The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday
spared the ruling on the Obama Administration's landmark health care
law to next week, raising more tensions and speculation over the
widely disputed issue.
The Supreme Court did not issue its ruling on Thursday over the Affordable Care Act, well-known as President Obama's signature health care overhaul, putting the ruling to next week before its summer break.
The court is expected to issue its ruling soon on whether to uphold the law, to strike down all of Obama's signature health care legislation or the crucial "individual mandate" that requires most people to buy health care. The legislation has sparked controversy ever since its passage into law in 2010.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced that 12.8 million Americans could benefit from 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in rebates from insurance companies to be delivered by Aug. 1.
White House spokesman Jay Carney argued in his daily briefing that the rebates are "another example of how the Affordable Care Act is giving consumers a better value for their health care dollar and making our health care system stronger."
Partisan lawmakers continued to clash over the health care legislation on Thursday. Republican House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday stressed in a memo that the House Republicans will vote to repeal any part of the "Obamacare" even surviving through the court's ruling, and will enact new reforms step by step.
He said Republicans will not "repeat Democrats' mistakes" by rushing to pass a massive bill that "American people don't support."
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum alleged on Thursday that the so-called "Obamacare" is a defining policy of Obama's first term, which will result in growing federal debt and decreasing jobs.
The Republicans have vowed to repeal it all as soon as they can, but not offered an alternative by themselves yet.
Democratic leaders in Congress threw back attacks in a memo saying Republicans continue to "cheer against the health benefits Americans are already enjoying."
However, whatever the Supreme Court is going to rule on the fate of "Obamacare," Americans are not likely to be happy with the result.
A poll released by Pew Research Center on Monday found that overall more people continue to disapprove than approve of the health care bill by 48 percent versus 43 percent.
More than two years after its passage, the Obama health care bill continues to spark strong feelings from most Americans, particularly among opponents. Thirty-five percent of Americans or 75 percent of the opponents disapprove of the law "very strongly" while 26 percent of Americans or 60 percent of supporters approve of the law very strongly.
The public preferences tracked down sharply along the party lines, with Republicans hoping the court to strike down the whole legislation and the Democrats hoping to uphold it. For many partisans, only an "all or nothing" outcome will be acceptable. If the court rejects the "individual mandate" while keeping the rest, only 35 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of Republicans will be happy.
A new survey released earlier this week also found former Supreme Court clerks and attorneys predict the Supreme Court will strike down all or part of President Obama's health care law.
The survey was conducted by Purple Strategies on behalf of the conservative American Action Forum. Fifty-seven percent of the attorneys and former clerks expect the court to strike down the law's individual mandate, compared with just 35 percent who thought that was likely in March. Seventy percent of the experts said the justices' questions were more skeptical than they had anticipated heading into the arguments, which stretched over three days in late March.
As the presidential election gets underway, the health care law is a hot issue in the campaign, as the Republicans argue that forcing people to buy health insurance under the health care bill is unconstitutional, while the Democrats argue the "individual mandate" could bring down the cost of insurance and offer more Americans access to health insurance. The ruling of the case could have big impact on the election.
The next possible day of issuing the ruling is June 25. But Justices could also announce the decision later next week.
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