Feel like shit, working 10 days in a row, have to be there in an hour, but wanted to take a few minutes to get this out.
In a victory for President Barack Obama, the Supreme Court decided to uphold his signature health care law’s individual insurance mandate in a 5-4 decision, upending speculation after hostile-seeming oral arguments in March that the justices would overturn the law. The mandate has been upheld as a tax, with Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush appointee, joining the liberal wing of the court.
The court’s four liberal justices agreed that the individual mandate should be upheld as part of Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce, but Roberts disagreed, and wrote that the mandate is actually a tax, despite the Obama administration’s reluctance to describe it that way during the bill’s passage. In its argument to the court, the government left open the possibility that the mandate is a tax, but did not rely much on that argument. Under the law, people who do not have health insurance will have to pay 1 percent of their income to the IRS starting in 2014. (There are exceptions for some religious beliefs and financial hardship.)
I’ll be honest. I’m really not sure how I feel about this decision. Yes, it is a huge victory for Team Obama, but at the same time, part of me was hoping it would be struck down, forcing everyone to go back to the health reform drawing board. I still think we need a single-payer system. Or in the scare quotes of the far-right, “socialized medicine!” Other than that, I am largely unqualified to actually comment on the health care law. Now that it passed the Supreme Court, I will do my research and a post on what it means to those of us “in the between*.”
* In The Between: Lower income people, especially singles without children, who make too much to qualify for government aid, but too little to do anything but live paycheck to paycheck. For example, when unemployed, I qualify for Medical Assistance. The second I get a job, any job, I lose all benefits.
My only other comment at the moment is this:
Anyone else surprised that Roberts was the swing vote?