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In Praise of John Roberts

Why is this man smirking? Why is this man smirking?

OK, not really praise; Roberts's failure to strangle the Obamacare baby in its crib when he had the chance will go down alongside the Dred Scott decision as one of the greatest moral disasters in the history of the republic. The man in charge of enforcing the Constitution blinked when confronted with a triumphalist party and a then-popular president, forgetting that he, Roberts, would likely be in Washington long after Obama was gone. In an attempt to save the Supreme Court's reputation and standing, he destroyed it.

Still, even if inadvertently, Roberts got one thing right: the Patient Deflection and Unaffordable Care Act is a tax, and nothing but a tax. A punitive, regressive tax, to be sure -- but a tax nonetheless. A tax on ideological stupidity, as its supporters are just now learning. Just wait til the "employer mandate" kicks in.

Remember that the PDUCA has nothing whatsoever to do with "health care." That was just the heartstring-tugging pretense to mask a breathtaking power grab by the Democrats. No one's health will be improved by the passage of this law, although many may well be adversely affected. Nor it is even really about "insurance." For how can we call covering pre-existing conditions "insurance"? You can only insure against something in the future, not something that's already occurred. Call it a socialized risk pool, or some such, but don't call it "insurance."

No, what Obamacare is -- and was always meant to be -- is an onerous tax on the middle class, wearing the usual Leftist disguise of "compassion." With soaring deductibles and higher premiums for all, but "subsidies" for some, it's a huge transfer of wealth from those who can least afford it, prostituting the insurance companies (through which the monies will flow) in the service of a governmental enterprise both unasked for and constitutionally uncalled for.

In effect, what Obamacare does is destroy the concept of insurance completely: if your deductible soars to $6,250 (the "bronze" plan) -- meaning the amount you will have to pay out of your own pocket -- then you might as well not have "insurance" at all, and simply pay a fee for service, at much lower rates. Meanwhile, your "premiums" become an entirely new, unplanned-for expense that will net you... nothing you didn't already have before. Far better to simply buy catastrophic insurance and otherwise pay as you go.