Return to Transcripts main page


Supreme Court Upholds Obama-care; What Obama-care Means for Patients; Michelle Bachmann Discusses Supreme Courts Decision; Awkward Position for Mitt Romney on Obama-care; Mitt Romney Discusses Supreme Court Decision.

Aired June 28, 2012 - 11:00   ET


WOLF BLITZER, ANCHOR, "CNN NEWSROOM": We want to bring back -- welcome back our viewers. This is the top of the hour. I want to reset what has just happened. History unfolding here in Washington, D.C. The United States Supreme Court, in a major decision, a 5-4 decision upholds the president's healthcare reform law, the Affordable Care Act as it's called, saying that it is, in fact, constitutional. The individual mandate is constitutional, based on the authority that the Constitution gives the Congress to go ahead and tax the American people.

The individual mandate was rejected based on the commerce clause of the Constitution, but it was upheld based on the tax-writing provisions of the U.S. Congress and the executive branch of the U.S. government.

A 5-4 decision, the key decision by the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts. He sided with the other, the Democratic- appointed members of the Supreme Court, Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor, together with Chief Justice John Roberts, they were in the majority.

The five, the dissenters, Kennedy, Scalia, Alito and Thomas, were in the minority. The healthcare reform law stays in full -- fully remains the law of the land in the United States.

Kate Bolduan has been watching all of this unfold. Kate, you're outside the Supreme Court. Give us some more on what was going on inside the Supreme Court.

KATE BOLDUAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: What was going on inside the Supreme Court is the chief justice announced the ruling and began reading part, a summary, really, of the opinion, the majority opinion of the court and that has been happening.

And of course, we then quickly got word from my colleague, CNN Supreme Court producer, Bill Mears, who is inside the press office, receiving this ruling as soon as it came down, to read it back to me.

BLITZER: Hold on a second, Kate. Hold on. Tom Harkin, the Democratic senator is standing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, the senator from Iowa. I want to hear what he's saying.

Never mind, we got that audio coming from that rally. You see Barbara Mikulski, you see some other senators there with Tom Harkin

Kate, sorry I interrupted, but go ahead and pick up your thought.

BOLDUAN: Not a problem at all. As you and I were discussing, as you and our colleagues have been discussing, there was some confusion early on. Was the individual mandate upheld or was it struck down? And then have to come with the really kind of constitutionally dense fact that it was not upheld under the commerce clause, but it could be upheld under the taxing provision.

We found a section in the opinion that really sums up the thinking of the court and why they allowed this individual mandate in the law to be upheld. I'll read it to you very briefly.

It says, and this is the opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, it says, "The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. The federal government does," he goes on to say, "have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance." Therefore, the individual mandate is therefore constitutional because it can be reasonably read as a tax.

So there in probably the most clear language that we've seen so far, the chief justice himself writing pretty clearly how their thinking was going and how they narrowly crafted this ruling to uphold the individual mandate, Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, stand by for a moment, Kate. Suzanne Malveaux is joining us right now. She has a special guest with her.

Suzanne, I think you're in Aspen, Colorado, with Tom Daschle, the former majority leader in the Senate, someone who spent a long time working on the healthcare issue in the Senate.

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely, Wolf. That's absolutely right. I want to ask former Senator Tom Daschle. Thank you for joining us.

Obviously, you are a key player in all of this, literally writing healthcare reform back in 2008, pushing for it and working with an organization now with the states for a bipartisan implementation of this, but first of all, your initial take on this, on the ruling today.

TOM DASCHLE (D), FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER: Well, Suzanne, I'm euphoric. Obviously ,this is a green light with an exclamation point. What this says is let's go forward now at full speed. We can implement, we can innovate, we can do all kinds of things that were held back in part because of the court decision.

Now, we know. Now, we can go forward. That won't stop the politics and it won't stop the policy debate, but we can go forward with implementation and that's great news.

MALVEAUX: What do you make of the fact that now a lot of Republicans are coming forward and saying, essentially, we knew this was a tax increase. It is a tax increase. The Supreme Court is also saying now you can implement through this through a tax increase. Does that in any way hurt the argument of the administration or even hurt the president?

DASCHLE: The politics will continue to play itself out. You'll see ads of all kinds from here to the election and a lot of money spent trying to persuade people about the negative side of this ruling.

But the bottom line is, we've mandated retirement insurance through social security, as a tax. We've mandated hospital, Medicare Part A, insurance as a tax. So this is not unprecedented. This is something we've done on at least on two occasions with great success before.

MALVEAUX: How do you convince the American people that this is actually the right way to go about implementing health care? Because all the polls are showing that people do not have a lot of faith in this legislation, in this law. They don't appreciate it and this is something that has been done, really, step-by-step. They haven't really seen a lot of results that they were hoping for because it's not until 2014 even that the mandate would take place.

DASCHLE: I take great satisfaction in watching the people's reaction to the things they do know. They know they've got insurance protections and they love it.

