“The 2012 elections are now primarily a fight over whether health insurance is a right or a privilege, which is to say, a fight for decency.” — Jonathan Chait
Alec MacGillis says this was not the better outcome for Mitt Romney: “Romney has been in a bind on health care all campaign, given that he signed into the law the model for Obamacare. But a ruling against the law would have allowed Romney to lambast it on the court’s terms—as an unconstitutional overreach… And, crucially, it will now fall to Romney himself to lead the argument against Obamacare, and to the extent that he takes up this charge, it will bring into focus, as never before, just how compromised he is on this front. [...] And when he does so, when he makes the case for doing away with Obamacare, and Obama in turn makes the case for keeping it (“forward, not back”), Romney will be doing, as John Dickerson notes, exactly what he didn’t want to do this election: he will be turning it into a choice between two approaches, rather than a referendum on the incumbent who couldn’t even make sure his biggest achievement passed constitutional muster. No, this is not good for Mitt.”
And John Dickerson agrees, wondering if this gives the President back his mojo: “Twice in Romney’s statement responding to the ruling, he said, “This is a choice” when talking about the electoral conditions created by the court’s action. The president has been trying to get people to see the election as a choice for months—a choice between two candidates and their plans is preferable than a referendum on his record. [...] If voters see health care as a matter of which candidate will look out for them, then Obama has the advantage. He leads Romney by 31 points in the latest Pew poll when respondents were asked, “Who connects more with ordinary Americans?” In this fight, the president may have an unlikely ally in Chief Justice Roberts. By upholding the law and authoring the decision, he lent an extra measure of validation.”
And Nate Cohn doesn’t think it helps either candidate at this point, but argues: “With belated validation from the Supreme Court, Obama could be tempted to resell the bill. Will Obama attempt to capitalize on the law’s newfound legitimacy, to the extent that the Supreme Court offers any? Prior to the Supreme Court’s hearings, the Obama campaign seemed to embrace the ObamaCare label, perhaps indicating their intention to promote the bill once legal issues were resolved. While it might seem unstrategic for Obama to return attention to an unpopular proposal, a resell could produce better results than the initial attempt, if for no other reason than the absence of an on-going partisan debate in Congress. Perhaps more importantly, Obama is better positioned to promote the law against Mitt Romney, who enacted a similar health reform scheme in Massachusetts. Romney’s previous measures will complicate his ability to credibly challenge the ACA and particularly the individual mandate. In that respect, Santorum was surely correct.”
“This is now a time for the American People to make a choice. You can choose whether to have a larger and larger government making intrusions into your life… Or whether instead you want to return to a time where Americans have their own choice in health care.” — Mitt Romney on ACA ruling.
A response from tenderstatue: Mittens, you and I must have different definitions of choice, because in my world “go bankrupt trying to pay medical pills or go without treatment” IS NOT A FUCKING CHOICE.