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Whitehouse predicts Supreme Court will uphold the healthcare law

April 6, 2012

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse says that if he had to bet, he expects the US Supreme Court will uphold the two-year-old Democratic healthcare overhaul, aka the American Affordable Care Act.

In an interview prior to a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers, Whitehouse said:

I think it would be a new reach for a court that has already concerned a lot of people about its activism to say that Congress can’t regulate 17 percent of the economy. And frankly, if they can’t tell the difference between healthcare insurance and broccoli — they should be able to tell that difference, the Constitution should be able to tell the difference.

So you can never tell with a court, you can never tell with this court. But if I had to put money on it, I would bet that they upheld the bill.

Other highlights from the interview and Newsmakers:

— Whitehouse says findings that Americans dislike the healthcare law, like this CBS/New York Times poll, are misleading. He faults the wording of the questions.

— Whitehouse asserts the Buffett Rule, scheduled for an April 16 vote, has a shot at being passed. He says Americans like the idea of higher taxes for people who earn more than $1 million a year.

— Like other Democrats, Whitehouse is a sharp critic of the Citizens United decision that expanded the ability of corporations and unions to make anonymous political contributions. But Whitehouse indicated he’s not interested in competing on an equal financial footing with his under-financed Republican rival, Barry Hinckley. Whitehouse says dismantling his war chest could make him a target of Republican money men like casino czar Sheldon Alderson.

 — Whitehouse says he thinks Governor Lincoln Chafee is “doing better than public polling suggests.”  Whitehouse won his Senate seat when he defeated Chafee in 2006.

— Not surprisingly, Whitehouse — like other leading RI Democrats — is backing David Cicilline as he runs for re-election. I asked Whitehouse whether Cicilline’s October 2010 statement that Providence was in “excellent financial condition” was a reason to not support Cicilline. Whitehouse responded by citing the need to maintain Democrats in the House; he also says Cicilline had considerable accomplishments at City Hall.

You can catch Newsmakers on Sunday.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mister Guy permalink
    April 6, 2012 9:02 pm

    If the U.S. Supreme Court completely rejects the 2010 health care reform laws, it’ll be purely about politics. It’s kind of sad that silly discussions over broccoli or mentions of “Cornhusker Kickbacks” (which isn’t even in the final law as passed) are some of the arguments that are made by clueless, partisan justices like Scalia. The federal govt. can compel one to be drafted (& maybe killed in combat), arrested (& possibly executed while in custody), pay taxes, purchase items (for the health & safety of workers or to comply with other kinds of regulations) that one might not want to purchase in the first place, etc.. Nothing that the federal govt. has done or will be doing under the 2010 health care reform laws is out of the ordinary when it comes to established judicial precedent.

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