Final day of Obamacare debate before the Supreme Court
Decision will be rendered in June.
The US Supreme Court is hearing the last arguments over Obama's Affordable Care Act, also called "Obamacare" by opponents. The court will render its final verdict in June, a decision that could have tremendous political repercussions this election year.
the fate of Obamacare will soon be in the hands of the Supreme Court.
The law is the largest overhaul of the healthcare industry in 50 years and has implications for nearly every American. Designed to provide insurance coverage to millions of chronically uninsured Americans, critics say the plan is too costly and counts as government intrusion into the healthcare industry and our private lives.
They also say that compelling every American to buy insurance or face a penalty could be too costly for some. Finally, there is the issue of liberty - a dangerous expansion of governmental control over our individual decion making and personal liberty. This provision is known as the individual mandate.Never before in history has the Federal Government compelled, under penalty, that a citizen buy a good or service.
The individual mandate is under intense scrutiny as a key part of the bill. The justices will consider if the law can even function as intended without the individual mandate in place.There is no severability provision in the legislation. The individual mandate is critical, supporters say, because of the other provisions of the law.
Among the other provisions, the law forbids insurance companies from refusing coverage for preexisting conditions, a requirement that will make costs for insurance go up. However, those increases will (purportedly) be offset by the individual mandate, which means there will be little reason for costs to increase because more people will be paying into the system.
Lower courts have delivered various rulings on the most debated provisions of the law, which suggests the justices could rule either way - the issue is not clear cut.
The court has a conservative majority. The liberal -leaning justices are expected to uphold the law. Analysts believe the final decision could come to Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Anthony Kennedy. If either man should break ranks with the others and join the four liberal justices, the law will be upheld, leaving it to congress and the president, whoever that will be in 2013, to leave the law alone or repeal it.
The Justices are scheduled to privately discuss the issue on Friday and will take secret ballots. After that, the justices will work individually to write their opinions.
A ruling can be expected in June before the court's summer recess.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Roberts, Kennedy, individual mandate
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