On the Supreme Court Case and the Current Political Moment

Did you see the article on the Internet that the Supreme Court could decide to throw out the ACA and instead impose single-payer?  It said it was “ Supreme Jury Nullification.”  Somebody else wrote they heard that if the Court declares the ACA unconstitutional then Congress gets to have an up or down vote on Medicare For All.   Then there were all the comments saying this was all a fantasy and absolutely not true.

I made this up, but something rather like it really is going on.  Many are seeing the Supreme Court hearings as Single Payer v. ACA.  A more appropriate name for it is 1% v. USA or perhaps Radical Right v. American Democracy.  These at least place the case in its political context rather than treating it mainly as a health policy debate.

There is no need at this moment for another movement-wide policy debate between single payer and the ACA. The health care justice movement has long called for quality affordable care for ALL.  The ACA does not go that far, and so it is appropriate to point that out.  Just as the benefits are real the shortcomings are real.  It would be a shame if defense of the ACA against right wing assault and being proud of the steps forward for women, for young adults, for those hurt by pre-existing condition loopholes and many more were accompanied by leaving out what every part of the movement has always believed in: health care justice for everybody and we won’t stop until we get there.

Those who say it might even be better for universal health care if the ACA was thrown out, or say that the decision will not change the fact that we will still have to continue to fight appear to me to fundamentally be talking politics more than health care.  A respectful discussion, not a debate, over different assessments of the current political landscape is therefore appropriate, even more so if it can be conducted with building unity in mind rather than scoring points.  What follows hopefully follows that path.


Nick Unger sits on the National Board of Directors for UHCAN

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