KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Setting The Scene: Court Arguments Offer Different Kind Of Drama

With no Twitter, cameras or telephones allowing reports from inside the court, much of the action will take place on the outside. A range of groups have planned demonstrations. All the while, the lawyers involved in the arguments have been busy with "moot court" practice sessions; spectators have been waiting in line in hopes of getting a seat; and stakeholders, such as the health care industry, are anxiously watching for clues to the outcome.   

McClatchy: Supreme Court Health Care Arguments To Begin Monday
The circus surrounding the Supreme Court health care arguments this week will begin before dawn Monday. Demonstrators will be gathering around the Supreme Court steps. Nearby, assembled radio talk show hosts will be broadcasting live starting at 6 a.m. Civilians will be lined up, hoping for precious spots inside. Later, politicians will stroll in to claim reserved seats. The center ring, of course, should remain dignified, even as justices shortly after 10 a.m. commence the most anticipated oral arguments in years. And by the time arguments end Wednesday, spectators should know more about whether the court believes the Obama administration's signature health care law exceeds Congress's constitutional authority to regulate commerce (Doyle and Lightman, 3/25).

The New York Times: In Health Care Case, Lawyers Train For 3-Day Marathon
Last week, there were so many of the mock arguments that lawyers call moot courts that they threatened to exhaust something that had never been thought in short supply: Washington lawyers willing to pretend to be Supreme Court justices. The problem, said Paul D. Clement, who represents the 26 states challenging the law, was not just the length of the arguments the court will hear, but the variety of topics to be addressed (Liptak, 3/25).

The New York Times: Neither Phones, Nor Cameras, Nor Tweets In The Courtroom
On three mornings this week, a select group of reporters, lawyers and observers will crowd into the court's august chamber as the nine justices grill the advocates in a case freighted with huge legal and political implications. No Twitter messages will be allowed. No one in the room will be permitted to make a telephone call. There will be no BlackBerrys or laptops or iPads to blog with (Shear, 3/26).

The Associated Press: Decibel Alert: Partisans Dial Up Health Care Noise
America's national shouting match over health care will only get louder next week as the Supreme Court weighs the fate of President Barack Obama's overhaul. With formal arguments off-limits to cameras, supporters and detractors have laid elaborate plans to compete for the public's attention outside the Supreme Court building (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/24).

The New York Times: Waiting (And Sleeping) In Line, For View Of Health Care History
Heading into the first of three days of Supreme Court arguments on Monday, the pavement occupied by the approximately 15 people in line Sunday morning was among the most coveted real estate in Washington. Tickets are scarce even for those connected to the case. And for everyone else, there's the line (Huetteman, 3/25).

Reuters: Two Sides On Health Care Law To Face Off Outside U.S. Top Court
A battle for American hearts and minds will rage outside the Supreme Court next week as justices inside hear arguments on President Barack Obama's signature health care law. An opposition rally, news conferences, squads of talk radio hosts, doctors in scrubs and Republicans opponents by the busload will all be part of the furor surrounding proceedings on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Simpson, 3/23).

Reuters: Tea Party Activists Defy Rain To Rip Obama Health Care Law
Several hundred rain-soaked Tea Party activists rallied on Saturday to call for the U.S. Supreme Court to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care law after arguments next week. Speaker after speaker at the two-hour protest in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol tore up copies of the law and condemned it as a threat to American freedoms and a violation of the Constitution. The flag-waving rally by the Tea Party movement, which fueled a conservative Republican wave in 2010 mid-term elections, was an early start to demonstrations by opponents and supporters of the law around the Supreme Court arguments (Simpson, 3/24).

NPR: Employers Monitor Health Care Law Arguments
The Supreme Court won't rule on President Obama's health care case until June. Republicans vow to repeal the law if they win big in November. David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, talks to David Greene about how the ruling could affect doctors, hospitals, employers and consumers (Wessel and Greene, 3/26). 

Related, earlier KHN story: Health Industries Weigh In On Supreme Court Case (Hancock, 3/22).

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