The Supreme Court is expected to rule next week on whether President Obama's health care overhaul is constitutional, but no matter how that shakes out, Politico and the New York Times weigh in with reminders that will likely cheer supporters of the law and tick off opponents: Billions of federal dollars have been spent on it already. In fact, Politico says HHS has doled out nearly $3 billion in grants and awards just since oral arguments ended in late March. That's double what was spent in the three months prior to the arguments.
The Times, meanwhile, provides an example of where some of the money goes: a community health center in Peekskill got $4.5 million to expand so it could serve more patients, many of them with limited or no coverage. More than 700 other centers across the US are slated to get similar treatment, depending on what the court decides. What remains unclear is what happens to the money already spent if the justices strike down the law, or big parts of it anyway. Politico thinks it's a safe bet that none of it will have to be repaid.