Obamacare & the Supremes


by Stephanie Berenbaum - June 28th, 2012

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How Much Do You Know about the Highest Court?

By now you've all heard about today's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act - aka "Obamacare." And no, Fab & Fru is not about to jump into all the intricacies of the ruling - at least not right now. But we thought we'd start with one important takeaway: whatever your opinion of Obamacare, it's this kind of decision that shows how the Supreme Court can directly impact YOUR finances!

Getting To Know You

Let's face it, many Americans cannot even name the 9 Supreme Court Justices, much less really make a connection between their lofty positions and our day to day lives. The Supreme Court decisions that get the most publicity tend to be the ones surrounding ethical issues (Roe V Wade, for example) but today's ruling is a great reminder of the role the highest court in the land plays in your financial future. Not only does today's ruling affect the cost and availability of health care for millions of Americans, it also has an immediate impact on the stock market - particularly on insurance and healthcare related companies.

Introducing…The Supremes!Screen Shot 2012-06-28 at 2.48.22 PM

Ok, so just who are they, anyway? The Supreme Court is:

  • Chief Justice John Roberts - Conservative - nominated by President George W. Bush
  • Associate Justice Antonin Scalia - Conservative - nominated by President Ronald Reagan
  • Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy - Conservative - nominated by President Ronald Reagan
  • Associate Justice Clarence Thomas - Conservative - nominated by President George H.W. Bush
  • Associate Justice Samuel Alito, Jr. - Conservative - nominated by President George W. Bush
  • Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Liberal - nominated by President Bill Clinton
  • Associate Justice Stephen Breyer - Liberal - Nominated by President Bill Clinton
  • Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor - Liberal - Nominated by President Barack Obama
  • Associate Justice Elena Kagan - Liberal - Nominated by President Barack Obama

The Job of a Lifetime!

sl_kennedy_0329What's that, you don't remember voting for any of these justices? That's right - because they are all nominated by the President and then subject to Senate confirmation. And talk about job security - Supreme Court appointments are LIFETIME appointments - so until the justice decides to retire or passes away, they are in.

The Surprising Swing Vote

Supreme Court decisions are decided by a majority vote. But what was so surprising about today's 5-4 decision is that it was uber-Conservative Chief Justice Roberts who was actually the swing vote - siding with the Liberals instead of the Conservatives. So it just goes to show, The Supreme Court may just be a whole lot more full of surprise and intrigue than you may have thought. For more info on the Supreme Court, be sure to check out their website. And remember that is pays to stay aware of the supremely important decision-making going on at the highest court in the USA!

Want to understand more about the Affordable Healthcare Act? Click here!

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