This will likely be an anxious morning for supporters of ObamaCare as the Supreme Court—with its expanded conservative majority—again considers the law's fate. The pandemic provides an unusual window to hear Tuesday's oral arguments: They will be conducted via telephone and live-streamed to the public beginning at 10am. One way to watch is via C-SPAN. This is actually the third time the court will weigh in on the Affordable Care Act, notes NPR, but the first time it will do so with a 6-3 conservative tilt, thanks to the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. One key argument in play revolves around the law's individual mandate, which requires people to buy insurance or incur a penalty. Republicans removed the mandate in 2017, and the question is whether that makes the larger law unconstitutional as a result.
"I’m really quite nervous," Wendell Potter, a former exec at the health insurance company Cigna and a supporter of the law, tells CNBC. "There have been so many close calls, (but) this threat now, with the change in the makeup of the court, is really unnerving." If the court strikes down the law, it could leave an estimated 23 million Americans without insurance, notes the AP. Of that group, about 12 million receive insurance through the law's Medicaid expansion, and the rest get coverage through HealthCare.gov and other taxpayer-subsidized markets. Barrett has previously expressed skepticism about the court's rationale for supporting ObamaCare, but she did not tip her hand in her confirmation hearing about how she views this particular case. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)