Day 3 at the Supreme Court and the Affordable Care Act; Kingston, New York Medical Malpractice Attorney Sums up

John Fisher
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This is my last Affordable Care Act post for awhile—until it is decided—I promise!  But again, history is being made before our eyes and I want to make sure we are all well-aware of these arguments.  We might not see another Supreme Court battle like this for years to come.  This case has really gripped all Americans, and particularly 30 million Americans who are hoping to be covered by health insurance. 

In fact, as I had said yesterday, the fate of these 30 million Americans might actually be held in the hands of one person; Justice Kennedy.  Possibly even Chief Justice Roberts.  But that isn’t decided right now.  Oral arguments will not dictate who has won and who has lost this case.  Justices frequently swap after arguments when they debate the law internally and begin to write their opinions.

Day three at the Supreme Court was another exciting day with two issues.  First, was the “severability” issue.  For this argument, the justices looked at whether the Affordable Care Act itself could still stand—the rest of the provisions—if the individual mandate was ruled unconstitutional.  This is quite significant, because the law has some 450 other provisions that, if the individual mandate was found constitutional, might also be thrown out.  Justice Kennedy recognized that striking the heart of the Affordable Care Act, the individual mandate, would create a rather large amount of judicial discretion to decide which to pick and choose.  This hints that he does not feel comfortable doing so.  The transcript is provided here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/87066898/Health-Care-Reform-in-Supreme-Court-Day-3-Arguments.

The second issue was whether states would be “coerced” by the federal government to expand their share of Medicaid costs by the risk of losing funding if they refused to take part of the revamped program.  Again, this looks like another political split amongst the Justices.  Justice Kagan specifically attacked Paul Clement, the same attorney from the day before, by first noting that ninety-percent of current Medicaid funding if federal funds and then asked if the government is making a bad deal by giving all of this money to the states.  Clement answered no, and Kagan was immediately upset by the response and mouthed “wow.”  The coercion argument grew from the concern that the federal government has been slowly chipping away at the autonomy of the states in regards to their spending matters.  The transcript is provided here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/87085109/Health-Care-Reform-in-Supreme-Court-Day-3-Arguments-Part-2.

So now we wait.  And we wait until June or even July to hear the decision handed down by the Justices.  No matter which way the decision goes, there will be a complete outlash from proponents/opponents, protests, arguments, and of course, political implications for the upcoming election.

But what do you think?  I would love to hear from you!  I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected]  You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com
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