Will The Obamacare Fight Ever End?

Bernstein thinks so:

I still believe, by the way, that “Obamacare” will eventually disappear, at least assuming it’s reasonably successful. Of course, the fiasco in October wasn’t good for making “Obamacare” disappear; I’ve always said that it disappears if it succeeds. It’s possible, too, that the conservative information bubble is so obsessed with the law that they’ll still be blaming everything up to and including the common cold on Obamacare decades from now. On the other hand, sooner or later there will be another Democratic president, and once that happens Fox News and all are sure to compare the radical socialist leftism of that new president to the reasonable moderation of Obama. Will “Obamacare” survive that? Hard to guess.

Eric Patashnik and Julian Zelizer disagree:

Political conflict over a program can last for decades.

Congress passed the Voting Rights Act in 1965, and opponents continued to attack the legislation through 2013, when the Supreme Court invalidated one of its central components. The potential for conflicts over existing laws to persist has only increased as a result of partisan polarization. While both the Social Security Act of 1935 and the Medicare Act of 1965 had some bipartisan support on final passage, the ACA was passed on a party-line vote. Forrest Maltzman of George Washington University and Charles Shipan of University of Michigan have shown that the greater the roll call opposition when a bill is passed, the more likely the law is to be amended by a future Congress. An open question is whether partisanship exacerbates the problem of divisive enactment. While systematic research has not been done, there are good reasons to think it might. AsDavid R. Mayhew of Yale argues, while a cross-party opposition to a policy might fade, “a party that loses on a congressional issue and stays angry may have an  incentive to keep the conflict going.”

Weigel examines upcoming hazards for the law, such as Halbig v. Sebelius:

Conservatives can argue about the most effective Obamacare-killer—and that’s the point. Progressives (and insurers) who thought they’d settled all this need to strap in for another year of challenges and end-runs. If Halbig gets to the D.C. circuit and fails, conservatives have pre-blamed the new judges Barack Obama placed on the bench after last month’s filibuster reform. If Halbig doesn’t get to SCOTUS, maybe one of the other versions of the case will, or maybe a state will succeed with one of the new Health Care Freedom Acts.