Obamacare Ruling: A Gift in a Curious Package?
Let’s establish at the outset that I wanted Obamacare ruled thoroughly unconstitutional because it is thoroughly unconstitutional.
But barring that, there is some redeeming value in a ruling muddled enough to prevent a clear precedent empowering future budding socialists from using the commerce clause to do similar things.
Throw in the general headline that Obamacare has been “upheld,” but only if offered as a tax, and you can stick your head out the window and HEAR public passion coming to a boil to kill this beast once and for all.
What the Supreme Court would not do, the people will. With public support on their side for once, Republicans should armor up for battle, vowing to repeal and replace Obamacare with market solutions that actually work without bankrupting the nation.
Interested in keeping pre-existing condition coverage and allowing “kids” to stay on Mommy and Daddy’s plan until well into adulthood? Fine, we can have those debates in Congress.
But the compulsion to buy insurance in the first place, whether by contrived Constitutional edict or wrapped in the even less attractive cloak of a tax, must be banished from our laws.
The Supreme Court could have done that, but Chief Justice John Roberts could not channel his better nature. Oh, well. If he had, we would have had a narrow ruling the other way that probably would have been met with exactly the same shouting matches we will have now.
And Obama may have been helped. Freed from having to campaign on a turkey of his own making, and even garnering a kind of credit from those who would say “at least he tried,” a Supreme Court eradication of Obamacare may have actually made him harder to beat.
I still wish it had happened. Mitt Romney has a lot of things to address as he seeks to return Obama to private life. As it is, he has one more. The Obamacare arrow has been placed back in his quiver, and he should use it to shoot straight into the heart of those who will now be forced to offer the “Affordable Care Act” as the budget-buster it is.
Long-term constitutional clarity was not served by this ruling. But conservative political aims may have been, and that can only result in a brighter election in November, better governing and ultimately, better Supreme Court justices.