Supreme Court Could Destroy Obamacare With One Ruling

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Liberals have characterized the fight over Obamacare subsidies as “purely political,” insisting that Republicans are making much ado over a simple typo in the wording of the law. That’s not the way the Supreme Court sees it, however. They’ve agreed to take on a case that will decide for the country once and for all whether individuals in all 50 states are eligible for tax credits. If they decide against the Affordable Care Act’s supporters, millions of people will see their insurance premiums go through the roof.

That could signal the death knell for Obama’s unpopular health care law. Republicans have been looking for ways to overturn various portions of the law for years, succeeding only in the smallest of ways. A full repeal is thought to be off the table for the time being, but if the Supreme Court removes subsidies in 34 states, it could amount to the same. The young and the well will drop out of the program, and Obama will be forced to push for changes so drastic that the law might as well be scrapped altogether.

It’s unfortunate that things have been brought to this point. If Obama had been more inclusive and bipartisan in his attempt to bring about healthcare reform, we could have gotten a law that improved on the old ways without massively expanding the size and scope of the federal government. The last Democrat in office before Obama once said, “The era of big government is over.” With the passing of the ACA, Obama essentially said, “Nuh-uh!”

While the ACA has undoubtedly been beneficial to a number of Americans, there’s no reason we can’t find a way to help those individuals while getting rid of the worst parts of the law. In fact, that’s exactly what should have been done from the very beginning. Now we’re stuck with a law that has a number of significant problems, only one of which is illegal subsidies. The employer mandate, the individual mandate, the new taxes, and the average rise in healthcare costs are damaging the country even before all of it has been fully implemented. Obama has maintained that the economy is going great, but millions of voters decided otherwise when they went to the polls last Tuesday. His healthcare law could be one of the biggest things standing in the way of a full recovery.

But the Supreme Court isn’t hearing cases about any of that. They will rule on the subsides alone, and it is in that decision that the future of Obamacare may be decided. And because the law should be executed in the way that it was written, I don’t see any non-partisan reason that the Court should not side with its challengers. That’s not to say it’s in the bag – partisan rulings are what the Supreme Court is all about – but that’s the way it should be. Obama thought state-run exchanges would be the rule, rather than the exception. Congress wrote the law with that assumed popularity in mind. Just because it didn’t play out that way, the administration doesn’t get to go back and claim it meant something else.

Do the right thing, Supreme Court Justices. Repeal the subsidies. Then perhaps we can get down to the business of reforming this law so that it is no longer a drain on the American economy.