The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will schedule an unprecedented five and a half hours of oral arguments over three days on March 26, 27, and 28 to consider the pending legal challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-Health Affairs policy brief summarizes the legal issues that will be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court, including the requirements that almost all individuals demonstrate that they have health insurance coverage, the expansions of the Medicaid program (which require state matching funds), and whether finding either of these sections of the law unconstitutional requires the court to overturn the entire law (whether these sections are legally “severable”).

The high court’s decision is expected by the end of its current term, in June 2012.

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