SCOTUS Affordable Care Act Ruling – 6/28/12

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) this morning.

Leading up to this ruling, officials from 26 states filed lawsuits against the ACA claiming that a key provision, the individual mandate requiring all Americans maintain “minimum essential” health insurance coverage or else pay a penalty, violated the Constitution’s Commerce clause.

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The Court also ruled in the expansion of the scope of persons covered under Medicaid.

Vote in our poll and let us know your expert opinion on if you agree or disagree with the high court’s ruling.

Story Highlights

Chief Justice John Roberts presented the ruling on the individual mandate and stated, “The Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because [the individual mandate] can reasonably be read as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

  Do you agree with the Supreme Courts decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act?
  • Following this ruling, all Americans must have or buy health insurance by 2014.
    • In 2014, the penalty will be $285 per family or 1% of income, whichever is greater.
    • By 2016, the penalty it goes up to $2,085 per family or 2.5% of income. 
  • Select groups of people will be except from the ACA:
    • Those with religious objections or who participate in a “health care sharing ministry”
    • Those who are “not lawfully present” in the U.S.
    • Those who are incarcerated
    • Members of an Indian tribe
    • Those who cannot afford coverage and or have suffered a hardship with respect to the capability to obtain coverage
    • Those who experience only short gaps in coverage
  • The ACA prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions or other health issues, or charging unhealthy individuals higher premiums than healthy individuals.
  • The additional expansion of the Medicaid program will require state programs to provide coverage by 2014 to adults with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level.

Click here to view the Supreme Court’s full ruling on the ACA.