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Bloggings: What does President Obama's position on health care reform have to do with immigration? Perhaps more than meets the eye. By Roger Algase

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Does the bitter and contentious debate on health care reform in the Supreme Court have anything to do with immigration? Not, perhaps, at first glance. Just for one example, I am sure that my colleague and fellow blogger Matt Kolken, whom I greatly respect and who is doing such terrific work in holding the Obama administration's feet to the fire over its disgraceful, if not criminal, immigration detention abuses, would be the first to point out that providing health care of any sort is not exactly a well known feature of immigration detention conditions.


But there is a connection between the Obama administration's approach to health care reform and its approach to immigration - to cave in. With regard to health care reform, Obama turned a deaf ear to liberal Democrats who supported a single payer system. Instead, he opted for the Republican individual mandate Trojan Horse.


I say Trojan Horse, because the "gift" of promises of Republican support for health care reform if the mandate idea were accepted not only turned out to be illusory, since no Republicans voted for the final bill, but the mandate itself was open to Constitutional attack. As if no one already knew this before, and  of course everyone did, we certainly found out this week, courtesy of Justices Scalia, Roberts, et al.


We are now seeing the result of Obama's failure to stand on principle and support single payer, which, as Justice Kennedy stated during the oral argument over health care, would have been much harder to attack on Constitutional grounds. Because of Obama's failure to stand up for the best solution of all, the entire health care law may very likely be thrown out by the same Supreme Court which gave us the "gift" of Bush v. Gore and Citizens United.


On immigration as well, Obama has tried to compromise with people for whom there is no such word as compromise. He is deporting 400,000 people a year, most of whom have committed no serious crimes and are no threat to society. How many normally Republican or independent voters will support him in November because of this? Very few.


But many of the Latino and other minority voters whose support he must have in order to be re-elected will stay home, or even vote Republican on the theory that the Democratic devil who lies to us is worse than a Republican devil who at least tells the truth about what he has in store. Obama's cowardice and expediency are not only bad morally. They are even worse politics.

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Comments

  1. Matthew Kolken's Avatar
    Great article Roger! Here is my follow-up commentary: http://bit.ly/HyX9C6
  2. Roger Algase's Avatar
    Great comment, Matt. I totally agree. THe handling (or non-handling) of DREAM by Obama and the Democrats was outrageous. BTW, I just posted another blogging today on how a President Romney might move ahead with a few potential Republican ideas about immigration reform. While I do not expect you to agree with me, I hope you will enjoy giving it a read anyway.
  3. lab instrument's Avatar
    expected a lot on healthcare from obama. needless to say he failed to deliver.

    as long as immigration concerned, it is complicated issue to address.
  4. Roger Algase's Avatar
    I completely don't understand lab instrument's comment. Obama is under attack by the Supreme Court and the right wing because his health care reform law accomplishes so much, not so little. It represents a vast, sweeping change in the system, which also puts some controls over the runaway profits of the health insurance companies.

    Unfortunately, it is also full of Republican proposals, including its Constitutional Achilles heel, the individual mandate, which Obama adopted in an effort to compromise with people who never wanted reform in the first place.

    Unless the Supreme Court strikes the law down, Obama will get credit (or should) for bringing about a major reform in the system. This is exactly why I think the Court will strike it down, in order to deny Obama that credit and make people think that he accomplished nothing.

    It it simply incredible how successful the health insurance barons and their Republican supporters have been in brainwashing the public into opposing a reform which benefits so many millions of people, through endless lies and distortions od the reform law.

    The only issue on which the public is even worse informed and more biased is immigration. Here also, Obama has been the "Great Compromiser", with his record number of deportations. What good has it done him?
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