WASHINGTON – Tuesday marked another day of serious debate at the Supreme Court as justices heard arguments on the constitutionality of President Obama’s health care bill, the second of three days of arguments over the bill.
Fredette West, a breast cancer survivor from Washington, D.C., who supports President Obama’s healthcare bill, joined many others waiting to get inside the Supreme Court to hear the arguments. After waiting for more than two and a half hours, she got a ticket that allowed her three minutes inside.
“This impacts our health care directly, and I want to be there so that I can go back and tell the story directly,” she said.
As West waited in line to get inside the Supreme Court, hundreds of people gathered in front of the steps of the courthouse and on nearby streets to rally both for and against Obama’s healthcare plan.
Courtney Everette from Chicago, who said she suffers from a gynecological medical condition called endometriosis, said the new health care system would help her family.
“This new law guarantees us protections we should have had all along. And puts struggles that moms like me have faced in the past,” she said.
But Maureen Harris said that the health care law does not protect our rights, it takes them away.
“This health care law diminishes our freedoms… our ability to manage our own health care because it gives it in the hands of Bureaucrats in Washington,” she said.
Tuesdays arguments centered around the constitutionality of the health care mandate, which some justices seemed skeptical about.
Justice Antoin Scalia suggested there could be a snowball effect if they approved a healthcare mandate. “If I’m in any market at all, my failure to purchase something in that market subjects me to regulation?” he asked.
But Justice Samuel Alito said a mandate on healthcare is unique because everyone may need to use it at some point in their lives.
“Most people are going to need health care… almost everybody,” he said.
The Affordable Care Act, which President Obama views as his signature domestic accomplishment, has come down to the Supreme Court debate which will end Wednesday. The justices’ decision on the bill is expected later this summer.