Affordable Care Act
Obama's healthcare bill has attracted controversy right from the start. It's seen as a blessing by young students, and terminally ill patients, but there are naysayers who argue that the government shouldn’t meddle with their health.
Margot Sanger-Katz is a health care correspondent at the National Journal.
She explains, "Health care is about one-fifth of the economy and the health reform law touches large portions of the healthcare industry. It changes the way hospitals and doctors are paid.It changes the way the insurance industry is regulated. It vastly expands public insurance programs for people of low income and seniors on medicare as well.”
When it comes to the justices' rulings, it all centers on one key constitutional issue.
"The individual mandate is at the heart of the law ,and the heart of the constitutional challenge to the law.,” adds Sanger-Katz.
The individual mandate is the provision, that would force all Americans to buy health insurance or face a fine- beginning in 2014.
"If the mandate is removed, certainly fewer people will be insured, individual insurance will go up,” opines the Nationak Journal correspondent.
A high court strike-down may be applauded., but there are popular provisions that many Americans want.
"The other provisions tied to the mandate, the ones that give insurance to people who are sick in the past- are very popular. And so if the court decides to take those down, there may be more of a backlash against the decision,” assumes Sanger-Katz
In this election year... The political stakes riding on this ruling, are monumental. Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney and the GOP want the entire law tossed. While Democrats and President Barack Obama almost need the legislation to remain intact.
Sanger-Katz agrees, "Any loss for the law is going to be tough for the President . It's seen as his signature domestic policy achievement. It is branded by Obamacare by the critics.”
So if wagers were to be palced on the court's decision, who would you back?
"Going into the arguments it seems like consensus among those who understand the court- was that they would uphold the law. There was a poll by journalists,and lawyers that they will uphold the law,” says Sanger-Katz
As the fate of millions of Americans hangs in the balance, the justices will weigh in, to see if Obama care is really constitutional or not.
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