Who’d pay for sick and uninsured?

by Odd Man Out
Justice Scalia’s clownish show of contempt and Justice Alito’s skeptical questions during oral arguments regarding “Obamacare” don’t necessarily mean the reactionary contingent of SCOTUS is ready to overturn the law. As TPM noted yesterday:

A similar scene took place last fall, when the D.C. Court of Appeals took up the case. As news outlets reported at the time, Judge Laurence Silberman — a Reagan appointee who was elevated by President George W. Bush — was among those hammering the administration’s lawyer with questions about the individual mandate and the limits of power.

Forbes declared, “D.C. Appeals Court Points the Way to the Defeat of Obamacare’s Individual Mandate.” Conservatives then sounded triumphant too…

Less than two months later, Silberman cast the deciding vote to uphold “Obamacare.”

In his majority opinion, Silberman located the “limiting principle” he was looking for on his own, and knocked down the heart of the conservative argument. The judge declared that not buying health insurance was hardly an economic “inactivity” because the uninsured directly impact the system regardless.

Meaning that somebody ultimately must pay for the medical care of the uninsured. There’s no way around that fact. This week Chief Justice Roberts actually conceded, “Everybody is in this market. So that makes it very different than the market for cars or the other hypotheticals that you came up with, and all [the Obama administration] is regulating is how you pay for it.”

Can the SCOTUS right-wingers kill the mandate without creating chaos? Roberts will have to answer that question soon.

3 thoughts on “Who’d pay for sick and uninsured?

  1. During the 2008 presidential campaign Hillary’s health care plan included an ‘individual mandate’. Obama harshly critized Hillary for her ‘individual mandate’ idea. After the election the Clinton faction, most notable Rahm Emanuel, pushed to have Hillary’s ‘individual mandate’ become part of Obama’s health care legislation. (Because they’d already made a deal with the insurance companies.) Obama acquiesced but wanted a ‘oublic option’ included in the bill to blunt the perception that he’d sold out to Big Health Insurance. The Clinton faction fought against including the ‘public option’ claiming that the health insurance companies would pay off the Republicans to kill the legislation entirely. In the end Hillary’s health care bill became Obamacare. Which the Supreme Court is likely to sink because it doesn’t have a ‘public option’. Thanks to the Hillary faction.

  2. There’s insight in this column. Roberts has some legacy issues that could ride on this decision. If he doesn’t want to be perceived as the ringleader of an agenda driven partisan Court for all time this might be a moment to narrowly call balls and strikes.

  3. “somebody ultimately must pay for the medical care of the uninsured. There’s no way around that fact.”

    There is actually another way. You can let people die in the street. It’s been done before and it’s being done now.

    It’s the unspoken alternative to Medicare for All.

    The (Un)Affordable Health Care Act is delivering 30 million new captive customers to an industry whose business is figuring out how to deny profit-reducing medical care. Which side of that fork in the path do you think it’s on?

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