They know they've got an opportunity to close the "doughnut hole," the payment they have to pay for drugs for seniors. They love that.

They know what they've got and, what they know they've got, they really like. And, so, as we continue to implement, my expectation is that number's going to continue to change. The more they see, the more they're going to like.

MALVEAUX: You still have a very big job ahead.

DASCHL: We sure do.

MALVEAUX: Thank you, Senator. I really appreciate it.

DASCHL: Thank you.

MALVEAUX: Wolf, back to you.

BLITZER: Suzanne, thank you and thank Senator Daschle for us as well.

John King is with us. John, I'm looking at some of the notable parts of this opinion, the majority opinion written by the chief justice, John Roberts, and there's a line here that stands out on page 44. And it is a very -- if you take a look at it -- it's a huge, huge, lengthy opinion.

The federal government, he writes, does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance, but then he goes on to say, the federal government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. That's a key phrase in this decision, allowing the Affordable Care Act, the Obama healthcare reform law to remain in effect.

JOHN KING, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And, Wolf, as we read through this more than 100 pages, about 110 pages of this decision, it is history. We are reading it. We are analyzing it.

Only 500 people were allowed in the room to actually watch it unfold. One of them was our colleague, our senior legal analyst, Jeffrey Toobin. Take us inside as this played out and explain to some of our viewers. We frankly got the initial parts of this decision wrong because the chief justice started by saying ...

JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR LEGAL ANALYST: Well, let me start from the beginning. It was just an extraordinary and such a swirling turn of events in the course of really about ten minutes.

The chief justice took the bench at about 10:06. There were five minutes on an earlier case, but at 10:06, the chief justice announced that he was going to announce the opinion of the court in the Health and Human Services versus the National Federation of Independent Businesses. I guess that's how the case will be known for history.

And he started reading and the first issue he addressed was the commerce clause. Does Congress have the authority under the commerce clause to enact the individual mandate, the requirement that all Americans have insurance?

And he basically adopted in its entirety the argument of the challengers to the law. He said that this was outside the federal government's power. This had been the -- we need to go to Jessica Yellin and that's what we're going to do.

I guess not.

KING: Jessica is not ready at the moment. These things happen in the middle of breaking news. Continue.

TOOBIN: So it looked to all the world, for all the world, like the chief justice for the majority was going to strike down the law, but then he turned and he said there is a separate justification that the government has offered to support the constitutionality of the requirement that people have health insurance. And he turned to the taxing power.

And you could see the smiles of the conservatives in the room. I happened to be sitting right near Orrin Hatch, the senator from Utah and you could see their eyes almost roll back in their heads. Are you kidding? He's going to support it under this ground? Because the vast, vast majority of the time, in oral argument and during the public discussion of this law has been about the commerce clause powers of the Constitution.

But Roberts said, we don't have to -- if there is any plausible ground on which to support the constitutionality of an act of Congress, we should cite that law and it became clear he was going to uphold it under the taxing power.

And you could see. I saw Senator Hatch's face just fall. Michele Bachmann, also in the courtroom, you saw her astonishment.

And then he turned to the issue of the Medicaid expansion, which it was quite clear during oral argument that the justices were very skeptical about, but what we learned in the chief justice's opinion was that not just the five conservatives who struck down the -- who were Roberts, Scalia, Kennedy, Alito and Thomas, they were joined by two of the more liberal justices, Justice Breyer and Justice Kagan in striking down the expansion of Medicaid.

Only two justices thought the expansion of Medicaid was constitutional, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, so it was an extraordinary turn of events because, five minutes into Chief Justice Roberts' opinion, you would have asked anyone in that room whether this law was going to be held unconstitutional, I think we would all have said yes.

But we were all sitting there. We had to sit till the end and the turn of events surprised me, that's for sure.

KING: And on the Medicaid provision, he essentially helped them out, saying, this way it's unconstitutional, but if states take the money, they have to follow the rules. But as long as states can opt- out, we can leave it in.

TOOBIN: That's right and this is going to be an administrative difficulty for the Obama administration. The law had been, in most cases, he who pays the piper calls the tune, that if the federal government gives the states money, for anything, they can determine how that money is spent.

But what the chief justice said in this opinion was the federal government went too far here. They commandeered -- that was the word he used -- they commandeered the state functions of health insurance for poor people and it was too coercive, another word he used repeatedly.

So that part of the law is going to have to -- is gone, but most of it is intact.

KING: So, Wolf, fascinating day. We'll continue to talk to Jeff about inside the courtroom, but the headline is, by a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Roberts of the United States Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the president's signature healthcare act, an incredibly important landmark decision today.

And, as we've noted, the politics already playing out. You hear them in the protesters still outside the court. The Capitol is in front of us. They're already talking in there, Republicans, about trying to repeal it.

So the court has spoken. The debate is not over. BLITZER: Yes, and the president of the United States will be getting ready to speak. He's going to be addressing the nation around 12:15 p.m. Eastern. That's in a little bit more than an hour or so from now. We'll hear from the president of the United States.

