Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin thanked both God and the Supreme Court for… (Charles Krupa / AP Photo )
Sarah Palin thanked the Supreme Court and the Almighty this morning after the high court ruled in favor of President Obama’s healthcare reform law.
Why the contrarian reaction from a conservative who has railed against the law, and even pushed the long-debunked claim that bureaucratic “death panels” will make life-and-death decisions about the elderly and the disabled?
In a word, politics.
The former Alaska governor is making an entirely political calculation that the survival of the healthcare reform law will spell doom for Democrats in November.
“Thank you, SCOTUS,” wrote Palin on her Facebook page. “This Obamacare ruling fires up the troops as America’s eyes are opened. Thank God.”
Palin, who has not held office for three years but regularly appears on Fox News as a political commentator and is a favorite of tea party groups, seized on the Supreme Court’s decision as proof that the Obama administration has curtailed personal liberty. Like many Obamacare opponents, she focused on the court’s rationale for upholding the law as a constitutional exercise of Congress’ power to tax. That, she claimed, proves the president has broken his campaign promises not to raise taxes on the middle class.
“Obama promised the American people this wasn’t a tax and that he’d never raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000,” wrote Palin. “We now see that this is the largest tax increase in history. It will slam every business owner and every one of the 50% of Americans who currently pay their taxes. The other 50% are being deceived if they think they’re going to get a free ride – because Medicaid is broke. Recipients of Obama’s 'free health care' will have fewer choices and less accessibility. Trust me – this much more expensive health care WILL be rationed; to claim otherwise defies all economic and common sense.”
Actually, the law calls for a tax penalty only on those who choose that option by refusing to buy insurance. The tax penalty would not apply to those who cannot afford health insurance and will not be applied to anyone who purchases health insurance. Only those who can afford health insurance and refuse to buy it are subject to the tax penalty, the rationale being that those people will inevitably need healthcare and those costs otherwise would be passed on to the insured in the form of higher premiums. Obama has argued that people who behave responsibly should not be forced to pay the healthcare bills of those who do not.
Still, Palin called upon Congress to “act immediately to repeal this terrible new tax on the American people.... We the People did not ask for this tax, we do not want this tax, and we can’t afford this tax. This is not an answer to America’s health care challenges.”
Palin did not offer any solutions to the problem of rising healthcare costs, nor any ideas about how to provide health insurance for the millions of Americans who lack it.
Instead, as she often does, she employed the rhetoric of battle. “We will not retreat on this,” she wrote. “A newly elected legislative branch is key to defending our Republic and fundamentally restoring all that is good in America.”
Echoing the sentiment of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney earlier in the day, she urged supporters to take their frustration to the ballot box.
“It’s time, again, for patriotic Americans to rise up to protest this obvious infringement on our economic and personal freedom,” wrote Palin. “November is just around the corner. Today, the Supreme Court issued their ruling on Obamacare. In November, We the People will issue ours.”