WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27:  A Tea Party supporter hold sign as they participate during a "Hands Off My Health Care" rally at the Upper Senate Park March 27, 2012 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Supreme Court continued to hear oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court will release their  decision any day now on whether they will use the Republicans’ terribly flawed, unprecedented and dishonest argument to prevent the government from subsidizing healthcare in 34 states or if it will follow established practices and law and uphold the validity of the ACA/Obamacare.

Considering the Right Wing ideologues on our Supreme Court, the outcome is far from predictable. However, if they decide in favor of their fellow Republicans’, they could be handing them an enormous defeat in 2016 and perhaps  for many years to come.

The ACA isn’t just a program at this point, it is our national healthcare system. It is the system that all of us, whether we get our insurance from employers, through exchanges or Medicaid, are participating in. To cut off the legs of a body doesn’t mean the rest of the body can go about its business unaffected. If 6 million Americans are thrown off of health insurance and the ACA is crippled, the ripple effect will come crashing down on everyone who has health insurance. Premiums could skyrocket and create a snowball effect that prices millions of more Americans out of having health insurance, causing rates to rise further and that vicious cycle could continue.

And the hand that will be holding the lit match while our health insurance system goes up in flames…will be the Republican Party.

They have fought against the ACA with a religious fervor, voting pointlessly over 50 times in The House to repeal it. Since all the horror stories they tried to spread about the ACA, to justify what is actually just their anti-Obama mania, have been proven to be insane and false, they now have no actual argument to destroy it except their hatred of Obama and the Democrats. This suit against the ACA that is before the Supreme Court is claiming that the specific wording in one section of it mentions federal subsidies for state exchanges set up by states but doesn’t include a reference to state exchanges run by the federal government. So their assertion is that that one section makes it illegal to offer subsidies to Americans in states with federally run exchanges.

Of course, this is asinine, there is no logic that any reasonable human being (which excludes at least 4 SCOTUS judges) could find that would make sense that the intent of the law, which refers in other sections to federally run exchanges operating as peers to state run exchanges, would be to make insurance unaffordable only in federally run exchange states. Supreme Court precedent is that the intent of the law is what matters. And yet, at least four of these Supreme Idiots are trying to destroy the ASA and bring about the accelerated deaths of Americans by attempting to ignore hundreds of years of legal precedent and focus solely on what word isn’t included in one section of the law.

Republicans can’t even show harm to anyone and have rigged in phony plaintiffs to file this complaint because they couldn’t even find anyone who was actually harmed by receiving subsidies (how can anyone be harmed by receiving financial assistance?). Still, the four fanatics on the SCOTUS accepted the case.

So, no one with standing has legitimately filed this suit, it hinges on ignoring SCOTUS and judicial precedent on determining intent and no harm can be shown by the law being applied as currently interpreted. For each and all of these reasons, this case should never have been taken up by the SCOTUS, as President Obama stated this week.

Still, it has been taken on and the Right Wing ideologues on the SCOTUS are no doubt hoping to bring their sneaky scheme to fruition.

If the Republicans win and defeat the ACA, it’s very possible that they will have destroyed themselves. With all the maniacal frothing against the ACA, the Republicans have never really considered, “What if we won?” It has been at the core of their fundraising, a rallying cry to get their voters out to the polls and a way of sticking a thumb in the eye of the black President but they have not truly considered the blowback that would come at them the day after they won such a battle.

In nearly every Republican-run state, there will be scores of people who would have their health insurance ripped away from them and many more whose premiums will soon jump way up, as insurance companies compensate for all the lost income (most Democratically run states set up their own exchanges). There will be a national crisis over health insurance that will impact all Americans…and Republicans will still be toasting their champagne glasses over their “victory”.

If they were to win, it is hard to imagine that they would support the quick fix that has been proposed, of passing a bill that affirms all Americans in all states are eligible for subsidies whether they have a state or federally run exchange. After all, this would be their dream come true, they would have mortally wounded Obamacare so it’s unlikely that they would turn around and repair it. Otherwise, they have no plan that they could or would agree on. Just the vague “We’ll replace it with something better,” crap.

The blather some of them offer is that they could replace the subsidies with tax credits. The stupidity of this may be astounding but since it is all they’ve got, it means they don’t have any solution that would stem a crisis.

Do any of them actually know what a “tax credit” is or how it works? The simple math is, if an insurance plan costs $500/mo for a poor family but the government offers tax credits that would be refunded when they pay their taxes the following year, they still can’t afford to pay $500/mo until the next year so they won’t have insurance. This is a plainly phony proposition that would cement in poor people as a lower, expendable class that will die earlier than wealthier Americans and burden our hospital system since going to emergency rooms will once again be their only way to be treated for illnesses and injuries.

