Public camps at US high court for health hearing

March 24, 2012

A dozen people camped out in front of the US Supreme Court overnight into Saturday to make sure they would get a first glimpse of a historic hearing into the president's health reform law next week.

About 50 seats have been reserved for the public in the courtroom to hear the Supreme Court's in the case.

Interested citizens usually form a line in front of the building one or two hours before the hearing, but this time the stakes are so high that some chose to stake out a spot two days in advance.

The Affordable Care Act, passed after a bitter struggle against blanket Republican opposition in 2010, granted 30 million Americans insurance for the first time, bringing universal coverage closer than ever before.

"It's health care for everybody. It's very important," said Jasper Johnson, a 26-year-old computer technician who came from San Francisco to watch the start of the proceedings on Monday.

"A lot of people don't get health care. I'm here not only for myself but for the economy as a whole."

He joined others in setting his sleeping bag and camping chair outside the monumental neo-classical Supreme Court building to wait for the hearing due to end Wednesday.

"I hope it's a successful deliberation. I hope it's implemented," said Johnson, who arrived on Friday. "I wish there would be more people; I'm here so my voice will be heard."

Conservatives bash "Obamacare" as an assault on economic liberties that would saddle Americans with unprecedented .

But President , a Democrat, marked the first anniversary of his signature legislative achievement Friday by saying the law allowed 2.5 million additional young adults to stay on their parents' health plan and helped five million seniors save an average of $635 on prescription drug costs.

Kathie McClure came from Atlanta to attend the court proceedings. She said her two children suffer from diabetes and epilepsy, which insurance companies consider preexisting conditions that are not covered under their programs.

"They are in deep trouble," she told AFP. "If the Act or the so-called Obamacare is not upheld, they would have a lifetime of worry... We have a dog in the fight."

Some of the people camped in front of the court were paid by a firm or group to keep a spot for someone else.

"They're paying a lot of money to get a good seat," said Daniel Cruz, 42. He will not attend the but is keeping a spot until Wednesday.

Explore further: US Supreme Court to decide Nov 10 on health care case

Related Stories

US Supreme Court to decide Nov 10 on health care case

October 26, 2011
The US Supreme Court will decide on November 10 whether or not to take up the case of President Barack Obama's historic health care law, court sources said Wednesday.

US Supreme Court sets hearings on Obama health reform

December 19, 2011
The US Supreme Court will hear evidence challenging President Barack Obama's health care reform -- which has come under fire from Republicans -- over three days in March, a spokeswoman said Monday.

US appeals panel upholds Obama health care law

November 8, 2011
A US appeals court panel Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's landmark health care overhaul, in the latest legal challenge to the law which is expected to end up at the Supreme Court.

Obama asks Supreme Court to rule on health care

September 28, 2011
President Barack Obama's administration Wednesday asked the US Supreme Court to uphold his historic health care law, likely sparking an explosive legal showdown in the heat of the 2012 election.

Supreme Court to reignite US health care debate

March 23, 2012
History may judge Barack Obama's health care plan either as the anchor of a legacy of reform, or an emblem of a presidency born in high ambition but dragged down by political reality.

Recommended for you

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

Can muesli help against arthritis?

January 15, 2018
It is well known that healthy eating increases a general sense of wellbeing. Researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have now discovered that a fibre-rich diet can have a positive influence ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.