75 percent of gamblers at intrade.com believe The US Supreme Court will rule individual mandate unconstitutional before midnight ET 31 Dec 2012.
Intrade bills itself as a “marketplace for the exchange of predictions on uncertain future events often called ‘prediction markets’.” The site notes that, “when you make a prediction, it facilitates the aggregation of crowd wisdom into predictive probabilities”.
The high court will render its much anticipated decision on Thursday.
The individual mandate, the law's backers say, is needed to cover 33 million uninsured people, but it's also a requirement that polls say most Americans want to see thrown out, Tom Brune of Newsday.com writes.
With Justice Antonin Scalia stating that the individual mandate is the “heart” of the health care law (also widely referred to as “Obamacar”), there is a change the entire law could be struck down.
"If you take the heart of the statute out, the statute is gone,” he said.
White House spokesman Jay Carney noted its significance.
"The individual mandate is a hugely important component to the Affordable Care Act because it is what allows for, in many ways, coverage of those with pre-existing conditions and others who might otherwise not be able to get insurance,” Carney said.
American Health Insurance Plans, a trade group, said without a mandate, the country should expect "higher insurance costs and millions of more people without access to affordable care."
Only 8 million to 23.1 people would gain coverage without the individual mandate. With it, some 33 million Americans would be insured.
Critics of the individual mandate claim such a requirement will prove too costly and intrusive. The Republicans have argued vigorously that the US Government should not force Americans to buy a product.
- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com