Photo above: the United States Supreme Court. (Wikipedia)
It must suck to be Reince Priebus today. He’s been the Chairman of the Republican National Committee since 2011 and has followed the Tea Party line of being staunchly against the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare, in their parlance.
He’s one of the rising Republican stars out of Wisconsin, Where he was the state’s RNC Chair when the GOP took over Wisconsin’s state government. Everyone was smiling in 2010.
Since 2011, when the GOP regained control of the House of Representatives and Priebus was elected the national RNC chair the party’s number one goal, as dictated by the Tea Party, is to overturn or repeal the Affordable Care Act. Just in their first two years the GOP passed nearly 50 bills to repeal the ACA, along party lines, knowing full well the U.S. Senate wasn’t going to bring the bill to the floor and that the president would veto any such legislation if did pass through the House and Senate. But they did it anyway, because, they had to have their bona fides with their primary constituents: the Teabaggers that are running the GOP.
The votes to repeal the ACA became so common the news organizations stopped reporting on them, other than maybe a mention in the back pages. While the House GOP was shutting down the government, getting in the way of peoples’ lives and jobs, they were busy passing anti-ACA bills that were doomed.
They got excited when the Supreme Court, led by their own Chief Justice John Roberts, took up the case concerning the individual mandate. But, in 2012 the court upheld the “Individual Mandate” as law, striking down the first major legal challenge to the ACA. They did get one partial win: originally the bill said states that didn’t join in the Medicaid expansion would lose their existing funding. The courts said that wasn’t constitutional, which meant the expansion was then voluntary.
So, there are 23 states that can deny millions of people health care — and in the GOP that’s something to be proud of … I guess.
Now, three years later, the GOP found themselves on the cusp a Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the subsidies provided through the federal ACA website. In relation to the ACA subsidies, the law says individual are eligible for the subsidies if their income is 100-400 percent of the federal poverty level and the insurance program is purchased through a state-run exchange. Some of the people that wrote the bill said that was a small mistake, that anyone who applied for healthcare through any of the exchanges would be eligible for the subsidies.
The GOP wanted the ACA to be strictly interpreted and felt sure the Supremes would agree with them — or at least five of the justices would side with the GOP. They were Republican appointees so dammit! They just gotta stick with their tribe!
But, as it turns out Chief Justice Roberts — that traitor! — authored the winning decision that says the language that provides subsidies to those who cannot afford health insurance, but are ineligible for Medicaid or Medicare, is constitutional. He wrote, “In a democracy, the power to make law rests with those chosen by the people. Our role is more confined — ‘To say what the law is.’ Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137,177 (1803) That is easier in some cases than in others. But in every case we must respect the role of the legislature, and take care not to undo what it has done. A fair reading of legislation demands a fair understanding of the legislative plan.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter. Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt.”
John Roberts — what a left-leaning, neo-pansy, blankity-blank, effin libertard. What is it with him looking out for poor people and children with pre-existing conditions? Is he one of those people that thinks everyone is entitled to health care? Poor GOP. They though they had a winner when President Bush appointed Roberts to the court. Thanks to him Obamacare is still the law of the land!
Remember Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, a staunch conservative Republican, demanded, on national television, Roberts deserves an up or down vote in the Senate for confirmation? Well there you go Senator, Chief Justice Roberts got his up or down vote and now we have the Affordable Care Act.
You gotta hand it to him though; Roberts really twisted the knife with his ruling when he said the Supreme Court had to respect the legislative branch of government, a sentiment first uttered in the Halls of Congress by the GOP when they bemoaned “activist judges” stepping on the will of the people.
He used the GOP’s reasoning to justify upholding section 36B of the ACA. As Mom always said, “Be careful what you wish for.”
One thing for sure is: the GOP is probably still not convinced the ACA is here to stay so we can expect more blustery attempts to repeal the law and more of the fiery — but meaningless — “repeal and replace” rhetoric.
At this point they just have to sound like they are Teabaggers; the GOP is off the hook. They tried repealing and challenged the law in front of the Supreme Court twice — and lost. Any sane person, or group of people, would say, “That’s enough, this is the law of the land.” But, we’re talking about the Teabaggers and their minkies in Congress — the Republican Party.
So, the elected GOPers will continue with their “We must repeal and replace” mantra, knowing full well that now, with close to 15 million people covered by health insurance and the Medicaid expansion, repealing the Affordable Care Act would be a monumental mistake, politically as well as morally.
How do you explain to a large chunk of your constituents you don’t think they deserve health care? “I understand your child has a rare disease that he will die from if not treated, but health care is for those who can afford it so … well … you can always pray for a miracle!”
The Affordable Care Act is here to stay. It will probably get some tweaks in the future, but not with Congress controlled by the Republicans. As Dad used to say, “You made your shit sandwich, now eat it.”
If having Obamacare affirmed — 6-3! — by those treasonous justices on the Supreme Court wasn’t bad enough, they went and made gay marriage legal throughout America! WTF?
In a 5-4 decision the Supreme Court said people can marry the ones they love. It’s a slippery slope. Pretty soon people will want to marry gorillas! If you haven’t seen it yet there’s a meme going around Facebook and Twitter about a handsome Gorilla and women are just getting all horny for him. Sure, the gorilla is in a Japanese zoo, but still, how long before some American woman proposes to an equally attractive ape in a U.S. zoo? And then you know they will let people have multiple spouses … As my friend Jimmy’s mother used to say, Oy Vey!
We’re gonna have to watch two men kissing — it’s already been on TV for crap’s sake! Worse yet, as Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, put it, our government is on a “collision course with America’s cherished religious freedoms.”
Our religious freedoms! That’s … nonsensical really. Mindless hyperbole and nutty fear mongering at its worst.
Yep, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy authored the decision stating the 14th Amendment guaranteed homosexuals should have the same rights to marry those they love, just like heterosexual couples.
Who knew there were would be Supreme Court justices who took the Court’s motto, “Equal Justice Under Law,” seriously. It makes the religious fanatics and their GOP followers just want to puke.
So far we haven’t seen or heard anyone compare this ruling to the Dred Scott decision, but you know it’s coming soon. Yep, religious people think this is going to ruin the institution of marriage and some of them have been married three or more times so they would know.
Gay people are ruining America and now the Supreme Court is helping them do it. Just ask anyone who believes in Freedom and Equality.
That will probably be the theme for the RNC’s fund raising appeals. Reince Priebus has a lot of work to do.
Tim Forkes started as a writer on a small alternative newspaper in Milwaukee called the Crazy Shepherd. Writing about entertainment, he had the opportunity to speak with many people in show business, from the very famous to the people struggling to find an audience. In 1992 Tim moved to San Diego, CA and pursued other interests, but remained a freelance writer. Upon arrival in Southern California he was struck by how the elected government officials and business were so intertwined, far more so than he had witnessed in Wisconsin. His interest in entertainment began to wane and the business of politics took its place. He had always been interested in politics, his mother had been a Democratic Party official in Milwaukee, WI, so he sat down to dinner with many of Wisconsin’s greatest political names of the 20th Century: William Proxmire and Clem Zablocki chief among them. As a Marine Corps veteran, Tim has a great interest in veteran affairs, primarily as they relate to the men and women serving and their families. As far as Tim is concerned, the military-industrial complex has enough support. How the men and women who serve are treated is reprehensible, while in the military and especially once they become veterans. Tim would like to help change that.