KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Post-Supreme Court, Political Debate On Health Law Heats Up

Just a few days after the Supreme Court's marathon consideration of the health law, news coverage centered around political ramifications.

The Associated Press: Congress Gets Rough Treatment At Supreme Court
The Supreme Court left little doubt during last week's marathon arguments over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul that it has scant faith in Congress' ability to get anything done. ... Justice Antonin Scalia, who appeared strongly in favor of striking down the entire law, was the most outspoken in his disdain for the branch of government that several justices can see from their office windows. ... Justice Anthony Kennedy draw laughs when he asked a lawyer describing what Congress would want the court to do, "Is that the real Congress or a hypothetical Congress?"  (Sherman, 3/31).

Politico: Obama: GOP Will Leave You 'On Your Own' On Health Care
Speaking before a raucous crowd of nearly 5,000 supporters in Burlington, Vt., President Obama struck a combative tone on his signature health care reform law at a campaign fundraiser that often felt more like a rally. "Change is the health care reform that we passed," Obama said, in his first public remarks on the law since the Supreme Court concluded oral arguments Wednesday (Tau, 3/30).

The New York Times: Health Overhaul Is Backdrop as Obama Returns to Stump
Because of his health care law, Mr. Obama promised, “in the United States of America, no one will go broke because they got sick.” He received thunderous applause from a pumped-up Democratic crowd ... The Supreme Court was to begin deliberations over the law after a week of arguments, with a decision expected to be announced in June. White House officials have publicly struck a confident air, refusing to discuss any contingency planning under way in the event the high court strikes down all or part of the law (Cooper, 3/30).

The Wall Street Journal: Politics Counts: Health Care’s Effect on the 2012 Vote
Nationally, the number of uninsured Americans has grown markedly in recent years and that spike has deepened a crisis for some communities. For others, however, those increased health-care challenges are not terribly noticeable. ... Since the Obama health-care plan aims at extending coverage, you might imagine that as you walk up that scale of uninsured in the chart above, support for the plan would grow. But polls indicate that’s not exactly correct. ...The Industrial Metropolis counties, which vote heavily Democratic, heavily favor the plan – 55% to 36%. The Boom Towns, which lean to the right, disapprove 49% to 44% (Chinni, 3/30).

Los Angeles Times: Obama Blasts GOP's 'You're-On-Your-Own Economics' 
The president included healthcare in his list of accomplishments as he tried to make a case for his reelection, but he did not offer an extended or fresh defense of the law. ... Obama concluded his second speech just minutes before former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney delivered what was billed as major speech ... He repeatedly attacked what he called "Barack Obama’s government-centered society."  "In the days and months ahead, we should ask ourselves some very fundamental questions about who we are as a nation and who we are becoming" (Hennessey and Memoli 3/30).

The Hill: RNC Draws Heat Over Ad With Doctored Supreme Court Audio
Republicans may have managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory with a Web ad that altered a Supreme Court audio recording to make the Obama administration's defense of the health law appear more stumbling than it actually was.  ... By doctoring Solicitor General Donald Verrilli's presentation to the court -- adding pauses and making it look like he failed do complete his thought -- the Republican National Committee, however, has drawn attention to the ad's legitimacy instead of its content (Pecquet, 3/30).

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