In line to watch Supreme Court health care case
March 25th, 2012
05:18 PM ET
10 years ago

In line to watch Supreme Court health care case

Washington (CNN) - About a dozen people lined the sidewalk in front of the Supreme Court Sunday, along with their lounge chairs, blankets and umbrellas, hoping to obtain tickets to watch the justices hear arguments Monday on the constitutionality of the health care reform law backed by the Obama administration.

For some ticket hopefuls, like consultant Jill Andres, witnessing a Supreme Court hearing firsthand is not a first time occurrence. Andres attended hearings for the Wal-Mart discrimination case last year, and that experience has her excited to see history a second time around.

Andres said she is hoping to see the “insight into the nuances of the law that are interesting.”

“I’m here for myself and my family,” said attorney Kathie McClure, who traveled from Atlanta and has been camping out since Friday to secure a seat in the courtroom.

“I’m interested in this issue because my kids are chronically ill. I have a son who has type 1 diabetes and a daughter who has epilepsy,” McClure said.

She went on to say she is concerned both her kids are currently uninsurable in the private insurance market.

Tragedy was a factor in prompting government legal assistant Monica Haymond to wait in line. She said she lost her father to cancer a year and a half ago.

“One of the reasons why it turned fatal for him when he was only 60 years old was because for a long time, he didn’t have health insurance,” said Haymond.

She explained that her father ran his own company and also worked for companies that did not offer health insurance.

While Haymond’s job provides her with health insurance, she said her two sisters do not have coverage.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen if they get sick or they get into a car accident,” Haymond said of her sisters. “Something is going to happen and we’re not going to be able to afford it.”

On Friday, several people who were waiting in line said they were not there to see the arguments themselves but were being paid by a company to hold spots in line for others.

Tickets inside the court are not available until Monday and even those will provide viewers only a few minutes inside during the arguments. The number of tickets available to the public varies from case to case but is typically around 50.

- CNN’s Greg Clary contributed to this report.

Filed under: Health care • Supreme Court
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I wonder if the supreme court rules against ACA, if we then will no longer to be forced to be drafted into the military during republican wars, no longer be forced to pay into social security or medicare, no longer be forced to pay workers at least the minimum wage, no longer have to follow those speed limit signs on the interstate highways, and maybe no longer pay any taxes.

    March 25, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. diridi

    Mrs. McLure, tell you the truth, this Law is the most needed Law. I am glad it is passed. There is nothing about unconstitutional of this law. Yes, I have postgraduate degree in Law field. This is the best law that this nation needs. Millions will benefit. God bless. Yes. Obama2012.

    March 25, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  3. king

    For a century Americans have been looking for a health care program that takes care of average Americans just like almost all the industrial world on our planet. We first tried the single payer system, but the repubs called that socialism. This president tried to compromise by adopting the long backed repubs mandate system, guest what? The repubs called it socialism. Lesson folks if the repubs kill this health care program kicking 30 million Americans out on the street. You can kiss ever passing comprehensive healthcare ever again. The tea partiers wont allow it, unless its a free enterprise privatized system. So only the rich can benefit. The healthcare program will be even worst than before.

    March 25, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  4. diridi

    This is the most needed law in this nation.

    March 25, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  5. Larry L

    My Civics teacher told us the Supreme Court was the pride of our democracy – always impartial and never alligned with a political party's activist interests. He never met the Republican Supreme Court – justice at the whim of the right-wing.

    March 25, 2012 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  6. ProtectAmericanJobs

    Devastating Health Insurance Cost Increases

    We just got a notice that the cost of the healthcare coverage that we provide to our employees is increasing by 33% for those of us with the PPO plan and 36% for our employees who selected the cheaper HMO version of our plan. Yet our company has had to hold or reduce our own prices over the last 4 years and even going back into the late 90's we were lucky if we could even increase our prices 3-4% a year. How do these insurance companies justify these types of increases? Last year was the only year that their increases were even close to within reason and that's only because they were being challenged. If health insurance premiums increased double or even triple the rate of inflation we'd probably be able to accept it, but the ridiculous annual increase percentages over the past 10-12 years have been devastating to our business and our employees. Something needs to be done.

    I didn't vote for President Obama and I know that the plan that they passed is not ideal, but at least he had the guts to take this issue on. I run a business that employs just over 20 people and neither our company nor our employees can afford this anymore. We're paying 65% and our employees are paying the balance. About 15 years ago we were paying 100%, then about 10 years ago had to cut it to 75% and then a few years back to 65%. I consider myself an independent voter, but going back to the Reagan days and with the only exception having been Perot, I've always voted Republican. So I'm not a lefty, yet I believe that every U.S. Citizen deserves basic healthcare coverage.

    It doesn't matter which side fixes the problem – Instead of just fighting about it – JUST FIX IT.

    All this single-minded, left versus right, ideological one dimensional bull has got to go! This is the problem with our country. It shouldn't be about Democrats or Republicans! It should be about Americans, especially our elected officials, doing the right thing for our country and it's citizens.

    Whatever it is, there has got to be a better way than what's been going on for the past 10-12 years. Because if it doesn't change my company and our employees are going to go broke. We can not afford to keep having our premiums go up 20-35% per year. I’m sure if our leaders put all of the pettiness and the backroom agendas aside they could come up with a plan that could help America, all of it’s citizens and the businesses that are trying to do right by their employees.

    March 25, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  7. Chipster

    I keep waiting for someone to address this constitutional question: If it's unconstitutional to require people who can afford health insurance to purchased it, isn't it unconstitutional to force taxpayers to pay for their treatment at emergency rooms when they go for treatment that they cannot afford without insurance? How is it legal to force me to pay for their treatment?

    If we cannot legally expect people to have health insurance, we surely cannot legally require taxpayers to pay for their treatment!

    Then, of course, there is the question of forcing drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage. Driving may be a privilege but Republicans tell us that there is no "right to healthcare." So health care must also be a privilege by their definition. So, if we cannot force people to purchase health insurance, how can we force them to purchase driving insurance?

    March 25, 2012 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. Bugs

    To Ms. McClure
    Your kids are chronically ill and you as their mother have time to camp out in DC ? A great mother you are.

    March 25, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  9. Bugs

    Ms Haymond, Your father choose not to be coverd by insurance, his choice, not the governments.

    March 25, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. ktucan1

    Waste of time...I'd rather watch paint dry. Then those nine losers decide anything.

    March 25, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  11. Get real

    Obamacare is unconstitutional no matter how you spin it. To force someone to purchase something or pay a fine is ridiculous.
    And don't give me the line about auto insurance; no one is forced to drive a vehicle so it's not the same.
    If the Supreme Court declares Obamacare constitutional then Congress can force you to buy anything or pay a fine. The fact that some people don't have coverage is not a good reason to allow this travesty.

    March 25, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. Dave, Central Illinois

    All of the companies I have worked for offered coverage for my entire family. My wife, oldest son, and I have epilepsy. I made an effort to make myself valuable enough so that insuring us was worth the risk. It's called working hard. Not taking time off to wait around for tickets.

    March 25, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Get real

    Obamacare is unconstitutional no matter how you spin it. To force someone to purchase something or pay a fine is ridiculous.
    And don't give me the line about auto insurance; no one is forced to drive a vehicle so it's not the same.
    If the Supreme Court declares Obamacare constitutional then Congress can force you to buy anything or pay a fine. The fact that some people don't have coverage is not a good reason to violate the general public's freedom.

    March 25, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |