While I was anxiously awaiting the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision on the Affordable Care Act, I knew that no matter the outcome, this would be an opinion to geek out on just like law school days.
Back then it was more about whether water-boarding is torture (yes) and if John Yoo should be disbarred for ethical absence (what do you think my opinion is?).
Now, I have fewer friends nearby to join the discussion, but I still chat with them via email, skype and facebook, plus my curiosity grew when Chief Justice John Roberts not only penned the opinion (as I expected) but also led the affirming opinion (/”;9’dbapaps – I didn’t see that one coming).
Thus, here I am on Friday afternoon soaking up Sicilian sunshine and digging into the opinion.
Unfortunately, the case title is long, cumbersome, and completely boring. National Federation of Independent Business et al. v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al.
Uh, yeaaaaaa, I don’t want to say that a whole bunch of times. I also dislike the commonly used “Obamacare” because it is a misnomer, it is political, and it gives too much credit to one person.
Misnomer because Obama is not actually providing any care and pretty much thousands of people worked for decades to come to a place where this legislation was even plausible.
Political is obvious, I dislike that because despite the acerbic reality of society, this type of move shouldn’t be political at all, it is not only good public policy healthwise, it will also push for innovation and fresh ideas in healthcare industries erected and sustained by crusty wealthy people. The world changes and so should business models and profits. A stagnant nation is a declining nation. Plus, a lot of people say “Obamacare” with a distinct sneer on their face and that just ain’t pretty.
Too much credit to one person – I touched on this in the misnomer section, but it runs deeper than that. Even with all the background legwork by others, some would say, some are already saying and some will say that it was only because of Barack Obama’s unique leadership that the bill was passed. I do not deny the extraordinary role he played, but he is still just one man and we are a nation of the people. I applaud him, I credit his incredible contribution, but I stop short of deifying his name into legislation his way.
After this reflection, I was still without a good shorthand name for the opinion.
Then, I got an email from my law school buddy Mel. She shared this with me:
Catty puns about the affirmation of the Affordable Care Act? That is a trifecta of pleasure!!!
I will think of it as the ACA opinion, or Affordable Care Act opinion out of reverence for its importance; but in my mind, I will be thinking of that “cat a tax” every time.