Thursday, June 25, 2015

Burying the Lede

The NY Times, in discussing the Obama Administration defense position leading to today’s Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, tells us that the administration said that “the balance of the law demonstrated that Congress could not have intended to limit the subsidies.”  The administration also argued, “Accepting the plaintiffs’ position would affect more than six million people and create havoc in the insurance markets.”

The Times goes on to say that the administration finished with, “the phrase, noticed by almost no one until long after the law was enacted, was a curious way to encourage states to establish exchanges.”

I think they saved their best argument for last, because that phrase strikes me as an utterly bizarre vehicle for encouraging states to form exchanges. Congress can be, and often is, pretty idiotic, but when you want to force someone to do something, you don’t carefully conceal the threat for failing to do it.

I think their second argument is pretty weak. Civil rights legislation affected a lot more than six million people, created some years of havoc in multiple venues, and was pretty worthwhile legislation. But their first argument was a winner, too. When considering one piece of anything, one has to look at it in the context of the whole.

I am, as you know, no fan of Obamacare, but I think the Supreme Court got this one right.

1 comment:

bruce said...

I am reminded of a Congressperson's comments in the past.. "We have to pass this law to know what's in it.." I think it was Nancy Pelosi that said it. I think Ms Pelosi is an idiot most of the time, and that one takes the cake. We seriously elect people that are this stupid? Read the f*&^%$ thing BEFORE you pass it, duh.

Now, 2 years later, someone DID read it and cried foul. I think this was a poor case to bring as a challenge to the ACA, but there you go. A better one was the original USSC ruling saying it was a violation of the Commerce Clause, but okay under the Congressional power of taxation. That was a weak ruling, and I think it should have been overturned then.

As freakish a liberal as Mr. Jayhawk is, I tend to agree with him that this is a noble gesture for access to health care and has elements that are good, but flawed overall in execution. It could be so much better.

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