The Supreme Court seems determined not to allow an argument that would postpone a decision on the future of President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, Rep Tom Price told NewsmaxTV after spending a day inside the courtroom.
“My sense was the justices were hinting that they believe that it ought to go through, there ought to be a decision made by this court in this sitting as opposed to pushing it off for a longer period of time,” said the Georgia congressman.
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The first day of the hearing into “Obamacare” concerned the technical matter of whether the penalty for not having insurance should be considered a tax. If so, court appointed lawyer Robert Long argued, a challenge is barred until the tax is paid.
But Price, an orthopedic surgeon, agreed with most other observers in the court that it is unlikely that that argument will win the day.
Price called the first day of arguments “a historic day,” adding, “It was really exciting in the court, eight of the nine justices engaged very, very vigorously and the court was packed, there was a lot of enthusiasm within the courtroom itself.”
Price, the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, said it is important that the Supreme Court is not seen just in terms of the effect it will have on November’s elections, but on how it will hurt the country for years to come.
“This law is bad on all sorts of counts. As a physician, I can tell you that it harms access, it increases the cost of healthcare, it harms the quality of healthcare and it certainly decreases choices for the American people.
“Regardless of when an election is, what we need to do is make sure that this is either overturned or repealed and then get on with the business of putting in place positive patient-centered solutions to the challenges in healthcare that we face.”
He said if the nine Supreme Court justices do not agree with him that it the law is unconstitutional, Congress has to get to work to repeal and replace it.
“The status quo in healthcare is unacceptable as well,” said Price. “We have got solutions that are wonderful and they’ll make sure that we move in a direction that allows patients to be in charge of healthcare not bureaucrats.
“This is the first time in the history of our nation that the federal government has said to each and every American citizen, by virtue of being a citizen you must buy a product and this is what it must be. It is that second clause, the ‘and this is what it must be,’ very specifically that runs into constitutional challenges.
“The bill is very specific in what kind of health coverage you and every single American must have, and if you don’t purchase what the government mandates that you purchase, then guess who enforces it, the IRS.
“That is just an affront to the American people.”
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