Mainers Attend Supreme Court Health Care Testimony
Yesterday, the Supreme Court finished hearing arguments on the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act in Washington today, but not before several Mainers made the trip to D.C. to have their own say on the issue.
Maine Attorney General (and new GOP U.S. Senate candidate) William Schneider attended the arguments, and was vocal to the press in criticising the the law.
Announcing that they would join the lawsuit against federal health care reform was one of the first actions taken by A.G. Schneider and Governor Paul LePage when they took office in January, their actions representing a stark and immediate shift in policy for state government away from efforts to increase access to care.
Also attending the arguments were at least two Democratic lawmakers representing groups in support of the Affordable Care Act.
Rep. Sharon Treat of Hallowel was in Washington in her role as a leader of a group of more than five hundred state legislators from all 50 states which had filed Amicus Briefs supporting the constitutionality of the law.
Sen. Margaret Craven of Lewiston gave a speech on the steps of the Court, kicking off a rally by Health Care for America Now! and other groups in support of the increased health care accessibility for women provided by the Act.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree also took a short trip down the road from the U.S. Capitol to hear the arguments and lend her support to health care reform.
Even a few days ago, most legal experts felt that the law would withstand the Supreme Court challenge, but opinions have changed after Tuesday's testimony and questioning by the Justices, particularly from Justice Kennedy, who often holds the balance of power in a divided Court.
Politico had a good piece earlier this week about how legal opinion on the challenges, once viewed as "far-out" "long shots" has turned over the preceding months, thanks in part to a massive PR effort from groups on the right.
Ironically, the individual mandate at the heart of these challenges is a very Republican idea.
The Supreme Court is expected to issue its ruling on the law in June.