Debate on ObamaCare to intensify in the wake of landmark Supreme Court ruling
The court’s Thursday ruling upholding most of President Obama’s health care law, sparked a frenzy of reaction from political figures, business leaders, medical professionals and ordinary Americans. By Friday, with the dust starting to settle, the debate is sure to intensify over the political, economic and medical ramifications of a landmark 5-4 decision that will affect the lives of virtually every American.
The ruling is a victory for the president, ensuring for now that his signature domestic policy achievement remains mostly intact. It also ensures that the law will play a prominent role in the general election campaign, as Republican candidate Mitt Romney vows to repeal the law if elected.
The so-called individual mandate, requiring that all Americans have health insurance, takes effect in 2014, at the same time that the law would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to people with existing health problems. Most experts had said the coverage guarantee would balloon costs unless virtually all people joined the insurance pool.
Most Americans already are insured. The law provides subsidies to help uninsured middle-class households pay premiums and expands federal health care for poor people.
“Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country,” Obama said, speaking on national television from the White House.
“It should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it was good politics,” he said. “I did it because it was good for the country.”
Romney pinned the court’s decision to the election and asking voters to render their own ruling.
“If we want to get rid of ObamaCare,” he said, “we’re going to have replace President Obama.”
Democrats, many of whom were bracing for the court striking down the mandate for individuals to buy health insurance, celebrated the decision Thursday. Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., told Fox News that the ruling “gives us the opportunity to re-sell the bill, which we did not do before.”
But Republicans vowed to re-double their campaign to repeal the still-controversial law.
The ruling “underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a written statement. “Republicans stand ready to work with a president who will listen to the people and will not repeat the mistakes that gave our country ObamaCare.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed during a Republican administration, joined the four left-leaning justices on the bench in crafting the majority decision.
The ruling relied on a technical explanation of how the individual mandate could be categorized. Roberts, in the opinion, said the mandate could not be upheld under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. However, it could be upheld under the government’s power to tax. [More]