Both sides expecting victory after latest vote on healthcare reform challenge

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As expected, the Senate voted Wednesday to reject a Republican-powered bill that would have repealed the Affordable Care Act. Despite the party line 51-47 vote, lawmakers of both parties overwhelmingly agreed on a repeal of the 1099 reporting provision in the law.

The debate over healthcare reform will eventually find its way to the Supreme Court, say many court watchers. Republicans charge that the law violates the Constitution by requiring all Americans to purchase health insurance. At issue is the Constitution's commerce clause, which gives Congress broad power to enact regulatory laws.

While some observers believe that the Supreme Court is likely to favor the GOP's claims, others say the court has shown evidence in the past that it supports the commerce clause's regulatory authority. If the nation's highest court takes the case, a decision could be handed own as early as spring of 2012. Democrats say that could helps their case since the more time passes, the more people will benefit from the law and be inclined to support it. In a Senate hearing on the subject Wednesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) pointed out that other once-divisive legislation, including the Social Security Act and the Civil Rights Act, were eventually upheld by the Supreme Court, National Public Radio reported.