Supreme Court rescues Obamacare…again

| June 26, 2015

acaby Elliot Engstrom, Civitas Review online, June 25, 2015.

The United States Supreme Court has voted 6-3 to uphold healthcare tax credits in the 34 state that opted not to establish state-run exchanges. In a similar fashion to the 2012 decision of National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius, the Court has bent over backwards to ensure that President Obama’s signature healthcare law remains in effect. As in the 2012 case, Chief Justice Roberts again wrote for the majority. Justice Scalia wrote the dissent, joined by Justices Thomas and Alito.

Briefly put, the legal challenge focuses on the fact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as written authorizes the IRS only to allow tax subsidies for health insurance purchased through state-based exchanges. The challengers argued that in the 34 states where there are no state-based exchanges, there can be no federal subsidies — essentially crippling the entire ACA.

Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the majority, had to base his opinion on the idea that the phrase “established by the States” in fact means “established by the States or the federal government.” He did this because, in his view, any other reading would result in there being “no ‘qualified individuals’ on Federal Exchanges,” and this would be in conflict with the overall purposes of the ACA. Unless, of course, the purpose of the ACA was to allow tax subsidies only to those who obtain insurance through state-based exchanges — i.e. what Congress explicitly said.

Justice Scalia disagreed. Writing for the three dissenting justices, he began by saying:

The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says “Exchange established by the State” it means “Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.” That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so.”

He went on to say that “Words no longer have meaning” if the Court can essentially rewrite a statute to fill the IRS’s desired meaning. He then made a very personal, poignant attack on the politics of the majority:

Under all the usual rules of interpretation, in short, the Government should lose this case. But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.

Thus the Roberts court continues its legacy of bending over backwards to uphold President Obama’s policy agenda — all under the guise of acting as the neutral arbiter that the is required to be under Article III of our nation’s Constitution.

Category: NC SPIN Perspectives - Opinions from NC Leaders & Organizations

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  1. Norm Kelly says:

    Those of us who are opposed to socialized medicine will continue to be called sore losers. Only more forcibly, loudly, and with a more derogatory tone than ever before.
    The fact that the court has twice CHANGED the wording of the law in order to uphold it will be ignored by socialists, like K, Biden, and the current unqualified occupier. In the first case, the law said ‘fine’ and the court interpreted the law to say ‘tax’ in order to deem it Constitutional. Yet, in fact, the law was unConstitutional because Congress wrote it as ‘fine’, which the court decided was unConstitutional. In order to uphold the law, SCOTUS interpreted the law to mean ‘tax’ and therefore avoided dismantling the law as written. Which WAS it’s duty!
    In this case, SCOTUS once again changed the wording in order to accept the law as Constitutional. Yet again, it was indeed found to be unConstitutional. The duty of SCOTUS is to determine if laws written by Congress are Constitutional or not. It is NOT the responsibility of SCOTUS to either change wording to make it Constitutional or to ‘interpret’ wording or meaning in order to uphold acts of Congress. Either a law is Constitutional or it’s NOT. As for Socialized Medicine as worded and PASSED by Congress, SCOTUS has twice decided that this law is unConstitutional.
    Any person with the ability to actually think must be wondering what the occupier or any Demoncrat has against Roberts. There HAS to be a reason that Roberts fails to properly do his job. There MUST be a reason that Roberts is the first justice to change wording of laws in order to accept them. Can ANY lib/demon/media-type ally show ANY other case where SCOTUS interpreted or changed wording in order to deem a law Constitutional?
    If words truly mean nothing, then this nation is already dead! There is NO saving us now. We must completely fail, initiate revolution, and destroy what we’ve become in order to create a new nation based, once again, on the rule of law. And we must once again start to give meaning to words. The unqualified socialist occupier has already determined that contracts are no longer binding; he did this when unions were put ahead of investors with the auto bail-out. He has also changed forever the ability of presidents to do ANYTHING through executive action with NO OVERSIGHT from Congress. The office has forever been changed from ONE branch of government to THE ONLY branch of government. With the judicial branch rubber stamping all activity of the occupier, whoever it may be.
    I once loved this nation. I guess I’ll learn to love whatever is created after the revolution. I will side with lovers of freedom, small government, contracts, legal wording that has meaning. I hate what this means for my kids & grandkids. I’ll do what I can to protect them from socialism and it’s negative affects/effects, but it will hurt for a long time regardless.