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14 health care winners and losers

The Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act is being hailed as a major victory for President Obama. 

But from politics to the media to the Supreme Court itself, the battle over Obamacare also left us with some more surprising winners ... and losers. Let's take a look:


Millenials, seniors, and those with pre-existing conditions, as well as millions of other Americans for whom health care will become affordable.

Chief Justice John Roberts. By departing from his conservative colleagues, Roberts ensured that the ruling would be broadly seen as legitimate—and in the eyes of many analysts, burnished his reputation as the neutral "umpire" he'd claimed to be in his confirmation hearings.

The late Sen. Ted Kennedy. The Massachusettts lawmaker, who died in 2009, worked for increased access to helath care almost his entire career. As Nancy Pelosi said, Kennedy "can now rest in peace."

Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.  When he made his case for the Obama administration's health care law, many said it wasn't his finest hour, arguing that he was unconvincing and disorganized. Now, Verrilli won't go down in history as the Bill Buckner of ObamaCare.


Laurence Tribe and Robert Reich: Both correctly predicted that the Court would uphold the law.

SCOTUSblog. The little-website-that-could has built a reputation in recent years for fast, smart, reliable coverage of Supreme Court decisions. Today, its twitter feed and live blog were the go-to destinations for seemingly every member of the media to get the news first. Not only that, but publisher and co-founder Tom Goldstein predicted on the morning of the ruling that the court would uphold the law.

Big broccoli. Now we know Americans can be forced to buy it.



Mitt Romney. His base won't let him offer specifics about what he wants to replace Obamacare with, but if he doesn't, independent voters could be turned off. 

CNN and Fox. Both initially misreported that the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate. Word is the president was watching these networks on mute at the time.

Justice Antonin Scalia. It had to hurt Scalia to be in the minority in so many cases this week (see immigration), and to see his usual ideological ally, Roberts, side with the other team.

Jeffrey Toobin. The influential CNN legal analyst is good-naturedly eating crow for predicting SCOTUS would shoot down the law.

Randy Barnett. The intellectual architect of the Obamacare challenge. Though citing the Court's limiting of Congress's power under the Commerce Clause, Barnett managed to claim victory anyway

Snooki, New Jersey's tan mom, and Speaker Boehner. These orange-tinted hued Americans lose out, because the health care law has imposed an extra 10% tax on tanning.

Death panels. May they die a timely, peaceful death at long last.