MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Healthcare reform: Destined for the Supreme Court? “A year ago, it was a long shot. Now, it’s seen as a 5 to 4 case. And nobody’s exactly sure which way the 5 to 4 will come down,” Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett told Politico.
The latest — and greatest — Obamacare setback. A Florida judge went further than most expected and rejected almost every piece of President Obama’s healthcare law. In essence: U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said the individual mandate requiring health insurance oversteps Congressional power. And because the entire healthcare reform law relies on the individual mandate to work, the whole law cannot stand.
The only sure thing right now is that the Obama administration will appeal. Below is a list of spins and intepretations of the ruling that will likely continue to evolve throughout the day.
Health reform stopped — or not? “David Rivkin, a conservative lawyer in Washington who represents the plaintiffs, said that the 26 states that are party to the lawsuit are no longer subject to any of the law’s requirements – unless the federal government obtains a stay of Vinson’s order from an appeals court. White House officials firmly rejected that view. “Implementation will proceed apace,” one senior White House official said in a background briefing for reporters,” reported The Washington Post
The challenge of an appeal: “In order to overturn Judge Vinson’s ruling upon appeal, it will be necessary for the government to rebut itself: to disprove its own arguments that the individual mandate is essential to PPACA,” according to Forbes Magazine blogger Avik Roy.
Will it backfire with the public? “The Republican House got little bang out of their vote to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. These lawsuits are partly designed to re-engage debates on which the public is fed up. It is a climate that generally helps opponents,” according to Politico.
Democrats’ best weapon: Obamacare benefits. “Health reform advocates say that as the administration and the states move forward with implementation, millions of Americans will begin to benefit from the law’s consumer protections ’ making it less likely that the appeals court judges and eventually the Supreme Court justices will strike down massive legislation that’s already the law of the land,” writes The Hill.
The Supreme Court Showdown: A Prediction.
The consensus is the Democratic appointed judges uphold the law and the Republican appointed judges strike it down ’ so far. We have two Clinton appointees upholding it: the one you mentioned plus Judge Norman Moon of Lynchburg, Va., and then we have two Republican appointees, Judge Vinson today, and Judge Henry Hudson of Richmond a few weeks ago saying it’s unconstitutional. Now I don’t claim that pattern is going to uphold all the way up to the Supreme Court and that the law’s going to get struck down 5-4 because there are more Republicans, I actually would probably bet ’ not a lot ’ but bet on it being upheld in court. But so far, it’s clear that there’s a ideological cleavage that’s the best way of reconciling all of these decisions. – as appeared in Kaiser Health News.
New dietary guidelines need more guidance. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which were announced yesterday, are moving in the right direction, but still do not clearly state which foods people should avoid according to Harvard School of Public Health professor Walter Willett and New York University nutrition professor Marion Nestle, reports The Washington Post.
And finally: Breast reduction surgeries are on the rise — for men. The number of men having breast reduction surgery is increased 28 percent last year, according to the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. The operation is second only to rhinoplasty in popularity amongst men, reports rhinoplastysydney.co.
Material from MedCity News was used in this report.