The U.S. Supreme Court had an opportunity today to reinforce that America is a nation governed by laws, not by powerful men and women. Sadly, it chose to abdicate that principle in favor of legal sophistry.
In the court’s other major ruling on the ACA, NFIB v. Sebelius, the court stated clearly it does not have the expertise to make judgments regarding public policy – but the King v. Burwell ruling relies wholly on judgments regarding public policy to justify its conclusion that the plain language of Obamacare cannot mean what plaintiffs argued it meant.
Such clear contradictions in reasoning undermine the credibility of the court for the average, commonsense people it relies upon for legitimacy.
Not surprisingly, supporters of Medicaid expansion are spinning the court’s ruling into justification for expanding Medicaid under the rules of Obamacare. This, of course, is nonsense. The court’s ruling simply maintained the status quo, and therefore all of the problems of Medicaid expansion that existed prior to the ruling – helping the uninsured on the backs of Utah’s most vulnerable, relying on unsustainable funding from a bankrupt federal government – still exist today. Medicaid expansion under Obamacare continues to be bad policy for the state of Utah and its residents, and there are better ways to help Utah’s uninsured.
Obamacare remains a poorly written law in drastic need of reform. It has failed to stop dramatic increases in health insurance premiums; it has failed to lower out-of-pocket health care costs for most enrollees; it has failed by putting the interests of Big Business above those of individuals and families; it is an unsustainable policy solution; and it is an unworkable policy for states across the country. Moving forward, we hope that current and future presidential administrations and elected officials from Utah will put real solutions for real people above ideological agendas and political gain in the domain of health care policy. Americans and Utahns deserve no less.