Supreme Court health care arguments get under way
With demonstrators chanting outside, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments this morning on the fate of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul law, no less controversial two years after Democrats pushed it to passage in Congress. Twenty-six states are leading the legal challenge. The law, much of which has yet to take effect, will require almost all Americans to obtain health insurance and will extend coverage to more than 30 million people who now lack it. The law is the largest expansion in the nation's social safety net in more than four decades. The nine justices began hearing arguments a little after 9 a.m. A decision is expected by late June, in the midst of a presidential election campaign in which all of Obama's Republican challengers oppose the law and promise its repeal, if the high court doesn't strike it down first. People hoping for a glimpse of the action have waited in line all weekend for the relatively few seats open to the public. The justices allotted the case six hours of argument time, the most for any case since the mid-1960s. The biggest issue before the court is Tuesday's argument over the constitutionality of the individual insurance requirement. The states and the National Federation of Independent Business say Congress lacks authority under the Constitution for the unprecedented step of forcing Americans to buy insurance whether they want it or not. The Associated Press has the full story here.
Today's poll question: Do you think the Supreme Court will find the health care overhaul law constitutional?
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