It boiled down to the government has the right levy a tax. But considering that the government already has multiple social welfare programs going involving health care -- from Medicare to Medicaid to veterans' health care, etc. -- I was always more surprised that people were fighting the legality of it in court rather than hashing it out in Congress to modify the existing law. But in a 5-4 decision where Chief Justice John Roberts joined Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor in upholding the law, the signature legislation of the Obama Administration was allowed to remain unchanged. The descending votes came, unsurprisingly from Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, who felt the law was an overreach and should have been struck down completely.
The GOP has avowed to work on a full repeal in Congress now. (Good luck with that, fundies!)
But for now, the law is still on the books, waiting to go into effect fully in 2014, two years from now. It's supposed to cover the 30 million Americans who are uninsured, allow young people to stay on their parents' insurance longer, insurers will not be able to reject pre-existing conditions and the law gets paid for because we all have to already have or buy insurance. The law -- despite what's being thrown about in the press by the GOP -- is actually predicted to bring down the deficit. But what does that matter? There's an election going on. They'll still be screaming about "Job-killing Obamacare" even though the law isn't even in effect yet, thus killing nothing but time.
Obama, to his credit, said he doesn't care if they call it "Obamacare" because ... hardee-har-har ... it means "Obama cares." Hence implying that the other side ... doesn't care?
Ulitmately though, this was the right decision.
While "Obamacare" is a loaded term that turns people off, the actual provisions and conditions of the law include needed reforms that most Americans -- when polled on it individually -- actually want, need and support. And since the law hasn't even gone into affect yet, most of the GOP talking points have been scare tactics. The reality is once the law goes into place and people see how it really works (not just the histrionics of the opposition party), they will find the law has a lot of good things they will like, a few annoying bueracracies, but nothing that will make them want to go back to health insurance being something only for those who can afford it.
And just like how Medicare and Social Security were once "controversial" it'll be something that Americans, regardless of political affiliation, will fight tooth and nail to protect because it's something their tax dollars pay for that they actually want and it adds to the social safety net that is near non-existent in this country.
It's good. The electorate will find it's not the nightmare they've been sold by Republicans. It won't get repealed in Congress. And no matter how the Obama presidency pans out in the scope of history, this will be one for the books. Only time will tell if he'll get the heroes' welcome of FDR, versus the conflicted character study of LBJ.