Court Wonders Which Parts Of Law — If Any — Can Stand Without The Mandate
In exploring the severability question, the justices will ponder whether other parts of the health law can go forward if they void the individual mandate, considered the measure's central element. News outlets examine the "contingency plans" being explored by the law's supporters in case the mandate falls.
NPR: Court Looks At Whether Mandate Can Separate From Rest Of Health Law
In its second-to-last argument over the Affordable Care Act Wednesday, the Supreme Court Wednesday ponders a what-if. Specifically, if it decides that Congress exceeded its Constitutional authority in enacting the part of the law that requires most Americans to either have health insurance starting in 2014 or pay a penalty, does that invalidate the rest of the law? And if not, how much, if any, of the rest of the law should it strike down? (Rovner, 3/28).
Reuters: Supreme Court Weighs All-Or-Nothing On Healthcare Law
The fate of President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul will be on the line on Wednesday when the Supreme Court considers whether the entire law must fall without its centerpiece insurance mandate. Completing three days of historic arguments, the nine justices will hear arguments on whether the rest of the law, Obama's signature domestic accomplishment, can survive should the court decide Congress exceeded its powers by requiring all Americans buy insurance by 2014 (Vicini and Biskupic, 3/28).
Bloomberg: Court Considers Health Law Fate If Coverage Rule Voided
The U.S. Supreme Court today will consider how much of President Barack Obama's health-care law must be thrown out if the justices decide Congress can't require Americans to buy medical insurance.The debate on so-called severability took on added significance after questions from justices yesterday indicated a majority might strike down the insurance requirement. Today’s session will conclude three days of hearings, six hours in all, the longest in 44 years (Stohr and Drummond, 3/28).
The Washington Post: Could The Health-Care Law Work Without The Individual Mandate?
If the Supreme Court were to invalidate the 2010 health-care law's requirement that virtually all Americans obtain insurance, would the rest of the law become unworkable? Even among supporters of the statute, opinions vary widely about the practical impact of a decision to strike down the mandate but leave everything else intact — one of several options available to the court (Aizenman, 3/27).
CBS: Court To Mull Health Care Law Without Mandate
The heart of the Obama administration's health care overhaul hanging in the balance, the Supreme Court is turning to whether the rest of the law can survive if the crucial individual insurance requirement is struck down. The justices also will spend part of Wednesday, the last of three days of arguments over the health law, considering a challenge by 26 states to the expansion of the Medicaid program for low-income Americans, an important feature toward the overall goal of extending health insurance to an additional 30 million people (3/28).
Politico: Health Care Reform: Coverage For Sickest May Hinge On Court's Decision
Lawyers for President Barack Obama made a high-stakes gamble on the way to the Supreme Court: If you strike down the individual mandate, they told the justices, you've also got to kill the guarantee of coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. All of a sudden, that’s looking like a bad bet (Millman, 3/27).
The New York Times: Contengency Plans Are Few If Court Strikes Down Insurance Requirement
If the court invalidates the insurance requirement, the White House and a divided Congress would be left to pick up the pieces. Their first steps toward finding alternatives to reduce the number of uninsured in the country — nearly 50 million, or one in six Americans — would depend heavily on how far the Supreme Court goes, and on the balance of power in Washington after the November elections (Sack, 3/27).
Kaiser Health News: If Mandate Is Overturned, Obama Could Need Help To Salvage The Health Law
When Barack Obama ran for president in 2008, he insisted the nation could fix its health care system without requiring everyone to carry insurance. As the Supreme Court weighs in on the health law, Obama is facing the possibility that he may have to make good on his campaign claim. During the March 27 oral arguments at the Supreme Court, conservative justices – who are in the majority – aggressively challenged the mandate. ... There are ways that Obama—if he’s re-elected — might be able to salvage the law even if the court strikes down the individual mandate but leaves the rest intact, health policy experts say (Rau, updated 3/28).
The Associated Press: Loss Of Insurance Mandate Wouldn't Kill Health Law
President Barack Obama's health care law would not automatically collapse if the Supreme Court strikes down the unpopular requirement that most Americans carry medical insurance or face a penalty. The overhaul could still lurch ahead without that core requirement, experts say. But it would be more like a clunky collection of parts than a coherent whole. That would make an already complicated law a lot harder to carry out, risking repercussions for a U.S. health care system widely seen as wasteful, unaffordable and unable to deliver consistently high quality (Alonso-Zaldivar, 3/28).