Sep 28, 2011

Place your bets on Obamacare

The SCOTUS is finally going to decide the fate of ACA or Obamacare, sometime before November 2012. Without the individual mandate, the law is going to open a can of worms. Striking it down entirely maybe a welcome victory for his opponents, but will make life miserable for some recipients of the positive elements, and will make the court appear to be legislating from the bench. It would also hasten the move to a single-payer system since insurance companies will no longer find covering people to be profitable enough.

Striking down just the individual mandate would pressure Congress to fund it, or repeal it. They cannot let the law stand and not fund it.

Having the ACA upheld would be a big win for Obama, also for the Democrats, but not for these elections. Unemployment is the only make-or-break issue for November 2012.

Flawed as it is, the ACA will still be the right thing for the country though, because stratospheric cost increases would be contained. This however means that additional changes to the law will likely become necessary.

The most likely outcome I see is for the SCOTUS to uphold it. My guess is that the final tally would be 6-3 with Clarence "pubic hair on a Coke can" Thomas, Alito and Roberts dissenting.

A slightly less likely outcome would be the SCOTUS voting 5-4 along partisan lines to declare the individual mandate unconstitutional and without a severance clause, possibly even gut the whole thing.

What do you think?

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