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An Antitrust Trial

It’s not getting much attention but there’s a pretty important antitrust trial underway in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson. The Justice Department is seeking to block the merger, actually more of a takeover, between the insurance companies Anthem and Cigna. Each side, of course, argues opposite results for the health care consumer.

Anthem’s CEO, Joseph R. Swedish testified on the first two days of trial which began last Monday and is expected to end before the new year. Another antitrust lawsuit, this time between Aetna and Humana, begins December 5.

A news story about the trial can be found here.

 

Obamacare and Fair Housing

Didn’t have a chance to post yesterday’s sketches of two major Supreme Court decisions, Texas Dept. of Housing v. Inclusive Communities and King v. Burwell.

The big one, of course, was Obamacare and for the second time Chief Justice Roberts authored an opinion the saved Affordable Health Care.

I scanned the wide-shot before filling in the foreground with watercolor, and I think I like the result. Maybe I’ll continue this way, plus I’m naturally lazy and it’s less work.

And below is Justice Kennedy announcing his opinion reaffirming the Fair Housing Act ban on unintentional discrimination.

Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialities

Supporters lined up behind the owners of two family owned businesses, Anthony Hahn, second from right, and Dave Green, far right, on the lower level of the Supreme Court building this morning. They were waiting to hear arguments in two cases concerning Obamacare’s required contraceptive coverage by for-profit employers. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialities both embrace Christian principles that cause them to object to forms of contraception that they believe are tantamount to abortion.

It’s been a long day of lively arguments, lots of drawings, and even a little bit of snow, so forgive me if I forgo further comments and simply post the day’s sketches. There are links at the bottom to reporting on the arguments.

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Lyle Denniston’s argument recap here.

NYT story here.

WaPo story here.

And a must-read from Dahlia Lithwick here.

 

 

 

The Supreme Court’s Health Care Opinion

My sketches from the announcement of the Court’s opinion, and dissents, on the Affordable Care Act. 6a00d8341cd0df53ef017742d379be970d-800wi

As they took their seats Justice Breyer was smiling; Sotomayor looked glum.

6a00d8341cd0df53ef017742d37ccf970d-piJustice Scalia was actually sitting as far back from Roberts as possible. Forgive the artistic license, but I wanted to get his expression in the frame. 6a00d8341cd0df53ef016767f89831970b-800wi

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Sketches from the Final Day of Health Care Arguments

I’m pretty much cross-eyed after three days of sketching the Supreme Court’s health care argument marathon, so I’ll just post today’s drawings with brief captions.

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Paul Clement, shown above, begins his argument on severability.

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Justice Scalia needles Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Smiley Kneedler.

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Justice Breyer brandishes portions of the Affordable Care Act.

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Clement makes his argument on Medicaid Expansion.

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Solicitor General Donald Verrilli had a better day today, but too late?

Lyle Denniston’s recap of the arguments on severability is here.

And Lyle’s recap of the Medicaid arguments is here.