Rand Paul: Supreme Court 'Missed Opportunity' to Let Congress Fix Obamacare

John Roberts to the rescue... of Obamacare.


Rand Paul
Gage Skidmore

Sen. Rand Paul lamented the Supreme Court's decision in King v. Burwell earlier today, telling Wolf Blitzer that the justices "missed an opportunity" to permit Congress to rework the parts of the Affordable Care Act that don't stand up to scrutiny:

As a physician, the Supreme Court missed an opportunity here. Obamacare is making all insurance more expensive. I think we made a mistake. If they would have ruled and adhered to the literal nature of the law, maybe Congress would have had a chance to take up Obamacare again and try to make it less bad or fix the parts of it that are causing so many problems in our society. I really think Obamacare is making all insurance more expensive and taking away choice. So I am disappointed that we've missed an opportunity here.

I would still like to reform it and change it and give patients back more choices on whether they can choose which doctor or which insurance plan, legalize competition and legalize inexpensive insurance again, but it makes it hard because we don't have the leverage. If we had the leverage where the president had to revisit this because part of it had been struck down, then we would have the leverage to force the president to revisit it. We have majorities and so we can bring it up and we can pass legislation, but getting the president to actually do something about it and actually have the leverage to get him to perhaps sign something that would change Obamacare, I think we've lost that leverage.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush appointee, has gone to tremendous lengths to protect Obamacare as written. As Reason's Peter Suderman wrote:

Roberts has not merely tweaked the law; he has rewritten it to mean the opposite of what it clearly means. Why include the phrase "established by a State under Section 1311″—the section dealing with state-based exchanges—except to limit the subsidies to those particular exchanges? Roberts' opinion reconceptualizes this limiting language as inclusive. …

What Roberts has saved is not the law so much as the Obama administration's dubious, textually unsupported interpretation and implementation of Obamacare. This is not judicial restraint. It is judicial hubris.

And while it would be overstatement to say that this damages the legitimacy of the Court, it certainly reflects on the legacy and status of the law.

More from Reason on the ruling here, here, and here.

Hat tip: Al Weaver / The Daily Caller

NEXT: Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies, Rules on Housing Racial Discrimination Claims, Whole Foods Accused of Overcharging: P.M. Links

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  1. make it less bad


    1. As in:
      “Hey Jude, don’t make it bad. Take a sad song and make it less bad…”

      1. “take a sad song, and make it BADDER”

  2. …maybe Congress would have had a chance to take up Obamacare again and try to make it less bad or fix the parts of it that are causing so many problems in our society.

    Roberts feels that Congress got it perfect the first go.

    1. Nope– Roberts has become Obama’s TOAD—-Obama has Roberts by the short hairs—he either has something very damaging on him for use as Blackmail—or the ADMIN may have threatened d him and/ or his family. What ROBERTS has done is a travesty of justice. In short ROBERTS should be impeached

      1. This is how MARXISTS/COMMUNISTS like OBAMAO and company (VALERIE JARRETT)conduct themselves

      2. Nope– Roberts has become Obama’s TOAD—-Obama has Roberts by the short hairs—he either has something very damaging on him for use as Blackmail—or the ADMIN may have threatened d him and/ or his family. What ROBERTS has done is a travesty of justice. In short ROBERTS should be impeached and become OBAMAO’s PAL and PAW——private A$$ licker and wiper

        1. Your ideas intrigue me. Where can I subscribe to your newsletter?

            1. I was expecting macaroni art.

          1. I believe he hands out paper copies from the trunk of his car in a Burger King parking lot.

        2. Consider this your first warning about the overuse of the CAPS lock.

          There are people here who are quite possessive of its use (looks sideways at Fist).


            1. So that’s what you do with that extra thumb.

              1. Up someone’s ass, maybe?

      3. Aside from your screams, my guess is that Roberts wants his legacy to be a smooth running contribution to the State. No ricking the boat. And that State of the Union public insult made him double down on avoiding at all costs being the one that sticks out.

