What if the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare?

Via BarackObama.com

After an unprecedented 6 hours of oral arguments, the Supreme Court wrapped up their consideration of Obamacare yesterday.  The Court’s five conservatives asked probing questions and seemed very skeptical of the individual mandate throughout the week.  After three days, it seems that President Obama’s signature achievement might be in jeopardy of a partisan ruling by the Roberts Court and if they do strike it down then what happens?

No one really knows.  First off, important provisions from Obamacare are already in effect.  Adults and children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage.  If the Supreme Court strikes down the entire law would insurance companies just go back to denying coverage to those individuals?

Young people can now stay on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26.  Shout out to my sister who is one of the 2.5 million young people who have benefited from this specific provision.  Do insurance companies just take that coverage away if the Court strikes down the law?

No matter what happens the media will likely be focused on the political impact.  What will this mean for the president’s poll numbers?  Will this help or hurt his chances for re-election?  I think that the real question should be what are we going to do if this law is struck down?  Go back to the way it was before?  That seems pretty sucktastic to me.

Obamacare isn’t just the signature achievement of President Obama’s administration, it’s the signature achievement of everyone who supported his election.  We all worked very hard for this law whether it be through writing, voting, or calling our congressional representatives during the health care debate and voting process.

For unelected judges to simply throw out an entire law like this would seriously undermine the credibility of the Supreme Court but perhaps that doesn’t matter to them.

 

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  • http://feministing.com/members/sarahbee/ Sarah

    I think that the real question should be what are we going to do if this law is struck down? Go back to the way it was before? That seems pretty sucktastic to me.

    Thank you for this post. I just had a very similar conversation last night. As one of the 2.5 million that you mentioned, and someone whose hours just got slashed in half because of budget cuts I don’t know how I would afford insurance if the Court strikes down the law and insurance companies decide to take away this coverage (and puh-lease, Justic Scalia, put me on record as one of the many perfectly “healthy” youth who needs and wants my health insurance!). While this certainly makes me care even more about who I vote for and poll numbers and election coverage the thing I’m most concerned with right now holding anyone and everyone responsible for these decisions accountable to do the right thing. Unfortunately, a lot of days lately I end up feeling pretty damn powerless.

  • http://feministing.com/members/35upward/ think tank

    “Obamacare isn’t just the signature achievement of President Obama’s administration, it’s the signature achievement of everyone who supported his election. ”

    This is ridiculous. First of all, many of the people that voted for Obama (me being one) did not vote for him because of this health care bill. Many voted for Obama because they thought he would bring people together, was thoughtful and would help our image abroad. Also, I thought it would be awesome to have a minority president for once.

    Then you say “For unelected judges to simply throw out an entire law like this would seriously undermine the credibility of the Supreme Court but perhaps that doesn’t matter to them.”

    The purpose of the Supreme Court is to interpret the law as it pertains to the Constitution. The Supreme Court’s credibility wouldn’t be undermined because they made a decision you didn’t agree with. The Constitution states clearly that the government cannot force you to participate in commerce and that’s what the individual mandate part of the bill does. Now we do need to take measures to prevent sky rocket health issuance costs, but the method to get there should be lawful. If the individual mandate is uphold what’s next? The government can force you buy anything it wants? What if the government forces you to buy a certain type of birth-control? Or forces you to buy a certain type of bed? A certain type of shoe? Where does it stop? It looks like parts of the health bill will be kept, however, the individual mandate is very concerning to me because I can see politicians using this as a gateway for anything they deem you should have. So I guess what I am saying is… I want my freedom thank you very much!

  • http://feministing.com/members/wednesday/ Wednesday

    This was a decent article, until the very end, where you specifically objected to “unelected judges throwing out [the] law”. I was frankly disturbed to read that phrase on a feminist blog, because the vast majority of the times I’ve seen that phrase used, “unelected judges throwing out the law” is meant as a slam against courts that rule in favor of LGBT rights and abortion access. (Also, Obamacare? We’re using the FOX news slur as a legitimate name for the Affordable Care Act? Really?)

    Look, there’s legitimate discussion to be had about the relative merits and pitfalls of an appointed judiciary vs an elected one, but a throwaway line like that at the end of an article that doesn’t seem to acknowledge that SCOTUS could well chose to strike down only the individual mandate does not exactly come off as trying to engage in that discussion. It comes off as, well, a slam against SCOTUS for ignoring the Will of the People…. and the Will of the People is not always on the side of good and right.

    Do I want SCOTUS to strike down the Affordable Care Act? Heck no. I’m not exactly a fan of the individual insurance mandate (I am concerned about it placing too much of a burden on people who can least afford a financial burden), but that doesn’t mean I think it’s necessarily unconstitutional. And I’m terrified that Scalia seems to have taken some FOX news fabrication as an actual part of the existing law — which only makes it even more disturbing to me to see typically right-wing framing on a feminist blog.

  • http://feministing.com/members/sunder/ Sunder

    I’m puzzled by “First off, important provisions from Obamacare are already in effect. Adults and children with pre-existing conditions cannot be denied coverage,” because I recently applied for health insurance and was turned down specifically due to preexisting conditions. I appealed on grounds the data were incorrect, and won, but according to the above it seems I should never have been turned down to begin with. Perhaps my situation was an exception due to the insurance provider being a non-profit organization? Can anybody unconfuse me on this?