WHY THE INDIVIDUAL MANDATE HOLDS THE KEY TO HEALTH-CARE REFORM
[For those] unwilling to buy health insurance, their absence has a significant impact on the market, especially because it is virtually inevitable that they will need health-care services at some point in their lives. Tomorrow: If the court strikes down the mandate, must the rest of the law fall? Also, does the president’s health-care program unlawfully twist the arms of states to expand medical coverage to the poor?
A FAREWELL TO NEWT
BY FRANK BRUNI
NEW YORK TIMES
It’s time to forget Newt. ... His strategy hinges on a replay of the 1920 Republican convention, which picked Warren G. Harding on the 10th ballot. ... That’d really send the Republican nominee into the general election with a head of steam. I can see the bumper stickers now. Newt: Battle ready. ... For Newt I think an ice cream flavor is in order, something in the clogged vein of Chubby Hubby or Chunky Monkey, although not so physique-focused. Nutty Professor is too obvious a suggestion, though it opens the door to pralines, aptly Southern. ... That would honor the state he comes from while acknowledging the state he’s been in — unsubtle, overwrought. Newt is empty calories. A pointless pint of them.
STEP TO THE CORNER
NEW YORK TIMES
From a Hamiltonian perspective, the decentralized premium support model is a better way to control costs: government insists everybody has coverage but then encourages companies, families and Medicare beneficiaries to engage in a regulated process of discovery to find the best care at the lowest cost. So, yes, let’s have another round in the debate about how centralized American government should be. Let’s watch liberals and conservatives duke it out. But remember there has always been a Hamiltonian alternative: centralize the goals, but decentralize the means people take to get there. Universal coverage is a worthy goal. Decentralized competition is the way to make it affordable.
GETTING TO THE MERITS
NEW YORK TIMES
If the Affordable Care Act had called the penalty a tax, the Anti-Injunction Act would likely have knocked out this case. Justice Stephen Breyer further pointed out in court, “Congress has nowhere used the word ‘tax.’ What it says is penalty. Moreover, this is not in the Internal Revenue Code ‘but for purposes of collection.’ And so why is this a tax?” This issue is technical, and it is imperative that the justices interpret the anti-injunction law so that the ruling in this case is consistent with what makes sense in conventional tax cases. A careful analysis of this law will allow the court to get to the case’s central questions.
POLITICIANS GIVING RELIGION A BAD NAME
BY MICHAEL GERSON
Candidates such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry have practiced a kind of identity politics, urging evangelicals to support one of their own. Then they reduced the evangelical tradition to a pathetic caricature. ... The problem is not, as some have alleged, a secret theocratic plot. It is the regression of evangelical politicians — and politicians appealing to evangelicals — to the worst habits of the religious right. They jostle to claim a divine calling. ... Some, when they lose, hint darkly of anti-religious persecution. This is the behavior of Jerry Falwell on a bad day. Americans are right to find it discrediting.
REPEAL THE 'STAND YOUR GROUND' LAW
BY EUGENE ROBINSON
Following Florida’s lead, about 20 states have enacted similar legislation [to the Stand Your Ground law]. I doubt you will be surprised to hear that the National Rifle Association has lobbied hard to get these dangerous and unnecessary statutes approved. These laws encourage hotheads to go into potential confrontations with loaded firearms. They give permission to shoot first and ask questions later. This may be good for gun manufacturers, funeral homes and the NRA, but it’s tragic for justice in America.
RYAN AND THE RIGHT
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Voters have every reason to be skeptical of Republican promises, but Mr. Ryan's budget is hardly a status quo document. It's light years better than the Tom DeLay budgets of the 2000s. Mr. Ryan is thinking ahead of his critics by focusing on the two most important priorities: growth and reform. Without both, limited government will be nothing more than a tea party slogan and a balanced budget will be nothing more than a tax-increase trap.
INSIDE RICK SANTORUM'S ALTERNATIVE REALITY
BY MOLLY BALL
Santorum and his team wouldn't be so angry if they didn't think there was still a real possibility they could prevail. By contrast, look at Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich, who seem to be enjoying playing out the string with no sense of urgency about the losses they're piling up. ... Those expecting Santorum to listen to reason and fall in line don't understand who, and what, they are dealing with. ... Those around Santorum say he is not oblivious to the way things look for him. "He is continually evaluating and reevaluating. As long as the door is cracked and he sees the path, he'll be very aggressive about pursuing that path," [a friend] said. But as for making a calculated decision to quit the race, his friend doesn't see it happening anytime soon.
TIME FOR CONSERVATIVES TO UNITE BEHIND GOVERNOR ROMNEY
BY AL CARDENAS
THE DAILY CALLER
As of today, it is clear neither Senator Santorum nor Speaker Gingrich nor Congressman Paul can amass the required majority of delegates required to be the Republican nominee. Their only paths to victory feature a contested, anarchic floor fight just weeks before Americans vote on whether or not to give President Obama a second term. With all due respect to my fellow conservative leaders determined to oppose Governor Romney, that is not a worthy endeavor. For the sake of our Republic, I’m not willing to wait until the Republican National Convention to sort this out. It’s time to unite behind a worthy presidential candidate, build our organization and raise the resources necessary to defeat the liberal electoral machine.