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Big Day: Supreme Court Decision on Healthcare May Come Today

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on President Obama’s Affordable Healthcare Act as early as today, according to court observers.

The decision will have a major impact on the president race and on the nation’s economy, no matter which way the court decides. Passing universal healthcare is considered one of the biggest accomplishments of Obama’s first term, potentially placing him in the pantheon of pivotal presidential acts like FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s War on Poverty. But despite the fact that it attempts to guarantee health coverage for all Americans, the act remains unpopular in many parts of the country—particularly in heavily Republican regions, which ironically are typically the ones with the highest number of people without health insurance, such as in the South.

While the news media and Republicans like to say that the Obama White House and Democrats in general have done a poor job of selling the new legislation to the American people, the news media itself bears some responsibility for failing to adequately explain the provisions of the plan, allowing people to spread misinformation. Just today, the New York Times published an extensive story about the public’s opposition to the plan, listing quote after quote of clueless Americans describing their fears about things that aren’t in the plan and inaccurately stating what the plan would and wouldn’t do. But the Times writer makes no attempt in the story to correct the misinformation—letting pass another prime opportunity to educate the masses.

As Jonathan Cohn outlines in the New Republic, these are the four most likely Supreme Court scenarios: the court upholds the law entirely, the court strikes down the individual mandate but keeps the rest of the law, the court strikes down the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion but retains the rest of the law, or the court strikes down the law entirely.

In light of recent court decisions such as Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, a decision by the court to strike down the law entirely could act to further invalidate the court as a biased, overly partisan body willing to stomp all over the law to satisfy its political desires.

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