Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Crowley: Voters might be higher power than high court

By Candy Crowley, CNN Chief Political Correspondent
updated 6:05 PM EDT, Mon July 2, 2012
  • Having lost in court, Republicans hope to make health care an election issue
  • Democrats say they relish having that fight as White House looks to put it in past
  • GOP-controlled House wants to vote for repeal after its Fourth of July recess
  • Democrats highlight more popular parts of health care plan as part of debate

Washington (CNN) -- You can't go higher than the high court. So, the way the White House figures it, health care is the law of the land. Period.

"It's time now to get over the debate and to implement the law," White House chief of staff Jack Lew told me on "State of the Union" on Sunday.

The problem is that settled law is one thing. Settled politics is an oxymoron.

CEO and former Republican California Senate candidate Carly Fiorina said on "State of the Union" that the GOP "from Mitt Romney on down" will make health care a "front-and-center" issue from now till November.

Opinion: For health reform, now the tricky part

"It is not separate from the economy," Fiorina said.

"Bring it on," said Democratic former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm.

"It is part of the economy argument," Fiorina continued. "Secondly, I find it amazing when the governor and others in her party just dismiss the difference between a state having a plan and the federal government having a plan. There is all the difference in the world."

Carly Fiorina & Jennifer Granholm debate
WH Chief of Staff on the economy
Lew on Holder's House investigation

"Supreme Court just dismissed that argument," Granholm retorted.

Across the Sunday talk shows, the health care debate moved from the stately and secretive chambers of the Supreme Court and back across the street where it began -- the hallowed, divided halls of Congress.

"This has to be ripped out by its roots," House Speaker John Boehner said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "This is government taking over the entire health insurance industry. The American people do not want to go down this path."

GOP seizes on tax message in health ruling

After the Fourth of July recess, the House plans to vote on repeal of the health care law -- to blow it up. Even the popular parts, like banning insurance companies from setting lifetime caps on benefits or refusing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

That's why, even though repeal will pass the House because Republicans dominate there, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is still smiling.

"Repeal of all the things, I said, that help children, help young adults, help seniors, help men or women who may have prostate cancer, breast cancer, whatever it is, any precondition. And everybody will have lower rates, better quality care and better access. So that's what they want to repeal, we're happy to have that debate," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Pelosi can afford to be mellow -- she and everybody else know repeal will never pass the Democratic-majority Senate.

Speaking of which, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell may be in the minority now, but he happened to mention on Sunday that November could change things.

"If I'm the leader of the majority, I commit to the American people that the repeal of Obamacare will be Job 1," he said on "Fox News Sunday." "By the way, I think we will also be insisting we have a vote before the election. In terms of achieving it, it would take a different president, different majority leader."

Which brings us to where the Supreme Court justices really sent the health care debate.

"It's beyond Congress, the president and even the Supreme Court," Rep. Paul Ryan said on ABC's "This Week." "The American people will be the judge and jury of this law come November."

Turns out, you can go higher than the high court.

CNN Poll: Health care ruling has not impacted race for White House, so far

Legal scholars unsurprised by Roberts

Your health care is covered, but who's going to treat you?

Where in the world can you get universal health care?

Part of complete coverage on
Get all the latest news at CNN's Election Center. There are race updates, a delegate counter and much more.
A black man is returning to the White House. Four years ago, it was a first, the breaking of a racial barrier. Tuesday night, it was history redux. And more.
The 2012 presidential election shattered spending records, further polarized a divided country and launched a thousand hashtags.
updated 1:41 PM EST, Thu November 8, 2012
Democratic and Republican congressional leaders continue to sharply disagree over the key issue of whether top tax rates should be raised to help resolve the looming crisis.
updated 2:24 PM EST, Wed November 7, 2012
In a historic turnaround, the ballot box is showing America's shifting attitudes about same-sex marriage.
Even though voters indicated to pollsters that their financial situation is the same or worse than it was four years ago, they put their trust in the president.
updated 4:19 AM EST, Thu November 8, 2012
The president faces a long and familiar set of challenges after riding a wave of support from moderates, women and minorities to victory.
updated 9:27 AM EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Republicans kept a lock on the U.S. House of Representatives, a crucial victory after the party failed to wrest away the presidency from Barack Obama and the Senate from the Democrats.
updated 7:34 PM EST, Wed November 7, 2012
Democrats will retain their control of the Senate after winning several closely contested races on Tuesday.