Hope for the Best
Expect the Worst
We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. We don’t need the Supreme Court to tell us this. One could use the Elastic Clause and explain that the individual mandate is necessary and proper in today’s health care market, a market the likes of which was inconceivable to the Founding Fathers. Or there’s the Interstate Commerce Clause which is obviously applicable. After all, if I have health insurance in Florida and get sick in Georgia I use the same insurance, and if I don’t have insurance, then the people of Georgia pay with higher premiums. That this is even being heard by the Supreme Court indicates that the gig is up for Obama’s signature piece of legislation.¹
My prediction is that the corporate patsies on the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate, and thereby cripple the law. They will do so because that is what they are there to do, to destroy any attempt to create a level, working playing field for average Americanseven admittedly flawed attempts. As indicated by the Citizen’s United Decision, this is a mission that they take seriously.
Citizen’s United offers a glimpse into the future. Not only will the Supreme Court shoot down the individual mandate, but they will take the extraordinary leap of nullifying the Affordable Care Act in toto. Remember, Citizens United could have been decided in narrow terms, specifying that the specific documentary about Hillary Clinton did not constitute a campaign piece, therefore it’s release was not a violation of McCain-Feingold. But SCOTUS didn’t do that. They decided on the broader issue on the constitutionality of another perfectly constitutional piece of legislationagain, flawed.
How will they justify themselves? Think about the case of Summum vs. Pleasant Grove. In this case the Supreme Court ruled, on supposed constitutional grounds, that the city of Pleasant Grove could refuse to install a monument from the Summum Church in a public park despite allowing other groups to install their monuments, including a statue of the Ten Commandments. The court ruled against Summum, unanimously I might add, on the grounds that the decision to allow memorials from some contributors, but not others, in a public space is an exercise of government free speech. Government free speech? Where in the Constitution does it say that a government has rights? Isn’t the government supposed to speak for all of the people? The Constitution does say a little something about equal protection under the law, but the Supreme Court sees no need to reference actual tenets of the Constitution when they can just make up their own off the top of their heads.
That this decisions was unanimous is not a good sign. It indicates that the so called “liberal” justices are not beneath a wink and a nod to the conservative agenda.
In fact, since I’m just going with the worst case scenario, I’ll even go so far as to say that the decision will be unanimous.
Good-bye ACA. We hardly knew ye
¹It’s no secret to my readers that I was not a supporter of the individual mandate and was bitterly disappointed in the Affordable Care Act.