Supreme Court


Obamacare: The Endless Wait

The Supreme Court ruling is coming...sometime

Everyone in Washington is waiting for Godot.

(There was a brief respite while everyone waited for Obama’s 54-minute economic speech to end. The man could use a good editor. We have some at The Daily Beast who specialize in pruning prose.)

But mostly, the capital cognoscenti are waiting for the Supreme Court’s health care ruling.

The problem is, no one knows when it’s coming. Maybe next week. Maybe the week after. Probably on the last day of the term. The rumors keep flying.

People participate in a protest on the second day of oral arguments for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in front of the U.S. Supreme Court building on March 27, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images)

The decision on Obamacare could change the presidential campaign as we know it. Or not.

The high court could knock down the law, reversing the signature achievement of the president’s term. It could invalidate only the individual mandate, which happens to be a key pillar of the law. It could uphold the law’s constitutionality, though most analysts, once convinced that would happen, are now convinced it will not.

So what are the media to do?

Answer: speculate.

“The nation awaits the Supreme Court’s decision on our nation’s health care, and that decision is coming any day now,” says Greta Van Susteren.

“If the Supreme Court rules 5-4, let’s say, that it’s unconstitutional, what does the president do in a second term if he’s reelected?” says Wolf Blitzer.

Such intros are followed by learned guests who learnedly analyze what this or that outcome would bring—or just deliver political spin.

We are so ready. The presses are ready, the breaking-news logos are ready, the court-watchers are looking up precedents. Just give us the word.

Any. Day. Now.