Just moments ago the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 to uphold the Affordable Care Act.
On the individual mandate the Court ruled that it was constitutional under the government's power to tax. The opinion declared:
"Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it."As for the expansion of the eligibility of Medicaid, the Court held that it is constitutional but that the government cannot withhold Medicaid funds for non-compliance with the expansion requirements. Basically, the Constitution requires that states have a choice about whether to participate in the expansion of eligibility. If a state decided not to expand eligibility they can still receive funding for their program.
"Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding."Want more details about the Supreme Court ruling and what it means for Pennsylvania? Join PHAN. Get on the phone today! Dial-into one of these 15 minute calls:
- 1:00 PM
- 4:00 PM
- 7:00 PM
We would like to thank the SCOTUSBlog for their timely and thorough explanation of the decision.