We'll also hear from Mitt Romney at some point today. We'll get his reaction. We'll get the president's reaction. The bottom line, though, in all of this, is that the president's healthcare reform law will, in fact, remain the law of the land.

We'll take a quick break. Much more of our coverage coming up right after this.


BLITZER: The health care reform law remains the law of the land. The Affordable Care Act has been authorized to continue by the United States Supreme Court.

A 5-4 decision, the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, siding with the majority, saying that, under the tax-writing provisions of the Constitution, the individual mandate is, in fact, constitutional.

We're getting reaction from all over the country. I want to go to Atlanta, CNN's Fredricka Whitfield is over at Grady Memorial Hospital. What are they saying, Fred, over there?

FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, of course, wolf, the White House will say this is a victory. You heard from Tom Daschle saying this is a green light. Republicans calling it a defeat, Mitch McConnell saying the cure is worse than the disease.

Just what this ruling means, I'm with Dr. Curtis Lewis, who is the chief of staff. You make the rounds, you have the patients, you see what the care and what the need is. You're also overseeing all of the medical doctors.

What does this ruling mean, this point forward, for this hospital, a hospital that cares in large part for the uninsured and underinsured?

DR. CURTIS LEWIS, CHIEF OF STAFF, GRADY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: I think it means a couple of things. One thing it means is that more people have access. And, you know, they've estimated that many of the people will not have access to helath care, which we are having trouble to do so because of lack of insurance.

And, of course, that impacts us. We've always been in the business for 120 years. Matter of fact, Grady Health System just had its birthday on June 1st, for 120 years here serving the Atlanta community for the uninsured and underinsured.

So now a lot of these patients now that we've been serving will now get some coverage, which will help us continue with our mission. WHITFIELD: But this hospital, which is a safety-net hospital, insures and assures the uninsured that there is accessible care, but the problem is, there's a rising cost that's incurred by hospitals such as yours when people come here and they don't have insurance.

LEWIS: Right.

WHITFIELD: So we're talking about measures that would kick into place 2014, now that this ruling has been upheld. How do you see the next two years of operating costs compared to what you envision come 2014 and beyond?

LEWIS: I think there's still some concern because, as I understand the law, the law said that as this new law came into place there were other funds that we would have that would become diminished, "DISH" funds, disproportionate share of hospital funds that we get because we're a safety-net hospital.

And we want to make sure that those don't go down before we get the funds to support us and support us more than we had with the "DISH" funds, so we can provide more care to our patients.

I think there will continue to be a population of uninsured, but if we get some of the uninsured patients that we are presently receiving no funds for insured, that will diminish the burden on the hospital to provide care to the uninsured.

WHITFIELD: And you've had conversations with the patients who don't have insurance. You've had conversations about whether they would get insurance, now that the Affordable Care Act would perhaps make it more accessible to them.

Do you believe that in large part the 40 percent of patients that you have here who are uninsured will indeed take advantage of the individual mandate and come to your hospital insured?

LEWIS: We hope that they will. We will obviously work with all of them so they have access and take advantage of that opportunity because it's a win-win for us and for them and for society, in general.

Because you're talking about millions of people in the United States who will hopefully take advantage of this opportunity, improve the general health of the country, hopefully, you know, the healthcare of the country will translate into economic stimulus.

So I hope all those things happen as a result of this, but we're still very concerned that, you know, it's a big law. I understand it's several thousand pages long, so a lot of it is going to be in the details and how it's interpreted and what happens. So we're still trying to sort through it ourselves.

WHITFIELD: Dr. Curtis Lewis, thank you very much, at Grady Hospital, chief of staff and also an intervention radiology.

All right, Wolf, back to you. BLITZER: All right, Fred, thanks very much.

Just want to remind our viewers, the president of the United States will be in the East Room of the White House in about an hour or so when we will hear from the president.

But before then, we expect to hear from Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate in, I'm guessing, about 20 or 25 minutes or so. Mitt Romney will be speaking, giving us his reaction to this historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the Affordable Care Act as it's called, the president's health care reform law.

From Atlanta, let's head out to California, to Stockton, California, right now. Casey Wian is joining us, getting reaction out there. What are folks with you over there saying, Casey?

CASEY WIAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, wolf. We are at Chuck's Diner in Stockton, California. Healthcare a big issue in this community. The city is in the process of filing for bankruptcy and some of the city retirees here are standing to lose their health care benefits, having to pay a lot of money out of pocket.

With me is a group of former telephone industry retirees. They're not under that city bankruptcy situation, but they have some very strong opinions about the Supreme Court's decision this morning.

Don, what did you think when the Supreme Court decided to uphold ObamaCare it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm shocked by it all.

WIAN: Why are you shocked?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Number one, we shouldn't have had the thing in the first place. That bill was passed in a locked room with just Democrats voting on it. Even Pelosi said we didn't have time to read it. And they passed it.

