Supreme Court to hear healthcare reform challenge

The highest court in the land agreed to hear arguments on the healthcare reform law by March 2012, which would decide on legality of the individual mandate by the end of June 2012, reports USA Today. The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear the challenge, brought up by 26 states, to the 2010 healthcare reform law, which requires Americans to purchase health insurance.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear appeals from just one decision--the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta--the only one so far that struck down the mandate, reports the New York Times.

Although cases usually take about an hour, the Court scheduled five and half hours of argument, indicating the significance of the event.

How will the Court rule? According to the White House administration, it will in its favor.

"We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree," said Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, in the NYT article.

If it goes the other way, Paul Keckley, executive director of Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, said there could be mass effects on the young, newly insured.

"Should the individual mandate ultimately be ruled unconstitutional, it will significantly hamper the ACA's ability to ensure some of those previously uninsured 'young invincibles,' as well as seriously undermining a key rationale for funding the new law," he said in a statement to FierceHealthcare.

The healthcare reform law, signed in March 2010, extends insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans, according to USA Today.

For more information:
- read the New York Times article
- read the USA Today article

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