Mar 282012
 

Far be it from me to predict final outcome of the Supreme Court’s final determination on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  However, based on the arguments from the first two days, it’s looking ugly.  My best guess is that they will overturn it, but don’t ask me to bet on it.

28HCRWith the fate of President Obama’s health care law hanging in the balance, a lawyer for the administration faced a barrage of skeptical questions on Tuesday from four of the Supreme Court’s more conservative justices, suggesting that a 5-to-4 decision to strike down the law was a live possibility.

Predicting the result in any Supreme Court case, much less one that will define the legacies of a president and a chief justice, is nothing like a science, and the case could still turn in various directions. But the available evidence indicated that the heart of the Affordable Care Act is in peril.

The court’s decision is expected by June, and much may change as the justices deliberate and exchange draft opinions in the coming months.

If the indications from Tuesday’s arguments are correct, though, the ruling may undo parts or all of the overhaul of the health insurance system, deal Mr. Obama a political blow in the midst of the presidential election season, and revise the constitutional relationship between the federal government and the states.

The tone on Tuesday made a question to be addressed in the third and final day of arguments on Wednesday all the more important: If the individual mandate requiring most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty fell, what other parts of the law would fall along with it?

On Tuesday, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the court’s swing justice, asked a host of questions indicating discomfort with the law… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

I strongly recommend clicking through for the rest of this article.

Rachel Maddow covered the story in two segments.  In the first she questions the credibility of the Court.

 

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Imagine what might have happened had Bush and the Republicans not been enabled to steal the 2000 election.  A more competent administration would not have ignored the warnings, so 9/11 probably would never have happened.  We might have avoided war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ‘War on Terror’, torture and all the other fascist trappings of the Republican Bush Regime. But Rachel was right.  Florida could not have been stolen had not the vote been so close.  This not only pertains to the Republican War on Voting Rights, that Rachel discusses, but also, on the danger inherent in lefties voting for third-party candidates.

In case, you’re wondering about “broccoli”, Republicans (and the right wing Injustices) are trying to compare health insurance with broccoli, saying that people should have a choice on whether or not to buy broccoli.  The argument is absurd.  Nothing forces people into the broccoli market, but illness and injury force people into the health care market all the time.  Virtually everyone finds themselves in the health care market at some time in their lives.  That makes health care unlike markets governed completely by preference, such as the broccoli market.

In the second, Rachel and Dahlia Lithwick discuss the arguments and the role of public opinion.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

As things stand now we have a system where people who choose not to buy health insurance get emergency room care that the rest of us pay for.  The individual mandate simply requires that everyone take responsibility for their own care and makes provision for those unable to do it for themselves.

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  19 Responses to “Looking Ugly at SCOTUS”

  1. The right wingers on the SCOTUS have already proven that they will stop at nothing, as shown by their CU decision.  They are easily bought and since the party doesn’t want health care, they will trounce it.

  2. “The court’s decision is expected by June, and much may change as the justices deliberate and exchange draft opinions in the coming months. ”

    The outcome will speak volumes of President George W. Bush and his absolute failures at the expense of the working poor.

  3. The disaster of the Bush administration will plague this country for decades. We must never agaiin allow an incompetent Republican the opportunity to steal another election!!!

  4. What does it say about the credibility of the current Supreme Court when most people are predicting a 5/4 ruling along political lines? Unfortunately, we have no recourse here – we can’t vote them out of office, and the process for impeaching a supreme court justice would never make it past the Republican-controlled house.

    • John, the only thing we can do is keep Republicans out of the White House for over a generation.

      • I would rather keep them out of the White House, the House of Representatives and the Senate permanently.

        The “dustbin of history” seems a fitting repository.

  5. For an institution that must be non-partisan in order to properly adjudicate questions in relation to the Constitution, SCOTUS is totally partisan.  Justice should be blind, but not handicapped by judges who cannot think for themselves nor who are bought and paid for.  The 5 Injustices are bought and paid for.  There needs to be a serious look at the Supreme Court, its rules and how judges are named.

