The third and final day of the Supreme Court's Obamacare review looms large as all bets are off regarding the constitutionality of the bill's individual mandate. Yesterday, we went through the possible scenarios of what will happen to the Affordable Care Act if the Supreme Court strikes it down. Today, we'll get a better sense of where the justices stand on this issue and the issue of the bill's Medicaid expansion, which could have a dramatic impact on not just the Affordable Care Act but other areas of state-federal partnership programs as well. Here's what to look out for:
The arguments For some observers, the issue of the bill's Medicaid expansion is far more consequential than the issue of slicing up the Affordable Care Act because it could affect other state-federal partnership programs. The main argument here comes from the 26 states that say the law's push to open Medicaid to a larger population of the poor is too coercive. As The Washington Post explains, "The Supreme Court has said there is a limit to what the government can force states to do in order to receive federal funds — a condition cannot be 'so coercive as to pass the point at which pressure turns into compulsion.'" The states say the Medicaid expansion counts as compulsion and will cost them millions of dollars. The government says that's a weak excuse because the feds will foot the bill until 2016 and pay 90 percent of the bill beyond that.