Mobile Version
Free Internet Press
  Uncensored News For Real People


FIP Year In Review

FIP Month in Review

FIP Archive Search




2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


Commentary: 'America Has Become Without A Doubt More European'
2012-06-29 17:01:41 (113 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke
Intellpuke: The following commentary was written by Spiegel Online journalist Miriam Widman, writing under the German news magazine's column "The World From Berlin", which includes editorial comments by various German news organizations. Ms. Widman's column, and the commentaries, were posted on Spiegel Online's edition for Friday, June 29, 2012.

The news on Thursday that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's health-care reform took many by surprise. Editorialists in Germany, which is home to universal health care, remain baffled by the American debate.

In a 5 to 4 vote, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the controversial provision requiring Americans to purchase health insurance was not unconstitutional, as its opponents had hoped, but amounted to a levy which Congress can issue based on its constitutional right to collect taxes. In a surprise move, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, long seen as a staunch conservative, backed the ruling and delivered the verdict.

German health-care experts have long had difficulty understanding the debate in the United States because mandatory health care insurance has been required for decades in Germany, just as it is in many other European countries. People living in Germany cannot be excluded from health insurance because of previous conditions and, for those who are covered under the public-private national healthcare scheme, their premiums are based on how much income they earn.

Opponents in the U.S. argued that requiring Americans to buy insurance is an intolerable intrusion into an individual's right to purchase what he or she feels is necessary and amounts to a move to Socialism, which they reject.

The court argued that the constitutionality of the law is not based on Congress' right to regulate commerce, as liberals on the court had argued, but on its power to tax citizens.

Proponents argued that health insurance only works if everyone -- sick as well as healthy individuals -- are part of the system. Large health insurers backed this, fearing they would experience big financial losses if required coverage were removed but a mandate requiring them to insure people regardless of their pre-conditions was kept.

(story continues below)




On Friday, German commentators examine the significance the Supreme Court decision could have on the Obama presidency, his chances for re-election and the likelihood that the United States will no longer be the only industrialized nation that allows millions and millions of its citizens to go without health care.

The center-left Süddeutsche Zeitung writes:

"It is a scandal that the biggest industrial nation in the world allows 50 million of its citizens -- nearly one-sixth of the population -- to go without health insurance. For economic reasons alone, this makes no sense. The costs of treating the acutely ill uninsured are transferred to taxpayers, who support hospitals with public subsidies, and to those who are insured, who end up paying higher premiums."

"Above all, this lack of insurance is indefensible for humanitarian reasons, because it means that the uninsured can only get help in an absolute emergency. This is the way that mild illnesses turn into chronic diseases that can become deadly. This antiquated health-care system is a symbol of America's moral destitution."

"In terms of domestic policy, Obama sacrificed far too much for his health-care plan. He had to give up climate protection because he ran out of strength after the epic battle for healthcare. Desperately needed new rules on immigration haven't moved a step forward. And although he did reform the financial market, that reform remains far behind expectations. If it weren't for the fact that Obama is the first black man in the White House, his term in office wouldn't be all that historically significant. Now he at least has health care to show, but it's something his own people didn't even want."

"(If elected, however), Mitt Romney would turn the dividing lines in America's political and social policies into deep canyons. The rich would become even richer and the middle class and the poor, who have already lost ground since the Bush years, would continue to lose. On the foreign policy front Romney's cookie-cutter sayings don't bode well. You have to hope that the American people will show Obama some mercy and give him the benefit of the doubt, as the Supreme Court has done."

The Financial Times Deutschland writes:

"The Supreme Court decision in Washington is a big victory for Obama ... more than that, though, the decision is a victory for Americans. The state of the health care system is shameful for a superpower like the USA. It is by far the most expensive system in the world -- two and a half times more expensive than the OECD average -- and offers some of the worst care among industrialized countries. It doesn't cover 50 million citizens. And treatment costs bring many people and companies to the brink of financial ruin."

"Obama's historic health care reform -- called Obamacare by its opponents -- is far from resolving these injustices. But after five decades without reforms, it is the first successful attempt to fundamentally restructure the system. It is a long overdue project -- both economically and socially -- that all of Obama's predecessors failed to push through."

The conservative Die Welt writes:

"Obama was victorious. A lot of things during his presidency didn't work out as he had planned after he lost the majority in Congress two years ago. This health reform package that even Bill Clinton once failed at obtaining, will go down in the history books as a historical achievement -- even though it's unclear how Americans, who already have the most expensive health care system in the world -- will pay for the extra costs."

"Obama's Republican challenger Romney wants to base his campaign on getting Americans to give him a political mandate to get rid of (Obama's requirement of) mandatory health insurance. But even if he wins the race and also secures a majority in both houses of Congress, that wouldn't necessarily mean the end of 'Obamacare'. Europe has a lot of experience with this: Once the state has begun providing social benefits, few politicians dare to then take them away from the people, even if there is no way of paying for them. With this reform America has without a doubt become more European. Whether or not that is good for the country remains to be seen."

The center-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung writes:

"It is a surprising and striking victory for President Obama and his Democratic Party and a bitter defeat for their opponents. Obama has every reason to be relieved because healthcare reform is not just any social policy initiative. It's a trademark of his presidency. It's something he's invested enormous amounts of political capital and energy into and also something that has symbolized and exacerbated the polarization of the country and its politics: Not a single Republican voted for the plan."

"On the one hand Obama is now going into the presidential election with an unambiguous victory; but he hasn't won yet. On the other hand, his Republican challenger Mitt Romney will pull out all the stops. There's nothing that mobilizes your own side more than a clear picture of the enemy. This enemy is a social state that has been expanded by President Obama that (the Republicans) claim robs the people financially and overextends its boundaries. Romney will move into the election battle with arguments that if he is president and has a majority in Congress to back him, he'll overturn 'Obamacare'. What has been legally clarified now becomes ammunition for the campaign."

Intellpuke: You can read this column by Spiegel Online journalist Mriam Widman, and the commentaries, in context here: www.spiegel.de/international/world/german-press-review-on-supreme-court-decision-on-us-healthcare-reform-a-841701.html


Email To A Friend
Email this story to a friend:
Your Name:
Their Email:
 
Readers Comments
Add your own comment.
(Anonymous commenting now enabled.)

Creative Commons License
Free Internet Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. You may reuse or distribute original works on this site, with attribution per the above license.

Any mirrored or quoted materials may be copyright their respective authors, publications, or outlets, as shown on their publication, indicated by the link in the news story. Such works are used under the fair use doctrine of United States copyright law. Should any materials be found overused or objectionable to the copyright holder, notification should be sent to editor@freeinternetpress.com, and the work will be removed and replaced with such notification.

Please email editor@freeinternetpress.com with any questions.

Our Privacy Policy can be viewed at https://freeinternetpress.com/privacy_policy.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication: http://freeinternetpress.com/rss.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML News Sitemap