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In Focus: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
supreme court protest
The Supreme Court. 
(Mark Wilson/Getty)

> > June 28: Coverage of the court's ruling

From March 26–28, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments surrounding President Barack Obama's most controversial legislative achievement: health care. 

WGBH News had the complete oral arguments online and on 89.7, with analysis from Renée Landers, a professor at Suffolk Law, plus NPR stories, news features and talk show conversations to illuminate the many facets of this crucial issue. 

Complete NPR analysis >>>


The Daily Lineup

Monday, March 26

supreme court protest
Protesters gather at the court.
(Joel Rose/NPR)

Morning EditionWhat to Listen For — Law professor Renée Landers and WGBH News' Bob Seay preview the day's agenda at the Court.

The Takeaway: Supreme Court Hears Challenge — Jeffrey Rosen, professor of law at George Washington University, talks about the "individual mandate."

The Callie Crossley Show: Dr. Tim Lepore: A Doctor without Boundaries — In a new book, New York Times reporter Pam Belluck profiles Lepore, who has been treating the people on Nantucket for nearly 30 years as a surgeon, tick expert, unofficial psychologist, accidental homicide detective and occasional vet.

WGBH Forum Network: VIDEO: States' Uprising: The Constitutionality of Health Care Reform — Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher debate the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act in 2010.

Supreme Court: Complete audio and transcripts of the day's arguments.

Tuesday, March 27

supreme court protest
On Tuesday, people on either side of the issues faced off.
(Charles Dharapak/AP)

Play-by-play: Renée Landers and Bob Seay analyze Monday's arguments in their entirety. (2 hrs., 47 mins.)

Feature: Changing the Face of Medicine — Local doctors are making unique efforts to improve the quality of medical treatment, especially in populations of color — in part by recruiting members of those communities to join the M.D. ranks.

Feature:  The History Lessons of Health Care — A look at the last century of health care and health insurance through video, including some proposals that seem ideologically unusual today.

The Takeaway: Day 2 Begins — On Tuesday, the justices get into the meat of the case: the individual mandate.

The Emily Rooney Show: Local 'Friends' of the Affordable Care Act — Boston-area organizations talk about their amicus briefs. 

Callie Crossley: Medicine in Arts and Culture — Part 1: A  professor talks about how TV and movies have depicted key health issues over the years. Part 2:, and Anna Deavere Smith discusses her one-woman show about health care.

Supreme Court: Complete audio and transcripts of the day's arguments.

Wednesday, March 28

supreme court protest
Spectators wait to get inside for the final day of arguments.
(Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Play-by-play: Renée Landers and Bob Seay analyze Tuesday's arguments in their entirety. (2 hrs., 48 mins.)

Feature: At MGH, Building from the Skeleton of a Heart — Scientists at Mass. General Hospital are working on a technique to strip diseased hearts of their cells and then rebuild them into healthy organs.

FeatureMass. Ranks above Average on Medication Adherence — New research shows that Bay State residents are better at sticking to their prescribed drug regimen than most. Still, one-third of the patients with chronic health conditions stop taking their medication within a year.

The Takeaway: The Final Arguments — John Hockenberry previews the day in Court with Jeffrey Rosen.

Emily Rooney: Cracking Your Genetic Code — Ahead of tonight's Nova documentary, we look at the ultimate theft: stealing your genetic identity.

Callie Crossley: The Doctor Will Screen You Now — Screening, patient expectations and costs: How much medicine is too much?

Supreme Court: Complete audio and transcripts of the day's arguments.

Thursday, March 29

supreme court protest
Protesting for health insurance at the Supreme Court.
(Charles Dharapak/AP)

Play-by-play: Renée Landers and Bob Seay analyze Wednesday's arguments in their entirety. (3 hrs., 4 mins.)

Feature: A WGBH Journalist's Health Care Journey — At the age of 26, WGBH News' Ibby Caputo was diagnosed with leukemia. She needed expensive treatment — and qualified for MassHealth. It made her ask: whose lives matter, and at what cost?

The Takeaway: The Chief Executive and the Court — We examine a president who found himself up against the Supreme Court in the wake of sweeping social reforms: President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Emily Rooney: Your SCOTUS Health Care Questions Answered — If the Supreme Court rules that the health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, does that invalidate the rest of the law? Law professor Renée Landers and one of her students answer your questions.

Callie Crossley: SCOTUS vs. POTUS — Is health care a make-or-break issue for voters? Our political insiders lay out the possibilities for the campaign trail.

Callie Crossley: The Arguments Conclude — But the questions continue. Wall Street Journal correspondent Jess Bravin gives his take on the proceedings.

Friday, March 30

Debrief: Renée Landers talks about what's next for the case.

Feature: Commonwealth Care: Immigration, Insurance and Independence — He was a legal immigrant and a cancer survivor, on Commonwealth Care. Then the state cut it back. Then the court overruled it. Eugenio Hernandez's experience tells a story about interdependence.

Feature: Physicians' Group Advocates for the Affordable Care Act — Doctors for America, which filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court, has 15,000 members of various political persuasions who all support President Barack Obama's health care law, the group's co-founder said.

The Takeaway: A Justice in the Balance — In the biggest Supreme Court cases, Justice Anthony Kennedy, more often that not, is the key swing vote. The pointed questions he asked during arguments made him the hardest to read, and suggested that once again, his opinion may be the most crucial in this case.
All segments are subject to change.

Selected Video Coverage from WGBH

From Basic Black: Latoyia Edwards, New England Cable News; Callie Crossley and Phillip Martin, WGBH News; Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, Dimock Center and Robert Fortes, political consultant, explore the impact of the health care legislation on communities of color. (Originally aired Mar. 25, 2010.)

From the Forum Network: U.S. Primary Care in Crisis — In a roundtable discussion moderated by the head of Partners HealthCare, four experts in primary care and related policy explore the crisis, as well as possible solutions for training, practice, compensation and systemic change. (Recorded Nov. 12, 2008.) More from the Forum Health Care Reform Series

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