Thursday, March 29, 2012

The ACA SCOTUS Legal Lexicon

As it navigated the miasma of the Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable  Care Act (ACA), the Disease Management Care Blog struggled with a host of unfamiliar acronyms, catch phrases, nostrums, euphemisms and tweetisms. Since the DMCB cannot let any novel verbiage go unexamined, it is pleased to offer readers this ACA legal lexicon. The DMCB plans on using each of these terms once a day in the coming days so that its colleagues and enemies alike recognize its health reform chops.
Now you can too:

"Boatload" - a description by one Justice of the amount of cash available to the states, assuming that they go along with the Washington's expansion of Medicaid eligibility. It seems a "bloodbath" is what the states fear if coming shortfalls prompt future administrations to cut budgets while simultaneously insisting that the eligibility rules remain.  Also see "unfunded mandate."

"Cruel and unusual" - the specter of the Supreme Court Justics and clerks having to do what most of Congress never did: read all of the ACA. This was brought up during arguments over "severability" and how to invalidate various provisions. See "crimes against humanity" caused by having to read all the regulations that are currently being promulgated under the ACA.

"SCOTUS" - stands for the Supreme Court of the United States.  Two other US examples include "POTUS" (President of the United States) and "DMCBSOTUS" (Disease Management Care Blog Spouse of the United States).

"Train wreck" - a television reporter's initial assessment of the Administration's efforts to defend the the ACA before SCOTUS.  While one U.S. Senator thought the term was extreme, the DMCB says Mr. Reid should be of good cheer: it could have been worse.

"Bipartisan" - a remarkable rebranding of the ACA by a Presidential spokesperson after the term "train wreck" (see above) was widely quoted in the mainstream media.

"Burial insurance" - a foil used by one Justice to neutralize the debate over whether the government can compel citizens to buy broccoli. Everyone will use health care and everyone will also die, so is it both "necessary and proper" for the Feds to mandate burial insurance?

"Salvage job or a wrecking operation" - the two broad alternatives for SCOTUS as they grappled with the ACA. For another example of "salvage job," see "bipartisan" above; for an example of the latter, see Fox News.

Happy Friday!

Image from Wikipedia

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