In the USA...United Surveillance America
Crises Cascade and Converge, Testing Obama
By PETER BAKER
JULY 22, 2014
WASHINGTON — Not long after a passenger jet exploded in midair and plummeted to the ground in Ukraine last week, escalating a volatile crisis pitting the United States and Europe against Russia, President Obama’s thoughts turned to Syria.
The Malaysia Airlines flight seemed to have been shot down by a sophisticated Russian antiaircraft system provided to insurgents who mistook the airliner for a military transport. In a conversation with aides, the president said this was why he refused to send antiaircraft weapons to Syrian rebels. Once they are out of a government’s control, he said, the risk only grows.
Rarely has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises all at once — in Ukraine, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere — but making the current upheaval more complicated for Mr. Obama is the seemingly interlocking nature of them all. Developments in one area, like Ukraine, shape his views and choices in a crisis in another area, like the Middle East.
The crosscurrents can be dizzying. Even as Mr. Obama presses Russia to stop fomenting a virtual civil war in Ukraine, he is trying to collaborate with Moscow in a diplomatic campaign to force Iran to scale back its nuclear program. Even as he pressures Iran over its nuclear program, he finds himself on the same side as Tehran in combating a rising Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Even as he sends special forces to help squelch those insurgents, he is trying to help their putative allies against the government in Syria next door.
And then there is the mushrooming conflict in Gaza, where Mr. Obama seems to be losing patience. While backing Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas rockets, he sent Secretary of State John Kerry to work with Egypt to force a cease-fire. This is the same Egypt to which Mr. Obama cut financial aid for a time because its leaders came to power after the military overthrew the previous government.
“It’s a very tangled mess,” said Gary Samore, a former national security aide to Mr. Obama and now president of United Against Nuclear Iran, an advocacy group. “You name it, the world is aflame. Foreign policy is always complicated. We always have a mix of complicated interests. That’s not unusual. What’s unusual is there’s this outbreak of violence and instability everywhere. It makes it hard for governments to cope with that.”
Little wonder then that in recent days the president seems almost to be suffering geopolitical whiplash. “We live in a complex world and at a challenging time,” he said wearily last week after making a statement in which he addressed Ukraine, Gaza, Iran and Afghanistan, all in the space of seven minutes. “And none of these challenges lend themselves to quick or easy solutions.”
A few months back, Mr. Obama argued that foreign relations is not a chess game. But at times, it seems like three-dimensional chess. Admirers said Mr. Obama’s strength was seeing those connections and finding ways to balance them. Critics said he allowed complexity to paralyze him at the expense of American leadership in the world.
President Obama said Israel has the right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas, but he expressed concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths in the conflict.
Publish Date July 21, 2014. Image CreditGabriella Demczuk/The New York Times
His approach to foreign policy has become more of a political liability, the subject of sharp criticism from Republicans and even some Democrats. In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, conducted last month, 58 percent of Americans disapproved of his handling of world affairs, a 10 percentage point jump in a month and the highest such number during his five and a half years in office.
Yet polls find that Americans do not want Mr. Obama to get the country enmeshed more deeply in places like Ukraine and Iraq, suggesting that he is more in touch with a broader public desire for disengagement than many of his critics even though his leadership is in question.
“Just because there are lots of global challenges doesn’t mean you have to overreact on one just to make a point,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, his deputy national security adviser. “They each have to be managed carefully in their own right. We have longer run plays that we’re running. Part of this is keeping your eye on the long game even as you go through tumultuous periods.”
Others said that long game was sometimes hard to detect in what seemed an ad hoc foreign policy. “If they had a strategy that allowed allies to understand what we’re likely to do — the principles guiding our choices — they could take coordinated and strengthening actions,” said Kori Schake, a former aide to President George W. Bush now at the Hoover Institution. “But their unpredictability discourages others from acting, which is where ‘leading from behind’ runs aground.”
The confluence of crises seems to confront Mr. Obama almost with each passing day. He has been pressing Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany to force a more robust European response to Russian aggression just as the relationship ruptured again over a new report of American spying in her country.
