Health Care Debate Continues on Sunday Talk Shows
Democrats said it’s time to move on from the health care debate, while Republicans said they’re ready to keep fighting.
In appearances on Sunday talk shows, Members of Congress took starkly different views of the next move after the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the 2010 health care law.
On “Fox News Sunday,” White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew said Americans have grown tired of relitigating the health care law in political debate. He said it’s time to “get on with implementation.”
On the same program, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Supreme Court decision means the case will now be decided in the court of public opinion.
“The chief justice basically said, ‘This is up to the American people to decide,’” the Kentucky Republican said. “We’ve got one last chance here, to defeat Obamacare. We can do that in the November election.”
He also argued the vote on the bill will be a major case in competitive Senate races this fall.
“Every single Democratic Senator voted for Obamacare,” he said. “It passed without a vote to spare.”
“Every single Democratic incumbent on the ballot was the deciding vote,” he added. “These Senate races across will indeed be a referendum on this job-killing, tax-increasing measure”
Speaker John Boehner expressed surprise over the decision on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
“The idea that the federal government can mandate that the American people purchase a product is shocking to me,” the Ohio Republican said. “But they made their decision. I respect their ability to make that decision.”
Like his Republican colleagues, he shifted the focus to addressing the issue in the fall elections.
On “Face the Nation,” Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) said fighting over health care would be a political loser for Republican candidates.
“I think if Republicans make as their No. 1 issue the repeal of health care, they are certainly going to lose the election in the House and the Senate and the presidency,” he said.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan had tough criticism for Chief Justice John Roberts and President Barack Obama on ABC’s “This Week.”
“I’m very disappointed in the ruling. I think the chief justice had to contort logic and reason to come up with this ruling,” he said. “So one man decided against the dissenting opinion, against what I thought were his principles and judicial jurisprudence. He decided to leave this up to the American people. So now, the stakes of this election could not be higher.”
He added that the American voters will be “the judge and the jury” of the health care legislation.