“Mitt Romney is the godfather of our health care plan.” David Plouffe, NBC’s “Meet the Press.
This one is for all the marbles, particularly since Pres. Obama hasn’t sold a specific economic message since he came into office.
Watch A Viewer’s Guide to Supreme Court Arguments on Health Care on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.
The Supreme Court will hear three days of arguments starting Monday on whether President Obama’s Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Twenty-six states have filed challenges to the health-care reform law. The main issue, on which the lower courts have split, is whether Congress had the power to pass this law under the Constitution’s commerce clause. The answers to that and other questions are clouded by misperceptions about the law itself. Let’s debunk them. … – Five myths about the health-care law – Challenging everything you think you know
PBS is doing full coverage of the next big health care debate. It’s the safest place to go for answers and analysis.
The infotainment shows this week will overflow with partisan hyenas.
If Obamacare is upheld, it fundamentally changes the nature of the American social contract. It means the effective end of a government of enumerated powers — i.e., finite, delineated powers beyond which the government may not go, beyond which lies the free realm of the people and their voluntary institutions. The new post-Obamacare dispensation is a central government of unlimited power from which citizen and civil society struggle to carve out and maintain spheres of autonomy. – The Reckoning, by Charles Krauthammer
If you read Krauthammer’s piece it gets down to one thing, the contraceptive mandate, which has lit conservatives on fire.
It further proves the philosophical bankruptcy of conservatives, because the fundamental point of getting contraceptives in the hands of more women, many of whom cannot afford it, is to prevent pregnancy. That conservatives will never join in on this campaign through championing contraception, which they didn’t do before ACA’s contraceptive mandate became the issue, is why they cannot be taken seriously on so-called “life” issues.
Marty Lederman of Balkinization focused on severability last Friday and will be an important source information this week.
Politico’s Josh Gerstein has an interesting article up as well.
Many legal scholars, including respected conservatives, pooh-poohed the idea that the courts might actually strike down the law or the individual mandate requiring most Americans to get health insurance or pay a fine.
Yet on Monday, three days of oral arguments about the law begin at the high court — the most time justices have devoted to a single law since 1966.
The challengers’ journey from the near-fringe of legal thought to coming within striking distance of knocking out Obama’s signature legislative achievement has coupled an intense legal assault with a communications drive to convince elites and the public that the law violates the Constitution.
“Once the Supreme Court grants review of the case and sets six hours of arguments over three days, it becomes a blockbuster case where, either way, there’s going to be a landmark ruling,” said Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center, a liberal legal group.
If you’ve forgotten the long trail to becoming law, here’s a tick tock and timeline of the milestones events from the beginning.
From Walter Dillinger’s “Five Myths” column cited at the top:
4. The law is socialist.
Actually, the opposite is true. The principal reason the Affordable Care Act has been called unprecedented is that it declines to follow the New Deal approach of having a monolithic government agency be the single provider of a good or service. Instead, the law adopts a new approach, one conservatives have long supported, of using providers in the private market to deal with social and economic problems.
In defending his “Massachusetts mandate” as a conservative model for national health-care legislation, former governor Mitt Romney editorialized in 2009 that by imposing tax penalties on people who choose to remain uninsured, an individual mandate “encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibilities for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.” And, as Romney noted, conservatives have never been inclined to favor freeloaders.
Dillinger, according to the Post, filed a brief on behalf of the Senate and House Democratic leadership defending the health care law in the Supreme Court.
I’m on record being against the mandate. I was also one of the loudest voices in new media on the Stupak Amendment. That the Affordable Care Act never received a concentrated campaign with Pres. Obama’s full weight behind it is one reason why Sarah Palin and her Tea Party pack were able to get mileage with the “death panels” squeal in August 2010.
But that’s ancient history.
So is Pres. Obama’s choice to do back room Big Pharma and private insurance company deals, which has been recounted in several books on Obama in the last year.
The Affordable Care Act is a serious accomplishment, which was the goal of the Obama administration and Democrats that anyone in politics can appreciate. If you don’t score you can’t convince anyone you deserve reelection.
But the road to manifestation was rife with political missteps, botched opportunities and timidity, magnified by too many of the goodies being delayed, while what was implemented ended up being drowned out by a campaign that was indecipherably incoherent.
No one can say that people with pre-existing illnesses now being covered isn’t a good thing. That children into their mid-twenties being insured on the parent’s policy isn’t helpful to families. That the latest addition to get contraception covered without cost isn’t a boon to women.
This week is sure to be a partisan train wreck.
What this week’s Supreme Court arguments hold for this country, however, will come when the landmark ruling comes down.