The fate of Obamacare rests in the hands of the American people and not the Supreme Court, according to Scott Rasmussen, the founder and president of the Rasmussen Media Group.
In an opinion piece for RealClearPolitics
, Rasmussen condemned recent reports that President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law could be wiped out by negative rulings from the nation's top court.
"To suggest that such talk is absurd is a gross understatement," he wrote. "Remember, we have no idea what the court will decide. Some people following the oral arguments closely concluded that supporters of the law have reason to be optimistic."
Rasmussen noted that when the Affordable Care Act was first proposed, critics thought that the Supreme Court would block the law before it ever got off the ground.
"They were wrong," says Rasmussen, who has a Newsmax blog
. "Chief Justice John Roberts surprised everyone and found a creative way to keep the law alive. The court might be similarly creative again this year.
"They have great latitude on what to decide and how the decision will be implemented. It's even possible to imagine them ruling against the law but staying the order for a year or two, giving Congress a chance to deal with it.
"But the larger issue is that the Supreme Court does not have the final say on it. Public opinion and the reality of how the law works will ultimately decide its fate."
He continued: "That scares some supporters of the law. They fear a scenario where the court undoes a major piece of the Obamacare puzzle and makes the whole law unworkable. Since the law has never been popular with voters, they assume that the current Congress would not replace it.
"But, even if the court sides with the administration on the current case, the healthcare law will remain vulnerable as long as it is unpopular. If consumers continue to see it as more of a burden than a benefit, the unpopular parts of the law will eventually disappear."
Rasmussen, author of
"Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System", and "The People's Money: How Voters Will Balance the Budget and Eliminate the Federal Debt", noted that there are many "unpopular parts" to Obamacare.
"The biggest, of course, is the individual mandate," he wrote. "It's not just that people are being forced to buy insurance that's troubling to many; it's the fact that the mandate forces people to buy more insurance than they need. That makes it more expensive than most people want (or are able) to pay."
Rasmussen, who founded Rasmussen Reports in 2003, also pointed to the fact that millions of Americans will have to pay tax penalties in the next two months because they did not sign up for insurance under Obamacare, as required by law.
Millions more, he says, will learn that they were overpaid for health insurance subsidies last year, and that they will have to repay the money to the government. "That's not likely to produce a lot of warm feelings toward the law," Rasmussen wrote.
He summed up by saying: "The bottom line is that the fate of Obamacare is in the hands of the American people. Given the continued unpopularity of the law, that should worry the president's team far more than what the Supreme Court will decide."
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