Participants display placards during a demonstration organized by the American Grass Roots Coalition and the Tea Party Express in Washington, DC, on March 16, 2010 in opposition to the health care reform bill. US President Barack Obama called for 'courage' from Democratic lawmakers unnerved by looming final votes on his historic health care plan in a pivotal political week that may shape his presidency. / JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court has added another 30 minutes to upcoming arguments over President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
The sessions now will span six hours over three days in late March.
The justices on Tuesday set aside 30 more minutes - 90 minutes overall - for discussion of the effect on the health care case of a federal law intended to make tax collections run smoothly. That law forces people who want to challenge taxes to pay them first.
The court also will hear two hours of argument on the law's requirement that most people purchase insurance or pay a penalty beginning in 2014; 90 minutes on whether the rest of the law can remain in place if the individual insurance requirement falls; and an hour on the expansion of Medicaid program.
The Obama administration and challengers of the president's health care overhaul had pushed for Supreme Court consideration of the law in March.
Having the case argued in March, instead of April, gives the justices an extra month to write their opinions in what is expected to be the most significant Supreme Court case in recent years.