The Politics of the Healthcare Debate


The Supreme Court is set to make a decision about the legality of President Obama’s healthcare bill this June.  A new poll by the Washington Post-ABC News shows that half of Americans believe that  “partisan political views” of Supreme Court justices will determine how they rule on President Obama’s healthcare reform law.

The poll also showed thirty-nine percent said they supported it, versus 53 opposed. Sixty-seven percent want the court to strike down the law in whole (38 percent) or in part (29 percent), versus only 25 percent who want the court to uphold it.

That poll found that 42 percent of respondents said the court should uphold the law, with 50 percent saying it should be struck down.The new poll of 1,103 adults was conducted April 5-8. It has a 3.5 percentage point margin of error.

In an election year, this topic could become the center of the upcoming presidential debates. One of the arguments invariably proposed by Mitt Romney’s GOP rivals is that RomneyCare essentially provided the blueprint for ObamaCare, and that nominating a so-called “Massachusetts moderate” would take one of the biggest issues off the table in November.

ased on these poll results, it’s quite possible that many Americans think that at least some of the justices reach the correct result in particular cases in spite of — or even because of — their reliance upon their political preferences.

Starting in 2014, the health care law requires most Americans to obtain health insurance, either through an employer, a government program, or by buying their own policies. In return, insurance companies would be prohibited from turning away the sick. The government would subsidize premiums for millions who are now uninsured.

The law’s opponents argue that Congress overstepped its constitutional authority by issuing the mandate, while the administration says the requirement is permissible because it serves to regulate interstate commerce. The scope of the mandate was one of several key issues argued before the court.


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