  3. “If they would have ruled and adhered to the literal nature of the law, maybe Congress would have had a chance to take up Obamacare again and try to make it less bad or fix the parts of it that are causing so many problems in our society. I really think Obamacare is making all insurance more expensive and taking away choice. So I am disappointed that we’ve missed an opportunity here.”

    That’s a Presidential response.

    Responsible. Accurate. Primarily concerned with what policy is doing to working Americans.

    That’s the guy I want to be President.

    1. Me too. I’m afraid to be too optimistic about his chances though.

      1. It’s easy to hope for Paul when there’s little else to hope for–but it probably makes it even easier if you’ve already completely abandoned all hope in the political process otherwise.

        There isn’t any reason to expect that electing the right President will lead the American people into accepting libertarian solutions, but if we convince enough of our fellow Americans to accept libertarian solutions, they may someday elect politicians like Rand Paul.

        I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think we’re there yet. That’s about the extent of my hope for Rand Paul. I just hope I’m wrong.

        1. Paul’s candidacy itself will, at least, be educational. Audiences are going to hear ideas that don’t usually get aired at major two party nomination venues.

          1. Hopefully he’ll make those arguments more credible to people inside the Republican Party. His father was never really heard, but that was because of his opposition to the Iraq War, which blinded the rest of the Republican Party to everything else he had to say.

            I have even more hope that Rand Paul will succeed than I do that anyone in the Democratic Party will ever listen to good sense. Listening to progressives talk about economic issues is like listening to Southern Baptists talk about evolution. And I can’t bring myself to hope that I’m wrong about economic issues and the progressives are right. Their ideas aren’t based on anything substantial. There’s more reason to doubt evolution than there is to believe that progressive are right on economic issues–they’re that stupid!

            Besides, I’m not going to hope that bad things happen to America or the American economy either. All sorts of bad things are going to happen if we continue on the road we’re on, but I hope we come to our senses and avoid that awfulness. I guess that’s another source of my hope. I just don’t want to see millions of Americans–especially minorities and the poor–suffer needlessly because some stupid progressives won some popularity contests.

            1. I think his father’s campaigns were definitely heard. A lot of people that otherwise wouldn’t have entertained these ideas did so because of Ron Paul’s recent campaigns. The chance for even more of that with Rand is quite high.

            2. You must not have retarded neighbors, Ken.

              Cuz, I look around and I have abandoned all hope of “people coming to their senses”. We’re doomed.

              And my “go” bag is packed and ready. Wheels up in 10.

    2. Then please vote in the primary. Obi Rand is our only hope- Prince Laya-bout

    3. Me too, me too.

    4. SOUNDS LIKE LIBERTARIAN WHINING TO ME! slash jack ass derp.

      1. Is there anything else but?

  4. If Roberts had voted against it, then the opinion might have been written by Sotomayor.

    Would that have been an improvement?

    1. it would have been more honest.

      1. I’m sorta glad Roberts did this. It cements his reputation as a boot licker, and it leaves Obamacare even more likely to fall apart.

        It’s common to joke or even be serious about making conditions worse so the masses will rise in rebellion. In the big picture, that’s hardly ever a good thing. But the country will soon run out of other people’s money, and I think the politicos have at least enough survival instinct that they will not let things go Weimar Republic.

        Sooner or later, probably as late as possible, the politicos are going to have to do something about entitlements. This just forces it sooner rather than later.

        1. “I think the politicos have at least enough survival instinct that they will not let things go Weimar Republic.”
          If that were true there never would have been a Weimar Republic.

          I would contend that the ‘politicos’ are in fact more shortsighted than they were back then. If anything the fact that the ‘ruling class’ isn’t as cemented and durable as it was back then but more ephemeral means that they are almost entirely focused on the short run. Winning midterms is first priority, so anything further out than 2 years is of secondary interest. They’ll drive down interest rates to create the appearance of prosperity to win those mid terms even if it means a crash down the road. Incidents like the 2007 financial crisis are great evidence that as far as the long run is concerned, the powerful classes are not self-interested, mainly due to myopia.

