Monday, March 12, 2012

The Affordable Care Act Cases

Among all of the media attention on the 2012 Republican nomination race, I almost forgot that the Supreme Court is hearing the three cases regarding the Affordable Care Act in a few short weeks. The lawsuits against Obama's health care reform was brought about by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business; these cases are shaping up to be the most high-profile Supreme Court review since Bush v. Gore. Not only are there legal matters to consider here, but the rulings will also likely cause a political stir. The Republicans would like to see the individual mandate eliminated, which would validate their complaints against "Obamacare" and make Obama look bad prior to the election in November. The Democrats obviously want the ruling to uphold the law, which would finally settle the controversy and force blame on to the Republicans for wasting time on a law that was ultimately constitutional.
However, no matter what the outcome of the cases, Obama and the other Democrats could be in trouble. A USA Today/Gallup Poll from February shows that 53 percent of voters from swing states because the health care reform law is a "bad thing." Nationally, 50 percent of all voters felt the same way. This same poll also identified health case as the third most important issue on voters' minds, right behind the economy and the deficit. The outcome of this case could be potentially heartbreaking for the Democrats: if the Court did strike down parts of law as unconstitutional, it could give Republicans the edge--both in the presidential race and congressional races.

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