Could Losing Obamacare Help Obama?

A blog about business and economics.
April 3 2012 9:44 AM

Striking Down the ACA Is Bad News for Obama, Unless the Law's Critics Are Right

There's a lot of interest out there in the "clever" argument that having the Affordable Care Act struck down could be politically beneficial to the president. I think that's 98 percent nonsense, but people should consider at least one possible scenario.

Many people purport to the belief that the looming implementation of Obamacare has contributed in a material way to slow economic growth. It is for this reason, presumably, that the House GOP caucus titled their anti-Obamacare bill the "Repeal the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act." Now many of the people saying this are just lying and they don't actually think Obamacare is hurting the economy. But it's usually better in politics to assume that people are being sincere. Well if it's true that Obamacare is holding the economy back, then we should expect a Supreme Court repeal of the law to strongly bolster Obama's re-election prospects. The theory, after all, is that even though Obamacare hasn't been implemented yet, firms are looking forward to a higher-tax higher-labor-cost future induced by Obamacare starting in 2014. If the critics are right, then if the Supreme Court decides to veto the law those concerns melt away and we'll see a surge in hiring.


I don't, personally, think any of that is true. But oftentimes people forget to tie their substantive views to their political forecasts. Nowadays almost all economists believe FDR's NIRA program was counterproductive under the circumstances of the Depression. By killing it, while leaving effective recovery measures like the end of the Gold Standard in place, the Supreme Court of the 1930s did in fact do Roosevelt a favor.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.



Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.