WIAN: Next to him is another former telephone industry worker. You've got a little different feeling about this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I agree with the decision. I mean, I think it's a good thing for everybody to be covered with health insurance.

WIAN: Are you worried about the costs? A lot of people are very worried about the costs.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, but they tax you for everything else. Might as well have everyone covered and be taxed, too.

WIAN: A lot of questions still remain about this legislation and how it's going to be implemented. You were telling me a little bit earlier, sir, that you're not really sure how this is going to work and how it's going to happen.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know who knows what the heck's going on. Like everybody's saying, nobody's read the bill.

Actually, I'm kind of greedy. I'm worrying how it's going to impact me. Is AT&T still going to cover me? If they do cover me, am I going to have to declare my little health insurance as income and pay taxes on it?

These are all unanswered questions and I've never been in favor of it. It really broke my heart to see what the outcome was.

WIAN: One of the other issues that's being raised this morning is how this might impact the presidential election. Do any of you have any thoughts whether this decision might change the way you vote come November?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I think that the way this situation is, I think it will change the way Obama will be elected. Because the thing is, the way the economy is today, how can people afford to pay for their insurance when a lot of them are so out of a job. And they're just barely making it today. And I just can't see how they ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's just helping the president's election.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My concern is, it's just going to take time to prove itself out. I don't know how it's really going to work out, but I just hope it is for the best.

I mean, because a lot of people, they need health insurance, but the thing is, how are they going to pay for all this? That's what I want to know.

You know, what the -- if the economy was better, I would be strictly for it. You know, but the way it is, I don't know exactly what to say on it, because it's a very serious situation as far as I'm concerned.

WIAN: Wolf, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of concern about how this is all going to play out in the real world. Back to you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Casey, thanks very much.

Representative Phil Gingrey, Republican of Georgia, is joining us right now. He's a physician. I take it you're not very happy, Congressman, with this decision by the Supreme Court?

REPRESENTATIVE PHIL GINGREY (R), GEORGIA: Well, I'm not very happy. In fact, I'm surprised. Shocked is a better word, bitterly disappointed.

But you know, this is kind of a chicken salad day for the president and I'm sure they're high-fiving over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, but come November 7th, it's going to be a lemonade day for the Republican Party when we maintain control of the House and take control of the Senate and elect a 45th president of the United States, Mitt Romney, who will grant waivers to all 50 states and territories against this ObamaCare monstrosity of a bill. The supremes are supreme. They made a decision. I'm angry, mad at Chief Justice John Roberts, but you hear people all across the front of the Supreme Court steps, for and against, and that's what our democracy is all about. I'm very thankful. I thank God for that. Nobody's killing one another over this

But, you know, again, I think we're going to make lemonade out of lemons. Disappointed today, surprised, almost shocked in the decision, particularly in regard to saying that this is OK because it's a tax. Well, how about the anti-injunction act in regard to that and whether or not this case is right.

And the other thing, in regard to -- think about this. Justice Roberts said that in regard to the Medicaid expansion, the states now are not forced to accept the expansion and lose all of the Medicaid participation.

So a lot of those patients which the Obama administration thought would go into Medicaid, rather than the exchanges with all the federal subsidies, think about what that's going to cost the taxpayer is all those patients. Several billion across the country will end up in the exchanges rather than the Medicaid program.

So, again, I'm disappointed, but I've got a smile on my face because I think this is going to elect Mitt Romney the 45th president of the United States.

BLITZER: How surprised were you that it wasn't Justice Kennedy who was the swing vote. It was the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, who says, in fact, that the law has the authority to go forward, because Congress -- and you're a member of Congress -- has the right to go ahead and impose taxes?

GINGREY: Well, it's a surprise, of course. And we thought that Justice Kennedy would be the swing vote and that Justice Roberts would be automatically with Scalia and Justice Thomas and Justice Alito.

But you know, you can't -- all these pundits, you think back to Warren Burger in 1973 in Roe v. Wade, I didn't expect him to be the deciding vote of that abomination of a law back then.

So again, you just can't read the justices and this certainly verifies that today. Again, I'm totally surprised. I was predicting that they would strike down the individual mandate in a 7-2 vote based on the Constitution and looking at Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3.

And this issue of it being a tax, the Democratic majority, the president all along said, no, it wasn't a tax. They would never have passed it had it been a tax. How would they have gotten any "blue dog" votes, and the necessary 60 votes?

Actually, they forced it through under reconciliation and only needed a simple majority, but they didn't dare call it a tax. But all of a sudden, Justice Roberts says it's a tax. It's a little bit beyond my ability to comprehend. BLITZER: I guess he decided that because the IRS was going to be in charge of implementing that penalty, that individual mandate penalty if individuals didn't purchase health insurance, as a result they determined, the majority, this was, in fact, a tax.

We have to leave it there, Congressman Phil Gingrey of Georgia who himself is a physician. We'll continue this conversation.

We're waiting for Mitt Romney. He's getting ready to speak. We'll get his reaction. Shortly thereafter, the president of the United States will be in the East Room of the White House. He'll be speaking out. He's very happy, obviously, that his health care reform law will remain the law of the land.

