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PPACA Awaits Court Ruling

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Posted on Monday, Jun 25, 2012

In March 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court heard six hours of arguments about the legality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as the health care reform law. This is one of the most important cases heard by the Supreme Court in decades.

Since its passage in March of 2010, there have been a number of legal challenges to various provisions of the law. Several core disputes reached the Supreme Court, including:

  • Individual Insurance Mandate—PPACA requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a tax penalty. The Court will determine if this mandate is permitted under the U.S. Constitution.
  • Authority of the Court—Under the 1867 Anti-Injunction Act, the challenge to the mandate may not be able to be reviewed until after the penalty tax is imposed in 2014.
  • Medicaid Expansion—The Court is considering whether Congress can impose an expansion of Medicaid onto the states.

The Supreme Court is also considering whether striking down one part of the law—such as the individual mandate—will nullify the entire law. This issue is known as “severability.”

Because PPACA will impact virtually every American, this case has enormous consequences. The ruling is due in late June 2012, and it could also impact November’s national elections.

Once the Court rules, the Health Action Network will provide an analysis of the ruling and what it means for market-based health care. To receive email updates, join the Network if you’re not a member already.

You can also follow the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.