On Thursday, June 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled on the side of the Administration regarding a clause in the Affordable Care Act pertaining to the purchasing of tax-credit subsidies. After two attempts to upend the milestone achievement of President Obama’s first term, the Supreme Court has now sided twice with the law, and ultimately the administration. After the decision was announced, Democratic Politicians and supporters of the legislation took to social media using the hashtags “#ACAWorks” and “#PatientsOverPolitics” celebrating the law’s most recent victory. Although there would have been elation from the Right if the Supreme Court would have rendered a different conclusion, their decision may end up helping the eventual Republican Nominee for President.
Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Rand Paul, all of whom are running for the Republican Nomination for President, took to social media expressing their unhappiness with the Court’s ruling. More importantly, they all swore that if elected President, they would repeal and replace Obamacare. This promise to seek a better policy solution to what many claim to be a rushed, partisan piece legislation may not only resonate with primary voters, but may also garner support in the general election as well.
According to recent data from the Pew Research Center, Americans disapproval of Obamacare has grown steadily since the bill’s enactment in 2010 (today 53% of Americans disapproval of the law). As Republican Candidates take to the streets of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, they can rest assure that their anti-Obamacare message will resonate not only with voters inside the base, but many of those outside as well. Moreover, likely Democratic Nominee Hillary Clinton will have to find a way to explain her support for a bill that the majority of Americans disapprove of.
A poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which sought to find reasons why Americans like/dislike the Affordable Care Act, further provides evidence that the ruling is good news for Republicans. Of those surveyed that had unfavorable views towards the law, two of the most common responses were relating to cost concerns and government overreach. Sound familiar? It should because these are two of the main pillars of the Republican Party. For decades the GOP has fought against reckless federal spending arguing instead for fiscal responsibility and balanced budgets. The GOP has also boasted about the power of the private sector and has condemned any actions towards a more active central government in the lives of American people. What becomes clear is that the Supreme Court didn’t hurt the eventual Republican nominee, rather it created a strong foundation to amplify a conservative message to voters.
In a 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court suspended any legal conversation regarding the Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. The Obama Administration and the Democratic Party can celebrate and enjoy a moment of success for now. However, Republicans should not shed a single tear over this ruling. Congress, acting with a Republican majority, dodged a legislative nightmare in having to create a temporary replacement for those now receiving insurance from Obamacare, and the 2016 hopefuls now have an additional piece to a stump speech littered with failures by the current administration. The end of Obamacare did not come at the hands of the courts, but a strong Republican nominee, using uses the right message, can win the White House in 2016 and find a real solution to the healthcare crisis seen in America today.
Image: SCOTUS ACA 2015 57965 by Ted Eytan is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0