Our coverage will continue in just a moment.


KING: Welcome back to our breaking news coverage of the landmark decision issued today. On the final day of this year's Supreme Court term, the justices in a 5-4 split decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. That is President Obama's health care act passed by the Democrats back in 2010. The signature domestic initiative of his first term. Chief Justice John Roberts writing the decision, four of the more liberal justices deciding with him in the 5-4 majority that upholds this law.

I'm joined by two gentlemen who can tell us a lot more of what this means from a legal standpoint and how the court unfolded. Neal Katyal, is the principal deputy solicitor general argued the case before the sixth circuit.

You won in one of the cases as this made its way through the system.

Our senior analyst Jeff Toobin with us as well.

Neal, just to your first, Justice Roberts starts by saying you can't do this under the Commerce Clause. You have to assume at that point you're losing. Then he pivots. What is the significance now that you have these pages, and you're able to read through them, what this means going forward is this.

NEAL KATYAL, LAW PROFESSOR, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY: This is hundreds of pages opinion, so I haven't had time to look at it in detail. It is a resounding victory for the Obama administration of the Affordable Care Act. The chief justice said first in his opinion, it's not justified by the Commerce Clause power in the Constitution, which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce among the several states. But he says that it is justified by the tax power. And that it is a straightforward application of long-settled principles.

KING: It's not how you argued the case. But he -- let's put it this way, it was low in your argument. You wanted the Commerce Clause. KATYAL: In all of the arguments, Commerce Clause went first. But everyone thought the tax argument was a strong argument. I think you could say it was a little surprising because no courts had accepted it up until this time.


JEFFREY TOOBIN, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Can I ask you another question? You said to me off the air, you think this is a short-term loss for the conservative moment, but a long-term victory. What did you mean by that?

KATYAL: I think when you look at the opinion, it has a bunch of language in which the Obama administration wins. It wins on that it's a tax, that it can have a Medicaid expansion. But throughout the opinion is the real skepticism on the real power of the government. The Supreme Court said that the government's powers over funding and states is limited. That's what led Justice Ginsberg in her dissent to say, this is a worrisome development.

KING: We're listening to the rally behind us. I want to talk about the legal parts. But this is in the middle of our politics. Republican Congress man Phil Gingrey said, we thought Roberts was automatic. Democrats say the same thing about Justice Breyer and Sotomayor. What about it in our system that Scalia is automatic, Roberts is automatic, Kennedy is a swing vote. That's not how the court is supposed to work.

KATYAL: Exactly. In a sense that people are calling this a victory for the Obama administration, it is really a victory for the rule of law and what our judiciary is all about. Congressmen say this is an automatic lock, the chief was a Republican appointee, and similar people say that about the Democrats. I think what today's decision demonstrates is these justices think impartially, they do indeed cross lines. It's a real resounding victory for the rule of law in America.

KING: The language of our politics, Jeff, we have liberal and conservative. We apply them often to the court. You could say this is a victory for liberals. But Chief Justice Roberts argues what used to be anyway the conservative view, is if Congress passes the law, they are elected by the people. The court is not supposed to get involved. The court at all costs tries not to mess with that.

TOOBIN: There has been a reversal in sorts for years. The liberals used to be known as the judicial activists, wanted to strike down laws. But in recent years, we have cases like Citizens United, where -- I'm sorry, I need to throw to Sanjay Gupta, is that right?

KING: Sanjay, Mr. Toobin is hearing the same voices I am. Come join the conversation.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, the -- I was trying to get more clarification on exactly what this meant for patients out there. A lot of people hearing that the law has been upheld. What that would mean. One thing that is worth pointing out, the point has been made a couple of times. There's not a lot that's going to change tomorrow. So many of these provisions surrounding the law actually take place in 2014. A couple of the big ones I want to point out again, because I think a lot of people are paying attention to this for the first time. But the idea that you cannot discriminate -- insurance companies cannot discriminate against someone or deny their coverage because of a preexisting condition. So if someone has an illness out there, has had a hard time getting coverage, could not get coverage because of the price, that goes away in 2014. I'll say this as a physician, this idea that annual caps and lifetime caps in terms of what insurance companies can pay, those also go away. And I will tell you, if you're a chronically ill patient, you can get to those caps very, very quickly. So these are a couple of the big provisions. And then the big one that people have talked about a lot, that people can stay on their parents' insurance plan up until age 26, you know, we've been doing a lot of reporting on this. Obviously that's good for the people who are in that age range. But also makes them much more likely to be employed. A lot of small businesses that we've been talking to say, look, these people now have health care insurance. We don't necessarily have to provide that for them up until age 26. So they're more likely easier for them to get jobs as well.

So those are some of the highlights. I want to make sure we're emphasizing those points in terms of what this means for patients and potential patients out there -- John?

KING: Sanjay, appreciate that perspective.

