The fate of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) seems to be decided by how 2 key conservative justices—John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy—determine the constitutionality of the mandate requiring everyone to buy health insurance. The panel of 9 justices appear to be divided along the ideological line, with 5 justices (appointed by the last 3 Republican presidents) questioned the constitutionality of the mandate while the 4 justices (appointed by Clinton and Obama) defended the law.
The last day of Supreme Court hearing of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was mainly about whether the whole law could stand on his own if the mandate requiring everyone to have coverage was to be ruled unconstitutional.
Some arguments or comments:
- The states challenged that the whole ObamaCare should be removed if the mandate is ruled unconstitutional—if you do not have the individual mandate to force people into the market then community rating and guaranteed-issue will cause the cost of premiums to skyrocket.
- Justice Antonin Scalia also agreed, “When we strike that down, it’s clear that Congress would not have passed it without that”
- Justice Kagan wondered, “Is half a loaf better than no loaf?”
- Justice Kennedy worried about the unintended consequences in the form of increased cost if the mandate is removed—“We would be exercising the judicial power if one Act was — one provision was stricken and the others remained to impose a risk on insurance companies that Congress had never intended. By reason of this Court, we would have a new regime that Congress did not provide for, did not consider.”
- Justice Ginsburg argued that other parts of the law have not been challenged in court, why should Congress redo those.
What do you believe?
If the mandate requiring everyone to have insurance coverage is ruled unconstitutional, should the whole ObamaCare be invalidated as well—knowing that without this mandate the premiums will increase hugely?