While we're all celebrating the upholding of PPACA (on, ahem, Taxation Power rather than Commerce + Necessary and Proper Clause grounds) let's not lose sight of the part of the law where the Court did strike something down. I think that this is the gift that will keep on giving to Democrats at the State Legislative level.
The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part in the law's extension.What that means is that a state can keep its existing Medicaid funding (for the poor) even if it turns down the new Medicaid funding (for, essentially, the working class) given to them through PPACA.
Many conservative states are expected to turn down that PPACA Medicare Expansion funding. Meet your winning Democratic issue of the 2010s!
Think this through: the poor are already voting Democratic (when they vote at all), and now they're not going to be harmed by a state's turning down Medicare Expansion money "on principle." You go one level above the poor, though, and you start to get into the "some college" crowd that includes a lot of "low-information" voters who are in many ways friendly to the Republican message. How are they going to feel when the state turns down something that they desperately need to get by in tough economic times?
I think that these swing voters are going to really, really dislike the idea that their state is going to screw them over just to show it can. If Republican candidates can be induced to call for the rejection of Medicaid Expansion, their Democratic opponents are going to have a wonderful issue -- and will reach voters otherwise unsympathetic to them.
As many of you know, I myself am a Democratic candidate for State Senate here in California (a state that will not turn down Medicaid expansion) -- and I expect that my opponent knows that rejecting those funds would be a cruel and stupid idea. Still, he may have to go along with the idea to maintain his ideological purity with the base.
So then -- and I invite other state legislative candidates to join me in this -- allow me to be the first Democratic legislative candidate to ask me Republican opponent:
"Do you favor our state opting out of Medicaid Expansion for those people who have newly become eligible for it under Obamacare?"I'll be asking this question a lot on the campaign trail. I hope that other Democrats will do the same. It will unmask some of the ugliness behind the ideological and contempt-filled stance of the Republican Party towards the 99% -- in this case, the not quite poor but still in need.
Go ahead and call for rejecting the money, Republican state legislative candidates! We champions of everyday non-wealthy citizens will be waiting for you.