The Supreme Court’s June 28 decision on the Affordable Care Act a/k/a "Obamacare" is a read of interest. Chief Justice Roberts has caught flak from many—usually the right-wing—for his unexpected opinion that found the individual mandate passed constitutional muster, but the expansion of medicaid did not catch up. (I am sorry about the play one words, but I had to do that.)
Many people point out that those who promoted the Act said it did not raise taxes, and yet the taxing power of the Constitution was the basis for the CJ finding the Act was within the ambit of Congress’s enumerated powers.
I have a bias on this issue. This week, as I blogged on July 4, This week I tested the waters to see if I could obtain health insurance at a rate below the extortionate level I now pay to Anthem®. I received an initial quote—for less than half the premium I pay now that, unlike my present coverage, would have no deductible, would have full dental, and would toss in term life insurance. Is it bias if I check the facts and realize the plan would have be positive for people in my position?
No, I think the bias would be that I believed we were given healthcare in the ACA that was short of Single Payer that the rest of the industrialized world has. But I digress
I found the CJ’s opinion interesting because he wrote a lot about the history of the Commerce Clause and the taxing powers enumerated by the Constitution.
Last week a person said to me that National Federation of Independent Business, et al.v. Sebelius (the actual name of the case) was an example of the Supreme Court acting as a legislative body. He said the Court had "legislated."
First—if by "legislated" he meant the Court made or enacted a law, Black’s Law Dictionary, New Pocket Ed., 1996, he is wrong. The Court added nothing to the language of the statute. Second, if he meant the Court acted in such a way as to read the Constitution in a way or manner outside most people’s expectations—the Court does that all the time.
This morning "Civil Discourse Now" will live-stream a discussion of the June 28 decision. Paul Ogden and I will discuss with lawyers Adam Lenkowsky and Jeff Cox. We will start at 11 a.m. at 1915 Broad Ripple Avenue.
Also, next week we shall live-stream from the Recovery Room Lounge to discuss the smoking ban. That show will begin at 2.