WASHINGTON (CBS) -- The Supreme Court is getting ready to hand-down its much-anticipated ruling on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care reform law. The outcome is expected to have a big impact this election year and both sides are digging in ahead of the decision.
The Supreme Court steps will be crowded Thursday as Washington waits for a ruling on President Obama's health care reform law. U.S. Rep. John Boehner says, "If the court does not strike down the entire law, the House will move to repeal what's left of it."
The White House remains confident the justices will rule in its favor. White House spokesman Jay Carney says, "The affordable care act giver hard working, middle class families the security they deserve. We are confident the law is constitutional."
Twenty-six states brought the legal challenge arguing Congress overstepped its authority with the part of the law known as the individual mandate. It requires all Americans buy health insurance or pay a penalty.
Thursday the court could let the entire law stand, strike it all down, or just rule part unconstitutional. Consumer advocate David Balto says, "I think the core of health care reform will stay and be vibrant regardless of what happens to the individual mandate."
Some of the law has already taken effect allowing young adults to stay on their parents insurance and closing the so-called "donut hole" for prescription drug coverage Medicare misses.
Balto says, "The wonderful thing about the Health Care Reform Act, is that is protects consumers from the very young to the very old."
No matter what the court rules, some insurance companies are pledging to keep some of the laws most popular features. The question will be how to pay for them, if there is no long a requirement that everyone buy insurance.
The part of the law requiring everyone to buy insurance is set to take effect in 2014. That's also when insurance companies could no longer deny coverage to people with pre-existing health problems.