You'll miss ObamaCare when it's gone

Maybe now, supporters of the ACA will find their voices and point to the 30 million people the law would help to buy health insurance, how much assistance it gives businesses, how it creates a more rational health insurance market, how it helps those 26 and under stay on their parents’ health plans, how it protects those with pre-existing conditions. “Obamacare” isn’t about President Obama. It’s about beginning to bring an end to the scandal of a very rich nation leaving so many of its citizens without basic health coverage. However the court rules, we need to remember why this whole fight started in the first place…

Enacting any sort of health-care reform is, as we have seen repeatedly since Harry Truman called for universal coverage, a gargantuan task. Balancing the many interests involved (and, ironically, the individual health-insurance mandate was a concession to conservative interest groups) is exceedingly difficult. For unelected judges to give the back of their hands to legislators whose job is to solve problems while accounting for competing priorities would be the height of arrogance and a flight from democracy. But all the liberal anger in the world will not make up for the size of the setback.

Were the health-care law to be eviscerated, those who battled so hard on its behalf might draw at least bittersweet comfort from what could be called the Joni Mitchell Rule, named after the folk singer who instructed us that “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”