The Supreme Court’s ruling in King vs Burwell has some parallels to PPACA in general and the subsequent ruling on the individual mandate “penalty vs tax” issue in 2012, in the way in which it may influence policy decisions downstream. In the case of the 2012 ruling, Judge Roberts really provided us with two legal choices: obtain the kind of coverage the government deems appropriate OR pay penalty (I mean tax).
The K v B ruling, albeit another judicially illogical head-scratcher from Chief Justice Roberts, does not create any political emergencies or policy conundrums which could lead to the adoption of hasty “remedies”; remedies that would even be harder to undo when they miss their mark. For this small positive, those of us that favor Insurance market-friendly public policy alternatives to PPACA can be grateful.
As noted by Justice Antonin Scalia in a scathing dissent, the Court rules that the term “established by the State,” which appears seven times in the statute, can also mean “not established by the State.”
For those of us opposed to the economic catastrophe that is PPACA, this ruling may be a blessing in disguise. More tomorrow on the intended and unintended consequences of the SCOTUS ruling.
But for starters, here is something to think about. We now know (per Gruber and many others) the portion of the law that ties subsidies to formation of State Exchange was intentional and DEFINITELY NOT an oversight as Judge Roberts as other apologists for PPACA would have us believe – leaving him “no choice” but to intervene in order to prevent chaos…. as if there was no other financial option besides the subsidies as prescribed and ineptly administered by the ObamaCare mandate.
Certainly, reasonable people can disagree about whether Obamacare is, on balance, a good law, and improves upon the dreadful state of the U.S. healthcare regime. But it’s vexing to see so many liberals cheering the utter death of the Court’s ability to rebuke lawmakers when they put forth nonsensical laws. Roberts’ decision gives a lot more power to Congress, obligating the Court to ignore the plain text of laws “if at all possible.”
Well, anything is possible. Is the preservation of limited government so universally unimportant—and the protection of Obamacare so paramount—that it was worth the utter subjugation of the Court (hereafter known as the Legislative Subcommittee on Wording Tweaks) to the will of Congress?