An historic day for the Healthcare Reform bill wrapped up today and most Supreme Court experts were very surprised at the proceedings. The Supreme Court is really weighing in on 2 major things: #1 is the individual mandate (the part of the Healthcare Reform bill that requires most US citizens and legal residents maintain minimal essential coverage) constitutionally allowed, and #2, whether or not the rest of the bill still survives if the individual mandate was removed.
It can be a little dangerous to make presumptions about final rulings based on tone and tenor, so it is equally important to both recognize that the message was very different than most expected today, but that today is not a decision day.
Essentially, what happened today was the Supreme Court Justices asked many questions that seemed to indicate a majority of them are not leaning toward ruling the individual mandate constitutionally acceptable. The final ruling is expected by late June 2012, so there will certainly be some deliberation between now and then, but we did want to make sure you were up to date on this historic court case as it unfolds.
There would need to be 5 of the 9 Justices ruling in favor of the legality of the mandate, and at the moment, most experts can only really identify 4 that seem likely to lean that way. While many expected at least 5, some experts predicting as many as 6 or even 7 Justices would rule that way, as oral arguments concluded today on the individual mandate, many experts began to say the whole reform bill is in big trouble.
We will of course continue to keep you up to date and ALWAYS welcome your phone calls/emails on the matter.