Turns out the reports of the individual mandate's death have been greatly exaggerated:
Correction: The Supreme Court backs all parts of President Obama’s signature health care law, including the individual mandate that requires all to have health insurance.
Watch live coverage and analysis of the pivotal decision, its impact on you and on the presidential race now on CNN TV, CNN’s mobile apps and http://cnn.com/live
In a race to break the story first, CNN tripped all over its half-tied shoelaces. Looks like it's time to invest in some Velcro slip-ons. H/T to Redeye.
Meanwhile, Jim DeMint is echoing a sentiment supposedly offered by Old Hickory himself:
“This government takeover of health care remains as destructive, unsustainable, and unconstitutional as it was the day it was passed, unread, by a since-fired congressional majority. Now as then, our first step toward real health care reform and economic renewal remains Obamacare’s full repeal, down to the last letter and punctuation mark.
“I urge every governor to stop implementing the health care exchanges that would help implement the harmful effects of this misguided law. Americans have loudly rejected this federal takeover of health care, and governors should join with the people and reject its implementation.”
It looks like states already have a roundabout way for opting out of ACA:
The bottom line is that: (1) Congress acted constitutionally in offering states funds to expand coverage to millions of new individuals; (2) So states can agree to expand coverage in exchange for those new funds; (3) If the state accepts the expansion funds, it must obey by the new rules and expand coverage; (4) but a state can refuse to participate in the expansion without losing all of its Medicaid funds; instead the state will have the option of continue the its current, unexpanded plan as is.
State governors can opt out of Medicare expansion if it offends the sensibilities of their constituents, most of whom are a part of the one in four Americans who are currently without health insurance of any kind.
The next move for conservatives is to convince Americans that ACA, otherwise known as the semi-derogatory "Obamacare," is actually a tax on hardworking middle-class folk, 26,000 whom die annually without having any coverage. This way, conservatives can sell themselves the story of how Justice Roberts pulled off a clever end-run on the Obama administration:
The Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act. Chief Justice John Roberts has upheld the individual mandate. But not under the commerce clause. Instead, Roberts has said that the law can proceed under Congress’s ability to tax.
It’s a tax. That thing that Democrats were trying so hard not to do so Republicans couldn’t call Obama a “tax and spend” Democrat is now called a tax by the Supreme Court. And now it’s a victory. Until the GOP starts saying that Obama “raised your taxes.”
Americans really have little concept of how they pay taxes in the first place, why they should pay and how the tax brackets actually work. There's also the mostly-unspoken fear of how minorities are gonna steal everyone's tax monies and spend them on rims, fried chicken, lotto tickets and whatever else those people spend their money on. It's how the GOP can convince conservatives to vote against their interests (in the form of tax cuts for billionaires and corporations) and how these folks just can't connect the dots between their ridiculously low taxes and the growing number of potholes and dead street lamps on their block.
These same people want to keep anything approaching universal health from coming to fruition, yet continue paying private healthcare insurance providers thousands of dollars per year on coverage that might get dropped from under them if the provider thinks it'll put even a small scratch in their bottom lines. I don't like having the Emergency Room as my only option because it costs a significant part of my wages to be insured. Or because my insurer unceremoniously drops my coverage over a lifesaving procedure. Or because of "preexisting conditions" no one will touch with a ten-foot pole.
For anyone considering the ACA a sop to the healthcare industry (in the same way state-mandated auto insurance is to that industry), it'll seem that way unless enough people hop aboard the "Medicare for All" bandwagon to make that concern moot or unless the Obama administration finds a way to lower healthcare insurance premiums, the overall cost of healthcare or both.