Search the KHIT Blog

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Jennings Moot Court tees up the PPACA


Brooke C. Obie

March 22, 2012
As the Supreme Court gears up to hear oral arguments in the Affordable Care Act cases next week, the Peter Jennings Project for Journalists and the Constitution tested the central issue of the Act at its Sixth Annual Moot Court Program on March 20.  During the simulated court proceedings, a panel of distinguished law professors, noted legal thinkers, and current and former federal judges -- including four Bush (41 and 43) appointees and CAC Board member and former DC Circuit Judge Patricia Wald  -- heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the minimum coverage provision in the ACA and voted 8-1 that the ACA’s mandate that Americans obtain insurance coverage or face a tax penalty is within Congress’s constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce.  

You can watch the webcast of this terrific moot court program below:

I watched all 2 hours and 2 minutes. Riveting. Cheryl and I know an attorney who once argued at Orals before SCOTUS twenty-some years ago (a disability case). The constant interruptions and vigorous pushback from the Justices in this video square precisely with her recounting of her experience.

I wish would publish a verbatim transcript of this event. There are for me some striking seminal moments a bit over an hour in that I'd love to cite. This stuff is the antidote to people like this:

Yeah, my friend, real "governance" and evidentiary due process are a pain.

I will be listening closely to each day's Orals audio release. A significant part of our work going forward is joined at the hip with a number of PPACA subtitles, so it's worth keeping tabs on this.


"...Those Americans who die or go broke because they happened to get sick represent a fundamental moral decision our country has made. Despite all the rights and privileges and entitlements that Americans enjoy today, we have never decided to provide medical care for everybody who needs it.The far-reaching health care reform that Congress passed in 2010 is designed to increase coverage substantially—but it will still leave about 23 million Americans uninsured. Even when “Obamacare” takes full effect, the American health care system will still lead to large numbers of avoidable deaths and bankruptcies among our fellow citizens. As we saw in the national debate over that bill, efforts to increase coverage tend to be derailed by arguments about “big government” or “free enterprise” or “socialism”—and the essential moral question gets lost in the shouting. All the other developed countries on earth have made a different moral decision. 

All the other countries like us—that is, wealthy, technologically advanced, industrialized democracies—guarantee medical care to anyone who gets sick. Countries that are just as committed as we are to equal opportunity, individual liberty, and the free market have concluded that everybody has a right to health care—and they provide it. One result is that most rich countries have better national health statistics—longer life expectancy, lower infant mortality, better recovery rates from major diseases—than the United States does.Yet all the other rich countries spend far less on health care than the United States does..."

Reid, T. R. (2010-08-31). The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care (Kindle Locations 62-73). Penguin Group. Kindle Edition.
New in my Kindle. Saw this referenced on Fareed Zakaria's new CNN "GPS Global" on the subject of health care reform (still trying to find a direct video embed link).

I know; this is "exceeding your scope." -- Just get EPs to MU.

More to come...

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, awesome site. I thought the topics you posted on were very interesting. I tried to add your RSS to my feed reader and it a few. take a look at it, hopefully

    I can add you and follow.

    Electronic Medical Records