Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dem lawmaker says Supreme Court may nix individual mandate - The Hill's Floor Action

From: The Hill

On the one-year anniversary of the historic healthcare reform law, at least one Democratic congressman disagrees with his party’s prevalent opinion and believes the U.S. Supreme Court may well strike down the law’s individual mandate as unconstitutional.

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) doesn't see the debate over the Obama administration's healthcare reform law going away anytime soon, and concedes that things may go unfavorably for the law, at least in part, when challenges to it eventually reach the Supreme Court.

In a conference call Wednesday, Weiner said he expected Republicans and Democrats to continue to debate the law during the presidential campaign and throughout 2012.

“I don't believe that this debate is going away," Weiner said. "I think that if Democrats believe that it's going to go away, they're wrong, and I don't represent the hide under your desk wing of the Democratic Party. I think we've got to go forward into this."

Weiner repeated a statement he made earlier Wednesday at the Center for American Progress: He expects the Supreme Court to eventually hear a challenge to the constitutionality of the Obama administration's law and uphold the challenge.

"I think there's a pretty good chance that the Supreme Court will strike down the mandate," Weiner said.

Numerous suits have been filed against the law and five federal judges have ruled on the constitutionality so far with three judges upholding the law and two ruling in favor of the challenge. One judge declared the individual mandate unconstitutional, while the other judge threw the whole law out. All five cases are being appealed.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the law sometime in 2012.

Weiner's prediction goes against other Democrats who consider Republican efforts to repeal the healthcare law unlikely to bear fruit.

Both Republicans and Democrats marked the one-year anniversary of the passage of the healthcare law on Wednesday. Republicans criticized Democrats for defending a law that harms the American economy while Democrats celebrated its passage as a boon to the American people.

Recent polling shows that public opinion on the law remains at where it was roughly a year ago, with most Americans holding negative views.

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