In the Wake of Yesterday's Decision, Republicans Discuss Their Next Steps

Friday, June 29, 2012

Speaker of the House U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) answers reporters' questions during a brief news conference on the payroll tax vote John Boehner answers questions on the payroll tax vote. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Republicans got to work immediately deciding how yesterday’s decision on the Affordable Care Act should inform their political game plan.

A year and a half ago, House Republicans passed a bill to repeal the health care law. Those Republicans met again yesterday to plan out their next steps. One of those House Republicans is Scott Garrett of New Jersey, who reaffirmed that the GOP would continue its efforts to repeal the Act in its entirety. "[We Republicans want to] begin again with a more thoughtful process [to propose] a bill that deals with each piece, step by step, all aspects of healthcare. That's the way that the Republicans always wanted to do it, and if we get the chance, we will." Garrett is the author of a bill currently in the House that would repeal the individual mandate. 

Ten months ago yesterday, 26 states filed separate petitions asking the Supreme Court to review the Affordable Care Act. One of those petitions was signed by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. While disappointed, DeWine calls the Supreme Court's decision "fascinating" due to Supreme Court chief justice John Roberts' decision to regard the mandate as a tax, which supporters of the bill denied. "The Obama administration sold it as not a tax, and most of the lower courts who looked at it didn't think it was a tax, but hey, the U.S. Supreme Court said it was a tax, so it becomes a tax." 

While the attorney general says he will continue to oppose the Act, now that the issue of constitutionality is closed, the matter is out of his hands. "It moves now to the political arena," DeWine says. "It becomes a preeminent issue of this presidential campaign." 

Todd Zwillich, the Takeaway's Washington correspondent, discusses the initial reaction from the GOP. "Full repeal is the message of both Mitt Romney [and] House Republicans," Zwillich says. "They're on message here. They're not changing their tune at all." 

However, Zwillich notes a shift in that message in a speech that Romney gave yesterday in Washington, where the Republican presidential candidate declared the Act to be bad policy. "Romney's argument all along was that it had been unconstitutional. [The Act] was O.K. to try in Massachusetts, but not for the federal government because it's a constitutional issue. Saying it was bad policy, in a way, repudiates the Massachusetts model as well. He'll probably have to hone that message a bit." 


Mike DeWine, Congressman Scott Garrett and Todd Zwillich

Produced by:

Robert Balint and John Light

Comments [8]

mary leckie-gould from Warwick, NY

I am THRILLED! It's about time that this country caught up with the rest of western civilization and to give ALL its citizens health coverage. A single payer system would have knocked out the insurance company profiteers, but sadly, you can't have everything - all at once.
Now let's get on with changing for-profit health providers that benefit from the misery of our sick and disabled.

Jul. 01 2012 12:41 PM
Jim Bailey from Gainesville, FL

John Roberts wasn't an umpire, he was a Texas Hold'em dealer. He explained to the drunk in the Federal Govt.'s seat that he was holding an all-in straight flush against the four-of-a-kind in the minority.

Jun. 30 2012 05:58 PM
Tracy from Stillwater, OK

My daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis when she was 4. She was denied health insurance coverage 4 times. 1 company turned down our entire family, and not just her, but on appeal was willing to cover the rest of us. We had doctors write appeals to the insurance companies asking for her to be covered for everything except her arthritis. Rejections. Rejections. Rejections.

This nightmare should not happen in a first world country. It is wrong.

Jun. 29 2012 11:59 AM
Homebuilding from Oklahoma City

The economic game in the USA is weighted heavily toward the wealthy, and specifically against those with health or economic needs.

Yet, we have millions who believe that the wealthy, alone, should have the rewards of this system. Specifically, preserving the pre-medicare; pre-medicaid; pre-ACA system leaves ALL who are not winners in this game (the ill, the old, the poor) in a distinctly lower than second class tier, in terms of health care:

...most specifically, we've had "death panels" built (of concrete and steel) into the system, and yet we pretend is the best in the world.

As a person of faith, I willingly wish to share the fruits I enjoy with my less advantaged brothers and sisters, regardless of their belief, race, education, or employment capabilities--or how they got sick or injured.

I was most happy to see some agreement with my views from the Supreme Court of the land.

To me, all the others just seem selfish (and they surely look that way to those citizens in the other western democracies).

Always remember, there is big, big money behind our media outlets. They'll not be active in pursuing how others solve their social, medical, and economic difficulties.

The Obama Derangement Syndrome* (propaganda machine) has been going full-tilt and the afterburner lever has been pulled.....

*We changed most of our values and views when we heard that a half-black Kenyan, Harvard graduate, Chicagoan also held them.

Jun. 29 2012 11:28 AM
Kay from Boston

Relief - as a self-employed professional over 55, it's nearly impossible to get health insurance. In Massachusetts, I have the benefit of the Commonwealth's program and I was worried that, if the federal statute was overturned, the right would take aim at the Massachusetts system, and then what would I do??

Jun. 29 2012 10:08 AM
Patrick from Boston

My first though when hearing the ruling was, "what is behind the ruling? How did they come to the decision." I think too many people are just angry or pleased based on what they want and speaking out of emotional reaction. My advice is to listen to the oral arguements and read the ruling and the reasons why before you start throwing a fit, or even rubbing it peoples faces. I am personally for the Affordable Care Act but thought that maybe it was unconstitutional. The ruling is reassuring.

Jun. 29 2012 09:12 AM
faye from denver

When I heard the news re healthcare my thoughts were "Thank you God" As a medical person I see all the time the difference in care from those who have insurance and those who don't.

If the health care bill surives I can retire. Many of my friends also agree. many jobs will open up because we can retire as we will have health insurance

if europe can do universal health insurance why can't we? why can we not learn from others?

Jun. 29 2012 09:11 AM
Alan Gutmann from Clifton new jersey

I was shocked by the reasoning of justice Roberts. I understood that the legal definition of a tax is either on income or an excise tax like a sales tax or a capitation tax on all citizens for being a citizen. If true the individual mandate does not fit into this definition. Both the president and congress called it a penalty for inactivity of purchase not a tax.

On a policy perspective I am also upset for several reasons 1) although it sounds great we are creating another long term liability that will be needed to be paid by others years into the future, 2) while I support helping the poor the method is important. Gifting money discourages savings and industry. Thus a moral hazard for society as inactivity can be rewarded and industry and savings penalized and 3) we are increasing the nefarious 3rd party payor system that by having third parties paying for a service that a different person pays for. I can buy as many candy bars as I want since joe is paying for it. Why I shouldn't have more responsibility for payin for my decision.

The us became great before transfer payments started and the liabilities created long term from them

Jun. 29 2012 08:58 AM

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