12:16 pm Jun. 28, 2012
Among the flurry of statements this morning in response to the Supreme Court's ruling on President Obama's health care plan is this one from Senator Chuck Schumer, who is the chief architect of Democratic messaging in the upper chamber.
“This decision preserves not only the health care law, but also the Supreme Court’s position as an institution above politics," Schumer says in the statement.
"Just as Speaker Boehner vowed not to spike the football if the law was overturned, Republicans should not carry on out of pique now that the law has been upheld. Democrats remain willing to cooperate on potential improvements to the law, but now that all three branches of government have ratified this law, the time for quarreling over its validity is over. Congress must now return its full-time focus to the issue that matters most to the public, and that is jobs.”
Schumer had discouraged Obama from pursuing a big health care overhaul early in his first term on purely political grounds, and his fears were almost immediately justified when Scott Brown took Ted Kennedy's old seat in the Senate, followed by big losses for Democrats in 2010.
Schumer told me last October that the court's ruling would be a "win-win" for Democrats, since it would take the issue off the table either way, and he seemed eager to re-state that point this spring, after the court heard oral arguments.
By comparison, his colleague in the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, sent out a statement that celebrated some of the law's provisions:
“I am pleased the Supreme Court reaffirmed the hard fought progress that was made to ensure that no one can be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, being a woman will no longer be a pre-existing condition, young adults will be covered, prescription drug costs for seniors will be reduced, preventive care including life-saving mammograms will be accessible and that insurance companies can’t cancel their coverage when you get sick. It is time to get beyond scoring political points and get back to finding common core values and passing legislation that will help grow our economy and get more people back to work.”