Supreme Court decision on polarizing health care law looms


Story highlights

The Supreme Court decision on health care will come Thursday

The Affordable Care Act was passed in March 2010 along partisan lines

The law requires individuals to buy health insurance or face a fine

Washington CNN —  

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule Thursday on the constitutionality of the sweeping health care law championed by President Barack Obama.

The stakes cannot be overstated – what the justices decide will have an immediate and long-term impact on all Americans, both in how they get medicine and health care, and also in vast, yet unknown areas of “commerce.”

Five scenarios: Health care options before the justices

According to a poll released Tuesday, 37% of Americans say they would be pleased if the health care law is deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Twenty-eight percent would be pleased if the Affordable Care Act is ruled constitutional, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey showed, compared to 35% who said they would be disappointed if the court came back with that outcome.

But nearly four in 10 Americans surveyed said they would have “mixed feelings” if the justices struck down the whole law. The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted June 20-24.

The real people behind health care reform

Previous surveys have indicated that some who oppose the law do so because they think it doesn’t go far enough.

The polarizing law, dubbed “Obamacare” by many, is the signature legislation of Obama’s time in office.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, told supporters in Virginia on Tuesday: “If Obamacare is not deemed constitutional, then the first three and a half years of this president’s term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people.”

Romney, whose opposition to the law has been a rallying cry on the stump, continued: “If it is deemed to stand, then I’ll tell you one thing. Then we’ll have to have a president – and I’m that one – that’s gonna get rid of Obamacare. We’re gonna stop it on day one.”

Speaking to supporters in Atlanta Tuesday, Obama defended his health care law as the way forward for the American people.