Mayoral front-runner Bill de Blasio may be 50 points ahead in the polls, but that isn’t stopping him from hitting his Republican rival, Joe Lhota, whenever he sees an open shot.
Today’s opportunity for the Democrat came when Mr. Lhota said in a WNYC interview that he believes Obamacare’s individual mandate should be postponed for a year because of alleged widespread confusion over its implementation.
Ra Ra Riot
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin gave a lecture about the case at the Hebrew Center in the well-heeled beach haven of Martha’s Vineyard, however according to at least one attendee, the July 5 event turned into “utter mayhem.” Doreen Kinsman penned a letter to The Martha’s Vineyard Times describing how an “unruly mob” descended on Mr. Toobin’s event leading to “utter pandemonium” and a scene straight out of Lord of the Flies.
Councilman Dan Halloran, the Republican councilman who will face off against Democratic Assemblyman Grace Meng in November to represent Queens’ 6th District in the House released a new campaign video on YouTube this morning blasting President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law.
“When ObamaCare was passed in 2009, we were lied to. This new tax is the biggest in our country’s history, and it doesn’t take on the real problems of the health care industry,” Mr. Halloran says in the clip.
Law & Order
John Yoo, a former Department of Justice attorney in the administration of George W. Bush who wrote the so-called “torture memos” that provided the legal rationale for the government to use “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation is not pleased with the Supreme Court’s decision upholding President Barack Obama’s healthcare law. Mr. Yoo, who is now a professor at Berkeley law school, penned an editorial in which appeared in Saturday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal in which he speculated the healthcare ruling may allow the government to “force us to buy electric cars, eat organic kale, or replace oil heaters with solar panels.”
President Obama responded to the Supreme Court decision upholding his healthcare law with an address that was broadcast live from the White House earlier this afternoon. With Mitt Romney and top Republicans in Congress vowing to repeal the law, the president encouraged people to move forward rather than trying to “refight the political battles of two years ago or go back to the way things were.”
“The highest court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law and we’ll work together to improve on it where we can,” President Obama said. “With today’s announcement, it’s time for us to move forward to implement and, where necessary, improve on this law. Now’s the time to keep our focus on the most urgent challenge of our time–putting people back to work paying down our debt….I’m as confident as ever that, when we look back five years from now, ten years from now, or twenty years from now, we’ll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law.”
Mitt Romney responded to the Supreme Court ruling upholding President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law with an address in Washington D.C. in which he explained why he thinks “Obamacare” is “bad law.”
“Let’s make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it’s good policy,” Mr. Romney said. “Obamacare was bad policy yesterday, it’s bad policy today. Obamacare was bad law yesterday, it’s bad law today.”
He also said the Court’s decision showed the president needs to be replaced in the next election.
“Our mission is clear,” said Mr. Romney. “If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that.”
According to Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul the Supreme Court decision upholding President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law led to a windfall for Mitt Romney. Ms. Saul told The Politicker supporters donated at least $100,000 in the 50 minutes between the immediate aftermath of the ruling, which was issued at approximately 10:10 a.m. Shortly before 11:30, Ms. Saul said the total donations had reached over $300,000. By 1:30 p.m., Ms. Saul claimed the Romney campaign had raised $1 million following the ruling.
“Fundraising for @MittRomney ticks up to $300k since decision came down. #FullRepeal,” Ms. Saul wrote on Twitter.
Law & Order
A few minutes ago, the Supreme Court issued a 5-4 ruling authored by Chief Justice John Roberts upholding the most controversial portion of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law–an individual mandate requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance or face fines by 2014. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was the president’s signature achievement and top priority in the first part of his term, was signed into law on March 2010. It was intended to provide coverage for 50 million uninsured Americans by allowing anyone under 26 to stay on their parents’ policy, forcing states to provide Medicaid to those under 65 whose incomes are up to 133 percent of the poverty level, barring insurance companies from denying coverage or charging premiums to people with pre-existing conditions and mandating most uninsured Americans purchase insurance or face fines by 2014.
Though the Court upheld the individual mandate, they did limit the scope of the provisions forcing states to provide Medicaid. According to SCOTUSBlog, the Court ruled the individual mandate is constitutional because it can simply be read as the imposition of a tax.
The individual mandate has been the most controversial element of the law and led to 26 states challenging its constitutionality in the courts. Opponents argue the federal government cannot require to people to purchase insurance, while supporters say it is necessary regulation of commerce.
In advance of the ruling, Mitt Romney’s campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul sent out a “campaign update” to reporters this morning summarizing the candidate’s position on the law.
Governor Andrew Cuomo overrode the State Senate Republican majority’s opposition to his Health Exchange with an executive order today, but at least one state senator is still fighting the plan — Greg Ball. Mr. Ball issued a statement blasting the exchange, which is part of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul that’s being debated in the Supreme Court as a “large and expensive government program that may never get off of the ground.”
“Any rush towards enacting Obamacare is more political than reality,” Mr. Ball said.
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum argued over the “Obamacare” and “Romneycare” health plans during the GOP presidential debate in Arizona last night. Mr. Santorum brought up the issue after the candidates discussed the controversy over President Barack Obama’s contraception coverage rule, which would require schools and hospitals with religious affiliation to allow employees and students access to health plans that cover birth control.
“We were talking about this issue before of religious conscience and protections, but the whole reason this issue is alive is because of the bill that you drafted in Massachusetts, ‘Romneycare,’ which was the model for ‘Obamacare’ and the government takeover of heathcare,” Mr. Santorum said to his rival. “There was a study that just came out about ten days ago–two weeks ago, that listed 15 ways in which ‘Romneycare’ was the model for ‘Obamacare.’”