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FROM THIS EPISODE

An upcoming US Supreme Court decision may shake the foundations of Obamacare. That sounds like what Republicans have been asking for, but there could be a high political price to pay.

Also, the Supreme Court rules on Facebook threats and Abercrombie head-scarf case. On today's Talking Point, the Patriot Act, politics and the NSA's power to spy on Americans.   

Photo: Hundreds of supporters of the Affordable Care Act rallied on the steps of the Supreme Court as the Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell, March 4, 2015. (SEIU)

Producers:
Christine Detz
Katie Cooper

SCOTUS Rules on Facebook Threats, Abercrombie Head Scarf Case 6 MIN, 30 SEC

With less than a month remaining for the Supreme Court to issue opinions on this term's biggest cases, the justices issued two notable decisions today. One had to do with headscarves and employment discrimination; the other, online threats and free speech. Jess Bravin is the Supreme Court correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.

Special thanks to Sarah Sweeney for production assistance.

Guests:
Jess Bravin, Wall Street Journal (@JessBravin)

More:
EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch
Elonis v. United States

Obamacare Subsidies at Risk for Millions of Americans 32 MIN, 26 SEC

June is the month for major decisions from the US Supreme Court, and no case is being watched more closely by more people than King v. Burwell. At stake is continuation of the Affordable Care Act. And it all comes down to four little words. The Court may give Republicans what they've been demanding: a ruling that strikes at the heart of Obamacare. But the GOP can't agree on what to do when millions of Americans lose subsides for health insurance and the industry is thrown into chaos. There's no contingency plan from the Obama White House either, and politicians of both parties are worried about taking the blame in next year's elections. Possible options include an end to individual and corporate mandates — along with coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Guests:
Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times (@NoamLevey )
Amy Lynn Smith, writer and healthcare advocate (@alswrite)
Jonathan Tobin, Commentary magazine (@TobinCommentary)
Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation (@larry_levitt)

More:
Huffington Post on how many will lose health insurance if SCOTUS rules against Obamacare
Levitt on insurance markets after SCOTUS ruling on King v. Burwell

Political Theater and NSA's Data Collection Program 10 MIN, 55 SEC

President Obama isn't the only one warning that, if a key provision of the Patriot Act is allowed to expire, Americans will be in danger. Republican Senator John McCain called the program “as critical as it's ever been.” But fellow Republican Rand Paul, who's now getting the credit — and the blame — for the fact that Section 215 of the Patriot Act has been allowed to expire, says the real issue is the intrusion of big government on individual Americans.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell also comes from Kentucky, and he's endorsed Rand Paul's presidential campaign while opposing his reforms to the NSA program. Now he's come around to allowing a vote on the compromise USA Freedom Act, already passed by the house, saying it strikes a critical balance between privacy and national security.” While all three senators assume that the Patriot Act gives the NSA broad powers it wouldn't have otherwise and that allowing it to expire will make a real difference, others say that's not necessarily so.

Guests:
Manu Raju, Politico (@mkraju)
Shane Harris, The Daily Beast (@ShaneHarris)

More:
Raju on GOP senators lashing out at Paul for using the Patriot Act to gain campaign contributions
Harris on the 'Zombie Patriot Act,' which will keep US spying

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