Supreme Court: Will Five and a Half Hours Be Enough?

Health Care Law Practice Group

By Health Care Law Practice Group

Fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Lies in Hands of Supreme Court

According to the National Law Journal, the Supreme Court justices granted review in three of the five petitions that it had before them regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, all from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. That court had struck down the mandate that individuals who can afford health insurance must purchase coverage or pay a penalty.

The Journal article lists the issues on which the Court would hear arguments and the amount of time allotted to each issue, for a total of five and one-half hours.

Oral arguments will be made by the United States Solicitor General, 26 state attorneys general (handled by a single lawyer from a Washington firm), and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

Typically, Supreme Court oral arguments are scheduled for two hours of argument. Arguments are likely to be held in March.

Undoubtedly, with all of the questions raised by the health care act, five hours will not be sufficient time to answer all of them.

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