The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to have health insurance or pay an annual penalty is a permissible exercise of Congress’s power to “tax”; however, the Court held that it is not a constitutional exercise of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce under the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. This means that the individual mandate has been upheld as constitutional. Regarding the expansion of Medicaid coverage, the Court held that the coverage expansion may stand, but only if the federal government does not withdraw existing Medicaid funding from a state that refuses to participate in the expansion of the program. As a threshold matter, the Court also ruled that the Anti-Injunction Act did not bar its consideration of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. You may access the full opinion here and on the Supreme Court’s website at http://www.supremecourt.gov/.
On June 28, 2012, Alston & Bird held a teleconference to discuss the implications of the opinion. Alston & Bird representatives offering insights and analysis on the call included Thomas A. Scully, former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; former Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR); Bill Jordan, partner and co-chair of Alston & Bird’s Litigation & Trial Practice Group; and Colin Roskey, partner in Alston & Bird’s Health Care Legislative & Public Policy Group and former policy advisor to the Senate Finance Committee.
What Does the Health Care Reform Act Mean For You?
Download the advisory in its entirety
Listen to How the Ruling Could Affect You
Playback of June 28, 2012, Conference Call
Part 1: Welcome & Comments from Bill Jordan
Part 2: Comments from Tom Scully
Part 3: Comments from Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Conclusion
Alston & Bird Conference Call Presenters:
||Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)|
Making history as the youngest woman ever elected to the U.S. Senate, Senator Lincoln went on to become the first female to serve as Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. During her congressional tenure, she served on several committees and is widely recognized as a national leader in the areas of health care, taxes, trade, energy, policy and agriculture. During her time on the Senate Finance Committee, she chaired two subcommittees and helped develop and pass legislation to empower families by reducing taxes, improving health care and expanding international trade.
Former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Focusing his practice on health care regulatory and legislative matters, Mr. Scully was formerly the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the largest agency in the U.S. government. While at CMS, Mr. Scully had an instrumental role in designing and passing Medicare reform legislation and the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. Further, he initiated the first public reporting and disclosure for comparative quality among hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies and dialysis centers.
Co-Chair of the Litigation & Trial Practice Group
Mr. Jordan is co-chair of the firm’s Health Care Litigation Team and represents hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, health care providers, and others in offensive and defensive litigation, corporate compliance matters and government investigations. He previously served as a senior official in the U.S. Department of Justice from 2001-2004, where he supervised litigation matters for the government.