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How the Healthcare Ruling Will Impact the Election

Obama serious stare
Photo courtesy of US Embassy, Santiago Chile

The Supreme Court will make it’s decision on the Affordable Care Act sometime in the next few hours. While the U.S. (especially Washington D.C.) is on the edge of it’s collective seat waiting for the decision I think it’s important to realize how important this decision is in relation to the upcoming election. If the Supreme Court votes in favor of the law it will be a tough fight for the Republicans to win the Presidency. On the other hand, if the individual mandate is struck down (as I believe it will) there are reasons why President Obama will be unlikely to win reelection.

1. The decision is the centerpiece of  Obama administration policy. Many perceive that the President focused on Healthcare at the expense of other issues, namely the economy. If the individual mandate fails and the bill is in funding trouble, the public will judge that the President wasted important time on a failed policy.

2. The majority of likely voters in the coming election are already against the bill. In a recent ABC News Poll 39 percent of the public said they liked healthcare before the mandate while only 36 percent supported the Affordable Care Acts changes. Because the country is at least evenly divided on this issue, a reversal of the act would lend credence to those that opposed the act all along and will pull votes from the center.

3. Finally, in recent speeches Obama has said “I passed Healthcare in my first term, and I will pass it again in my second.” This is a great example of how the President will run and how people will perceive the election if the individual mandate is struck down: namely as the same old song and dance. I would argue that the majority of Americans are just as eager for hope and change this election as they were last election and that if the Affordable Care Act falls there is unlikely to be any change from what we’ve seen already.

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