Original source – The Hill Website
So many questions, so many points of confusion. Healthcare Reform, a.k.a.ObamaCare, is a 2,700 page document that was created in 2010 by Barack Obama and his constituents. It was passed through very quickly and not sure anyone in the country has read and/or understands the bill in its entirety.
The Supreme Court made a monumental decision Thursday June, 28, 2012 regarding Healthcare Reform. The individual mandate was deemed constitutional in a 5-4 decision headed up by Chief Justice John Roberts.
One point of confusion surrounding this mandate is “Is it a tax or a penalty”? Many heated debates have taken place on this issue. Even the Supreme Court has come up with the premise that it is a tax if it is deemed it be so. How’s that for a definitive answer?
According to www.ivn.us, the Supreme Court ruled that for the purposes of the Constitution, it is a tax, because it functions as one. According to a blog, On page 12 of the opinion, Roberts points out that “Congress cannot change whether an exaction is a tax or a penalty for constitutional purposes simply by describing it as one or the other.” What he implies is that the ACA penalty is a “tax” under the constitution because that is how it functions. Congress has no power to change what a “tax” is, just by calling it a “penalty”. However, with respect to the Anti-Injunction Act (and the ACA), Congress can decide that a “tax” or “penalty” is whatever they intend it to be (as opposed to what it actually is), because Acts are creatures of Congress. If a law is a creature of Congress, they get to decide what the terms are supposed to mean.
The historic ruling had all kinds of reactions and some of the networks, including CNN and Fox News, gave erroneous information as to the ruling. They had both indicated the mandate had been overturned. How do you get that wrong?
The decision is met with mixed feelings across the country. In general, it appears the Democrats are in favor of the mandate, while the Republicans are opposed. Here are some quotes for your reading pleasure.
Senator John Kerry was very happy with the ruling.
Former Representative David Wu (democrat from Oregon) was seen smiling after the ruling.
Representative Cynthia Lummins (republican from Wyoming) was shaken. She said “I know it is a 200-page decision, I know it’s confusing. All I can tell you right now is, whatever’s left of it, I’m going to try to repeal in its entirety.”
Spokesman Adam Jentleson was visibly happy as he raced down the stairs of the Capitol.
Juan Williams, a columnist from The Hill, said “It is a big day for the Obama administration.”
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said, “Just elect Romney. We need Full Repeal.”
Representative Kevin Brady (republican from Texas) said, “I think it will give President Obama a boost in the short term… It will motivate a lot of independents and Republicans to go to the polls because we know now the only way to overturn the ruling is at the election box.”
Representative Allen West (republican from Florida) said “ This is not something that gives the president a green light. I think this was worst-case situation for him.”
Republican Steven LoTourette responded to the question of what the ruling means politically, “I’m not smart enough to tell you that.”
House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (democrat from California) responded “This decision is a victory for the American people.”
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (republican) said “Obama lied to the American people. Again. He said it wasn’t a tax. Obama lies, freedom dies.”
Senator Reid said “I’m happy. I’m pleased, that the Supreme Court put the rule of land ahead of partisanship.”
Senator Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said “Well, he Supreme Court has spoken. This law is a tax. The bill was sold to the American people on a deception.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor announced that the House will vote to repeal the law on July 11.
Representative Michele Bachmann criticized the ruling from an activist court, says the law can be repealed if House and Senate have GOP majorities and Mitt Romney is in the White House.
Mitt Romney said, “ObamaCare was bad policy yesterday. It’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday. It’s bad law today.”
Representative Joe Wilson (republican from South Carolina) “The decision reveals Obamacare is a huge tax increase on the middle-class taxpayers, destroying jobs.”
President Obama calls the decision “a victory for people all over the country.” He said he didn’t pursue healthcare reform because it was “good politics” and added, “I did it because I believed it was good for the country.”
House Speaker John Boehner (republican from Ohio) said the ruling would “strengthen the resolve of the GOP to repeal the law entirely.
Gary Ackerman (democrat from New York) held up a sign, “Obama-Roberts 2012”.
This is definitely not the end of this issue, but just the beginning. In July, look for a repeal to be filed. Then we can start all over with all of the comments and debates. Please visit The Hill for the full stories on Healthcare Reform. Just since June 28, 2012, they have posted more than 75 stories for your reading pleasure. It is a truly informative site.