Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on the Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court recently announced that they will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Below are the areas that the court will hear arguments on:

  • The constitutionality of the individual responsibility requirement: This is a requirement that all American have health insurance. It has been questions by many of the lower courts and one of the main arguments against the ACA.
  • The severability of the individual mandate requirement from the ACA: If the individual mandate is found to be unconstitutional the court will then have to consider whether that invalidates the entire law or whether the rest of the law can stand without the mandate.
  • The ripeness of the case itself: This looks at whether the court can even hear a case about the individual mandate when it does not go into effect until 2014.
  • The constitutionality of the expansion of Medicaid: To receive federal funding for Medicaid, states will be required to expand those eligible to include all individuals – not just those who are over 65, have a disability, or have children. In lower courts it has been argued that the Medicaid expansion is a threat to state autonomy. The argument is that the federal government is coercing states to participate in the Medicaid program with the funding the state would receive.

The arguments are schedule to begin at the end of March next year with a ruling likely to come out in the summer.

Thank you to our friends at Pennsylvania Health Access Network for the above information.

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