Judge O'Connor appears to be on a bit of an island -- the conventional wisdomon both the right and left is that his decision will be overturned by a higher court.
If that "wisdom" holds, the courts will have saved Obamacare yet again -- at least temporarily. But the judiciary is powerless to stop the ongoing collapse of the individual market. This year, enrollment in the law's exchanges fell by 300,000, to 8.4 million people, thanks largely to the spiraling premiums and deductibles the law has brought about.
Health reform can't be conducted through the courts. Congress will eventually have to take action.
Historically, the courts have been strong defenders of Obamacare. The U.S. Supreme Court first rescued the law in 2012, in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. At the time, the Obama administration was locked in a battle to defend the individual mandate, the provision of Obamacare that requires all individuals buy health insurance or pay a fine of the greater of 2.5 percent of income or $695.