The Supreme Court’s decision to consider whether President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law is constitutional is good for a nation that has been in legal limbo for months on the issue, says healthcare expert Betsy McCaughey.
The former New York lieutenant governor predicted a split court, with a 5-4 majority in favor of striking down the law’s requirement for nearly everyone to take out health insurance.
The decision probably will rest on whether the court accepts a ruling from the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that around half the nation does not use any healthcare.
“The Obama administration lawyers have said mandatory insurance is necessary for free riders — the people who go to the hospital and do not pay for it,” McCaughey in an exclusive interview with Newsmax. “They argued again and again that the need for healthcare is universal and inevitable, that everyone is involved in healthcare commerce and this law regulates how they pay for it.
“But 13 percent of those are illegal immigrants and the rest will be eligible for Medicaid, so the individual mandate will not affect them.
“The 11th Circuit called that issue a sleight of hand, and I agree with that. Once uncovered, this fact is the silver bullet that will put the Obama healthcare law to rest,” she told Newsmax.
Some have called McCaughey an American hero for her knowledge of the issues that Obama’s Affordable Care Act raises and her doggedness in opposing it.
The 11th Circuit’s decision in a case brought by 26 states will be the basis of the Supreme Court hearing, which is likely to take place in March, with a result announced in late June or early July.
“Realistically. that is the earliest the decision could be made,” said McCaughey. “In my view, the 11th Circuit made the right decision and it is correct that the Supreme Court will focus on its decision.”
The other major issue the court will have to decide is whether the whole law should be struck down if the justices agree that mandatory health insurance is illegal. She said she believes it does not, although she said the cost would be so high that it would be bad for the country.
“My view is that a great deal of it can remain, although it would not be in the best interests of the country because of the increased cost of Medicaid,” she said.
“But most importantly, it is fortunate for the nation that the Supreme Court has decided to hear this appeal. We have has been in legal limbo as states and businesses have been spending billions for a law which probably will not go into effect — and it should not.”
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