In a companion piece to their earlier blog post, Emily W. Parento and Lawrence O. Gostin provide a comprehensive analysis of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the newest O’Neill Institute Briefing Paper.
President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law in March 2010, and lawsuits immediately followed. In March of this year, in consolidated cases National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, the Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of four aspects of the ACA: whether Congress has the power to enact the individual purchase mandate, whether the Medicaid expansion amounts to unconstitutional federal government coercion of states, severability of the individual mandate from other portions of the ACA, and whether the Anti-Injunction Act bars consideration of the individual mandate’s constitutionality prior to the penalties taking effect in 2015.
The Court has now ruled on all the issues in a 5-4 decision written by Chief Justice Roberts, upholding the law in its entirety with the sole exception that Congress may not revoke existing state Medicaid funding to penalize states that decline to participate in the Medicaid expansion under the ACA. The briefing explains and analyzes the remainder of the issues here, focusing on the mandate and Medicaid expansion, while also explaining the fundamental shifts in constitutional interpretations that may affect public health, safety and environmental protection in the future.
The views reflected in this expert column are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent those of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law or Georgetown University. This blog is solely informational in nature, and not intended as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed and retained attorney in your state or country.