Parsing The Impact Of The High Court's Health Law Arguments

A new Washington Post/ABC poll uncovered skepticism among Americans about whether the health law decision expected from the Supreme Court justices in June will be rooted "on the basis of the law." The poll also found that public support for the overhaul hit an all-time low, with the mandate being a bigger sticking point than ever. Meanwhile, according to The Associated Press, some of these views may be the result of "misconceptions" that resulted from the oral arguments.  

The Washington Post: Poll: More Americans Expect Supreme Court's Health-Care Decision To Be Political
More Americans think Supreme Court justices will be acting mainly on their partisan political views than on a neutral reading of the law when they decide the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Half of the public expects the justices to rule mainly based on their "partisan political views," while fewer, 40 percent, expect their decisions to be rooted primarily "on the basis of the law" (Barnes and Clement, 4/11).

ABC: New Low In Support For Health Law; Half Expect Justices To Go Political
Last month's hearings on the constitutionality of health care reform didn't help its popularity: Public support for Barack Obama's signature domestic legislation has hit a new low in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, with criticism of the individual mandate as high as ever. Half the public, moreover, thinks the U.S. Supreme Court will rule on the legislation on the basis of the justices' partisan political views rather than the law. Fewer, 40 percent, think impartial legal analysis will carry the day, with the rest unsure. Fifty-three percent of Americans now oppose the law overall, while just 39 percent support it -- the latter the lowest in more than a dozen ABC/Post polls since August 2009 (Holyk, 4/11).

The Associated Press: Supreme Court Misunderstanding On Health Overhaul?
A possible misunderstanding about President Barack Obama's health care overhaul could cloud Supreme Court deliberations on its fate, leaving the impression that the law's insurance requirement is more onerous than it actually is. During the recent oral arguments some of the justices and the lawyers appearing before them seemed to be under the impression that the law does not allow most consumers to buy low-cost, stripped-down insurance to satisfy its controversial coverage requirement. In fact, the law provides for a cheaper "bronze" plan that is broadly similar to today's so-called catastrophic coverage policies for individuals, several insurance experts said (Alonso-Zaldivar, 4/11).

The Associated Press/Chicago Tribune: Misconceptions Seen In Health Care Reform Arguments
During the recent oral arguments some of the justices and the lawyers appearing before them seemed to be under the impression that the law does not allow most consumers to buy low-cost, stripped-down insurance to satisfy its controversial coverage requirement. In fact, the law provides for a cheaper "bronze" plan that is broadly similar to today's so-called catastrophic coverage policies for individuals, several insurance experts said (4/10).

Also, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will be in Wisconsin today to talk about the law --

MSNBC: Health And Human Services Secretary Visits Wisconsin
The Health and Human Services Secretary is visiting Milwaukee to meet with senior citizens. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is expected to discuss President Barack Obama's health care overhaul and Medicare at the Washington Park Senior Center Wednesday morning. The overhaul is the signature domestic achievement of Obama's term and already a prominent source of debate in the presidential campaign. It's now being considered by the Supreme Court. The justices will decide whether to strike down part or all of the law, including its centerpiece requirement that nearly all Americans carry insurance or pay a penalty (4/11).

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