In this era of polarized politics, it is not surprising that some on the right are up in arms about the Supreme Court's recent decision on health care. And I do mean -- literally -- up in arms. But the Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. It was enacted by duly constituted authority. It was passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. It was signed by President Barack Obama. It was upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court. There is only one place for frustrated citizens to pass judgment on the wisdom of the law; at the ballot box in November. Calls for nullification, as the Court noted in Cooper v. Aaron, render our Constitution a "solemn mockery." Such calls also embolden the actions of others who will throw the bricks, sticks, and rocks; issue the threats; and brandish the guns.
In the play Waiting for Godot, Godot never arrives, but the entire play is consumed with hand-wringing about what might happen if he did appear. In the case of the Affordable Care Act, there is similar hand-wringing over the Supreme Court decision about the fate of health reform, although we know the answer will arrive by the end of June. What are the possibilities for a Court decision on health reform and what might the impact be in each case? If the entire Act is declared unconstitutional, Americans could lose a number of benefits that have already been implemented; or, we could lose the opportunity, once health reform is fully implemented in 2014, to choose a health plan through a state exchange. With that loss, we would see a revival of the high cost of individual insurance plans and the chance of being rejected for coverage.