Recent research published in Health Affairs shows that last year, healthcare spending grew at its lowest rate since the government has been measuring it. And it is expected to be the same for this year. What’s more, total healthcare spending as a fraction of the economy has remained flat since 2009. It’s really great news. So obviously, it is more important than ever that we destroy Obamacare. And now with help supposed liberals like Thomas Edsall and Charles Schumer, our long national nightmare of affordable healthcare may soon be over.
Of course, we really are going to have to depend upon the conservative ideologues on the Supreme Court and the most recent nutty case against Obamacare, King v Burwell. That’s the case where the plaintiffs are defending the right of people living in red states to not get help with their insurance. Those conservatives sure are charmers! But as history will show, there is no level to which conservatives can sink that will cause the people to turn against them. After all, didn’t the conservatives protect them from terrorist attacks. I mean other than that one time on 11 September 2001. Am I right?!
People like me had been hoping that when the Supreme Court eventually ignores the law and strikes down the exchange subsidies, that at least the more reasonable states could just set up simple exchanges — maybe just a simple website with a link to the federal exchange. Apparently, this is not going to fly. And silly me for thinking that it might! After all, this case isn’t about the law; this is just yet another opportunity for the conservatives on the court to gut a law they don’t like.
Let’s think about John Roberts in this case. Previously, Roberts found that Obamacare was a tax and thus upheld the law. He claimed that the government should be given wide latitude and that the courts should do everything they can to find in favor of laws. As Michael Hiltzik pointed out, if the court finds against Obamacare in this case, it will be going against “a 30-year-old precedent allowing federal agencies great leeway in implementing drafted statutory language.” So any credibility that Roberts maintains will be completely gone if he finds for the plaintiffs. But here’s the thing: I’m not sure he knows that. He may well be thinking that he can continue to chip away at the law and history will not judge him ill because he didn’t kill the law outright. If I were him, I’d be giving a lot of thought to Roger Taney.
As for the matter at hand, Nicholas Bagley, professor at the University of Michigan, explained the problem:
In addition to this, now there are no Obamacare funds to help states set up exchanges. And this is to mention nothing of the fact that in many states the lack of subsidies will be cheered as a great thing. And if we learned anything from the Sam Brownback re-election, it is that totally screwing over the people of your state will not hurt you politically.
So we better hope that John Roberts is smarter than he seems to be. Well, you had better hope that. I’ve given up hoping. John Roberts is an ideologically driven conservative Catholic. I know he isn’t smarter than he seems. I also know he’s a liar. (“Balls and strikes“!) And that he’s an evil man that doesn’t seem to have learned anything from all that supposed Jesus-loving.