There’s still plenty of “repeal the bill” debates circulating around the blogosphere.
Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey, jumping on an argumentd advancd in an WSJ commentary on the subject, notices that “backers of the bill have begun calling it a tax rather than a mandate in an effort to play a rhetorical shell game with the courts and to avoid having the core of their efforts ruled unconstitutional. But will that fool the Supreme Court at all?” Morrissey continues, ”If nothing else, it shows that the backers of ObamaCare have a lot less confidence in the “Good and Welfare” clause than they have argued — and for good reason, even apart from the fact that it doesn’t exist.”
Wonk Room’s Igor Volsky responds to remarks by Senate Majority Leader John Boehner in which he calls for the health law’s repeal but also notes some Republican ideas in the law. Volsky writes, “If Boehner is unwilling to repeal the Republican ideas in the health care law, he’ll have to preserve a good deal of the legislation, which at its core is built on the Republican principles of personal responsibility and managed competition.”
Critical Condition’s John R. Graham responds to news that Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger supports the new health law: “He’s just become the first Republican governor to endorse Obamacare and pledge that his state’s government will implement it, ASAP. Governor Schwarzenegger had previously criticized the ‘Cornhusker kickback’ (which gave an extra Medicaid bailout to Nebraska), but not on principle. He just thought that the federal government should give the same kickback to every state — which it did in the “reconciliation” bill.” Graham also hypothesizes that Schwarzenegger’s support comes in part the fact that he’s not able to run for reelection.
In another edition of “Side Effects of ObamaCare,” Heritage’s Kathryn Nix looks at reports about the structure of new federal high-risk pools and says, “The risk pools are just one way in which the architects of Obamacare passed costs on to states to maintain a tenuous claim that the legislation was “deficit-neutral.” The expansion of Medicaid will cost states billions in the long run, since federal matching rates will decrease in future years.”
On the White House Blog, White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy Ann DeParle lists the parts of the health care law that have been implement so far and adds, “ In the weeks ahead, we’ll be expanding our public education campaign and doing more to ensure you have the facts about reform.”
Health Beat’s Maggie Mahar looks at headlines following a “breakthrough” FDA approval of a “breakthrough” prostate cancer treatment—that doesn’t prevent or cure prostate cancer. It doesn’t save lives,but instead “extends the lives of men suffering from late-state prostate cancer by an average of 4 months.” Mahar writes that shareholders and scientists both stand much to gain from the new advance, although “For some patients and the doctors who treat them, it’s good news—if patients can afford the drug But four extra months and a 25% risk of serious side effects can’t really be called great news.”
On the Health Care Blog, hospital CEO Paul Levy reacts to a report that the U.S. Department of Justiceis investigating possible antitrust violations by Partners HealthCare in Massachussetts, asking, if the lack of data about quality of care “—given the paucity of transparency about clinical outcomes — create a prima facie case that there is no demonstrable clinical benefit from Partners’ market power and its resultant higher prices? Perhaps the answer depends on who has the burden of proof in anti-trust cases. Does the government have to prove that there is no demonstrable clinical advantage, or does Partners have prove that there is?”
And finally, the Healthcare Economist hosts the latest edition of the Health Wonk Review (NBA play-off themed), a biweekly roundup of health policy blogging.