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Friday, June 21
The Indiana Daily Student

opinion

COLUMN: It's time to drop the act, Republicans

Last week conservatives took yet another crack at bringing the Affordable Care Act — or Obamacare, as you have probably heard it — down.

Except this time, it feels just a little bit different.

Sure, the first case that upheld the individual mandate has a legitimate constitutional concern at its heart, though the case itself was largely a political move.

Then, though the Hobby Lobby case had a huge effect and was related to the law, the ruling did little to strike away at the core of the ACA.

This one, however, does have serious implications on the success of the program — and it is a petty and juvenile attempt. The case, King v. Burwell, rests on the interpretation of just one phrase: “an exchange established by the state.”

This simple phrase, law challengers claim, prohibits the federal government from establishing the health care exchange site, healthcare.gov, which currently ?operates in 37 states.

They claim because the law specifies the word “state,” only exchanges truly created and run by state ?governments should be ?allowed.

Is the phrase poorly written policy? Maybe. Should it have been fixed long ago? Probably. Does it really matter? Absolutely not.

Republicans are beginning to see the writing on the wall — the Affordable Care Act is here to stay and appears to be working rather brilliantly.

But instead of accepting their fate as the losers in this debate — oh, and that they were wrong about the law — they have decided to ?sabotage it.

The implications of a ?ruling against the ACA would?be enormous.

About 8.8 million people have insurance through the federally managed exchanges, and the removal of the subsidies that come along with the exchange would force millions to drop their coverage.

Further, the millions of others enrolled in truly state exchanges are unlikely to keep them unless a fix is put in place quickly, as a collapse of the system would certainly be possible.

Now, in all likelihood, even the conservative states will implement a fix if the challengers win because at the end of the day, taking money from your ?constituents is just bad ?politics.

But what is more concerning isn’t necessarily the implications — which are nothing to scoff at, mind you — but the motivation ?behind the challenge. This is a petty attempt to score political points at the expense of millions of our most vulnerable.

This isn’t just an attack on the law. It’s an attack on the poor, and it’s an attack on the middle class. The challengers don’t care what happens to the people, they just want to see the law fail because they don’t like the president.

The Supreme Court should throw this case out and call these challengers out for being the childish, spoiled whiners they are.

But if the Republican arm of the Court prevails, I hope you all join me in that call anyway.

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