On June 25, 2015 the Supreme Court upheld the provision for subsidies in the Affordable Care Act regardless of whether the insured procured their insurance coverage through their own state exchanges or were forced into the federal exchange as their own state’s demented leadership refused to establish an exchange.

This ruling makes clear the winners and losers in this ongoing battle over trying to legislate the availability of health insurance for millions of Americans previously denied access, whether due to pre-existing conditions or lack of affordability.

WINNER————–Chief Justice John Roberts whose concise, common sense opinion sliced through all the nonsense of those who brought the lawsuit out of spite, not out of genuine concern the law was harmful. Of course that brought the enmity of conservatives, some of whom (okay a really tiny portion of whom) believe the Good Justice was blackmailed or worse.

LOSER—————-Justice Antonin Scalia whose sputtering dissent, with phrasing like “interpretive jiggery-pokery”, reminds one of a pillar of the community found with his pants down in the local whorehouse amongst a bevy of belles but who would have you believe he was about to lead them in prayer.

WINNER————-President Barack Obama whose signature legislative accomplishment has survived yet another insidious but withering attack from the forces of politics, not of righteousness.

LOSERS————-Republican candidates for their party’s Presidential 2016 nomination who collectively and figuratively had pie shoved in their faces as again their predictions for the demise of the ACA were dashed on the rocks of futility with reactions ranging from the ridiculous to the ridiculous, nothing sublime remotely within their capacity to bloviate. Several shared their opinions via Twitter which proves once again twitter is for twits.

WINNERS………..American Citizens who now have reason to feel more secure in the knowledge that it is less likely they will face either financial ruin from receiving health care when they are not insured and that the availability of such coverage will inure to their physical and mental benefit…even in terms of saving lives… by being able to obtain treatment. 

Gee, imagine that, a federal law that actually is good for the lives of ordinary people.

Economist Paul Krugman highlights the way the law is working after only two full years of implementation.

……….The Affordable Care Act is now in its second year of full operation; how’s it doing?

The answer is, better than even many supporters realize.

Krugman cites, among other positives,  the expansion of coverage to as many as 15 million Americans,  Also

The newly insured have seen a sharp drop in health-related financial distress, and report a high degree of satisfactionwith their coverage.

Too, instead of a budget buster as the rampaging elephants would have you believe, it has helped in lowering the federal deficit and, if repealed, the deficit would rise again.

Krugman does not deny there are some difficulties, but not insurmountable ones. So long as a number of states refuse to expand Medicaid (placing a huge burden on state and local taxpayers, see millions of the most desperate are still denied coverage.

He further speaks of premiums, which is a contentious issue, no doubt. However, the Commonwealth Fund found that the average increase in premiums for coverage under the ACA from 2014 to 2015 was ZERO.

Now average does not mean no increases for anyone anywhere. Anecdotal evidence of large premium hikes are plentiful, especially in internet forums. And even the study above reports substantial increases in some states with lower costs in others.

Which brings me to my real point about WINNERS LOSERS.

So long as health insurance coverage in the United States is in the hands of private, mostly for profit companies, together with the ability of individual states to thwart the purpose of the Affordable Care Act and in light of the vagaries of state laws, insurance regulations, and insurance commissioners, there will be WINNERS and LOSERS in the game of health inusrance coverage and thus health itself.

The health and welfare of our citizens should not be subject to gamesmanship with keeping score a regular and necessary part of it.

This nation needs to wise up and create a system with true universal coverage. This could be achieved through a single payer system as our successful Medicare program could be expanded by making everyone eligible. That is my personal preference.

There are also hybrid systems such as in Australia with mandated coverage for all supported by general revenue taxes, a levy equivalent to our Medicare tax, and private insurance for some.

To me the chief flaw built into the ACA is that it is vulnerable to wanton attacks for purely political purposes, none of which have had either the intent or the ability to actually improve health care coverage in this country.

Of course the saddest part of these attacks is that the assailants simply do not care what harm they cause.

We can acknowledge that no system can be perfect. But our current system, even with the successes of the Affordable Care Act is still far below perfect.

Now, as we adjust to the reality of the ACA it will becvome ever more evident that we have a ways to go.

Let’s make WINNERS of the vast majority of our citizens and consign the LOSERS who oppose a better healthcare coverage system to the back pages of history where they belong.WINNE

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Devildog  On June 27, 2015 at 1:51 PM

    Suppose you were on the Court and you believed that the language was unambiguous but that the overall intent of the law was to make everyone eligible but that you believe the unambiguous language was intentionally written that way by the drafters and knowingly passed that way by Congress to “force” the states to establish exchanges. How would you rule? Would you vote in favor of Obamacare regardless of anything because it was for the good of the people and the country?

  • umoc193  On June 28, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    I would vote on the law using standard tricks of the trade, if you will. I would not vote for or against a law simply because I liked it or not.

    Being unambiguous, in this case, is irrelevantly speculative. But, then again, I have seen some strange interpretations of unambiguously written statutes that strain credulity, not necessarily in appeals.

