June 29, 2012 |
On Thursday, an unusual Supreme Court majority of "one" - Chief JusticeJohn G. Roberts Jr. - found that the healthcare law's individual mandate is unconstitutional under the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. But, surprise, the mandate is constitutional as a tax. This strange reasoning, not fully embraced even by the four concurring justices, handed judicial conservatives the most recent in a long parade of disappointments. No matter how controversial, contradictory and complex the ruling is, it represents a major legal victory for the Obama administration and other supporters of the Affordable Care Act. Roberts closed the open-ended commerce clause door to sweeping federal regulatory authority over just about anything.
June 28, 2012 |
The Supreme Court's opinion had always promised to be confusing and complex. Unfortunately, seasoned journalists let their anxiety/enthusiasm/thirst-to-be-first overwhelm their better judgment Thursday morning. Many who should have waited for clarity rushed to report that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the individual mandate portion of President Obama's healthcare reform law, declaring that the heart of the bill had been gutted. That was exactly wrong -- the law was upheld on a 5-4 vote.
June 28, 2012 |
In their dissenting opinion Thursday, four of the Supreme Court's conservative justices wasted little time in revealing their exceedingly narrow view of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The first sentence by Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. reads, "Congress has set out to remedy the problem that the best health care is beyond the reach of many Americans who cannot afford it....
June 22, 2012 |
What can we expect when the Supreme Court rules on healthcare reform in coming days? The prognosis isn't good. I've spoken with various healthcare experts, and the consensus is that the conservative wing of the high court will probably strike down the so-called individual mandate that requires most people to buy insurance. At the same time, though, the justices aren't expected to throw out the entire reform law, leaving a number of provisions intact, including the one requiring insurers to offer coverage to anyone who applies, regardless of medical condition.
June 21, 2012
Re "A health mandate that is already a burden," June 19 The article on emergency room costs is right on point. Despite conservatives' angst over healthcare reform's individual mandate, the fact is that we already have a major healthcare mandate: the requirement that taxpayers and the insured pay for the uninsured, many of whom are - as Mitt Romney once said - irresponsible free riders. They don't buy insurance, but they expect others to pay for their healthcare needs.
June 20, 2012 |
Speculation about the likely death of "Obamacare" has raged ever since the Supreme Court heard three intense days of legal arguments in March. The pundits have crowed about how the individual mandate is the Achilles' heel of President Obama's healthcare law. Indeed, anyone watching TV or reading newspapers could easily believe that healthcare reform revolves entirely around the individual mandate, which would require Americans to buy health insurance...
June 18, 2012 |
Save yourself the bother and just get ticked off now: A new poll shows that most people will be unhappy regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in its much-anticipated decision on the nation's sweeping healthcare law. The survey by the Pew Research Center found that regardless of whether the law is upheld, struck down or kept intact except for its “individual mandate,” fewer than half those asked would be happy with the outcome....
May 20, 2012 |
The Supreme Court is about to toss a judicial bomb into the middle of the presidential campaign, and nobody knows what impact it will have. The bomb, of course, is the court's ruling on President Obama's healthcare law, which is expected next month. At first glance, the political implications might look simple. If the court upholds the law, Obama's biggest legislative achievement, the president wins; if the court declares the law unconstitutional, he loses. COMMENTARY AND ANALYSIS: Presidential Election 2012 But as with many things in politics, it may not be that simple at all. If the court upholds the law, Obama will hail the decision as proof that he was right all along.
April 23, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - As he pushes to "repeal and replace" President Obama's healthcare law, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has turned to proposals that could alter the way hundreds of millions of Americans get their medical insurance. In public, Romney has only sketched the outlines of a plan, and aides have declined to answer questions about the details. But his public statements and interviews with advisors make clear that Romney has embraced a strategy that in crucial ways is more revolutionary - and potentially more disruptive - than the law Obama signed two years ago. The centerpiece of Romney's plan would overhaul the way most Americans get their health coverage: at work.
April 11, 2012
Down on Deasy Re "On a mission to change school district's culture," April 8 In the 1980s I was a teacher in the L.A. Unified School District's Incentive Substitute Teacher Program, which was meant to ensure good instruction and classroom oversight in hard-to-staff schools. I can assure readers that "subbing" is one of the least-empowered positions in the district. That L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy would walk into a classroom unannounced and criticize "well-regarded" substitute teacher Patrena Shankling as she "carried out the assignment left by the regular teacher," and then the next day send her a letter of termination, is nothing more than bullying.