President Obama says the political horse race surrounding yesterday's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act is much less important than the good the law will do. So, naturally, the New York Times goes right back to the horse race, with a look at seven consequences of the ObamaCare decision:
- Biggest losers: Medicaid and the poor. In a part of the decision that "flew under the media radar," writes James Morone, the Supreme Court did allow states to opt out of expanding Medicaid. (ObamaCare boosts the cutoff to anyone whose income is up to 133% of the federal poverty line). But thanks to the court's out, "stingy states may choose to stay stingy." Morone specifically cites the case of Texas, where Medicaid is only offered to those at or below 26% of the poverty line.
- Biggest winner: the Roberts court. Ever since Bush v. Gore, the public has grown increasingly convinced that the Supreme Court is too politicized. A party-line decision yesterday would have made this worse, and could have prodded liberals to jump aboard "the longstanding conservative effort to curb the Supreme Court’s powers—perhaps by limiting terms to 15 years."
- Republicans need an alternative. Republicans have been just as prolific as Democrats in suggesting health care reform over the past 60 years. The GOP cannot just say "repeal" now—it has to present its own plan.
- Democrats need creativity. Bill Clinton's health care plans borrowed from an idea introduced by Richard Nixon. Obama took inspiration from Republicans like Sen. John Chafee. Democrats have "gotten lazy." When it comes to expanding social welfare policies, they need to start coming up with new ideas of their own.
For the full rundown of the seven consequences, click here