Including the recent decision of our Supreme Court that the plain meaning of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was something different than the plain meaning of the Act,* the Supreme Court is now two for two in upholding the Act, by hook or crook. And Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Kennedy are both two for two in seemingly abandoning their conservative proclivities (dare I say constituencies?) in order to assure the twice reached Supreme Court result that Obamacare is good to go.
So what happened? Are Roberts and Kennedy wolves in sheepskin facades (might some say frauds?). Not in this writer’s opinion.
I firmly believe that affordable healthcare is something that should viably be provided to all Americans. Those who can afford it should pay for it. Those who genuinely are unable to pay for it, should be subsidized so that they get it anyway. While I suspect that something more effective than Obamacare could have been worked out through a more cooperative and competent legislative process, my real gripe is with the way Obamacare was bartered and forced down our throats. It was government at its worst.
Did Roberts and Kennedy miss something (and we don’t need to bother about the other justices, they are staunch members of their respective liberal and conservative blocks and almost as far beyond reason as most of their counterparts in Congress)? I don’t think so. I think they are true leaders, real pragmatists who concluded what was necessary and acted on those conclusions. (Please don’t kid yourself. At the level of the Supreme Court, those justices who remain open figure out what is needed and then find the reasoned analysis—the law—to support that need, and not the other way around. The other way around is for first year law students.)
Roberts and Kennedy simply concluded that, like it or not, right or wrong, the health care boat has already sailed and there is just no turning back. Regardless of how one feels about Obamacare, and whether it should have been enacted, especially the way it was enacted, the fact is that it was enacted and we need to make the best of it, and get on with it. That is not a matter of liberal or conservative. That is a matter of sound pragmatism.
Which brings me to the unduly conservative element in the Republican Party, who can’t let go. Another mea culpa, read enough of my blogs and no one will accuse me of favoring the liberal side of the aisle. The truth is I don’t like hardly any politicians and I exercise my back seat prerogative to criticize them one and all. Just give me enough time. In this instance, however, my focus is on the ultra-conservatives in the GOP, including Jeb Bush, who tries to brand himself as a centrist. However, he says, that if elected President he will use all of his influence and stature to repeal and replace Obamacare.
That view will not serve the best interests of the Republicans in 2016. Bush, and those who think like him on this subject, on either side of the aisle, need to study Roberts and Kennedy a little more carefully. It might just improve the quality of public service they are apparel so anxious to provide.
*The Act says that “state exchanges” could be subsidized by tax dollars. The majority opinion of the Court said clearly “state exchanges” plainly means “state and federal exchanges.”
Join the discussion either by logging in just below or by signing into your favorite social media outlet. If you’re having trouble, please follow these instructions to guide you! Thanks!