Thursday, June 28, 2012

BREAKING: Supreme Court UPHOLDS Health Care Reform

I told you so! Just moments ago, SCOTUSBlog broke the news that the US Supreme Court has mostly upheld the Affordable Care Act. Here are the two areas of the Bill that the Court is changing:

1. The Court is apparently limiting the federal government's ability to deny all Medicaid funds to states that don't want to expand Medicaid as the ACA prescribes. But other than that, the rest of the Medicaid expansion provision survives.

2. The Supremes struck down the justification of the individual mandate under "The Commerce Clause". However, the Court IS UPHOLDING the mandate as a tax. So other than "legal-ese", the mandate survives wholly intact.

There may be some challenges ahead as some states try to undermine ACA by balking on Medicaid. Here in Nevada, that doesn't seem to be at risk, as the State has moved to comply with ACA. But overall, it looks like Medicaid will survive intact and Medicaid will be expanded for most Americans.

And all in all, it looks like health care reform will live another day. I'll have more details later as we find out more.

7:45 UPDATE:

SCOTUSBlog's Tom Goldstein is explaining further on MSNBC, and this is sounding like even more good news for President Obama and health care advocates. The final ruling is 5-4 on both the mandate-turned-tax and Medicaid expansion. The Court has ruled that the federal government indeed has the authority to expand Medicaid and distribute money to the states to make it happen. It just can't specifically tell the states how to spend the additional Medicaid funds, but apparently the Obama Administration never had plans to fight any states on that.

So on second thought, this is looking even better for President Obama. It's just surprising that Chief Justice John Roberts, of all people, has stepped in to save the bulk of "ObamaCare". Score one for stare decisis.

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