Wolf will continue our analysis of this decision. I've got the legal experts with me. We're waiting to hear from the president of the United States and his challenger, Mitt Romney. As we discuss the policy and law on this day, we won't be able to forget the politics.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We're probably going to hear from Mitt Romney probably in the next ten minutes or so, then we'll hear from the president of the United States around 12:15 eastern time, in a little bit more than a half an hour or so from now. A quick reaction, statements from both of these individuals.

Let's bring in Congresswoman Michele Bachmann right now. The Republican Congresswoman from Minnesota, who was a Republican presidential candidate.

I take it, Congresswoman, you were inside the Supreme Court when this decision was read, and you heard the chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, declare that, under the tax-writing provisions of the Constitution, the Affordable Health Care Act is in fact constitutional.

What went through your mind when you saw that 5-4 decision?

REP. MICHELLE BACHMANN, (R), MINNESOTA: Well, it really is a turning point in American history. We'll never be the same again. What went through my mind is the court first went through the Commerce Clause argument. They rejected Obama-care and the individual mandate as constitutional under the Commerce Clause. And so across the courtroom, it appeared that the court had struck down the constitutionality of the individual mandate in Obama-care. But then the court turned to the tax argument, which was bizarre. Because the court ruled that Obama-care was not attacked for purpose of jurisdiction to hear the case, and then just several pages later they said, no, it is a tax. So therefore, Congress has the power to regulate the tax and create this tax and it's constitutional. For my mind, this is clearly unconstitutional. There is no basis in the Constitution for the government to have this level of history-making expansion of power. Because now this means for the first time in the history of the country, Congress can force Americans to purchase any product, any service that Congress wants them to, which means that Congress then determines the price. And we are forced to, which is a denial of liberty. This is a turning point in American history. We'll never be the same again with this denial of liberty interests.

But also, it's a black cloud pragmatically speaking on economic recovery. There will be no hope of economic recovery between now and the election. We've exhausted now our legal solutions, to be able to rid the nation of Obama-care. Now we have to look for a political solution. So in the short term, what you'll see from the job creators, and employers in America, you'll see more of them by the millions dropping their employer health insurance because it's wildly expensive. It's increased by a factor of three, just this year alone. You'll see millions of Americans lose their employer insurance. You'll see millions of employers move their businesses outside of the United States to do business out of the United States. So you'll see massive job loss as a result of this as well. This isn't unexpected but this is the pragmatic effect of what we'll see.

BLITZER: In terms of pragmatic effects, the practical developments that will unfold right now, there are limits to what you can do to repeal this Affordable Health Care Act. Even if there's a lopsided Republican majority in the House of representatives. Correct me if I'm wrong. You need 60 votes in the United States Senate, even if Mitt Romney is elected president, to go ahead and repeal it, or revise it. Is that your understanding, that you need to break a filibuster in the Senate in order to change it?

BACHMANN: No, that's not true at all. Because when the vote was passed in the Senate, they did so with a reconciliation bill. And that took a 50-person vote. So if there is a majority in the Senate, and a majority in the House, and if we have a Mitt Romney as the next president of the United States, we can, and we will repeal Obama-care. That is the hope that America needs to hold on to, that we will repeal Obama-care, and we will finally see economic recovery in the United States. There is no hope of that if Barack Obama wins a second term, and if Harry Reid continues to hold the gavel in the United States Senate. In all likelihood, you will see the House of representatives put forward a full-scale repeal bill, in all likelihood we will pass that even before the November election. But that will be for show only. Because in all likelihood, Harry Reid and Barack Obama are not about to deviate from what the Supreme Court did today.

We're profoundly disappointed in the decision from the court. But I urge people to read the dissent that was read from the bench by Justice Kennedy and joined in by Justices Alito and also Scalia. Because that opinion said very clearly, this was an activist court that you saw today. What they did is not just uphold Obama-care, this Supreme Court re-wrote Obama-care in line with its own designs. So this is an even more far-reaching decision than anyone had expected or imagined.

WOLF: Because if the president is re-elected, Congresswoman, he could veto any legislation passed by the House and Senate, and then the Affordable Health Care Law would remain in effect. Is that your understanding?

BACHMANN: That's right. That's why it's extremely important to those who believe in liberty and the Constitution, and who want our economy to turn around so we can create jobs, that's why it's extremely important that we are energized and remember this at the ballot box in November. If Barack Obama has a second term, we will not be able to get rid of Obama-care, and we will remain mired in this. If we want to be a pro-growth economy and have millions of high-paying jobs, then we have to replace Barack Obama. There is no other choice, Wolf. It's only a political choice now.

BLITZER: Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, obviously not very happy on this day. The president's health care reform law remains the law of the land.

Congresswoman, thanks very much for coming in.

Suzanne Malveaux is joining us once again.

Suzanne, you're getting more reaction out in Aspen, Colorado.

MALVEAUX: This is Vin Weber, with the Mitt Romney campaign.

