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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Three days of Supreme Court arguments leaves health care law on unfavorable ground



WASHINGTON — It would have been impossible for even the most faithful believer in the health care law to feel good descending the steps of the Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon.

During three days of debate, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was pushed, pulled and generally battered by a prepared, aggressive opposition and a majority bloc of conservative justices, leaving open the distinct possibility the whole thing could be sent to the trash heap in the heat of the presidential election.

"It's probably going to go down," sighed Louis Sorbl, a 22-year-old from Pennsylvania, who kept warm with an Obama 2012 hat as he stood in line outside the court, hoping to witness a few minutes of the proceedings.

This was not how it was supposed to play out.

From the minute the challenge was filed in Florida two years ago, legal experts on both sides predicted the high court would have a hard time finding constitutional holes in the centerpiece of the law, the mandate that Americans carry health insurance or pay a penalty. (story here)

[Last modified: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 7:42pm]


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