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June 29th, 2012
11:44 AM ET

Toobin: Supreme Court health care ruling was 'stunning'

Jeffrey Toobin discusses Chief Justice Roberts' role in the Supreme Court's health care decision and describes what the atmosphere was like inside the courtroom yesterday.

Filed under: Health care
June 29th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

Rep. Bachmann clashes with Rep. Israel and Gov. Markell about the implications of the health care law

On Starting Point this morning, Rep. Michele Bachmann participates in a contentious debate with Rep. Steve Israel and Gov. Jack Markell about the merits of President Obama's health care legislation.

The three legislators clash on a range of issues related to the political and economic implications of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, ranging from the impact on American businesses to the way that the law will affect health care costs.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta joins in on the discussion as well, breaking down research about health care premiums and insurance exchanges.

Filed under: Health care
June 28th, 2012
12:52 PM ET

What would be true health care reform? Health care economist Paul Keckley lists four things that should be changed

Paul Keckley, Health Care Economist, defines what health care reform means to him – and how we can actually get there.

Filed under: Health care
June 28th, 2012
10:01 AM ET

Sen. Schumer: People want health care bill, says if GOP tries to repeal 'good parts' in health care law, Dems will be on 'strong ground'

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) tells Soledad on "Starting Point" that the elements in the Affordable Care Act are things the American people want.

Transcript after the jump.


Filed under: Health care
June 28th, 2012
09:49 AM ET

Sen. Mike Lee says SCOTUS could strike down mandate, argues justices don't make decisions based on personal politics

In just a few short minutes from this writing, the U.S. Supreme Court will hand down a ruling on the Affordable Care Act, a much-criticized health care reform bill that could be called the Obama Administration's signature piece of legislation. The decision could change the entire frame of health care in this country.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), a former law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning on the possible rulings that could come today. He predicts that the Supreme Court will likely strike down the individual mandate in the health care bill. He also responds to a poll of Americans on if they feel Supreme Court justices are biased.

Filed under: Health care • SCOTUS
June 28th, 2012
09:28 AM ET

Fact Check: Are common claims about the health care law true?

The health care law has been in effect for 828 days and it's been the subject of intense criticism since its inception.

Congressional Republicans have been among the law's harshest critics. This morning, they are promising a full repeal of the law if the Supreme Court lets the health care legislation stand.

Accordingly, the Starting Point team took some time to fact check a few claims about health care reform on today's show.

First, is the presiden'ts health care law driving up the cost of health care?

Health insurance premiums jumped nine percent from 2010 to 2011, an increase Republicans blame on the health care law. However, according to, the law only caused about a one to three percent increase in costs. The rest of the nine percent was due to rising health care costs.

Additionally, the increase caused by the law, was the result of increased benefits. For instance, allowing children to stay on their parent's policies until they are 26, or covering children with pre-existing conditions.

Another question, does the health care law make it harder for small businesses to hire new workers?

The fact is, businesses with fewer than 50 employees are exempt and according to, experts predict the law may cause a small loss of low wage jobs, but will also create an increase in better paying jobs in the health care and insurance industries.

Finally, is it fair to say that the health care law was passed by the strong majority of a Democratically elected Congress, as President Obama has claimed?

No, the legislation was passed along party lines with 60 votes.

Filed under: Fact check • Health care
June 27th, 2012
11:10 AM ET

Sen. Johnson (R-Wis.): Immigration comes down to better securing borders, says hopes SCOTUS overturns health care so we can 'start over'

On Thursday morning, the Supreme Court is going to rule on President Obama's health care law. The House is planning on holding a contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder. And there is also ongoing debate on the President's executive order to allow some young immigrants to stay in the U.S. without the threat of deportation.

All these issues are simmering around the country as a new poll shows the presidential race is as tight as ever. In a new NBC/"Wall Street Journal" poll, 50% of people living in those 11 battle ground states prefer President Obama, while 42% back Mitt Romney.

How will voters view these issues?

Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), a Romney campaign surrogate, weighs in on the anticipation of the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act, saying that he hopes the high court throws the law out.

"The cleanest decision would be to totally...rule the entire law unconstitutional," Sen. Johnson says. "Then we can start over with an open debate and a step-by-step approach. Republicans are not going to be putting forward a 2,700 page bill, another 12,000 pages of rules and regulations. We're going to take a look at the individual issues. And debate openly."

Johnson also responds to Soledad's challenge as to why Mitt Romney hasn't taken a firm position on immigration. He says it's all about border control.

"First of all, Soledad, this is a very difficult issue," Sen. Johnson says. "What Arizona is trying to do is it's basically trying to address a problem that President Obama and the federal government has basically abdicated their responsibility on. These are very serious issues. They are difficult issues."

He adds, "President Obama said during his campaign that this was such an important issue that he was going to handle the immigration problem in his first year. He has done nothing on it. He certainly has done nothing to secure our borders, which is the first step. And that's a real problem. Because we're not going to solve our immigration issue until we secure our borders."

See his clip with his comments on immigration below. Transcript after the jump.


Filed under: 2012 Race • Health care • Immigration • Politics
June 27th, 2012
08:54 AM ET

Can the pre-existing condition clause survive without the individual mandate? Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains

Tomorrow the Supreme Court will rule on President Obama’s health care law. The individual mandate, which requires all Americans to purchase insurance or face a penalty, is the most contentious part of the law.

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta discusses the law with Soledad O’Brien on Starting Point this morning.

Pragmatically, Dr. Gupta says that due to monetary concerns, it's difficult to see how the law will work if the individual mandate is thrown out but the pre-existing condition clause remains. He explains that the profit from the mandate is intended to offset the costs of providing coverage for people who are chronically ill.

Up to 50 million people in the United States currently don’t have health insurance.

Filed under: Health care
June 27th, 2012
08:40 AM ET

Rep. Van Hollen: 'Better than a 50% chance' that SCOTUS will uphold the healthcare law

A high-charged political atmosphere is consuming the country this morning, with the Supreme Court set to rule on the president's healthcare law tomorrow and a contempt of Congress vote against Attorney General Eric Holder in set to happen in the House.

As these issues reach a boiling point, a new survey has been released that suggests that President Obama and Mitt Romney are in a dead heat in the 2012 race.

According to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, the president leads Romney by three points: 47 to 44 percent, within the margin of error.

On Starting Point this morning, Rep. Chris Van Hollen sits down with Soledad to discuss these figures in relation to immigration and the Supreme Court's decision about the president's healthcare law.

Regarding tomorrow's SCOTUS ruling, Rep. Van Hollen says that he's confident that there's "better than a 50% chance" that the Court will uphold the entire law.

Van Hollen also responds to critics of the president's inaction on comprehensive immigration reform, asserting that if Obama couldn't even get the Dream Act passed in the Republican Senate, it would be very difficult to get more comprehensive legislation through.

Filed under: Health care • Politics
June 26th, 2012
11:45 AM ET

Toobin: 'I'd be very surprised if SCOTUS upholds health care law in full'

The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the health care law championed by President Obama this Thursday.

Referring to the day of the ruling as the "nerd Super Bowl," CNN’s senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tells  Soledad O’Brien that he will be surprised if the court upholds the law in full on Starting Point this morning.

In terms of how the ruling falls in relation to the timing of the election, Toobin says, “[The Supreme Court] is very much aware of the politics surrounding everything they do.”

However, Toobin notes that he does not think the Supreme Court will “sit around and talk about what the political fallout of their decisions will be.”

Watch more from Soledad’s interview with Jeffrey Toobin in the clip above.

Filed under: Health care • Supreme Court
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