Mollie Hemingway brings the news that the Supreme Court will take up the matter of Obamacare’s Constitutionality next year. The good news is that SCOTUS will hear the case brought by the Attorneys General of Florida and 25 other states, which is the strongest of the various cases against the Democrats’ government-run health care scheme, and that the arguments will get almost 6 hours (via memeorandum). The bad news is that the matter will be ultimately decided by the courts and not by our elected officials.
Smitty thinks I’m a rank pessimist for by belief that SCOTUS will uphold Obamacare and we will be stuck with it forever. I don’t see how the courts will bounce the entire law, though. It’s possible, and perhaps even likely, that the court will strike down a provision or two as the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals did in August. That won’t be enough. Elements of Obamacare have already infested the private sector to the point where businesses have made major adjustments to how they will do business when the real government pain starts in just a year or two. Will a court that traditionally shies away from decisions that cause major upheavals be willing to undo all those provisions and force those businesses to shake things up again? I don’t see that happening. Will enough justices stand on the side of individual rights to pull the government off our backs? They didn’t with their Kelo and McConnell decisions (though the narrowly-decided Citizens’ United case could be a point against my pessimism).
Congress, especially Republicans in Congress, have squandered the best opportunity to rid us of the disastrous scheme. Public opinion ran so hot against Obamacare that it was barely more popular than scrofula. The entire state of Missouri rose up and rejected it last summer. Polls that ran in the high-50s and low-60s for repeal of Obamacare last spring and summer now only hit the mid-50s. A majority of Americans today favor a law that forces you to buy health insurance whether you want to or not and though they don’t favor any punishment if you don’t comply with the law, you can’t have a mandate without punishment. House Republicans passed a repeal law in January, but after a party-line vote against it in the Senate the effort has gone nowhere. No party leader has pushed the issue as they did last year and it appears, at least to me, that the entire strategy of “repeal and replace” has become a political tool instead of an honest attempt to spare us from the coming pain.