Daily Kos: Conservatives Fighting Obamacare Are Like Psychopathic Action-Movie Villains

According to Daily Kos writer Dante Atkins, the D.C. Circuit’s Halbig decision resembled a plot twist in a movie in which “evil” conservatives know they’ve lost the Obamacare battle but “refuse to go quietly and seek to cause as much destruction as [they] can on [their] certain path to oblivion.”

Atkins wrote in a Sunday post that two factors made the court’s ruling possible: “imprecise language by the authors of the Affordable Care Act” and the “destructive psychopathy of the right wing.”

From Atkins’s post (emphasis added):

If you're familiar with the action film genre, there's a type of conclusion you're likely familiar with: the hero defeats all the villain's henchmen and thwarts his nefarious scheme, leaving him alone, defeated, and without purpose. The hero will say, "give up; it's over." The villain, however—because he's a villain—will refuse to go quietly and seek to cause as much destruction as he can on his certain path to oblivion.

In this analogy, the villain is the conservative movement, and the evil scheme is the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. The refusal to go quietly? Well, that's the Halbig decision handed down by the DC Circuit Court this past week…

If the United States had anything resembling a sane political system, the case of Halbig v. Burwell would not have existed at all. It does, however, because of the unfortunate combination of imprecise language by the authors of the Affordable Care Act on one hand, and the destructive psychopathy of the right wing on the other…

…Congress intentionally left a drafting error on the books, just waiting for someone to walk through it—and Michael Cannon at the libertarian Cato Institute did exactly that...


Cannon's goal, stated bluntly and frequently, was that Obamacare had to be brought down by any means necessary. States that did not set up exchanges were in a better position to sue the government. Fewer people in the exchanges meant higher overall costs. To insurers, the "death spiral" was an apocalypse scenario; to Cannon, it meant freedom…

…[R]egardless of the prognostications about ultimate outcomes, one thing is certain: the conservative approach to undoing the Affordable Care Act has become increasingly evil. They started by making ridiculous claims about how the law would create tyranny and bring death panels to America. Once the law passed, conservative state governments decided to go against their own ideology of local control and states' rights by refusing to create exchanges…

And now that every single other attempt to derail the law has failed, the conservative movement is now trying to take advantage of a drafting error that they long knew about but refused to fix to retroactively create a death spiral…

It's time to take a step back from the horse race and the speculation about how Halbig will end up, and get a broader perspective. The desperation of the anti-Obamacare movement is matched only by its increasing moral turpitude.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters