The Affordable Care Act is promising to be one of the two major issues—the other being the economy—for the fall campaign, after the Supreme Court hands down its decision this month. In his public statements, President Obama has expressed confidence that the Supreme Court wouldn’t take the “unprecedented, extraordinary step” of overturning the law.
Privately, however, he’s told donors that he’s preparing to revist health care reform in his second term because of likely Supreme Court action.
As he previewed his agenda for donors at a May 14 fundraiser, Obama said he may be forced to try to revise parts of his health-care plan, depending on how the court rules later this month, said one activist, who requested anonymity to discuss the president’s comments. [...]
Obama’s answers, which begin with the president repeating his contention that the high court will uphold the law, have led some contributors to conclude the White House is making contingency plans should the justices strike down parts of the law, which would give Republicans a powerful talking point about one of his signature issues.
Obama would be foolish not to be preparing for a partial or full reversal of the law, in terms of policy and politics. With congressional Republicans now flirting with the idea of trying to salvage the popular parts of the act in their replacement legislation, Obama needs to be reminding them, and the voters, of where those ideas came from.
But it also prepares party activists for what other Democrats and some legal experts are recommending he do: run against the Supreme Court. Preparing for that, and preparing his supporters for it as well, as a potential strategy is a smart move.