The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments in the case questioning the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, known to many as Obamacare. This means consumers will finally get an answer on whether President Obama’s healthcare reform will continue as is or be drastically changed from its initial intent.
The Wall Street Journal reports the Court will hear the challenge, “… brought by a group of Republican governors and attorneys general from 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business and two individual plaintiffs.” The issue at question is whether the federal government can mandate that all Americans must purchase health insurance by 2014 or face paying a fine if they do not. The arguments will be made in front of the Court next March, with a decision coming in June, just months before the 2012 presidential election.
ABC News adds, in addition to reviewing the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the court “… will also hear arguments regarding whether the mandate can be severed from the rest of the law, whether the challenge is barred by a federal tax law and whether the law’s Medicaid expansion presents an undue burden on the states.”
The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 and features such provisions as banning health insurers from setting lifetime limits on health coverage, allowing those with pre-existing conditions previously unable to get insurance to enroll in a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, and allowing children under the age of 26 to remain on their parent’s health insurance policy.
If the court rules that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, many of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act could still remain in place, but the federal government would not be allowed to require citizens to purchase health insurance. For now, though, everything stays as is.