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The Severability Doctrine (New York Times)

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The Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on four provisions of the health reform law. Referred to as severability, parts of the law could be struck down – the individual mandate for example – while the rest of the law remains intact. However, the Obama administration and the law’s opponents would like the Court to ignore its favor of severability and decide on the law as a whole. Both sides have concerns about what might happen to health insurance markets if the individual mandate is considered unconstitutional but the requirements that insurers cover sick patients and don’t charge them higher rates remain. Some speculate this scenario could raise rates 10% or 20%. If only the mandate is struck down, it will be up to Congress to decide what happens next.