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Court's health care decision on fast track?

March 26, 2012 - Mike Maneval
A blog post by the Washington Post's Ezra Klein does an awesome job laying out the four major issues on which the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments regarding the constitutionality of health care.

While I've written about the consumer mandate - unconstitutional, in my view - and the matter of severability, the big issue debated Monday is the Anti-Injunction Act. Associated Press reports indicate broad belief the Anti-Injunction Act does not prevent the court from ruling on the law's constitutionality before penalties for failing to comply are implemented. Or, as Klein puts it, "both sides think the Court should be able to rule right now."

While Monday's debate may not bate the breath of anyone, on either side of the issue, if the conventional wisdom holds true, the court should produce some big headlines on the fate of the health care reform law passed in 2010, headlines that will have some of the crowd rallying outside the Supreme Court cheering - and some weeping. But, as Klein notes, rejection of the Anti-Injunction Act, at the very least, helps remove ambiguity from the policy ahead of a presidential and congressional elections that likely will see high turnout. And a reduction in that sort of ambiguity may well help voters make important decisions in the booths in November.


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