I had an interesting conversation about the health care ruling on Talk of the Nation yesterday on National Public Radio with Neil Conan. Here is the link: Talk of the Nation.
My co-guest was New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait. While we disagreed on the decision, he had some interesting points to make on its implications.
4 thoughts on “NPR Discussion of the Health Care Ruling”
Comment NOT by the Ralph Adamo who lives in new Orleans
Excellent discussion……. I have posted Chait’s articles many times on this blog. Still in Colorado, Blouise.
Neither commentator seems to notice that the Supreme Court decision is entirely consistent with every important ruling made by the majority. Both commentators seem to believe in the “conservative” vs. “liberal” argument, even though it’s a fiction designed to fool the American public into believing that the game isn’t rigged.
But the game IS rigged. Wherever there is BIG MONEY to be made— and the health care industry stands to enjoy a massive windfall from the Court’s approval of the ACA—powerful forces will interene to bring about the result desired by the money interests. Anyone who believes that Roberts made this decision without getting the nod to do so, is extremely naive.
Any genuine reading of the Court’s opinion clearly establishes that the writers of majority opinion did not really believe in what they were writing. Rather, the opinion reeks of intellectual dishonesty. In the ACA case, Roberts and his clerks started with a very broad law regarding the authority of Congress to tax, and perverted it by asserting that it applies to everything, rather than in the context originally intended. To do that, Roberts and his clerks perverted what the very word “tax” (as noun) means. Even Congress, with its penchant for every conceivable variety of tax, has NEVER defined tax in the way that Roberts and his clerks did. That is because even Congress, through the centuries, has understood the meaning of the word “tax,” and that it could not possibly be a levy for NOT purchasing some good or service.
And, as I suggested, the Supreme Court does this sort of thing ALL of the time. For example, in the case of Garcetti v. Ceballos, Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, and perverted the 1st Amendment. The issue in that case had to do with what free speech protection a government employee should have.
What was Kennedy’s legal destination in Garcetti? He wanted to attack free speech and promote waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the U.S. Government (which, not surprisingly was ALSO an objective of the ACA decision, as Roberts’ decision in ACA helps to promote waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in the health care industry).
But how were Kennedy and his clerks going to find a way to say that Ceballos, as a government employee, had no free speech rights, when everything went against such a decision? The facts favored Ceballos, the law favored Ceballos, and all but one of the circuit courts had ruled on similar cases that would have favored Ceballos. No problem! The majority team just INVENTED a pretext, knowing full well that the conclusion they reached was fraudulent.
The conclusion for Ceballos? Kennedy wrote that although government employees generally have free speech, they don’t have free speech when they are speaking about matters that are part of their job duties. In other words, the NEW law is that free speech depends upon your OCCUPATION. Thus, if you’re a government inspector, and during one of your inspections you uncover, say, a $7 billion government fraud scheme, or a company violating environmental laws by poisoning public water supplies, and your government boss tells you that you are not to put it in any report or to mention it to anyone, your boss can fire you or put you in Sibera if you do, and you have NO free speech protection. However, if a government janitor happens to discover those same things, the janitor is protect under the 1st Amendment because the janitor’s job duties don’t include identifying waste, fraud, abuse, violations of law, etc. Is a janitor likely to find major waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement? Through this pervsion of the law, the VERY people MOST likely to protect the public are SILENCED.
Thus a unmistakeable PATTERN exists with this Supreme Court. If a decision comes before this Court that gives the Court the opportunity to ATTACK the rights of Americans, this Court will act on it, and, in the process, will pervert the law, distort the meaning of words, and engage in endless intellectual dishonesty.
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