NPR Series: Judging The Health Care Law

Starting March 26, the Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's signature legislation. NPR examines the state of health care in America and breaks down the legal, health and economic issues involved.

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9:05am

Thu March 22, 2012
Judging The Health Care Law

The Man Behind The Defense Of Obama's Health Law

Originally published on Mon March 26, 2012 3:05 pm

Solicitor General Don Verrilli grew up in Connecticut and received his law degree from Columbia Law School.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

At 54, Don Verrilli Jr. stands tall and calm in the Supreme Court chamber, his salt and pepper mustache the only thing about him that bristles. His deep, baritone voice suggests to the justices that he is the essence of reasonableness. There are no histrionics. Indeed, if he gets backed into a corner, his voice just gets deeper. Only the occasional, needless throat-clearing betrays any nerves at all.

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12:54pm

Wed March 21, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Obama Lost The Messaging War Over Health Care Law

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 6:44 pm

Protesters show their opposition to President Obama's health care overhaul on March 16, 2010, days before it became law.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

2:06am

Wed March 21, 2012
Judging The Health Care Law

White House Preps For Court's Health Care Ruling

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 8:23 am

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., center, joins other conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill to criticize President Obama's health care law on Oct. 5, 2011. They said the boxes were packed with petitions asking Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Most of the president's speeches these days focus on jobs or gas prices. But the health care law is his signature achievement, and it always gets a mention at political events.

"Change is health care reform that we passed after a century of trying," President Obama said to cheers and applause from the audience at a recent fundraiser in New York.

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2:27am

Tue March 20, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Do Racial Attitudes Affect Opinions About The Health Care Overhaul?

Originally published on Tue March 20, 2012 6:31 am

President Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House on March 23, 2010. Data suggest that racial attitudes of ordinary Americans shape both how they feel about the health care overhaul and how intense those feelings are.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear a case involving the constitutionality of President Obama's health care overhaul, social scientists are asking a disturbing — and controversial — question: Do the intense feelings about the health care overhaul among ordinary Americans stem from their philosophical views about the appropriate role of government, or from their racial attitudes about the signature policy of the country's first black president?

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3:12am

Mon March 19, 2012
Law

Florida Challenges Medicaid Spending 'By Force'

Originally published on Thu March 22, 2012 12:44 pm

Florida's Gov. Rick Scott, seen here speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last month, says of Medicaid, "It is absolutely not sustainable. If we do nothing, this line will bankrupt our state."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

When the Supreme Court hears arguments over President Obama's health care law next week, one item on the table will be a program that has been in place for nearly 50 years.

Medicaid, a joint federal-state program that provides health care for the poor, was signed into law by Lyndon Johnson. Under the Affordable Care Act, it will be greatly expanded and provide coverage for millions of uninsured, including low-income adults without children.

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