This is not good. And it should be a warning to Democratic politicians coalescing (at least as of this moment) around Joseph Robinette Biden. The constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act will be decided- butpossibly not until June 2021 because
The Supreme Court said Monday that it will take up a legal challenge to Obamacare, agreeing to hear the case in its new term that begins in October. That means the program will continue for at least another year.
It also means the justices won't be handing down a ruling on the contentious issue of health care in June, just as the presidential campaign heats up. That may be good news for Republicans, who would prefer to avoid the issue in an election year.
A federal appeals court ruled in December that the individual mandate in Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act, is unconstitutional. But it sent the case back to the trial judge for another look at whether the entire law is invalid or some parts can survive.
The entire premise and raison d'etre of the Biden campaign has been "Barack Obama." That's entirely understandable for the candidate who until this past Saturday never had won even one primary or caucus. However, he had served loyally for eight years as vice-president to Obama, who is extremely popular among Democrats, for whatever disturbing reason. Therefore, it was unsurprising, totally in character, and wise for the former vice-president to have bragged in the Las Vegas debate
I'm the guy the president turned to and said, go get the votes for Obamacare. And I notice what everybody's talking about is the plan that I first introduced. That is to go and add to Obamacare, provide a public option, a Medicare-like option. It cost -- and increase the subsidies. It cost a lot of money. It cost $750 billion over 10 years. But I paid for it by making sure that Mike and other people pay at the same tax rate their secretary pays at.
The Justices could have considered the case before the election inasmuch as
The House of Representatives, controlled by Democrats, and a group of blue states urged the Supreme Court in January to take the case and issue a decision promptly, in its current term, instead of leaving the fate of the law in limbo.
"That uncertainty threatens adverse consequences for our nation's health care system, including for patients, doctors, insurers, and state and local governments," they told the court.
But the justices rejected the invitation for expedited scheduling, agreeing instead to follow the normal rules.
Of course they did. If it had ruled against the ACA- as expected, with five conservative Republican judges- Democratic voters would be very mad in November. And they would be energized, with turnout jacked up.
Independents also would have taken note. Many of them are unconvinced Obamacare is a really good system but do not wish to lose their health care. As is commonly understood, Americans do not love whatever health care we may have at the time but are afraid to lose it, fearing they will be left with nothing in return.
For them, Joe Biden (and Mike Bloomberg) have an answer: Obamacare. If it is declared unconstitutional or rendered useless by the Court, their answer, up to this point, is.....?
That is nothing. It is remarkable- and should be disturbing- that the one issue upon which the two progressive candidates have been most vociferously attacked this campaign season has been health care. Medicare for All is too expensive, Americans don't want to lose their private insurance, or it's just not Barack Obama. Instead, the one thing uniting all Democrats vying for the party's nomination should have been that Obamacare+ doesn't cut it.
"I believe we have to protect and build on Obamacare," Biden can be seen stating in the video below from last July. "Starting over makes no sense to me at all." Unfortunately, we may be faced with no choice but to start over and Joe Biden, so proud of his role in enacting the ACA, is not the best choice to do it.