Obamacare’s second confrontation with the Supreme Court has the look, feel and drama of that “Manila Thrilla”: powerful combatants; political intrigue and huge stakes.
After upholding, with modification, the Affordable Care Act in a surprise 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court's decision to hear a case challenging the legality of Obamacare's subsidies has the look, feel and drama heavyweight title fight. Chief Justice John Roberts appears again to be the swing vote. How Roberts balances his constuctionalist judicial philosophy with broader concerns for maintaining institutional order will determine the case's outcome. If the Court overturns the key subsidy provisions, then what?
David Johnson explores the dynamics underlying this case, speculates the impact an overturn will have on key constituencies and examines the philosophical split between Republican pragmatists and true believers that manifests itself through Obamacare. Despite the high drama and intense media attention, Supreme Court versus Obamacare II is something of a side show. The main event remains how market forces are reshaping fundament supply-demand relationships in healthcare delivery.