Thursday, June 28, 2012

Supreme Court Healthcare Ruling: A Victory for the White House

After months of speculation, the United States Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate requirement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, also known as "Obamacare." Opponents of the bill speculated the Supreme Court would strike down the individual mandate due to potential violations of the Commerce Clause, and that would set the tone for questioning the constitutionality of the rest of the bill.

However, on Thursday, June 28, 2012, the Court issued a 193 page opinion, by Chief Justice Roberts, stating that although it violates the Commerce Clause, Congress did not act unconstitutionally in its power to tax Americans who choose not to buy health insurance and it was not the court's "role to forbid it, or pass upon its wisdom or fairness." The "mandate" is in fact a tax that would be imposed on those who choose not to purchase health insurance. While the broad, 900+ bill encompasses far more than just the individual mandate, including free mammograms for Medicare recipients, eligibility requirements, coverage for Americans until 26 years of age, and more, the individual mandate was the center of attention in this long anticipated opinion.

Read the full opinion here.

The court upheld the mandate in a split 5-4 opinion in favor of the provision. Many analysts, political commentators, and lawmakers anticipate this will not be the last legal battle involving President Obama's health care reform bill, and this will not be the only provision in question.

Midwest Legal Partners, LLC