I’m less depressed about the Supreme Court upholding Obamacare than I thought I would be. We had Obamacare yesterday, and we still have it today. Now we need to work hard to get a Republican Senate so we can overturn the blasted thing in Congress. Will this fire up the conservative base on Romney’s behalf? Time will only tell.
And there is a silver lining. From Jonathan Adler at NRO:
According to SCOTUSBlog, while Chief Justice Roberts concluded the mandate is a tax, he also rejected the Commerce Clause arguments in favor of the mandate. This is significant, because it will limit the ability of Congress to adopt additional mandates in the future. No one will be able to claim such requirements are not a tax, and this will make such requirements more difficult to enact.
Equally important, the majority narrowed the Medicaid provisions substantially in a way that limits Congress’s power to impose conditions on the receipt of federal spending. Specifically, the Court held that Congress may attach conditions on the receipt of new money — in this case the Medicaid expansion — but that Congress may not condition the receipt of funds for separate, pre-existing programs on compliance with the conditions for the new program. In other words, if states refuse to go along with the Medicaid expansion, they don’t lose existing Medicaid funds. If my understanding is accurate, this opinion would mark the firmest limit on use of the spending power in decades, and could constrain lots of future mischief.