Health Care Law Heads to Supreme Court
Washington, D.C. , Mar 26, 2012 - The health care law hits the Supreme Court today. The Court will hear arguments for three days and a ruling is expected in late June.
As the Supreme Court hears arguments on the law’s constitutionality, I want to share with you the following news articles that provide information on the legal process over the next few weeks and the specific issues surrounding the health care law.
Schedule of Proceedings
Audio recordings will be posted on the Court’s website within two hours of the end of each argument.
Monday, March 26, 10 a.m.- Anti-Injunction Act (90 minutes)
Issue: Does the Anti-Injunction Act prohibit challenges to the individual mandate until the first penalty is collected in 2015?
Tuesday, March 27, 10 a.m. - Individual mandate (2 hours)
Issue: Can Congress require individuals to maintain a minimum level of health insurance or else pay a penalty? (I joined my colleagues in signing an amicus brief for this case stating my opinion that the individual mandate is not authorized by the Constitution)
Wednesday, March 28, 10 a.m. - Severability (90 minutes)
Issue: Can the individual mandate be severed from the rest of the law when considering its constitutionality? (I joined my colleagues in signing an amicus brief for this case stating that the unconstitutional individual mandate cannot be severed from the rest of the health care law, and therefore the entire health care law should be ruled invalid.)
Wednesday, March 28, 1 p.m. - Medicaid (1 hour)
Issue: Can Congress condition federal Medicaid assistance to the states on their adoption of new eligibility and coverage thresholds?
Health Law Heads to Court – Wall Street Journal
More than two dozen people were snaked along the sidewalk outside the Supreme Court by Sunday afternoon to secure seats to Monday's arguments, which will focus on whether the case can even be heard before 2014, when most of the law takes effect. Tuesday's session will take up the central question of whether Congress holds the constitutional power to require Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. This mandate, the government maintains, is the essential innovation of the two-year-old Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and promotes near-universal coverage by including younger and healthier people who might otherwise avoid paying premiums. Wednesday will see two sessions of arguments, including on how much of the overhaul law should remain in effect should the individual mandate be struck down. The final session will be Wednesday afternoon.
Timeline: Chronology of Obama healthcare law legal battle – Reuters
The heart of the arguments will turn on whether Congress exceeded its powers in requiring that Americans obtain insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty, the centerpiece provision in the law revamping the healthcare market, which accounts for nearly 18 percent of the nation's economy.
Here is a chronology of the key events in the legal battle over the law that seeks to provide health insurance to more than 30 million previously uninsured Americans: Continue reading…
A Primer on the Issues, Likely Outcomes – WSJ
With the Supreme Court set to hear arguments Monday on the 2010 health-overhaul law, here is a primer on some of the legal issues.
Q: What will the Supreme Court try to determine when it reviews the health law starting Monday?
A: There are multiple issues in the case, but the main one is whether the law's requirement that most people carry insurance or pay a fee, known as the "individual mandate," violates the Constitution.
Q: What happens if the court decides that part is unconstitutional? Will the law disappear?
A: Not necessarily. There are several possible outcomes, including:
• The court removes that requirement from the law but leaves the rest of the overhaul—which includes hundreds of provisions to rework the health system—in place.
• The court removes that requirement and also removes the pieces of the law closely linked to it. Most likely, those would include coming rules that insurance companies stop denying policies to customers who have a pre-existing health condition, and that insurers can no longer charge older customers significantly more than younger ones.
• The court removes the individual mandate and eliminates the entire law.