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As we wait for decision on Obamacare, a compilation of analysis and predictions

By on June 28, 2012

The U.S. Supreme Court did not issue a ruling on Monday in the Florida-led challenge to the 2010 federal health overhaul.

That means the court will wait until today to deliver the landmark ruling.

Justices heard arguments earlier this year about key parts of the law, including a requirement that most Americans buy health insurance and a planned expansion of the Medicaid program.

While we wait for a decision on Obamacare, here is a running collection of analysis and commentary.

A new ABC News-Washington Post poll finds just 36% express a favorable opinion of the health care law under Supreme Court review, but just 39% like the health care system as it currently stands.

“That means that while the intended fix is unpopular, so is the status quo – leaving the public still in search of solutions.”

Jonathan Bernstein defends the Supreme Court:

The truth is that (as the decision in the Arizona case should remind us) the current Court is certainly not simply the legal equivalent of the Sean Hannity, no matter how many crazed partisan rants Scalia might indulge himself in. We might get there in the future (or not), and we might get some decisions that sure look very partisan, but that’s not where we are now. It’s simply not true that there are five solid votes (or even four solid votes) for whatever wacky, ad-hoc legal theories GOP spinmeisters come up with.

Yes, four of those Justices are strongly conservative by all measures, but there is a real difference between supporting a long-standing judicial program and simply doing whatever the short-term partisan preferences of the Republican Party might be, even though those things will naturally (and quite legitimately) overlap much of the time. I do believe that Bush v. Gore was decided on ad-hoc partisan grounds…but that’s 12 years ago already, and I don’t think that anything since then shows that the Court’s conservatives are merely partisan hacks.

The Boston Globe previews Mitt Romney’s message after today’s Supreme Court ruling on President Obama’s health care plan:

“If the law is rejected, Romney plans to argue that Obama wasted both his time, and the time of the American people, by pursuing a policy that doesn’t pass constitutional muster. If the law is upheld, Romney would argue that opponents need to elect him so that he can overturn it himself.”

Despite conventional wisdom that most or all of President Obama’s health care law will be overturned by the Supreme Court tomorrow, Tom Goldstein of SCOTUSblog disagrees:

“I believe the mandate will not be invalidated tomorrow. Far less important, I expect the principal opinion will be written by the Chief Justice; a majority of the Court will find it has jurisdiction; and the challenge to the Medicaid expansion will be rejected.”

“Most observers disagree. There are certainly good reasons to believe the Court will invalidate the mandate. Most important, at the oral argument, the questions of two critical Justices – Justice Kennedy and the Chief Justice – were on the whole critical of the mandate’s constitutionality. But in the end, based on the entire mix of information I have, I think the mandate will not be struck down tomorrow.”

Sean Trende explains why the entire law may be thrown out:

“The real Supreme Court news on Tuesday wasn’t the Arizona immigration decision or even the summary reversal of the Supreme Court of Montana in the ‘Citizens United 2′ case. It was that the chief justice of the United States didn’t write any of these opinions.”

“This is critically important, because we can now deduce with a reasonably high degree of certainty that John Roberts is writing the lead health care opinion. If we are right about this, then the law is in even deeper trouble that most observers imagined.”

The Wall Street Journal looks at one major potential ripple effect if parts of the law are overturned: “what happens to the billions of dollars already spent or pledged to carry out the law.”

“Legal experts predict companies may file lawsuits to recoup any money they spent tied to requirements under the law. Many employers and health-care companies have received money under the law so far… The Supreme Court justices aren’t expected to leave clear instructions for unwinding the law if they strike it down. Experts predict such a ruling would produce many hours of work for lawyers in the federal government and health industry as they figure out how to unwind hundreds of separate provisions that set up new entities or tweak funding for existing programs.”

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