Saturday, March 31, 2012

Update on the Supreme Court and the ACA

As we featured on our blog celebrating the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, health care reform means a great deal to families of children with special health care needs. We share this update from national Family Voices to help our members better understand what happened at the national level this week. From Family Voices:

This week the Supreme Court heard legal arguments challenging the Affordable Care Act. There were four issues that the court was considering:

1. Whether the case can be decided now or cannot be adjudicated until the penalty for not buying insurance is actually imposed on someone (a.k.a., the “Anti-Injunction Act” issue). This was argued on Monday.

2. Whether Congress exceeded its power under the “interstate commerce clause” of the constitution when it created the individual mandate to purchase insurance (a.k.a., the “individual responsibility requirement”). Argued on Tuesday.

3. Whether the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid unconstitutionally coerces states. Argued Wednesday afternoon.

4. What happens to the rest of the law if any parts of the ACA are declared to be unconstitutional (a.k.a., the “severability issue”). Argued Wednesday morning.

Here are some additional links to help you learn more about the issues:

Light-hearted wrap-up of the Court’s proceedings from Community Catalyst: http://blog.communitycatalyst.org/index.php/2012/03/30/a-supreme-court-wrap-up-school-house-style/

Interesting, fairly short Washington Post article about how the court decides cases: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/the-supreme-court-will-decide-on-the-health-care-law-soon-it-will-tell-you-later/2012/03/29/gIQAB0TujS_story.html (Be aware that if you launch slide show on this site you will have to watch an ad first.)

A plain-English explanation of the Medicaid issue from a blog site about the Supreme Court: http://www.scotusblog.com/?p=142283.

An article from NPR’s health blog about the individual mandate issue (includes links to audio and podcasts): http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2012/03/26/149417437/high-court-justices-appear-split-on-insurance-mandate.

All you could ever want to know about the legal issues in the case, including plain-English explanations of all the issues and transcripts of the arguments: http://www.scotusblog.com/2012/03/scotusblog-health-care-and-a-few-things-you-might-have-missed/.

An article about the politics of the case, with links to numerous other Washington Post articles about it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/supreme-courts-health-care-ruling-could-deal-dramatic-blow-to-obama-presidency/2012/03/28/gIQAfpBYhS_story.html.

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