Over the next three days, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments for and against the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly referred to as ACA, also called “Obamacare”). The most controversial part of ACA is the individual mandate, which would require all Americans to have health insurance starting in 2014 (with some exemptions for financial or religious reasons). Many believe the mandate is unconstitutional, but ACA could theoretically remain intact without it (although many health policy experts believe the mandate is the key to the functionality of many other pieces of the legislation). The Supreme Court will also hear arguments regarding the hundreds of other provisions included in ACA, including expansions of state Medicaid programs and tax credits for small employers.
Confused? Check out the following links to track the case.
- Kaiser Health News has a pretty good overview of the basics here.
- New York Times Interactive Guide to the Supreme Court’s Challenges to Obama’s Health Care Law
- New York Times summary of Monday’s hearing
Update: A few more resources regarding this case are listed below
- Kaiser’s Health Law March Madness
- A live blog of SCOTUS proceedings via The Boston Globe
- Arguments on the SCOTUS blog by Lyle Denniston
*image via the Los Angeles Times