In a real sense, the Supreme Court did not let Obama off the hook by striking down the law. Now he will have to defend it during the election.
Public opinion has rejected this law for two years now by about the same margin: 40% support; 55% oppose. While the Court decision may give the law a short term positive bump, the underlying reality of the costs of the program and the increases in everyone’s health insurance rates it is already triggering will eliminate any near term gain. Ultimately, it will still be 40-55 against the law.
Remember what this law does. It requires everyone to spend upwards of 7 percent of their income on health insurance or pay a fine of several thousand dollars. Neither is an attractive alternative for the young and the poor who are the president’s political base.