Viewpoints: Both Parties Swinging For The Fences On Health Law Decision; GOP Once Supported Universal Care; Sarah Palin’s Latest ‘Whopper’
The ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold most of the health law has put the controversy squarely back on the parties' agendas for the November elections.
The New York Times: The Price Of Health Care
For President Obama, the consequences of health care may still be fatal to his re-election hopes. The choice to go all-in on reform was the most important call of the Obama presidency, and from a purely political perspective it has proved the most disastrous one. Thursday's decision won't change this reality: Victory at the Supreme Court was obviously preferable to defeat, but the chief justice's grudging imprimatur is unlikely to make a deeply unpopular piece of legislation suddenly popular instead (Ross Douthat, 6/30).
The New York Times/Bloomberg News: Next Battleground Of Health Care Debate
The outcome poses challenges for both presidential contenders. Mr. Obama's claim that it means the country "can't refight" the law is a pipe dream. Mr. Romney will be held accountable for his strong inconsistencies on health care and his refusal to offer serious alternatives. The 5-to-4 decision upholding the central tenet of Obamacare, as Republicans call it, was a better result for the Democrats. If things had gone the other way, Mr. Romney could have credibly charged that Mr. Obama wasted two years on an unconstitutional measure, instead of focusing on the economy (Albert R. Hunt, 7/1).
The Washington Post: The Republican Turn Against Universal Health Insurance
To some degree, the political debate over health care has been on hold while everyone waited for the Supreme Court to rule on the law. But now that the Court has had its say, we can, and should, turn our attention back to the election, where the two parties have clearly laid out their health-care platforms. The Democrats' commitment is to provide every American with health insurance. The Republican Party's commitment is to prevent any American from being forced to have health insurance. It wasn't always this way. Democrats and Republicans used to argue over how best to achieve universal coverage, but both agreed on the goal (Ezra Klein, 6/30).
The Washington Post: Roberts's Health-Care Ruling Sends A Message To Politicians
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. delivered more than a historic ruling with his opinion upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Deliberately or not, he sent a message to politicians about the importance of protecting the vitality and reputation of public institutions. That's a message badly needed in Washington and nowhere more so than in the Capitol building that sits across the broad lawn from the Supreme Court (Dan Balz, 6/30).
The Washington Post: The Umpire Strikes Back
Roberts explained why he had sided with the four liberal justices: not because he thought the health-care law was "good policy" but because there wasn't a constitutional reason to invalidate the individual mandate at the core of the law. "We possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments," he wrote in his majority opinion, which he read in part from the bench. "Those decisions are entrusted to our nation's elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices" (Dana Milbank, 6/30).
The Chicago Tribune: On Facts, Lies And Sarah Palin
The death panels are back. Sarah Palin's vision of a dystopian society in which the elderly and infirm would be required to justify their continued existence before a jury of federal functionaries has been widely ridiculed since she first posted it on Facebook three years ago. ... Last week, Palin doubled down. "Though I was called a liar for calling it like it is," she posted, "many of these accusers finally saw that Obamacare did in fact create a panel of faceless bureaucrats who have the power to make life-and-death decisions about health care funding." ... Not long ago, if you told a whopper like Palin's and it was as thoroughly debunked as hers was, that would have ended the discussion. These days, it is barely even part of the discussion (Leonard Pitts, 7/2).
Los Angeles Times: Obama's Victory Is Now His Challenge
Nothing produces cheers from the GOP faithful like the promise to "repeal, dismantle and defund Obamacare," to quote House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). So while many in the GOP had hoped the law would be found unconstitutional, having it to kick around through the fall may have its advantages. As Sarah Palin posted on her Facebook page after the decision, "Thank you, SCOTUS. This Obamacare ruling fires up the troops as America's eyes are opened" (Doyle McManus, 7/1).
Politico: Time For Real Health Care Reform
Historians will likely say that the court showed an astonishing level of judicial activism. While Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the more liberal justices and found the law constitutional under Congress’ power to tax, the bill would never have passed if the penalty had been cast as a tax increase. Many politicians, including President Barack Obama, went to great lengths to assert it was not a tax. … Democrats must acknowledge that the law does not come close to dealing with the long-term fiscal challenges caused by rising health care costs. It may have increased coverage, but you can't increase coverage and save money—that's an oxymoron (David M. Walker, 7/2).
Denver Post: Moving Forward On Nation's Health Care
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding the historic Affordable Care Act is great news for America's families as they begin to see greater access to health care and lower insurance costs. As a constitutional lawyer and one of the chief architects of the ACA, I always believed the mandate was constitutional, and I am extremely pleased the court agreed (Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., 6/29).
Philadelphia Inquirer: What Would Replacing Obamacare Look Like?
Now comes the hard part, assuming opponents of the Affordable Care Act are ever actually in a position to pull off repeal. Replace Obamacare with what? Strict constructionists might argue that there's no reason to go beyond repeal, that this is just a matter of getting the government out of the business of health care. But unless they also repeal Medicaid, Medicare, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and a host of other programs, government is in health care to stay. Therefore what needs addressing is the government's business model for health care, which is exacerbating the problems, especially the spiraling costs (Kevin Ferris, 7/1).
Bloomberg: Congress Can Fix Health-Care Law Without Destroying It
Republicans run the risk of looking like wreckers, not problem-solvers -- not a good image in an election year, no matter what polls say about support for the law. There is a smarter course for them. They should assemble a list of ways to tweak the act to make it work better -- and more to their liking…. First, and most urgently, the law’s requirements on creating state-based health-insurance marketplaces need to be adjusted slightly to give states more time to comply (7/1).
Houston Chronicle: Supreme Court Decision Clarifies Importance Of 2012 Election
Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling has clarified the importance of our upcoming election: The only way to stop the government power grab known as Obamacare is to elect a president and a congressional majority who will repeal it…. Before Obamacare became law, the president assured Texans that the individual mandate was not a tax. But the Supreme Court has now made clear that the mandate breaks the president's pledge not to raise taxes on middle-class Texans (Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, 6/29).
The Seattle Times: The 'Tax' Attack On Health Care
It sure feels like someone, somewhere, decided this is going to be the mantra of the coming campaigns. But it doesn't make much common sense that a tax on people who don't have health insurance could be so big. Most people have insurance, so by definition they won't pay this tax (Danny Westneat, 6/30).
Boston Globe: On Health Care, It's Romney Vs. Romney
By upholding the constitutionality of the historic national health care reform law last week, the Supreme Court sets up a fierce ideological battle. It's between Mitt Romney and Mitt Romney. If elected president, Romney promises to repeal Obamacare. He says it is bad law and bad policy, and unfairly raises taxes on the American people. His problem is that as governor, he imposed the same law, policy, and taxes on Massachusetts citizens (Joan Vennochi, 7/1).
Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Health Care Landscape Will Be Reshaped In Unimaginable Ways
Protestations from the Republicans that they will seek repeal are basically a day late and dollar short. The chicken’s head has been cut off but the chicken is still running around like he is alive. Barring some landslide victory in November that changes the balance of power in the Senate or Presidency, the die has been cast. This phase is over and Republicans should meditate on why they did not enact their conservative vision when they were in power (Francis M. Miller, 6/29).