VIDEO: Catawba's Michael Bitzer on U.S. Supreme Court's Health Care Law Ruling
June 28, 2012
Dr. J. Michael Bitzer, chair of and an associate professor of history and politics at Catawba, says the June 28 U.S. Supreme Court decision on President Barack Obama's health care law "turned out to be a definitive legal and policy victory for the President, but perhaps a political victory for the Republicans in the long run."
"While the court gave its constitutional blessing for Congress to use the tax power in the individual mandate, the Republicans, and particularly the Tea Party base of the GOP, will have a new source of energy to defeat what they term as 'Obamacare.' A renewed and energized base will only help Mitt Romney, who now has to figure out how to best ride this wave into the general campaign."
In a landmark decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the entire health care law by a vote of 5 to 4, striking down only a small portion of the overall law that dealt with states and Medicaid funding. The Court upheld a key provision of the health care law, ruling that requiring people to have health insurance or pay a fine (part of the law that will not go into affect for another 18 months) is constitutional as a tax.
Passed by Democrats on March 23, 2010, the law was designed to extend health coverage to some 32 million uninsured people, ban insurers from discriminating against those with expensive ailments, and requires nearly all Americans to buy insurance or pay penalties.
The decision will have a major impact on the nation's health care system, the actions of both federal and state governments, and the November presidential and congressional elections