As the death toll rises in the latest round of Israeli-Palestinian fighting, a look at the Obama administration’s strategy for reaching a cease-fire.
Video Credit By Christian Roman and Carrie Halperin on Publish Date July 22, 2014. Image CreditWissam Nassar for The New York Times
Hoping to smooth things over, Mr. Obama dispatched his White House chief of staff, Denis R. McDonough, and counterterrorism adviser, Lisa Monaco, to Berlin, where they met with German officials on Tuesday, even as European foreign ministers were meeting separately to consider new sanctions on Russia.
As Mr. Obama tries to corral the Europeans on Russia, he must manage their discontent over Israel’s ground invasion of Gaza. He is also trying to keep Afghanistan from falling into new disarray over a disputed election while arguing that he is not making the same mistake critics believe he made in Iraq by pulling out all troops there as well.
At the same time, he has summoned Central American leaders to the White House on Friday to press them to stop the flow of children heading illegally to Texas. And some in the administration worry that with everything else going on, not enough attention is being paid to the bloody civil war in Syria.
The cascading crises reflect larger trends, according to Richard N. Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations. While the Cold War made for clear relationships, there is no such structure anymore. “So what you have are relationships where you may cooperate with certain countries on certain issues on certain days of the week, while on other issues on other days of the week, you may compete or simply go your own way,” he said.
R. Nicholas Burns, a former under secretary of state now at Harvard, said Mr. Obama should prioritize by focusing on forging deals in two areas in the next week, a unified response to Russia and a cease-fire in Gaza. “This is an unusually challenging time with all these overlapping crises,” he said. “The president has an opportunity here to put us back in a leadership position by responding effectively to a few of these things.”
Mr. Rhodes said that so far, the White House had not noticed much spillover from one crisis into another. Germany has been cooperative on Ukraine, Russia has not tried to torpedo the Iran talks, and Egypt has asserted itself as a peacemaker, he said.
“It’s mutual interests,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and a former State Department official under Mr. Obama. “You have to assume these other leaders are grown-ups making decisions in their own interests and their cooperation is rooted in mutual interests to some degree. It’s not favor trading, international diplomacy. On this big stuff, this is about interests.”
New Questions on Health Law as Rulings on Subsidies Differ
By ROBERT PEAR
JULY 22, 2014
WASHINGTON — Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for millions of Americans, raising yet more questions about the future of the health care law four years after it was signed by President Obama.
The contradictory rulings will apparently have no immediate impact on consumers. But they could inject uncertainty, confusion and turmoil into health insurance markets as the administration firms up plans for another open enrollment season starting in November.
By a vote of 2 to 1, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit struck down a regulation issued by the Internal Revenue Service that authorizes the payment of premium subsidies in states that rely on the federal insurance exchange.
If it stands, the ruling could cut off financial assistance for more than 4.5 million people who were found eligible for subsidized insurance in the federal exchange, or marketplace. It could also undercut enforcement of the requirement for most Americans to have insurance and the requirement for larger employers to offer it to their full-time employees.
The Justice Department said the government would continue paying subsidies to insurance companies on behalf of consumers in the 36 states that use the federal exchange, pending further review of the issue by federal courts.
Critics of the law, who said the ruling in Washington vindicated their opposition to it, did not have much time to celebrate. Within hours, a unanimous three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in Richmond, Va., issued a ruling that came to the opposite conclusion.
The Fourth Circuit panel upheld the subsidies, saying the I.R.S. rule was “a permissible exercise of the agency’s discretion.”
The language of the Affordable Care Act on this point is “ambiguous and subject to multiple interpretations,” the Fourth Circuit panel said, so it gave deference to the tax agency.
In a separate case, the Justice Department informed a federal appeals court in Denver on Tuesday that the Obama administration would issue new rules within a month revising a compromise on contraceptive coverage under the health care law in response to a recent Supreme Court ruling.
The court ruled this month that Wheaton College, a Christian college in Illinois, did not have to fill out certain forms that would result in birth control being provided by insurers. The administration is studying options for ensuring that women still receive the coverage. The court suggested that Wheaton could notify the government of its religious objections rather than send the opt-out forms to insurers.
