Thursday, June 25, 2015

Round Two

The Supreme Court ruled again on the Affordable Care Act, and it looked for awhile like it would gut the federal subsidies given to health insurance customers in states without their own exchanges (i.e., most of them) based on the wording of the law that specifically referred to the responsibility of "the State."  Chief Justice John Roberts, the deciding vote in the 2012 case that originally affirmed the constitutionality of the law, decided that was hogwash, and not only sided with the liberal bloc on the court  again, he brought Justice Anthony Kennedy - concerned that an invalidation of the subsidies would coerce the states that didn't want to set up and exchange to do so and thus violate sates' rights - along with them.  Roberts clearly understood that the law's intent was to help all Americans, whether the states set up their own exchanges or not, and he was not going to hide behind strict constructionism. 
Not surprisingly, Jersey Boys Samuel Alito (inexplicably, the pride of my hometown) and Antonin Scalia, along with Clarence "Uncle" Thomas, comprised the ultraconservative dissenting minority, with Scalia using obscure Scottish phrases and pseudo-Carrollian verse to express his disgust over the ruling.  Right-wingers all over America are upset about this, and, having met such a decisive defeat,  they would, you might think, accept it and move on.
No, that's what normal people do.  American "conservatives" (please, call them reactionaries, they're conservatives like Stalin was a democrat) can never accept defeat, and they make it a point to turn losses into victories.  That's why they're trying to roll back abortion rights and getting rid of voting rights altogether.  That's why they would outlaw gay marriage nationwide even as more and more states are legalizing it if they had the opporuitnity.  And that's precisely why they're redoubling their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  They're like the villains in those old black-and-white Westerns - they may have lost this time, but they vow to be back.  
Conclusion:  The law, which is working and insuring more people at less cost, is now pretty secure from a legal standpoint, and nothing can chip away at it.  But the Republicans will continue to chip away at it with a toothpick if they have to.

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