• Should the court strike down the law, Members should immediately take to the floor and pass a resolution warning Obama not to repeat his earlier attack on the court. Then they should introduce the sort of market-based reforms that would establish barriers to any future attempts at nationalized health care. Tax incentives for doctors who care for the indigent would do much to eliminate the problem of the uninsured while strengthening the kind of private practice and medical entrepreneurship that government and big health care institutions discourage.
• If the court strikes down the individual mandate but leaves in place the rest of the law, both chambers should repeal or defund its remaining parts. Two good places to start would be the Independent Payment Advisory Board and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.
• Finally, if the court keeps the law in place, then the House should do another repeal vote while opponents in the Senate should at least try to schedule one.
Inevitably, some in the media will criticize such moves as public relations exercises. The law’s opponents should embrace these charges, saying openly their goal is to see whether supporters will show the same suicidal solidarity this close to an election as they have in the past. A defection or two in the Senate could mean the full unraveling of the law, this time at the hands of Congress.
Even as they ready a strategy, activists should start explaining the possible economic results from an adverse Supreme Court decision. The law was a catastrophic distraction when the country needed to focus on its economic problems. Chronicling its deleterious impact on recovery will deny the administration credit for any economic upticks and condition the next battlefield in the economic recovery struggle — halting the massive federal tax increases scheduled for January.
Dan Weber is founder and president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.