Health-Care Reform's Supreme Court Showdown

07.01.12

Jack Lew, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and More Sunday Talk

It’s all health care this week: Nancy Pelosi says the penalty isn’t a tax, Mitch McConnell calls the individual mandate the ‘worst’ legislation, Jack Lew says it’s time to move on, and more in our Sunday Talk roundup.

Jack Lew: The Healthcare Law Is Constitutional!

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Now that the Supreme Court has ruled to uphold the healthcare law, what’s next? On State of the Union, the White House chief of staff said that at the end of the day, “most Americans want health insurance.” “There’s not a question now as to whether or not the law is constitutional: it is constitutional,” Jack Lew said. And, the chief put it best: it’s time to move on.

Mitch McConnell: Health Care Is ‘Worst’ Legislation of Modern Times

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If you’re a Republican, the Supreme Court’s decision might be akin to the apocalypse. Kentucky Congressman Mitch McConnell seems to think so. On Fox News Sunday, the senator called the healthcare law the “single worst piece of legislation that has been passed certainly in modern times.” Asked by host Chris Wallace what he’d do to replace the law that would extend coverage to 30 million people, McConnell stumbled. “The first step we need to take is get rid of what’s there,” he said.

Nancy Pelosi: Healthcare Law Isn’t a Tax!

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What’s the difference between a tax or the penalty fee for neglecting to purchase health care? The minority leader defended the health-care act’s subtleties on Meet the Press after it was upheld on the grounds that the individual mandate is a tax. After declaring the fight is over, the congresswoman explained the differences between the fees. “It’s a penalty that comes under the tax code for the 1 percent, perhaps, of the population who may decide that they’re going to be free riders,” Pelosi said.

John Boehner: SCOTUS Ruling Was ‘Shocking’

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We’re guessing the House Speaker had a good cry about it. The Ohio representative called the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act “shocking,” though he said he has “respect” for the court’s power to make the decision. “The idea that the federal government can mandate that the American people purchase a product is shocking to me,” Boehner said on Face the Nation. In a non-shocking move, Boehner then called for the repeal of the “awful” law.

Paul Ryan: We’re Repealing the Whole Health-Care Law!

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Call it a philosophical difference—in the words of the House Budget Committee Chairman. On This Week, Ryan called for a complete repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act with less government involvement. “We can have a health-care system in America where everybody has affordable access to health insurance … without a government takeover,” Ryan said. Chief Justice John Roberts—who’s been criticized by all sides for his role in the decision—didn’t escape the wrath of Ryan, either: “I think the Chief Justice had to contort logic and reason to come up with this ruling.”

Keith Olbermann’s Quiet Return to TV?

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Look who’s on his best behavior. Keith Olbermann made a quiet appearance on This Week to discuss the Supreme Court’s healthcare decision during the guest roundtable. The embattled former Current TV host called the Affordable Care Act a victory for the president, but was overall largely reticent on the show. “The primary function of any government is to protect its citizens…the primary part of that is what happens in hospitals,” he said.

Behind CNN and Fox’s SCOTUS Gaffes

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As Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz said, it’s not easy to decipher a Supreme Court brief, but CNN’s inaccurate report “wasn’t pretty.” CNN and Fox News came under fire after both reported that the individual mandate was ruled unconstitutional when, in fact, it was upheld. And, how big of a blunder was it? “It was immediate, but it was wrong, so there’s no way to spin it,” Poisoning the Press author Mark Feldstein said. Feldstein admitted that watching the 24-hour news networks is like watching “the sausage being made.” Let’s just call it unappetizing.