Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was a major victory for all Americans. In a 5-4 ruling, the Court largely upheld the landmark legislation that will provide new consumer protections and secure and expand access to affordable, quality health care for all Americans regardless of age, income, or pre-existing condition.

The ACA will extend healthcare to 32 million uninsured Americans via mandates to purchase health insurance and federal subsidies for those with low and moderate incomes. Through the ACA, each state will develop it’s own state-regulated insurance exchange, allowing individuals to purchase subsidized and competitively priced insurance. The law also originally expanded Medicare. However, the Court’s ruling limited certain Medicare expansion provisions, allowing each state the latitude to determine how and if most Medicare expansions would be adopted.

President Obama signed the legislation in March 2010, and has since received ongoing opposition from Republicans. The majority opinion issued by the Court cited many Republican critiques of the law, but ruled that the ACA was constitutional due to Congress’ power to impose taxes “for the general welfare,” which includes the individual insurance mandate. Read more about what this means for health care and next steps in California.