The Obama administration Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to settle the constitutional question over the 2010 health-care law this term, meaning that the decision will probably come next summer in the thick of the presidential campaign.
The Justice Department asked the justices to review the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, which is the only appeals court to say Congress exceeded its power in passing the law. The law requires almost every American to have health insurance.
“Throughout history, there have been similar challenges to other landmark legislation such as the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act, and the Voting Rights Act, and all of those challenges failed,” the Justice Department said in a statement. “We believe the challenges to Affordable Care Act — like the one in the 11th Circuit — will also ultimately fail and that the Supreme Court will uphold the law.”
I don’t usually give into notions like “Our democracy is being destroyed!” and “This administration is going to lead us straight into fascism!” (Or that they already have.) But lately, two events have stood out that really make me question where America is going.
The first is a really asinine comment made by the governor of North Carolina, Beverly Perdue:
As a way to solve the national debt crisis, North Carolina Democratic Gov. Beverly Perdue recommends suspending congressional elections for the next couple of years.
“I think we ought to suspend, perhaps, elections for Congress for two years and just tell them we won’t hold it against them, whatever decisions they make, to just let them help this country recover,” Perdue said at a rotary club event in Cary, N.C., according to the Raleigh News & Observer. “I really hope that someone can agree with me on that.”
Perdue said she thinks that temporarily halting elections would allow members of Congress to focus on the economy. “You have to have more ability from Congress, I think, to work together and to get over the partisan bickering and focus on fixing things,” Perdue said.
And I thought I was insane.
After the individual mandate — a key element in ObamaCare — was struck down last month by a three-judge panel from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, the Obama Administration has opted to forgo a hearing from the full court and is likely to appeal directly to the Supreme Court:
The Obama administration chose not to ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to re-hear a pivotal health reform case Monday, signaling that it’s going to ask the Supreme Court to decide whether President Barack Obama’s health reform law is constitutional.
The move puts the Supreme Court in the difficult position of having to decide whether to take the highly politically charged case in the middle of the presidential election.
The Justice Department is expected to ask the court to overturn an August decision by a panel of three judges in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that found the law’s requirement to buy insurance is unconstitutional. The suit was brought by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business, and several individuals.
Since the ruling, the Justice Department had until Monday to ask the entire 11th Circuit to review the case. Administration lawyers didn’t file the paperwork by the 5 p.m. deadline, so the ruling would stand unless the Justice Department asks the Supreme Court to step in.
Despite not being able to land a punch on health care during the last Republican debate, Rick Perry’s campaign has put out a new web ad hitting Mitt Romney for deleting a phrase indicate his support for bringing RomneyCare to the national stage — later accomplished with the passage of ObamaCare, which is basically the Massachusetts plan.
The ad, which you can watch below, isn’t put together all that well, but it shows very clearly — both in print and Mitt Romney’s own words via audiobook — that the phrase was removed:
And while he has slammed ObamaCare and said that he’d issue waivers for states so they wouldn’t have to worry about compliance, Romney said last year that he wouldn’t support repeal the individual mandate.
During Thursday’s debate, Rick Perry an interesting claim that Mitt Romney removed a line from his book, No Apology, where he said that the Massachusetts health care reform law — the blueprint for ObamaCare — should serve as model for the rest of the country. Romney dismissed the claim, saying:
I actually wrote my book, and in my book I said no such thing. What I said, actually — when I put my health care plan together – and I met with Dan Balz, for instance, of The Washington Post. He said, “Is this is a plan that if you were president you would put on the whole nation, have a whole nation adopt it?” I said, “Absolutely not.” I said, “This is a state plan for a state, it is not a national plan.”
Romney’s argument has been that his health care plan, which has cost Massachusetts some 18,000 jobs and has been a financial burden on the state, was what was right for his state; a poor defense. He has constantly denied ever saying that it serves as a national model. We know Romney backed a national individual mandate, the centerpiece of his plan and ObamaCare, as early as 1994. And it certainly seems as though Perry was right on this specific accusation, according to a report from ABC News:
Ron Paul is headed back to the airwaves with a million dollar ad buy in four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. The ad, which hits back at the notion that Paul is anti-military, notes his own military service and respect for veterans, providing testimony from brave men that fought in Vietnam.
