John Roberts is one hell of a poker player.
Or I’m just a terrible one.
Either way, his decisive ruling on the Affordable Care Act was a bit of a shock to me – not because I necessarily disagree with the decision that the individual mandate combined with the opt-out penalty constitutes a tax – rather, because the bottom line is that he is rarely considered the wild card on that shiny bench. Typically, that title is held by Anthony Kennedy, a fact well-known to the litigants.
If you followed the exchanges when the case was being heard, you might have noticed how the attorneys were focusing on the “individual freedom” angle of the law (since Kennedy’s opinions past bear out his lofty esteem for the ideal).
But with Kennedy expected to strike down the individual mandate meant to penalize, ahem, tax those who decline to purchase health insurance, the Act was very much in distress.
Until Roberts swapped his judicial robes for a red cape and blue spandex, emerging from a phone booth with his heroic gavel to save both the Act and possibly the job security of Lois Lane President Obama (new “Justice League,” anyone?).
The Justice League, from left to right: Super Justices Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, and John Roberts (pictured with the Gavel of Truth).
Beyond the mental image of the Chief Justice in tights, what this decision forces upon us is a very basic question: What does the Affordable Care Act mean for your business?
That we must even ask after months of widespread analysis and debate suggests that the law has some serious problems, clarity not least among them. Thus articles abound predicting outcomes ranging from businesses being crippled by insurance costs to businesses actually saving money and flourishing because of the exchange market. Which is right?
Dear reader, if you are expecting to find an answer to that question in this posting, I’m afraid I’ll have to disappoint you.
I don’t have one.
All I have are some uncomfortable movie ideas, a quite probably lousy poker game, and the promise that as the implications of the Act begin to play out I will do my best to keep you updated here. My business is going to be affected just the same as yours, so you’ll know when I know.
In the meantime, here is a picture of a kitten to make you feel better.
Now go celebrate your Independence Day by watching “Avengers” for the fourth time, only this time try substituting political figures in place of the characters. Who would be the villain in your movie?
As always, good luck and good hunting.
If you have questions about the Affordable Care Act, you can be patient until we figure it out. For any other questions, find out how to reach us at our website: TheFisherLawOffice.com. You can also reach us at Facebook.com/FisherLawOffice, on Twitter @thefisherlawoffice, or atLinkedIn.com/in/FisherLawOffice.