The clues for today’s Supreme Court decision were actually found in the immigration and campaign finance decisions made by the court a few days ago. This is very much a nationalistic Supreme Court. This will be the Roberts Court’s legacy. It does not like the states going off to try and decide policy on its own. Thus it tells Montana it cannot write its own campaign finance laws; it tells Arizona it can’t write it’s own immigration laws and tells the states who filed suit against individual mandate sorry, the mandate is a tax and Congress can tax. End of discussion.
Like immigration, the issue goes back to Congress, which as we are reading in a very good article on TAC by Leo Linbeck III, is utterly disfunctional right now, which is why the states have entered the realm of policy to decide on its own because they are tired of waiting.
The mandate is out there as “freedom” issue for those wishing to pursue it. But many Republicans who once supported the mandate (before being against it) may just decide to drop the issue. Will Romney pick it up? Given that he shares a similar background as Roberts as pro-big business “conservative”, me thinks he won’t make the health care issue all that important to his campaign. Big business has wanted the politicians to do something about health care costs (which Romney tried to do in Massachusetts)for a long time and the mandate which forces persons to have health insurance was a way be able to steer business to them. Why change it? And given insurance company donations to the Romney campaign, I doubt if he will.