News / USA

Analysts: Supreme Court Health Care Ruling Helps Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the East Room of the White House in Washington about the Supreme Court's decision on his Administration's health care law, June 28, 2012. U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the East Room of the White House in Washington about the Supreme Court's decision on his Administration's health care law, June 28, 2012.
x
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the East Room of the White House in Washington about the Supreme Court's decision on his Administration's health care law, June 28, 2012.
U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the East Room of the White House in Washington about the Supreme Court's decision on his Administration's health care law, June 28, 2012.
WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama won a major legal and political victory at the Supreme Court on Thursday, when a narrow majority of justices upheld his signature achievement - the health care reform law.  Analysts say the ruling could boost Obama's reelection hopes this year, but they caution that conservative opponents of the health care law could become energized by the high court's decision.  
At the White House, the president was in a celebratory mood.

“Whatever the politics, today’s decision was a victory for people all over this country, whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold it," he said.

Across town, Obama’s presumptive Republican opponent in November, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, repeated his campaign promise to work with Congress to repeal the law, which often is referred to as "Obamacare."

“What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States, and that is I will act to repeal Obamacare," said Romney.

The Supreme Court ruling upholding the health care law caught some analysts by surprise because the five-member conservative majority often is on the winning side of five-to-four decisions.

But this time, Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed to the high court by former Republican President George W. Bush, joined with the court’s four-member liberal minority to fashion the ruling that upheld the health care law.

Analyst Norman Ornstein of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute says the decision is a major political victory for President Obama.

“This is an election that is going to be decided far more on the basis of the economy than anything else," said Ornstein. "But it is a big plus for the president to have his number one priority and major accomplishment vindicated, in a sense, by the Supreme Court.”

Obama supporters hope the Supreme Court decision will help the president’s reelection chances in November.

But Quinnipiac University pollster Peter Brown says the ruling has disappointed and in some cases angered conservatives and Tea Party activists, who might now become more determined to campaign against President Obama.

“This is a good day for the president politically," said Brown. "The court has upheld his signature achievement.  That doesn’t mean that the Republicans are going to stop campaigning against the law and, in fact, this will obviously give Mitt Romney an issue that will resonate with parts of the electorate.”

Political analyst Charlie Cook says most Americans already have made up their minds on the health care law and that the Supreme Court ruling will have little impact.

“Is there any other issue that has been so thoroughly litigated in the court of public opinion than health care reform?  And I think no matter what side you are on, you are not likely to switch," said Cook.

Morton Kondracke, executive editor of the Roll Call newspaper, says voters will largely decide the presidential election on the basis of the economy, not health care.

“It does give Obama a lift, there is no question about it," he said. "But what really counts is what is the unemployment rate in October.  Has Europe collapsed, in which case we may have a double-dip recession, which will hurt Obama even though it won’t strictly be Obama’s fault.  So I don’t think this is crucial or the deciding factor in the election.”

Supreme Court watchers were also fascinated with Chief Justice Roberts’ decision to side with the court’s liberal faction and uphold the health care law.

“It is a dramatic vindication of the vision of bipartisanship that Chief Justice Roberts expressed at the beginning of his tenure, but has had mixed success in achieving," said Jeffrey Rosen, a professor of law at The George Washington University.

The Supreme Court ruling on health care was the most eagerly awaited high court ruling since the decision following the 2000 presidential election, a five-to-four ruling that effectively declared George W. Bush the winner over his Democratic rival, Al Gore.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid