Wednesday was the last day of the Affordable Care Act historic arguments before the Supreme Court and reactions are mixed.
CNN legal correspondent Jeffrey Toobin, speaking on the days proceedings, concluded that "the last three days were a disaster for the Obama administration-- the Individual Mandate is all but gone."
Toobin, who was present for the entire three-day debate, added that the Federal Government's side had "a good last hour" on Wednesday but that the rest of the days were "a train wreck." He, along with other critics, have accused Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, legal counsel for the federal governemnt, of doing an extremely poor job of articulating his argument. Paul Clement, representing the States opposing the Mandate, reportedly did a better job for his side.
Toobin said said that the Individual Mandate, sceduled to take effect in 2014, looked like it's in serious jeopardy of being overturned and that the Justices were deeply divided on whether the provision, one of 450, was unconstitutional.
Justice Scalia, seen on CNN, said this about the Law, "if you take the heart out of the statute, the statute is gone." He is leaning on ruling against the mandate which would scrap the Act so that Congress will have to go back to the drawing board to start over. This would be a terrible blow to the president who managed to push this Bill through and signed it into law March 23, 2010, after a long, contentious congressional fight. Justice Ginsburg on the other hand, who clearly doesn't see it that way, had this to say, "..So why should we say it's a choice between a wrecking operation--or a salvage job..the more conservative approach would be to salvage rather than throwing out everything."
Justice Scalia opined about the task of reading and ruling on every Mandate in just three days. The 2,700 page document is huge by any stretch of the imagination and a few jokes ensued on Scalia's complaint.
Those opposing the healthcare law claims it's unconstitutional to force States and individuals to purchase healthcare. Arguments for the Affordable Care Act, say this reform was absolutely necessary for it provides care for millions Americans who couldn't afford it before.
Now children can stay on their parents insurance until age 26. Seniors get a break on costs. Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. Co-pay for mammograms, colonoscopies and other non-elective procedures have been eliminated.
Some of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, dubbed "Obamacare," have already kicked in and some will be starting 2014. According to federal health officials, more than 3 million people in my state of New York and 54 million nationwide are already seeing some of the changes.
By 2014, over 30 million nationwide will reportedly gain health coverage, 1 million in New York alone, reported Your News Now (YNN).
It will be months, maybe mid-June, before the public learns of the Supreme Court's decision, and the process by which they will reach a consensus will not be open to the public. Justices can change their stance up to the time the final majority opinion is written.
To read my earlier report, click link below: