Just as yesterday the justices seemed split along ideological line about whether or not the individual mandate (which requires all Americans to buy health insurance) was constitutional, today they seemed split on what would happen to Obamacare if the mandate is removed.
The liberal members appeared to believe that the law itself could survive, while the conservatives seemed to think that killing the mandate would kill Obamacare entirely.
The Obama administration argued that without the mandate the parts of the law covering those with pre-existing conditions and limiting premium costs for especially sick Americans would have to go as well.
Essentially, the Obama administration took the side of the health insurance industry’s lobbyists, who agreed not to fight Obamacare in exchange for the mandate, which gives them millions of new customers, including many young, healthy people.
You’ll recall that during the 2008 campaign, President Obama himself opposed an individual mandate, while Hillary Clinton supported it.