The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear a challenge to the health-insurance reform package known by some as ObamaCare, with results of the case due to be announced by next June, just as the 2012 presidential campaign goes into full swing.
It’s going to be the most politically charged Supreme Court decision since the justices decided who should be president in Bush v. Gore, and after the intellectual gymnastics on display in that case, I can’t pretend to believe that politics won’t play a role in the outcome of this case as well.
UPDATE, 11:30 a.m.:
The case accepted by the justices comes out of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals here in Atlanta, and the state of Georgia is among the plaintiffs in the case. By a 2-1 margin, the 11th Circuit decision overturned the individual mandate at the heart of the controversy. (The mandate was initially a conservative idea, championed by the Heritage Foundation and Newt Gingrich, and first implemented in Massachusetts by then-Gov. Mitt Romney. It became a right-wing target only after President Obama embraced it as part of his approach.)
A new CNN poll also suggests that public opinion on the reform may be shifting:
According to the poll, 52% of Americans favor mandatory health insurance, up from 44% in June. The survey indicates that 47% oppose the health insurance mandate, down from 54% in early summer.
“The health insurance mandate has gained most support since June among older Americans and among lower-income Americans,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “A majority of independents opposed the measure in June, but 52 percent of them now favor it.”
– Jay Bookman