No matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, it will give part of the population heartburn.
Everybody knows that the court could: Uphold the act, reject the entire act or reject part of it.
Most people expect that the individual mandate will be struck down. It is the provision that would require everyone who can pay for insurance to do so. Those who fail to buy policies would be hit with fines or taxes at least equivalent to what their policies would have cost.
Justice Anthony Kennedy asked during the court’s hearing on the law whether it is “changing the relationship of the individual to the government?” In another part of the hearings he wanted to know whether the government can “create commerce in order to regulate it” by creating a situation where customers must buy health care coverage in order for the government to be the final arbiter of said coverage.
If the mandate is struck down, it will rip a huge chunk of the financing out of the heart of the health care law. Even if the rest of the law stands, it is hard to imagine that it can proceed as it was envisioned.
President Barack Obama didn’t get everything he wanted when he called for a national health care law, but he is forever linked to the law which is often called Obamacare.
If the law is partially or fully invalidated, many people may see it as a repudiation of Obama. Whatever amount of blame belongs to the president, millions of American voters already took out their frustrations on members of Congress in the 2010 elections, knocking off lots of Democrats who supported the act.
As President George W. Bush’s push for a two-headed war came back to haunt him and Republicans, Obama’s push for a health care law may be remembered as one of his failings, rather than an accomplishment.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-St. Elizabeth, believes this is a historic time for the United States.
“About every 50 to 75 years as you look at the history of the United States, we come to a point where we as a society, we as a country, have to make a decision as to whether we’re going to continue down a particular road or change direction,” Luetkemeyer said during a visit to Hannibal on Wednesday.
Within 25 years or more, with the benefit of hindsight, Luetkemeyer said historians will look back at the years 2010, 2012 and perhaps 2014 and see that voters made long-range decisions on the direction of the nation.
Luetkeymeyer has talked about these historic crossroads before. He believes Republicans will do very well in the November election and will seek to limit federal spending.
Former president Bill Clinton continues to explain and expound upon what he meant when he said nice things about Mitt Romney’s business career during a CNN interview last week.
Clinton was at a Democratic fundraiser with President Barack Obama the day after his interview and said although he did not trash Romney it did not mean he supports the Republican presidential hopeful. “I’m endorsing Obama, not Romney,” Clinton told USA Today.
Clinton predicted that Obama will win re-election by 5 or 6 percentage points, but also suggested in the CNN interview that Obama should lay off attacking Romney’s work at Bain Capital.
“I don’t think we ought to get into the position where we say, ‘This is bad work, this is good work,’ ” Clinton told Piers Morgan of CNN.
Republicans were quick to tout the Clinton comments as an indication that Obama’s campaign was wrong to blast Romney for operating a company that bought out and sometimes dismantled companies that were in financial trouble.
The PBS Newshour video above was one of the latest of several appearances by Clinton, meant to downplay any disagreement between himself and Obama.