some kind of leviathan, a monster that exists to take away their liberties. This is nonsense. A correction of another conceptual error in Boehner's presentation makes my point.

Jake Olzen 7-20-2011

After months of good-faith reforms and patience, the drama is back in Egypt's Tahrir Square as protesters are preparing for a potential showdown with the state's military rule. The movement, among other things, is demanding an end to military rule -- a more radical call that reflects both the frustration with the status quo and the hope for a better way.

Two weeks ago, at the "Day of Persistence," Egypt saw its largest resurgence of public protest since former President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February. The nation-wide protests show Egyptians camping out in Cairo's Tahrir Square, staging sit-ins and blocking traffic in Alexandria, and threatening to shut down Suez's tunnel access to Sinai. So why are the people confronting -- albeit nonviolently -- an interim government that has promised elections and a new constitution? A glance at the collective demands drafted in Tahrir Square make clear that the movement's demands -- both political and economic -- have not progressed much under the military rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

Elizabeth Palmberg 5-31-2011

Two weeks ago, McDonald's shareholders voted down a shareholder resolution asking the corporation to study how its advertising to children contributes to widespread childhood obesity. The resolution was sponsored by the Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia, along with a Catholic hospital network and other institutional investors.

The gospel according to the movie True Grit (2010) is as follows: "You must pay for everything in this world one way or another.
Mary Kay Henry 4-06-2011
On day three of my prayer fast, I woke up with the hymn, "I Am So Grateful," which the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ Children's Choir sang beautifully yesterday, running through m
It is time for those of us who have been advocating for comprehensive immigration reform to rethink our strategies.
Elizabeth Palmberg 2-21-2011
If corporate fronts designed to look like grassroots efforts are known as http://blog.sojo.net/2009/08/10/who-lit-the-fire-under-the-right-wing-po..." target
This week UnitedHealthcare told a stroke victim that her health insurance with them does not include the rehabilitation necessary for her to walk, eat, or speak again.

Margaret Benefiel 1-19-2011
In the midst of the American discussions of violence and civility in public discourse following the tragic shootings in
Jennifer Kottler 11-18-2010
You might think that those who spent their campaigns telling their constituents that they would work to appeal "Obamacare" -- just another government entitlement -- would either think that
It is the time it takes to say the Lord's Prayer three times. Sixty seconds. One minute. On September 21, 2010, U.N.
Johnathan Smith 8-16-2010
Remember January 2009? That month, the country witnessed the historic inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as the 44th president of the United States of America.
Melvin Bray 8-04-2010
One day I'd love to understand why conservatives seem so good at public relations, while liberals, at ridicule.
Once again, Glenn Beck has waded into theological waters beyond his depth.
About 25 years ago, the pastor of a relatively poor congregation had an accident and racked up a huge medical bill in the hospital.
Tracey Bianchi 3-29-2010
So my son came home from kindergarten on Friday all ravenous and hungry like he always is. No snacks in school so he is always a raving lunatic looking for a cookie after school.

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