This article considers the US Supreme Court’s jurisprudence in the primary constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act [“Obamacare”] against the backdrop of alleged neoliberal hegemony and argues that the principal opinions in the case actually constitute breaks with neoliberal premises and conclusions. Further, the law’s expansion of the welfare state invites us to rethink the role of the welfare state within contemporary emancipatory political projects. In this instance the socialization of health insurance via Medicaid expansion and market regulations, coupled with redistributive subsidies, contributes to a partial emancipation of workers from the scene of wage labor as well as to a queer emancipation from material dependency upon the biological family.

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