If the Supreme Court had ruled ObamaCare unconstitutional, the president could have - with the help of an all-to-willing media - gone after Justice Roberts & the Court with gusto, and demanded to know how the Republicans intended to fix the "health care crisis" they have "ignored" for decades. Now that ObamaCare is officially the law of the land, is becomes the #2 campaign issue, behind the economy (whose lackluster performance is tied into the uncertainties of the ACA).
And despite the House vote on the ACA held on Christmas Eve, despite the procedural maneuvering to use arcane legislative rules to pass this bill with a one-vote majority in the Senate, despite the warning shot across the bow - ignored - by the people of Massachusetts via the election of Scott Brown - Obama now is forced to put the the federal government's takeover of the nation's heathcare industry to a vote before the entirety of the American people.
And his biggest problem - his declaration that HCR was not a tax, now quite problematic as that was the only reason the SCOTUS could find to uphold it: Remember this?
STEPHANOPOULOS: [I]t's still a tax increase.
OBAMA: No. That's not true, George. The — for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is, is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase. People say to themselves, that is a fair way to make sure that if you hit my car, that I'm not covering all the costs.
Another false analogy from The One! Meanwhile, more from Ann Althouse on the problems for Barack:
1) Obama imposed a huge new tax on working people.
2) Obama deceived the American people by saying it was not a tax, when it was.
3) The law made it look like money would go to insurance companies — in the form of new premiums — that would keep premiums low as the companies were required to take on people with pre-existing conditions, but now we find out that the money is really going to go to the federal government. [ So get ready for your premiums to spiral up and/or for insurance companies to be ruined.]
Jen Rubin sees the water gathering around Barack's ankles:
The problem here of course is the Obama administration swore up and down it was not a tax. The Supreme Court in effect held that the Democrats imposed a tax on every American, something Obama swore up an down he’d ever do. (Only tax the rich, he promised) In that regard the opinion is a tribute to Obama’s utter disingenuousness.
As for the political fallout, Obama is in quite the pickle, defending a nation-wide tax and a law a majority of Americans don’t like. Mitt Romney will be able to argue that he was right insofar as the Commerce Clause doesn’t allow this extraordinary extension of power. He will also be able to fight tooth and nail against Obamatax, raising all of the policy arguments.
And Chris Christie is already on board:
Today’s Supreme Court decision is disappointing and I still believe this is the wrong approach for the people of New Jersey who should be able to make their own judgments about health care. Most importantly, the Supreme Court is confirming what we knew all along about this law – it is a tax on middle class Americans.”
More to follow...