The Supreme Court’s decision to let President Obama’s health care law stand now shifts the debate back to the presidential election and an electorate that has been highly polarized over the issue for years.
For Mr. Obama, the ruling powerfully reaffirms the legal judgment of his administration and gives him a new campaign argument to make for re-election — to prevent Republicans from doing in Congress what the court declined to do on Thursday.
But the ruling also has the potential to re-energize the Tea Party movement, which was largely born out of opposition to the health care law, and provide new political power to Mitt Romney’s pledge to repeal the law if he wins the White House in November.
Disappointment and anger among conservatives at the decision could also translate into a powerful electoral issue in Congressional races. Republicans eager to seize control of the Senate now have a renewed rallying cry in races across the country.