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A Patient Advocate's View

Health Care Reform Victory

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Contact: Vincent Eng

+1 703 981 6636

media@healthlaw.org

Health Care Reform Victory

Court Upholds Constitutionality of ACA

Washington, DC – The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) welcomes today’s ruling in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA includes a significant expansion of Medicaid, one that will improve access to care for working poor and chronically ill people in particular.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision. The ACA has already improved the lives of millions of Americans,” said Emily Spitzer, executive director of NHeLP. “This decision will help ensure Medicaid coverage and eligibility to over 16 million people.”

In a 2-1 decision, Judge Laurence H. Silberman, affirmed the lower court’s ruling, finding that the ACA’s individual mandate — the requirement that nearly all persons have health insurance — is within Congress’ powers. Notably, Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s dissent disagreed with the conclusion, without taking a position on the merits of the law, stating that the case lacks standing until the law takes effect in 2014.

“NHeLP has been actively involved in implementation of the law and has been carefully monitoring challenges to the ACA in our courts,” said Jane Perkins, NHeLP legal director. “Today’s decision was the second appellate court that upheld the constitutionality of the ACA and it’s becoming clear that the earlier 11th Circuit decision is an outlier in the legal analysis of the law.”

This past August, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held the ACA’s individual mandate unconstitutional, but severable from the rest of the law. Judge Silberman’s decision today, however, joins the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision [Judge Jeffrey Sutton filed a concurring opinion] in upholding the constitutionality of the ACA. The U.S. Supreme Court is considering this week whether to resolve conflicting rulings over the law’s requirement that nearly all Americans buy health care insurance

November 9, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , ,

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