Washington – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care reform law, the court announced Monday.
Oral arguments will likely be held in late February or March, with a ruling by June.
A key issue to be considered by the high court’s nine justices is whether the “individual mandate” section of the law — requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance by 2014 or face financial penalties — is an improper exercise of federal authority. Various states have argued that if that linchpin provision is found unconstitutional, the entire law will have to be scrapped.
Health care reform, a top Democratic priority since the Truman administration, was passed by the previous Congress in a series of virtually party-line votes. Obama signed the act into law in March 2010. The law is widely considered to be the signature legislative accomplishment of the president’s first two years in office.
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