As the third and final day of the oral arguments over Health Care Reform in the Supreme Court closed, the uncertainty over the Court’s anticipated decision grows even stronger. Many believe that the law is in jeopardy over the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the provision requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance. And the third day of arguments made it clear that if the individual mandate fails, there is a strong likelihood that the entire ACA will fall with it.
Day three kicked off with arguments around the severability issue of whether the ACA can remain in action if individual elements of it are deemed unconstitutional, specifically the individual mandate provision. As oral arguments and questioning developed, it quickly became clear that the Court is stuck on their political divisions.
Liberal Justices who support the ACA argued that there are too many vital elements of the law to be thrown out if one element fails, while conservative Justices questioned how Congress can salvage the law if central elements are picked apart.
“Is half a loaf better than no loaf? And on something like the [health insurance marketplace] exchanges it seems to me a perfect example where half a loaf is better than no loaf. The exchanges will do something.” – Justice Elena Kagan