Friday, June 29, 2012

SCOTUS Ruling on Obamacare Good for Everyone - Dems, Repubs, SCOTUS, and Public

They may not "heart" Obamacare, but enough SCOTUS justices like Obamacare enough
to let it remain the law of the land.

As I'm sure most people have already heard, the Supreme Court upheld almost all of the Affordable Care Act (often derisively called Obamacare) today.

So many people have been pontificating on what this means that I can barely take it anymore, and I don't dare look at my Facebook feed. But, I'll offer one thought on this relatively momentous ruling - it's good for everyone.

It's good for the Democrats/Obama - they expended a huge amount of time and political capital to get the ACA passed, and it would have been a devastating loss to them if it had been overturned. I doubt there will be much political payoff from the law being upheld, but they definitely avoided a big loss.

It's good for the Republicans - this way, they get to keep railing against Obamacare until Election Day, and Romney can continue to avoid saying anything of substance about what he'd actually replace the ACA with, if he were given the chance. This plays well into Romney's overall strategy of refusing to say what he'd actually do as President while hoping nobody notices - this may continue to work for him until the debates, but I can only think that Obama won't let him get away with that on live national television.

It's good for the Supreme Court - the popularity of the Supreme Court has been declining in the past decade, ever since the Bush v. Gore debacle, and with good reason - it's becoming a crusty institution hell-bent on expanding the power of the already rich and powerful at the expense of everyone else. This ruling doesn't redeem the Supreme Court, but it is (finally!) a smallish step in the right direction - and I say smallish because the ACA was/is clearly constitutional, and the conservative court justices demonstrated that they were/are probably too ignorant to be able to deliberate on the ACA in the first place.

Finally, it's good for the American public - millions of uninsured people (especially people with pre-existing conditions) will now have access to health care, health care costs will be slightly more controlled (though much work remains to be done on this point), insurance companies won't be able to drop people when they become sick, etc. etc. - you know, all of those things the ACA actually does that people like a lot (even though a majority of Americans are so ignorant that they continue to dislike the ACA while, at the same time, liking all the provisions in the ACA except for the mandate, which of course probably won't affect them personally).

So, yes, this decision was good for everyone. Otherwise,
  • the Democrats would have suffered a massive defeat;
  • the Republicans would have suddenly been seriously on the spot to have to come up with a real alternative to the ACA, which they are absolutely not in a position to do;
  • the Supreme Court would have further cemented itself as a useless, cynically partisan institution; and
  • the public would have enjoyed none of the benefits enshrined in the ACA.
Thank God for small favors. Now on to the next battle.

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