U.S. Waiting For The Decision on Health Care Law, Supreme Court Keeps Silence

The Supreme Court justices have kept quiet for more than two months about how the high court is going to rule on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

The final result on health care, then, will help determine whether Mr. Obama is the game-changing president he aspired to be. Photo: S.E.B./Flickr

The result of the vote is the information that could move markets, turn economies and greatly affect this fall’s national elections, including the presidential contest between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

But unlike the Congress and the executive branch, which seem to easily leak information, the Supreme Court, from the chief justice down to the lowliest clerk, appears to truly value silence when it comes to upcoming court opinions, big and small, writes The Huff Post.

The justices had asked deeply skeptical questions about president Obama’s most profound policy achievement.

However, the president 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.

If Obama loses both his law and re-election, many will conclude “that he bet on his major reform, and the Supreme Court defeated it, and he lost his hold on the presidency,” Robert Dallek, the presidential historian, said in an interview to The New York Times.

The Supreme Court is supposed to rule on the law in the upcoming week or so. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, noted on June 15 a steady stream of “rumors and fifth-hand accounts” in the media about what the high court was likely to do.

“My favorite among the press pieces wisely observed: `At the Supreme Court … those who know don’t talk, and those who talk don’t know,'” she said.

Early in the presidential race, Obama was already talking about leaving a legacy, about accomplishing vast things.

Later the president sacrificed more and more in its name: an overhaul of energy and environmental laws, greater focus on economic issues, some of his own popularity and that of House Democrats, who eventually lost their hard-won majority.

“Michelle and I are perfectly comfortable if we’re only here one term if we feel like we really accomplished something,” Obama told aides.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Obama Administration said that 12 million Americans would be getting rebates from their insurance companies, according to The New Republic.

The reason for the rebates was a regulation in the Affordable Care Act, under which insurance companies must spend at least 80 percent of their premiums on actual patient care. (For some companies it is 85 percent.)

Insurance companies that fail to meet that standard have to give some premium money back to their subscribers, in the form of rebate checks.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has been using “Obamacare” as an epithet and applause line, and promised outright repeal if he wins.

A few years ago, the health care law seemed a reason for Barack Obama to risk losing re-election, his former aides said. Now, it is a reason he feels he must win re-election.

At the same time, if the court strikes down the mandate and Obama wins in November, he could face one last version of his perpetual choice on health care: would he settle, learning to live with a sharply edited law (taking into consideration that Republicans see the bill as a signature piece of big-government overreach, he might have no choice)?

Or would Obama expend yet more precious capital on health care?

President Obama said a few weeks ago. “In my first term, we passed health care reform,” he began a joke at the White House Correspondents Dinner in April. “In my second term, I guess I’ll pass it again.”

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