The Supreme Court has issued an opinion in California v. Texas, the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), that leaves the law fully intact. This was the third challenge to the ACA. The 7-2 ruling found that challenges from states and individuals lack the standing to claim that the “individual mandate” is unconstitutional after Congress repealed the penalty associated with it.
“The Court decided the case on the basis of standing, a doctrine that limits the circumstances in which people can sue, opining that the individual plaintiffs and plaintiff states were not harmed by the individual mandate with a zeroed out penalty and thus had no grounds on which to sue,” explains Allison Hoffman, a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.
Hoffman, an expert on health care law and policy, examines some of the most important legal and social issues of our time, including health insurance regulation, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and retiree healthcare expenses, and long-term care.
“This procedural decision meant that that the Supreme Court avoided addressing the more controversial substantive questions about the legality of the individual mandate and whether, if it were illegal, the whole law should fall,” she says. “The decision is consistent with others in recent years where the Supreme Court has narrowed the ability of aggrieved parties to bring suit.”
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