Updates on Supreme Court health care ruling
The Supreme Court just ruled on the Affordable Care Act. We'll post updates here to the news throughout the morning.
3:10 p.m. Our editorial is up. Read the newspaper's view here. Here is an excerpt below:
The U.S. Supreme Court changed the national discussion with its decision to uphold most of the Affordable Care Act. Time and energy spent debating medical-insurance coverage must now focus not only on providing care and but also containing costs.
2 p.m. SCOTUS break. Time for our endorsement meeting with candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction.
1:30 p.m. Editorial Lynne Varner is working on a column about what the Supreme Court's affirmation means for children in Washington state. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @lkvarner.
1:15 p.m. Bob Crittenden's guest column is up. Another excerpt:
We need to move forward, stop the political bickering and implement this law.
12:15 p.m. We're working on a guest column from Bob Crittenden, a doctor who teaches at the University of Washington schools of public health and medicine, for tomorrow's paper. This is the direction he is going with it:
State Attorney General Rob McKenna says all he cares about is the mandate and whether it is constitutional. It is constitutional now and he should support the implementation of the law. Opponents of the Affordable Care Act, like Mitt Romney and the Republican Congress, want to throw the whole law out. American people want the insurance protections, prevention and peace of mind that comes with this law.
Here is McKenna's statement on the ruling, from the news side's Politics Northwest blog. McKenna is running for governor against former congressman Jay Inslee.
11:28 a.m. Check out this Google+ hangout the New York Times opinion section did with health care experts about the ruling.
10:25 a.m. Here are some thoughts from editorial writer Bruce Ramsey: The principal argument Rob McKenna and other conservatives made against "Obamacare" — the Commerce Clause argument — was supported by the Supreme Court, 5 to 4. That is, that the federal government does not have the power to order people to buy a commercial product under the guise of regulating commerce "among the states." But Chief Justice Roberts went on to say that if you look at the Affordable Care Act as a tax — a tax on people who do not buy insurance — then it passes muster. Under Roberts' ruling, Obamacare wins, but the Commerce Clause is limited in the way the conservatives wanted to keep it limited. This may be important in cases in the future on entirely different matters. I hope it is.
Historical note: You can compare the Supreme Court's acceptance of Obamacare to its decision in 1937 to begin accepting economic regulations under the New Deal. The big case was West Coast Hotel v. Parrish, about the payment of a State of Washington minimum wage to a hotel maid in Wenatchee. That also was a 5-4 decision, and the key justice who changed sides was also named Roberts — Owen Roberts.
9:30 a.m. We're debating health care costs and discussing this New York Times story on the Oregon Health Study vs. King County's "Healthy Incentives" program on preventative care.
9:24 a.m. Editorial board meeting is in session and we're talking about our position on the ruling.
9:14 a.m. Our editorial page editor Kate Riley calls this a remarkable moment in the relationship between Obama and Chief Justice Roberts. Here's an excerpt:
Amid all the tittering anticipation of and reaction to today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act, a remarkable development is that Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative, joined with the four liberal justices to mostly uphold President Obama's hallmark legislation.
8:05 a.m. The news side has a story on the local impact of the SCOTUS ruling.
7:47 a.m. More from the AP on the two arguments that the court rejected: "The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid, but even there said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold states' entire Medicaid allotment if they don't take part in the law's extension."The opinion is posted on the Supreme Court's website. We're going to take some time to download and read. Stay tuned throughout the day. We'll have more.
7:40 a.m. Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, ruled to uphold the health care act, according to the AP. Justices Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.
This is a major political victory for President Obama. This is a blow to gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna, who joined a team of attorney generals who sought to overturn the health care act.
7:33 a.m. Here is an interactive map and timeline from the AP on health care reform.And we've posted a Discuss blog post where you can share your thoughts on the ruling.
7:25 a.m. The AP isn't updating very quickly, and the Supreme Court website has not posted the opinion yet, so until then we're watching the live chat at the SCOTUSblog.
7:20 a.m. AP reports that the Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate part of the Affordable Care Act in a 5-4 ruling.
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics