I’ve been M.I.A. for a while. Things got a bit busy, and I had to make adjustments in my time to ensure the important things got taken care of. Something, I kinda wish politicians would do.
We’re coming up on a few important Supreme Court decisions that will have ramifications for the near term and quite possibly long-term direction of this country. Decisions on the PPACA and same-sex marriage will produce cheering and jeering depending on which camp you belong in (if you have a camp). No matter what the outcome though, the reverberations will be felt by all.
With same-sex marriage, the issue isn’t just marriage as most try to paint it. It’s not even just a religious issue. It boils down to probate law and issues involved there as well. When a man and woman marry, their joint property gets settled by probate in the case one dies. If a same-sex couple spends an entire lifetime together, their property rights mean absolutely nothing if one partner dies without the legal acknowledgment of their union. Call it whatever you wish, but the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness doesn’t have a clause or asterisk that gives an exception to exclude people who happen to love someone of the same-sex. I don’t know what the outcome will be, but I’m leaning towards thinking that the right for same-sex couples will be affirmed by the court.
On to the PPACA, otherwise known as Obamacare (I really loathe that term).
At question is the subsidies for insurance purchases made in the exchanges operated by the federal government in the states that opted to not set them up. I kinda see both sides to this case. On one hand, the states didn’t actually set up or operate the exchanges, so the law as written would suggest the subsidies are illegal. From the opposite side, the federal government is operating the exchanges, but they are still state exchanges which could mean the subsidies are legit.
Part of me wants to see the subsidies struck down. Since the law was passed, Republicans have done anything and everything they can to stymie or upturn the law. If the subsidies are struck down now, it would be the result of active attacks by Republicans and conservatives, and it would be their responsibility to fix the system as they control both houses of Congress. At the same time, the only people who would be affected right off would be the residents in the Republican led states that filed or joined suit. Then, Republicans would have to go to their own constituents that voted them in and explain to them why they had to screw up their insurance coverage, and it would be a major screw up. There would need to be something done immediately to rectify the chaos, and there’s no onus for the Dems to work with Republicans to fix it. I see it as Wile E. Coyote catching the Road Runner and then not having a clue what to do next.
My realist side would prefer to see the subsidies upheld to put the fight to destroy this law to bed forever. Instead of trying to destroy it, I’d prefer the same effort be used at straightening it out so that it’s functional and practical. You would think that in one of the richest countries in the world, we would be able to provide basic preventative care for every citizen here. In my view, there should be no question about that. Beyond basic preventative care is a different topic and is up for debate.
Whatever the decisions made by the Supreme Court, there’s going to be winners and losers. I guess we’ll have to wait to see who they are.