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Today’s Headlines — June 28, 2012

Today’s the big day. Stay with us throughout the morning for reaction and a host of coverage on the Supreme Court’s Decision on the health law.

In the meantime, here are some headlines to read as you wait:

The New York Times: Awaiting Ruling On Fairly Simple Questions About A Complex Health Law
The Supreme Court is expected to announce on Thursday morning its decision on the health care overhaul that President Obama signed into law in 2010 — an act of Congress thousands of pages long, containing hundreds of changes costing hundreds of billions of dollars and affecting nearly every American from cradle to grave (Cushman, 6/27).

Reuters/Chicago Tribune: Supreme Court To Deliver Obama Healthcare Law Ruling
The nine justices are scheduled to take the bench at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) on the last day of the high court’s term to read their final opinions, including their decision in the epic legal battle over the healthcare law (Vicini, 6/28).

For more headlines …

Wall Street Journal:  Supreme Court To Decide On Health Law
On the final day of its 2011-12 term, the high court will deliver its opinion on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which Mr. Obama signed on March 23, 2010. The first constitutional challenge to the law was filed that same day. The central question before the court was whether Congress could require most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty. The court could uphold the entire law, nullify part of it or strike it down completely. All of Washington was prepared to react within minutes of the ruling, which was expected to come shortly after 10 a.m. EDT. Republicans said they would push to repeal any parts of the law that survived the court’s review (Kendall/Radnofsky/Bravin, 6/28).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: A 10 A.M. Start, Then Some Tense Waiting
Don’t expect the justices to announce the health-care ruling as soon as they take the bench at 10 a.m. The court has three cases left to decide and it will very likely announce the other two decisions first (Kendall, 6/27).

Politico: Supreme Court Health Care Ruling: Win-Lose Scenarios
Predicting the outcome is a guessing game and a perilous one. But every Washington player worth his or her salt has a game plan for all possible scenarios. Here’s a pregame look at the best- and worst-case results for key participants in the health-care reform saga — and how they’ll try to spin the decision to the hilt (Gerstein, 6/28).

USA Today: Expect Swift Opinions In Supreme Court Health Care Ruling
Tea Party and union members, liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats have two things in common as the Supreme Court prepares to announce its verdict on President Obama’s health care law Thursday. They have no clue what the court will decide. And they will have plenty to say outside the court immediately after — in high praise or denunciation (Wolf, 6/27).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: States Consider Divergent Responses Ahead Of Supreme Court Ruling On Federal Health Care Law
As the nation awaits the Supreme Court ruling on President Barak Obama’s health care overhaul, states across the country are considering how they will respond to the historic decision. Some Democratic-led states vow to push ahead with various provisions no matter what happens. In some Republican territories, elected officials insist they will try to hold off on implementing the law, even if the court upholds it. And most states are bound to miss key deadlines if the law or even pieces of it survive (6/27).

The Wall Street Journal: Health Ruling Won’t Cure States’ Ills
No matter how the Supreme Court rules Thursday on the federal health-care law, states will face huge struggles paying for ballooning health expenses and swelling uninsured populations—a problem that has prompted some states to draft their own overhaul plans (Radnofsky, Burton and Levitz, 6/27).

Los Angeles Times: White House Unusually Quiet Before Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling
The ruling on Obama’s biggest domestic accomplishment could be among the most consequential events in his presidency, but he will learn about it at the same time as the rest of the nation, receiving no advanced warning as he does for such government actions as the release of unemployment statistics (Parsons, Mascaro and Hennessey, 6/27).

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire: Obama Prepares Three Speeches Ahead Of Health-Care Ruling
The White House has kept its preparations for the Supreme Court’s decision on President Barack Obama’s health care law close to the vest. Mr. Obama, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday, the West Wing is merely “waiting for an opinion, a decision, and we’ll assess” (Lee, 6/27).

The New York Times’ The Caucus: No Matter What Court Decides, Health Care Law Has ‘Got To Go,’ Romney Says
Mitt Romney may not know how the Supreme Court is going to rule on President Obama’s health care plan on Thursday, but he did have one prediction at a campaign rally here on the eve of the decision: “My guess is they’re not sleeping real well at the White House tonight” (Parker, 6/27).

The New York Times’ The Caucus:  In 2006 Video, Romney Calls Health Care Mandate ‘Essential’
On the eve of the Supreme Court’s health care ruling Thursday morning, a Democratic group has uncovered what it said was fresh evidence of Mitt Romney’s one-time embrace of the individual insurance mandate that he now scorns. Video of Mr. Romney from a March 2006 news conference when he was governor of Massachusetts shows the presumptive Republican nominee praising the passage of an individual mandate in the legislature as an “essential” part of the reforms he advocated (Shear, 6/28).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: For Obama And Romney, Health Care Ruling Will Start Fundraising Storm, Fresh Blizzard Of Ads
Barely four months before the nation votes, one of the biggest factors in the fight for the White House still is a mystery. That will change on Thursday. The Supreme Court’s expected ruling on President Barack Obama’s sweeping federal health care law will shape the contours of the presidential campaign through the summer and fall. Both Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney are primed to use the ruling — whatever it is — for political gain (6/27).

The New York Times’ The Caucus: Poll Roundup: Swing States And Health Care
Other polls have been released in the last few days. A new ABC News/Washington Post national survey found that while most Americans express dissatisfaction with the health care law, about the same number are dissatisfied with the nation’s health care system. As the country waits for the Supreme Court to issue its decision on the legislation, 56 percent rate the nation’s health care system unfavorably, and 52 percent of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the health care law. Yet 75 percent of Americans express a favorable view of the health care they personally receive (Kopicki, 6/27).

Los Angeles Times: CalPERS Considers Revamping Health Plans To Lower Its Medical Tab
California’s biggest healthcare buyer isn’t happy about its $7-billion annual medical bill climbing almost 10% next year, and the state’s big insurers may be feeling the heat. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is preparing to rebid its health insurance business this fall for 1.3 million members, and two of its current plans, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, are likely to face intense competition as the giant pension fund considers its options (Terhune, 6/28).

Los Angeles Times: Jerry Brown Signs Budget That Relies On Voter-Backed Tax Hikes
The tax question isn’t the only one hanging over the new budget, which takes effect Sunday. Republicans are threatening to withhold votes need to extend a fee on healthcare providers, and a controversy over how aggressively the state can scoop up money from defunct redevelopment agencies could lead to a legal faceoff with local governments (Megerian, 6/28).