The working title for my next book is “Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power.” I chose that word in November of 2013 to describe what I saw as the law itself unraveling by itself. But over time, that phrase has evolved in large respect as the effort to stop the law has unraveled. Now, on the eve of King v. Burwell, the defenders of the law say the Supreme Court’s decision would unravel the law.
Consider the President, who today during his speech said (my rough transcription):
It seems so cynical to take health care away from millions, to unravel what has been woven into the fabric of America.
Or this report from Bloomberg:
President Barack Obama is stepping up defense of his signature health-care law, touting the benefits of Obamacare and criticizing its challengers as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares a ruling that could unravel its core.
Four words in the law could unravel Obamacare in the Supreme Court. So President Barack Obama is marshaling his own numbers – and an unusual moral weight — to stress the achievements of his health overhaul law on Tuesday.
Although the law has generally been more unpopular than popular, the public has not indicated a willingness to unravel all of the legislation.
The argument you’ll hear is the same one he made on Tuesday: The Affordable Care Act is now the reality of healthcare in America—“woven into the fabric”—and the painful disruptions and the parade of horribles that Republicans predicted five years ago will now only come to pass if they allow it to unravel. Of course, Obama could easily have waited a few weeks to deliver the speech, if he needed to give it at all. But Obama apparently wanted to begin mounting his case now—and, perhaps, sway any justice who might be having last-minute doubts.
It’s not quite “Unprecedented,” but I think the term works.