Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The ACA Ruling Will Impact People More Than Politicians

No matter which way the Supreme Court rules this week in regards to the Affordable Care Act, it's important to remember the stakes for real people, whose lives will be vastly better with this law and worse without it. Sometimes that gets lost in academic arguments over the Commerce Clause and "severability" and the purposefully obtuse analogies about whether the government could force you to buy broccoli.

So most of the insta-analysis will be whether the ruling helps or hurts Obama's or Romney's election chances. There will be legal analysis over what this ruling means for the Supreme Court's respect of past precedents and whether that's predictive of how future cases will be decided. And that's all fine. People are employed to do that kind of analysis. But again, let's remember that the decision affects real people with real problems.

So, until tomorrow at 10am, remember this will be the plight of uninsured or under-insured people, who can't obtain or afford health insurance should the entire ACA law be struck down.

People getting treated, waiting at Free Health Clinic in Maynardville, TN in 2009 (Source: AP)

People waiting in line at Free Health Clinic in Wise County, VA in 2009 (Source: Reuters)

People waiting in line at a Free Health Clinic in Portland, OR in 2009 (Source: Courier-Journal)

The fate of these people will be in the hands of a majority of nine wealthy justices, enjoying taxpayer funded, government health insurance.

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