Pre-statement statement.

Thursday, June 28th, 2012 @ 8:50 am | Constitution, Health Care

Our friend AJKamper has pointed out that there are arguably principled positions against the individual mandate that undergirds the provision of the ACA that forbids insurers from declining patients for pre-existing conditions. So be it.

But there are some important facts to note before we treat this as some kind of escape clause for a boob-stacked Supreme Court with one justice, Thomas, who stands to profit from striking down the ACA entirely and another, Scalia, who seems to be auditioning for Limbaugh’s replacement once the Oxycontin explodes his heart.

First, as I have repeatedly noted, the individual mandate was a Republican concept, invented by one of the bulwarks of the rightwing think-tank cottage industry, Heritage. It was proposed as a counter-idea to Bill Clinton’s efforts to reform health care in the 1990s, championed by people like Newt Gingrich only a few years ago, and actually implemented by a Republican governor, Mitt Romney (who’d like you to forget his best accomplishment that he advised Obama to copy because, well, Obama agreed, and Romney’s had his programming rebooted a few times since then).

Secondly, the actual case’s history in the courts has been somewhat split among conservative justices (of course, liberal justices don’t matter…). Republican appointed, conservative judges have noted 75 years of precedent and ruled accordingly that there’s nothing unconstitutional about the mandate. A few scored headlines by going the completely partisan route, but there would seem to be a very palpable divide among conservatives who are doing their jobs and those who are being activist partisans.

Ergo, one would expect a split among the conservative justices in the Supreme Court. Indeed, many predictions have even seen Roberts break off and join Kennedy, although I call that at about 20%. I haven’t seen much from Roberts to believe that, but it’s not difficult to believe he’s less slimy than Alito, Scalia, and Thomas. (Update: Apologies to Roberts, sad disappointment in Kennedy)

So in a few short minutes, we should see a favorable decision for the ACA, and for the millions of people who would be adversely affected by a lockstep partisan 5-4 decision against a plan that had every mark of conservatism imprinted upon it until the moment a Democratic president embraced it.

-hw

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