I think this is a brilliant move by Roberts. He gets to maintain the Court’s reputation for Solomonic sagacity, fire a warning shot at Congress about future mandates (and the Commerce Clause generally), and — while everyone’s distracted by the ruling on the mandate — quietly restrict Congress’s ability to place conditions on funding to the states (via the Medicaid ruling).
It’s a great victory for Obama and for sanity in our health care system. But this is a victory for Roberts, too. 11-dimensional chess, indeed.