“About half the public apparently believes that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional.... I’m here to tell you: that belief is simply wrong. The constitutional challenge to the law’s requirement for people to buy health insurance — specifically, the argument that the mandate exceeds Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause — is rhetorically powerful but analytically so weak that it dissolves on close inspection. There’s just no there there.”
— Former New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse in a March 21 blog posting.
Anchor Soledad O’Brien: “So the bottom line is, is making people buy health insurance a legitimate use of the power of Congress?”
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin: “Correct, and the challengers in these laws have said, ‘No, this is not something Congress can do.’ What I wrote in The New Yorker this week, what I think is that basically that is a really weak argument, in that the United States Congress has been regulating health care for years, has been involved in this market for years, and this is a perfectly ordinary use of Congress’s power.”
— CNN’s Starting Point, March 19. [Audio/video (0:47): Windows Media | MP3 audio]
“I agree with many constitutional scholars who think, actually, that the statute is going to be upheld, because there really isn’t much of an argument on the other side....It’s hard to articulate why this Supreme Court, given the precedents that exist that support the power of Congress over interstate commerce, how the Court would explain striking down this statute.”
— Former longtime New York Times Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse on CBS This Morning, April 7.
“The history of big social legislation like this is that there is this period before it kicks in, before people get used to the benefits, where there’s a lot of anxiety....There’s a lot of anxiety in the public, but there’s not a sense of all the good things that could come.”
— New York Times correspondent Matt Bai on ABC’s This Week, April 1.
“On health care — that’s partly a failure of communication, it seem to me. How do you go a year and a half where so many Americans don’t even understand the benefits of this legislation when they apply to them?”
— New York Times columnist Tom Friedman on NBC’s Meet the Press, April 1.