UPDATE: Final decision on the individual mandate ruling was 5-4, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, and was joined by Justices Elena Kagan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Kennedy, thought by many to be the swing vote, wrote the dissenting opinion.
Medicaid ruling basically said the federal government can’t force states to expand Medicaid eligibility to 133% of FPL by cutting existing Medicaid funds for noncompliance. States can choose to expand eligibility to be eligible for additional federal funds.
UPDATE2: Those offering the dissenting opinion of the 5-4 decision, Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito say that the entire health care reform law should have been struck down. They write: “The Act before us here exceeds federal power both in mandating the purchase of health insurance and in denying nonconsenting states all Medicaid funding. These parts of the Act are central to its design and operation, and all the Act’s other provisions would not have been enacted without them. In our view it must follow that the entire statute is inoperative.”
The United States Supreme Court released their ruling on the most watched case brought to before the court in recent history, the constitutionality of the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, (PPACA, Obamacare) just minutes ago.
Chief Justice John Roberts joined the left wing of the court in writing the majority opinion upholding the most controversial aspect, the individual mandate, of the health care law as a “tax” rather than a “penalty”, but the provision is ruled constitutional. The court also ruled that the federal government’s power to terminate states’ Medicaid funds is narrowly read, so there are a few more technicalities to figure out.
OPGA Government Relations will provide a more detailed analysis later today identifying the key aspects of the ruling as it relates to the individual mandate and Medicaid provisions. MORE TO COME!