Obamacare’s Incredible High-Wire History

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Now that the election is over, it’s safe to say that Obamacare has survived. And that officially gives it the distinction of having the diciest history of any major law in American history. It passed the Senate by zero votes in 2009. It survived constitutional challenge thanks to a single last-minute switch from Chief Justice John Roberts in 2012. And it weathered the Republican threat of repeal five months later when President Obama won reelection by a narrow 51-49 percent margin.

If any of those things had changed by even a hair, Obamacare would be dead. Surely no big law in history has come that close to extinction that many times, has it? It’s a real survivor, Obamacare is.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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