OBAMACARE SURVIVES. On Thursday, in a surprising act of judicial stewardship, a bitterly divided Court upheld the Affordable Care Act—President Obama’s signature legislative achievement—and the individual mandate at the heart of the healthcare overhaul. While it left some of the best solutions to America’s healthcare crisis on the table, the Court’s decision is a welcome beginning to the end of the scandal in which nearly 50 million remain uninsured. I joined NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook on Friday to discuss the decision and its impact. Listen to that here.
Here at TheNation.com, executive editor Richard Kim reminds us what was at stake in the decision, and the far-reaching implications for the almost 50 million Americans who currently lack health insurance. The Nation’s all-star team of reporters and writers were front and center with reaction and analysis. Legal affairs correspondent David Cole explains why Chief Justice Roberts sided with the Court’s liberals. As Tea Partiers and progressives alike assembled outside of the Court in anticipation of the ruling, Washington reporter George Zornick was there, and he has more on reactions from both sides. In the wake of the ruling, Republicans have predictably renewed their attack on Obamacare. Campaign correspondent Ben Adler reports on why this may be one of the rare instances where what is good for the country is also good for Mitt Romney. Contributing writer Ari Berman talked to long-time universal healthcare advocate Howard Dean about the political and policy implications of the ruling. And columnist Ilyse Hogue reminds us that the “three-letter word” upon which Chief Justice Roberts saved the Affordable Care Act “can—and often [does]—create a stronger America.”
ELECTIONS FOR SALE. On Monday, the Supreme Court vastly expanded the scope and reach of Citizens United in striking down a challenge to the law in a Montana case that sought state limits on corporate spending in state and local elections. In keeping with the Court’s position on “handing off control of American democracy to corporations,” as Washington correspondent John Nichols explains, the Court once again sided with corporations. Critics will charge that Citizens United also benefits the opposition—in this case labor unions—to raise money and compete in elections. But as Nichols rightly notes, the Court last Thursday erected elaborate new barriers to participation in elections by public-sector unions, tipping the playing field even more in the already uneven game of American electoral politics. On Monday, Rachel Maddow’s adroit analysis offers a clear picture of exactly how uneven this playing field has now become. Watch that here.