President Obama's health care overhaul is front and center at the Supreme Court for three days of hearings. The justices will determine the fate of a controversial law aimed at extending health insurance to more than 30 million Americans.
This is the culmination of a highly partisan legal fight between the Obama administration and the 26 states that are leading a challenge to the largest expansion in the nation's social safety net in more than four decades.
The justices are considering the constitutionality of a provision requiring individuals to have health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. Two federal appeals courts have upheld the law. Another appeals court struck down only the insurance mandate, and one said a tax law makes it premature to decide the merits until the main coverage provisions take effect in 2014.
Supporters and opponents are making their voices heard on the issue, gathering outside the Supreme Court as the justices start tackling the case. Supporters of the law were chanting and carrying signs that read, "Protect my healthcare." Opponents were there too, shouting, "We love the Constitution."
The high court hears the case in the midst of a presidential election campaign in which the Republican challengers oppose the law and promise to repeal it if the high court doesn't strike it down first.
The justices are expected to make a decision by late June.
Follow @AP_Courtside for updates and insight on health care arguments before the Supreme Court.
Here's what some of you are saying about this case on the CNYCentral Facebook page :
John Konieczko: "The federal govt cannot force citizens to purchase a product from another entity! plain and simple!"
David P. Turnbole: "...40 million who had NO health care coverage are now covered. Tell me what's wrong with that? I don't want to see it turn into the English equivalent where it's first come first served and if you die waiting too bad."
Ronna Bond Neal: "I'm not buying it! We will do w/o! Come and get me! I simply refuse! Unemployed people and illegals already get free health care and also are first to be treated in the ER!"
Kimberly Weaver: "People need to be educated and learn the facts that people are working everyday in this country for companies that offer no health insurance and if your employed and go for assistance your not going to get it....Its time for the United States to step up and offer every American citizen affordable health insurance."
Do you support the health care overhaul? Do you think it's unconstitutional? Why or why not? What impact do you think this will have on the November election? Leave your thoughts below.
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Information from the Associated Press used in this article.