WASHINGTON D.C. — The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments Monday against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed “Obamacare” by many.
President Obama signed the bill into law two years ago. The case focuses mainly on one part; the part that requires Americans to obtain health insurance by the year 2014 or pay a penalty on taxes in 2015.
Lawyer Robert Long opened the case arguing that it may be too early for the Supreme Court to rule on the law. Long cited the Anti-Injunction Act, which he says restricts the courts from ruling on the legality of federal taxes before they are imposed.
More than two dozen states, including Kansas, have sued the federal government to stop the law’s enactment.
U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) said Monday said he’s opposed to the law for many reasons.
“I agree with over 70 percent of the American people that think the Federal government does not have the ability to force people to buy a product and we’ll see if the court agrees. Now at the end of the day, if the court does agree, I’m still equally opposed to the direction in which we’re headed in Health Care. I think first of all, we couldn’t really afford it if it were a really a good plan and it happens to be not a very good plan that we can’t afford. So whether it’s constitutional or not, I’m still equally and adamantly opposed to moving forward with this view of health care. The government makes too many decisions, runs health care in too dramatic of a way and I think most of the American people as they look at this agree,” Blunt said.
The Supreme Court justices will hear six hours of debate spread out over three days. A ruling in the landmark case is not expected until June.