    • Devildog  On June 29, 2015 at 8:26 AM

      Maybe you would not rule against it but, then again, maybe you would. I could see you claiming that the language was ambiguous or against the purpose of the law as enacted. Too easy for you to say in this hypothetical that you wouldn’t overrule!

  • umoc193  On June 29, 2015 at 12:05 AM

    I’ll give you a for instance on how I’d look at a law, written plainly, that I did not favor. Also speculation but the issue was also decided Thursday.

    In the housing discrimination case the court ruled that (and don’t quote me here) the anti-discrimination law in housing could be invoked if the effect of certain actions led to disparate consequences, even if no intent could be shown.

    If Congress were to rewrite that part of the statute requiring intent be proven, and it were challenged, unless there were Constitutional grounds to negate that part of the statute, I would not rule against it, even if there was evidence of, and/or I knew very well, that sometimes intent is not clear or evident at all, but the negative consequences (continued segregated housing patterns) were apparent for all to see.

    • Devildog  On June 29, 2015 at 5:05 PM

      The 5-4 rulings today (and too often) should convince everyone that how a Justice decides has little or nothing to do with the Constitution.

  • Devildog  On June 29, 2015 at 8:31 AM

    Is there a difference between “using standard tricks of the trade” and simply voting for a law simply because you liked it or not?

  • Little_Minx  On July 3, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    What it all boils down to is whether you view the Constitution as a (figuratively) living, breathing document à la Madison — or as only applicable in its original meaning dating back to when each part was ratified (in the case of Amendments), à la Scalia (at least when it suits him).

    • Little_Minx  On July 3, 2015 at 10:01 AM

      Clarification: Obviously the original Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and subsequent amendments were ratified on their respective various dates.

      • Devildog  On July 3, 2015 at 10:22 AM

        Why do you always single out Scalia? Don’t tell me that it’s because he is an originalist. You just don’t like his “politics”!

        • Little_Minx  On July 3, 2015 at 2:17 PM

          “Why do you always single out Scalia?” Don’t change the subject. I singled out Scalia because of his dissent on the Obamacare case.

  • Devildog  On July 3, 2015 at 10:20 AM

    I view it as totally political. If you want to call it living, whether figuratively or otherwise, go for it.

    • Little_Minx  On July 3, 2015 at 2:18 PM

      Sure, you can view it as totally political. But you’d still be wrong.

      • Devildog  On July 3, 2015 at 2:57 PM

        Ok, if it’s not totally political, what is it when cases are usually decided 5-4 with the same blocs voting together so often? The correct bloc v. the incorrect, the smart v. the dumb, the caring v. the non-caring, the fair v. the unfair? Well, I prefer the Democrat/liberal/progressive bloc v. the Republican/conservative bloc-and that my distinguished colleague is politics.

        • Little_Minx  On July 6, 2015 at 7:09 AM

          You totally lose this argument, dd.

          Was it “totally political” when Clarence Thomas voted against Texas being required to issue Confederate battle-flag license plates? Was it “totally political” when Roberts and Kennedy both sided with the Obama administration on the ACA, and was it “totally political” when Kennedy sided with them on SSM? OTOH, Scalia was being “totally political” when he wrote nasty, insulting, even sometimes ad hominem dissents on both cases.

          “‘The bombastic tone of the dissents this term was over the top, even for Justice Scalia, who has a blood-soaked pen at his desk,’ [SCOTUSblog publisher Tom] Goldstein says.

          “‘He wrote the nastiest thing I have read in any Supreme Court opinion,’ says Charles Fried, who served as the government’s chief advocate in the Supreme Court during the REAGAN administration [my emphasis],

          “[Walter] Dellinger, who had the same job in the Clinton Administration, agrees.

          “‘I’ve never seen that kind of really, deeply personal attack that basically says “The author of the opinion is not just wrong as a matter of law, he’s a jerk,”‘ says Dellinger.

          “That’s pretty much what Justice Scalia wrote about Justice Kennedy’s soaring rhetoric in the same-sex marriage case, calling it ‘pretentious,’ and ‘egotistic,’ and comparing it to ‘the mystical aphorisms of a fortune cookie.’ If I had ever joined such a vague opinion, said Scalia, ‘even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I would hide my head in a bag…'”

          From today’s SCOTUS term review on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

  • Little_Minx  On July 6, 2015 at 10:22 AM

    “The Antonin Scalia “Sick Burn” Generator / Find out how the Supreme Court justice would insult you”:

    “One would think that [Little Minx’s] opinions are Platonic golf. There is no remedy for that.”

    “One would think that [Mr. Minx’s] sentiments are a profoundly incoherent Sphinx. Impossible possibility!”

    “One would think that [UMOC’s] showy profundities are a defense of the indefensible. Never mind.”

    ““One would think that [Toadsly’s] showy profundities are diseased fortune cookies. No man should see how laws or sausages are made.”

    ““One would think that Devil Dog’s showy profundities are tutti-frutti jiggery pokery. Impossible possibility!”

Please give me your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: