“If you don’t want shitty laws, stop electing shitty politicians.”
Of course, John Roberts didn’t actually write this; he wrote:
Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.
Politicians lie. It has ever been thus. So of course they would lie about a tax, and claim it’s not actually a tax, and then argue in court
Like Althouse points out today (in her post on Orin Kerr’s thoughts on the decision and whether Roberts might have changed his vote), maybe Roberts is trying to send a message.
Something along the lines of, “Yes, the price of freedom is still eternal vigilance, you fucking idiots. That means vigilance against our government even more than against external threats.”
Now, I don’t like the decision; I’d be much happier if the ACA had been held unconstitutional on all grounds (especially since Congress now apparently has the power to tax inaction (but at least they can’t regulate inaction!)). I imagine this will lead to Congress justifying their inane bills on the basis of the Commerce Clause and their power to tax, just to be doubly sure the Court will uphold whatever nonsense they decide to pass.
The Washington Post has a handy tool to let you see what the ACA means for you. Apparently for me, it means I can either pay $1500-3000 in premiums for health “insurance”*, or I can pay the annual penalty of $695.
Well, gee. I’d have to be a damn idiot to buy health insurance before I actually needed it once the ACA goes into effect.
I don’t know what this decision means in the long term constitutionally, and neither does anyone else. If someone says they do, they’re lying or selling something. Or in the case of a politician, according to Chief Justice Roberts, probably both.
*Look. It’s not insurance if higher-risk customers aren’t charged premiums in commensurate with that higher risk. That means that people who are likely to use doctors, hospitals, emergency rooms, and whatever have to pay more for their premium than those who do not. It’s not sexist to charge young men more for their car insurance than young women if young men are statistically more likely to get in wrecks and cost the insurance company money. So why the fuck is it sexist to charge women more for health insurance premiums if they’re the demographic that is statistically more likely to use services that health insurance pays for?
The way the ACA is set up, healthy young people are required to pay insurance premiums to subsidize old sick people. Except if the healthy young people are not financial idiots, they’ll just pay the penalty until they actually need insurance, at which point the insurance companies will be required to accept them as customers, and then have to pay through the nose for whatever treatment their (now pre-existing) condition requires. And since the penalty is so much less than premiums (according to the notoriously right-wing Washington Post**), only idiots will pay for insurance before they need it.
And since no young and healthy people will pay insurance and cover the costs for the old and infirm, insurance companies will go out of business. The ACA is apparently designed to force the insurance industry into collapse. Man, politicians are great at managing economies.
**Yes, that is sarcasm.