Once again, it appears that the United States Supreme Court made a grave mistake based on partisan politics and then tried to justify it with nonsensical rhetoric that made no sense …
With respect to allowing subsidies under the Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare, it appeared that the United States Supreme Court took four words plainly written in the English language, “established by the state,” and ruled that they meant something else by interpreting these four words to mean, “established by the state or the federal government.”
The Opinion of the Court
Petitioners’ arguments about the plain meaning of Section 36B are strong. But while the meaning of the phrase “an Exchange established by the State under [42 U. S. C. §18031]” may seem plain “when viewed in isolation,” such a reading turns out to be “untenable in light of[the statute] as a whole.” Department of Revenue of Ore. v. ACF Industries, Inc., 510 U. S. 332, 343 (1994). In this instance, the context and structure of the Act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase. <Source: Supreme Court Ruling: King et al. v. Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services et. al.>
“Words no longer have meaning” …
The decision was 6-3, with the most cogent objection coming from Justice Scalia.
JUSTICE SCALIA, with whom JUSTICE THOMAS and JUSTICE ALITO join, dissenting.
The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says “Exchange established by the State” it means “Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.” That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.
Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is “established by the State.” It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words “established by the State.” And it is hard to come up with a reason to include the words “by the State” other than the purpose of limiting credits to state Exchanges.
Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved. <Source: Supreme Court Ruling: King et al. v. Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services et. al.>
Why did Chief Justice Roberts join the liberals?
It appears that Chief Justice Roberts may have been concerned with the appearance, probity, and integrity of the Supreme Court; and may believe that to rule against the Affordable Care Act would be to plunge the nation into chaos --- all of which would be blamed on the Supreme Court. Others may have acted on partisan and ideological lines.
It is a plausible theory because the Republicans have not proffered any realistic solution to helping Americans keep their healthcare benefits should there be an adverse ruling. Thus setting up a campaign issue for the 2016 presidential election.
A uber-liberal frames the issue …
Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on the floor of the Senate: “Whoever the Republican Party may nominate, the one thing I can assure you, that they will repeal and replace Obamacare with something better.”
They have had years to make suggestions and legislatively tweak the existing law, but there does not appear to be a comprehensive solution offered to the American people or Congress at this point in time.
Lies, distortions, and deception …
While the Affordable Care Act was created behind closed doors with no input from the GOP, and was passed using a Senate Rules trick devised by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Republicans have continually failed to offer anything that could even remotely be acceptable to struggling Americans should the Affordable Care Act be impaired by either legislative or judicial rulings.
The lies, distortions, and deception surrounding the Affordable Care Act continue to multiply. With the special interests and corrupt political class profiting from the shared misery of Americans forced to pay outrageous amounts of money for healthcare that is exponentially expensive without any checks and balances.
The single most important thing to improve the Affordable Care Act can be done with only a few sentences: demanding that healthcare insurers be forced to compete across state lines – to eliminate their local and regional mini-monopolies. And, that drug pricing for Medicare and Medicaid be negotiated on the basis of a national marketplace to achieve lower drug prices as we are now seeing an outrageous rise in the cost of generic drugs just because “they can raise prices” in the marketplace. There is no excuse why a single drug (Clobetasol) should see its co-pay rise from Tier-1 ($5) to Tier-3($40) in one day.
Bottom line …
So while the Court appears to be wrong – using tortured logic to create a predetermined outcome – they may have saved Americans from additional pain and suffering caused by the corrupt progressive socialist democrats. They may have also saved the GOP from becoming a hated party when healthcare in America collapsed into a chaotic mess.
Unless we clean up corruption in politics and demand that our representatives perform their sworn constitutional duties, we are so screwed.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius