I have long been extremely critical of the Supreme Court and it's move into political decisions rather Constitutional ones. I had long suspected that the Roberts Court would strike down at least one portion (mandate) if not most of it based solely on their political leanings.
Had Justice Roberts played the political card I would have been right. For much of the debate on the ACA most talking heads concentrated on Justice Kennedy being the deciding vote. He and the other three conservatives on the court voted to strike down the law. Just Roberts played a role reversal and sided with the liberal members of the Court to uphold the Constitutionality.
In one morning all the praise that had been heaped upon the Roberts Court over the last few years was completely forgotten.
The key components upheld today were the mandate (scheduled to start in 2014) which requires Americans to be on insurance or face a fine. what this does, in reality, is force those people that have stayed off of insurance only to go to the Emergency Room get a free trip forcing the taxpayers to foot the bill to make a decision. That decision is to either get insurance or face a fine. This does not actually cost the taxpayers a dime (despite reports to the contrary). The only people paying a fine are those that do not get insurance.
I have been an opponent of this particular part of the law from it's inception. Republicans early on wanted no part of the single payer system so they threw this idea out (one that had been championed by most Conservative Republicans in the 1990s) not thinking that Obama and the Democrats would actually dump single payer in favor of this. Now one of their key insurance mandates is law and they can not stop complaining about it.
Another portion that was upheld was children being allowed to stay on their parents insurance to the age of 26 no matter what pre-existing condition they had.
The other major portion that was partially struck down was the new Medicaid benefits. The Roberts Court did not strike down the addition of new benefits but they did give states an out. If states do not want to issue the new benefits they are free to do so and will lose none of the other benefits are funding already in place.
The major story coming out of this today was the hilariously apocalyptic ramblings of Republicans all over television, twitter, and Facebook. They have talked of the end of America, the end of times, moving to Canada (yes that Canada which has a truly progressive health care system) to escape this "socialistic" health care system.
So a question I pose to Republicans. How is it, after Republicans ran a campaign for election in 2010 and won off of "Repeal and Replace" and for the last two years have done neither and have not even brought a bill to the floor to do so, and after one of the most Conservative Supreme Courts in recent memory upheld ACA, that your anger and hatred is still solely directed at Obama? Your party has done nothing to eliminate this socialistic, communistict, NAZI system and you give them a pass. One would imagine that a sane thinking person, hearing for two years that his party was going to get rid of ACA and has done nothing towards that goal, would be angry at his own party.
I am not saying, I am just saying.
The Republicans were not down for the count for the day, however. In a purely political move in an attempt to drive attention away from ACA the House voted to hold AG Holder in contempt over the "Fast and Furious" program. This came after Obama pulled executive privelege on Congress and refused to let Holder release any documentation on Bush era program.
Now you may be saying to yourself. What is the big deal. The Obama White House pulled and executive privilege and the House is holding them responsible by charging the AG (for the first time in American history) with contempt, not on just one, but two counts. It is not like this is the first time (well for Obama it is, in four years this is the only time he has invoked executive privilege) that a president has done this. Clinton did it 14 times, George W. Bush did it six. This is not even the first time that a President has evoked executive privilege regarding something that started or occurred during a previous administration. George W. Bush, in 2001, invoked the privilege over investigations over Clinton's fundraising.
So, the move to hold Holder in contempt is a purely political stunt meant to sweep the ACA headlines under the rug. Unfortunately it did not work.
Showing just how far CNN has fallen from when it was once a top tier news organization, the network (along with Fox News) wrongly announced that the Supreme Court had thrown ACA out as unconstitutional. So badly had they written the script that moments after the decision came out that on the network they were discussing how the costly the decision was for Obama, only to have to retract everything a little bit later. No one really seemed to notice that Fox News had done the same thing, since most people realize that the network typically makes up their own stories anyways.
As the build up was occurring two prevalent Conservative talking heads were making predictions and announcements of their own. Rush Limbaugh promised to move out of the country if the Supreme Court did not overturn ACA and Bill O'Reilly promised to apologize for being wrong if the Supreme Court upheld ACA.
I do not expect either to happen but if one of the above were to happen I would bet on Limbaugh leaving the country. O'Reilly just does not apologize. In his mind he is never wrong. It does not happen. It has been nearly 10 years since O'Reilly dragged American troops through the mud by wrongly claiming the American troops massacred Nazi troops at Malmedy during World War 2. It happened the other way around. He has still not apologized for that. So he will not apologize for this. If he does I will come on this page and apologize for saying that he would not apologize.