Now the waiting begins…Oh, and the PR efforts continue in an effort to influence the final decision.
The Supreme Court had its hearings, all sides had their say, and the reality sets in.
But it’s not the reality for all Americans that the Affordable Care Act come July might be intact, altered or gone entirely.
No, the reality setting in is the one on the Justices themselves. The consequences of their decision are weighing very heavily on them. Yesterday’s flippant comment by Paul Clement, attorney for the plaintiff states, surely raised the Justices anxiety over their decision. “It won’t be a big deal”, said Clement, for Congress to simply re-pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA) minus the parts the Court might rule to be unconstitutional causing the whole law to be thrown out.
This polarized Congress is not going to easily fix anything.
If the ACA goes, there is no hope for ever having affordable health care for individuals or small businesses. Americans with pre-existing conditions will never be able to have individual coverage. Policyholders who get very ill will continue to have healthcare coverage cancelled or their premiums skyrocket. More small businesses will drop this employee benefit. Seniors will again start paying more when they hit the donut hole. Young adults will be thrown off their parents healthcare policies. No healthcare CO-OPs will be created to compete with private health insurance companies. They’ll be more and more uninsured Americans shifting healthcare costs to those who do have insurance until the system implodes completely.
Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia is absolutely correct. If the Court strikes down the individual mandate, “you go back to the law of the jungle in America.”
That is the reality weighing heavily on the Justices. They can let the work of Congress stand or return the country to the jungle ruled by the insurance industry. There are no other options.