Quick look at the four issues in health care case

November 14, 2011 - 6:15 PM

The questions the Supreme Court asked lawyers to argue when the justices consider appeals of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in March:

— Does Congress have the power to mandate that Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty?

— If the requirement to buy insurance is unconstitutional, is the whole law unconstitutional? What other parts of the law, if any, could survive?

— Is Congress illegally coercing states to expand Medicaid, the subsidized health care for the poor and disabled, by threatening to withhold funding from states that refuse?

— Since the penalty for not buying health insurance doesn't go into effect until federal income taxes are due in 2015, are legal arguments currently brought against the health care overhaul premature?