A number of commenters opposed to Obamacare have argued that the verdict, while an immediate loss for their side, might be a win in the longer run, either because keeping the unpopular program will hurt the Democrats in the election or because the legal principles on which the case was decided restrict government actions in important ways, even if not enough to render the mandate unconstitutional.
I do not know enough about either law or politics to have a confident opinion as to whether they are right, but I think there is an important consequence they are missing.
First a digression ...
One puzzle for public choice theory, the economics of politics, is why people vote even though they know that, in a large polity like the U.S., their vote has essentially no chance of affecting the outcome of the election. The answer I find most convincing is that most people vote for the same reason that many people cheer for their team in a football match. They enjoy being partisans, feeling "part of the team." That, in my view, is the reason why sports teams, unlike most other sorts of firms, are routinely connected to cities and universities. The connection brings with it a precommitted band of partisans and so increases the value of the entertainment being provided.
One round has just been completed in a giant game that is played out every four years with the future of the world at stake, a game that you can be a player in at the cost of a few minutes spent in the voting booth. However the other side may try to spin it, Obama won that round. Part of the fun of being a partisan is identifying with your side. It is, on the whole, more fun to identify with winners than with losers.Whatever other effects the outcome of the Obamacare case may have, that one will be a significant plus for Obama's team.