Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear arguments concerning President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the healthcare reform law referred to by many as "Obamacare." More than five hours—much longer than the time usually reserved for a Supreme Court case—have been set aside to hear arguments in the spring, giving the Court plenty of time to make a decision by late June, the end of their session. The decision will likely play an important role in the 2012 presidential election, as Republican candidates have come out strongly against Obamacare. Healthcare reform stands as the most major policy achievement enacted by the Obama administration.
At the center of the debate around the Affordable Care Act is the individual mandate, which requires that Americans buy health insurance by 2014 or face a fine. Of the mandate, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "In both public surveys and at the ballot box, Americans have rejected the law's mandate that they must buy government-approved health insurance, and I hope the Supreme Court will do the same." Meanwhile, Dan Pfeiffer, the White House communications director, responded to the news of the Supreme Court case in a statement. He said, "We know the Affordable Care Act is constitutional and are confident the Supreme Court will agree."
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