Congress Reacts to Supreme Court Upholding Affordable Care Act

(photo: Rob Crawley / flickr)

Why don’t I just throw up some reactions from political leaders and stakeholders here.

First of all, on the Republican side. They are ready to vote in Congress to repeal the entire law as soon as the week of July 9:

House Republicans will respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law by trying to repeal it after Congress returns from its July Fourth recess, aides said.

The House will vote to repeal the health care law — again — the week of July 9, the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. But it will amount to little: Democrats didn’t want to repeal it when its constitutionality was still in question.

What you won’t hear about: “repeal and replace.” The House GOP is out for blood and nothing else.

This will become a rallying cry on the right through to the election, that the Court couldn’t get rid of Obamacare but they will. And it will cause a lot of mouth-frothing. But it certainly means nothing over the next year. I think the electoral impact is negligible as well; it’s not like people fired up against the health care law weren’t going to vote before the Court ruled.

The Democratic message can be best distilled in a speech on the floor of the Senate from Harry Reid:

I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship, and ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional […]

Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law.

They would like to give the power of life and death back to insurance companies.

But the United States Supreme Court has spoken. This matter is settled […]

It’s time for Republicans to stop refighting yesterday’s battles.

Now that this matter is settled, I hope we can work together to create jobs and secure this country’s economic future.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the President plan to give statements later today.

Nobody is likely to give a statement on the broader implications of what ends up being a pretty conservative (small c) ruling from Chief Justice John Roberts. This is Lyle Denniston from the SCOTUSBlog liveblog:

“The rejection of the Commerce Clause and Nec. and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress’s authority to pass social welfare laws. Using the tax code — especially in the current political environment — to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.”

It should be said that many experts pushed back on that (here’s an example). Maybe health care is a unique case. But this sure looks like a limitation on the spending power. And in the immediate term, it’s not clear what this means for Medicaid. It seems like it gives Tea Party governors a pretext to resist federal program partnerships. When Medicaid was first announced, it was hospitals that browbeat the recalcitrant states into participating. We’ll see if they have the same power today.

…Mitt Romney is speaking: “What the Supreme Court didn’t do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day as president.” There’s no way for him to do that, but OK.

Other reactions on the flip.

Congress Reacts to Supreme Court Upholding Affordable Care Act

Why don’t I just throw up some reactions from political leaders and stakeholders here.

First of all, on the Republican side. They are ready to vote in Congress to repeal the entire law as soon as the week of July 9:

House Republicans will respond to the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding President Barack Obama’s health care law by trying to repeal it after Congress returns from its July Fourth recess, aides said.

The House will vote to repeal the health care law — again — the week of July 9, the office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said. But it will amount to little: Democrats didn’t want to repeal it when its constitutionality was still in question.

What you won’t hear about: “repeal and replace.” The House GOP is out for blood and nothing else.

This will become a rallying cry on the right through to the election, that the Court couldn’t get rid of Obamacare but they will. And it will cause a lot of mouth-frothing. But it certainly means nothing over the next year. I think the electoral impact is negligible as well; it’s not like people fired up against the health care law weren’t going to vote before the Court ruled.

The Democratic message can be best distilled in a speech on the floor of the Senate from Harry Reid:

I’m pleased to see the Supreme Court put the rule of law ahead of partisanship, and ruled the Affordable Care Act constitutional […]

Unfortunately, Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law.

They would like to give the power of life and death back to insurance companies.

But the United States Supreme Court has spoken. This matter is settled […]

It’s time for Republicans to stop refighting yesterday’s battles.

Now that this matter is settled, I hope we can work together to create jobs and secure this country’s economic future.

Republican nominee Mitt Romney and the President plan to give statements later today.

Nobody is likely to give a statement on the broader implications of what ends up being a pretty conservative (small c) ruling from Chief Justice John Roberts. This is Lyle Denniston from the SCOTUSBlog liveblog:

“The rejection of the Commerce Clause and Nec. and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress’s authority to pass social welfare laws. Using the tax code — especially in the current political environment — to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.”

It should be said that many experts pushed back on that (here’s an example). Maybe health care is a unique case. But this sure looks like a limitation on the spending power. And in the immediate term, it’s not clear what this means for Medicaid. It seems like it gives Tea Party governors a pretext to resist federal program partnerships. When Medicaid was first announced, it was hospitals that browbeat the recalcitrant states into participating. We’ll see if they have the same power today.

…Mitt Romney is speaking: “What the Supreme Court didn’t do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day as president.” There’s no way for him to do that, but OK.

Other reactions on the flip.
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