Thursday, June 28, 2012

Commentary–SCOTUS upholds the ACA


Some thoughts on the SCOTUS and their ruling on whether it is constitutional or not to force individuals to pay for health insurance under the commerce clause – they found that it WAS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL. However, they found – taking the Obama Administration’s third level of argument – that the government has the right to enact any tax it wishes for any purpose, including paying for healthcare for everyone - thus creating a device to collect the funds. The question I have is simply who is going to write that tax law - I'm pretty sure no Republicans will vote for it. And, should it be written - will the House and Senate be able to pass it? Doubtful. So, while we seem to have crossed the line here - there is still no way to fund this thing because I do not see any way to get that tax passed.

On another note - one of the funding mechanisms for the ACA was to remove $500 BILLION from Medicare and pass that on to state Medicaid programs. They seem to have stomped on that option as well. So, while the Big O seems to have "won" this round, he does so with an empty wallet and no way to fill the kitty other that getting a whole new set of taxes through Congress.

And finally - there is the 14th Amendment to consider which could not be brought to bear without the ACA act going into effect. There are approximately 1,200 companies and organizations that were exempted from the ACA and 4 or 5 states as well (Nebraska, Maine, Tennessee, Ohio and New Jersey) to get the votes necessary to pass the ACA. I suspect going forward that this issue will be tackled in short order.

So, while the ACA passed through the use of the 3rd level of argument by the Obama Administration – the government has the right to enact any tax they desire – getting that actually done, so that there is a path to fund the ACA has become much more difficult because for a tax to be collected a tax bill must first be crafted then passed by both the House and Senate. That’s going to be a difficult job.

It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out as things go forward. But, while the Democrats may be cheering, they still need to past that pesky tax law before the ACA can truly get going.

1 comment:

  1. Concur, but they DID limit the ability of the administration to play the commerce clause :-)