Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Obama

President Barack Obama has won one of the major victories in the history of the Supreme Court.  By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Court upheld the Affordable Health Care Act, with Chief Justice John Roberts writing the majority opinion.

There was wide speculation that the high court would strike down the law, or at least the individual mandate.  What those people didn't know was that not only was the individual mandate the part that paid for the bill but that it was the key component that will transform the health care system in the United States from one of socialism to a more democratic system.  If the mandate were struck down, it would add a huge chuck the already high budget deficit, which had been balanced when President Clinton was in office but ballooned out of control during the George W. Bush years.  This was largely because for the first time in history, Bush began a war with Iraq without paying for it.  The conflict, in the Persian Gulf arena, caused an historic spike in oil prices, which in turn put American families so far in debt that it led to mass home foreclosures.  These events also led to one of the biggest free falls of the stock market in history.

The system before Obama's landmark legislation was one in which people without health insurance could go to the emergency room and get free healthcare, then have the rest of the country pay for it.  This, of course, is classic socialism, where all pay for the needs of the few.  Every president in modern times has tried to change the system but failed.  President Theodore Roosevelt first suggested it.  But President Obama was the one who finally got it to pass.

The Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance is valid as a tax, confirming what anyone who went to college already knew.  So it appears we have one party which understands the constitution and then we have the Tea Party who does not.  It was that group which hurled insults, racial slurs and swear words in support of their belief that the health care bill was unconstitutional.  They were wrong, of course, and their own Chief Justice John Roberts was the one who ruled in favor of Obama.

While the ruling will likely anger those tea partiers, it will also likely cause some to question their leaders who told them the law was unconstitutional, as well as challenge their own fundamental thinking.

In his majority opinion, Roberts wrote "In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. "Such legislation is within Congress's power to tax."

The decision allows the government to continue implementing the health care law, which doesn't take full effect until 2014.  The past practice of insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions is now no more and parents can continue to keep their children on family polices until the age of 26.  Both those laws would have been scrapped if the law would have been overturn.

Besides Chief Justice Roberts, Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagen voted to uphold the law.  

"The framers created a federal government of limited powers and assigned to this court the duty of enforcing those limits," Roberts wrote. "The court does so today."

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