“Supreme Court” Upholds Health Care Law

As I mentioned on Countdown last night, my Supreme Court class (which reviews the leading cases of the term and deliberates as an alternative Supreme Court) ruled on the constitutional challenge over the individual mandate provision (we will be considering the other issues in a separate class). The class ruled 12 to 2 to reverse the 11th Circuit and uphold the health care law. The class also voted on the ethical question of Kagan’s recusal as well as their prediction of what that other Court would do. The associate justices were not sway by the stated concerns of the Chief Justice (here and here) over the future of federalism if the Act is constitutional.

The student justices found past cases dictated an affirmance but also that health care was such a large part of the economy that this is a proper use of interstate commerce jurisdiction. They rejected the distinction between activity and non-activity that is advanced in the briefs opposing the law.

On the prediction of what those nine other pretenders would do, the vote was 11 to 3 to uphold the law.

On the question of Kagan’s recusal, the class was split. However, the majority believed that she should have recused herself by a vote of 8-6.

I expect that the release of these results will make continued coverage of the other court unnecessary. Notably, the class has maintained a very high accuracy rate on predictions. This prediction also mirrors the prediction of former Supreme Court clerks.

59 thoughts on ““Supreme Court” Upholds Health Care Law”

  1. It can be as many as eight years (18 – 26 ). The cut-off age varies by plan.

  2. But either way, the solution to the whole issue is still single payer. Medicare for all. -Frankly

    Alas, Frankly, that fact will now remain hidden until greed for ever more profit has been satisfied and I wouldn’t wait with sandwiches by the phone for that to happen any too soon.

    In the meantime be happy that kids can remain insured by their parents for one or two additional years and that insurance companies are now going to hire a few more lawyers and lobbyists for the usual corrupting of politicians (I know, we’ve never seen that before) to create loop-holes and exemptions to avoid the unenforceable prior-condition rules.

  3. If only NASA had any “astronomical missions”

    But either way, the solution to the whole issue is still single payer. Medicare for all.

  4. Once the mandate goes into effect, Nasa is looking to piggy back future astronomical missions on the backs of insurance rate increases.

  5. The question of making people pay for services (such as Medicare) has already been decided. The question of forcing people to pay profit seeking private enterprise “supposedly” for health related insurance (but with almost no funded controls or regulation)has also already been decided but is now being reenacted with talking points for our viewing pleasure and so we can feel a part of it all.

  6. As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear arguments on the question next week, it’s also true that many popular changes are in place to the health system because of the Affordable Care Act:

    * Young adults are able to stay on their parents’ insurance to age 25, and can’t be thrown out of care should they have a serious and expensive chronic illness and hit their cap. An estimated 2.5 million young adults have benefitted so far.

    * Medicare beneficiaries whose drug expenses reach nearly $3,000 fall into what’s called the doughnut hole, when they lose drug coverage until they hit a cap of about $6,500 out-of-pocket. The new health law has discounted the price of drugs purcased during that period, and eventually does away with the hole. According to the administration and Americans United for Change, 5.1 million Medicare beneficiaries would have paid an average of $635 more for their prescription drugs without the ACA doughnut hole benefit.

    * Medicare beneficiaries now have access to free preventive services including annual wellness exams and mammograms.

    * Insurance companies cannot deny coverage to children based on pre-existing conditions.

    * Once the mandate goes into effect and insurance in packages are to be sold in marketplaces called health insurance exchanges in 2014, an estimated 30-million people, out of an estimated 50 million now uninsured nationwide, will gain coverage. Most buyers will qualify for a premium subsidy.

  7. I dont understand this:
    “If the mandate is struck down, 2.5 million people will lose their insurance.”

    I thought that the question was whether the government could require money from people who do not buy a minimum of insurance. I thought that the issue to be decided was whether they could or could not so compel that payment.

  8. Let’s be adults…

    Forcing people to buy junk-insurance from ruthless profit crazy private enterprise with no effective price controls whatsoever, eliminating Habeas Corpus, killing US citizens by pushing a button six thousand miles away with no judicial review, spying on citizens, adding in compromises to the health care bill that reduce woman’s right to choose, being an adult and trying desperately to cut and gut social security and raise the age of Medicare; these are all absolutely critical 11 dimensional moves we must worship if Obama is going to save the world.

    As is the case in Massachusetts, this means huge transfers of wealth to the owners at the expense and subsidization of the taxpayers (Guido has to be paid somehow when he goes on his little “collection” trips) so the likelihood of the current crop of Supreme Court justices striking down such a gigantic corporate give away has approximately the same probability as Texas finally proving that corporations are indeed citizens by hanging one of them. It ain’t gonna happen.

    When people finally grow up, and become responsible adults, so they get to sit at the negotiating table and repeat the talking points they are told to repeat, it clicks that the individual mandate is safe and sound.

  9. Oh mespo….. I am pretty sure Thomas is predictable…… Whatever seems reasonable he is against…… Now, the other 8….a different story….

  10. “or like worrying that all the ice caps aren’t indeed melting.”


  11. Bing worried that this court will find the individual mandate unconstitutional is like worrying that those poor ceo’s of banks like BOA might be put in jail, or like worrying that all the ice caps aren’t indeed melting. It will, they won’t and I’d fill your glass quickly if you want any ice.

  12. swathmore mom:

    Predicting the vote of SCOTUS justices is like predicting jury verdicts. You don’t know what happens behind closed doors.

  13. The students might be engaging in wishful thinking. If the mandate is struck down, 2.5 million people will lose their insurance. Many of these are students or otherwise unemployed young people that are able to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26.

  14. Audio update from Tom

    I stepped out of the oral argument to provide this audio report (at bottom of page).

    For those who prefer reading, here is a summary of the report:

    Based on the questions posed to Paul Clement, the lead attorney for the state challengers to the individual mandate, it appears that the mandate is in trouble. It is not clear whether it will be struck down, but the questions that the conservative Justices posed to Clement were not nearly as pressing as the ones they asked to Solicitor General Verrilli. On top of that, Clement delivered a superb presentation in response to the more liberal Justices’ questions. Perhaps the most interesting point to emerge so far is that Justice Kennedy’s questions suggest that he believes that the mandate has profound implications for individual liberty: he asked multiple times whether the mandate fundamentally changes the relationship between the government and individuals, so that it must surpass a special burden. At this point, the best hope for a fifth or sixth vote may be from the Chief Justice or Justice Alito, who asked hard questions to the government, but did not appear to be dismissive of the statute’s constitutionality.
    Tom’s audio update [ 1:42 ] SCOTUS blog

  15. Vengance is Sweet:

    “… they only listen to HARVard graduates,…”


    Sounds like a little “jurisprudential envy” going on. They did listen to a Dickinson College graduate once and look what is got us … Dredd Scott.

  16. You know the classroom has some good applicability….. Maybe these bozos could learn something…..

  17. This can be an education for the SCOTUS but they only listen to HARVard graduates, never mind that you don’t even have to be skilled in the law, they prove this every time they meet.

  18. By the way, what kind of law classroom is this? Clean-cut kids at seminar tables, laptops, the professor within arms reach, no standing and delivering. Too familiar!

    Now here’s a law classroom::D

  19. I am disappointed that you did not pose the question as to whether Thomas should have recused himself. I would also like to see what their opinion is about his committing perjury for a number of years on his disclosure forms.

Comments are closed.