By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck
The Supreme Court’s landmark healthcare ruling is just days away. More than 10,000 users tuned in for live updates Monday morning at SCOTUSblog but, as expected, the court didn’t release its highly anticipated healthcare ruling. The next possibility is Thursday, though the odds still seem to favor a ruling next week.
As the decision nears, focus is turning once again to the important issue of severability — whether the healthcare reform law’s individual mandate would have to take the whole law down with it, if it’s found to be unconstitutional. The justices can do just about anything they want on the severability question: strike down the whole law; strike out only the mandate; or strike the mandate and certain other provisions.
Any decision is sure to stir up a partisan firestorm, but a new poll released Monday indicates that the firestorm might be a bit softer if the court only strikes the mandate. In a new poll from the Pew Center for People and the Press, 43 percent of Republicans said they’d be happy with a decision striking down just the mandate, while 47 percent said they’d be unhappy. Among Democrats, 56 percent said they’d be unhappy losing just the mandate — a majority, sure, but smaller than the 74 percent who said they’d be unhappy if the court strikes down the entire law.