The first round of the US Supreme Court’s attempts to settle the problem that is Obamacare takes place today, and from the Obama administration’s purely partisan (and particularly puerile) perspective, there’s no winning scenario available. Essentially, what’s happening today is the courts are hearing arguments about whether or not Obamacare’s individual mandate qualifies as a tax. If it does qualify as a tax, then under the provisions of the Tax Anti-Injunction Act (TAIA) the mandate cannot actually be challenged in courts until it’s actually been collected; more plainly, you can’t sue for relief from an onerous tax before they take it from you.
The merits of the case are one thing – the above link from Heritage goes into the whole issue, in some detail – but the partisan implications are another. There’s no good result for the Obama administration: if the Supreme Court decides that the individual mandate is not a tax then a large portion of the administration’s existing arguments goes away, thus increasing the likelihood of a humiliating disposal (at least in part) of the one thing that Obama has managed to do domestically in four years. But if the mandate is a tax, then Obama gets to face a plethora of attack ads in the fall which will be (accurately) portraying him as a shameless serial liar who used the looming Obamacare legislation to sneak in a stealth tax on the American middle class.
:shrug: I can work with either scenario.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: There is nothing deeply, deeply ironic about the fact that the President opposed the mandate as a candidate. Or, as American Majority put it:
Contrary to popular belief, a fundamental inability to live up to the job is neither particularly ironic nor particularly not ironic. It simply is.
PPS: If you’re wondering why either side got involved in this argument in the first place, well… neither one brought it up in the first place (the states don’t want to wait to destroy Obamacare, obviously). The court had to assign somebody to argue that TAIA applied in this case.