The first paragraph of Timothy Noah's review of Paul Starr's Remedy and Reaction: The Peculiar American Struggle Over Health Care Reform is striking:
Barack Obama achieved more significant change in domestic policy during the first two years of his presidency than any president since Richard Nixon has over the course of four or eight. That’s because in 2010 Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. We don’t know how this story will end, but there’s now a law on the books that, for all its many shortcomings and unpopularity, will extend health coverage to most of this country’s uninsured. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the share of legal nonelderly residents who have health insurance will rise from 83 percent to 94 percent. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, some unquantifiable number of people will live who would otherwise die.
As are the final two sentences:
Should the Supreme Court chuck Obamacare, health policy will be back to Square 1, and Obama’s presidency will be instantly transformed from a substantive success to a substantive failure. I fear that Justices Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito and Kennedy may find that possibility too tempting to pass up.