A Pyrrhic Victory? In ACA Ruling, Roberts Court Takes Big Swipe at Social Safety Net

By: Sunday July 1, 2012 8:35 am

When the legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act first started taking form, the assertion that Congress did not have the power to regulate the health insurance industry under either the Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause was largely seen as an academic argument that had percolated in law schools thanks to a robust presence of the Federalist Society. After all, how could an industry that accounts for approximately 16 percent of economic activity in this country be said not to affect interstate commerce?


It’s a Tax!

By: Friday June 29, 2012 12:39 pm

Roberts declared that the sole reason the individual mandate is constitutional is because it is a tax and Congress has the power to levee taxes.

Obama Didn’t Lose Today

By: Thursday June 28, 2012 5:10 pm

Taking a moment to look at the political implications from today’s Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act I think the best that can be said is that President Obama didn’t lose. The Court did, for the most part, rule in his favor.

The Health Care Lose-Lose Scenario Facing Democrats

By: Friday June 22, 2012 9:49 am

With the Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act only days away, I have tried to play out all the potential ways the Court could rule and what they would mean on a purely political level this election. As best as I can tell any Court decision is likely to be either a political wash for Democrats or a net loser. It is hard to make a case that any of the three most likely court decisions would really help Democrats or Obama this November.

The Incorrigibles

By: Sunday May 13, 2012 9:30 am

One of the things I like best about human beings is our persistent incorrigibility. Even when we don’t want to we often escape expert predictions of our behavior. Call it the human uncertainty principle. As soon as you know where we are you lose knowledge about where we’re headed and how fast we’re headed there. Or maybe you’ve guessed where we’re headed but you no longer know where we are.

ACA’s Much Touted Health Insurance Premium Review Is Basically Useless

By: Wednesday May 9, 2012 10:00 am

In the Affordable Care Act the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was given the power to review health insurance premium increases, but it wasn’t given the power to actually do anything about unreasonable increases. HHS can only say an increase is “unreasonable,” but it has zero regulatory power to force the companies to change their premiums. Not surprisingly this totally toothless provision is now proving to be mostly worthless.

Scalia Is Actually Right About Cornhusker Kickback

By: Thursday March 29, 2012 8:30 am

David Weigal and Steve Benen, along with many others, chose to criticize Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for allegedly not knowing what was in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, because Scalia brought up the “Cornhusker Kickback.”

The Supreme Court and the ACA: Is Health Care Unique and Does it Matter?

By: Monday March 26, 2012 7:15 pm

One of the most important questions the Justices will likely bring up tomorrow in the deliberation about the individual mandate will be: Is health care — or heath insurance — actually unique? There is an argument that the constitutionality of the insurance mandate under the commerce clause hinges on some unique aspects of health care or health insurance. It it unique, and does this link actually matter?

Support for Affordable Care Act Little Changed in Past Two Years

By: Monday March 26, 2012 4:15 pm

Pew Research has put together a helpful piece summarizing all the recent polling on the Affordable Care Act compared to polling done right after it was passed in March of 2010. Basically a few polls show it getting slightly more popular since it was signed into the law and a few polls have it losing support.

Will the Unpopularity of the Affordable Care Act Affect the Supreme Court?

By: Monday March 26, 2012 10:45 am

As the Supreme Court begins hearing oral arguments today about the fate of the Affordable Care Act, it is important to keep in mind that the law remains very unpopular. A CBS New/New Times poll shows only about a third of Americans actually support the law, while nearly half the country disapproves of it. How can Justices not be at least indirectly influenced by popular views?

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