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The ACA Decision

Everyone is talking about it, Badtux has his opinion, Hugh at Corrente has a different view, but the only one I can wholeheartedly endorse is Charlie Pierce’s.

Roberts has always been a corporate lawyer, and this law was written by and for the insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. Roberts has never ruled against a corporation, and he wasn’t about to in this case.

The so-called ‘tax’ is clearly identified in the law as a penalty that would be collected by the IRS, not a tax, but that was the only thing that Roberts could find to justify what he was going to do. As Chief Justice he gets to select who writes the majority opinion, and he knew he was going to have to write it, because no one else would have bought his logic. The other four votes were based on their belief that the law was allowed under the Commerce Clause, or the Necessary and Proper Clause, and Roberts didn’t want either of those portrayed positively in the precedent setting majority opinion. He specifically rejected them in his opinion.

Roberts is the voice of corporations on the Supreme Court, and will do whatever it takes, including siding with the four centrists [there are no liberals on the Court].

None of this would have been necessary if there had been a real ‘public option’ in the law, but the corporations didn’t want that, and when not on the campaign trail Zero is almost as much of a corporate pawn as Roberts.

4 comments

1 Badtux { 06.30.12 at 10:56 pm }

I remember commenting here that all talk of constitutionality could have been prevented if Congress had merely been brave enough to call a tax a tax, instead of a penalty. It appears that Roberts decided to arbitrarily re-write the law the way Congress should have written it, rather than the way it was written. The only surprising thing is how many right wing heads are exploding, what with the morons saying they’re going to flee the socialist nightmare of America to… Canada?!

But as you say, the notion that Roberts would have voted against corporate profits is pretty ludicrous. Which is why I didn’t join in the liberal doom and gloomers who were absolutely certain the Supremes were going to overturn the law…

BTW, the law that came out of Congress was basically Romneycare lightly re-written to apply nationally (in fact, it was written by the same team of pro-business healthcare consultants that created Romneycare) and didn’t look much like what Obama ran on as Candidate Obama. Obama never submitted a proposed bill to Congress. This bill was entirely a creature of pro-business Democratic centerists. Of course since Obama is one of them I’m sure he didn’t mind the bill he eventually got to sign, but calling it “Obamneycare” is probably giving too much credit to Obama and too little credit to Romney.

2 Bryan { 06.30.12 at 11:50 pm }

Actually, the problem with the law is that it was written for a state, and not the Federal government. States can do all kinds of things that the Feds can’t do because of the Constitution, which was designed to limited Federal power.

Hell, they don’t want Canada, they need to go to Somalia. Wait until the Canadians confiscate their guns at the border, and then force them into the single payer system. Wait until they start learning about ‘free speech’ and some of the restrictions in Canada. No, Somalia is the place to go Galt. No rules, laws, governments, regulations, public facilities, none of those things that are ‘oppressing’ them. In Somalia they will have as much freedom as they can defend. Since there are no medical facilities, you certainly don’t need health insurance. A veritable libertarian heaven – that’s Somalia.

The corporations were the only people really consulted for this law, and from the meta data of several parts written in Word, we even know the names of the lobbyists who typed it for Congress. For his supposedly ‘legacy legislation’ Zero put almost no effort crafting or passing this bill.

3 paintedjaguar { 07.01.12 at 3:28 pm }

I wonder… if they had passed something called a “public option”, would it have actually had any resemblance to an affordable health care plan, or would it have been just another variation on the current bait-and-switch, tiered coverage, high deductable, 80/20 co-pay, can’t-afford-to-use-it model?

4 Bryan { 07.01.12 at 5:41 pm }

I would have assumed that given the very low cost of implementation, it would have been a buy in to the Medicare system, rather than trying to create something from scratch, but there was no effort to even really try, as was evident early on in the process.