Outside the Supreme Court
March 26, 2012--The first day of oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, drew a crowd of hundreds outside the U.S. Supreme Court.  Supporters of the law, including union activists, doctors and medical students, and faith activists, dominated the scene, far outnumbering Tea Party activists and other opponents scattered through the crowd.  (Opponents held a rally on Saturday and plan another rally tomorrow). 

Dr. Ari Silver-Isenstadt, a pediatrician at the Franklin Square Hospital Center, said that while the law has shortcomings, it does "get the train on the tracks in the right direction."  Asked about concerns over the high cost of the law, Silver-Isenstadt said that, "We spend the money anyway, on the backside." 

Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, said of the debate that, "It's more about government and the power of government than it is about health care."  Tanner said the law raises the question, "Is there anything the government can't make you do?"

Former Sen. Rick Santorum brought the presidential campaign into the mix as he dropped by to make some brief remarks to a crowd of reporters on the edge of the scene.  Santorum, speaking in front of banners reading "Repeal ObamaRomneyCare," said he is the only candidate who can effectively challenge President Obama on this issue.

Supporters  |  Opponents  |  Santorum