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.

    Jim Malone

    Jim Malone has served as VOA’s National correspondent covering U.S. elections and politics since 1995. Prior to that he was a VOA congressional correspondent and served as VOA’s East Africa Correspondent from 1986 to 1990. Jim began his VOA career with the English to Africa Service in 1983.

    You May Like

    S. African Farmer Goes From 'Voice in the Wilderness' to Sought-After Expert

    Margarest Roberts has authored more than 40 books on subjects like organic farming, urban agriculture, herbs and ‘superfoods'

    Millennial Men Prefer Bucks Over Beauty

    U.S. men aged 18 to 34 say the finances of a potential significant other are more important than her looks

    Multimedia Lebanese Clown Troupe Marks Valentine's Day Amid Stink

    Activists resort to unusual approaches to raise public awareness of country’s ongoing trash crisis

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
    X
    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

    Not all who flee the fighting in Aleppo are trying to cross the border into Turkey. A VOA reporter caught up with several families heading for Kurdish-held areas of northern Syria.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.