On the latest ObamaCare decision.

Brief chat this afternoon:

VDV: Is there any serious defense of this decision more substantial than “Come on, you guys. You know what we meant”?

DR. HMNAHMNA: Not really.

VDV: Does it matter that Gruber [who helped design RomneyCare and ObamaCare] flat-out said that the law said exactly what they intended it to say?

DR. HMNAHMNA: Probably not, since he’s not a member of Congress.

VDV: Well, considering the court’s logic elsewhere… so what?

Seriously, so what? If Congressmen can’t be bothered to read the PPACA (or a host of other bills) in the first place, why should we expect the Supreme Court to care about what it actually says?

My friend Fellow Student of Economics says he doesn’t see the point of the Supreme Court– it’s essentially just another layer of legislature, not an actual judiciary. I find it harder and harder to disagree with him.

3 comments

  1. Just remember, then-Speaker Pelosi told us we would have to pass the bill to find out what was in it.

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  2. The entire purpose of the ability of the Federal to step in and create an Exchange in states which elected not to create their own Exchange was to ensure every American’s ability to participate in three key healthcare reforms, regardless of the whether the State did not have the willingness to provide it on their own. If the Federal Exchange functions differently than the State Exchange, you might as well not have a Federal Exchange option at all because it would negate two of the three (2 and 3 of 3) key guarantees outlined below, and thus render the Federal Exchange useless to the purpose that was unambiguously intended by Congress.

    “First, the Act adopts the guaranteed issue and community rating requirements. 42 U. S. C. §§300gg, 300gg–1. Second, the Act generally requires individuals to maintain health insurance coverage or make a payment to the IRS, unless the cost of buying insurance would exceed eight percent of that individual’s income. 26 U. S. C. §5000A. And third, the Act seeks to make insurance more affordable by giving refundable tax credits to individuals with household incomes between 100 per cent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line. §36B.”

    Supreme Court decisions should be based on whether a legislation is constitutional or not foremost, but after the legitimacy of the legislation is established it’s second most important purpose is to evaluate the purpose and intent of the legislation. There is no logical argument to be made that Congress intentionally wished for the Federal Exchange to function any differently than the State Exchange, given the amount of evidence to the opposite. “If a State chooses not to follow the directive in Section 18031 to establish an Exchange, the Act tells the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish “such Exchange.”§18041. ” [emphasis added] This is indicative of Congress’s intent and purpose to have the Federal Exchange function the same as the State Exchange, thereby the Opinion was a good one. To have ruled conversely would have been converse to the purpose of the Court.

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  3. And yet, I can point to at least three instances where Federal money was tied to states passing laws complying with certain policy goals:

    1. Raising the drinking age to 21 – This was tied to Federal highway funds.
    2. Mandatory seat belts – again, Federal highway funds.
    3. Medicaid expansion as part of the ACA – incidentally, ruled unconstitutional in NFIB v. Sebelius.

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