Subsidies, in the form of tax credits, are a major element of the health care law. Without them, many more consumers would be unable to afford coverage and could be exempted from the “individual mandate” to have insurance.
The employer mandate is enforced through penalties imposed on employers if any of their workers receive subsidies, so it could become meaningless in states where subsidies were unavailable.
The White House rejected the ruling of the appeals court panel in Washington and indicated that the Justice Department would ask the full court to review it. The Obama administration has consistently underestimated court challenges to the health care law, including one decided in 2012 by the Supreme Court, which upheld the individual mandate.
At least two other cases on subsidies are pending in federal district courts, in Oklahoma and Indiana.
In the case decided in Washington on Tuesday, Halbig v. Burwell, the appeals court panel said that the Affordable Care Act made subsidies available only to people who obtained insurance through exchanges established by states.
The law “does not authorize the I.R.S. to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” the panel said. The law, it said, “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.”
Aides to Mr. Obama said the ruling seemed to fly in the face of common sense.
“You don’t need a fancy legal degree to understand that Congress intended for every eligible American to have access to tax credits that would lower their health care costs, regardless of whether it was state officials or federal officials who were running the marketplace,” said Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary. “I think that is a pretty clear intent of the congressional law.”
Reacting to the ruling, a Justice Department spokeswoman, Emily Pierce, said, “We believe that this decision is incorrect, inconsistent with congressional intent, different from previous rulings and at odds with the goal of the law.”
Under this ruling, many people could see their share of premiums increase sharply. Subsidies reduced the average premium to $82 a month from $346, according to the administration.
The majority opinion in the case here was written by Judge Thomas B. Griffith, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, with a concurring opinion by Judge A. Raymond Randolph, a senior circuit judge, who was appointed by the elder President George Bush.
“Our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal exchanges and for health insurance markets more broadly,” Judge Griffith said. “But, high as those stakes are, the principle of legislative supremacy that guides us is higher still.”
Another member of the appeals court panel, Judge Harry T. Edwards, a senior circuit judge appointed by President Jimmy Carter, filed a dissent in which he described the lawsuit as an “attempt to gut” the law. The majority opinion, he said, “defies the will of Congress.” He said that the Obama administration’s reading of the law was “permissible and reasonable, and, therefore, entitled to deference.”
A similar approach was taken by the Fourth Circuit panel in its case, King v. Burwell. Judge Roger L. Gregory, who received a recess appointment from President Bill Clinton and a permanent appointment from President George W. Bush, said that the rival interpretations of the law by the plaintiffs and by the Obama administration appeared to be “equally plausible.”
But, Judge Gregory said, the administration’s position helps achieve “the broad policy goals” of the Affordable Care Act. “The economic framework supporting the act would crumble if the credits were unavailable on federal exchanges,” he said.
In a concurring opinion, Judge Andre M. Davis, a senior judge on the appeals court, said the plaintiffs’ argument “would effectively destroy the statute.” It would, he said, “deny to millions of Americans desperately needed health insurance through a tortured, nonsensical construction” of the law. Judge Davis and the other judge on the panel, Stephanie D. Thacker, were appointed by Mr. Obama.
The health law authorized subsidies specifically for insurance bought “through an exchange established by the state.”
When the law was adopted, Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats assumed that states would set up their own exchanges. But many Republican governors and state legislators balked, and opposition to the law became a rallying cry for the party.
The lawsuit in Washington, championed by conservative and libertarian groups, was filed by people in states that use the federal exchange: Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. They objected to being required to buy insurance, even with subsidies to help defray the cost.
One of the plaintiffs, David Klemencic, who has a carpet store in Ellenboro, W.Va., said: “If I have to start paying out for health insurance, it will put me out of business. As Americans, we should be able to make our own decisions in matters like this.”
Democrats said the Fourth Circuit ruling validated the law, which they passed in 2010 without any Republican votes. Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the House Democratic leader, said the plaintiffs’ reading of the law was “obviously false.”
