Political Implications in the United States

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Political implications in the United States

resulting from Judge John Roberts and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling

regarding the

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

[pic]

Collaborative Authors:

Gentry Hill ( Brian Kingsbury ( Henry Singletary ( Jessica Hawkins ( Catherine Alqallaf

Stetson University

August 15, 2012

Contents

Contentsi
Abstractii
Introduction1
Implications of Rejecting the ACA on Grounds of the Commerce Clause3 Implications Of Upholding The Individual Mandate As A Tax4 Implications of Rejecting the Medicaid Mandate, as Undue Coercion9 Conclusion14

Bibliography16
Weekly Agendasa

Abstract

In June 2012, the Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The key mandates contained in the new law were: 1) states were required to expand Medicaid coverage to more low income and disabled people, and 2) individuals were required to purchase health insurance. The Supreme Court ruled that the individual mandate could not be enacted within the scope of Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause. Ultimately, the Court decided that Congress had the authority to enact the individual mandate as a tax imposed only on those who do not purchase health care insurance. The Supreme Court ruling on the individual mandate of the ACA has opened a wide door for Congress to impose a tax on pretty much anything at all, so long as it can be demonstrated to have an impact on the general welfare of the country. Although the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the controversial individual mandate portion of the ACA, it concluded that the Medicaid expansion violates the Constitution.

Political implications in the Unites States resulting from Judge John Roberts and the U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Introduction

On June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a mixed ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (hereafter referred to as the “Affordable Care Act” or “ACA”). The ACA was passed by Congress in March 2010, and was intended to expand health insurance coverage to nearly all Americans. The key mandates contained in the new law to achieve its purpose were twofold: 1) states were required to expand Medicaid coverage to more low income and disabled people, and 2) individuals were required to purchase health insurance. The law enacted provisions to make compliance easier, such as requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions. It also enacted penalties for those who failed to comply: withholding of federal funding for states, and a fine for individuals. Stiff opposition to the requirements and penalties imposed by the ACA were manifest in the Courts, where the constitutionality of the law was called into question.

In the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Medicaid expansion mandate, seven of the nine justices agreed that Congress had exceeded its constitutional authority when it threatened states with the loss of existing federal payments in order to coerce them into participating in Medicaid expansion. (Liptak, Supreme Court upholds health care law, 5-4, in victory for Obama, 2012).

The remainder of the Court’s attention focused largely on the “individual mandate,” the requirement that all Americans obtain minimum health insurance or pay a penalty. Republicans challenged it as an unconstitutional extension of Congressional authority (Andrews, 2012). The Obama administration contended that it “fell within Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce” (Chapman, et al., 2012), and was central to the ACA’s effectiveness and feasibility.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court rejected the notion that the Commerce...
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