The Supreme Court has agreed to decide the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care overhaul once and for all and it has devoted 5½ hours to oral arguments — more time than any other case in 40 years. Arguments usually last only an hour, except in special cases.

The court will rule on four points, including whether the law’s mandate that all Americans buy private insurance is constitutional. — PZS


In an apparent effort to be as comprehensive as possible, the court certified four questions for review. First, and most important: Did Congress exceed its constitutional authority in requiring virtually all Americans to have basic health care coverage?

The second: If the individual mandate is unconstitutional, does the rest of the law stand? Even the government now says there would be no way to provide the goodies everyone likes in this law without the expanded pool of people paying into the system.

The third question: Does the law impose unconstitutional conditions on the states by requiring them to pay 5 percent more into Medicaid by 2017 to cover the increased number of people under the program?

And the last question: Is it is premature to decide the first three?

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