Is Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act Constitutional?

Is Obamacare and the Affordable Care Act Constitutional?

Is the obamacare  affordable care act constitutional

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that conservative states lacked standing to challenge Obamacare on constitutional grounds. Their lawsuit relied upon arguments that its individual mandate is unconstitutional without penalties; other provisions such as protection for preexisting conditions are inextricably linked with it.

What is the ACA?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the ACA, is one of the largest health reform measures introduced since 1990. The ACA covers preexisting conditions while creating insurance marketplaces and offering premium subsidies to people with low and moderate incomes.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), insurance companies could discriminate against people with preexisting conditions or cancel your coverage based on one mistake. They overcharged for prescription drugs while failing to invest in more cost-effective therapies that make care more accessible.

The Affordable Care Act helps lower costs by curbing insurance company abuses and providing value for your premium dollar in marketplaces that provide choices and transparency. Plus, under this law insurers must spend at least 80 percent of your premium dollars on actual medical care or quality improvements or give a rebate; furthermore the ACA ensures no one is left behind by expanding Medicaid to cover more low-income adults including undocumented immigrants; these costs are covered through several new taxes as well as cuts in Medicare payments to wealthy recipients.

The Individual Mandate

The Affordable Care Act required most Americans to purchase health insurance or face a penalty known as a shared responsibility payment penalty, an action which violated freedom of choice and represented federal overreach.

In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate as lawful under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. They reasoned that Congress can require people to engage in commercial activities or pay a fee if they opt out, with Congress later reducing this penalty from $50.00 per individual to $0. Texas and two individuals challenged the Affordable Care Act on grounds that its lack of mandate made it unconstitutional.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear this challenge and has issued four legal questions for their consideration: (1) whether plaintiffs have standing to sue; (2) is Congress’s individual mandate an improper exercise of power under the Commerce Clause; (3) should all or part of ACA be struck down without its enforcement; (4) and should the entire law be struck down altogether (Hearing arguments will take place November 10, 2020).

The Taxes

Taxes play an essential part in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Many of its major provisions rely on funding provided through taxing and spending bills; the spending bill passed this week includes provisions that delay an excise tax imposed by the ACA on high-cost employer-sponsored health insurance coverage, also known as “Cadillac plan tax.”

In 2012, the Supreme Court determined that Congress was constitutionally allowed to implement an individual mandate as an exercise of their taxing power. However, under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, any penalty associated with failing to abide by such an obligation has been eliminated and as a result both the Trump Administration and 18 state attorneys general filed suit claiming it unconstitutional.

This lawsuit could have significant repercussions. If successful, it could result in 20 million Americans losing health coverage and millions more paying higher premiums; additionally, it would create a massive transfer of wealth from lower and middle-income Americans to the wealthiest Americans and corporations.

The Regulations

The Affordable Care Act makes health insurance more accessible for people purchasing it themselves and provides states with new funds to enhance Medicaid. It prohibits discrimination against people with preexisting conditions and requires insurers to spend at least 80% of your premium dollars on medical care and quality improvement instead of advertising, overhead expenses and bonuses to executives.

The Affordable Care Act also forbids lifetime and annual limits, and restricts insurers from revoking policies without valid reason, such as fraud or misrepresentation. Furthermore, children under 26 can remain on their parents’ plans until age 26; all plans must also provide prescription drug coverage and maternity care benefits. Should the Supreme Court strike down this landmark legislation, millions of Americans could lose access to affordable health coverage; it is therefore imperative that we continue our fight to defend this important legislation.

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About the Author: Raymond Donovan