Waiting for the ax to fall on Affordable Care Act
June 20, 2012 5 Comments
Most of the analysts, the special society of gifted individuals who are so much more intelligent and beautiful than the rest of us, seem to think that the United States Supreme Court is about to kill the hotly disputed Affordable Care Act. Who am I to argue with the smartest people in the world? (That is a reference to the journalists and not members of the Supreme Court.)
If we are to accept separation of powers, and sharing authority among the branches and levels of our government, this kind of thing will occasionally happen. The Supreme Court nearly derailed the essential reforms of the Roosevelt administration and an Arkansas Senator by the name of Joe T. Robinson was tasked with putting forward the administration’s response, an increase in the number of Supreme Court Justices.
If there is going to be an independent judiciary, and there should, then judicial review is a legitimate part of the deal. It has been a point of contention since the late 1700s that the court may find some laws do not adhere to the broader principles of the Constitution.
All of this preamble brings me to the heart of what I had to say, and it is important to get this on the record before the high courts makes its ruling. Much has been made of an earlier ruling by Justice Antonin Scalia that might tend to support the idea of mandatory health insurance premiums. Now, the release of a new book seems to suggest that Scalia is changing his mind.
There is a suggestion in this emerging argument that the Justice is being dishonest and unprincipled by overruling himself. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Justice Scalia, whether or not he has changed a previously held position, is not by any means bound by earlier opinions. Things change. Minds change. People change. Scalia is entitled to rule whatever way he chooses and any suggestion otherwise is dangerously dishonest.
The American people are entitled to honest discussions of such important issues. Instead of an intelligent citation of facts and history, we get insults and half-truths, cruel deceptions that are actually monstrous lies.
Of course, Scalia would be wrong, but that is nothing new for the senior Associate Justice. Is the Supreme Court bought and paid for by special interests? Could be. They certainly own everything else. The big money people spend small fortunes to sway elections because, you still have the power to change things by the ballot.Yes, I know that is often fairly meaningless.
The consequence of this ruling is absolutely enormous and it will be used to gut every program that provides any assistance to the older folks, disabled, and working poor. This ruling will be a gift that keeps on giving for the one-percent that controls the national destiny.
The silver lining is somewhat faint, but there is a tiny glimmer of hope. It may be that the ultimate result of this disastrous ruling is the true single-payer system America has always needed. It is conceivable, but good news is in short supply these days and about to become a lot more scarce.