By Mike Lillis - 04/04/12 03:59 PM EDT
In a vote of 6 to 3, the Supreme Court will uphold President Obama's healthcare reform law, the top House Democrat predicted this week.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said she'd respect whatever the high court decides, but forecasts the verdict would fall for the Democrats.
The detailed prediction is something of a change for Pelosi, who has long said the Democrats' reform law is "ironclad" constitutionally, but has also warned that speculation about Supreme Court decisions is just that — speculation.
Asked just last week to predict the outcome of the healthcare reform case, she said, "I have no idea — none of us does."
"We are all now talking about something of which we have no knowledge because we're not members of the Supreme Court," Pelosi said last Wednesday. "We have knowledge of the legislation, we have knowledge of the arguments, but we have no idea what the outcome will be."
The Supreme Court last week heard three days of arguments on the Democrats' healthcare law, which critics say is unconstitutional based largely on a new requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or face a financial penalty. The court is also examining the legality of the law's broad Medicaid expansion and whether one element of the legislation can be eliminated without undoing the entire package.
Pelosi on Tuesday said the Democrats would fight to re-install a long list of patient benefits if the Supreme Court ruled against the law.
But, she added, "we're speaking in the theoretical."
"I think the bill will be upheld."