  5. For fux sakes Robby jump into a woodchipper already…or at least give Reason and libertarians the kiss off high five Ezra Klien then jump into a job at the daily beast or buzzfeed like we all know you are going to do after endorsing Hilary for the 2016 election anyway.

    1. That escalated quickly.

      1. Well, you appeared to just accept, as fact, that 22.5% of Michigan women claimed they had been subjected to non-consensual kissing and touching. You should have, consistent with good journalistic practice, articulated the truth that there is no evidence of the same and that in this era, people, especially women, have demonstrated a propensity to either prevaricate of greatly exaggerate claims of sexual misconduct.

        1. What percent of women are liars and previcators?

          1. 8% shithead.

            1. Whatever Tulpa.

              1. Bo, how dare you bite the hand of the guy who has often defended you here against the onslaught of the commentariat!

                As for your question, I have, in my own actual life and law practice, have encountered far too many Crystal Magnums and Lena Dunhams and Susan Brownmillers and Catherine MacKinnons Mattress Girls and Joanie Faircloths and Virginia rape hoaxes to doubt the reality that one would be on good ground just assuming an allegation of sexual misconduct made by a woman should not be believed until proven beyond a scintilla of a doubt.

                1. Not biting, questioning. I’m sure there are liars and exaggerator among women, but I don’t think they’re ‘especially’ prominent.

                  1. Bo, a deceased STEM client of mine who did not particularly care for lawyers, or libertarianism (though he sure loved my ass), was once accused (2002) of sexual harassment by a female colleague. They were employed by Tufts University and the sexual harassment / EEO officer “investigating” the matter for Tufts was named Yves Rose St. Dick.

                    The accuser was a Russian who was in the process of obtaining her citizenship. I had met her a year prior to her accusations and we exchanged dirty jokes in russian. Thus, when I first learned that she had accused my scientist client of making inappropriate comments and sexist remarks, I literally laughed.

                    Thankfully, my client had kept a number of dirty joke e-mails from the accuser. I just eviscerated Ms. Saint Dick so badly that Tufts dropped the investigation and paid a portion of my guy’s tab with me.

                    1. I don’t think my claim of “I’m sure there are liars and exaggerator among women, but I don’t think they’re ‘especially’ prominent” is defeated by an anecdote…

                    2. One anecdote plus the public cases to which I cited above do defeat your unsupported asseveration.

          2. The same percentage as the percentage of them that are human beings?

      2. See! Here is a prime example of the love of us commenters for your journalistic prowess. Keep up the good work.

      3. Journo-tears…don’t let ’em see Robbo, like sharks and blood sir.

      4. He’s just angry you’re not endorsing Walker.

        1. No i am angry at his lie about #gamergate making threats months before it even existed.

          1. Gamergate does rile up quite a few here…

            1. Lying about Gamergate. Gamergate by itself is kind of soothing and a bit fun.

              1. For psychopaths I guess

                1. Nah a psychopath would talk about it while it caused mental and physical pain to themselves yet continue to talk about over and over and over again…..

                  Just like you.

                2. Still amazed that you’re going around saying ‘gamergaters’ are psychopaths. Lol. Even by the most hysterical interpretations of events, it’s like saying people who ding dong ditch are psychopaths. Especially considering the worst things they do are done pretty routinely by the SJW/feminist crowd.

                  But I guess it’s ok when they do it.

      5. Months of endless matress girl posts

        2 recycled SCOTUS care posts

        and a recycled joke from anchorman.

        By the way could you quit sending me those bomb rape threats. I would provide proof of them but i sort of remember reading a gawker article that backs up my claim so you know it is legit.

