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U.S. Supreme Court justices weigh challenge to Obamacare

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on Wednesday on a second major challenge to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, but no clear majority was immediately apparent in the case that takes aim at a pivotal part of the statute providing tax subsidies to help people afford insurance. Conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often provides the deciding vote in close cases, said he saw a “serious constitutional problem” with the arguments mounted against the law but said the challengers still may prevail. On a chilly, damp, cloudy day in the U.S. capital, about a couple hundred demonstrators mostly from pro-Obamacare forces including labor unions, a nurses group, Planned Parenthood and women’s groups gathered on the sidewalk in front of the white marble columned courthouse ahead of the argument. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican congresswoman from Tennessee, told the gathering that she was confident the court would rule against the subsidies in the law.

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