Mar 28, 2012

Obamacare soon to be history

There was a time in the recent past where I believed in the impartiality of the judicial branch of the US government.

A brief time.

When the SCOTUS ruled that Freddie Phelps can, offensively, protest the funerals of dead soldiers, because he despises homosexuality.

I had lost that belief based on how the SCOTUS ruled for Bush in Bush v Gore, and for Citizens United.

I was increasingly confident that Obamacare would be upheld based on numerous former clerks of the current justices opining that it would be legit. Besides, the individual mandate was already in place when Mitt passed it in Massachusetts, and it was a Republican idea to begin with!

So I had surmised that there were two outcomes that were likelier than the others.

  1. The SCOTUS upholds it 6-3 with Scalia and Kennedy joining Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan.
  2. The SCOTUS striking the entire thing with Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor and Kagan dissenting.
I estimated the chances of 1. to be around 50%, and 2. to be around 49%.

The other options, including a narrower ruling which only struck down the individual mandate or select portions of the law were all in the remaining 1% .

Not anymore. Based on the hearings over the last three days, the odds look insurmountable for Obamacare.  2. is now a clear favorite at around 95% likely to happen.

The SCOTUS is no longer concerned with anything but ideology and the desire to deny Obama anything and everything trumps everything else. Historically a narrow ruling would be par for the course, with just the elements that are deemed unconstitutional, rightly or otherwise, stricken. Not so this time, the entire law looks ripe to be gutted.

As to what I think of it, I feel uncomfortable that the SCOTUS would be so ideological that we now have to wait for some of these folks to die, but happy that the Dems, and Obama in particular, will finally be sent a message that they have a price to pay for doing nothing.

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