March 26 - President Barack Obama's sweeping healthcare overhaul goes before the U.S. Supreme Court. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Opening Day as the Supreme Court begins three days of hearings on President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul. Supporters and detractors of the law are outside the court as the nine justices begin hearing arguments in a historic test of the law's validity under the U.S. Constitution. At the core of the law is a requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty. The question on Monday was whether people can challenge this so-called individual mandate before paying the penalty and seeking a refund. One cancer survivor wants the Justices to uphold the law. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ELLENA YOUNG, CANCER SURVIVOR, SAYING : "How it'll change is that I know I'll have healthcare. I know that I'll be able to afford my prescription medications and that my son will have healthcare as well. He won't be fighting for what prescription drug I can afford today or taking out a loan to get basic healthcare." Others thinks the sweeping law goes to far. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KELI CARANDER, PROTESTER FROM SEATTLE, SAYING : "If we do not get it overturned in the courts and if we do not get it repealed and then the mandate stands, I will drop my health insurance and I will not purchase insurance if I am forced to do so by the government, I am not going to pay the fine and they can put me in jail if they want and they are millions of people like me. There will be a conscientious objection on a level unseen in this country. I think bigger than even the civil rights and the anti-war movement in the 60s. I will not comply, I will not comply with this." In the United States, annual healthcare spending totals $2.6 trillion, about 18 percent of the annual gross domestic product. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.