Shaping the future with today’s choices.
I do not think that the decision — to throw out the entire health care reform, all of it — was surprising, given the source. I do think it was outrageous. Nor do I think this, by itself, says anything substantive about a final court decision — we now have four decisions and are tied 2-2. But this issue will go to the Supreme Court, and the Roberts Court is as enthusiastic about being an activist court — see the Citizens United decision — as it was in the 2000 Gore-Bush decision, when it acted like Republican precinct captains. So it feels to me as though the odds that health care reform, at least so far as the individual mandate goes, will be thrown out by the Supreme Court are better than 50%.
I mention the 2000 Gore-Bush decision because, you will remember, the Court went out of its way to underline that the decision was a one-time-only event. And guess what? In invalidating the entire health care legislation, Judge Vinson used much the same language. Another one-time decision.
The administration has to fight this, of course. But someone, somewhere, in the administration better be thinking about plan “B”.
Roosevelt Institute Senior Fellow Bo Cutter is formerly a managing partner of Warburg Pincus, a major global private equity firm. Recently, he served as the leader of President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) transition team.