If the Supreme Court upholds the individual mandate, Republicans will say: Now it's crucial to win the presidency and strong majorities in both houses of Congress so we can repeal this thing. If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, is there nothing Democrats can do? Well, the existing form of legislation is out, but there are other ways to extend health care that would not meet the same constitutional problem. But would Democrats want to argue that they need to win the presidency and strong majorities in both houses of Congress so they can push through some new health care reform? I doubt it. What a nightmare it was the first time, devastating the path of the Obama presidency and giving rise to the Tea Party!From the first link, which is to Adam Liptak in the NYT:
The Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals from just one decision, from the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, the only one so far striking down the mandate. The decision, from a divided three-judge panel, said the mandate overstepped Congressional authority and could not be justified by the constitutional power “to regulate commerce” or “to lay and collect taxes.”If the Court takes down the entire Act, it would do Obama a great favor, which is why I'm predicting the Court will do just that. That was my prediction a few weeks ago, reading, not the the existing doctrine, but "the political forces at play and assessing the Court's vulnerability to those forces."
The appeals court went no further, though, severing the mandate from the rest of the law.
On Monday, the justices agreed to decide not only whether the mandate is constitutional but also, if it is not, how much of the balance of the law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, must fall along with it.