Political scientist gives expert opinion on health care

Pundits speculate whether President Barack Obama or challenger Mitt Romney will benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

But one thing’s for sure: If the court kills all or part of the law, it will raise the national profile of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi of Tampa.

The lawsuit was started, and most of the legal heavy lifting done, under Bondi’s predecessor — former Attorney General Bill McCollum. McCollum filed the action electronically within minutes after Obama signed the law in March 2010.

Bondi took over the litigation after taking office in January 2011 and has shepherded it to conclusion as attorney general for Florida, the lead plaintiff among the 26 states suing.

Bondi could suffer partisan backlash, too, but likely not as much, said Aubrey Jewett, a University of Central Florida political scientist who’s politically neutral.

“Public opinion is on her side. The average American wants to see it struck down, even though they agree with a lot of the individual parts of it,” Jewett said. “If the parts people like go away, there could be some blowback.”

“Health care is a policy issue, less an overtly partisan cause, and Bondi seems fairly sharp in public interviews.”

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