THE ENTIRE AFFORDBALE CARE ACT HAS BEEN UPHELD AS CONSTITUTIONAL BY THE SUPREME COURT
SCOTUS Blog live streaming Q & A: Amy Howe: Here’s a super-short summary of the main issue in the health care case in Plain English, in a response to a question: Does it violate the Constitution for Congress to require virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty? If the Court’s answer is yes, then it has to decide whether just the requirement — the so-called “individual mandate” — is invalid, or whether part or all of the rest of the health care law must go with it.
C-SPAN now streaming live video with commentary from outside the courthouse including live stream from SCOTUS blog above. Kudos to them.
A decision is in. Unlike a jury verdict, the decision will probably be complicated, enough that it may take a few minutes for experts to digest. One place to find out is SCOTUS, live streaming all kinds of cool stuff right now. And a prediction has been posted there:
(Main blog currently down for traffic reasons — DS) In the end, you have to make a prediction and take responsibility for it. I believe the mandate will not be invalidated tomorrow. Far less important, I expect the principal opinion will be written by the Chief Justice; a majority of the Court will find it has jurisdiction; and the challenge to the Medicaid expansion will be rejected.Most observers disagree.
There are certainly good reasons to believe the Court will invalidate the mandate. Most important, at the oral argument, the questions of two critical Justices – Justice Kennedy and the Chief Justice – were on the whole critical of the mandate’s constitutionality.
Whatever happens, I hope the Obama WH has learned a critical lesson: the free market approach was chosen to placate conservatives and their allies in the insurance industry. In fact it’s based on ideas generated at conservative think-tanks, notably the Heritage Foundation, and modeled after the approach used by Mitt Romney to lend healthcare coverage to every citizen of Massachusetts.
But not one Republican voted for it, far from it. It was portrayed as the second coming of Karl Marx underwritten by a socialist government hijacked by radicals mad with power. Mittens in particular has shamelessly attacked his own plan again and again — always failing to mention it was his creation of course.
If the entire act is struck down, there is nothing to the right of it that can do the same things. Conservatives might nibble around the edges, increase the benefits for those with disposable income using FLEX accounts and the like, but there’s nothing comprehensive that would solve the tragedy faced by so many of our uninsured fellow Americans. The GOP isn’t even pretending anymore they will make a serious effort to replace the most popular and essential provisions.
The only solution for the millions of uninsured Americans going forward will be Single Payer health care. Medicare for one and all.