WExam.Carney Lawyers from the health insurance and hospital industries have petitioned the Supreme Court to save President Obama's health-care law from a constitutional challenge by 26 states and a small-business group, while other big-business lobbies have stayed neutral.
Corporate America's stance on the Obamacare case before the high court this week will surprise those who followed Obama's narrative or most news coverage of the law, which was supposedly a broadside to the special interests. But back then, health-sector lobbies either supported the bill or at least supported its core provisions. Today, industry briefs before the court show the same lack of "special-interest" opposition.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts filed an amicus brief with the court in support of Obama's Department of Health & Human Services.
The insurer writes that it played a central role in crafting Mitt Romney's Massachusetts health-care law that served as the prototype of Obamacare, and that it "remains firmly committed to the 2006 health care reform and the individual mandate, and believes that the closely related reforms enacted by Congress in 2010 will further advance important economic and social goals."On the question of constitutionality, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Massachusetts argues that the individual mandate is
"a valid exercise of the Commerce Power because Congress had a rational basis for concluding that, in the aggregate, the practice of self-insuring for the cost of health care substantially affects interstate commerce."In other words, a health-insurance company
Blue Cross's court filing, like that of the nation's largest health-insurance lobby (America's Health Insurance Plans, or AHIP), primarily argues that the court cannot "sever" the mandate from the law's regulations on insurers. If the court struck down only the mandate, insurers would still be required to cover everyone, but without the funds that would come from forcing everyone to buy insurance.
thinks that people insuring themselves by saving, instead of by paying insurance premiums, is the sort of thing Congress should be regulating -- indeed, banning.