The Widdershins

So what are the Supremes up to now?

Posted on: November 12, 2014

chan-lowe-usa-today-obamacareNote to readers:

Yesterday was Fredster’s birthday and a couple of his friends took him out to celebrate.  Fred hasn’t had any alcohol since last December and right now he is feeling no pains.  Therefore the post will be brief.

Good day to you Widdershins.  As the title asks, what are the members of the Supreme Court up to now?  On Friday, Nov. 7th (after the mid-term elections, mind you) the Supremes decided to take up the question of whether the Federal health insurance exchange can offer subsidies to folks who are looking to purchase health insurance on that exchange.  The plaintiffs in this case argue that the text of the law creating the A.C.A. only mentioned subsidies being available  on the exchanges run by the individual states.  They argue that the law does not mention the federal exchange in the text of the law and that since it does not, then the federal exchange cannot offer premium assistance to those seeking to obtain health insurance on that exchange.  Here’s the problem with that:  36 states opted not to establish exchanges, instead just letting their citizens use the Federal exchange.  So, live in Cali, or Kentucky or one of the other states with a state exchange then no problem.  Live in Alabama, Louisiana, Texas or one of the other states and you won’t be able to obatin subsidies to assist in paying your premiums.  This excellent article over at Think Progress shows what will happen if the subsidies go away:

1. Millions of people will see triple digit premium hikes.

2. Millions of people will lose health care coverage.

3. Obamacare will face a death spiral.

4. Insurers will advocate for repealing market protections.

5. States will lose billions of dollars.

6. The health of Americans living in red states will worsen.

Krugman also has a great piece on this…mess…for lack of a better word.

To understand the issue, you need to understand the structure of health reform. The Affordable Care Act tries to establish more-or-less universal coverage through a “three-legged stool” of policies, all of which are needed to make the system work. First, insurance companies are no longer allowed to discriminate against Americans based on their medical history, so that they can’t deny coverage or impose exorbitant premiums on people with pre-existing conditions. Second, everyone is required to buy insurance, to ensure that the healthy don’t wait until they get sick to join up. Finally, there are subsidies to lower-income Americans to make the insurance they’re required to buy affordable.

Now as Krugman points out, the states without exchanges could simply set something up that directly links to the Federal exchange and that could probably solve the issue.  But would they?  I can easily see Bobby Jindal refusing to do so merely for political purposes and his laughable presidential ambitions.  And I can easily see some other Repub governors just saying “too bad – so sad” and moving on.

Here’s Krugman’s last words on this:  (bolding and italics mine)

Once upon a time, this lawsuit would have been literally laughed out of court. Instead, however, it has actually been upheld in some lower courts, on straight party-line votes — and the willingness of the Supremes to hear it is a bad omen.

So let’s be clear about what’s happening here. Judges who support this cruel absurdity aren’t stupid; they know what they’re doing. What they are, instead, is corrupt, willing to pervert the law to serve political masters. And what we’ll find out in the months ahead is how deep the corruption goes.

Here’s a clip from John Oliver’s Puppy Justice skits.

Finally I’m going to put in a tweet from The Rude Pundit about this issue and I soooo hope he’s right.

This is an open thread and I will probably not be around until waaay later in the day.  I am already regretting the number of bourbons and soda I consumed.  😦

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22 Responses to "So what are the Supremes up to now?"

I miss chat not being here. She would manage to have at least one comment on a post I’ve done.

Chat update: She just gave me a call and said her son-in-law will be coming over to her house this Sunday to work on getting her computer going. So, she’ll be able do a post (and comment!) next week.

Fredster, first of all, Happy Birthday! I’m glad you had a fun night out! Thanks for the great post. I’m going to check out the Krugman piece. This is terrifying. I like the angry tweet!

annie: Meh…just another day and I do regret having those bourbons. I was feeling terrible all day. Bleh!

Oh I liked that tweet too. If they overturn Obamacare only in the states that didn’t set up an exchange, it’s going to set up an unfair situation. And to be honest, w/out the subsidy I don’t know if I will be able to afford health insurance or not.

Okay off to watch AHS!!

Oh my….I have a slice of carrot cake from last night that I saved and just had it a little bit ago. These slices are *huge*…3 layers and they give you a *big* slice of it. Yum!!

LOLOL!

My mom makes the best carrot cake! Will be glad when chat is back!

@annie: I LOVE carrot cake. And this one isn’t just a sheet type of cake. As I said it’s three layers with that wonderful cream cheese filling between those layers. If I’m alone and eating it, I’ll eat out all of the cake and leave the cream cheese filling and then eat all of that at one time. LOL!!

Will be glad when chat is back!

Amen!

Fredster, I wasn’t online yesterday, so a wholehearted, but belated happy birthday! And thanks for drinking bourbon, it helps keep the dry counties up here in KY afloat.

Belated Happy Birthday, Fredster!

@11 &12: Thank y’all. (sigh) You get to a certain point and you kind of wish that clock would go backwards just a little bit.

Prolix, Maker’s Mark is my drink of choice and if not that, then Jim Beam, both good Kentucky brands! 🙂

And speaking of bourbon…a shortage? Oh noes! And blame it on the hipsters. 👿

Oh boy….annie’s USC is playing Cal tonight on ESPN.

Yes, they are up 31-16 at the end of the 3rd.

Bummer about the bourbon. I need to get some!

I’m watching the game now, but Cal just got a t.d.

annie, they aren’t gonna blow this at the end of the game are they?

Thankfully, not this time. Trojans won, 38 – 30! They are now 7/3. They still have to play ND and UCLA Bruins.

@annie: Yep I was watching it. I think both of those games are winnable for you guys. I can’t believe it but the sports writers at nola.com think LSU will lose to Arky. I am praying that does not happen.

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