By contrast, Speaker John A. Boehner praised the ruling of the appeals court panel in Washington. It showed, he said, that “President Obama’s health care law is completely unworkable.”
An Ominous Health Care Ruling
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
JULY 22, 2014
Millions of low- and moderate-income people who signed up for health insurance with the help of federal tax-credit subsidies could find themselves without coverage or facing big premium bills if a destructive decision handed down by a federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday is not reversed. It would be a crippling blow to the ability of the Affordable Care Act to reduce the ranks of the uninsured with grievous consequences for vulnerable customers.
For now, consumers are expected to retain their coverage and tax credits while this and similar suits in other jurisdictions wend their way through the court system. Just hours after the ruling in Washington, a federal appeals court panel in Richmond, Va., ruled the opposite way, finding that Congress intended to make the tax credits available nationwide.
Under the decision of a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, people living in 36 states, mostly led by Republican governors or legislatures, would be in jeopardy because their states refused to set up “exchanges” or electronic marketplaces on which individuals can shop for insurance plans and apply for subsidies based on their incomes.
For the most part, the political leaders in those states wanted nothing to do with what they deride as Obamacare, and left it up to the federal government to set up exchanges for their residents. People fortunate enough to live in the 14 states and the District of Columbia that have set up their own exchanges would escape the effect of this mindless and harmful ruling.
The 2-to-1 decision issued by the panel hinged on how to interpret language in the Affordable Care Act that most experts agree was poorly drafted and would ordinarily have been corrected by a Congressional conference committee. In this instance, there was no conference committee because the law was passed on a take-it-or-leave-it vote in the House to avoid a Republican filibuster in the Senate.
Two Republican-appointed judges on the panel, taking an incredibly narrow and blinkered view, concluded that the language in the law allows the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax-credit subsidies only on exchanges established by the states. They decided that the statute’s wording does not allow subsidies on federally created exchanges — even though those exchanges carry out exactly the same purpose and, in effect, act on behalf of the states. The administration had expected most states to create their own exchanges, but most handed that task to the federal government.
The third judge, a Democratic appointee, called the majority opinion what it clearly was, a “not-so-veiled attempt to gut” the health care law. He argued that the law sought to achieve “near-universal coverage” of all Americans and that this could only be achieved with the help of subsidies working in tandem with a mandate that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. It defies common sense to think that Congress really intended that there be no subsidies at all in 36 states.
The Obama administration is expected to appeal the decision to the full appellate court, whose 11 members include seven Democratic and four Republican appointees. What is needed is common sense in interpreting the law, not ideological opposition to Obamacare.
The three-judge appeals panel on the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, based in Richmond, while acknowledging ambiguities in the language of the law, unanimously and properly upheld the subsidies as a permissible exercise of discretion by the I.R.S.
Federal Court Ruling That Obamacare Subsidies Are Illegal Expected To Be Overturned
By: Jason Easley
Tuesday, July, 22nd, 2014, 12:37 pm
Today, in a 2-1 split decision, the Republican judges on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals embraced a controversial interpretation of the ACA that believes all subsidies issued through the federal marketplace are illegal. The decision is expected to be overturned.
The ruling depended on a narrow reading of the statute to conclude that subsidies are only legal for state exchanges, “Because we conclude that the ACA unambiguously restricts the section 36B subsidy to insurance purchased on Exchanges ‘established by the State,’ we reverse the district court and vacate the IRS’s regulation.”
The only way that this ruling makes any sense at all is if one ignored the legislative intent of Congress when the law was drafted.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said during his daily briefing, “While this ruling is interesting to legal theorists, it has no practical impact” on individuals’ ability to currently receive tax credits for their health care. You don’t need a fancy legal degree to understand Congress intended” for qualified individuals to receive tax credits regardless of who was administering the exchange.
Two courts had previously ruled in favor of the administration. This is the first ruling that has gone against the ACA.
The likely outcome here was described by Ron Pollack of Families USA:
It is most likely that today’s split decision, which would take away premium subsidies for almost five million low- and moderate-income people, will never go into effect.
