The Supreme Court has just provided Gov. Romney's campaign a huge opportunity, if he and his campaign plays it properly.
No question, complete vitiation of the mandate would have
been catastrophic for Pres. Obama. However, the dramatic dissonance between the rationale the SCOTUS used to
uphold the mandate (as a tax) and Obama’s repeated insistence that the penalty for not obtaining health insurance under his bill was not a tax poses a significant political problem for Team Obama.
Now, we have Obamacare’s 25% increase in capital gains tax rates
for households earning more than $250,000 (bringing those rates back to Clinton-era
levels for higher earners, folks nowhere near “rich”) – which almost no news
outlet has pointed out. PLUS, a several thousand dollar tax on any
American who doesn’t buy health insurance.
In addition, there will be dramatically less “improved
access to health insurance” than Pres. Obama promised, as the SCOTUS scuttled the Obamacare provision which compelled states to expand Medicaid rolls to
encompass those significantly above the poverty line. In the wake of that opinion, several Republican governors have announced that they will not broaden Medicaid eligibility or initiate the insurance exchanges called for in the bill.
It should be kept
in mind that many employers may elect to drop health insurance once Obamacare is fully implemented (the fine for not providing health insurance will
be cheaper for them), dumping employees onto the open insurance market. Many of those folks left without employer-provided health insurance,
who are in the lower-middle income group, may not be able to find affordable
private insurance, even with the Obamacare subsidies. Now, in many - perhaps most - states, Medicaid will not be an option for them.
Bottom line: Gov. Romney should hammer-home two points based on the SCOTUS opinion:
“Obamacare – huge tax increases that Pres. Obama lied
about. The Supreme Court reveals the truth.”
“Obamacare – massive
cost and federal government micromanagement of your health care – but so poorly
constructed that millions of working Americans who were promised health
insurance won’t get it. And many who had employer-privided health insurance will be left with none."
In addition, Gov. Romney should continually remind Seniors that Obamacare sucks half-a-trillion dollars out of Medicare, already on the brink of insolvency, to fund Obamacare.