There are times when people surprise you. I was surprised twice in this decision. First, that Justice Kennedy went to the right, towing the party line. It seemed conscience and deep thought would lead him elsewhere. Second, I’m surprised that Justice Roberts sided with a “bunch of damn liberals,” as my family up north would call them.
Healthy kids learn better. That’s why we feed them and have school nurses on campuses. We have Medicaid programs for them at the federal level, forcing politicians in states like Texas to allow children to see physicians. We work to make and keep them healthy, to the point of limiting any “Foods of Minimal Nutritional Value” in schools.
What doesn’t get pointed out quite as much is that healthy parents tend to be better parents. I know that personally. The Henley family has two parents struggling with their health. Our kids have paid the price for that in terms of grades, accomplishments, and stress levels. It’s not that they aren’t doing well, by objective standards. But I remain a man that lives his life cursed by the words of Charles Schulz: “I carry the burden of a great potential.”
As usual, a lot of my writing goes back to Benjamin Bloom. If you aren’t healthy, you can’t do your work–learning, teaching, writing blogs, whatever–to the best of your ability. This ruling allows the will of the people, the will to live to move forward.
It turns out the government can tax. It turns out, working Americans get to keep the protections (or what David Frum called “goodies“), despite the best efforts of those who typically don’t have to deal with the outcome.
I do, though. Teachers do, too. This decision will lead to a healthier America. It will also lead to a smarter America. One that shines, like a city on a hill.