While the U.S. Supreme Court listened to arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act – a.k.a. Obamacare – the rest of the world seemed unimpressed. The Court dominated front pages and newscasts here, not so elsewhere.
And then Guy Rundle weighed in.
In Australia and the UK, Rundle is known for his sober, caustic analysis of American politics. Friday, in Crikey (yes, that’s an Australian publication), Rundle eviscerated President Barack Obama, Congress, Democrats, Republicans, the U.S. solicitor-general and the Supreme Court. Whatever your political bent, this article will sting a bit.
On Obama: “Bizarrely, if the court upholds the law, the public is then reminded of who gave it to them – and the Obama strategy of barely mentioning it at all is blown away.”
On the Right: “It’s one thing to deny people health coverage, and rely on the mind-bendingly powerful Right propaganda to suggest that having no good care of your physical being is an expression of ‘freedom.’”
On the Supreme Court: “…there will be several months of deliberations by the nine esteemed justices – or eight esteemed justices, and Clarence Thomas.”
It has been six years since Clarence Thomas asked a question during oral arguments before the court.
Rundle also gives an accurate tour through the sausage factory that is the decades-long American healthcare debate. He reminds Aussies – and Americans – that the mandate, the rule that all Americans must buy health insurance, was initially a conservative idea; that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have found themselves on both sides of the mandate debate; that both parties are capable of skewing the constitution to enforce their ideology:
The conservatives will say that the [constitution] arose from a revolution against extended government power; the liberals will say that it was…explicitly designed to give the federal government sufficient power to govern effectively.
Read Rundle’s full commentary at the link below. And think about whether the U.S. has something to learn from Australia, where the healthcare system is partially socialized and the government pays less for health care than Americans do.