After another morning came and went for the Supreme Court with no ruling on health reform, most expect to find out the fate of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Monday, the next time the Court is scheduled to announce decisions.
Otherwise, the decision would be handed down Thursday, June 28, when the court is expected to end its term.
After hearing arguments March 26-28 over the constitutionality of the PPACA, the Supreme Court promised to announce its decision by the end of June. Though there are a variety of possible outcomes, there are three most likely scenarios: The court upholds the law entirely, the court strikes down the individual mandate but keeps the rest of the law, or the court strikes down the law entirely.
Of course, the individual mandate has been the major bone of contention with the PPACA, with the majority of Americans saying the mandate is unconstitutional.
Though more unlikely, the justices also could give themselves more time to make a decision next week, further adding to the uncertainty of when the ruling will arrive.
Last Friday was the deadline for justices to hand in dissents; the person writing the majority opinion has the option to respond to any criticism of the ruling in his own opinion.
Cameras have been surrounding the Supreme Court in anticipation of the momentous health care decision. And everyone in the health care business, including brokers, are glued to the radio, says Danielle Kunkle, a Medicare adviser at Boomer Benefits in Fort Worth, Texas.
"This decision and its ramifications will have such an enormous impact on our livelihoods—our very ability to support our families—that we can’t help but be anxious for the decision," she says. "We know also that if the ruling lets PPACA stand, health care and the way we access it will forever change, and that affects us as health care consumers ourselves, not just as insurance agents."
Though Kunkle says most brokers aren't expecting the law or the mandate to be overturned, "there will be a whole lot of people crossing their fingers and sending up prayers this weekend."