WASHINGTON—Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments on legal challenges to President Obama’s signature health care reform law. The court’s ruling, expected in June, will be of immense importance to Americans and a president seeking re-election in November.
President Obama signed health care reform into law in 2010 after prevailing in a year-long political struggle on an issue that defied bipartisan solutions for decades.
Thirty million uninsured Americans gain access to coverage. Highly popular provisions prohibit denial of coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions, and allow children to remain on their parents' plans until they are 26.
A recent opinion poll found that fewer Americans now believe their health care will worsen under the law.
Polls also show that opposition to the law remains high.
Critics, such as Republican Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, who is a doctor, call it a big government approach that will drive up deficits and debt and lower the quality of care.
“Patients I talk to want patient-centered health care," he said. "They don’t want insurance company-centered or government-centered.”
Supreme Court arguments will focus on a requirement that virtually all Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax penalty. Opponents call this unconstitutional and want the law repealed.