Heartbreak at the White House? More debate? The contingency plans? News reports include speculation about the policy and political impact of the high court's decision. Also, examinations have already begun regarding what could have been done differently.
The New York Times: Putting On A Brave Face, But Preparing For Heartbreak On Health Care
Mr. Obama and the White House have put on brave faces, insisting that the law and the mandate at its center will be upheld when the court rules this month. In private conversations, they predict that the bulk of the law will survive even if the mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance does not. But even if the White House is a fortress of message discipline, it cannot disguise the potential heartbreak for Mr. Obama, who managed to achieve a decades-old Democratic dream despite long odds and at steep cost (Kantor, 6/23).
Politico: All Sides Line Up For Health Ruling
If the Supreme Court tosses the health reform law's individual mandate this week, Washington is prepared for a fight to define its carcass. As the conventional wisdom cements around the idea that the mandate might not have a future, supporters and opponents of the law are laying the groundwork for the next political battle on health reform: How much did the mandate matter? Was it the linchpin, without which the whole ambitious health initiative shatters into legislative pieces begging for repeal? Or was it a desirable but unessential tool, and with a bit of tweaking the law can go ahead (Haberkorn, 6/24).
Pioneer Press/McClatchy: Supreme Court's Health Care Law Ruling Will Only Begin More Debate
Key players certainly are prepared to pounce, whichever way the court moves. If the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act survives, Republicans will introduce repeal bills to keep the debate roiling. If the law dies, Democrats will turn an "activist" Supreme Court into a juicy campaign target while lawmakers from both parties resurrect certain favored portions of the measure. If the individual mandate to purchase coverage is cut out but the rest of the law is left intact, lawmakers and insurance companies will be figuring out how to manage what remains (Doyle and Lightman, 6/24).
The Washington Post: Obama's Legal Tactics Seen As Possibly Hurting Chances To Save Health-Care Law
Some prominent legal scholars say a series of tactical decisions by President Obama's legal team may have hurt the chances of saving his landmark health-care legislation from being gutted by Supreme Court conservatives. The warnings are a preview of the finger-pointing certain to ensue if the law is overturned. That could come sometime this week, when the justices are expected to decide on the constitutionality of the health-care law and its centerpiece provision mandating that all Americans purchase insurance or pay a penalty (Wallsten, 6/23).