Richard Kirsch has dedicated his life to fighting for universal affordable healthcare. A senior fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and author of numerous studies on healthcare reform, Kirsch wrote New York’s Managed Care Consumer Bill of Rights. Perhaps most notable, however, is the role he played in transforming the recent political discourse with his revolutionary proposal: the public option.
In his new book, Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States, Kirsch describes the uphill struggle to bring health care to everyone. The book doubles as a memoir and ode to the power of progressive grassroots organizations. He chronicles the history of health care reform as well as his own experience designing and pushing forward the public option — a middle road between private insurance and single-payer coverage.
At a book party and fundraiser at the California Endowment,
Right now former President George W. Bush, who appointed John Roberts as Chief Justice, must be having a Dwight Eisenhower moment.
When Eisenhower nominated California’s Republican governor Earl Warren to be the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1953, he thought he was appointing a conservative jurist. Later, Eisenhower reportedly said that appointing Warren, who took the Court in an unprecedented liberal direction, was the “biggest damn fool mistake” he had ever made. (Warren is one of the people I profile in my new book, The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame).
Chief Justice Roberts is a far cry from Earl Warren. Indeed, the Roberts court has been one of the most conservative in history.
But we can be grateful for Roberts’ decision to side with the 5-4 majority to uphold the Obama health care reform law.
“Justice Roberts’ opinion makes him a hero for a day to many liberals. It also moves the Court, at a stately pace, toward an aggressively right-wing view of the federal government’s power. Moreover, it keeps the Court at the very heart of issues where it does not belong. For all its obvious appeal, it is self-aggrandizing and far more radical in its reasoning than in its outcome. That reasoning may have serious consequences down the road.”
Purdy refers in part to Justice Roberts’ endorsement of a narrow view of the Commerce Clause shared by the dissenting justices (Kennedy, Alito, Scalia, and Thomas), who would have struck down the Act in its entirety. (Roberts allowed the individual mandate to stand on the strength of Congress’ constitutional power to tax.
By a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld most provisions of the Affordable Care Act. In the court’s most closely watched decision in decades, the majority ruled ACA’s provision mandating that individual citizens enroll in health-care programs was a constitutional imposition of a tax. On the other hand, the justices ruled against the expansion of Medicare.
A statement issued by California’s United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals hailed the court’s decision. The statement quoted union Secretary-Treasurer Barbara Blake, RN:
“This is not just an abstract legal decision. Real lives and the heartbreak of real families will be saved because of it. We’ve got more people in California dying each year because they don’t have health insurance than any other state in the country. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, the vast majority of us will be covered.”
See these stories:
New York Times (“HEALTH LAW STANDS”
Los Angeles Times (“Healthcare law upheld as a tax measure”)
Washington Post (“What the Supreme Court’s decision on the health-care law may mean for you”)
Talking Points Memo (“SUPREME COURT UPHOLDS ‘OBAMACARE’”
Now that Mitt Romney has clinched his position as the GOP presidential candidate, it’s time more than ever for Romney to avoid talking about the health care reform measure he created as Governor of Massachusetts.
You remember President Obama’s health-care legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the one that passed through Congress as smoothly as a kidney stone, thanks to shrill conservative opposition? Key parts of that act were lifted straight from Gov. Romney’s measure, but Mitt can’t afford that association, given the Right’s steady vilification of the plan as “socialism.” Which is why Romney has been running around attacking “Obamacare” instead.
Some Republicans are reading the polls and surfacing the idea of legislation to replace the Obama Administration’s ACA.
It seems their idea is to retain the most popular aspects–covering young people until they are 26, close the Medicare “doughnut hole” that requires patients to pay more for their medications and guarantee coverage despite pre-existing conditions.