Will Healthcare Ruling Help or Hurt Obama?

I’m sure you are wondering about my thoughts following yesterday’s shocking Supreme Court ruling on ObamaCare. Needless to say, I am frustrated and angered by the Court’s 5-4 decision to uphold the healthcare law, but I cannot say that I was completely surprised.

Chief Justice RobertsAfter Justice Roberts’ vote on ObamaCare, there is now no question that he will be a “swing voter” like Justice Kennedy. He will be Chief Justice for a very long time, barring something unusual like a debilitating health condition. We may not like it, but we had better get used to it.

I may have more to say on the Court’s ruling in my E-Letter next Tuesday, which goes out to a vastly wider audience. But for today, I want to ponder whether the High Court’s decision that ObamaCare is constitutional will be good or bad for the President’s chances in the November election.

Conservatives hurled just about every expletive possible at Chief Justice John Roberts ( a George W. Bush appointee) yesterday after he voted with the liberals on the Court to uphold ObamaCare in the 5-4 decision. While I muttered a few choice words of my own, Robert’s decision could seal Obama’s fate come November. Here’s why.

In voting to uphold Mr. Obama’s expensive healthcare overhaul, Roberts took away the president’s main line of attack that surely would have been deployed had the court voted 5-4 to strike it down. The president and his advisors were intent on using the demise of ObamaCare as the means to fire up their base and even snag a greater share of the Independents.

A defeat would have delivered the ultimate weapon in the cultural war effort. As I wrote on Tuesday, I could just hear them saying, Four rich white men and one misguided black man just took away your healthcare… but they still have theirs. But because of Roberts, that didn’t happen.

Polls on ObamaCare were all over the place but most showed that 55-60% of Americans opposed ObamaCare while only 45-40% were in favor of it. Since the healthcare law was upheld, it would be natural to assume that most of the majority (that opposed it) would vote for Romney. Polls over the next few weeks will confirm that, if true.

But there’s more. The 2,300-page ObamaCare monstrosity reportedly contains 21 tax increases costing nearly $700 billion. Of those taxes, 12 would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year. So much for Obama’s repeated pledge not to raise taxes on families making less than $250K! So much for his promise that health care “should never be purchased with [a] tax increase on middle-class families.”

It remains to be seen if the American people will figure this out. While the Court’s opinion clearly pointed out that the ObamaCare mandate is a “tax,” the tax doesn’t kick in until 2014. Hopefully, voters will figure it out before November.

Chief Justice Roberts has just handed Mitt Romney some powerful new ammunition, and Romney knows it: “If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama. What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president.”

Unfortunately, it is not clear that Romney can repeal ObamaCare if he becomes president. It might require a Republican majority in the Senate (as well as the House), and that doesn’t look very likely. Nevertheless, that will be Romney’s battle cry from now until the election.

He can thank Chief Justice Roberts for that.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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