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Arguments in Health Care Case Head Behind Closed Doors
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Public arguments concluded on Wednesday in front of the Supreme Court in regards to the new health care law proposed by President Barack Obama. The arguments for and against the health care law proposed by Obama have gone behind closed doors now. The overhaul would hopefully extend health insurance to close to 50 million Americans who do not have any health insurance coverage. The first issue that must be decided by the justices is the main focal point of the law. The main focal point of the law is a requirement that all Americans have health insurance or they must pay a penalty. The justices have to decide if this requirement is constitutional.

The questions raised in front of the court this week provide the public with the view that the court is very much divided on the issue. The liberal justices sitting on the court appear to be in favor of upholding the law completely while the conservative justices on the court seem to be skeptical of the requirement to have insurance. The law was approved two years ago by Congress when Democrats were in control of the Senate and the House.

  
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Wednesday was also spent discussing a challenge by 26 states to the expansion of the federal-state Medicaid program that is available for low-income Americans. This is considered a very important aspect because it is going to extend coverage to 15 million people and no lower level court rejected it.

Donald Verrilli Jr., the solicitor general of the United States, made one final plea to the court to uphold the entire law once the Medicaid argument ended. Verrilli said that the law would help to ‘secure the blessings of liberty’ for millions of residents in the country because they would be provided with health care that is affordable. The court was told by Verrilli that Congress created a policy decision in an effort to fight the rising costs of medical care within the new law. Verrilli said, “I would urge the court to respect that judgment,” he said.

The lawyer representing the 26 states that are challenging the new law, Paul Clement, answered Verrilli by saying that forcing people to purchase health insurance who might not want it is a very odd definition of liberty. Clement also described the threat by Congress to cut all Medicaid funding from the states that do not want to expand the program as “a direct threat to our federalism.”

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