SCOTUS stunned everyone with their ObamaCare decision. Only the most devoted Democrats thought there was a chance that it would get by a steadfastly right wing court. Republicans, especially those flirting with the tea party contingent, were counting on a major league slap down of Obama’s bill. It would have given them some serious talking points going into this fall’s political silly season.
First responder comments ranged from the thoughtful to the thoughtless to over-the-top hissy fits lead by Representative Todd Akin (R-MO) who said, "This is a crushing blow to freedom and an absolute insult to the dignity of all Americans. I am deeply disappointed in the Supreme Court for giving the government the authority to force citizens to buy a product. I believe this encroachment of government is unconstitutional and offensive. It puts the life and death health decisions of our families and loved ones in the hands of Washington Bureaucrats. We don't want the compassion of the IRS or the efficiency of the DMV in our healthcare system. Now we must work tirelessly to continue defunding and destroying the monster that is ObamaCare.”
Standing in a centrist position are The New York Times’ Adam Liptak and John H. Cushman Jr., who expressed their opinion that "The court’s ruling, seen as one of the most significant in decades, is a crucial milestone for the law, allowing almost all of its far-reaching changes to roll forward. Several of its notable provisions have already been put in place in the past two years, and more are imminent. Ultimately, it is intended to end the United States’ status as the only rich country with large numbers of uninsured people, by expanding both the private market and Medicaid."
Realistically, Liptak and Cushman are right. Whether you’re pro or con on this health care bill, it is one of the most significant rulings in decades. Standing in the middle of the road in 2012, as they are, means they’re likely to be run down by traffic coming at them from both directions.
What did President Obama have to say about this surprise decision? Speaking shortly after the confusion created by CNN’s careless rush-to-report faux pas was cleared up, he said, "The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we'll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won't do -- what the country can't afford to do -- is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.