The surge of energy and emotion on display across the blogosphere was echoed during President Barack Obama’s raucous bill-signing ceremony this morning. But many bloggers are focused on some Republicans’ efforts to repeal the bill and whether successful legal challenges can be brought in the nation’s courts.
TPMDC reports that Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., unveiled his legislation to repeal the health bill this afternoon.
Insure Blog’s Bob Vineyard points to the repeal of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act in 1989 after beneficiaries complained bitterly about the program. He says that while much of the focus of the current health overhaul has been on changes affecting major medical care for people under the age of 65, ” it is almost forgotten that significant changes will touch Medicare participants. Most notably, some of the free to almost free Medicare Advantage plans that have been so popular will be eliminated. Will the torch and pitchfork crowd rise up again and force a repeal of Obamacare?”
Heritage’s Mike Brownfield looks at comments made by a few state attorneys-general yesterday and says, “The Heritage Foundation’s legal scholars have documented why an individual mandate violates the U.S. Constitution, noting, ‘Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress given the power to mandate that an individual enter into a contract with a private party or purchase a good or service.’ That fact, however, did not stop Congress from acting outside its authority. Now, it seems, states are taking up arms to defend the tenets of our Constitution that Congress has been so quick to ignore.”
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey links to a new Rasmussen phone poll on whether Americans want their states to sue the federal government over the individual mandate requirement in the bill: “Americans want tort reform, but ObamaCare has them so angry that they want states to sue to block it. Only 37% oppose the idea, according to Rasmussen.”
But the Atlantic’s Marc Ambinder thinks legal challenges are unlikely to be successful: “The chances of success in the Supreme Court are low, but the point of the lawsuits isn’t legal — it’s political. It advances the politics of conservative jurisprudence, and the political ambitions of conservatives, and it keeps the legislation itself in a state of suspended political animation.” Ambinder goes on to examine recent legal findings that might be used to argue against an individual mandate, saying, “Congress believes that the mandates, by creating a pool of healthy and unhealthy folks, will help contain the cost of health care. That’s their intent; the court would be hard pressed to argue policy with Congress.”
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein thinks it won’t happen either: “When people think about the GOP’s threats to repeal the health-care bill, they need to think about the actual votes that Republicans would need, and when they would take place. In the short term, they’d need not just a majority in the House and Senate, and not just a supermajority in the House and Senate, but a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate because they’d need to override the president’s veto. In the Senate, that’s not even a plausible electoral outcome.”
And Time’s Jay Newton-Small thinks Republicans might want to drop the issue altogether: “Health care reform has been a rich vein for the GOP. Think back to the August town hall meetings and Sarah Palin’s death panels. Indeed, polls show the bill is incredibly unpopular – which is why Dems are more than happy to move on to jobs, the economy, and more jobs. But, keeping the bill in the forefront of news doesn’t come without risk to the GOP.” Newton-Small lists five reasons for Republicans to consider dropping their vocal opposition, including, “The ‘Party of No’ label.”