The fate of the Affordable Care Act now rests with the U.S. Supreme Court, which will listen to a third and final day of arguments today.

In the long run, the future of health care reform also will hinge on the outcome of this fall’s elections. If the law is struck down by the Supreme Court, the next Congress could pick up the pieces and start over.

And if it’s upheld, Congress could vote to repeal it or change it.

Here is what the candidates for Maine’s open U.S. Senate seat had to say Tuesday about the law and the Supreme Court case, and what they would do if given a chance to repeal or amend the law as a member of Congress.

Rick Bennett, Republican, former Maine Senate president

“The United States Supreme Court case over the federal health care law is less about health care than it is about forcing Maine people to buy a product they may, or may not, wish to buy. I have faith the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the rights of the individual and protection of liberty.”

Scott D’Amboise, Republican, businessman

“Obamacare is unconstitutional. It should be repealed. I support deregulation to increase competition in the marketplace, resulting in the reduction of health care costs. I also believe that strengthening patients’ rights does not require government intervention.”

Debra Plowman, Republican, Maine state senator

“Several years ago I asked for the previous attorney general to join in the lawsuit (against the law). … I do believe that we have one of the greatest health care systems on earth and we need to look at what is a problem and solve the problem, not revamp everything. … We can’t afford to adopt this system. We’re already $1.6 trillion in debt.”

Bruce Poliquin, Republican, Maine state treasurer

“The federal government has increasingly encroached on the rights of the American citizens and this is the most recent, dramatic example. … We certainly need to replace (the law) with solutions that introduce free enterprise and private market principles. … Clearly we have to maintain safety nets. When people have jobs they are less dependent on the government.”

William Schneider, Republican, Maine attorney general

“As attorney general, I added Maine to the multi-state lawsuit against Obamacare to protect our state and its citizens from the unconstitutional provisions that are the foundation of the president’s health care plan. As a U.S. senator, I would vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act not only because of its constitutional deficiencies, but also due to my grave concerns about the $2 trillion in implementation costs, which we simply cannot afford.”

Charlie Summers, Republican, Maine secretary of state

“The government has really erred with this mandate that people buy insurance. … We can take steps to allow individuals to buy insurance like they buy car insurance and homeowners insurance – across state lines. If we did that and we gave people the ability to deduct the cost of health care from federal income taxes, that would be far more effective and less expensive.”

Cynthia Dill, Democrat, Maine senator

“The Affordable Care Act is a much-needed program that provides basic health care to Americans where the free market has failed to. Millions are already benefiting from the law. … I would seek to strengthen the act, and to reform the current fee-for-service system that creates the wrong incentives. I also believe a single payor system should be explored.”

Matthew Dunlap, Democrat, former state legislator and Maine secretary of state

“If the Supreme Court cleaves to its own history on Commerce Clause issues, the Affordable Care Act should easily stand judicial scrutiny. … While the ACA doesn’t solve every problem, it is not yet fully implemented and it is a vast improvement. … As a U.S. senator, I will stand up for every citizen to insure that they can access the world’s greatest health care system without fear of bankruptcy.”

Jon Hinck, Democrat, Maine representative

“The Affordable Care Act has already proven beneficial for Mainers: 735,000 Mainers no longer have lifetime caps on insurance coverage, 67,000 Mainers will be prevented from losing insurance coverage as a result of paperwork errors, 4,000 struggling young adults are able to stay covered under their parents’ plans, and 65,000 Maine children will not have their insurance coverage stripped due to pre-existing conditions. … It is clearly a positive start, but more work is needed to reduce the rising costs of health insurance.”

Benjamin Pollard, Democrat, businessman

“I do not believe that the federal government has the power to require individuals to purchase health insurance under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, and thus I believe that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Affordable Care Act is not struck down, and I am elected to the U.S. Senate, I would vote to repeal the act and I would work on developing new health care legislation that would receive bipartisan support.”

Andrew Ian Dodge, independent, candidate

“I am positive that the Affordable Care Act will be ruled unconstitutional on the grounds it is an unprecedented power grab by the federal government over the states. The justices will do what is right according to their duties to protect the powers of states under the Constitution. The federal government has no right to tell an individual he or she has to buy anything.”

Angus King, independent, former Maine governor

“I support the Affordable Care Act – many of its provisions have been law in Maine for 20 years – and I am hoping that the constitutionality will be upheld. I am, however, assembling a team of experts to review it and determine whether it can be improved or if changes are necessary. Getting control of health care costs is a priority for families, businesses and the government itself.”

– Compiled by State House Writer John Richardson