The U.S. Supreme Court is poised this morning to announce the fate of the sprawling healthcare reform law that states as well as hospitals and insurers have already spent thousands of hours and millions of dollars to implement over the past two years.
The decision from the high court, expected shortly after 10 a.m. EDT, could determine whether some or all of that implementation work on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will grind to a halt, continue apace or descend into a legal limbo pending further action from Congress.
The court is expected to issue decisions in several cases Thursday during its final session of its current term. The court's opinions will be publicly available on the Supreme Court's website.
Though many legal sources initially said the challengers had little hope of overturning the law, three days of pointed questions during oral arguments at the court in March left many observers convinced the court may undo President Barack Obama's signature domestic initiative.
Analysts say the 2-year-old law has roughly two main components: one dealing with extensive insurance reforms and another guiding widespread changes in healthcare delivery.
The insurance side has proved the most controversial in the courts. Simply put, critics say Congress can't force Americans to buy health insurance, as the law would by 2014. But the court's answer to that issue could turn out to be messy.