Romney’s Perfect Storm?
Mitt Romney has spent the past few weeks beating back attacks by his fellow Republican presidential contenders on the issues of his Massachusetts healthcare law and immigration. Now the Los Angeles Times brings the two issues together, reporting that the “Massachusetts healthcare law that then-Gov. Mitt Romney signed in 2006 includes a program known as the Health Safety Net, which allows undocumented immigrants to get needed medical care along with others who lack insurance.”
“The Massachusetts program, which cost more than $400 million last year, paid for 1.1 million hospital and clinic visits. It’s unclear how many undocumented patients benefited because the state does not record that data… Massachusetts officials involved in crafting the healthcare law said there was broad understanding when Romney signed it that at least some people who would benefit would be in the country illegally. That’s supported by language in the law. Although it explicitly bars undocumented immigrants from getting certain health benefits, it does not prohibit them from receiving aid through the Health Safety Net.”
The Complexities of Challenging Healthcare Reform
As the legal challenge to President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law winds its way to the Supreme Court, The Hill points out that “a thorny procedural issue could still complicate the push for a quick and decisive ruling.”
“Part of the administration’s defense of the mandate rests on the idea that the penalty for not buying insurance is a tax, rather than a regulatory fine. But a federal law known as the Anti-Injunction Act prevents courts from blocking taxes before they take effect… there are ways for the Supreme Court to get around the Anti-Injunction Act and avoid pushing the case back to 2014. But they can’t avoid it altogether, even though neither side wants a ruling on those grounds.”
Obama “Can’t Wait” for Congress
The New York Times reports that President Obama will “begin a series of executive-branch actions to confront housing, education and other economic problems over the coming months, heralded by a new mantra: ‘We can’t wait’ for lawmakers to act,” as his efforts to pass a jobs bill — either as a comprehensive package or piecemeal — has stalled in Congress.
“Mr. Obama will kick off his new offensive in Las Vegas, ground zero of the housing bust, by promoting new rules for federally guaranteed mortgages so that more homeowners, those with little or no equity in their homes, can refinance and avert foreclosure. And Wednesday in Denver…Mr. Obama will announce policy changes to ease college graduates’ repayment of federal loans, seeking to alleviate the financial concerns of students considering college at a time when states are raising tuition.”