But let's stop for a moment. Assume this was a law you liked or better yet, were neutral about. The plain intent was that it should work a certain way. It's already caused hasty and sometimes unexpectedly costly rearrangements of health insurance for millions of Americans (under threat of fines!) and if the rug gets yanked out from under, that bids fair to create the same kind and scale of disruption all over again, mostly to the very same people -- people, generally, for whom even a little budgetary bobble can be a disaster.
Now you be the Justice: here's a law that's written wrong. The people who wrote it -- people you can call up on the phone or probably even go have drinks with after a long, hard day of Supreming (especially if you hang out with insurance lobbyists) -- are saying they slipped up, of course they meant to include the Federal fill-in for state exchanges in the part of the law at issue. Meanwhile, opposition to the entire law, very much on party lines, wants the error to be read as given, in the expressed hope that it will lead the scuttling the entire law. You're the Justice; you have a choice that boils down to A) endorsing a partisian position that if it works as expected, will screw over millions of Americans who've been shafted once already or B) go with the original intent of the law instead of the sloppy drafting of it.
Personally, I'm surprised the Court was able to muster three dissenting votes.
Look, I dislike that law intensely, but taking it down via a technicality is cheating. It's BS. It's underhanded. Yes, Washington abounds in underhanded BS and yes, individual (and corporate) defendants squeak by on "technicalities" all the time. --That government of laws rather than men is supposed to err on the side of letting the guilty go free rather than punishing the innocent: all justice is flawed and it must, therefore, be set up to err on the side that protects the innocent. If you take keeping the workings of law from causing harm to the innocent as a goal, the Supreme Court did the right thing, galling though it is.
Yeah, it sucks. There's no magical gambit, no shortcut. Don't like ACA? Elect a President and a Congress with a clear mandate to fix that and have at it. It's what the side that ran the blamed thing through did.
* And if you can't afford it, they'll