HEALTH CARE

The Health Care Case’s Legal Maze

FILE - In this Jan. 25, 2012 file photo, the U.S. Supreme Court Building is seen in Washington. The health insurance industry is spending millions to carry out President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, essentially betting that the law or major parts of it will survive Supreme Court scrutiny. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)  
National Journal
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Margot Sanger Katz
March 25, 2012, 8:44 a.m.

When the Su­preme Court hears ar­gu­ments Monday in the big health care cases, it will be con­sid­er­ing much more than a simple yes-or-no ques­tion about wheth­er the 2010 health care re­form law is con­sti­tu­tion­al. That might be hard to de­term­ine from the pub­lic dis­cus­sion, which has fo­cused on the case’s core ques­tion — wheth­er the in­di­vidu­al man­date to buy in­sur­ance ex­ceeds Con­gress’s power. Polls show that a small ma­jor­ity of Amer­ic­ans simply be­lieve that the Court will over­turn the law.

(RE­LATEDWhich Justices Asked Which Ques­tions?)

(RE­LATED: Poll: Pub­lic Still Against Man­date)

(RE­LATED: Cook: I’m Skep­tic­al Rul­ing Will Af­fect Elec­tion)

(RE­LATED: Crowds Gath­er in Protest Out­side Court)

But the health care case is com­plic­ated, and the Court is con­sid­er­ing a series of leg­al ques­tions with in­ter­re­lated an­swers. It could up­hold or strike down the law, but it could also throw the suit out or per­form sur­gery on health care re­form. Here are a few of the pos­sible out­comes:

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