      6. Yes or no on Team Hillary?

    2. All packed into a single comma-free sentence. Well done, sir, well done.

    3. *applause*

  6. Honestly, we might not be able to get rid of ObamaCare even if Rand Paul were elected President, but there’s no way we’re going to get rid of it in the next four or eight years without him.

    Any Democrat will veto substantial reform, and no other Republican will risk getting rid of it ahead of a reelection campaign. Having Rand Paul as President is our only hope for sensible policies in a lot of ways.

    1. I can’t see the Republicans ever getting the supermajority in the Senate to run wild with their agenda, but I can see a post-Obama Democratic Party, reeling after losing the presidency that they convinced themselves was there’s in perpetuity, compromising mightily in order to wash the stink of Ocare off themselves.

      But yes, that presumes an actual fiscal conservative in the White House instead of someone like Jeb or Marco Rubio.

      1. Ocare is such a fucking imperialistic mess(from the POTUS POV) that you don’t even need congress to make huge changes too it.

        1. Issue a waiver to all 50 states plus DC

        2. The phrase “The secretary shall promulgate” appears in Ocare more times than the word “Dildo” appears in a Nutrasweet story. Whoever the new secretaries in charge of the various offices responsible for implementing the law can be instructed to make new regulations that could change it almost anyway they want to(Cite= SCOTUS)

        1. Get a pro-life POTUS in office and have him have a go with that administrative power and then the fun really would start.

      2. Regarding the dems, I think you overestimate the power of self-delusion. I would sooner expect them to behave like Napoleon during his final weeks as “emperor.” Turning down absurdly generous treaty offers from the British, giving out orders to armies that no longer existed. Behaving like he still ruled Europe all the way up until he controlled nothing beyond Paris.

        Besides, everyone here is probably overestimating the losses dems will take in 2016. They’ll do better than you think, especially spinning the “Obama recovery” and so on.

    2. We will get rid of it only when we cannot afford it. And as long as there is a billionaire standing, the ticks will have their meal.

  7. Let the ACA be fully enacted. Then after it festers and turns malign to the naked eye will it be fixed/repealed.

    1. …and replaced with single payer, as per the plan.

      1. Are you not the GOOD little SOCIALIST????

        1. Your sarcasm meter seems in the same sharp as your caps lock key.

          1. Its the way I roll GET OVER IT

    2. What has to happen for real repeal is for the CONGRESS to lose their TAXPAYER SUBSIDY—each member is getting 175k TAXPAYER DOLLARS to buy their healthcare—-They need to lose this subsidy -then they will REPEAL the HORRIBLE LAW for sure

      1. Could a future President order the IRS to end the subsidies?

    3. replaced? Fixed?

      You mean like how Medicare, Social Security, veteran affairs, Tennessee power authority, department of education, the FTC, The FDA, the IRS, the NSA, and the FED got fixed/replaced?

  8. As a physician, the Supreme Court missed an opportunity here.

    Look, I realize you want to emphasize your medical credentials with the voters, Rand, but you can’t just put “As a physician” at the beginning of any sentence whatsoever and still have it make sense. Particularly when the subject of the subsequent sentence is not “I”.

    1. I think Rand was just reminding everyone that the Supreme Court is, in fact, a physician.

      1. They’re all doctors of laws man.

      2. He needs an editor.

        1. For when he’s….talking?

          1. Apparently.

  9. Everyone needs to stop day dreaming about this being anything other than a complete abrogation of responsibility on the part of the 6 judges of SCOTUS.

    This means that this law is NEVER going away. The current GOP was prepared to bail out Obama if SCOTUS actually did their job and read the law the way it was written, so it’s a fantasy to believe that even if they had a super majority they would end this program.

    This is the beginning of the end. Obama came out today in his speech and said that “In America, health care is no longer a privilege for a few but a Right For All.”

    It’s over, we’re done. FDR’s second bill of rights has come to pass. All that will be left is the fighting over the scraps left by our betters.

