Life after the healthcare ruling has begun. The Supreme Court's shocker
Thursday was much anticipated, long awaited and, in the end, quite
humbling, since nearly no one had it right.
The big, immediate question was, who gains politically from the fact that the highest court not only upheld the president's controversial healthcare reform law — including an individual mandate to purchase care — but then likely broadened the authority of Congress to tax? The answer is one side gets a short-term win and the other enjoys longer-term benefits.
President Obama dodged a powerful bullet in the ruling: the stamp of failure. Yet Democrats won't get excited about this, they can't raise much money off of this, and they still can't talk about healthcare much. Though the Democrats have a chance to reframe the issue, they didn't get it right the first time, so why would it work now?
At the presidential level Romney will push hard against ObamaCare as a job killer. But he too once supported a mandate to buy insurance, and even recommended it be used at the national level. He will see his own words on video and in print in ads the Democrats will run and they will likely also come right out of President Obama's mouth during the presidential debates this fall. He managed yesterday to try and pretend nothing about the SCOTUS ruling was political — but he couldn't help from mentioning that mandates were once supported by both parties, including the Republicans' nominee for president this year.
Romney has said so a few times that have been captured on camera, and of course when Obama was in office — and Romney was preparing his second presidential campaign — he took to the pages of USA Today to pen an op-ed showing Obama how to pass healthcare reform. While encouraging him to use "the lessons we learned in Massachusetts," Romney went on to explain how "we established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance. Using tax penalties, as we did, or tax credits, as others have proposed, encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves, rather than pass their medical costs on to others."
Romney will hear those words again.
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