Tuesday, March 27, 2012

ACA on Trial, Day Two: Individual Mandate in Trouble

It's day two of health law arguments at the Supreme Court, and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA's) cornerstone provision – the individual mandate – looks like it’s in trouble, reports the Wall Street Journal (WSJ). The individual mandate requires most Americans have health insurance or pay a penalty.

Four of the court’s nine justices grilled Solicitor General Donald Verrilli over the implications and possible consequences of the individual mandate. Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Anthony Kennedy, and Chief Justice John Roberts were openly skeptical of the provision. They asked Mr. Verrilli that if the government can compel individuals to buy health insurance, what else can they force Americans to purchase — burial insurance, cell phones… broccoli? One of these justices must vote in favor of the mandate for it to be ruled constitutional.

Justice Clarence Thomas remained silent throughout the proceedings but is expected to rule against the individual mandate, reports the WSJ. The remaining four justices — Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — hinted that they will vote to uphold the mandate.

Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether or not the ACA should remain law if the individual mandate is ruled unconstitutional. A ruling on the health law is expected in late June.

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1 comment :

  1. It would make a lot more sense to me to allow people without insurance to get a tax credit for buying it than to penalize them for not buying it---they are still uninsured!! HELLO

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