Monday, June 22, 2015

One Word

There is a lodestar in the law when interpreting ambiguous language. The search should be for a determination consistent not merely of the words in question but the broader understanding of the document and its most reasonable explanation that will do the least harm. I can think of no greater disservice to that principle than a decision of the Supreme Court which would overturn the heart of the Affordable Care Act.

The argument rests not on four words out of a document that stretches from here to the homes of those most impoverished and in need, but truly on one. Instead of referring to an exchange established BY the states, it more precisely should have been an exchange established IN the states. The remedy, had we a Republican party which was not laser focused on destroying the legacy of the President, would be that simple.

Instead, the future of millions of those who have the misfortune of living in one of the 36 states which left implementation of the act to the federal government, is of the very real possibility of receiving distinct and disparate treatment. There is no equal protection for all of our citizens if the ruling should be one that stands for the proposition that neither logic nor fairness have any place in the halls of justice.

It would be a sad day for this country if we were to regress to a time when those most sick were least able to obtain coverage and when those most desperate for assistance from their government were left to their own devices. This decision will say much more about who we are than it will about whether there was some imprecise phrasing in a document. A striking down of Obamacare will serve not as an indictment of inattention but a clear statement of malevolent intent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are not surprised there is malevolent intent, are you? I will be surprised if there isn't.... D.