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 Supreme Court Ruling on ACA Expected Thursday

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lmm
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PostSubject: Supreme Court Ruling on ACA Expected Thursday   Tue Jun 26, 2012 11:22 am



From Medscape Medical News
Supreme Court Ruling on ACA Expected Thursday

Megan Brooks

Authors and Disclosures

Posted: 06/25/2012

June 25, 2012 — The US Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the sweeping signature healthcare reform legislation of the Obama Administration, is expected on Thursday, June 28, the final day of the court's 2011-2012 term.

Court-watchers had been expecting the decision at the end of June, and many predicted that it would be left until nearly the end of the session because of "sharp disagreement" noted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in a speech earlier this month.

Most observers agree that there are 5 possible outcomes for the decision:

Strike down the individual mandate that requires Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty as unconstitutional, but uphold the rest of the law. Many view this as the most likely outcome. (Read Medscape's coverage of day 2 oral arguments before the Supreme Court, which examined whether the individual mandate is constitutional.)

Strike down the individual mandate as well as 2 insurance reforms considered inseparable from the individual mandate: guaranteed issue of health insurance coverage (meaning that insurers cannot deny anyone coverage on the basis of preexisting conditions) and community rating for premiums (this would keep insurers from charging high rates because of preexisting conditions).

Strike down the entire law. This would happen if the court deems the individual mandate unconstitutional and cannot be separated from the rest of the ACA, known as the severability issue. (Read Medscape's coverage of day 3 oral arguments, which partly examined the severability issue.)

Uphold the individual mandate but strike down the dramatic expansion of the Medicaid program as unconstitutional. (Read Medscape's coverage of day 3 oral arguments that examined this issue.)

Uphold the entire law. Most observers consider this and the fourth scenario to be the least likely, especially in the wake of Justice Ginsberg's recent comments and discussions during oral arguments in March.


A decision upholding the entire law would be a major victory for Democrats and President Obama. A decision against part or all of the law would not only be a major blow to Democrats and President Obama but also ratchet up pressure on Republicans to come up with their own legislation to deal with the growing healthcare crisis.

If the law is allowed to stand, in part or in whole, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and GOP congressional leaders have indicated that they would repeal the ACA if they get control of Congress and the White House in November elections.
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lmm
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PostSubject: Re: Supreme Court Ruling on ACA Expected Thursday   Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:06 am

Surprise. It stayed, but before any one dances in the streets, wait for the actually decision to be published.

The SCOTUS ruled that the individual mandate will have to be declared a TAX, not a penalty. AND, if you do not buy health insurance and do not pay the tax either, there are no repercussions. No fines, no penalty, no jail time. Zip.

As for covering that extra 32 million on Medicaid, the states are not forced to do that. The threat of withholding federal funds if they did not comply was removed by SCOTUS. So coverage will now be voluntary, state by state.

So basically, the law has no teeth and will all be voluntary. How that will cause anything to change is beyond me.
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lmm
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PostSubject: Re: Supreme Court Ruling on ACA Expected Thursday   Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:29 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Supreme Court Ruling on ACA Expected Thursday   Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:42 pm

I'm happy it was upheld. Nope, not perfect. But happy it was upheld.
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