Supreme Court's Health Care Decisions To Come Thursday
The Washington Post wrote up a useful Q&A regarding these many outcomes. Here are a few of the more salient ones:
Q:What if the Supreme Court, despite justices’ blunt questions during public arguments, upholds the law and finds Congress was within its authority to require most people to have health insurance or pay a penalty?
A: If the law is upheld and allowed to take full effect would be uninsured people in the United States, estimated at more than 50 million.
Q: On the other hand, what if the court strikes down the entire law?
A: Taking down the law would kill a costly new federal entitlement. But that still would leave the problems of high costs, waste and millions of uninsured people.
Q: What happens if the court strikes down the requirement that everyone must have insurance, but leaves the rest of the Affordable Care Act in place?
A: People would have no obligation to carry insurance, but insurers would remain bound by the law to accept applicants regardless of medical condition and limit what they charge their oldest and sickest customers. Studies suggest that premiums in the individual health care would jump by 10 to 30 percent.
Politico said it best:
"The mandate question is likely to be clear cut: It will either be upheld or struck down. But on the issue of severability — how much of the law has to come down if the mandate is found unconstitutional — there are many ways they could rule."
In other words, whether law is constitutional or unconstitutional will be a question easily answered; however, severability, or how much of the law has to be cut down (if the mandate is found unconstitutional) is where the tableau becomes muddy.