Several weeks ago the Supreme Court reviewed part of President Obama’s 2010 healthcare reform (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). Specifically, they examined the “individual mandate” that requires (almost) all Americans to have some sort of insurance coverage. The Supreme Court review has put “Obamacare” back in the crosshairs of public debate and the debate has not been kind.
In particular, many professional pundits and Republican politicians have been quite negative about the law’s prospects. They maintain that Obama’s signature healthcare initiative is not long for this world and presents a serious electoral weakness for the President. They point out that Obamacare finds very little support among public opinion in both past and present public opinion polls (RealClearPolitics.com). And many experts attribute the large Republican gains during the 2010 mid-terms to the use of “Obamacare” as an effective wedge issue (as in here or counterpoint here). The healthcare reform’s lack of popular support, together with a Supreme Court somewhat predisposed against the Democrats on economic issues, is bad news for Obama’s agenda and record, or so the argument goes.
Is this a fair assessment of healthcare reform?