Friday, June 26, 2015

Supreme Court Acts Humanely

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The United States Supreme Court has, for the second time in three years, stepped in and saved the Affordable Care Act from destruction by its political opponents.  Yesterday's 6-3 vote prevented what would have been a sudden loss of insurance for millions of struggling Americans.

The Court has upheld the constitutionality of the law not once, but twice, and Congress, though attempting to repeal the law more than fifty times, has been unable to do so.  Somewhere, somehow, somebody ought to be getting the message that this is a good law, one which is meant to survive.

But there is a strong conservative element in our country which opposes what many term the "nanny state."  Those folks, all white and powerful, made their money the old fashioned way, by working for it, and by God anybody else should be able to do the same in this great land of opportunity.    Of course, many of the entrenched wealthy who spout that drivel inherited far more money than they ever earned, and some, like the Bush family for instance, are living off of money and entitlement that goes back multiple generations.

In America just a handful of people control most of the wealth, so while it may be easy to point the finger and lecture others on the work ethic, most of the available jobs pay minimum wage or less and have no health insurance component.  A great many people in our country work multiple jobs and are still unable to make ends meet - much less be able to afford luxuries like health insurance.   So if the super-rich won't share their wealth through paying livable wages and behaving in a socially responsible manner, government is morally obligated to fill the gap.

Those squawking the loudest about the abuses of the nanny state are the ones ultimately responsible for its necessity.  It would be nice if we lived in a land where everyone was born with some measure of equal opportunity, but race and the unequal distribution of wealth seem to have put that noble concept on hold.

Having health insurance is a basic human right.  Many thanks to the six justices of the U.S. Supreme Court who adhered to that principal and voted their humanity.

1 comment:

Xobekim said...

Imagine, if you will, a horse wearing blinders. The blinders are there to assure the horse sees only what is before him, obscuring everything else from context. Now imagine the horse is Associate Justice Scalia. Scalia’s futile life’s work has been to place blinders on jurisprudence so that the Court only considers the words actually printed in the law. If those words don’t make sense, or otherwise demolish the statute, that doesn’t matter to Nino Scalia.

There is a long held axiom in statutory construction that the Court is to do all it can to make reasonable interpretations of the law construing it in a manner to uphold the statute, not destroy it.

Clearly the mutton headed buffoons that brought the case were nit picking. They found a phrase, an oversight in a 900+ page document, which would have done severe violence to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Here was Justice Roberts phrasing the pivotal issue: “If we give the phrase ‘the State that established the Exchange’ its most natural meaning, there would be no ‘qualified individuals’ on Federal Exchanges. But the Act clearly contemplates that there will be qualified individuals on every Exchange.”

Perhaps the best part of the decision is when Chief Justice Roberts in his footnote 3 cited Associate Justice Scalia, who wrote the dissent. This is the footnote:“3 The dissent notes that several other provisions in the Act use the phrase 'established by the State,' and argues that our holding applies to each of those provisions. Post, at 5–6. But 'the presumption of consistent usage readily yields to context,' and a statutory term may mean different things in different places. Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, 573 U. S. ___, ___ (2014) (slip op., at 15) (internal quotation marks omitted). That is particularly true when, as here, “the Act is far from a chef d’oeuvre of legislative draftsmanship.” Ibid. Because the other provisions cited by the dissent are not at issue here, we do not address them.” (in the opinion the term chef d’oeuvre is italicized, it refers to a masterpiece in art or literature, a level to which statutes seldom rise.)

At the end of the day health care was saved by Roberts spanking Scalia with Scalia’s own words.