You might be tempted -- particularly if you are a Republican -- to see today's D.C. federal appeals court ruling invalidating subsidies for people buying insurance in the federal marketplace under Obamacare as a major moment in the political path of the law. You also might be tempted -- particularly if you are Democrat -- to see today's 4th District Court of Appeals decision that the subsidies were ok as a major moment in the political path of the law.
Don't do it.
While these decisions could have major policy implications for President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment, there is virtually no chance that either one will have any near or even medium term impact on the politics surrounding Obamacare.
Why? Because minds are entirely made up about the law.
Among all Americans, more people disapprove of Obamacare than approve. And, with the occasional blip here or there, those numbers have been steady for the better part of the last three years.
Republicans hate the law -- and have for quite some time.
Democrats like the law -- and have for quite some time.
Obamacare has been, almost since its introduction into the political debate, a stand-in for feelings about President Obama. Like him, you like the law. Don't like him, you don't. And, like with Obama's approval numbers -- which are also in the low 40s at the moment -- Republicans are more united in their dislike of Obamacare than Democrats are united in support of it. That was true before today and it will be true after today.
The political debate over Obamacare is over.