At 9:00 this morning the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. We'll have live coverage of the decision from ABC News here on WOSH. Here are some bold predictions...........
--The Supreme Court will overturn only the "individual mandate" provision in the act. As I've mentioned before, nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to require all citizens to purchase a product. Everything else in the new law appears to be covered by the Commerce Clause and will be found constitutional.
--Both sides will declare "victory". Republicans will say Americans have been saved from an "over-reaching federal government"--and that they will now work to repeal the rest of the law. Democrats will say "99% of the law" was upheld--and that they will now work to find some other way to require the purchase of health insurance.
--Everyone will protest. The Tea Party folks will believe the ruling keeps the US on the path to financial ruin. The liberals will claim we will soon be stepping over the piles of dead bodies of those who died because they were "denied" health care.
--There will be calls to do away with the Supreme Court. My Twitter time line is already peppered with tweets about how "It's unfair that five people can undo the will the millions" and "how can unelected judges overrule our elected representatives?" To those who feel that way, let me point you to the Constitution--which clearly spells out the seperation of powers in our representative democracy. If you don't like the rules that allowed us to become the greatest nation on earth, start work on your own Constitution --and building your own army, because those of us who appreciate the current system will do anything to defend it.
--Wall Street will see a positive spike. The financial types know the real impact of the Affordable Care Act on the economy. Reassurance that at least some of the requirements are being dropped will be seen as a major positive for all employers in the US.
--Anyone who is sick or injured can go to a doctor or a hospital to receive medical care. As before the ACA, hospitals and doctors will not be turning away patients facing life-threatening conditions. You want your tramp stamp tattoo removed for free--well, you will probably be out of luck.
--America will move on. If the whole law is upheld, things will be more expensive--but eventually we will learn to live with that. If the whole thing is thrown out, Medicaid and Medicare programs will still be available to the truly needy. We will adjust--just like we adjusted to having a society with abortion and no limits on political contributions from corporations.