July 26, 2017 Disclaimer: Please read.
Statements and opinions expressed in articles are those of the authors, not Truthdig. Truthdig takes no responsibility for such statements or opinions.
The Fight Over Obamacare Was a Giant Political Charade
Posted on Jul 2, 2015
Square, Story page, 2nd paragraph, mobile
The case at the heart of the ruling was King v. Burwell, a legal challenge that was based on a technicality. The Los Angeles Times explained that legal experts saw it “as a fatuous misreading of the law and a tortured effort to bend the process of statutory interpretation for ideological ends.” But the constant attacks on the ACA, including this last attempt, were less ideological than political, and in the end, the Supreme Court ruling was an affirmation of the supremacy of capitalism over human needs.
It is true that 6.4 million Americans currently receiving subsidies for insurance would have lost their coverage had the court not voted to preserve the ACA. The vote was 6-3, with conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joining swing voter Anthony Kennedy and the four liberal stalwarts (Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer). The fact that Roberts voted for it, and wrote the majority opinion, speaks volumes about what the ruling really means. According to him, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”
That single sentence clearly lays out the problem with what the right has sardonically named “Obamacare.” In voting to preserve the health care reform law, the court sought to “improve health insurance markets,” not access to health care.
Square, Site wide, Desktop
Square, Site wide, Mobile
Song concurred, saying, “This is less of a government-run program, but it’s a corporate bailout. It really is giving people money to buy a product from a for-profit industry that only makes money by denying care.”
The right-wing attacks on Obamacare were always about attempting to delegitimize the president rather than the actual substance of a pro-corporate health reform law. Indeed, Republicans long ago suggested similar reform proposals, such as the health exchanges, to those at the heart of the ACA. “Had anyone else proposed this,” said Song, “I think the Republicans would have said, ‘Wow, this is a great idea.’”
The GOP’s relentless attacks on the ACA left progressives in the awkward position of having spent the last five years defending a pro-corporate law that the right would have ordinarily salivated over. As Michael Moore wrote in The New York Times, “Obamacare is awful. That is the dirty little secret many liberals have avoided saying out loud for fear of aiding the president’s enemies.”
Banner, End of Story, Desktop
Banner, End of Story, Mobile
Watch a selection of Wibbitz videos based on Truthdig stories:
New and Improved Comments
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right Internal Skyscraper, Site wide