Tuesday, November 10, 2020

The Supreme Court Will Not Wreck Obamacare Because the "Plane Has Not Crashed"

After hearing the Supreme Court's oral arguments this morning over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), I can double down on my prediction the Court will not wreck Obamacare. 

If the conservative justices don't buy the plaintiff arguments, their attempts to destroy Obamacare will fail. Just two of the conservatives siding with the three remaining liberals would be enough to protect the health care law.

Listening to the arguments, at least three of the conservatives (Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Alito) were clear that whatever the Court does with what remains of the individual mandate the rest of the law should stand. 

The best comment came from one of the most conservative justices, Samuel Alito, over the question of whether or not the mandate can be severed and the rest of the law could continue to stand:

“In the first case [NFIB vs Sebelius, 2012], there was a strong reason to believe the individual mandate was … essential to keep the plane flying. Now the part has been taken out and the plane has not crashed,” Alito said. “How would we explain why the individual mandate in its present form is essential to the operation of the act?” 

Game, set, match. The Supreme Court will not wreck Obamacare!

Maybe the Court will strike down the hollow remains of the individual mandate. Aside from that, the only question left in my mind is whether or not the Court will be unanimous in upholding the rest of the health care law. 

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