Sen. Claire McCaskill
12:46 pm
Tue November 15, 2011

McCaskill "glad" SCOTUS taking up health care overhaul

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says she is “glad” the Supreme Court will hear arguments over President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

Speaking to reporters during a conference call this morning, the Democrat says she reminds people of a 28 -year-old man whose employer doesn’t provide health insurance. He chooses to buy a motorcycle instead of health insurance, crashes and ends up with $8-$10 million in medical bills. McCaskill says those costs are passed on to insurance companies who then raise premiums and she wants to break that cycle.

“I think that we need to make sure that that young man buys affordable health insurance so that he’s taking responsibility for his healthcare as opposed to indirect, high, high, taxes that really come through the form of higher insurance premiums,” said McCaskill. “So the Supreme Court’s going to decide whether or not telling him that he’s got to buy insurance that’s affordable is, in fact, constitutional. ”

Republicans have called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional since before Obama signed it into law in March 2010. But federal appeals courts have been split on their assessment.

Arguments before the justices could come in March, allowing plenty of time for a decision in late June, just over four months before Election Day.

McCaskill says the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the president’s health care overhaul could have a positive or negative impact on her chances of being reelected next year.

McCaskill says it’s not the end of the world if Missouri decides not to hire her again.

“What’s important is I keep calling them on an independent basis, balls and strikes, and be able to justify my votes with sound, rational, objective, policy, factual points,” said McCaskill. “And I believe I can do that. And I think I’ll be able to do that much better than the field that has formed against me.”

It has been said that the health care case could be the high court’s most significant and political undertaking since the 5-4 decision in Bush v. Gore nearly 11 years ago.