At the White House, which has much riding on the case, top officials continue to project confidence that the court will rule in its favor and that the administration will move on to put the law into force. But White House allies and advocates of the new law do not necessarily share that view and are gearing up in the event of an unfavorable decision . . .
After a burst of prognostication around oral arguments over the health care law, known as the Affordable Care Act, groups on both sides have fallen back into a state of nervous anticipation. No one is certain how the court will rule, or how the politics will shake out in the aftermath.
Lawmakers, political strategists and activists are preparing for three contingencies: the court upholds the law, the court invalidates the insurance-purchasing mandate but preserves most of the law, or the court throws out the law, Mr. Obama’s signature domestic achievement. In the event that the law it is crippled or eviscerated, the contest will be to ensure that the other party is held responsible, not only for the popular provisions that are lost but what comes next for the 46 million Americans still without health insurance.