Young Voters Speak Out: Each day, RR.com will spotlight politically minded youth writers from throughout the U.S. speaking their minds on Election 2012. First-time voters, student journalists and new graduates will debate the Obama vs. Romney race to the White House. Young Democrats, Republicans and ‘Undecided’ Americans are eager to play politics and choose the next Commander & Chief.
Read A.W. Strouse's thoughts from a left-leaning perspective:
We were promised a Death Panel. During the healthcare debate of 2009, Sarah Palin warned that Obamacare would create government councils to decide the fate of powerless Americans. Now, in the form of the U.S. Supreme Court, Palin's paranoid prophecy nearly came true: SCOTUS, like a death panel, ruled on whether Obama's biggest domestic achievement would live or die. With the deciding vote of John Roberts in a 5-4 vote, the program was granted a reprieve. In so doing, Roberts saved democracy as we know it.
The court's decision has had life-or-death consequences for millions of the uninsured; Roberts is a life-saver. And, not only did he vote to save Obama's political future from an untimely death, but the Court's ruling has saved American constitutional government itself: lately our political system seems to be held on life-support in a vegetative state. Overturning Obamacare would have effectively pulled the plug on a government whose ability to actually govern has been nothing short of pitiable.
The 2011 debt-ceiling crisis is a case in point. Only after a drawn-out scene of tantrums and posturing could Congress and the President agree on a resolution, which in the end amounted to passing on the buck to the so-called Super Committee.
And the healthcare debate, too, has been farcical. To some, the passage of the law completed a process that began back in the Clinton Administration. Discussion about this particular legislation started in earnest under Obama in the summer of 2009, and Obamacare became the law of the land in late spring 2010. Though debate about the bill utterly consumed Washington for a year, and brought with it all manner of punditry and pageantry (e.g. Palin's comments), some of the bill's most important provisions have yet to go into effect.
Had the Court decided to overturn the healthcare law, this would have been a death blow to a political system already in crisis. By killing the only meaningful law that President Obama has managed to pass, the Court would have been admitting that American politics is a charade that doesn't translate into real action.
For this reason alone, John Roberts is a hero --- by upholding Obamacare, he has saved American constitutionalism to fight another day.