Whom will health care ruling motivate?

Read few comments.

Questions:

1. How much will this verdict influence the election campaign?

2. The verdict seems like a victory for Obama. Can he safely claim this?

3. How will it influence Obama’s legacy?

Answers:

Eric Ostermeier, Research Associate, Center for the Study of Politics and Governance, University of Minnesota

1. The Court ruling will likely move some independent and undecided voters who previously had mixed feelings about the Act to see Obama more favorably and will therefore provide a short-term boost to his campaign. The conservative, anti-“Obamacare” wing of the electorate, however will be emboldened by this decision and will fundraise and mobilize even more strongly than before in rallying around their Republican candidates both for President and for the U.S. Senate and House.

2. Even though the entire Act was not held constitutional, the ruling is a bigger victory for Obama. Health care is not an issue Romney would like to address in the general election campaign due to the health care mandate he signed into law in Massachusetts while serving as governor. Obama, however, can now use the constitutionality of the act as a tool in his reelection campaign and does not have to hide from this signature issue of his first two years in office.

3. This will have a significant impact on Obama’s legacy. If the implementation of the Act costs much more than is anticipated, it may be viewed as a symbol for government overreach, particularly if the U.S. budget and debt crises reach a critical level. On the other hand, if the U.S. financial and economic situations eventually stabilize and the implementation of the Act goes smoothly, this signature accomplishment of Obama’s first term will be a positive mark on his legacy.

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