Published on June 22, 2012 at 12:09 PM
The New Yorker: Unpopular Mandate
On March 23, 2010, the day that President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, fourteen state attorneys general filed suit against the law's requirement that most Americans purchase health insurance, on the ground that it was unconstitutional. It was hard to find a law professor in the country who took them seriously. ... Today, as the Supreme Court prepares to hand down its decision on the law, (George Washington University law professor Orin) Kerr puts the chance that it will overturn the mandate-;almost certainly on a party-line vote-;at closer to "fifty-fifty." The Republicans have made the individual mandate the element most likely to undo the President's health-care law. The irony is that the Democrats adopted it in the first place because they thought that it would help them secure conservative support. It had, after all, been at the heart of Republican health-care reforms for two decades (Ezra Klein, 6/25).
Slate: Test-Tube Piggie
But the issue of when, exactly, data drawn from one species can (or should) be applied to another isn't confined to scholars. It has crept into everyday language and shaped the way the rest of us talk about science. Whenever we invoke the standard metaphor for experimental subjects, calling someone or something a guinea pig, we invoke a long-standing debate among scientists and natural philosophers over the question of what a lab mouse or a hemorrhagic monkey can tell us about a man. Aspects of that debate are reflected in the ways we use the guinea pig as an emblem of science (Daniel Engber, 6/18).
This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.