The markets extended their rally a second day on positive housing and manufacturing data. However, could these hard-fought gains be in danger of getting wiped out tomorrow?
The Dow Jones Industrial Average
Trading was halted midday for Arena Pharmaceuticals
Both competitors VIVUS
The biggest news tomorrow will come from Washington, D.C., as the Supreme Court is set to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. If it stands as is, millions of uninsured Americans will be either extended insurance through Medicaid or forced to purchase it on an exchange, and insurers such as WellPoint can no longer discriminate for pre-existing conditions. If the individual mandate is struck down, then insurers may be put in an untenable situation paying for the sick without balancing out risk using the healthy. If the whole law is struck down -- which would happen probably because the individual mandate was not seen as severable -- we return back to 2009's rising health-care costs, but at least medical-device maker Intuitive Surgical
One landmark decision will create distinct winners and losers, and if the mandate is struck down, expect to see a whittling down of the rest of the legislation in Congress to make the ACA workable. If the whole law is thrown out, it may be decades before we see a sweeping attempt at reform again.
Whatever the court decides on Thursday, expect the debate to continue through the 2012 elections. Even if the ACA is upheld as constitutional in its entirety, Republicans have made repealing the health-care legislation one of their top priorities. Fortunately, The Motley Fool's free report, "These Stocks Could Skyrocket After the 2012 Presidential Election," highlights four unique ways to profit from the election -- if you buy the right stocks before the next president's term begins. Get your free copy, available for a limited time only.