In case some of you haven’t heard, the Supreme Court is currently hearing possibly the most asinine challenge to the Affordable Care Act yet. The case of King v. Burwell essentially breaks down to whether or not the subsidies offered to Americans to help afford health care are legal. Basically, if the Supreme Court rules against the ACA in this case it would strip these subsidies from millions of Americans, instantly causing their health care premiums to skyrocket.
I think it goes without saying that if Republicans get their way on this ruling, the consequences would be catastrophic. Imagine for a moment, a mother or father currently paying $50 per month for health care for their family, seeing their rates jump to $300 per month. Or the entire law itself could eventually have to be repealed (which is the real goal behind all of this) and millions of Americans would instantly lose their coverage altogether.
While Republicans might think that’s what they want, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for because you might just get it. Just because Republicans have managed to fool millions of conservatives into believing that they’re not benefitting from this law, once those individuals lose those benefits (or are forced to pay much more for them), they’ll quickly see firsthand that they were being lied to by their own party.
Well, during oral arguments for this case, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia absolutely embarrassed himself when he suggested that even if the court’s ruling goes against the ACA, Congress would quickly come in to fix the catastrophic issues that would certainly arise almost immediately after that ruling.
“What about Congress?,” Scalia asked. “You really think Congress is just going to sit there while all of these disastrous consequences ensue? I mean, how often have we come out with a decision such as the, you know, the bankruptcy court decision? Congress adjusts, enacts a statute that takes care of the problem. It happens all the time. Why is that not going to happen here?”
“Well, this Congress?,” Solicitor General Don Verrilli quipped.
The room erupted into laughter. Except, Scalia apparently wasn’t joking.
“I don’t care what Congress you’re talking about,” Scalia responded. “If the consequences are as disastrous as you say, so many million people without insurance and whatnot, yes, I think this Congress would act.”
Either Scalia is delusional, or he’s simply putting on the facade of impartiality as to appear to be a legitimate non-partisan justice. You have to either be gullible to the point of borderline insanity, or simply lying, to sit there and claim that if millions of Americans lose their health insurance (or their costs skyrocket) as a result of this ruling, this Congress would act quickly to fix that problem.
This Congress would repeal “Obamacare” the first moment it was given the chance, even if that meant tens of millions of Americans instantly losing their health insurance. To this Congress, the system we had before, where nearly 50 million Americans didn’t have health coverage, was perfectly acceptable. For years, Republicans in this Congress have been doing just about everything within their power to sabotage this law at every turn.
So, for Scalia to claim that this Congress would fix the wording of the Affordable Care Act if this ruling ultimately brings absolute catastrophe for millions of Americans is a joke, and that’s why almost everyone in that room laughed when he suggested such a ridiculous notion.