Supreme Court Rules on the Affordable Care Act

Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court announced its highly anticipated ruling on the legal challenges against the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brought by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). In a move that was surprising to many, the Court upheld the health care reform law’s individual mandate in a 5-4 opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts and joined in by Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor.

The Court ruled that the individual mandate is a constitutional exercise of Congress’s taxing authority, although the Court found the individual mandate exceeded Congress’s authority to regulate commerce. Further, the Court held that Congress could not withdraw existing Medicaid funds from States for failure to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s expansion of Medicaid, but federal funding remains available to any State that affirms its willingness to participate.

The Court noted that Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act and found that the Act did not bar its consideration of the suit.

The full opinion can be found here.

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