Tuesday, June 16, 2015

First Street Follies (or Super Suspense at the Supreme Court)

SCOTUS has some serious business about to be decided in the rest of this month - maybe even today. (UPDATE ON TUESDAY AM: Not yet, but lots of decisions are coming. On average, one per day for the rest of the month.)

Here is a summary from NPR.

"Decision days" are scheduled for each Monday this month, along with Thursday, June 18 — and there could be yet another day announced, as well. The court has not gone beyond June in more than 20 years.

It is typical for the court to issue its most important and controversial rulings in the final days of its annual session. Many expect the same-sex-marriage and Obamacare decisions to come later in the month. But many court observers are expecting the lethal injection decision sooner, along with more than a dozen cases that carry considerable significance of their own.

Other snippets, picked by Scriber, follow.

Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission
Are state laws that put redistricting in the hands of independent commissions unconstitutional? Arizona voters created a commission by constitutional amendment, and some state legislators say that this strips them of their redistricting power, thus violating the U.S. Constitution.

Obamacare (King v. Burwell)
Plaintiffs have argued that only those states that have set up their own exchanges for the purchase of health care insurance are entitled to give subsidies to lower-income people. States that let the federal government set up their exchanges for them, they contend, may not accept the federal tax credits that subsidize those eligible in state-run exchanges. The administration argues that the intent of the legislators was clear, whatever the exact wording of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, and that all exchanges are eligible for the subsidies.

If the court rules for the plaintiffs, subsidies could go away for more than 6 million current recipients, although the timetable for their losing insurance is somewhat uncertain. Congress would be under pressure to act.

Taking this many people out of the system would also affect the private health insurance market and the amount that people pay in insurance premiums. The degree of impact would depend on how sweeping the justices' ruling is. But it could affect individuals, small business, large business, the insurance industry, doctors and hospitals.

And I've said before that the action is in the political gaming to follow a negative decision in King v. Burwell.

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