Healthcare News March 28, 2012

  • Rough day for Obama health law: Kennedy among mandate skeptics

    The mandate “changes the relationship of the federal government to the individual in a very fundamental way,” Kennedy said.

  • Boehner gives Bachmann seat for Supreme Court arguments

    Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) got one of Speaker John Boehner’s
    (R-Ohio) limited allotment of tickets to this week’s Supreme Court oral
    arguments on the federal healthcare law.

    Bachmann’s ticket enables her to sit in on Wednesday’s arguments. She made repeal of President Obama’s signature law a key element of her short-lived presidential campaign.

    {mosads}According to spokesman Michael Steel, Boehner conferred with House committee chairmen about how to dole out the handful of seat tickets he got. Steel would not reveal how many tickets he got.

    Besides Bachmann, Boehner gave a ticket to Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) for Tuesday’s arguments.

    Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) said the Speaker gave the committee, which has jurisdiction over Medicaid, one ticket for each session. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) used the seat Tuesday, while Upton intends to attend the arguments on Wednesday morning and Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) will fill the seat Wednesday afternoon.

    The Ways and Means Committee had the best representation on Tuesday. Seats went to Chairman Dave Camp and GOP Reps. Sam Johnson (Texas), Charles Boustany (La.), along with ranking member Sander Levin (D-Mich.) and Democratic Reps. Pete Stark (Calif.) and Jim McDermott (Wash.).

  • OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Obama’s not very good day at the Supreme Court

    Before Tuesday’s oral arguments, conventional wisdom had it that as many as eight of the nine justices of the high court could vote to uphold the healthcare law’s individual mandate.

    By morning’s end, it looked like President Obama’s signature achievement would be lucky to squeak by with five.

    The tone and tenure of justices’ questions don’t always predict the outcome of a case, of course. But there was wide agreement that swing Justice Anthony Kennedy’s aggressive questioning left the administration’s lawyers flummoxed and their opponents delighted.

    Healthwatch’s Sam Baker was inside the Supreme Court watching Solicitor General Donald Verrilli Jr. get pummeled. Here’s his story.

  • Reid slams Toobin, says justices’ tough questions don’t mean law’s demise

    “I’ve been in court a lot more than Jeffrey Toobin,” Reid said after Toobin predicted the law would be overturned.

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