Health Reform and Secession

I live in Virginia. My attorney general has challenged the legality of the new federal health reform law and a US District Judge appointed by former President Bush gave his case the green light this week.

The AG’s case is based on a state’ rights issue that reminds me eerily of why the United States had a bloody and obviously inconclusive civil war. ┬áHe and those like him believe the federal government does not have the power to enact a law that the attorney general (and his Tea Party friends) do not like.

I actually live in what I’m sure those from Richmond south call the People’s Republic of Northern Virginia. I can tell you that many people here do talk of seceding, but from the Commonwealth of Virginia not the United States of America.

For most of my adult life I have been an advocate for older Americans. But I have also been a vocal proponent of health care reform for more than 30 years. To me what passed is a generous gift to the private  health insurance industry allowing them to reap enormous future profits. This law is hardly socialism.

And, yes it does punish those companies a bit, taking away an enormous subsidy for running Medicare Advantage Plans at taxpayer expense (saving us all a pretty penny). But, the law adds new benefits to Medicare and plugs the donut hole in Medicare prescription drug coverage.

This attorney general is ethically challenged. He would rather see families go broke because they can’t afford health coverage or have a son with cancer requiring $100,000 a year go bankrupt. He would rather see me pick up the tab for the care of people who crowd emergency rooms and have no coverage at all (it’s called cost shifting but that’s a long story).

I wonder if Arlington would be our state capitol. Or, maybe Manassas would be more appropriate.