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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Entire Healthcare Law Jeopardized As Conservatives Dig In

The third and final day of Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act Wednesday saw the conservative majority dancing around the details of completely overturning it, teeing up the first major invalidation of a social program by the high court since the New Deal in the 1930s.

Paul D. Clement, the lawyer representing the 26 state attorneys general and the coalition of business groups challenging the law, made the case that if the individual mandate to purchase health insurance is found unconstitutional — which Tuesday’s hearing suggested is quite possible — the entire law must be struck down.

Most of the justices were receptive to that argument, apparently annoyed by the potential nightmare of sifting through the 2,700 page bill and determining line by line what could stand on its own.

“One way or another, Congress is going to have to reconsider this,” said Justice Antonin Scalia, appointed by Ronald Reagan. “Why isn’t it better to have them reconsider it in toto?”

What’s more, the Court — including “swing” justice Anthony Kennedy — took a deeply skeptical view of the law’s expansion of Medicaid, which is almost entirely paid for by the federal government.

“Why shouldn’t we be concerned about the extent of authority that the government is exercising, simply because they could do something less?” Chief Justice John Roberts said, suggesting the expansion of Medicaid was coercive.

As usual, Clarence Thomas, appointed by George H.W. Bush, asked no questions, though he is seen as nearly certain to vote to strike down the legislation. And just as they did on Tuesday, the court’s liberal minority, led by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a Bill Clinton appointee, sought to bolster the Affordable Care Act with a sympathetic line of questioning.

“Why should we say it’s a choice between a wrecking operation, which is what you are requesting, or a salvage job?” Ginsburg asked of Clement. “The more conservative approach would be salvage rather than throwing out everything.”

The oral arguments having concluded, the justices will retreat from the spotlight before issuing a ruling in June. Whether they proceed to strip Americans of new consumer protections and financial assistance — perhaps the most tangible thing President Obama has given them — in the thick of a presidential campaign remains to be seen.

  • montanabill

    Just by chance, Matt, have you noticed that a majority of Americans don’t want this type of ‘consumer protection’ or ‘financial assistance’? Since the bill was passed solely by Democrats, maybe it would have been acceptable if it had been applied solely to Democrats.

    • Ezzroller

      montanabill Don’t you thank that it’s about time That the goverment starte behaveing like some one working for the people instead of the people working for them! To me and 80% of the people of America all of them ( Democrats/Republicans/Independents ) Have lied to the people a way to much. And has let the rich of the earth take over the U S A. Our Government is paid for by the people and should do what the majority of the people ask them to do. We as people ( Rich or poor or inbetween ) should never let our Government have this much power. And as long as we stand as Democrats,Republicans,Independents, Black, White, Brown, Mormon, Protestant,Jew, Poor, Middle class, Rich
      we are deviated and can fall. When we stand together as people then we are the power.. Do we want this Grate nation to die because of greed? I thank not how about YOU?

    • John Shaw

      Why do the GOP always use terms like “everyone likes or dislikes” when you don’t have a clue what the informed , intelligent side of America really wants. YOU DO NOT HAVE TH RIGHT TO SPEAK FOR ME

    • suzanne Flannery

      When you say that a majority of Americans don’t want this type of ‘consumer protection’ where’s your proof or source?

  • When poled 70% and up of all Americans approve of the

  • When poled 70% and up of all Americans approve of the actual provisions. When it is called Obamacare they disapprove along party and racist lines.

  • monkeybass

    Whether the supreme court gets their corrupt heads out of their @sses or not, this ragtag group of bought-and-paid for congress will do as they always do: NOTHING.

    So really, what does it matter whether the supreme court likes it or not?

  • John Shaw

    Lets see, Hmmmm insurance companies can’t deny coverage due to pre-existing conditions, seniors don’t have the donut hole huge payments for drug coverage people don’t go bankrupt due to inability to pay health / hospital bills,
    if you cant afford insurance you get help

    What’s not to love. oHHHHHH is this one of those if I say it enough everyone will believe it scenarios

    The last time I saw this much propaganda used was in Germany in the 40’s

    GOP=Hitler’s message machine

  • untill the scum in d.c. are forced to live with the same health care and social security as the rest of us nothing good is going to happen. turn off the money spigot and watch how fast the ” public servants” bail out. hate to break your bubble folks but in the imortal words of porky pig…th…th…thats all folks, when we get idiots like newt und thievs like mit, to choose from we are thru as a viable society . hiel bush.

  • montanabill

    Haven’t been reading much, have you suzanne?

  • montanabill

    Haven’t been reading much, have you suzanne?