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When Obama was elected, four years ago, as President, or even ‘Leader of the Free World’, many people, including myself, were eager to see if he would, or even could, live up to the promises made during the campaign trail. After disappointment after disappointment over many issues such as the budget deficit, Guantanamo Bay and the economy, what has been proclaimed as the crowning achievement of his presidency thus far is the passing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – aka ‘Obamacare’.
Providing health coverage to another 30 million people, leaving only a tiny proportion of Americans without healthcare and requiring private insurance companies to provide this insurance at affordable rates, the bill was hailed as one of the most successful reforms of America for a generation; it succeeded where Bill Clinton’s had failed in the early 1990s, and, therefore, has been apportioned its due controversy as a result of its colossal impact. However, despite the USA being the nation of liberty, issues over this bill will not be decided by the people (who arguably voted for the policy when they elected President Obama), but by six men and three women in one room in Washington D.C. – the United States Supreme Court.
Between March 26th-28th 2012, the Court heard six hours of oral arguments over the legislation after 26 states and innumerable organisations, and individuals challenged the bill as being unconstitutional. Four federal appeal courts have already ruled on this topic: two upheld the bill, one said that it was beyond the jurisdiction of the court and another held aspects of the bill unconstitutional. But all these rulings are worthless in the light of the opinion the Supreme Court will produce (currently presumed to be announced before the end of June). But if held unconstitutional, unlike its spiritual predecessor ‘Hilarycare’ which was declared “dead” in 1994 after Republicans seized Congress away from Democrat Bill Clinton, ‘Obamacare’ will not have been defeated by Congress and its elected members, rather the judiciary.