Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court says Romneycare is constitutional

It appears that almost all of the ACA is being upheld by the Court.  I'm surprised, to say the least, and I'm still not sure I agree with the decision, which I haven't read yet and probably will not understand when I shall have read it.  I find it hard to agree that the individual mandate is accurately described as a tax, even though I find the idea that it is a tax probably the most palatable of the possible arguments that might uphold the mandate.

However, as someone who supports the ACA, I am, of course, happy.  But I must temper my happiness with a few points:

  • The law is still a gamble.  The devil is in the details of how the act is implemented.
  • For all we know, there may be unseen and unforeseen loopholes in the price controls that, I understand, are written into the bill.
  • The act is not safe.  It can be overturned and might be overturned.
  • The act will come with real costs, and those costs won't be born only by the mythical 1%.  I hope that the costs are not so much that they will overburden those least able to pay or that they will result in a huge increase in costs or shortage of doctors.
Supporters, like me, should realize that it might have gone differently.  And in a different world and perhaps under a more consistent (and perhaps more honest) interpretation of the Constitution, it ought to have gone differently.  The act lives because the Supreme Court says it may, but the act is not therefore right.

Let's hope it works out.


Jon said...

I agree - I'm glad that the court upheld it, and not because I'm sure about the legal issues.

And like you say, the devil will be in the details - and it's vulnerable to being changed or overturned. But it may also be improved over time - it could be that this is an initial step to get the ball rolling, and as we the real-world consequences of it become evident, the kinds of modifications needed will become clearer. I have no idea - but for the moment, I'm glad it was upheld.

Pierre Corneille said...

Yeah, I should say I was very surprised. I was expecting the Court to overturn most of the law and leave the Medicaid portion intact. I wouldn't have predicted this outcome.

For what it's worth, although I'm not a lawyer or legal scholar, I'm more comfortable with the idea of the mandate as a tax and not as a, well, penalty imposed for violation of federal crime justified by the interstate commerce clause. It might just be semantics, however.

Anonymous said...

I am really happy that the decision was a good one. This is a big deal and ranks up there with other landmark Supreme Court Decisions. It was completely unexpected, but this is a time of joy for the US and a time for celebration. I especially like your title about "Romneycare." I think it's a good reminder that for once, both presidential hopefulls have been on the same side of an issue. Elena