    1. The sun’ll come out tomorrow, tomorrow ???
      Cheer up it’s not the end of the world, like it’s all cyclical man. *puffs and gives

  10. I think what Robert is saying is

    “you voted for these guys, they made a bad law, now live with it”

    awesome 🙁

    1. Exactly. He was pretty explicit in both of his rulings.

      Elections have consequences. And those consequences can never be undone by future elections.

      Now I suppose it is hypothetically possible that if the current Republican Congress was actually trying to do anything about Obamacare and was being stymied and stifled by admin/Dems who were being petty/technical/procedural/etc; that he and Kennedy would’ve find something petty/technical/procedural about the existing law in order to ‘start over’

      But Republicans have proven that they support Obamacare – by their inaction.

    2. Then why did he change the law?

      Of course, the reason the Dems wanted state exchanges is because if the GOP took back Washington, they couldn’t directly eliminate the state exchanges themselves, only the mandates and subsidies and whatnot. But if everyone gets dumped on the federal exchange, repeal is at least technically possible, though it will never happen.

  11. This would have been a pretty small, technical way to sink this law, it’s probably better for it to be defeated politically than this way (or in the previous suit). Of course, the many whose lives are being negatively impacted by this law could probably live with that kind of victory…

  12. The thing is if the court had ruled against the government then that part of the law might have actually worked and those states that lost the subsidies would have set up their own exchanges to appease their citizens. Everyone thinks this was a win for the government but it really was a loss since they have to keep running the federal exchange!

  13. And while it would be overstatement to say that this damages the legitimacy of the Court,

    This damages the legitimacy of the Court.

    1. Overstatement!

  14. People seem to be learning. Good job, everyone. Fuck off, Tulpa, you pitiful little man.

    1. Lol

    2. Tulpa or no, this one is seriously broken.

  15. How did all of the retards end up on the same thread? Did someone start a rumor about cake?

    Robby, I like you. Don’t listen to the retards.

    1. Looks like we got us another college boy

    2. Seconded.

    3. Yeah, they’re just pissed because there has been a lot of rain and their mom’s basements are flooded.

      1. Winner. Here I was, thinking about the upcoming full moon, and I never considered the basements of America.

        This will henceforth be known as the AlmightyJB Theory of Losers.

        1. Nice:)

  16. Somehow I don’t think that level of reverse-logic and Francisco D’Anconia-style ‘I’m just giving them what they asked for to show them all the error of their socialist desires’ was at the root of Robert’s abuse of his position and utter disregard for law.

    Occam’s Razor – until something more is learned about Roberts’ motivation being more devious than it appears, he is simply an Obama toadie, and performed one of the most irresponsible and brazen actions of a SC justice I have ever seen.

    1. He screwed the Feds. The Dems wanted state exchanges now everyone is going to be forced into the federal exchange! Why would any of the states that did set up exchanges keep them going? Shut them down throw everyone into the federal exchange and save the money. Of course maybe this was the plan all along to get to single payer?

  17. ” one of the most irresponsible and brazen actions of a SC justice I have ever seen.”

    Don’t keep up with SCOTUS much, huh?

  18. “Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, a Bush appointee, has gone to tremendous lengths to protect Obamacare as written.”

    No he hasn’t. He’s actually screwed the Feds by taking away the stick of lost subsidies!

  19. Bhah:

    Once again EVERYONE !!!
    THE BUMBs ONE…as we always do ultimately.
    I’m beginning to like John Roberts much Better than Rehnquist and almost find him as reasonable to Sandra Day O’Conner.

  20. The Republicans weren’t going to take away anyone’s subsidies, even if the court ruled in their favor. Now They’ll be spared rounds of “They took away my healthcare” ads by their opponents. They’re relieved.

