The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: ‘Obamacare’ Stands, Cost Questions Linger

by Newsteam Staff
June 28, 2012

Photo of the Day: Supporters of the Affordable Healthcare Act gather in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 28, 2012 (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters). Photo of the Day: Supporters of the Affordable Healthcare Act gather in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on June 28, 2012 (Joshua Roberts/Courtesy Reuters).

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled five to four Thursday to uphold (NYT) President Barack Obama’s sweeping 2012 health care law, including the so-called individual mandate at the heart of the health care overhaul, but questions remain about the economic effects of the law as Republicans continue to contend it hurts U.S. businesses.

Seen as an election-year victory for President Obama (BostonGlobe), the court ruled that the mandate is unconstitutional under the Constitution’s commerce clause, but it can stay as part of Congress’s power to levy taxes (ABC), saying the federal government will be allowed to tax people for not having health insurance as the law goes into full effect in 2012.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney opposes the health care overhaul and is expected to double-down on his campaign pledge to “repeal and replace” (USAToday) the law if elected.

Opponents of the healthcare law say it is bad for the U.S. economy, especially small businesses, and Romney himself has said Obama should have focused on fixing the economy early in his term rather than pushing his healthcare law through Congress.

This Reuters analysis looks at U.S. healthcare by the numbers.

Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team is facing the same kind of internal rivalries that dogged Republican foreign policy circles for a generation, pitting moderates against neo-conservatives on touchstone international issues (Reuters).

“Already, fights have broken out over touchstone issues such as Russia and China, according to individuals close to the campaign,” writes Reuters’ Mark Hosenball of Romney’s forty-two-member team of foreign policy rivals. “One Romney campaign contributor who has interacted with the outside advisers said they held only one meeting as a group, in the offices of former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. It ended in an argument between moderates and neocons over Afghanistan policy.”

According to Politico, the Senate may be tackling legislation aimed at reducing job outsourcing overseas after the July 4 recess, a move that could coincide with the Obama campaign’s continued criticism of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital’s overseas investments.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), would provide qualifying companies with a 20 percent tax credit for costs associated with bringing jobs back to the United States and would end a tax deduction for companies that outsource jobs.

– Contributing Editor Gayle S. Putrich and Senior Editor Toni Johnson

Opinions expressed on CFR blogs are solely those of the author or commenter, not of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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