Supreme Court Will Rule This Year on Health Reform Law

Supreme Court Will Rule This Year on Health Reform Law

(ABC News) The Supreme Court announced Monday morning that it will hear a challenge to the Obama administration’s signature legislative achievement: the health care reform law. In a paper statement the Court said it would focus on a case brought by 26 states, the National Federation of Independent Business and two individuals. The case challenges the constitutionality of the law’s key provision, the individual mandate, that requires individuals to buy health care insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty.

A lower court struck down the mandate.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr urged the Supreme Court to take up the case and wrote in briefs that the lower court decision striking down the mandate was “fundamentally flawed” and “denies Congress the broad deference it is due in enacting laws to address the Nation’s most pressing economic problems.” Verrilli argued that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) addresses “a profound and enduring crisis in the market for health care that accounts for more than 17% of the Nation’s gross national product.” Paul D. Clement, a lawyer for the 26 states challenging the law urged the Supreme Court in briefs to step in and resolve the “grave constitutional questions surrounding the ACA”. Clement argued, “Time is of the essence, States need to know whether they must adapt their policies to deal with the brave new world ushered in by the ACA.” Under normal circumstances the court will schedule oral arguments for the case this spring, and decide the issue by early summer, just months before the next presidential election.

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