The Supreme Court wrapped up oral arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate at the heart of Obamacare today. Pundits have been quick to assume that the mandate is done for. Their reasoning: the conservative justices, including moderates Roberts and Kennedy, asked a lot of tough questions.
Despite the fact that questioning is a key part of the Supreme Court justice job description, those in the know are assuming heated discourse is the death knell for Obamacare.
What exactly were these poignant questions warranting a complete media flip-flop on predictions of the ultimate ruling?
Justice Scalia asked the lawyer representing the Obama administration what was to stop the government from forcing people to buy broccoli, if they could mandate health insurance coverage. Scalia then asked, what if people end up being mandated to buy cars? Justice Alito chimed in by asking if people could be mandated to buy burial insurance, since everyone is going to die at some point.
Never mind that the health insurance market is different from any other type of product, since those who are insured must cover the costs of the uninsured, and the economic instability of this set-up was bankrupting the country under the previous system.
Is anyone else disappointed that conservatives elected to our country's highest court are sinking to the same level as conservatives who criticize gay marriage because they think it will lead to people being allowed to practice polygamy or marry their pets?
No productive legislation will ever survive in our country if our elected and appointed representatives continue to dig up far-fetched, doomsday outcomes and apply them as serious possibilities worthy of scrapping entire bills.