Although it's notoriously difficult to "read the tea leaves" from the Supreme Court, Catron argues that "If the mandate goes, two other crucial provisions may go down as well."
He notes this simple economic fact:
While it is possible that the Court will strike down the mandate and leave the rest of Obamacare standing, it's absurd to suggest that the law could still function effectively. Such a ruling would result in a health insurance "death spiral" in which healthy people stop buying coverage and the insurance companies are left with the most expensive patients.In fact, the Department of Justice lawyers seemed to be arguing this very point, in the hopes that the Court would therefore leave the individual mandate standing (rather than striking down the full law).
Of course, no one really knows yet how the Supreme Court will rule except for the justices and a few of their aides. But it won't be long before we all find out.
(Read the full text of "Judgment Day Draws Nigh for Obamacare".)