There. I've gone out on a limb. I put a "will survive" in the title of this blog post.
I've been thinking that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, is going to fare better with the Supreme Court than most pundits are predicting.
But until today I felt this was wishful thinking.
My wife and I hate Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon, who we send a large amount of money to each month for an individual policy that steadily costs more and covers less. We're looking forward to becoming eligible for Medicare in a few years, having experienced the "delights" (NOT!) of private health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect. Not by a long shot.
However, it moves the United States a lot closer to the universal coverage at a much lower cost with considerably better health outcomes that every other industrialized country in the Western world enjoys.
So what are the odds that the Affordable Care Act is either affirmed in total by the Supreme Court, or just gets a whack on the mandated coverage butt which hurts, yet doesn't leave the bill horribly mangled and left for dead?
Pretty damn good, according to a New York Times Supreme Court watcher, Linda Greenhouse. She reported on the Court for thirty years, 1978 to 2008, and teaches at Yale Law School.
Greenhouse analyzes decisions this week by the Supreme Court, noting who was on what side, and why. She also notes what I've been wondering about: why was Scalia unusually irritable (even for him) in his dissenting opinion on the Arizona immigration law? He was outvoted 5-3 when the Court ruled in favor of the Obama administration on key legal issues.
Considering all this, in "D-Day" Greenhouse writes:
All of which, of course, leads to the question: what about the health care decision?
Since this column will be coexisting in cyberspace with the court’s Affordable Care Act ruling, due on Thursday morning, it’s undoubtedly foolhardy to repeat my prediction that the court will uphold the law. Well there, I just did.
Plus, Nate Silver, one of my favorite data-minded political commentators, finds overconfidence in the general consensus that the Affordable Care Act is dead on arrival at the Supreme Court.
In short, the conventional wisdom may have gotten ahead of itself. The more tangible factors, in my view, roughly balance one another out rather than favoring one or another side by a 3-to-1 margin.
Most of the rest is grasping at straws; the Supreme Court just isn’t so easy to read. As Justice Ginsburg advised: “Those who know don’t talk. And those who talk don’t know.”
Better stop talking. Except to say: I won't be surprised if the Affordable Care Act gets better news than most people expect from tomorrow's Supreme Court decision.