KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Editorials: Newspapers Call For Justices To Dismiss Challenge To Health Law

Several major news organizations editorialized on the arguments beginning at the Supreme Court today.

Los Angeles Times: Healthcare Law's Day In Court
[W]e don't believe the law is the threat to individual liberty that its critics claim it is. Instead, the most controversial provision — the requirement that almost all adult Americans obtain insurance coverage — is a key piece of a broad effort to fix a healthcare system that is too expensive, inefficient and inaccessible to too many Americans. The justices should dismiss the challenge to this individual mandate, as well as the other claims against the law (3/26). 

The Washington Post: Health-Care Reform, Part One
The Supreme Court is set to convene on Monday for the long-awaited showdown over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, President Obama's landmark health-care plan. The court has set aside an extraordinary six hours over three days to grapple with questions raised by the bill, including whether requiring individuals to obtain health insurance is constitutional. This is the first of three editorials that will assess the merits of the issues scheduled for argument each day. First the justices will spend 90 minutes on Monday contemplating whether they should even be hearing the case at this time (3/25).

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Health Care Law: Everyone Loses Without Reform
Since the health-care sector accounts for 17 percent of the economy -- and with costs galloping for decades -- it's unarguably an issue of interstate commerce in which Congress can set the rules. That's how the high court should rule. Yet, whatever the outcome, the fact remains that health reform is the only option, if the nation hopes to tame a cost spiral that threatens not only Americans' financial security but their very well-being due to the quality of medical care (3/26).

Bloomberg: Court Can't Let Broccoli Get In Way Of Health Care Law
This is not, when all is said and done, a hard case. Which raises two final questions: How did it ever reach the Supreme Court? And why is the court spending so much time on it?  To a certain extent the lower courts, with their divergent opinions on the case, forced the Supreme Court’s hand. ... The less charitable answer brings us back to where we started. The politics of health care date back not just three years or two decades but at least a century, and the politics of the courts are increasingly stark. ... The best contribution the court can make is a strong, lucid decision in favor of the law (3/25).

San Francisco Chronicle: Health Care On The Line On Supreme Court Case
The gulf between the popular and disputed parts of the law may give the court an out. It could bless some ingredients and reject the mandate, giving each side a win. But since the 1930s, the high court has taken a hands-off approach on a string of major federal laws that guaranteed voting rights, cleaned up the environment, improved working conditions and made cars safer. The White House is right to add health care to this list of worthy federal initiatives (3/26).

Detroit Free Press: Uphold Affordable Health Care
Having failed to persuade Congress that requiring Americans to carry health care insurance is a bad idea, opponents of federal health care reform will ask the U.S. Supreme Court this week to declare that enforcing such a requirement would be illegal. ... But unless they are determined to fundamentally reorder the relationship between the federal government and the states, we are confident a majority of the nine justices will rule that both provisions are well within Congress' broad constitutional authority (3/25).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.