Taking It Seriously?

Posted: Nov 26, 2012 1:24 PM

The Supreme Court has ordered the Fourth Circuit to hear Liberty University's appeal from ObamaCare's employer mandate and its abortion/contraception mandate.

As conservatives learned to our sorrow with the Court's ObamaCare ruling, one can never predict the outcome of a case.  That being said, the Court's move signas that it takes the First Amendment religious liberty arguments about the abortion/contraception mandate seriously.  What's more, to strike down the mandate, would presumably require persuading only Chief Justice Roberts, whose own background as a Catholic enhances the chances that he at least understands how fundamentally intrusive on religious faith the mandate is.

Having the employer mandate struck down would be an economic boon, as small companies would no longer have a disincentive for expanding (who wants to get 50 employers or above, and be dragged into the  clutches of ObamaCare?) -- but it might also throw more Americans into the talons of the ObamaCare "exchanges."

Interestingly, this morning, I heard some women discussing how easy it is to get in touch with a dermatologist for plastic surgery -- phone answered on the first ring, friendly receptionist, etc. -- but for a routine "check" for skin cancer, one is sent through a torturous phone mail system and can't reach a human being at the same practice.  I pointed out that the former is a fee-for-service enterprise, where good-will and a positive patient experience is essential to the doctor's success.  The latter is mediated through insurance, and the doctor's incentives are quite different, as a patient's satisfaction is far less relevant to the doctor's prosperity and success.  With ObamaCare, doctors have ever-fewer reasons to have to please their patients, so long as they are "pleasing" the government.  They'll also be pretty busy filling out mountains of forms.

So, as I warned the group of women in question, get ready for a whole lot more complicated phone mail systems, and a whole lot fewer human beings. If you relish a combination of the Post Office's efficiency and the IRS's compassion, you're gonna love ObamaCare.