Health care reform
December 20, 2011
The Supreme Court has scheduled three days at the end of March to hear oral arguments in lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of health care reform.
This is the schedule for the hearings:
March 26: The court will hear arguments on whether the Anti-Injunction Act makes it premature for the court to rule on the constitutionality of health care reform until the individual mandate actually goes into effect in 2014.
March 27: The court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate itself. This is the part of the law that requires most Americans to purchase health insurance. At issue is whether Congress has the ability to regulate commerce to this extent.
March 28: The court will hear arguments on whether the rest of the law can remain if the mandate does not survive, or whether the individual mandate is “severable” from the rest of the law. (Most legislation automatically includes a severability clause, which lets the rest of a law stand if part is struck down in the courts. The PPACA does not have this clause written into it.)
In addition, the court will also hear arguments that day on whether states can be forced by the federal government to expand their share of Medicaid costs and administration, with the potential penalty of losing that funding if they refuse to do so.
The court is expected to issue a ruling by the end of its current term in June.
See more information about the health reform case before the Supreme Court.