One pundit mentioned yesterday that this could be the case of the dog catching the car and not knowing what to do with it, a very apt analogy. Republicans have been so crazed with attacking and destroying the ACA that they haven’t really thought about what happens to them if they succeeded. Now, Republicans are starting to sound scared. They have no alternative plan and no believable story to tell the millions of Americans who would lose their health insurance. They would be the Death Party (as opposed to the fictitious death panels they used to scare the public, they would ironically be the ones who condemned many Americans to death by taking away their health insurance). They would be the party that threw our national health care system into a crisis that they could never rescue it from. And the Republicans running for office in 2016, the presidential, senatorial and gubernatorial candidates in particular, will have to tell their citizens who are drowning in a health care system they destroyed, why they should have the power to make more such decisions. The GOP could be thrashed in 2016 because of this and continue in a quick decline for the foreseeable future due to this long lasting legacy.

One could imagine a national uprising if things got as bad as they could. And that dog that caught the car might just end up being run over by it.

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James Michael Brodieglenngoleafsgochoicelady Recent comment authors
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James Michael Brodie

Ad, you nailed this topic in a way that makes this a must-read for anyone who is even remotely concerned about health care.

My sense is that, at the end of the day, the Supreme Court will back down, knowing that they, too, will have heck to pay from this. A win for the GOP here means Hillary will be the one to shape the Court in the future, likely with a strong Democratic Senate.

I have said this before in other settings: Obama has set in motion a number of changes that are, at the end of the day, inevitable. They will clearly not happen during his lifetime, but they will happen — everything from health care to infrastructure to education to policing.

The GOP knows this, and they know they are on the wrong side of history. Even if they do not, it matters little. The world is changing. Rush and his ilk are the “weirdoes,” and this fact has them scared.


But, Ad, the GOP already has a plan to blame PBO if the Supreme Court rules in their favor. They are going to pass an extension of the subsidies until 2017 to force PBO to veto the bill so they can say, “See the President doesn’t want you to have subsidies.” Even though their lawsuit is the one that took away the subsidies in the first place. However, teddycruz may shut down the government over this, because he is against Obamacare any way, any how, so if his “fellow” repubs/tpartiers vote to extend the subsidies, cruz will do his best to make sure that particular bill comes crashing to a halt. Which, of course, then leaves the repubs to blame the tpartiers or cruz….nah that will never happen. It will still be PBO’s fault for passing such a “flawed” law in the first place.

Ya’ know, republican logic. It’s perfectly “clear” to me, isn’t it to you?

The saddest part is that too many people will “follow” that “logic”.

James Michael Brodie

True, Glenn, but any “victory” the GOP claims will be short-lived. And all the gerrymandering in the world will not be enough for them to do very much in the future. This is an all-day sucker, my friend.


This disastrous possibility, of destroying the ACA, and leaving millions of people, many of whom could currently be in treatment for cancer, or their children who are now in lifesaving therapy that otherwise they cannot afford, would represent an inhumane,outrageous, and I suggest, a criminal action. It would be criminal in the fact that such an action would create a death sentence for so many people.

Is that not criminal? The inhumanity of it all is astounding!
Not only the Republican Party will self-destruct, but those on the Court who vote a death sentence for innocents, young and old alike, will pay a price.
John Roberts will not want this criminality as part of his legacy so thus will not allow its passage.


To be totally honest about how ACA is subsidized, it is with an ADVANCABLE tax credit. It is adjusted should your income change and you don’t report it – up or down – or your life condition changes (death, marriage or divorce, children added or gone from the home). The states could do the same – but they not only will not, they will not tie it to your income.

The reason Romneycare (and proposed exactly the same in CA under Ah-nold) the premium is based on ‘risk rates’ meaning health condition, where you live (e.g. are you poor and thus probably also a POC), and AGE. What Romney and Ah-nold care did is let those ‘free market actuarially based’ rates fly – and give you a flat subsidy. In MA it was $235, the premium for a healthy person in the mid 30s, but in CA they could see their way clear for only $200. So anyone 60 or older would have a premium of around $900 (that’s the going rate in 2008) but get a tax credit of only $200. And you’d be mandated to have that insurance, good luck to ya eating cat food to pay for it.

ACA is on a sliding percentage tied to your INCOME. That makes it incredibly more affordable. And where Romney/Ah-nold plans also added a $15,000 per person per year deductible with only 2 things at no extra cost, ACA has a family cap of $6-12,000 with preventive care and dozens of routine and even expensive procedures lying outside the need to touch the deductible. HUGE difference!

That’s what we would have in 34 states, possibly the entire nation. Oh, that thing about letting insurance compete over state lines? It’s regulated BY the state where it’s sold, so if Alabama has cheap insurance but it fails to pay and you live in Oregon, good luck on the enforcement of the promises.

Yup. The GOP “plans” are sooooo much better. Un huh.