This week proved that while the arc of the moral universe may bend towards justice, it often takes a very circuitous route. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in King v. Burwell, the case challenging the Affordable Care Act. At stake is not only the future of Obamacare but also the frayed legitimacy of the Court itself. The unintentional joke of the day was offered by Justice Scalia, who, apparently without irony, suggested Congress would fix Obamacare if the court struck it down: "You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue?" Good one. Less funny was the Justice Department's scathing report that same day detailing egregious discrimination by the Ferguson police department and court system. It certainly added sobering context to Saturday's marking of the 50th anniversary of Selma's "Bloody Sunday" march. We have come a long way and yet we still have so far to go.
Hillary, Bibi, O'Reilly, the economy... So many targets, so little time! ...
Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. is this week's Most Impressive Democrat of the Week award-winner, for doing a much better job arguing the case for President Obama's interpretation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act before the Supreme Court than he did the last time around.
None of the provisions governing the territories have anything to do with the federally facilitated exchange, or for that matter with premium tax credits, which are not in any event available in the territories. Section 1323 is in fact simply irrelevant to King v.Burwell.
Regardless of whether you are young or old, healthy or ill, insured or uninsured, every person, in every state, has a stake in King v. Burwell.
Because insurers don't know which way the Supreme Court will rule come June, they reportedly are thinking of pricing their policies for 2016 based on the worst-case scenario of a plaintiffs' victory. Those rates will be higher than they would have been if the Supreme Court had never agreed to take King v. Burwell.
When I found myself with a fresh wave of anxiety before the Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday on the latest assault on the law, I decided to list all the times that the survival of what became the Affordable Care Act was up in the air. It turned out that they number eight. So if Obamacare survives this last, desperate challenge, it really will have nine lives.
If we truly live in a democracy, Democratic senators should accept the verdict of the people and let Republicans pass their bills.
Whatever the outcome, the King v. Burwell case has huge implications for the future of the Affordable Care Act. While the hearings start today, a decision won't likely be passed down until June. Here are the three possible outcomes of this case.
5. This argument makes clear how important it is to have the right Justices on the Supreme Court. It's not just for the big-forest constitutional questions but for the in-the-trees statutory questions where a lot of our law is made, and where all of us have a very important stake.
If the Supreme Court invalidates premium credits in the federal exchange, the number of uninsured Americans would jump by roughly 8 million. Millions more would face dramatic premium increases; RAND estimates that premiums would jump by 47 percent.
King v. Burwell opens the door to a much broader impact on ObamaCare than just the matter of subsidies. It would be huge if the Supreme Court determines the Court was wrong in affirming the IRS interpretation.
Removal of the tax credits from the Affordable Care Act means worse health outcomes for health center patients. Those who could have entered the health system at an early and treatable point of a health condition may end up visiting their health center/ER with a much more complicated (and costly) issue. Not only is this a moral argument, it's a basic public health argument.
No matter how many repeal votes or legal runarounds are pursued, the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land and it is improving the lives of millions of Americans who now have affordable access to health insurance.
This lawsuit and most of the rhetoric of those that oppose Obamacare is a blatant disrespect for lower-income Americans. Who are these Americans? They are families, college students in deep debt, people with serious health issues, senior citizens, first-generation Americans, single mothers, YOU.
The ACA creates insurance-market exchanges through which anyone can purchase private health-insurance policies. In an attempt to subvert the law, most states governed by Republicans refused to establish exchanges.