New Hampshire's Virtual Town Hall
Chief Justice John Roberts is seen as both goat and hero in New Hampshire for being the swing vote in the ruling that upheld the core of the health care reform law.
Outside of his Route 1 business in Portsmouth, Jack Kimball, former New Hampshire Republican Party chair and chairman of the Granite State Patriots Liberty PAC, has a message: “Shame on you Supreme Court!”
He and other Tea Party adherents see the ruling as a threat of too much federal government oversight. Kimball and other Tea Party officials from New Hampshire talked about government overreach on The Exchange program on New Hampshire Public Radio on Monday.
Gov. John Lynch, the state’s top Democrat, hailed the decision as an opportunity.
He released the following statement on June 28:
"As a state, we have been preparing to implement the Affordable Care Act and will continue doing so in a way that best fits New Hampshire. The Act will help provide access to affordable health care to many more of our citizens, and help our small businesses with the high costs of health care. The Court's decision allows those important provisions to go forward. Creating greater access to affordable health care is a goal we should all be working together to achieve, and that is what I will continue to do."
And former Republican U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (pictured here) also hailed the decision -- not on the validation of the Affordable Care Act, but on the merits of how the decision gives Republicans and conservatives a political opportunity.
Gregg sees an opportunity within the threat and believes conservatives should be thanking Justice Roberts for siding with the court’s four Democrats in the majority health care ruling.
Writing yesterday for The Hill, he called the ruling “as deft a decision as has been written in the last 20 years” that helps conservatives on states’ rights and the issues of taxes.
On the issue of states’ rights, Gregg noted “the Roberts decision has given state governments — which are already running unique and effective programs to get healthcare delivered to their citizens — the chance to opt out of the incredibly onerous and expensive Medicaid directives included in ObamaCare.”
This issue will be a part of the campaign dialogue up and down the statewide ballot in the run up to the November election.
And since the Roberts majority redefined the individual mandate as a tax, Gregg sees a “a fairly good outcome for most conservatives.”
He said: “Now the debate can be more clearly and properly framed and pursued, especially by conservatives. It is really a question of who pays when the government decides to super-size itself as it does under ObamaCare.”
Gregg served three terms in the U.S. Senate from 1993 to 2011.
We’re left to wonder, frankly, what the health care law might have looked like had Gregg, as originally planned, been Barack Obama’s secretary of commerce when it was offered by the new president in 2008.
Remember, the law was originally crafted with the thought that the individual mandate was constitutional under the commerce clause.
And now it’s a tax, which is fine by Gregg because he believes it’s an issue that may unseat Obama.