Monday, March 26, 2012

Obamacare at High Court: Either 5-4 against or 8-1 for

As the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, is argued before the Supreme Court, we all want to know who wins and who loses.

Of course, TV always frame this is as a Republican vs. Democrat thing and completely ignores the impact on Americans, both great and small. Nor do the talking heads note often enough that the mandate part of the law is the brainchild of Republican "think tanks."

How the High Court decides, either for or against Obamacare, is only seen as how it will affect the presidential race between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Nevermind that the health care of 40 million uninsured Americans hangs in the balance. Forget that Americans spend the most and get the least in health care among the most developed nations in the world. And, if you have a pre-existing condition, well, guess you don't deserve health insurance.

And, with DNA mapping, we'll all have pre-existing conditions in the future.

The only thing that seems to matter is will Obama be hurt or helped by this ruling.

To this I say, who knows and who cares.

What matters is the health of Americans, not which political party wins or loses.

Should the High Court overturn Obamacare by a 5-4 vote, all Americans lose. A 5-4 vote means the same as a 9-0 outcome.

If the Supreme Court votes 8-1 to uphold the health care reform law, all Americans win.

The court, being dominated by 5 conservatives appointed by Republican presidents, would seem likely to vote against Obamacare.

Except that it would be rightfully accused of judicial overreach.

Plus, the commerce clause of the Constitution, on which Obamacare will be argued, has proved time and again to be the most important and useful clause to reform this country.

On thing we know for sure about the High Court is that Justice Clarence Thomas has already voted against Obamacare. His vote is so predictable since his wife is actively campaigning against the law and everything Obama stands for. I think he'll choose wife over country any day.

The other conservative justices, though, certainly have no reservation about voting to support Republicans as it did in Bush v. Gore in 2000 and in the Citizens United ruling in 2010.

They know on which side their bread is buttered or margarined on.

Still, almost all of the appeals courts, many of them conservative, have ruled in favor of Obamacare.

Not that it matters.

The High Court can cite the flimsiest of reasons to scuttle the law.

Or, they can do the right and honorable thing, stay out of the political process and vote to uphold it.

I see an 8-1 vote in favor of Obamacare.

Of course, that is the rosy outlook. It could easily be 5-4 against, which would then lead to court cases against Social Security and Medicare. Won't that be fun.

There could be unintended consequences, though, should the court rule against Obamacare.

It could eventually lead us to a single-payer system, such as Medicare.

This could lead us to confront the true enemies of health care for all: insurance and pharmaceutical companies.

The war on health care for all is just beginning.

No comments:

Post a Comment