Here’s the very well done ad:
USA Today published at an excellent editorial from Paul, who took Mitt Romney to task for his health reform plan — the blueprint of ObamaCare:
The idea that more government involvement in health care is the solution, especially at a time when the nation is dealing with record deficits and debt, is preposterous. And the promised effectiveness of forced mandate health care is easily disproven by looking at how such a system has worked in Massachusetts.
Ron Suskind’s new book, Confidence Men, has raised eyebrows and caused the Obama Administration some stress this week. But it also shows us, once again, that RomneyCare served as the blueprint for ObamaCare, notes Matt Lewis at the Daily Caller:
it reveals that in a memo to President Obama concerning potential health care reform options, White House chief health care official Nancy-Ann DeParle,
directed Obama’s attention to the only working model for reform in the country: Massachusetts, whose health care overhaul bill passed in 2005 under a brokered deal between then-governor Mitt Romney and the state’s Democratic legislature.” (p. 262)
Suskind goes on to demonstrate that President Obama, who previously had not embraced the individual mandate, was impressed by RomneyCare’s impact in Massachusetts:
“… the centerpiece of that program, the individual mandate, was something Obama had drawn up short of endorsing during the campaign, much to the ire of Hillary Clinton, who called him ‘all talk, no action’ on health care. Now, DeParle, in her memo, stressed that Obama should embrace a plan much like that in Massachusetts, driven by the teeth of a mandate, where individuals would be fined for not having health insurance. Obama, never much for the mandate, was concerned about legal challenges to it but was impressed by DeParle’s coverage numbers. Without the mandate, the still-sketchy Obama plan would leave twenty-eight million Americans uninsured; with the mandate, the estimates of the number left uninsured were well below ten million.” (p. 262-263)
If you’ve been around for awhile, you know that I’m a big fan of Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who is running for U.S. Senate in 2012. He has been solid on fiscal issues and free trade and voted to repeal the military’s outdated “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, and until his recent vote to reauthorize the PATRIOT Act, he’d been very good on privacy issues.
Unfortunately, Flake’s endorsement of Mitt Romney in the Republican presidential nomination is a big let down. Here is his brief statement on the endorsement:
“Mitt Romney has the experience and vision to get our country on the right path again. Whether it was his time as governor or as a successful businessman, Mitt Romney has shown that he has the economic knowledge to create the environment for businesses to start hiring again.”
The problems with Romney begin with health care, which may be a big issue during the 2012 election. Nominating Romney, due to the job-killing health care plan he pushed in Massachusetts, effectively takes that issue off the table.
Romney also seems to have no core or real principles. He’ll say whatever he thinks voters want to hear. Yeah, he does the best against Barack Obama in general election matchups, but does Jeff Flake really know what he’s getting with Romney?
With unemployment the top issue in the country right now, every Republican is trying to angle their platform to appeal to voters. But Mitt Romney, once seen as the frontrunner in the GOP race, has a problem with his near constant pandering to voters on the economy. His healthcare plan, which became the blueprint for ObamaCare, cost Massachusetts 18,000 jobs:
The Bay State’s controversial 2006 universal health-care plan — also known as “Romneycare” — has cost Massachusetts more than 18,000 jobs, according to an exclusive blockbuster study that could provide ammo to GOP rivals of former Gov. Mitt Romney as he touts his job-creating chops on the campaign trail.
“Mandating health insurance coverage and expanding the demand for health services without increasing supply drove up costs. Economics 101 tells us that,” said Paul Bachman, research director at Suffolk University’s Beacon Hill Institute, the conservative think tank that conducted the study. The Herald obtained an exclusive copy of the findings.
“The ‘shared sacrifice’ needed to provide universal health care includes a net loss of jobs, which is attributable to the higher costs that the measure imposed,” said David Tuerck, the institute’s executive director.
Despite Romney’s vaunted business acumen as a successful venture capitalist, Bachman said the former governor “was a little naive about what would become of the law.”
The Beacon Hill Institute study found that, on average, Romneycare:
• cost the Bay State 18,313 jobs;
Revolution PAC, a so-called “super” political action committee run by supporters of Ron Paul, released its first web ad of the cycle. The ad, which runs just over a minute long, calls the leading GOP contenders, Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, “plastic men” that supported the Wall Street bailout. It also made note of Perry’s executive order mandating the HPV vaccine for young girls and Romney’s health care plan that became the blueprint for ObamaCare: