NewsNation | June 25, 2012
>>> the president to speak any moment. now his first live remark on the supreme court decision. as you well know, the supreme court is going down to the wire with its decision on the president's health care law . it is expected to rule thursday, that is the last day of the term. by the way, the new york times writes washington is tense with anticipation, saying, quote, the impending health care ruling by the supreme court has become this city's o.j. simpson verdict, crossed with a papal conclave polarizing maddeningly unprecedented and shrouded in mysterious signaling. what a description. let's go to our panel now. joan walsh back with us. how would you describe the anticipation, is it as the times puts, if this weren't so serious i would laugh, compared to the o.j. simpson verdict?
>> well, i think that no one wanted to be taken by surprise and some people were taken by surprise by the o.j. simpson verdict. i think since the 27th of march we have been waiting to see people drew some conclusions about opening arguments. but both sides are preparing for various outcomes and trying to be quiet about it. democrats want you to believe they're going to have a victory and it will be upheld and republicans want it to be struck down at the same time they will tell you privately they don't know what is going to happen to turn out in this fall's election if it is. that could become a real political problem if the dreaded obama care is no longer.
>> to your point, the president's team bracing for all possibilities, excellent story in the new york times yesterday. pretty much outlining they have a plan a and plan b for lack of a better description. window, let me bring you in on this. we talked about the insurance industry , you know it better. its flaws, you were a whistle blower in that industry. when asked about the health care law , 33% support it, 47% oppose. that's in its total. when you look at people, ask about carrying your kid to your insurance policy or, you know appreciation existing pre-existing conditions, those things are possible, what is your gut as we await the supreme court taking it down to the wire?
>> i think you're finding that the public does indeed like the elements of the affordable care act . many could go away if the affordable care act is struck down in part or in its entirety. even if the individual mandate only is struck down, what we will see is the insurance industry will be spending an enormous amount of money trying to dismantle the rest of it through the legislative process. they have a lot at stake. the insurance industry stands to gain a lot if it goes forward. but they want to make sure that the new regulations andtections are done away with the supreme court does away with the original mandate.
>> this morning, mark halperin was on " morning joe ," we were giving a scoreboard before the announcement of who could be the winner, who could be the loser. let me play what halprin said and get joan 's response.
>> i actually think whatever the court rules is bad for the president. that's not my opinion. that's based on reporting, including a lot of democrats . if they uphold the law, which is unpopular, it will be a rallying cry for republicans across the country. even if the law is upheld, advertising and campaign rhetoric for more republicans will be about health care . democrats will largely hide for it. there is not more than a handful of democrats in the country including the president who --
>> joan , do you agree with that statement?
>> no, i don't agree with it. there is such a beltway conventional wisdom that no matter what happens, it is always bad for president obama , it is always bad for democrats . i think it is really complicated. we can't sit here and depending what they do, it could be good for the president, bad for the president. what is most important to me is what is good for american consumers. the individual mandate, there is a great, great irony here that, you know, the individual mandate was a republican invention, that they sold to the democrats , and then they abandoned it and now it could be -- it may not be, but it could be, you know, sort of the central issue that the supreme court rules on when many democrats would have preferred an alternative, a medicare for all plan. i'm not saying that was ever politically feasible in the climate we had in 2010 , but it sort of is like democrats got sort of snookered into going for this compromise solution to universal health care . and now that could be the thing that undoes what the president accomplished.
>> and what about governor romney here, obviously we know his role with health care reform in the state when he was the governor with massachusetts . it also puts the governor in a trick bag and every time he brings up individual mandate, health care reform , people can pull up the picture of his official portrait in massachusetts , a symbol for universal health care right below his hand, something he was proud of then.
>> he was. and he did not apologize for the massachusetts program which attacked in the primary, i would say, lightly, against other republican contestants. but he did -- he did once call it a model for the nation and that's been documented. just as he called the immigration law a model for the nation. he said the same thing about the individual mandates. so that he used in massachusetts . now he says, no, but he wrote some op-eds and did some talking and he would like to take it back. that would come back again if this individual mandate is deemed unconstitutional.
>> so if, for example, and these are the options that we could see play out on thursday if the decision comes down as we expect. strike down the entire law, that's one option. uphold the entire law, strike down the mandate, uphold the rest of the law, strike down the mandate and two related provisions. those are some of the outcomes or scenarios we're awaiting. but back to the point you're making, regarding governor romney, today his response vague on the arizona law. with what is at stake, the latino vote, he's already behind, enormous double digits from the president right now. he's cautiously responding to the supreme court decision regarding arizona. will we see that same caution thursday with any of those outcomes that i just laid out, a.b.?
>> i think it is going to be tricky for mitt romney . i'm sure he's going to say right away that this was a -- the wrong thing for the president to pursue when the economy was in danger, a failure of leadership and trying to plead special interest or something. he'll do something to criticize the president's health care reform law. but on terms of the mandate, i think it will, again it will be awkward for him. i don't think he can be as vague as he was on immigration and i don't know, tamron, how long that's going to be lasting either. he'll be in a corner pretty soon. i think on health care , he'll say it was the wrong thing for the country, presidents did the wrong thing once again.
>> a.b., thank you. joan , thank