Democrats, Republicans Prepare for High Court Ruling on Reform Law
Democrats and Republicans continue to prepare short- and long-term responses to the upcoming Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the federal health reform law, the Washington Post reports (Somashekhar, Washington Post, 6/14).
Democrats Confident but Plan Anyway
Obama administration officials say they are confident that the court will rule in favor of the overhaul, but some advocates of the law are preparing in case the decision is less favorable.
Families USA recently hosted two days of meetings with a group of organizations supporting the law to coordinate responses.
Ron Pollack, head of Families USA, said that if the high court invalidates certain portions of the health reform law, "we need to make sure the public does not see that as meaning the law is killed."
Congressional Democrats also are readying their responses, according to the New York Times. According to the Times, Democratic aides are hoping to force the GOP to "show their hand on the issue of the uninsured." Meanwhile, House Democrats are carrying a "pocket card" that outlines how the overhaul already has been beneficial (Weisman/Shear, New York Times, 6/14).
GOP Works To Coordinate Messaging
Republicans are working to coordinate their messages and responses with presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The GOP hopes to take advantage of the ruling no matter what the decision, according to the Post.
If the court upholds portions of the overhaul, House Republicans plan to immediately force a vote to repeal the entire law. Some Republicans privately have expressed concerns that such a strategy would put them on record opposing some of the overhaul's most popular provisions, according to the Post (Washington Post, 6/14).
According to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), after the initial repeal vote, Republican lawmakers will move forward with legislation to allow insurance to be purchased across state lines, loosen restrictions on changing insurers and boost support for tax-preferred health savings accounts.
Health Insurers Prepare
Meanwhile, the health insurance industry has launched a lobbying and social media campaign to gain support for the idea that the overhaul's popular provisions cannot be maintained if the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate, the Times reports (New York Times, 6/14).
America's Health Insurance Plans spokesperson Robert Zirkelbach said, "Our focus is making sure people understand the inextricable link between the coverage requirement and the market reforms" (Washington Post, 6/14).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.