The unusual, three-day schedule ends this afternoon as the Supreme Court handles one of the most important cases to come before it in years. The court on Monday heard arguments on whether the Anti-Injunction Act of 1867 prohibited it from even reviewing the case until a penalty is actually leveled in 2015. Tuesday, the court heard arguments on whether Congress exceeded its authority by requiring virtually every American to purchase health insurance.
This morning, the justices hear arguments on whether the law can survive if the court strikes down the individual mandate. This afternoon, it hears about the impact the law might have on state Medicaid budgets and whether Congress is violating the Constitution by forcing the states to spend more on Medicaid. Nebraska expects its Medicaid costs to increase by $500-to-600 million under the federal law.
Nebraska is among the 26 states challenging the law’s constitutionality.
Attorney General Jon Bruning says he left the second day of oral arguments confident a key swing vote will swing against the federal government and toward the states.
“I do believe it’s going to be a 5-4 split. I do believe the mandate is going to be struck down,” Burning says. “I’m hopeful that it will be struck down. It’s certainly hard to predict.”
Bruning says he was thrilled to hear Justice Anthony Kennedy express skepticism about claims that the Congress can require insurance coverage be purchased by exercising its powers under the Commerce Clause.
The Supreme Court is not expected to rule on the case until June.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:40]