November 26, 2014

Sen. Johanns: healthcare law remains poor policy (AUDIO)

Sen. Mike Johanns said today that though the United States Supreme Court might have found the 2010 federal healthcare law constitutional, that doesn’t make it good policy.

Johanns, during a conference call with Nebraska reporters, vowed to work to repeal the law.

Johanns spoke with reporters a little more than an hour after the opinion had been handed down. He called it a long and detailed opinion that he hoped to thoroughly read by the end of the day.

“What I find especially interesting is that the court, with Chief Justice Roberts writing the opinion, upheld the law on the basis that the individual mandate is a tax and not through the lens of the Commerce Clause,” Johanns stated.

Much of the speculation about how the court might rule hinged on how it would view the individual mandate. During the unprecedented three days of oral arguments earlier this year, many Justices peppered administration lawyers with questions about the law’s provision that virtually all Americans must carry health insurance. The opinion holds that Congress has the authority to enact such a requirement only under its taxing authority, not under the Commerce Clause.

“What is important now is where do we go from here?” Johanns said during the conference call. “As you know, I have exercised my right to vote in the Senate on a number of occasions to repeal this law. Unless the law is repealed, this is now what we will have to live with.”

Johanns, a Republican, said the elections in November could determine whether the law is repealed or not.

“According to the Supreme Court opinion, that’s the law that is on the books that we have to live with now. That’s reality,” according to Johanns. “Just because it has been ruled constitutional, we all acknowledge that that does not mean it’s wise policy. It never was. It’s not today.”

AUDIO: Sen. Mike Johanns reacts to Supreme Court healthcare decision. [5:20]

PDF of Supreme Court healthcare ruling