ACA Finally Makes its Way to the Supreme Court


Three parties file petitions to the Supreme Court to make a decision about the constitutionality of President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

President Obama’s health care law might be going to the Supreme Court after a lower court declared part of the law unconstitutional. It’s very likely that the Supreme Court will agree to hear the case because both sides have appealed. Opponents of the bill are also appealing because they believe the lower court didn’t go far enough, according to Bloomberg.

There likely won’t be a decision until next summer, right around when the 2012 election is going to be narrowed to the party nominees. According to the Associated Press, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, it would be better for voters if there has been a decision before Election Day.

Three different courts have reached three different conclusions regarding the Affordable Care Act. And there are now a number of different petitions before the Supreme Court. There’s one filed by 26 states, requesting that the Court review Medicaid expansions and the provision that applies the employer mandate to states. The states are also challenging the Florida ruling that the minimum coverage requirement can be judged unconstitutional while the rest of ACA is upheld.

The National Federation of Independent Business also filed a petition regarding the severability of the minimum coverage requirement from the rest of ACA. The organization asks that the entire law be declared unconstitutional on the assertion that “the minimum coverage requirement is essential to all of ACA’s insurance regulations,” according to a blog by Health Affairs’ Timothy Jost.

Lastly, the United States is arguing that Florida’s ruling be overturned and that all of ACA be declared constitutional. Jost suggests that because the Obama administration filed so quickly, it might be a sign that the administration “is confident that the law will be upheld.”

Although it might be months before the Supreme Court rules on the case, it should have a decision well before the 2012 elections.

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