We're going to hear from Mitt Romney soon. We're going to hear about this is a tax increase. Specifically, does he have any more to offer? He talks about replace and repeal. We have not heard from what Mitt Romney would replace Obama's health care law with.

VIN WEBER, WORKS WITH ROMNEY CAMPAIGN: He will get more specific as the fall goes on. We don't have to lay out a full alternative proposal to this today. We've got well into the fall to do it. The main point is, we now know that this is the law, unless we elect a new president. We know from private studies it will result in increased insurance premiums for people. We believe strongly ultimately it will be proven to increase the federal deficit. Although we know that's in dispute by the Democrats.

MALVEAUX: You say you don't need specifics right now. Why not? People are looking for specifics when they look at --


WEBER: First of all, we've already had some market reaction to this. Three of the major insurers already said, had it been struck down today, that they would maintain many of the positive provisions of the Affordable Care Act, like keeping kids on their parents until 26 years old. The market reaction to repeal has not been fully determined yet. We'll figure that out over the next several months. It's not going to be catastrophic. What's going to be catastrophic is keeping this law on the books that will result in much higher costs of insurance, and higher costs to the federal government.

MALVEAUX: You and I were talking earlier about the fact that maybe something that's even more important is what's down the line. That's the jobs numbers that people are going to be focusing on, the economy.

WEBER: We've had a couple of big issues in the last couple of issues. The immigration issue, and of course today the health care issue. They are huge issues. The June jobs report comes out next month, which gives us the best overall reading of the American economy. The last two jobs reports showing employment starting to increase again. Potentially we're falling back into a recession. That's the real verdict on the Obama administration policy. This health care issue is largely going to be debated in the context of that larger economic issue. That's what Mitt Romney will be talking about from now until November.

MALVEAUX: Vin, thank you very much.

Back to you, Wolf.

BLITZER: Thanks, Suzanne. Thanks very much.

Momentarily -- you're looking at a live picture. We expect to see Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, walk up to that microphone and deliver his reaction to this historic decision by the United States Supreme Court.

Jim Acosta is joining us right now.

Jim, are you getting advanced word on what we might hear from the Republican presidential candidate?

ACOSTA: Not just yet, Wolf. They have kept the details of this event very close to the vest in the last hour or so. Officially, saying they're going to have this event on top of a building very close to the capitol. You can see it's basically over our shoulder right now. I can tell you, we can expect Mitt Romney to give a robust response to what the Supreme Court had to say this morning. Look at the sign on the podium right now. It is repeal and replace Obama- care. In the last several days, we have heard Mitt Romney go after the president's health care law. Not necessarily on the constitutionality of the law, but saying that -- and yesterday he said this at an event in Virginia, that it was a moral failure for the president to go after health care reform instead of focusing solely on the economy, as he came into the office during the financial crisis. We'll hear Mitt Romney I think go back to that message. I think almost every issue that comes up in this campaign, he seems to find a way back to the economy. Wolf, I'm assuming he's going to do that in just a few minutes from now -- Wolf? BLITZER: We'll take a quick break. On the other side we'll hear from Mitt Romney. And in a half an hour or so from now we'll hear from the president of the United States from the East Room of the White House. Our coverage continues in just a moment.


BLITZER: We're following breaking news. Historic events unfolding here in Washington. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, will give us his reaction to this decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, 5-4 decision upholding the president's health care reform law. The chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, writing the majority opinion, siding with the majority. Justice Kennedy siding with the minority. Not necessarily a huge surprise, other than the fact he wasn't the decider. John Roberts was the decider in this particular decision. Once we hear from Mitt Romney, about half an hour or so from now we'll also hear from the president of the United States, get his reaction to what's going on.

Let me bring back Jim Acosta as we await Mitt Romney to walk over to that microphone.

It's a little awkward for Mitt Romney right now, I assume because even though he says repeal and replace the president's health care reform law, Jim, when he was the governor of Massachusetts, he had a similar individual mandate that he imposed on the citizens of Massachusetts.

ACOSTA: Right. That's right, Wolf. We had a chance to talk to Mitt Romney back in 2009. Sat in his office, very close to the state house where he signed health care reform into law in Massachusetts. And that law included an individual mandate. And when we talked to Mitt Romney, it was during the debate before the health care law was passed. And at that time there was a lot of discussion here in Washington as to whether or not the president's law should include the public option. Mitt Romney said, well, a free market alternative to having the public option is what we did here in Massachusetts. He said it was something that the rest of Washington could learn from, an idea that Washington could learn from. But since then, as you know, Wolf, he has tried to distance himself from those comments. He of the campaign what he did in Massachusetts was not meant for the entire country. And so, you know, that has been a difficult needle to thread for Mitt Romney, but he has been able to thread it. He has the Republican party behind him at this point. The RNC has been, as well as Republicans inside of the Romney camp with the full repeal and all on message behind Mitt Romney, and he will come out in a few moments and vow if he is elected president of the United States he will do what the Supreme Court didn't -- Wolf?

