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Quick Hits: Reactions to the SCOTUS Ruling on Healthcare Reform

The @healthycomms team is collecting the best links and reactions to this morning’s announcement of the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. No stance or bias is intended, and links are not endorsements of positions. This post will be updated throughout the day. 

Jon Cushman, New York Times, Awaiting Ruling on Fairly Simple Questions About a Complex Health Law

But the nine justices are expected to answer only a few principal questions, stemming from a handful of conflicting lower court decisions. Although the arguments are complex, the questions are fairly straightforward.

First, and perhaps above all, did Congress overstep its powers when it passed the “individual mandate” requiring virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty? If a majority finds that it did, the most prominent feature of the law will be overturned.

Second, if the justices strike down the mandate, what other parts of the law are so closely tied to its centerpiece that they must also fall? Both the Obama administration and the law’s opponents have argued that two other provisions — requiring companies to sell policies to anyone who applies and prohibiting insurers from charging extra to sick people — should fall, to keep the insurance market functioning.

Romanesko, How Sun-Times plans to Report the Supreme Court ‘Obamacare’ Ruling

Rebecca Elliott, Buzz Feed, What’s Next for ObamaCare: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSblog, A Reader’s Guide to the Health Care Ruling

Fortunately for both regular and new readers, there is almost always a very helpful and much shorter discussion of what has been decided, and it comes out with the opinion itself — indeed, it makes up the opening pages of the  document.  It is sometimes called the “headnote,” but the Court calls it a “syllabus.”   Whatever its name, its function is clear: to describe, in dependably accurate terms, what the Court has decided and how the Justices have voted.

Kaiser Health News, via Twitter

Chief Justice John Roberts joins the court’s left in deciding to uphold the mandate.

Sarah Kliff, Washington Post, Obamacare survived the Supreme Court. Other challenges still ahead.

The states.

States hold a huge amount of sway with what happens with the Affordable Care Act. They’re the ones doing the heavy lifting in setting up health insurance exchanges, the marketplaces where an estimated 32 million Americans will purchase health coverage beginning in 2014. How well those health insurance exchanges work is nearly certain to impact the size of the insurance expansion, with an easier-to-use system likely leading to bigger numbers.

Some have moved aggressively on implementation; others have refused to do anything. Today’s decision could encourage states to move faster, as many have said they were waiting for the Supreme Court to rule before devoting resources to implementation. There’s also the possibility though that states could wait for the results of the November election. And that would mean less prep work for the law’s big launch in 2014 – that’s when pre-existing conditions end and the individual mandate starts – and a less solid foundation.

Jonathan Rockoff, via Twitter:

Drug makers exhale: They supported the health overhaul, and won a lot of favorable provisions, tho face $billions in concessions.#SCOTUS., Screen Shot at 10:24 a.m., as the decision was coming in:, updated breaking headline moments later:

The Full (193 pages!) Text of the Decision

Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, via Twitter

I’m disappointed #SCOTUS thinks gov’t knows better than people. I won’t stop fighting #Obamacare until is full repeal. RT if you’re with me.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, via Twitter

Victory for the American people! Millions of American families and children will have certainty of health care benefits + affordable care.

Matthew Herper, Forbes, Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare: The Man Who Called It

The Supreme Court has just found a clever way to uphold the bulk of the Affordable Care Act, often called ObamaCare. Chief Justice John Roberts has, as is widely reported, authored an opinion in which the individual mandate survives as a tax, thereby both limiting the ability of Congress to mandate that people buy something but leaving the law intact. However, the decision may also limit the expansion of the Medicaid program – although that part of the law basically is allowed to stand, too.

Dr. Andrew Litt, via Twitter

#SCOTUS decision: ACA is constitutional. Now we need to focus on getting healthcare wired for information. #HIT #EHR

Twitter users continue to entertain, some heartfelt, others hilarious.  From user Tina Dupuy at 10:52 am:

@tinadupuyThis SCOTUS decision most likely extended my in-laws’ lives…a lot of mixed feelings there.

Almost immediately, posts about what the “other countries” are doing sprung up. Here’s one from CNN on those countries that already have universal healthcare.  Did you know that:

Nearly 50 countries have attained universal or near-universal health coverage by 2008, according to the International Labor Organization. Several well-known examples exist like the UK, which has the National Health Service, and the Canadian public health care system.

President Obama to speak on the ruling at 12:15 today.

And in case you were wondering, Business Insider confirms it: The Supreme Court mentioned broccoli 12 times in its ruling on healthcare.

John Halamka, MD, Life as a Healthcare CIO, The SCOTUS Healthcare Reform Decision

Healthcare reform requires a foundation of healthcare IT in order to be successful including:

*Universal adoption of EHRs
*Frictionless exchange of healthcare information with patient consent
*Widespread use of Personal Health Records
*Analytics to support quality and cost measurement
*Decision Support to deliver the right care at the right time hosts a live chat at 1 p.m. ET with Professor John E. McDonough of the Harvard School of Public Health, who worked on a passage of the Affordable Care Act.

Anddd it was only a matter of time until a Tumblr was created…. When SCOTUS Upheld Obamacare

Via The Other 98%

How President Obama today’s SCOTUS decision, via ABC News:

Standing with White House chief of staff Jack Lew and looking at a television in the “Outer Oval” featuring a split screen of four different networks, the president saw graphics on the screens of the first two cable news networks to break the news — CNN and Fox News Channel — announcing, wrongly, that he had lost.

Senior administration officials say the president was calm.

A couple minutes later, White House counsel Kathy Ruemmler came to Outer Oval and gave him two thumbs-up. Ruemmler had gotten the correct information from a White House lawyer at the Supreme Court and from

The president hugged Ruemmler, officials recalled. He then called Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli to congratulate him.

NY Times, How the Justices Ruled on the Health Care Law

Majority opinion by Chief Justice Roberts
“The Court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching. It creates a debilitated, inoperable version of health-care regulation that Congress did not enact and the public does not expect.”

Dissenting joint opinion
“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

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One thought on “Quick Hits: Reactions to the SCOTUS Ruling on Healthcare Reform

  1. Pingback: Media Kerfuffles HCR Ruling « State of the Fourth Estate

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