On the first day of the Supreme Court’s review of health care reform, the court focused on the Anti-Injunction Act and the timing of the lawsuit. If the Anti-Injunction Act applied to reform, then the Supreme Court would not be allowed to rule on the case before a penalty is imposed on those who do not comply with the individual mandate. That means, if the Anti-Injunction Act applied then the Supreme Court would have to wait until the individual mandate and penalty for not purchasing health insurance was implemented in 2014. This would delay the decision on health care reform until 2014.
Many believe that the Supreme Court will not delay ruling on health care reform due to the Anti-Injunction Act and both parties involved in the lawsuit would like the court to rule sooner rather than wait two years.
The first day of arguments concluded within 90 minutes and the oral arguments can be heard here.
What else will the Supreme Court consider?
On March 27, 2012, the court will listen to arguments on the individual mandate and the Congress’ power to regulate commerce and levy taxes. There will be 120 minutes during this session.
Then on March 28, 2012, arguments will conclude about severability. Severability arguments will discuss whether or not parts of health care reform will survive and continue if the individual mandate is found to be unconstitutional. Also the Supreme Court will hear arguments on State sovereignty in Medicaid expansion. Currently states are allowed to make decisions in regards to Medicaid expansion and it’s unclear if the federal government can require states to expand Medicaid to levels defined by health care reform.