President Obama’s Health Care Law Reviewed by Supreme Court

The United States Supreme Court last week (March 26-28) heard oral arguments in cases challenging the constitutionality of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the Act). I have read some of the lower court decisions, briefs submitted by the parties to the litigation, and transcripts of the oral arguments. The following is my summary of one of the key issues that the Court must decide.

Congress passed the Act as a culmination of President Obama’s efforts to address the fact that millions of Americans do not have health insurance, and yet need and receive health care in emergency and other situations. To make the Act’s plan “work” at a reasonable cost, the Act requires that virtually all Americans have at least a minimum amount of health insurance—either through employer coverage, government provision, or individual purchase. This “minimum coverage” (or “individual mandate”) provision of the Act is being challenged as an unconstitutional exercise of congressional power.

Unlike state legislatures, the United States Congress only has authority to pass legislation in areas enumerated in Article I of the Constitution of the United States. Defenders of the Act argue that Congress is authorized by either the Commerce Clause and/or the Taxing Clause—both delineated in Article I—to enact the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Opponents of President Obama’s legislation assert that its provisions exceed the constitutional parameters of these clauses. Because of inconsistent rulings by federal circuit courts of appeal, the question of the constitutionality of the Act has to be decided by the Supreme Court.

The outcome of these cases could have a dramatic impact on the future of the American health care system.  I will keep readers informed about the Supreme Court’s decision and other pertinent developments.

About Donald A. Balasa

Donald A. Balasa, JD, MBA, executive director and legal counsel for the American Association of Medical Assistants, keeps his eye on what is happening in the profession.
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5 Responses to President Obama’s Health Care Law Reviewed by Supreme Court

  1. Margaret Farrell says:

    Article is like a million other out there in the news and is not telling us anything we DON’T already know. If such articles would take it a step further and tell HOW it would impact medical care and/or community this way or that way is infomation that one can use or at least begin considering. It’s like saying we need to do something about the economy and I have a plan, but not tellig what the plan is about.

    • Rachel says:

      I agree. I keep hearing how it is going to impact us, but no one explains exactley what and how that what will impact us. I’m not an attorney or lawmaker, I need things in plain English not legar “jargon” that they make so complicated so that no one will take the time to understand it and so they just go ahead with it.

  2. MELISSA says:

    ITS LIKE ANY MEDIA OR JOURNAL ARTICLE TELLING YOU THE LITTLE PART OF THE GOSSIP AND WORKING TOWARD BRAIN WASHING YOU TO WHAT EVER SIDE PAYS THE JOURNAILST BILLS SO TO SPEAK. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE GOING TO GET FED UP AND THEN WE ARE GOING TO HAVE OUR OWN IN HOME WAR BREAK OUT..

  3. Nancy says:

    Just take a look at the Candian Health care and you will see what it is going to be like. It will cost taxpayers the 1st year approximatley $79 a year then creep up to $279 that is with out coverage. Just us paying for socialized medicine where Doc dont make much and they get burned out caring for the masses. Then we pay for medical health where we wait for it, like in a grocery line waiting to check out. If you need serious health care you still have to wait until your turn in line comes up. If you should die before you get the test and help you need it just makes room for the next guy. That is just a small example

  4. Criminal Defense Lawyer In Brazoria County says:

    Good. I agree.

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