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June 28, 2012

SCOTUS on the ACA - The Supreme Court Rules on the Health Reform Law

The long-awaited decision is here. 5-4, upheld. Roberts with the majority, Kennedy dissents.

Per SCOTUSblog:

The money quote from the section on the mandate: 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.


The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn't matter because there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.


The key comment on salvaging the Medicaid expansion is this (from Roberts): "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."


The Court holds that the Anti-Injunction Act doesn't apply because the label "tax" is not controlling.

Supreme Court Decision in the Health Reform Cases

Please check back for additional information and analysis here at HealthBlawg.

David Harlow
The Harlow Group LLC
Health Care Law and Consulting 


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