Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act
At 10:15 am Thursday, June 28, the Supreme Court of the United States released its decision on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). In a 5-4 ruling, the Court upheld the legislation in its entirety, including the most controversial aspect, the individual mandate to purchase healthcare insurance.
The Court deliberated over four points.
- Defining the individual mandate as a tax
- Questioning the individual mandate as Constitutional
- The “severability” of the individual mandate from the rest of the law
- Applying Medicaid coverage compliance provisions to the states for the PPACA
The Court found that these questions were all constitutional and that with limited exception to the Medicaid provision for which Congress acted a bit too coercively, the law stands.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the majority, saying, “Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise nor the prerogative to make policy judgments.”
With that, the Court ruled to uphold the PPACA. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined in the majority decision, affirming the law.
The PPACA was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in March 2010. Two years later, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments from 26 state Attorney Generals claiming that the law violated an enumerated Constitutional power, commonly known as the “Commerce Clause.” Today, the Supreme Court sided with Congress in its authority over certain federal laws.
Read the entire opinion.