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Waiting on Health Care

The Supreme Court is set to issue its ruling on the Affordable Care Act tomorrow at 10:00 AMET. Many have been trying to predict the outcome of the decision based on the outcomes of this past month’s rulings on major cases such as the Arizona immigration law or a rehash of Citizens United.

There are a few pieces of evidence that could point to a ruling that would involve a ruling that would, at minimum, strike the individual mandate from the law.

The first is that many legal experts are beginning to come around to the viewpoint that the law may be unconstitutional. A Purple Strategies survey of former Supreme Court clerks and attorneys whohave argued before the Court found that, “Fifty-seven percent of the attorneys and former clerks now saythey expect the court to strike down the law’s individual mandate — compared with just 35 percent whothought that was likely in March.” Respondents indicated that, as many have noted, they felt the justices seemed to have a skeptical attitude toward the arguments made by Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.

The other is that the majority opinion is likely to be read by Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush. Sean Trende explains here why that is. While it’s possible that Roberts could vote to uphold the law, it seems unlikely.

Lastly, conservatives are winning the messaging war on the president’s healthcare law. It is grossly unpopular with Americans. If you do not believe me, consider the number of Democrats in Congress who will celebrate Court’s killing of the president’s health care law. Can you blame them? Why would anyone support a law that means less coverage, less care, and higher costs?

Conservatives have every reason to be optimistic heading into this decision. Even if the Court does vote to uphold the Affordable Care Act, it’s still the President’s health care law, and he will still be blamed for the problems it will cause. Conservatives then can go onto to win the fight for repeal.
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