Obamacare upheld by Supreme Court in surprise ruling

(Posted 2 July 2012)  President Barack Obama scored an important and somewhat surprising victory last Thursday as the US Supreme Court upheld his controversial health care bill.  Although most pundits were expecting Obamacare to be struck down, the court ruled the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was constitutional on the grounds that it was a tax.  At least that was the ruling by Chief Justice John Roberts who cast the deciding vote in the 5-4 decision.  It was a huge win by Obama and has boosted his re-election chances ahead of November's election.  However, there are several ironies and complexities in this decision.  It was a conservative judge, John Roberts, who cast the deciding vote in favor of Obamacare. And he did so by arguing it was a tax and therefore within the rights of the government, despite the fact that Obama had claimed that his health care plan was not a tax during his campaign for it. Many observers believe that Roberts, who has strong Republican affiliations, voted in favor of the Democratic bill in order to preserve the legitimacy of the Supreme Court as a non-partisan institution. 

It is fascinating to see how this unexpected and somewhat ironic achievement is reflected in Obama's horoscope. Both Jupiter and Ketu (the south lunar node) were closely conjunct Obama's Moon within one degree.  It is useful to think about the relative influence of each planet here in the unfolding of this event.  Jupiter likely played a key role in the win itself and delivered a measure of relief to Obama, who had been concerned about what it would mean for his legacy and re-election chances if the ACA was struck down.  The Moon represents the emotional self and this Jupiter conjunction nicely reflects Obama's sense of relief.  The Moon is also a very political planet for him since it is placed in the 5th house of the intellect, politics and wise counsel.  Therefore such a positive transit influence to his 5th house Moon will generally produce favorable political results. 

But Ketu is the other influence here.  Ketu is considered a malefic planet by nature although it is something of a chameleon and can assume an different energy depending on the influences it receives from other planets.  Ketu can be a spiritual planet of renunciation in some circumstances, but it is more commonly seen as a planet of change and disruption.  Ketu transits can bring about unexpected events where we are forced to adapt our expectations and and alter our behavior in unforeseen ways.  In this case, the Ketu-Moon conjunction described some of the unexpected quality of the decision, which many people thought would go against Obama.  I suspect the Ketu influence here may also have played in role in the complexities of the decision.  Obama is now in a somewhat awkward position of having to explain how something which he claimed was not a tax was upheld by the court on the grounds that is actually was a tax.  It will require him to do some fancy footwork on the campaign trail in the fall when faced with skeptical voters and an even more skeptical Romney campaign.  In that sense, the impact of Ketu effectively tempered the extent of the victory.  While he won, he did not win in an unconditional way and this will cause him additional stress down the road.  I would think that if Obama's Moon had been conjoined only by Jupiter, he likely would have won the decision outright, without having to deal with this awkward tax issue.  But that is the power of surprising Ketu.  Jupiter delivered the win, and Ketu created those awkward, ironic and surprising twists.

The dashas provide another dimension to this pivotal event.  As I wrote in my post on the presidential election campaign, Obama would soon be entering his Saturn dasha period.  I argued that this would boost his fortunes significantly and would likely help his campaign in the summer.  What is incredible is that the Supreme Court decision came down on June 28 -- the very day that Obama's Saturn dasha began according to the Krishnamurti ayanamsha!  I know that there are different ayanamshas out there each with their own loyal adherents.  The more widely-used Lahiri ayanamsha has Obama starting his Saturn dasha period on July 24, for example.  But this precise hit with the Krishnamurti ayanamsha re-affirms my faith in it, although I have to admit that dashas rarely work in this exact clock-like fashion.  While Saturn can be a nasty planet, Obama's Saturn is very strong and quite positive.  It rules his 1st house (i.e. it is his lagnesh), it is placed in its own sign of Capricorn, and it is conjunct benefic Jupiter and tightly aspected by benefic Mercury.  Saturn's natal strength in Obama's chart is the reason why his Saturn dasha will likely be favorable for him. 

A quick check of Mitt Romney's horoscope confirms him as the probable political loser in this decision.  Many observers have suggested that despite Obama's win, the potential silver lining for Romney is that he can now trip up Obama for this disingenuousness on the tax issue.  Also Obamacare is still quite unpopular (with only 45% support) so this decision will galvanize opposition and draw more support to Romney.  Romney's campaign showed a surge in contributions on the day the decision was rendered.  However, Romney has his own fair share of contradictions and paradoxes, not the least of which is that he introduced a very similar health care plan with an individual mandate when he was Governor of Massachusetts.  His own experience with health care will therefor make that it much more difficult for him to persuasively argue against it. 

Certainly, the planets were aligned against Romney when the decision came down.  Saturn was stationing in an exact 150 degree (quincunx) aspect to his Sun.  While not a full strength aspect by Vedic reckoning, Saturn had just stationed three days before and thus was extremely strong.  When they are within a degree or two, Saturn to Sun transits are often difficult as they constrain action and deny wishes.  I suspect Romney was dearly wishing that Obamacare would be struck down so that Obama would be that much weaker for the election.  The Jupiter-Ketu combination was much less positive for Romney than for Obama since it was conjunct his Rahu and quite close to his ascendant.  Ketu-Rahu conjunctions are usually negative, and while the Jupiter influence on the ascendant is good, it would likely not be enough to offset the stain from the nodal conjunction.  More pointedly, transiting Venus was exactly square his Mars. Venus had just stationed the day before so it was moving very slowly.  Venus-Mars squares usually mirror negative events and moods and this was even more likely given the slow velocity of Venus.  The Mars influence here suggests anger, conflict and frustration which spoils happiness (Venus).

Romney's campaign may get a bit of a boost in July as Jupiter approaches its aspect with Venus which is exact in the last week of the month.  This may enhance Romney's fund raising efforts since Venus is associated with money.  Since Venus is in the 9th house of legal matters, it is also possible there could be some positive developments along those lines.  Some major political endorsements are also possible in July since Venus rules his 1st house and Jupiter's aspect to the lagnesh can boost confidence and public profile.   I hope to put out something on the respective campaign horoscopes next week.