Pelosi: Constitutionality of health care reform ‘ironclad’
WASHINGTON — Top congressional Democrat Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she was confident that US President Barack Obama’s health care reform would be upheld by the Supreme Court, saying the law’s constitutionality was “ironclad.”
A decision from the high court is due in June, and legal experts have been scrupulously studying just how the nine justices might rule on one of the most important cases in decades.
“Six-three,” Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives, told reporters, referring to her prediction of how the justices will vote in favor of upholding Obama’s signature legislative achievement.
“I know the Constitution,” she elaborated. “The bill is ironclad. Nobody was frivolous with the Constitution and the health of the American people in writing the bill.”
“That’s where my confidence springs from: the merits of the bill and the nature of the Constitution,” she added. “The makeup of the court? Well, we’ll see.”
Pelosi, a 25-year veteran of Congress, has routinely predicted a 6-3 ruling on the controversial law, which Republicans in the House and Senate hope to see struck down on the grounds that it is unconstitutional.
The comprehensive reforms provide greater medical coverage for the poorest, insurance for all Americans regardless of health condition and insurance for 32 million Americans who lack coverage.
But critics are particularly opposed to the law’s linchpin requirement mandating that nearly every American be insured.
They argue that the so-called individual mandate of the law is a violation of the US Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to regulate interstate trade.
Republican Mitt Romney, who will square off against Obama in November’s election, has pledged to repeal the law — which he and other Republicans have nicknamed “Obamacare” — should he win the White House.