President Obama has a lot riding on whether the Supreme Court upholds or rejects his overhaul of the U.S. health care system. If ObamaCare is struck down, it would negate the president's top domestic achievement, his opponents would win an argument that has divided the country for years, and Republicans would enter the November elections with a head of steam. But ObamaCare also remains deeply unpopular and, arguably, a decision to uphold the law might not benefit Obama particularly. Has ObamaCare become a "lose-lose issue" for the president?
ObamaCare is a political albatross: The "public has never liked" the law's individual mandate, which requires nearly all Americans to buy insurance, says Jennifer Haberkorn at Politico. And even if that provision wins the court's "constitutional stamp," the public sentiment surrounding the mandate is unlikely to change. In fact, such a decision could even more firmly saddle Obama with "the least popular part of the law." And you can bet that a Supreme Court decision in Obama's favor would "energize the Republican base" in November.
"Mandate a lose-lose issue for Obama?"
And the GOP attacks on ObamaCare won't stop: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and other Republicans are going to keep ObamaCare "alive, whatever the Supreme Court decides," says Ramesh Ponnuru at Bloomberg. Americans are less concerned with the law's constitutionality than they are with its being "intrusive and bossy." That means Republicans will simply start focusing on the law's "unwisdom rather than its unconstitutionality, and no court decision can undermine those arguments."
"Supreme Court case won't end Republican ObamaCare attacks"
Nonsense. A decision to uphold would strengthen Obama's hand: If ObamaCare prevails, health care will come "roaring back as a campaign issue," says David Frum at The Daily Beast. And Republicans would be unable to harp about repealing ObamaCare without offering a plan of their own. But guess what? Republicans don't have a Plan B. They are using an "all or nothing" strategy, and voters will likely see that the GOP alternative to ObamaCare is exactly that: "Nothing." In politics, "you can't beat something with nothing."
"Supremes won't save GOP from itself on ObamaCare"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- 10 things you need to know today: November 27, 2014
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- How to stop Black Thursday — and still score that big screen
Subscribe to the Week