True, Verrilli did stumble over his words in the beginning of his opening remarks and did take a short break to take a drink of water. Umm...give the guy a break. He was giving oral argument at the Supreme Court of the United States on one of the most important issues right now for heaven's sake! The health care law is also not the easiest thing in the world to explain; it is highly complex. Perhaps it took him a minute to get composed, but he eventually did. As a law student, I have quite a bit of sympathy for him.
The video compresses these moments that Verrilli stumbled over his words and puts them all together so it sounds like he had no idea what he was talking about. The video also labels Verrilli as "Obama's lawyer." This is entirely incorrect. He is the Solicitor General and represents the government, not Obama, in litigation before the Supreme Court. It seems nit-pickety but it is just another way that the RNC tries to characterize the health care law as being all about Obama.
|Courtroom sketch by Art Lien: Solicitor General Donald Verrilli speaking to Justice Antonin Scalia on March 26, 2012 as he argues his case before the Supreme Court|
Alright, forget the stupid ad. The main issue is whether it is constitutional to require Americans to buy insurance coverage.
What I think:
1. I think the individual mandate comes within Congress' right to regulate interstate commerce. Whether or not people have insurance inevitably affects interstate commerce. Like Verrilli said,
"Uninsured Americans each year use $43 billion of health care they cannot pay for, effectively transferring those costs to other American families to the tune of about $1,000 per year."2. On its face, the individual mandate may look like it is "forcing people into the stream of commerce" by requiring someone who might not have obtained health insurance to obtain it. However, virtually everyone will end up needing some kind of health care at some point in their lives. Somebody has to pay for it...
Cut the crap, Republicans. Stop making this debate about "freedom" when it's really about every citizen's right to secure affordable health care. This is a very unique issue and I highly doubt whether this interpretation of the Commerce Clause is going to set a precedent for unlimited power of the federal government to control everything we do.
Plus, wasn't this A REPUBLICAN idea in the first place? In the words of Sarah Palin, "You betcha!"
Before the Affordable Care Act, health care was a complete mess in this country.
- Insurance companies cannot deny coverage to people with "pre-existing conditions"
- Small businesses can sleep at night, without the extra burden of figuring out how they are going to afford health care for their employees
- Women will get the preventative care that they need
- Medicare is stronger for seniors
The Supreme Court is probably going to vote on the health care law on Friday, although the rest of us will not know the results of that decision until late June. Drafts of the opinions will be written and re-written in the meantime.