Obamacare Upheld; What Should Romney, Republicans Do?
Today the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Obamacare by a 5-4 margin. Here is the Full Text of the Supreme Court Ruling.
Romney has promised to overturn the ruling, saying "ObamaCare was bad policy yesterday, it's bad policy today."
That statement makes Romney a hypocrite as the Financial Times notes.
"Obamacare places the government between you and your doctor," said Mr Romney, who championed a similar plan while governor of Massachusetts but says he opposes its expansion at a federal level.
Why wasn't it bad policy in Massachusetts?
Obama Chimes In
Here are some quotes from a press conference of President Obama as reported by The Guardian.
- "Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country"
- "It should be pretty clear by now that I didn't do this because it would be good politics."
- "Today I am as confidence as ever, that when we look back five years from now, or 10 years from now, or 20 years from now, we will be better off because we had the courage to pass this law and keep moving forward."
Clearly, Obamacare was not good politics.
The president took no questions to which the Guardian commented "What was interesting is that Obama - for the first time in a while - offered an unapologetic defense of the healthcare reforms. That's going to make for a different approach in the presidential campaign."
Small Likelihood of Overturning Obamacare
Even if Romney were to win, he would be extremely challenged to overturn Obamacare outright.
Senate filibuster rules are such that Democrats will easily be able to block it. Besides, Democrats have a majority in the Senate and do not even need a Filibuster move to block changes.
Given the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare is a tax, there would be some scope for Republicans to trash it in the once a year Reconciliation Process that limits Congressional debate. After all, that is how the bill passed in the first place.
Still, to use reconciliation, Republicans will have to elect Romney, hold the House and take control of the Senate. Is that likely?
Justice Robert's Opinion
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation's elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
We can debate all day whether or not the Supreme Court made the correct ruling. However, such debate is useless. It will not change a thing.
Like it or not, the Supreme Court ruled that we are stuck with Obamacare unless Congress changes it.
Pragmatically speaking, it would be more beneficial to have discussions on how to improve healthcare rather than howling at the moon against it.
However, I suspect Romney will keep howling at the moon even though he was in favor of essentially the same moon when he was governor of Massachusetts.