What the Supreme Court's Decision on Health Care Means for Nov. Election

By: Litsa Pappas Email
By: Litsa Pappas Email

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the most controversial issue, the individual mandate. The individual mandate requires most Americans to buy insurance or pay a fine.

The Supreme Court ruled it could be constitutional under a taxing clause, meaning the federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. The federal government, however, does have the power to impose a tax on those without it, however.

Beginning in 2014, virtually all Americans will have to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Republicans were furious that this law was upheld. Some said this could be a big factor to push voters to one side or the other.

Stephen Longenecker is a history professor at Bridgewater College and he said the Supreme Court's decision is a victory for President Obama.

"People like winners,” said Longenecker. “Regardless of what we might think of the nuances and the sub-paragraphs of the 200-page opinion, at bottom people like winners and that helps the president."

He said right now, this should help President Obama gain more support for the presidential election, but that is not something about which the current president said he is concerned.

"It should be pretty clear right now that I didn't do this because it was good politics,” said President Obama. “I did it because I believed it was good for the country. I did it because I believed it was good for the American people."

Republicans, like Congressman Bob Goodlatte were disappointed with the outcome. He said this will have a big impact on the election and he hopes it will be in their favor.

"This is a disaster for our economy,” said Goodlatte. “It's causing tremendous uncertainty in terms of job creation and it's costing a lot of people a lot more money for their health care because of the complexity of this law.'

But after Thursday's decision, Longenecker said Republicans do not have much backing.

"Today makes it harder for Republicans to complain that the president's bill is extremism,” said Longenecker. “After all it just passed the Supreme Court with the imprimatur of a very conservative Chief Justice."

Goodlatte said he plans to repeal the law in Congress on July 11.

As for the election, Longenecker said it was too soon to really tell if this will have a major impact. He said a lot more can happen between Thursday and November.

Romney made a statement that he will repeal the law if he is elected. Within an hour and a half of the Supreme Court's announcement, the Romney campaign took in $300,000 in donations.

Later Thursday afternoon, it hit $2-million.

The Obama Campaign did not disclose the amount of donations from Thursday at the time of publication of this article.

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