COMMENTARY | CBS News Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford said on Face the Nation Sunday, “I am told by two sources with specific knowledge of the court’s deliberations that Roberts initially sided with the conservatives in this case and was prepared to strike down the heart of this law, the so-called individual mandate, of course, that requires all Americans to buy insurance or pay a penalty. But Roberts, I’m told by my sources, changed his views deciding to instead join with the liberals. And he withstood — I’m told by my sources — a month-long desperate campaign by the conservative justices to bring him back to the fold …”
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was recently declared constitutional by the Supreme Court. This unexpected outcome was accomplished by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, who changed his mind and voted with the liberal wing of the court.
Does Chief Justice Roberts’ Health Care Vote Portend a shift of Power in the Court?
The question is, does this portend an about-face for the always-conservative Roberts? Will he decide cases based more on constitutionality and less on doctrine and politics? By his vote in the health care law, he has already alienated the conservative wing of the country and his conservative colleagues. It would give him a sense of freedom not to be bound by a strict ideology.
Now, the Republicans face the reality that they cannot depend on the Supreme Court to dismantle the health care plan and will have to do it themselves.
Republican Leaders Tour Sunday Talk Shows
U.S. Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehher appeared on the TV Sunday talk shows. They both stated emphatically that their number one priority is repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, tagged by Republicans as Obamacare.
House Will Vote on Health Care Repeal July 11
Speaker Boehner has scheduled a tentative vote on July 11 to repeal the health care law. He will then try to get the Senate to vote on the repeal. This will probably fail in the Senate. The Guardian quotes Boehner as saying, “This has to be ripped out by its roots. We will not flinch from our resolve to make sure this law is repealed in its entirety.”
Repeal Would Be Disastrous for 30 Million Americans
If the healthcare bill is repealed, 30 million Americans, now without health insurance, would lose the opportunity to obtain insurance. Many of the provisions of the bill will not be implemented until 2014. The law is very complicated, and most people do not understand how it will affect them personally. This probably accounts for polls indicating that a majority want the law repealed.
The administration has done a poor job of explaining to the public the benefits that will be obtained once the law is fully implemented. At least 30 million more citizens who will be able to obtain health insurance will be much better off.