Supreme Court set to hear health care debate

Jeff Hargarten

The United States Supreme Court takes up the validity of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform bill today, Reuters reported. Two years after the overhaul was signed into law, the Court will decide on its constitutional validity.

The bill was intended to improve healthcare accessibility and costs for millions of Americans and has resulted in partisan political debate. Republican presidential candidates have vowed to undo the 2010 law.

The primary issue at stake for the Court is the bill’s individual mandate requiring most people to purchase some form of health insurance by 2014 or face a financial penalty. About 26 out of 50 states have challenged the provision. Healthcare spending in the U.S. is about $2.6 trillion per year, or about $8,402 per person.

Republicans argue that government shouldn’t meddle with private industry or force people to buy things. The Obama administration and the bill’s proponents argue everyone needs medical care and those who don’t have it will unnecessarily burden the system Transcripts and audio of arguments are expected to be available on the Supreme Court's website.