Click here to hear the audio of Today’s (Day 2) HCR arguments at the Supreme Court — arguments on the Individual Mandate Click here to hear the audio of yesterday’s (Day 1) HCR arguments at the Supreme Court — arguments on the Anti-Injunction Act
The above links are to the US Supreme Court’s official website.
Much of the information below was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.
Day 2: The Individual Mandate
Leavitt: Today the Court heard oral arguments on the Individual Mandate, the provision that will require most US residents to have or buy health insurance in 2014, or to pay a tax penalty for failure to have insurance.Initial reports from reporters and attorneys who attended the oral arguments indicate that the individual mandate “could be in big trouble.” The conventional wisdom has been that the four liberal justices would uphold the individual mandate, and that one or possibly two of the other justices also would uphold the mandate. After today’s arguments, many of those who were part of the conventional wisdom have written articles saying they think the High Court may very well rule the individual mandate unconstitutional. The justices expressed concern that there may be no limits on the government’s power to require citizens to purchase particular products that are in their best interest and that affect interstate commerce.
Kaiser: Justices Grill Obama Administration On Health Law
KHN contributor Stuart Taylor, Jr., tells Jackie Judd the conservative justices were especially skeptical today, asking sometimes-hostile questions of Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
JACKIE JUDD: Good day and welcome to “Health Reform and the Court.” I’m Jackie Judd. The second day of the historic Supreme Court hearings on the health reform law focused on this central question: Does Congress have the power to require Americans to purchase health insurance? Is the individual mandate constitutional? Our man at the court, Stuart Taylor – who is a legal contributor to many publications, including the National Journal – once again joins us. Welcome, Stuart.
Day 1: The Anti-Injunction Act
Leavitt: Yesterday was Day 1 of the health care reform oral arguments at the US Supreme Court. The Court heard oral arguments on the Anti-Injunction Act, the section of the Tax Code that prohibits individuals from challenging federal tax laws until after they have paid the tax.
Most articles published by various media outlets say they think the Supreme Court Justices will not punt until 2015 – that is, they will not hold that the Anti-Injunction Act prevents the court from rendering a decision on the Affordable Care Act. (This author is also of that opinion, as noted in my prior article on this website. My opinion is based more on practical reasons, not on the Justices’ questions or their demeanor at oral argument.)
Kaiser: Based on justices questions’ during the opening day of oral arguments in the challenges to the health law, it appears the court was receptive to arguments by both the federal government and the measure’s opponents that the case should be decided now rather than waiting until after the individual mandate’s penalties for not having health insurance have kicked in.
Click here for Kaiser’s coverage of Day 1 at the Supreme Court.
Your Guide To What Happened At The Supreme Court, Day 1
The first day’s arguments focused on the Anti-Injunction Act and whether the court can rule on the case before a penalty is imposed on those who do not have health insurance. KHN’s reporter inside the court, Stuart Taylor, tells Jackie Judd that all the justices, except one, seemed eager to ask questions.