Halperin: Whatever SCOTUS rules on health care is bad for Obama


The Supreme Court is expected to announce its opinion on the constitutionality of president’s health care law (Affordable Care Act or ACA) this week, and many expect the ruling to come down Thursday, the Supreme Court’s last day of the term. The court heard oral arguments for the health care law this March.

Last week and today have already been busy for the Supreme Court, but these decisions appear to be the build up to the ACA ruling.

For detailed information on what’s included in the ACA, Reuters has a breakdown (from March):

BENEFITS ALREADY IN PLACE: Although key benefits of the ACA won’t be implemented until 2014, significant changes are already in place. For example, 2.5 million young adults age 19 to 25 are now covered on their parents’ policies. For Medicare, the first steps to close the gap in prescription drug coverage – the notorious “donut hole” – saved $2.1 billion for nearly 3.6 million seniors last year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The Morning Joe panel discussed the forthcoming SCOTUS decision and what it could mean for the president going into the election.

Joe Scarborough said he believes if the Supreme Court strikes down the plan, it would be bad for the president:

I have thought all along a loss could be a win for the Democrats, but then I go back to what I saw with Bill Clinton in ‘93 and ‘94 and ‘95 an ‘96. The guy got hammered around; he was loathed by a lot of people. But he figured out how to win, and that’s when I learned politically that Americans love winners. Things could be going terribly for you, but if you get the big win. Legislatively or any other way, they turn your way. They sense strength; they sense power. My opinion is sort of shifting now. I think a loss here on the health care plan this week actually is bad news for the president politically.

Time’s Mark Halperin took it a step further and said he thought any decision on the issue is bad for the president:

“I actually think whatever the court rules it’s bad for the President. And that’s not my opinion; that’s based on reporting, including with a lot of Democrats. If they uphold the law, which is unpopular, it’s going to be a rallying cry for Republicans across the country. Even if the law is upheld, advertising and campaign rhetoric from Republicans will be all about health care. There’s not more than a handful of Democrats in the country, including the President, who will put health care front and center.”

And it looks as if we have until Thursday to see what exactly will happen.

Halperin: Whatever SCOTUS rules on health care is bad for Obama