Fair warning - rant ahead.
Today, the United States Supreme Court made gay marriage legal nationwide. Here's a link to an article.
Yesterday, the came court issued a ruling about the Affordable Care Act having to do with subsidies. Here's another link.
I think I'm going to take what may be a somewhat different stance on both these issues: We're missing the fucking point. I will try to elaborate.
With regard to gay or same sex marriage, I really don't care. If two men or two women want to get together and make a common life for themselves, what business is it of mine? However, marriage stopped being about that a long time ago, didn't it? It's a legal term. It allows for certain privileges. Spouses cannot be compelled to testify against each other in court, and when it comes to medical decisions if someone is incapacitated, spouses get to have the final word. I won't even get into what happens from a legal standpoint with a divorce; that's a whole different discussion. Suffice it, for now, to say it's fucking crap. As far as I'm concerned, government should have the same level of interest in marriage that I do; it's none of their business. Centuries ago, marriages were arranged as a kind of alliance, whether it had to do with war, politics, or social standing. Love never entered into it. We'd like to think that's changed, but has it really, from a legal perspective? Why does it take governmental recognition of any kind to make a marriage official? And why is it their business on any level if a marriage ends?
Similarly, why should there be federal subsidies for healthcare? Why should there be any government involvement at all? We are supposed to be a capitalistic society; not socialist. We are supposed to be about individual rights, not taking what one person has earned and using it to benefit another. I call that theft. Yes, it's legalized theft; same as any form of tax in my book. That does not make it morally acceptable for those who prefer freedom over the mommy state. If we as a society decide that we want universal healthcare, fine. Let's just do it. This hybrid model imposed by the Affordable Care Act is unsustainable crap. Make it a tax - whether income or sales - and just do the fuck away with insurance premiums. Will it work? Hell, I don't know. Some say Canada's healthcare system works; some talk about those citizens coming here for better care. I'm no expert. I'm just expressing an opinion. I think gov't should keep their nose out of healthcare, aside from ensuring ethical practices. Yes, I know that's a whole separate issue. Right now, I'm talking about socialized medicine. How about instead of it being part of our taxes, we make it an optional fund to which we as a people could contribute? I have no problem with that. If you truly believe in socialized medicine, then you can take part of your paycheck or bank account and hand it over to the state for administration. Then people like me who prefer to hold on to fruits of their labor won't be robbed by government.
So, to come back to my initial statement that we're missing the point - if government and the legal system in general weren't so ingrained in our everyday lives, these issues wouldn't matter. If marriage was actually about a relationship between two people and not an institution recognized by the government, same sex marriages would already be on equal footing with those between a man and a woman. If healthcare was about actually caring for people and not turning a profit, subsidies wouldn't matter. However, some argue that profit is supposed to drive innovation. You know what else it drives? Corruption. In my opinion, healthcare today isn't about curing disease; it's about long term medications or care. We aren't patients, we're fucking customers.
But...I got a bit sidetracked there, didn't I?
I still say we as a society are missing the point. With same sex marriage, I was pretty clear. With Obamacare and government subsidies, we are already taking what someone has earned and using it to benefit someone else, and we're doing it in a way that's a clusterfuck and is adding to a national debt that is already at level that will never be repaid. Maybe we're on the road to going one way or the other with it. We should just get there already.
I'm aware that I may be oversimplifying these issues, particularly healthcare. But, this is my website and my blog, and these are my opinions, which are subject to change. 'nuff said.