Obamacare Lives, Stocks Rise, Scalia Cries

Written by SK Ashby

The United States Supreme Court decided not to do the unthinkable today and ruled in favor of the federal government in a 6-3 decision that pitted the liberal justices and John Roberts against three nutjobs who wandered in off the street.

In his majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts stated the obvious.

"The combination of no tax credits and an ineffective coverage requirement could well push a State's individual insurance market into a death spiral. It is implausible that Congress meant the Act to operate in this manner," he wrote.

Yes, it is implausible that Congress intended to destroy the system they created. It has always been implausible.

The chief justice's opinion is so scathing toward opponents of the law that one may wonder why the court even agreed to hear the case, but it seems clear to me that the court took the case for the purpose of squashing the debate and dissent once and for all.

After news broke that the court would not push insurance markets "into a death spiral," healthcare stocks quickly responded.

Investors sent shares higher after the high court rejected a challenge that could have torpedoed state insurance markets created under the landmark program in an effort to extend health coverage to an estimated 30 million uninsured Americans.

Hospital stocks generally enjoyed larger jumps immediately after the ruling because they have a mandate to treat the newly-insured patients and thus are more directly affected by the White House win.

The three lunatics who voted against the federal government were represented by Justice Scalia in one of the least self-aware dissents I've ever seen.

This is Scalia at his most childish.

"Words no longer have meaning," Scalia wrote in the dissent he read from the bench. [...]

"This case requires us to decide whether someone who buys insurance on an Exchange established by the Secretary gets tax credits. You would think the answer would be obvious -- so obvious there would hardly be a need for the Supreme Court to hear a case about it," Scalia wrote, again accurately, though not in the way he meant.

"The Court's next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery..."

"Pure applesauce," he insisted.

It's positively hilarious to see Scalia say that there shouldn't be a need for the Supreme Court to hear this case because the rest of us have been saying that for a very long time.

It's ridiculous that King v. Burwell, a debate over the meaning of a single word, even made it to the Supreme Court.

You can read the entire dissent here.

I had to Google "jiggery-pokery."