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Republicans, Democrats jockey before Supreme Court health-care ruling

The political world is waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down its ruling on President Obama’s sweeping reform of the health-insurance system. A decision could come as early as Monday.  

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Supporters of health care reform rally in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington on March 27, 2012, as the court continued hearing arguments on the health care law signed by President Obama.

Charles Dharapak/AP

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The political world is on pins and needles, waiting for the Supreme Court to hand down its ruling on President Obama’s sweeping reform of the health-insurance system. A decision could come as early as Monday.  

At the White House, on Capitol Hill, in the Romney campaign, and inside interest groups, political players are preparing contingencies for the range of possible outcomes at the high court – from full affirmation of the law, to full rejection, to something in between.

Tough questioning from some justices, especially “swing” justice Anthony Kennedy, has led some observers to believe the individual mandate to purchase insurance – or even the entire law – could be ruled unconstitutional. But no matter how the court decides, the stakes are high, as Election Day draws closer.    

Publicly, Mr. Obama and his surrogates express confidence that the court will uphold the Affordable Care Act. Implementation is proceeding on schedule, they say. Still, at the White House correspondents’ dinner in April, the president joked: “In my first term, we passed health care reform. In my second term, I guess I’ll pass it again.”

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