Monday, March 26, 2012

Is the Affordable Care Act Constitutional? Supreme Court began hearings today

Today he Supreme Court heard the preliminary arguments for 90 minutes today on the whether or not the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. Most of the arguments focused on the Anti-Injunction Act of 1867.  This looks as to whether or not the US government can collect a penalty, forcing people to pay for insurance they don't necessarily want.  So, is this new provision a tax or a mandate?

CNN points out that pointed out that Justice Ginsburg commented on the constitutionality of the provision to require the purchase of health insurance, "This is a suit that is challenging the 'must-buy' provision, and the argument is made that, if, indeed, 'must-buy' is constitutional, then these complainants will not resist the penalty. So what they're seeking is a determination that ... 'must-buy' is unconstitutional, and, if that's so, that's the end of the case. If it's not so, they are not resisting the penalty."

Read the full transcript of today's hearings here.
Listen to all of today's hearings here.

After looking over today's hearings, what do you think?  Is the ACA a tax or a mandate?

So what does this mean for Medicaid Managed Care? Should the court decide that the ACA cannot be challenged, some states and plans may have to hurry to prepare for various ACA upcoming deadlines, most notably Medicaid expansion going into effect in 2014. Other states and plans that have already started to prepare for Medicaid expansion will be in better shape, and will continue business as usual.

Tomorrow the court will look at whether or not the law’s health-insurance mandate fall outside the Constitution’s limit of congressional regulatory power to matters of interstate commerce? Check back here for the latest news from Washington on this matter.

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