U.S. Supreme Court will take up health care reform

by Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | November 14, 2011
The U.S. Supreme Court confirmed what many long expected: it will decide if the health care reform law, the Obama administration's signal domestic policy victory, is constitutional.

America's top court announced Monday it will hear challenges to the Patient Affordable Care Act, the constitutionality of which has divided appeals courts. Thus far, two have supported it, one has opposed, and one said the matter can't be decided, for legal reasons, until the law takes full effect in 2014.

At issue is the so-called individual mandate, which requires citizens to buy health insurance by 2014 or face penalties. Critics of the law, which include more than two dozen states, believe it's an overreach of federal power, while supporters, such as the Obama administration, say it's a tax that falls squarely within Congress' purview -- regulating interstate commerce.

The court will likely hear arguments in the first quarter next year, and a ruling is expected as early as June -- one that could, of course, shake up next year's presidential race.

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