Viewpoints: GOP’s Changing Views On Mandate; Health Law Decision Could Be Court’s Defining Moment
The Washington Post: Redefining American Government Through Obamacare
Much has been made of the fact that Republicans had no objection, constitutional or otherwise, when the individual mandate first surfaced. But that was two decades ago. In today's changed intellectual, fiscal and political environment, seemingly lapidary constitutional phrases such as "commerce . . . among the several states" can acquire fresh meaning, as they did for the New Deal and at other points in the past. The brilliance of Obamacare’s opponents lies in spotting that historical opportunity and making the most of it (Charles Lane, 6/25).
The Washington Post: Would A SCOTUS Decision Against Obamacare Be Illegitimate?
James Fallows is getting a lot of attention for arguing this week that if the Supreme Court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, it will be a fundamentally illegitimate act on the court's part. After all, most legal scholars consider the Broccoli Liberty argument to be a joke. This is, no doubt, a critical question; can the Court just do whatever it likes? Is there — and should there be — any constraint? (Jonathan Berstein, 6/25).
The Washington Post: Republicans Support Obama's Health Reforms — As Long As His Name Isn't On Them
The new Reuters-Ipsos poll finds that Obamacare remains deeply unpopular; 56 percent of Americans oppose the law, versus only 44 percent who favor it. The poll also finds that strong majorities of Americans favor the individual provisions in the law -- the hated individual mandate excepted, of course. What's particularly interesting about this poll is that solid majorities of Republicans favor most of the law's main provisions, too (Greg Sargent, 6/25).
Politico: Health Care Policy Libertarians
Is President Barack Obama's health care law compatible with free-market capitalism? "Obamacare" seeks to achieve universal health coverage by mandating that people not already covered must purchase health insurance — and makes it possible for all to do so by redistributing resources from the relatively affluent to the relatively poor. For critics like Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), this stinks of socialism. But is he right? (Erick Angner, 6/25).
Politico: Supreme Court's Legitimacy At Stake On Affordable Care Act
But the court will be ignoring real and compelling — if not downright inescapable — constitutional logic if it strikes down the act. Despite the inclination among jaded Washingtonians to assume everything is just politics, no one should be shy about holding the justices to their duty to apply precedent, not politics, and constitutional text, not talking points, to the health care challenges. This standard should apply to justices of any and all political stripes in all cases (Elizabeth B. Wydra, 6/25).
National Journal: Waiting Game
We still await the Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, in general, and on the individual mandate to obtain health insurance coverage, in particular. It's worth reminding ourselves that, regardless of the overheated rhetoric from both parties and over-caffeinated punditry, public attitudes on the issue of health reform and this law are already baked into the cake of this election. If President Obama were a stock, how people feel about the law would have factored into his price long ago. Sure, this decision will dominate editorial pages, talk shows, and even—briefly—supermarket-aisle and office-coffeemaker conversation. But this remains an election about the economy (Charlie Cook, 6/25).
Boston Globe: A Tale Of Two Cancer Treatments
Every day in Massachusetts, 105 people get diagnosed with cancer, beginning a long, scary and sometimes unpleasant process of treatment. For increasing numbers of cancer patients, it also creates a crushing financial burden for them and their families at a time in their lives when they have enough to worry about. How is this possible in a state with nearly universal health insurance coverage? The answer lies in the combination of innovation and outdated insurance practices (Dr. Robert J. Soiffer and Justin Smith, 6/25).
CNN: Why Doctors Fall Asleep While Treating You
In July 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education implemented new resident work hour standards, instituting a maximum 16-hour shift for postgraduate first-year residents, aka interns. These new rules have created concern among residents regarding their education. ... So what's the real benefit to reducing resident work hours? The Archives of Surgery survey also found that the majority of interns believed the new regulations would improve the quality and safety of patient care. As physicians, this should be our primary concern. Proper residency training shouldn't necessitate working young doctors so hard that they're forced to make patient care decisions or perform medical procedures while excessively fatigued (Dr. Anthony Youn, 6/26)?