WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- On Day Two of the Supreme Court hearing on President Obama's health care law, opponents had to answer some tough questions.
Tuesday's main issue is whether the government can force you to buy health care -- the "individual mandate" part of the law that requires almost every American to get health insurance or pay a financial penalty. Twenty six states and a small business group argue that forcing Americans to buy insurance if they don't want to buy it is unconstitutional. The states and the group are trying to get the law struck down.
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The federal government claims that everyone will need health care at some point in their lives and if everyone is covered it will lower premium prices. The Obama administration says Congress can impose the requirement in the health care overhaul. The law aims to get health insurance for an additional 30 million people.
Tuesday morning, three Supreme Court Justices -- Justice Samuel Alito, Justice John Robert, and Justice Anthony Kennedy -- asked tough questions of the law's opponents. According to 9News Now reporter Bruce Leshan, the Solicitor General was slightly nervous when he came out for the hearing.
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One thing that stood out was Justice Stephen Breyer's comment concerning a hypothetical situation in which a disease was sweeping the country. Justice Breyer asked if you had some percentage of the population that was vulnerable to the disease, could the government force those people in that population to get inoculated? The justice returned to that scenario repeatedly, and at one point the opponents were forced to say "no" the government would not have that power.