Airs Sunday, May 12 at 6 p.m. Just because we can extend life, should we? The U.S. is expected to spend $2.8 trillion on health care in 2012. Medicare alone will cost taxpayers $590 billion, with over 25% going toward patients in their last year of life. If health care is a scarce resource, limited by its availability and our ability to pay for it, should government step in to ration care, deciding whose life is worth saving? In other words, how much is an extra month of life worth? The debaters are Dr. Art Kellermann, Peter Singer, Sally Pipes, and Ken Connor.
The biggest surprise Thursday morning at the Supreme Court will be if the justices do not issue their most-anticipated decision of the year — on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Red River Radio plans to extend Morning Edition coverage for the decision and analysis. Our extended coverage will begin at 9:00 a.m. unless we get word that the court has deferred the release of their opinion to another date. We will push back Performance Today's broadcast time until after full coverage and analysis has been completed by NPR.
As we reported Monday, the court has said its last day of the current term is Thursday. And that's led to the logical conclusion that the health care decision will be released shortly after 10 a.m. ET, when the justices come to the bench. It's highly unlikely, court watchers say, that the justices have decided to give themselves another day before going on recess or have opted to delay a decision even longer.
We will pass along the news as soon as possible. NPR's health, legal and Washington teams will all be on the story and feeding NPR.org, the Newcast Desk and Morning Edition — which will still be on the air across much of the nation.