Thursday, July 5, 2012

July 11: House to vote on repealing Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court decision indicates that we have entered an age where, unless something changes, the federal government will be in indefinite control of health care. On July 11th, the House will move to make that change and vote on a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivered the following remarks at a press conference with House Republican Leaders:

House FY2013 Financial Services Appropriations bill prohibits implementation of the Affordable Care Act

The House as early as next week will pass legislation prohibiting the IRS from receiving any money from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement the 2010 healthcare reform law.

Passage of the financial services spending bill is especially timely in light of last week's Supreme Court ruling that penalties the government can impose under the law against people who refuse to buy health insurance can be seen as a tax, because it is enforced like a tax.

Supreme Court 2011 Term End: Affordable Care Act Upheld

Thursday’s Supreme Court decision to uphold “Obamacare” (a.k.a., the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) came as a welcome surprise to many, and left others fuming. Chief Justice John Roberts, who ultimately sided with liberals on the Mandate issue, has been hailed as everything from a savior to a traitor in the big decision of whether implement a universal-like health care system in the U.S. (Forbes)

The only way Roberts could get a majority to uphold the law — and thus assign the opinion to himself, the prerogative of the Chief Justice — was to join with the liberal wing on the narrow question of whether the mandate was in fact a tax even if President Obama and Congress denied it was. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined with him for this critical portion of the opinion.

The cobbled-together nature of the decision doesn’t diminish its sheer legal cleverness, bordering on brilliance. By upholding the law, Roberts sheltered the court from liberal criticism. At the same time he asserted at least two powerful holdings that pushed the authority of the court further than it had ever gone before. That makes Roberts the heir to the one of the first Chief Justices, John Marshall, who protected the infant court from being strangled in its crib in the early years of this country while also establishing its power to invalidate acts of Congress.

House Hearings - Dodd-Frank Burdens

The House Financial Services Committee plans to spend much of July focusing on the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and what committee Republicans say are the law's burdensome regulations on companies and consumers.

"With this month marking the second anniversary of passage of the Dodd-Frank Act, the Financial Services Committee is focusing attention throughout July on the burdens this law's 2,300 pages and more than 400 new rules layer on American companies, financial markets and consumers," committee Republicans said this week.

House Hearing - Tax Ramifications of NFIB v. Sebelius (2012 health care law ruling)

The House Ways and Means Committee will hold a hearing next week on the "tax ramifications" of the Supreme Court's ruling on the healthcare law.

The July 10 hearing will mark the first chance for members of Congress to formally hash out the surprise ruling, which allowed the law's mandate to buy health insurance by treating it as a tax, even though Chief Justice John Roberts said it could not be upheld as a way to regulate commerce under the Commerce Clause.

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