Amid the early circus - and at 8AM PDT we don't know the full impact of the decision - it is comforting to know that the Health Care Affordability Act was mostly left intact by the Supreme Court. The individual mandate is ruled constitutional under Congresses authority to levy taxes, and most of the rest of the law is upheld. What appears to be out is the ability of the Federal Government to punish - by withholding other funding - states that don't agree to expand Medicaid eligibility. Most surprising to me is the breakdown of the justices' decisions. In a 5-4 split decision it was Chief Justice Roberts, not Anthony Kennedy, that voted with Ginsberg's Gang to uphold the law. Interesting. I will have to take back some of my initial conceptions of C.J. Roberts.
More news is sure to come as the day goes on, but it has already been a fun morning watching CNN botch the coverage so badly and witness the definition of "nonplussed" in the form of Fox News. And, I'm waiting with baited breath to see the angry screed Scalia pens in dissent of this one. Is being bat-shit-crazy an asset or a hindrance on the SOCUTS bench? Time will tell. (Clarence Thomas has no comment.)
I have a lengthy post in the works on the fallacy of applying naked free market principles to health care, as well as my own recent experiences as a consumer of emergency medical care. Stay tuned...