It will inevitably be placed on hold pending further proceedings; will probably be reheard by all of the 11-member active D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals members, who predictably will reverse it; and runs contrary to an expected ruling on a similar case in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Today’s decision represents the high-water mark for Affordable Care Act opponents, but the water will recede very quickly.
The Republican victory today was fairly meaningless. It is extremely unlikely that it will hold up on appeal, and it is questionable as to whether or not that the Supreme Court would agree to hear the case. Republicans are celebrating something that in the big picture will not change anything.
Ironically, this “victory” will end up politically backfiring on the GOP. Over 18 million people have health insurance thanks to the ACA. Republicans are now arguing that those people should lose the subsidies that help cover the cost of their insurance. Democrats can argue that Republicans are trying to raise the cost of health insurance.
Republicans want to make the 2014 election about Obamacare, but thanks to this ruling, Democrats will be forcing them into a discussion that they don’t want to have. The Republican Party continues to rejoice over the prospect of Americans being denied affordable healthcare. This is why the GOP is will pay at the ballot box in November
John Boehner Makes A Fool Out of Himself Trying To Use ACA Subsidy Ruling To Push His Lawsuit
By: Jason Easley
Tuesday, July, 22nd, 2014, 4:27 pm
After the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that Obamacare subsidies were illegal for the federal marketplace, Speaker Boehner jumped the gun with a statement that pushed his lawsuit against President Obama.
For the second time in a month, the courts have ruled against the president’s unilateral actions regarding ObamaCare. The president has demonstrated he believes he has the power to make his own laws. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work. That’s why the House will act next week to authorize a lawsuit to uphold the rule of law and protect our Constitution. This isn’t about Republicans versus Democrats; it’s about the Constitution versus unconstitutional and unilateral actions by the Executive Branch, and protecting our democracy.
Today’s ruling is also further proof that President Obama’s health care law is completely unworkable. It cannot be fixed. The American people recognize that ObamaCare is hurting our economy and making it harder for small businesses to hire, and that’s why Republicans remain committed to repealing the law and replacing it with solutions that will lower health care costs and protect American jobs.”
The problem is that the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, VA handed down a ruling that disagreed with everything that Boehner said. The Fourth Circuit ruled that the subsidies were legal. By jumping the gun with his statement, Rep. Boehner looks like a fool. Boehner’s office has not commented on the second ruling, which leads one to believe that he is simply going to pretend that it does not exist.
Speaker Boehner’s lawsuit has nothing to do with the issue that was ruled on today. The court’s ruled on whether the law covers subsidies for the federal marketplace or is limited to state-run exchanges. It is the height of dishonesty for the Speaker to suggest that these lawsuits have anything to do with his claim that President Obama is making his own laws.
One lawsuit that does directly relate to Speaker Boehner’s was not mentioned in his statement. Boehner doesn’t want to discuss the fact that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) tried to sue President Obama for making his own laws on Obamacare and had his suit thrown out of court because he lacked standing.
John Boehner demonstrated that he is a terrible Speaker of the House, but he excels at making a fool out of himself. The second ruling killed the Republican talking point that Obamacare is illegal and doomed while Speaker Boehner is on another planet still trying to sell his bogus lawsuit to a disbelieving public.
Outrageous Ruling On Obamacare Subsidies Is A Call To Arms For Liberals
By: Eric Shapiro
Tuesday, July, 22nd, 2014, 8:35 pm
In a major blow to the Affordable Care Act, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled this morning in Halbig V. Burwell that states without their own insurance exchanges cannot receive federal subsidies to pay for healthcare. If this ruling stands – the Obama Administration will challenge it and stands a very good chance of winning – middle- and low-income Americans who have reaped the benefits of subsidized healthcare under the Affordable Care Act will be subject to higher prices than they can afford. While last month’s Hobby Lobby ruling was a travesty, this ruling is more wide-reaching and potentially devastating to the Affordable Care Act as a whole. Without subsidies, the GOP can claim, as it has all along, that the Affordable Care Act renders healthcare more expensive for Americans. The mandate will backfire, forcing Americans who are no longer entitled to subsidies to shoulder greater costs, potentially creating a backlash against a law that has expanded coverage to millions of Americans so far. It is tempting to dismiss longshot rulings like today’s as empty GOP desperation, but each and every joke of a case is symptomatic of a broader threat to progressive legislation: conservative judicial activism. After all, it only takes one successful ruling, upheld by conservatives on the Supreme Court, to cripple a law. And today’s is just one of many.
