Thursday, June 25, 2015

ACA And The Court

So the Supreme Court once again has sided with the administration.  I have mixed feelings because it's setting a precedent with which I'm uncomfortable.

The idea of providing affordable care to the less than affluent is worthy to be sure.  I'm not sure it should have taken a 2000 page bill to accomplish same especially since there are still nuts and bolts clunking around within it.

That said and the fact it is now law is it.  Things should and no doubt will be tweaked over time.  It should not be political but rather what's best for those purchasing their insurance, those providing it and the medical community.

Also, if one state gets government subsidies so should all of them no matter who set up their system.

So what's the problem?  The idea that the way the law was written is now being deferred to intent.  I'd like to think legislators would be more careful of their language in bills of the future but I fear they will not knowing a good lawyer will be able to argue intent over substance.

That would make all legislation tentative until a court rules.  I think it's a dangerous precedent but it's over and done.  It bears watching in the future.

Under a less liberal administration I would like to see legislation that requires laws to be obeyed as written.  Otherwise they will ultimately be useless.  The President has showed us how easy it is to bypass legislation when it has suited his purpose the Supreme Court has given him a pass.  The next step is dictatorship. Caution.  Please.

1 comment:

LWR said...

For nearly twenty years I dealt with laws on a daily basis. Laws that had tension between and within them. It has always been the nature of the beast with federal and state law. The ACA has tension within...and that is not unusual. In fact, for a bill that is as long as this one, it is the norm. The ACA is crystal clear that the intent of congress was to provide monetary assistance to qualifying, low income entities. It is also crystal clear that if States did not set up their exchange, the Fed would set up an exchange that citizens of that State would use to acquire insurance. This was a compromise to take to take "single payer" off the table so the bill could move forward. I believe the court got it right....because, just I had to do on a daily basis, one has to look at the intent of law to resolve the "tensions" within and between bills. Most often, courts have resolved the tension somewhere in the US....and now the "tension" between one section and two or more sections of the ACA have been resolved. Your points that 1) this SCOTUS decision sets a precedent for legislative sloppiness and 2) the administration has somehow cheated here are completely off course. Neither is correct.