By Joey Walter
After four courts have reviewed the constitutionality of President Obama’s ‘Affordable Care Act’ healthcare bill and have come to different consensuses, a Supreme Court showdown is all but inevitable. The implications of a decision regarding the law’s legality are far-reaching and focused far beyond providing affordable healthcare to citizens (as the bill would imply), with President Obama’s 2012 campaign depending on meaningful accomplishments during his first term. Arguably the greatest criticism thrown at Obama has been the fact that he has been unable to get anything important accomplished, with a call for change that has not yet materialized. The passing of a massive government healthcare bill would not only silence these criticisms of lack of action, but immediately place the incumbent among a timeless list of Presidents that have made massive reforms to social problems. These include Franklin D. Roosevelt with the New Deal as well as Lyndon B. Johnson and the Great Society. While the very nature of government spending at this juncture would undoubtedly add even more complaints to the side opposing Obama, his placing on this prestigious list would almost certainly help his chances heading into 2012. As far as the Supreme Court’s role in the process, it would be a paradox for the Supreme Court, our nation’s highest symbol of fairness, to hear this case in such a short time-span over more pressing issues solely to keep the issue of healthcare relevant in the November 2012 election.
Inherently, one thing the Republican candidates vying for candidacy do not have under their belt is accomplishing anything themselves that has sought to help the nation at this scope. Taking a step back, however, it is important to examine the fact that a decision rendered of illegality in the Supreme Court would have the opposite effect desired by Obama’s campaign. This outcome would damage Obama’s already struggling credibility regarding fairness and executive restraints, even if his underlying intentions were for the good of the people. Nonetheless, it is somewhat unfair for incoming candidates to criticize the outright success of Obama’s policies given his bleak circumstances, and he should instead be judged by what could very well have happened to the country under different leadership. While it is easy for any voter to believe every candidate’s conviction that their proposed alternative policy would leave our country in perfect condition, it is vital to recognize the burdens that have been placed on our current leader throughout the past four years.
The ultimate goal of helping American individuals who cannot currently afford life-saving healthcare must not be forgotten, and it is critical for everyone involved to remain focused on whether or not this bill is for the benefit of the people. In a few decades private healthcare could be a viable solution, however upon researching the topic it appears that private companies just aren’t ready or able to tackle the burden of providing healthcare to the extent that other nations currently can through a public option. Hopefully, private companies will be able to evolve and remain as an option side-by-side a government plan, so as not to disturb the free market system that has for so long been cherished in the United States of America.