Take a look at the decision here
There is tremendous hypocrisy in the GOP’s constant claims of an “imperial presidency” for relatively minor executive actions even as they use the judiciary to cripple a law passed in both houses of Congress. Think about this for a second: two un-elected judges playing word games with quotes lifted out of context from a long, extremely complex piece of legislation could theoretically decide the nature of America’s healthcare system. Before we laugh off rulings like today’s, we should consider how a quack like Scalia might react to a ruling that we consider ridiculous.
The media has focused on high-profile and fruitless challenges to Obamacare in Congress, such as Ted Cruz’s petulant government shutdown and John Boehner’s frivolous lawsuit. However, Republicans cannot currently inflict lasting damage on Obamacare through Congress because Democrats still have enough seats to block challenges and, if worst comes to worst, Obama can wield the veto pen. Boehner, meanwhile, lacks the standing and precedent to challenge the president’s discretion to enforce a law in accordance with changing conditions. The courts pose the real danger, as they need neither electoral majorities nor standing to tear apart the law.
The conservative movement that came to power with Reagan’s election in 1980 and held the presidency for most of the next three decades (with the exception of Bill Clinton’s presidency) allowed the Republican Party to stack the courts, both federal and local, with activist judges bent on imposing a reactionary vision on the country. The Obama and Clinton Administrations have done their best to reverse this disaster, but the damage is not yet undone. As long as conservatives control the courts, all liberal accomplishments in the legislature are subject to crippling sabotage. The Supreme Court already struck down Obama’s Medicaid expansion, depriving millions of Americans of healthcare. If, on top of this, federal subsidies are denied to more than half the states, the Affordable Care Act as it was passed will be unrecognizable. All that without the GOP winning a single vote in Congress. With such a precedent established, will future Democratic presidents dare risk taking on healthcare reform and other ambitious goals?
All is not lost if today’s ruling serves as a lesson for liberals. It is not enough to vote in presidential elections, watch Congress pass ambitious progressive legislation, then stay at home in the midterms and hope for the best. If we do not elect durable majorities in Congress that allow our president to appoint and confirm judges to the Supreme Court, the DC Court of Appeals and other key judicial posts, all of our grassroots activism, all of our get-out-the-vote efforts will be for naught. We should not see today’s ruling as cause for despair, but rather a reminder of just how much is at stake moving forward. Obamacare still stands, but we cannot assume that it will inevitably survive as the one, shining example of Obama’s legacy; that kind of self-satisfied complacency can only lead to disaster. The composition of our Congress in 2015 could very well determine whether liberals build a strong judicial presence that will last for a generation or allow Republicans to maintain their dominion over the courts. The composition of our Congress in 2015 will determine President Obama’s ability to appoint a progressive voice to the Supreme Court. With Ginsberg likely to retire soon, we cannot allow the GOP to stall the confirmation of a progressive justice or perhaps worse, force Obama into appointing someone who does not bring a progressive vision to the bench.
Today’s ruling isn’t just about Obamacare. It’s about the capacity of government to pass ambitious, complex, multi-faceted progressive legislation to benefit the American people. In other words, its about liberalism as a tenable political philosophy. If courts can pick away at every government program piece by piece for blatantly political reasons, how can we accomplish any liberal priorities? After all, dealing with climate change, inequality and other pressing issues will, if anything, require even more ambitious legislation than the Affordable Care Act. In terms of healthcare alone, can we ever have a single-payer option if Obamacare, a relatively modest attempt to improve healthcare in America, fails? Healthcare subsidies may not seem as sexy or pressing to average voters as a blatant attempt to deny women their reproductive rights, but it is incumbent on liberals to explain what’s at stake before it’s too late. Regardless of whether it stands, let today’s ruling be a call to arms.