Today the Supreme Court handed down a decision on the unconstitutionality of Arizona’s immigration laws, but a ruling on the health care mandate passed by Congress in 2009 will have to wait until Thursday.
According to CNN, all remaining Supreme Court decisions will be handed down on Thursday.
At the heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the mandate which requires people to buy health insurance or face a penalty. Opinions have varied on whether the federal government has the power to force such a purchase.
Health care experts interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor believe that the law can survive even if the mandate is declared unconstitutional.
Even without the mandate, the law’s expansion ofMedicaid eligibility would cover some 16 million people, about half the total number of people who would gain insurance if the whole law is upheld, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
In addition, federal subsidies and tax credits for low- and middle-income people to buy insurance in the new marketplaces, or “exchanges” – think Travelocity for health care – will make coverage more affordable.