A jubilant moment in the White House and for the Democratic Party. As I’ve written before, just because the bill the Democrats concocted is a bad one, the moment today was never the less historic.
From the New York Times:
In political terms, Republicans face strong crosscurrents. Polls suggest that a sizable part of the nation is unenthusiastic about the bill or opposed to it. Conservatives see it as a strike at the heart of their small-government principles, helping to explain why Republicans are optimistic that they will make gains in the midterm elections in November.
“There is no downside for Republicans,” Michael Steele, the Republican National Committee chairman, said Monday in an interview. “Only for Americans.”
But at the same time, many provisions of the bill that go into effect this year – like curbs on insurance companies denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, or the expansion of prescription drug coverage for the elderly – are broadly popular with the public. The more contentious ones, including the mandate for the uninsured to obtain coverage, do not take effect for years.
And in a week when Democrats are celebrating the passage of a historic piece of legislation, Republicans find themselves again being portrayed as the party of no, associated with being on the losing side of an often acrid debate and failing to offer a persuasive alternative agenda. […]
…and the second the ink was dried state attorneys general from thirteen states joined into a lawsuit against Obamacare. From NBC:
The ink is still drying on the health care overhaul bill signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama, but attorneys general from at least 14 states have filed lawsuits to challenge the legislation.
Thirteen state attorneys general – 12 Republicans and one Democrat – signed onto one lawsuit against the U.S. departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury and Labor. The top state lawyers in Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Michigan, Utah, Pennsylvania, Alabama, South Dakota, Louisiana, Idaho, Washington and Colorado joined in the complaint filed immediately after the president’s signing ceremony. A separate lawsuit was also filed by Virginia’s Republican attorney general Tuesday.
The issue at the heart of the lawsuit is the constitutionality of the so-called “individual mandate,” which requires most Americans to have an insurance plan or else pay a federal penalty.
“The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage,” the lawsuit reads. […]
No public option was bad enough, but mandating people into an insurance monopoly system on pain of penalty, was a close second. We’ll see what happens, but the SCOTUS is still right-leaning enough that if it gets there who knows what could happen.