[Refresh for Updates]
Tom: The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read.
Tom: Chief Justice Roberts’ vote saved the ACA.
So the Gov’t can levy a Tax if a citizen does not buy something.
That seems like a radical change …
Amy Howe: The money quote from the section on the mandate: Our precedent demonstrates that Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it.
Amy Howe: The court reinforces that individuals can simply refuse to pay the tax and not comply with the mandate.
What? It’s legal to refuse to pay a tax?
Oh, that’ll go well….
Lyle: The key comment on salvaging the Medicaid expansion is this (from Roberts): “Nothing in our opinion precludes Congress from offering funds under the ACA to expand the availability of health care, and requiring that states accepting such funds comply with the conditions on their use. What Congress is not free to do is to penalize States that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding.” (p. 55
Tom: Apologies – you can’t refuse to pay the tax; typo. The only effect of not complying with the mandate is that you pay the tax.
Ok — tkx for the reality check….
Amy Howe: The Court holds that the mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but that doesn’t matter b/c there are five votes for the mandate to be constitutional under the taxing power.
Now we’re into the Deep Weeds….
Get ready to buy Broccoli Futures!
Lyle: In opening his statement in dissent, Kennedy says: “In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety.”
Amy Howe: In Plain English: The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.
Opinion in PDF here.
I’m done. Going out back to plough and plant mandatory broccoli.