Saturday, November 8, 2014

A Little Noticed Election Result?

From Lawyers, Guns and Money:

Supreme Court To Almost Certainly Deny Millions of People Health Insurance (November 7, 2014 | Scott Lemieux)

It’s not every day that the Roberts Court can be worse than even I expect, but here we are: the Court is about to rule that the Moops invaded Spain. It’s not 100% that King v. Burwell will be overruled, I guess, but I don’t know why else they would preempt the Halbig en banc hearing otherwise.

I will have a piece on this coming out Monday, but it’s hard to overstate how evil and insidious this is. The Roberts Court stops both key components of the ACA from functioning in red states, based on farcial ad hoc legal arguments, without a single high-profile ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

People with strong stomachs can look at Johnathan Adler, in his palpable excitement about millions of people about to be stripped of their health insurance, claiming that this case is about…deferring to Congress. The fact that not a single member of Congress involved in passing the ACA has believed at any time that the subsidies were not available on federally established exchanges and the interpretation of the statute saying otherwise is nonsensical on its face renders this rather dark comedy indeed.

There are links in the original post that do not carry over here, so go over to LGM and check them out. Here's the deal. This week my wonderful wife had a cataract operation. Back in '08 she flew all the way to India to have surgery for a macular hole. She had a great experience at a very fine hospital in Bangalore and also loved her experience of India. But she was a medical tourist because we didn't have health insurance and the cost of the eye surgery here in the US was far more than the whole trip to India: flight, surgery, and one-month stay. (We very fortunately had friends who lived in Bangalore at that time, so the stay was not expensive, but a paid stay would also have been feasible.) After the ACA had become law, and after all the long delays in implementation, Libby finally got affordable insurance last fall. Her existing condition, a typical post op effect of surgery for a macular hole, would have otherwise precluded her being able to get insurance. We were considering another trip to India before ACA kicked in, but this would have been more difficult than the first trip for a number of reasons. Anyways. This week Libby had her cataract operation right here in NC, and it is going splendidly.

It must be true that Libby is but one example amongst millions. One has to wonder if the huge right-wing landslide just past hasn't emboldened our Supreme Court just a bit. Certainly at the bare minimum, removing their decision to hear this case from the election calendar menu is an, um, political convenience. The Republican position is that anyone who can't pay for insurance simply doesn't deserve insurance. This would include almost all the folks who care for the Republican elderly, by the way. The Republican view is that people are just part of the means of production. The Republicans aren't much on a so-called liberal education, so's they're naturally not much familiar with King Lear.

On a happy note, here in my little county, the Republicans who were running the County Commissioners office were all defeated. It's never possible to prove counter-factuals of course, but could things have been worse for Democrats should they have chosen to actually run on the existence of the Affordable Care Act, or admitted that they voted for the President? There is something pretty negative about cravenness too. In terms of a long-term analysis of this election, however, Mr. Chiat offers some analysis which is pretty disturbing, but seems just about in pitch to my ear.

Sunday Update:

From the comfort of the leather armchair, and armed with a handsome snifter of the best brandy, a possibly liberal legal mind considers the upcoming Supreme Court rumination on the ACA:

For what it's worth, it seems to me that the antebellum concept of States rights has been making great headway since the Reagan counter-revolution of 1980 in digging its way out of what one might have imagined in the post-Civil Rights era, the post-Vietnam era, and the post-Nixon era, was a grave so deep as to brush the very mantle of the earth. Obviously not so. Here the zombies come again, wearing their rotting Confederate uniforms and dragging their carpetbags behind them. Their elected leader, new majority leader McConnell, can with utter aplomb answer a question about the ACA in his "debate" with his now defeated challenger so cynically that it entirely takes the breath away, and yet find his opponent's ridiculous non-answer to a trivial question about whether she voted for Mr. Obama to have trumped his glaring negatives. Why yes, Ms Kentucky, you can certainly keep your health care website. We only intend to remove its contents, not the site itself.

1 comment: