For many opponents of Obamacare, it is an article of faith that the Supreme Court will overturn part or all of the Affordable Care Act. They may be in for a rude awakening come June when the Supremes issue their ruling, writes Topher Spiro on theatlantic.com. He blames CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, instant punditry and twitter journalism for the misperception.

April 4, 2012

2 Min Read
Don't Prejudge Supremes on Obamacare Ruling

For many opponents of Obamacare, it is an article of faith that the Supreme Court will overturn part or all of the Affordable Care Act. They may be in for a rude awakening come June when the Supremes issue their ruling, writes Topher Spiro on theatlantic.com. He blames CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, instant punditry and twitter journalism for the misperception.

"This was a train wreck for the Obama administration," Spiro quotes Toobin as saying. "This law looks like it's going to be struck down." And with that hyperbolic instant reaction, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin prejudiced media coverage, writes Spiro. A dispassionate reading of the transcript suggests a different outcome, he adds.

While the justices of the Supreme Court probed for a limiting principle and played devil's advocate, as is their wont, Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy ultimately understood why healthcare is unique and not like, oh, broccoli. Spiro points to several key exchanges that clarified their thinking:

  • Kennedy acknowledged that the uninsured affect costs in a way that doesn't happen in other markets.

  • Kennedy also stipulated that "the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries."

  • Roberts noted that "everybody is in this market, so that makes it very different than the market for cars or the other hypotheticals that you came up with, and all [the government is] regulating is how you pay for it."

There's much more on theatlantic.com, which I encourage you to read. Spiro makes a good case—how compelling it is will depend a great deal on which side of the Obamacare barricades you are on.

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