The Court was skeptical that the whole act should fall if the individual mandate is invalid. But there wasn’t any clear indication of how far the Court would go. It seemed like there wasn’t much question, except from Justice Sotomayor that the community rating and mandatory issue provisions would fail, that is the government’s position. The fact that the liberals were very engaged, particularly Justice Kagan, may show that they are very worried that the mandate is going to be held unconstitutional.And from Amy Howe:
Almost all of the Justices asked Clement questions, and many were skeptical of his argument that if the mandate and the provisions link to it go, all that would be left is a hollow shell.Thus, it sounds like the parts of the Act that would destroy the private insurance companies will go down along with the individual mandate — that these provisions of the Act are not severable (which seems obvious to me). The harder question was whether the entire Act will fall.
But Ed Kneedler also faced skeptical questions, especially from the more conservative Justices, who asked him how the Court should figure out what other provisions must go. Are we supposed to go through the whole 2700 pages, they asked? (Justice Scalia suggested that this would violate the Eighth Amendment.)
Are we supposed to go through the whole 2700 pages? Ha ha. Why should they? The members of Congress didn't. Obama didn't. (Signing the bill, he said: "... you know the feeling of signing your name to pages of barely understandable fine print").
And who can ever forget: "We have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it"? If the Court drags the whole thing down, no one will ever know what the hell was in it. And I mean no one. Absolutely no one on the face of the earth knows the entire text, and no one will ever know.