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March 25th, 2012
08:18 AM ET

Letters to the President #1161: 'The health care hearing'

Reporter's Note: The president is traveling. I’m writing my daily letter to the White House anyway.

Dear Mr. President,

So the Supreme Court is ready to take on one of the central questions of your whole health care reform program: Can the government order people to buy a commercial product; in this case, health insurance?

Must be a bit of a nervous time in the old White House. If the court says the plan is unconstitutional, that pretty much tears a massive hole in the middle of your signature legislation. Sure, that might fire up some Democrats who will see it as part of that vast right wing conspiracy we’ve heard about, and they might bring some extra muscle to your re-election campaign. But then again, maybe not.

And if the court gives it an ok; well, that might juice up Republicans even more to defeat you in the election this fall!

Wild times. Most of the time when the Supreme Court is considering various matters it seems pretty much like snoozeville. I think sometimes that the justices are not really that old, they must just look that way from hearing all that dry testimony. But this case…well, I think it would be fascinating to be inside their deliberations this time around, because this debate seems to cut right to the core of what we think our government should or should not be about.

Bigger government versus smaller government; personal choice and responsibility versus community services and entitlements. And in the end, I think that really is the subtext of this fall’s elections as well. So I’ll be watching the court as closely as you will, and perhaps when the ruling comes out you and I can get on the phone together and talk it over.

Good luck with your continued travels.

Regards,
Tom