This morning’s ruling by the Supreme Court - 6-3 in favor of upholding the Affordable Care Act - effectively ended the Republican Party’s attempt to do through the courts what it failed to do through the legislative process.
“Obamacare” is here to stay, at least legally. The only way to get rid of it is through a vote of Congress and a president willing to sign a repeal law. Neither of those things is likely to happen any time soon, meaning that if one day - many years from now - the GOP has control of the House, Senate and White House, several million more Americans would have also been helped by the ACA since it passed in 2010, making it even harder to gut the law then.
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With each passing day and week and month and year, the law becomes more firmly entrenched. Given that reality, there’s two ways the GOP can respond, to continue on its ill-fated quest to repeal the law, or work with Democrats to make it better while pocketing a few concessions that conservatives have long wanted. The latter move makes the most sense, particularly because the law’s impact has been most pronounced in red states among some of the poorest Americans - the people GOP candidates were sent to various state houses and Washington to help.
On that note, Gov. Nikki Haley and the S.C. General Assembly would be wise to finally accept the billions of dollars available through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, which, according to a study by the University of South Carolina, can lead to the creation of more than 40,000 jobs in South Carolina by 2020 - while also helping a few hundred thousand more poor residents.
In a sane world, it’s a no-brainer. The question is, will this Supreme Court ruling make the political environment saner - or less sane?