    I’m disappointed by this decision, but aren’t we just a little bit excited that this Frankenstein of a law was allowed to exist? The employee mandate just hit some businesses, and the so called “Cadillac Tax” is looming on the horizon. The worst is probably yet to come, and the ACA cronies will have to answer for it.

    When I’m bored I sometimes read comments on covered CA facebook site or Yelp. Nothing but lefties complaining about bad service and trying desperately to pin their bad experience on the insurance companies. It uplifts your spirits.

    1. I enjoy reading the almost countless reams of claims of horrific medical malpractice cases. No doubt we all know someone who, in their own opinion at least, has had their life destroyed in a doctor’s office or hospital.

      Surely “affordable care” will do anything except reduce medical malpractice or even hold it at current levels.

      Perhaps the only good thing to come from all this is it will finally force putting reasonable caps to be placed on court awards in malpractice cases.

  21. Looks like Pelosi was wrong.

    Passing it wasn’t enough to find out what was in it.

    First we had to pass it. Then we had to see how the Nazguul read it, in light of what they think Congress thought they might have ought to meant when they passed it.

    Everybody straight now? (no homo)

    1. Let me call John Roberts and get back to you. It ain’t over until Roberts picks his faves.

  22. Rand was for total repeal. Now he’s “mend it, don’t end it” . I’m going to enjoy spending the campaign contributions I now won’t be making.

  23. I don’t know, Rand. In light of your very recent jumping on the emotional decision making bandwagon with the Confederate flag thing are we really to believe any of you in any branch of our government are capable of plain intelligent decision making?

    1. What should he have said?

      1. Everyone knows you should flip the bird to angry crowds of retards riled up by demagogues. That’s the libertarian recipe for success.

    2. Seems like that was the right bandwagon to jump on. The confederacy lost the war 150 years ago, pretty safe to say sticking by the memorabilia is like betting on a horse with a broken leg right out the gate. That is one hill you gain nothing for dying on.

  24. I buy almost everything except food and clothing from online auctions most people arenâ????t aware of the almost I unbelievable deals that they can get from online auction sites the site that has the best deals is
    BEST PROFIT DEAL CHECK ??????????? http://www.workweb40.com

    1. I checked, and they don’t sell Rebel Flags

      1. “Pssst…hey, bud…ya wanna buy a Confederate battle flag? Confederate general playing cards? Memoirs of Jefferson Davis?”

        “Freeze, scumbag, NYPD! You’re under arrest for selling untaxed memorabilia. You’re taking food out of the mouths of hungry teachers, you villain!”

  25. Obama said affordable health care is a “right, not a privilege”.

    So, he is going to put a gun to your head and make you buy it, bitches. You have no right to say “no, thanks”. You only have a right to ‘affordable health care’.

    The whole thing makes my skin crawl.

    1. You absolutely have a right to say no thanks. You are free to go uninsured in this regime. The state of being uninsured merely carries with it a tax, not unlike the state of being a box of cereal.

      1. What if you were hit by a bus?

  26. “A House Republican on Thursday proposed forcing the Supreme Court justices and their staff to enroll in ObamaCare.

    Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) said that his SCOTUScare Act would make all nine justices and their employees join the national healthcare law’s exchanges.”


  27. The Supreme Court is a physician? Is this Shakespearean metaphor or did he forget to put down the bong?

    Republicans control both houses of Congress. If they want to reform the statute, they are certainly permitted to try. What’s the problem? SCOTUS didn’t hand you a political victory on a platter? Ah conservatism, what do you mean anymore?

    1. “The Supreme Court is a physician?”

      You’re so friggin’ clueless, Tony!

      Rand Paul is a physician.

      “As a physician, the Supreme Court missed an opportunity here.”

      He’s speaking as a physician about what the Supreme Court did in regards to patient billing.


      No wonder you don’t know what’s going on.

      1. Dangling participles do trip me up.

        1. “Dangling participles do trip me up”

          Sorry about that, I’ll wrap it around my leg. Sucker gets loose and causes problems when I go commando!

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