Democratic Lawmakers Reaffirm Support for Health Care Reform Law
President Obama has not publicly commented on last week's Supreme Court oral arguments on the constitutionality of the federal health reform law, but he defended the overhaul during a pair of re-election events in Vermont on Friday, USA Today's "The Oval" reports.
At a campaign fundraiser in Burlington, Obama touted some of the consumer benefits of the health reform law and noted, "I said that we would get a health care law that would provide near universal coverage so that people don't have to go bankrupt when they get sick in this country; we got it passed" (Jackson, "The Oval," USA Today, 3/31).
During a rally at the University of Vermont later in the day, Obama said Republicans "want to go back to a day when insurance companies could do whatever they wanted to," adding the GOP's "philosophy is simple: you are on your own ... You don't have health care, you're on your own." (Tau, Politico, 3/30).
Biden Expects Supreme Court To Uphold Overhaul, Individual Mandate
Meanwhile, congressional Democrats and Vice President Biden appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows to also defend the overhaul, National Journal reports.
During an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation," Biden said the administration is confident that the Supreme Court will uphold the law's individual mandate. He added, "We think the mandate and the law are constitutional" (Jaffe, National Journal, 4/1).
Biden said it is essential for health reform proponents to "focus on what is the law doing for people now and what would happen if, in fact, the Republicans were able to repeal" the law. He also criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for being "a little out of touch" for opposing the overhaul, adding "And what is the Romney answer [for health reform]? There's nothing. All they argue is, 'Cut. Get rid of this. Get rid of that.'" (Sonmez, Washington Post, 4/1).
During an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned that the outcome of the oral arguments is not a clear indicator of the court's final decision on the law.
On ABC's "This Week," Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said that if the court strikes down the law, Democrats would "have to ask our Republican colleagues for the 'replace' half of what had been 'repeal and replace.'"
House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who also appeared on "This Week," said the GOP has offered replacement proposals that would create "a decentralized market-based system that's patient centered" (National Journal, 4/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.