On Thursday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) individual mandate requiring citizens to obtain health insurance would be upheld as a tax. The court also ruled that the federal government cannot withdraw existing Medicaid funding from states that do not participate in the expansion. At an AEI event following the Supreme Court decision, in-house scholars and legal analysts provided preliminary analysis of the court's long-awaited decision.
Thomas Christina of Ogletree Deakins questioned the justices' choice to treat the mandate as a tax, especially given the Obama administration's insistence that it should not be viewed as such. Thomas Miller of AEI expressed similar doubts regarding the decision but emphasized that there are other channels besides the Supreme Court through which the public can influence health reform.
In the same vein, James Capretta, also of AEI, outlined his proposal for health care reform, which entails changing existing government policy towards employer-sponsored insurance, Medicare and Medicaid by moving from a defined-benefit approach to a defined-contribution model. Unlike the ACA, a defined contribution system — Capretta argued — would create a functioning marketplace that would control costs.
-- Catherine Griffin
On Thursday morning, June 28, the Supreme Court will issue its ruling on several constitutional law challenges to the Affordable Care Act. At this event, AEI scholars and legal analysts will provide real-time reactions to the decision and offer prescriptions for what should come next in health policy reform. Three of the panelists, Thomas P. Miller, James C. Capretta and Thomas M. Christina, were instrumental in the filing of an amicus brief about severability filed before the Court, which was cited by Justice Samuel Alito during oral arguments.
Coverage of the ruling will be broadcast live at the event.