    As to this particular question, I haven’t heard the arguments nor am I a lawyer, but it would surprise me if SCOTUS kills it.  After all, they are responsible for Citizens United which gives phenomenal power to corporations, and they are diddling with laws around electoral boundaries among others.

    Interesting thing on Rachel Maddow was a piece on ObamaCare.  When asked for I believe a New York Times poll, support for the law was only 36%, and 47% disapprove.  But when the same respondents were asked about individual parts of the coverage, respondents were overwhelmingly in favour — pre-existing condition coverage 85% over all in favour, 76% of Republicans in favour; keeping kids on parents plan to age 26, 68% over all in favour, 58% of Republicans in favour; discounts on prescription drugs, 77% over all in favour, 71% of Republicans in favour.  What this tells me is that too many people have no idea what ObamaCare is and are listening to Faux Noise etc for their information.

    It is time for people to wake up and learn what ObamaCare is about.  Unfortunately, SCOTUS may make it a moot point.

  6. If they rule that the mandate is illegal, will that mean that mandatory home and car insurance is also illegal? No! We will still have to pay for those. What all these idiots don’t realize is that by making it mandatory, insurance costs will go down because we will not be footing the bill for the uninsured anymore. Who do you think picks up their bills in the end? Rising medical costs.

     

    • Those aren’t quite the same Patty.  Home insurance is required by the lender.  Car insurance is conditional on a choice to drive.

  7. Well if Obamacare is over turned then it is no doubt  in my mine that Obama will win a 2nd term.   Yes as much as the Republian/Tea Party gone out of their  way to make it 2000 Bush/Gore election.  They will lose hands down.  Talk about going rogue,well the American people have their turn.

     

    If they play it save and keep some parts it will turn out closer than Gore/Bush election.  Mandate in? mandate out?  Will it matter in the end?

    This election is important.  it will be a game changer  forward  or Backward

    Thanks TomCat

    • Mama, I agree.  If Obamacare goes down, people will ask what the Republicans have as an alternative.  Their only alternative is death.

  8. If, as now appears likely following a show of open disdain by the radical right-wing justices, that PPACA is struck down, I’m of the opinion we very may well get a single-payer program in its place.
     
    For decades and decades now the private sector insurance industry has been given every opportunity to deliver healthcare efficiently – and they have shown that they are such abject failures at it that the government had no choice but to try to prevent them from bankrupting our nation.
     
    They have been allowed to be almost criminally inefficient because consumers are uniquely vulnerable.  What other product/service does one purchase where the consumer is guaranteed to know virtually nothing compared to the seller?  (And other than insurance carriers themselves, that would be ALL of us, physicians included.)  What other situation exists where you are potentially desperate for its product/service, such as those with chronic illnesses and/or preexisting conditions?  With the insurance industry holding BOTH those advantages over us in spades, is it any wonder they have run roughshod over the rest of us for decades?
     
    And the only plan repubicans have offered for this healthcare fiasco is “REPEAL OBAMACARE!” – repeated loud and often.  And now that SCOTUS appears to be doing their dirty work for them it’s time for repubicans to step up with “Plan B”.  Problem is their “Plan B” has been to only protect government mandated insurance for folks over 65 – until Ryan et al stepped in with the idea to start phasing THAT out, too!
     
    That’s one Helluva a “Plan B”!
     
    Pres. Obama tried a compromise of universal coverage within the private system that bars discrimination for those with preexisting conditions.  Since it appears SCOTUS is going to block the private-public partnership of PPACA, and the private market has been an abysmal failure at it, we logically will have to end up with single-payer.  
     
    • Nameless, I agree, but wit wont happen without a majority in the House and a super-majority in the Senate, both DINO free.

  9. So I need a Name  They better be careful what they wish for.  LOL  A  single-payer program will be there nightmare they will be begging for Obamacare