Once you get past all the legal jargon, it’s a really simple question: Does the Constitution of the United States give Congress the power to compel every citizen to either purchase health insurance or pay a penalty?
Our Supreme Court justices listened to arguments for three days in late March and are expected to hand down a decision in June. The smart money is on a 5 to 4 decision … either way. If the Affordable Care Act is struck down, the federalists will shout “Freedom!” in their best Mel Gibson/William Wallace accents. If “ObamaCare” survives intact, the liberals will proclaim “Four More Years!” in their best Ted Kennedy.
At this point in the proceedings, it looks as if Justice Anthony Kennedy will be the swing vote. His comments and questions during the three days of hearings have supporters of the law on an emotional roller coaster. And just in case he begins to lean too far in opposition, the Obama administration has already fired a shot across his bow. Last week, the President (a constitutional law scholar in case you’ve forgotten) raised another simple question for us simple-minded citizens to ponder … Does the Supreme Court even have the authority to overturn legislation passed by Congress?
Are you even remotely interested in how our republic functions (or dysfunctions)? If so, the drama doesn’t get any better than this. Imagine the fallout if the Supreme Court declares the law unconstitutional. Our healthcare system will still be in need of reform. It’ll still be an election year. And the voting public will quickly begin asking “So now what?”
Let the finger pointing begin!