“Sadly, even before the sessions on health-care reform had ended, some liberals were preemptively trying to delegitimize a potential defeat at the court. If the justices strike down the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, they said, they will prove themselves partisan, activist and, essentially, intellectually corrupt.
“We share in the disappointment that the justices on both sides of their ideological divide are, for the most part, so predictable. That’s not, in the ideal world, how judging is supposed to work. But we also think there’s a kind of cynicism, or at least intellectual laziness, in asserting that this is an easy or obvious call — that no justice could possibly strike down the mandate out of honest, reasoned conviction. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. had his hands full defending the mandate, not because he’s a bad lawyer, but because it’s not an easy question…
“Given the court’s responsibility to err on the side of modesty and deference to elected legislators — who can be turned out of office if voters object to the health-care reform they design — the government’s argument is strong enough to carry the day. But it is not, as we said, a slam-dunk. We wouldn’t assume anyone who disagrees is a hack.”
“‘I was baffled the court would even hear that argument, let alone take it seriously,’ said Ron Pollack, executive director of the pro-reform Families USA and a health-care activist for three decades. If that goes, federal programs to improve education, the environment, transportation. and more could suddenly be under fire, he said — creating the potential for the wholesale gutting of the New Deal and the welfare state…
“‘I fear for the Court if a 5-4 decision [rejecting health care] comes in the wake of Citizens United and still reeling from Bush v. Gore,’ Tanden said. ‘People already believe the Court is a political actor, and when you add to that a decision where they strike at the heart of the president’s single-biggest domestic-policy accomplishment a few short months before the election in what seems to be a very partisan decision, the Court is undermining its own standing.’…
“‘The times that Republicans have gotten into trouble with health care are when they try to take stuff away from people. We saw it most recently with contraception,’ Vale said. ‘It will be an interesting campaign situation from June to November where instead of running a campaign to educate people about the benefits they get from the law, you’re campaigning for six months on what Republicans are trying to take away from you.'”
“By the fall, I’m guessing, if the ACA is overturned, the media will be demanding of Romney that he explain how he’s going to make sure people with pre-existing conditions can get reliable coverage. He could not do that the other night to Jay Leno. In fact, while he obviously didn’t intend to, he ended up defending . . . the individual mandate! ‘You’ve got to get insurance when you’re well,’ he said, ‘and if you get ill, then you’re going to be covered’ — precisely the logic behind the mandate (which we all know he ‘secretly’ accepts, which is why he supported it as Massachusetts governor).
“If the Democrats are doing their job, voters—and perhaps especially independent voters—are going to realize by the fall: ‘Hey, wait a minute, we didn’t quite know repeal meant that people with pre-existing conditions wouldn’t get coverage.’ To be sure, repeal may or may not mean that, depending on how broad it is. But if it does, then Romney will have to come up with some answers. And the problem is, there are no honest answers that don’t involve the government doing . . . something. Given the guy’s propensities toward pretzel logic in the first place, this may prove to be a challenge for him.
“But the Court itself might be Romney’s biggest problem. Again, this will depend to some extent on the scope of the ruling, and even the tone of the majority opinion. But if either provides any fodder for the ‘Supreme Court is out of control’ argument, that is a potential albatross around Romney’s neck.'”
“This is pure political hooey. If Obamacare falls, it will be a devastating rebuke to the president. The crown jewel of his presidency will have been repudiated as unconstitutional. His pretensions of uniquely knowing how to get things done in Washington will be shattered. Obama will be a diminished political figure. He will become a lesser president, far from the top ranks where he has envisioned himself.
“The opposite is true if the Court upholds Obamacare. Obama will be able to crow that he has succeeded where presidents over the past century failed. He has brought about universal health care coverage. He has counseled hope and brought about change. Republicans will be demoralized.
“Assuming Obamacare is voided, Republicans will still have plenty to say about health care. They can remind voters of the promises Obama made about his plan that were false. Everyone could keep his current health insurance and doctor. Premiums would drop. Obamacare would save money and reduce the deficit. Anything underwriting abortions would not be funded. All untrue.”
“If they rule against health-care reform, the justices might be doing Obama a favor. He never really won the public battle on the issue. So he could take the high ground — disagreeing with the decision but showing respect for the court and for the American people, and vowing to continue the fight for health care for more Americans…
“In his reelection campaign, Obama could propose that states be incentivized to sign on to a plan like the one in Massachusetts, where most voters favor the plan. He could deal with the issue in the same way states are incentivized to require seat belts. Such a strategy would preserve some state choice and leave much of the financing to them as well. Effectively, Obama could still be for universal health care and yet neutralize the issue for the election.
“Part of the problem with the health-care law is that controlling costs and improving quality took a back seat to broadening coverage. A redo would allow Obama to produce a new plan that covers these bases, costs less and has broader support. He should treat an adverse ruling as a political gift, an opportunity to move to the center on health care, more like where he was in 2008.”
Via the Daily Caller.
Via the Daily Rushbo.