Reactions to PPACA ruling run the gamutBlog added by Paul Wilson on July 2, 2012
Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Denver, CO

Joined: May 30, 2007

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The Supreme Court’s historic 5-4 ruling in favor of President Obama’s controversial health care reform law has sparked a firestorm of debate and opinions. It has been equated with a bandage for the fractured nation and a zombie apocalypse. No matter the ruling, did you really expect any different?

Here is a sampling of some of the reaction from the past few days:

In this piece, Newsday’s Charles Krauthammer says Chief Justice John Roberts pulled “off one of the greatest constitutional finesses of all time … Why did he do it? Because he carries two identities. Jurisprudentially, he is a constitutional conservative. Institutionally, he is chief justice and sees himself as uniquely entrusted with the custodianship of the court's legitimacy, reputation and stature.”

Laurence Tribe delves into this issue further for The Daily Beast (Newsweek), writing that Robert’s ruling will go a long way toward repairing Americans’ faith in the Supreme Court’s neutrality, which he suggests was severely undermined by the politically charged rulings in Bush v. Gore and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.

And yet another piece, this one in the New York Times, focuses on Roberts’ role in the decision, predicting a re-evaluation of the Chief Justice by both sides of the aisle.
    “To those on the left who viewed him as an ideologue eager to pull the court to the right, the ruling will begin a re-examination of Chief Justice Roberts’s style and legacy, as it will for those on the right who considered the law unconstitutional and relied on him to make that point.”
In his blog, titled, John Roberts, insurance industry shill, Matt Miller of the Washington Post makes some remarks that might surprise many, saying that “anyone who understands health policy and insurance markets knows that Roberts’s historic hand on the scale Thursday was the only way to preserve a central role for private insurers in American health care in the years ahead.” He goes on to say that, “If conservatives had any sense of their long-term interests they’d be thanking him.”

Roberts’s opinion doesn’t necessarily align with reaction from those working in the health insurance industry. Our sister site, Benefits Pro has posted several pieces with reactions from brokers and others in the health insurance industry. Among the noteworthy quotes:
    “The employee benefits world is once again in turmoil. While the Supreme Court has ruled, the political future of health care reform remains at issue.” —Donna Joseph, CEO of Rhodes-Joseph & Tobiason Advisors

    “Now that the decision is in, states will have to scramble toward implementation, all while watching where November takes us. Just the right amount of uncertainty we’ve grown accustomed to in this whole process. The zombie apocalypse sounds pretty good right about now." — Tom Blomberg, former lawyer and regional vice president at The IHC Group

    “Our country still does not have measures in place to control a system that is on an unsustainable cost trajectory. If we are to affect meaningful change, we are obligated to devise methods to curb rising expenses.” — Adam Bruckman, president and CEO of Digital Insurance
Zombie apocalypse? That’s quite a different view than the one espoused by Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post who says the decision will help heal the nation.
    The political impact of Thursday’s stunning Supreme Court decision on health-care reform is clear — good for President Obama and the Democrats, bad for Mitt Romney and the Republicans — but fleeting, and thus secondary. Much more important is what the ruling means in the long term for the physical and moral health of the nation.
He says that the individual elements of the law aren’t the main achievement; rather “the law’s underlying assumption that every American, rich or poor, should have access to adequate health care.”

One thing’s for sure: When it comes to health care reform, everyone has an opinion, and they’re very glad to share. Don’t believe me? Check out the reaction to our very own Emily Hutto’s blog summarizing a separate piece from Forbes. A good reminder about the importance of close reading.

Let us know what you’re feeling now that a few days have passed. If you’re a fan of PPACA, are you still on top of the world? On the other hand, if the ruling didn't go your way, how are you coping? Let’s keep the conversation going.
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