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  • Supreme Court to Hear Health Reform Arguments

    The Supreme Court said on November 14th it will hear arguments next March regarding President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

    Their final ruling could shape the outcome for Obama’s re-election as this decision to hear arguments in the spring sets up an election-year showdown over the White House’s main domestic policy achievement.

    The justices announced they will hear an extraordinary five-and-a-half hours of arguments from lawyers on the constitutionality of a provision at the heart of the law and three other related questions about the act. The central provision in question is the requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty.

    It is possible that whatever the Court decides, the debate may not end.  It may possibly take more time to determine if the final responsibility for health care lies with the individual or government.

    Even if the court upholds the law, Republican leaders say “repeal and replace” remains their slogan. “Job-killing tax hikes on families and small businesses may well be constitutional — that doesn’t mean we would support them,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

    The 2010 health care overhaul law aims to extend insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans, through an expansion of Medicaid, the requirement that individuals buy health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty and other measures. The court’s ruling could decide the law’s fate, but the justices left themselves an opening to defer a decision if they choose, by requesting arguments on one lower court’s ruling that a decision must wait until 2015, when one of the law’s many deferred provisions takes effect.

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