Supreme Court will consider challenges to Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court decided this morning to review the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that found the individual responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The court also said it would review the ruling in the same case that upheld the act’s expansion of Medicaid to millions of low-income Americans .

The move to examine Medicaid expansion troubles patient-advocacy groups.

“Since Medicaid was enacted in 1965, Congress has enacted the program many times without objection from the court,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a consumer health organization that has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in favor of the ACA. “The federal government pays for the majority of Medicaid’s expenses and it is reasonable that it establish ground rules for the program’s operations.”

The ACA specifies that between 90 to 100 percent of the expansion will be paid for by the federal government, Pollack says, calling the states’ legal claims “disingenuous.”

“Striking down this Medicaid expansion would jeopardize health care for millions of low-income Americans at a time when they can least afford it,” Pollack said.

However, Pollack praised the court for considering the individual responsibility clause in the Affordable Care Act.

“This law requires people who can afford health insurance to do so, rather than passing their costs onto everyone else,” he said.

So far, four appellate courts have rules on substantive challenges to the law. Only the Eleventh district has held any portion of the law unconstitutional. The Sixth, Fourth and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeal have all rejected arguments against the law.

The Supreme Court decided this morning to review the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that found the individual responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The court also said it would review the ruling in the same case that upheld the act’s expansion of Medicaid to millions of low-income Americans .

The move to examine Medicaid expansion troubles patient-advocacy groups.

“Since Medicaid was enacted in 1965, Congress has enacted the program many times without objection from the court,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, a consumer health organization that has filed friend-of-the-court briefs in favor of the ACA. “The federal government pays for the majority of Medicaid’s expenses and it is reasonable that it establish ground rules for the program’s operations.”

The ACA specifies that between 90 to 100 percent of the expansion will be paid for by the federal government, Pollack says, calling the states’ legal claims “disingenuous.”

“Striking down this Medicaid expansion would jeopardize health care for millions of low-income Americans at a time when they can least afford it,” Pollack said.

However, Pollack praised the court for considering the individual responsibility clause in the Affordable Care Act.

“This law requires people who can afford health insurance to do so, rather than passing their costs onto everyone else,” he said.

So far, four appellate courts have rules on substantive challenges to the law. Only the Eleventh district has held any portion of the law unconstitutional. The Sixth, Fourth and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeal have all rejected arguments against the law.