Why Roberts voted the way that he did…

The news and opinion media have it all wrong about Chief Justice John Roberts and his recent vote on the Supreme Court for the “lack-of-healthcare tax”. (Shh! Don’t call it a penalty.)

John Roberts did not “flip” from some Republican ideology to a Democrat one. He simply voted for Big Business.

Cry me a river about how he was a traitor to Republican ideals and I will tell you that he did what Big Republicans always do: he voted for Big Business. They never met an industry they did not like.

Imagine the boon for “Big Insurance” now: Everyone must have insurance. That is 30 million more Americans who will have it. Plus the prices can go up and you will have to contribute more out of your pocket and, gee, sorry, nobody expected this to happen. Cough. Plus Big Insurance can reduce their payments to hospitals and doctors because of the prophecy that some costs will go down.  I smell big profits for some companies as costs are shifted around.

How did Big Insurance carve out a program that allows them to be middlemen between the provider and the user for 30 million more Americans? That story will likely never be told. But I bet it is a good one. And in the meantime, America talks about something other than the outsourcing of federal and state patient care to insurance businesses for federal and state monies. Quite simply, “let’s add a middleman to the process and costs will go down” is a silly approach. But what industry would oppose any regulation that causes the tide to rise and float all boats?

Yes, I know there will be just  enough federal oversight to keep the lobbyists contributing to both the Republican and Democrat Party. There is some measure of relief in oversight but who needs it when there are other approaches?

I support a national healthcare plan that offers options to people. I don’t support forced healthcare insurance purchases as the only approach.

America tries all other possibilities before it tries the right one. Let’s hope we get to Phase 2 very quickly.

Federal Overreaching…Again

Did you know that the Department of  Justice can issue rules ( aka ‘laws’) about wheelchair lifts for pools?

In September 2010, the DOJ issued guidelines for “recreational facilities,” including a new rule that all public access swimming pools must provide a lift capable of moving disabled patrons from their wheelchairs into the water.

Compliance with the rule requires pool owners to have a lift for each “water element” in their facility. So if your local community pool also has a spa, both the spa and the pool must be “accessible.” But if you have two spas, don’t worry, only one lift is required.

But then industry leaders began hearing rumors last year that Obama’s DOJ would require permanently fixed lifts for each pool and spa. They began to write letters to DOJ asking for clarification on the issue.

On Jan. 31 of this year, DOJ granted the industry’s call for a clarification: But it was not the answer they wanted. All 300,000 public pools in the United States must install a permanent fixed lift. The deadline for compliance is tomorrow, March 15. Call it “Poolmageddon.”

This is another example of federal overreach.

I support the intent of the American for Disability Act to provide equal access to buildings, restrooms, parking, and other public common areas but this is going too far. When the federal government is in the business of ensuring that disabled Americans can access every public and private swimming pool used by the public-at-large across the United States then that government is excessive and intrusive.

I don’t know if there is a way to craft a law that says equal access does not apply to all swimming pools but assuredly there must be a way to prevent the DOJ from issuing rulings like this about privately owned pools provided for guests. Equal access to community pools is reasonable. Hotel pools and spas is not.

This ‘outsourcing’ of congressional lawmaking to Executive Branch agencies troubles me. Group-think sets in and terrible laws are crafted without understanding the consequences and without congressional approval. There must be a way to rein in these egregious rules.

How do we do that?