The House voted to repeal the health care overhaul yesterday in a move that was, as The Wall Street Journal says, symbolic but not entirely meaningless. Ultimately, though, it's unlikely to result in any direct, substantive changes to the law. Thanks to the White House's veto power, Congress won't be able to repeal the law before the next election.
But that doesn't mean it's safe. Court challenges present a real threat to its continued existence.
That's why it's worth noting that on the same day the House voted to repeal the law, six additional states joined the ongoing multi-state lawsuit against the health care overhaul:
Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Wyoming and Maine won permission to join a Florida lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's health-care reform legislation.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson in Pensacola, Florida, yesterday granted the states' motion for permission to be added to the lawsuit filed last year by then-Florida Attorney General Bill McCollom, bringing the total of plaintiff states to 26.
With Virginia, which is involved in a separate suit, this brings the total number of states challenging the federal overhaul to 27.
I'm not convinced that the legal challenges have a better than 50-50 shot to prevail, but they do have some chance. Meanwhile, the courts are likely to at least be aware of the size of the opposition to the law: More than half the state governments have taken legal action against it. More of the public disapproves of the law than approves of it. And a majority in one chamber of congress has voted to repeal it.