The Supreme Court decided to uphold the Affordable Care Act this morning, but what really happened?

Basically the law was divided into four separate issues:

  • Is this whole case premature? At one point they were about to shelve the whole case because of the Anti-Injunction Act, a law that requires taxpayers to pay their dues before they can actually challenge the law in question.

Verdict: Obviously the case went on so this did not prove to be a big issue. This was because the Affordable Care Act was described as a ‘penalty’ rather than a tax. Therefore the Anti-Injunction Act did not apply.

  • Whether the law’s requirement that every American had to have health insurance or pay a penalty was constitutional. This is more popularly referred to as the ‘individual mandate’

Verdict: Ultimately the individual mandate clause was seen as a form of tax and therefore was constitutional.

  • If the mandate fails then what’s next?

Verdict: Since it was upheld, they did not have to cross this bridge

  • Medicaid: whether the law’s expansion of the medicaid program unlawfully required states to expand their own programs.

Verdict: Is it a violation of the Constitution to threaten the states with loss of existing funding for Medicaid if they do not comply with the expansion program. The court fixed this by removing the clause that withdrew existing funding if the states did not comply.

There you have it, all 200 pages of the court transcript boiled down to 1/2 a page.

Did the court do the right thing in upholding the individual mandate? I mean we are required to pay taxes, but is requiring health care pushing the envelope?

How will they motivate states to expand Medicaid programs without any penalties for states that do not comply?

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