Friday, March 30, 2012

Obamacare

My bet - Supreme Court decides 'mandate' unconstitutional by 5-4 margin; but holds rest of the law by  5-4 margin asking Congress to fix remaining part. (Justice Kennedy voting for majority in the first one whereas Chief Justice Roberts voting for keeping the law in the second decision while Justice Kennedy siding with other conservative justices.) It is very simple for Court to say, if without 'mandate' Congress thinks the law is broken then either it fixes or simply nullifies. Why should it be the job of Supreme Court to go after remaining law which is constitutional? At least that is what I believe is a cleaner verdict for this court to deliver without being an 'activist court' while still guarding limits on Congress.

As Washington Post remarked, indeed President Obama turned out to be 'reckless' in banking so much on the 'mandate'. Experts had mentioned many alternatives to 'mandate' which would have achieved the same result (bringing Insurance companies on board for the expanded coverage) while taking no legal risk. Obama Administration simply turned out to be careless in this regard. You do not 'risk' such a monumental, herculean, generations wide political task for one a single item. The genesis of all that is in the way Obama left Congress to run the show about the health care law. They learnt the lessons of Clinton Administration Health initiative failure too extremely and allowed recalcitrant Democratic Congress to run afoul. Obama and Democrats, all are paying the price now.

As the sun set today on Potomac, Supreme Court would have sealed the verdict and if my bets are right; we could be in for politics as usual. No doubt Tea Party would get flip and the fundamental case against Obama will be proved right - he is bringing the 'nanny state' which is trampling our liberties. Fear of more such draconian measures in his second term would the best ammunition for the Romney Campaign (though his MA health care law will be still an albatross); assuming he clinches the nomination by June. On the other hand, Obama and Left will continue to paint Supreme Court in cohort with Conservatives with back to back results like United Citizens and Affordable Health Care Law. On top of that, while GOP will gun for gutting the law completely Obama will argue for 'fixing the broken part' as the rationale for the second term. In other words, though the needle would have moved in the direction of Tea Party without any doubt; it will be politics as usual in the end. No leadership, all lies while our problems continue to stay as they are.

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