When the Supreme Court last week swatted down a legal challenge that could have crippled a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's health-care law, it merely kicked the debate back from the legal to the political arena. Conservatives are still determined to fight Obamacare. But now, they're fighting over how to fight it.
While most of the reaction to the Supreme Court’s decision in King v. Burwell has centered on the political victory for the president and the various winners and losers from the decision itself, a more far-reaching consequence has received much less notice. The legal dispute hinged around whether a law means what it says, or means what someone reading later – say, an admistration official – thinks it must have really meant, or prefers it would have meant. More generally, however, the issue raised is whether laws passed by Congress have to be administered as written, or whether a President can change the law it will in whatever what he or she thinks will be better.
If you thought the legal fight over the health care overhaul was finally over, think again. At least four issues related to the Affordable Care Act still are being sorted out in the courts, although none seems to pose the same threat to the law as the challenge to nationwide subsidies that the court rejected on Thursday, or the constitutional case that the justices decided in favor of the law in 2012.
State regulators typically use their power to review health insurance premiums to limit rate hikes. But in Oregon, officials are ordering insurers to raise premiums — in many cases by double digits.
The regulators pointed out that insurers spent over $100 million more than they took in last year. Any more money-losing years like that, and some carriers would surely go bankrupt.
The New York Times
The Supreme Court issued an order on Monday that allows certain nonprofit religious groups to avoid compliance with federal rules concerning insurance coverage of contraceptives for women.
The order bars the Obama administration from enforcing the rules against the religious groups and church officials until the court decides whether to hear an appeal they filed this year.
The GOP’s best chance of knocking down the Affordable Care Act disappeared Thursday when the Supreme Court sided with the administration in King v. Burwell. With the case decided, the Senate could start holding the anti-Obamacare votes leadership said they wanted to attempt when they took the chamber this year.
But with a crowded floor schedule, the prospect of tough amendment votes under regular order and disagreement over what budget reconciliation should be used for, it’s unclear how Republicans will go about taking those votes.
Real Clear Politics
It’s an established fact of social science, replicated in surveys dating to the Nixon administration, that conservatives are happier than liberals. It stands to reason, then, that liberals whine more than their counterparts on the right. The litany of liberal complaints includes Republicans, Fox News, global warming “deniers,” conservatives’ silly fixation with religious freedom, and the United States Supreme Court.
The Orange County Register
Emergency room usage has spiked sharply in recent years. That’s the depressing finding from a new survey by the American College of Emergency Physicians – and it’s putting those who need emergency care at grave risk. The survey concluded that three in four emergency room doctors have experienced a surge of new patients since the Affordable Care Act became law.
That isn’t a coincidence.
The Des Moines Register
Obamacare is dead. Long live Robertscare.
With Thursday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, cemented the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land. Oh, there will still be plenty of legal challenges to it, and there will be an attempt to replace it should a Republican occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in 2017; but for all intents and purposes, the individual and employer mandates, and now the subsidized federal health insurance exchange, are now in concrete.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court sided with the Obama administration in the King v. Burwell Obamacare case. In a statement after the decision, President Obama declared that his signature health law is “here to stay.” But in his remarks, the President knowingly ignored the key concept in the case: that if the challengers had won, not one word of the law called the “Affordable Care Act” would have been changed. On the other hand, if voters elect a Republican President and a Republican Congress in 2016, quite a bit will change.