Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SCOTUS Hears Oral Arguments on HHS v. Florida

The Supreme Court's Review of the Affordable Health Care Act, the signature legislature achievement of President Barack Obama, is taking place this week. When the Court reaches its decision this summer, because of the nature of the legislation and because it's taking place during an election year, it is said it will be the most important ruling by the court since Bush v. Gore in 2000. 

The Supreme Court has made audio of this hearing available because of the historic nature of the case. And maybe I'm just being wonkish, but I find it fascinating. 

I knew, for example, that the justices were able to interrupt the attorney's during their argument to the court. But you can hear the nerves of the Solicitor General Donald Verrilli. The probing of the justices which reveals their interests or perspectives on the case before them. It's really quite fascinating. The questions, for instance, on whether or not the mandate actually 'creates commerce' is particularly interesting...

No one knows, of course, how the Supreme Court will rule. What we do know is that this ruling will impact every American. Whether or not we are on our way to becoming a country in which we provide health care coverage for all Americans or will we be a country that allows us (in the most superficial logic) to 'fend for ourselves'. The fact is, none of us 'fend for ourselves'. We pay for the uninsured through higher premiums and higher taxes. And we abandon some to devastating uncertainty, when they have difficulty accessing health care or when, having accessed health care without insurance, they don't receive the best care available.

I've embedded the two hour recording of yesterday's session.You can hear each day of the argument here.  Here is the transcript. You may not listen to (or read) all of it. But I'd encourage you to listen - or read. 

This is one of the great debates of our time and more than any of us imagine, rides on the decision...

No comments: