Welcome to SCOTUS-Care™.
In a dazzling display of verbal gymnastics, the US Supreme Court got in touch with its inner-self and decided that words don’t really matter.
In a 6-3 decision, they ruled that the individual states did not need to set up health care exchanges in order to receive federal subsidies.
In part of Chief Justice John Roberts remarks he stated, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.” He went on to say that it could not be disputed that the petitioners’ argument was “strong,” but the statute as a whole “compels us” to reject it.
This is despite Obamacare Architect Johnathan Gruber stating on more than one occasion, “What’s important to remember politically about [Obamacare] is if you’re a state and you don’t set up an exchange, that means your citizens don’t get their tax credits—but your citizens still pay the taxes that support this bill.”
Justice Antonin Scalia wrote a very pointed rebuttal against the majority’s reasoning by stating, “But this court has no free-floating power to rescue Congress from its drafting mistakes,” noting that the phrase “by the state” appears in at least seven provisions of PPACA mentioning tax credits.
“What are the odds, do you think, that the same slip of the pen occurred in seven separate places?”
Yeah, what are the odds?
In case anyone is interested the breakdown was Roberts, Kennedy, Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan in favor and Scalia, Thomas, and Alito dissenting.
Expect to see republicans prostituting themselves over this decision, even though behind the scenes, the so-called House Freedom Caucus was scheming in secret (think: TPP) to extend subsidies until 2017, “…when a republican can be elected President and they can end the scourge of Obamacare once and for all™.”
Okay, I “embellished” on that last part just a tad, but honestly, how many times has everyone heard this line already…ironically tied to a plea for a donation to their Campaign or PAC?
Let me wrap up by saying I highly doubt that anyone here needs a remedial lesson on US Constitution 101 and who controls the power of the purse. A power, I may add, had been invoked recently on an unrelated issue.
Obamacare could’ve been stopped dead in its tracks years ago, had the republican party just displayed a smidgen of a thing called “backbone”.
couldn’t wouldn’t, so here we are today.
Normally, this is the part where I say “Stay tuned…”.
But given the players and their past actions, I’m not very optimistic at the end result.