Jul 18, 2012, 16:59 ET from Robert Weiner Associates

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While the Supreme Court did uphold the Affordable Care Act, the Court's denying the applicability of the Commerce Clause endangers the New Deal, the Great Society, and all social programs, say Robert Weiner, a former White House spokesman and former U.S. House Aging Committee and Health Subcommittee Chief of Staff, and policy analyst Richard Mann in today's Michigan Chronicle.  The Michigan Chronicle has been named "best black paper in the country" six times in the last 12 years by the National Newspaper Association.

Weiner and Mann claim that the decision "denies the authority of the Commerce Clause. So this is a mixed decision really. It is less than the euphoria that the Democrats are claiming as outright victory."

"Because the Court AGREED 5-4 NOT to use the Commerce Clause because the five Republican-appointed justices said it was unconstitutional here (the Court went to the tax authority to approve the bill instead), now they may disapprove EVERYTHING under the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Great Society—our entire social safety net—under this new interpretation of the Commerce Clause.  That's the entire first half of Roberts' decision, the first 45 pages of which were so negative that both CNN and Fox got the decision WRONG at first and incorrectly announced that the health bill was overthrown.  They later corrected the announcement.  But that was not an idle reading of the first 45 pages—it lays the basis for throwing LOTS of good social programs out down the road," say Weiner and Mann.

The pair quote Cong. John Conyers, Detroit's member who is the Democratic Leader of the House Judiciary Committee that oversees the Court, "As far as this Court is concerned, this was one of the better decisions, although the Medicaid part was terrible and I didn't agree with them on the Commerce Clause.  But you have to take each decision case by case."             

Weiner and Mann assert, "The danger signals are strong indeed." 

While the decision is more dangerous than most Democrats believe. Weiner and Mann also highlight the significant victory by saying, "Thanks to the decision and President Obama's legislation, everyone in America that has an insurance plan who has been over charged, and that is effectively everyone, is soon getting a BILLION dollars in checks. The insurance companies were holding off on these checks until the decision. Now they must go forward. An average of $500 a person is going out in checks because of insurance companies overcharging.  Including by requiring at least 80% of premiums to be used for benefits, the law has concrete benefits in making the insurance companies fall in line."

Weiner and Mann explained, "What the decision also assures that everybody gets covered for health care – no one can be turned down.  The President's bill guarantees that everyone is now covered for pre-existing conditions, preventive care, mammograms, colonoscopies, seniors' drugs, and children on parent's plans through age 26."

Weiner and Mann said the Court made a "pro-big business decision.  The Court held the bill constitutional where it goes through the insurance companies, but it gives the States the right not to expand Medicaid or create the exchanges for the 30 million people without health insurance – even though states will be hard pressed to refuse the near-full federal funding for the expansion."

Link to article:

Contact: Robert Weiner/Richard Mann 301-283-0821, cell 202-306-1200

SOURCE Robert Weiner Associates