BLITZER: All right. We will take another quick break. and standby, because on the other side, we expect to hear from Mitt Romney, and a little bit later, from the president of the United States.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) BLITZER: All right, Mitt Romney we are told is now getting ready to walk up to the podium and speak and give us his reaction to this historic moment. The individual mandate approved, authorized a majority opinion by the Supreme Court, and Mitt Romney will be going there. You see that Obama-care repeal and replace banner on the front of that podium over there in front of the microphones. Mitt Romney will be telling us how he feels about what has happened. Some of the advisers are walking over there right now.

Margaret Hoover is watching what is going on. And Donna Brazile is watching with me, as we await the Republican presidential candidate.

Margaret, what does he need to say from your perspective?

MARGARET HOOVER, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: What you will hear him say is repeal and replace and you know it is right there and what the messaging will be, but he is going to talk about regardless of whether or not the Supreme Court said it is constitutional, and they have say it is constitutional, but is this good policy, is this good policy to help Americans to get the health care they need at the prices they need without sending the country in impending debt, and again this health care bill affects one-sixth of the economy and will inhibit creating jobs to put Americans back to work. So my sense is that is he is going to say is this good policy for getting affordable health care for all Americans.

BLITZER: He has said in television commercials, Donna, talking about Mitt Romney, that on day one, if he is elected president of the United States, he will be in the process of repealing and replacing this health care law.

DONNA BRAZILE, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Wolf, there is a lot of discussion about the politics of the bill, but the American people need to know some of the substance of this bill. This law helps millions of Americans, especially 17 million children that are already getting health care because of this coverage.

BLITZER: All right. Here he is, Mitt Romney.

MITT ROMNEY, (R), FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR & PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: This decision, and I agree with the dissent. what the court did not do on the last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States, and that is that I will act to repeal Obama-care.

Let's make clear that we understand what the court did and did not do. What the court did do today is say that Obama-care does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do is to say that Obama- care is good law or that it is good policy. Obama-care was bad policy yesterday. It's bad policy today. Obama-care was bad law yesterday. It is bad law today. Let me tell you why I say that. Obama-care raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion. Obama-care cuts Medicare, cuts Medicare by approximately $500 billion. And even with those cuts and tax increases, Obama-care adds trillion trillions to our deficits and to our national debt, and pushes those obligations on to coming generations.

Obama-care also means that for up to 20 million Americans, they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and they want to keep. Obama-care is a job killer. Businesses across the country have been asked what the impact of Obama-care is, and three-quarters of those surveyed by the chamber of commerce says that Obama-care makes it less likely for them to hire people. And perhaps most troubling of all, Obama-care puts the federal government between you and your doctor.

For all of those reasons, it is important for us to repeal and replace Obama-care. What are some of the things that we will keep in place and must be in place in a reform a real reform of the health care system? One, we have to make sure that people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so. Having 20 million people up to that number of people lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable. Number two, you have to make sure that those people who have pre-existing conditions know that they will be able to be insured and they will not lose their insurance. We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in the effort to insure that every American has access to affordable health care, and something that Obama-care does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It is becoming prohibitively expensive. And so this is now a time for the American people to make a choice. You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government and more and more intrusive in your life and separating you and your doctor or whether you are comfortable with more deficits and higher debt that we pass on to the coming generations or whether you are willing to have the government put in place a plan that could cause you to lose the insurance you like or if you want to return to the time when the American people will have their own choice in health care and consumers makes they choices as to what kind of health insurance they want. This is a time of choice for the American people and our mission is clear, if we want to get rid of Obama-care, we have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure that we do exactly that, that we return to the American people the privilege they have always had lived their lives in the way they feel most appropriate, and where we don't pass on to coming generations massive deficits and debt. We don't have a setting where jobs are lost. If we want good jobs and a bright economic future for ourselves and our kids, we must replace Obama-care.

That is my mission. That is our work. I am asking the people of America to join me. If you don't want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want instead a course that the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort, and help us, help us to defeat Obama-care, and help us to defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive and killing jobs across this great country.

Thank you so much.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Governor, would you --

(CROSSTALK) BLITZER: All right, so there he is, Mitt Romney, explaining why he opposes this decision by the United States Supreme Court, saying that it is bad policy. We will take a quick break and much more of the breaking news coverage coming up. Stand by for the president of the United States as well.


BLITZER: We are watching the reaction to this historic decision by the United States Supreme Court just a little bit less than two hours after the 5-4 decision upheld the president's reform law, and the individual mandate and the heart of the law, and the most controversial aspect of that law is in fact constitutional. The chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, siding with the majority and writing the majority opinion saying that Congress does in fact have tax writing privileges and the authority to impose a tax on individuals who don't go ahead and purchase the health insurance that the mandate requires as a result, that mandate is constitutional and it will remain the law of the land.

In about 15 minutes or so from now, we expect that the president of the United States will speak to the American people, give us his reaction to what has just happened in the United States Supreme Court. He will go into the East Room of the White House and give us his reaction.